Harriet from Hobbling Handmades has written a post about her SOI Ultimate Shift Dress that she made out of our beautiful Cotton & Steel Lagoon Map fabric
As soon as the Sew Me Sunshine shop launched, I found myself ignoring all of the things that I had to do and trawling through all of the pages filled with lovely fabrics and haberdashery bits and bobs. New things were coming in every day (so a lot of procrastination was happening) but there was one fabric in particular that I kept clicking on to look at; the Cotton and Steel Map fabric from the lagoon collection. What struck me when I saw it was how different it was from any other that I'd seen – there's so much detail in the print that it even takes a lot of hunting to figure out where the pattern repeat is! Each time you look, you notice something else (with my personal favourite bits being the little campfire and clothesline, as well as the girls swimming in the river) and end up feeling a bit like you're wearing some kind of secret map.
Because the print is so little and busy, I decided that whatever pattern I ended up choosing needed to have as few pattern pieces as possible, so that the print of the fabric could be seen properly without too much interruption. I already knew that pattern matching would be a very hard task, so abandoned all hope of that early on - another reason why I didn't want too many seams!
I went through all of the options of things that I could make – I immediately thought that this adorable fabric would be perfect for childrenswear, but I wanted to sneak it for myself! I could've really embraced the novelty of the print and done something like a full circle skirt, but I decided to challenge myself a bit and make the finished garment look as grown up as possible.
In the end, I settled on the Ultimate Shift Dress pattern by Sew Over It. Minimal seam lines? Check. Simple design to really show off the fabric? Check. The way I thought I could make it more 'grown up' was by adding long sleeves that were pretty close fitting, as well as forgetting my usual reservations and shortening the hem so that (instead of hitting just above the knee) the dress would finish at about mid-thigh level. I did only ask for a metre of the fabric so was a little bit worried about fitting the long sleeves in, but my pattern tetris skills haven't failed me yet! I managed to fit everything in with about a fat quarter's amount to spare, so I'll be saving that for the facing of another make!
I'd made the Ultimate Shift Dress before, so had no problems with the pattern and the weight of the fabric turned out to be utterly perfect for it! I won't ramble on too much about my experience making it as I've put up a video on my YouTube channel (which is Hobbling Handmades) as I was sewing it, as well as any thoughts I had during the process! So I'll just say that it was a real dream to make and that I kept stopping to gawk at a new adorable little illustration that I found on the fabric. When I got dressed for the photos, I decided to slightly abandon the hope of looking grown up, and donned my brand new mustard tights – I hope you like the finished product!
If you'd like to keep up with what I'm making, you can find my YouTube channel by searching Hobbling Handmades, follow my Instagram @hobblinghandmades, or even have a peek at my blog, hobblinghandmades.com to see pattern reviews, and posts about how to care for your handmade clothes!
Thank you so much fellow Harriet for your wonderful make, YouTube sew along & blog post. If you would like to sew your very own Ultimate Shift Dress out of this beautiful Cotton & Steel fabric then you can find the pattern here & the fabric here. To help you out a little bit we have 10% off both the fabric and the pattern until Friday 26th September 2017 (no code required).