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Mel's I AM Patterns Irma dress in TENCEL™ twill dressmaking fabric


I was very excited when I Am Patterns asked me if I would like to sew a garment from their new collection prior to the launch and I was even more excited when I saw the patterns! A pair of tapered trousers with an interesting asymmetrical design, a fabulous structured coat and an anything but ‘basic’ tee. But it was Irma that stole my heart – I’m a sucker for a shirtdress and she is quite possibly the most beautiful design I have seen!  

Irma features a back pleat, traditional stand collar, hidden button placket and the option of a classic sleeve with cuff or a bishop sleeve. The pattern can be sewn as a timeless shirt or a dress with a striking high-low hem and it is suitable for a wide range of dressmaking fabrics including viscose, crepe, chambray and cotton. I opted to make the dress version and so my hunt for the perfect fabric began!  

 

My inspiration actually came from another favourite shirtdress and a version that I have lusted over since the pattern was released in 2017. Of course I am talking about the Kalle by Closet Core Patterns and THAT stunning green sample that I am sure you have admired too! The sample in question was made from green tencel twill and it didn’t take me long to find the perfect match at Sew Me Sunshine! 

Harriet stocks a range of meetMILK fabrics, which are not only beautiful quality, but also offer an eco-friendly option for sewists who try to approach their craft with sustainability in mind. I chose the meet MILK moss green tencel twill, which was the exact colour I had envisioned and also offered the opacity and drape needed for my project. When the fabric arrived I was thrilled with my choice – the colour was even more dreamy in real life and the way it moved was amazing – so much fluidity! 

I couldn’t wait to get my fabric in the washing machine, but I was a little apprehensive after pre-washing another brand of tencel twill resulted in some white lines on the fabric because I didn’t realise that I was supposed to get the whole cut wet before washing it. Harriet gives detailed care instructions for her fabrics and this nor the information on the meetMILK website suggested wetting the fabric before washing, but I completed this step anyway as a precaution. I washed it at 30° on a delicate cycle with a detergent designed for delicate fabrics and it came out perfectly - phew! 

I have made a few I Am Patterns garments before and knew that the size 36 would be the best match for me. It didn’t take long to cut everything out and considering how much drape the tencel twill has it was actually very well behaved. I made sure I used my trusty Merchant and Mills entomology pins, which make working with squirmy fabrics much easier – they are also super sharp, reducing the risk of snagging/running on finer fabrics.
  

 

Sewing the dress was such a pleasure – the instruction booklet is clear and comprehensive and the pattern is well drafted, so everything came together very nicely! I made sure I was very precise when sewing the hidden placket as this is only a technique I have used once before – my Rocking Stitch Seamstress Gauge helped enormously and I’m thrilled with the neat finish I have achieved. 

As I am sure you can tell from my beaming face in all of my photographs I am absolutely in love with my Irma dress! The pattern is fantastic and I will definitely be making another version because quite frankly it’s about time I popped my bishop sleeve cherry. The success of this make is without doubt down to the beautiful fabric – I cannot recommend the meetMILK tencel twill highly enough and now I just need to decide whether I buy the rust, mustard or deep green next! 

You can see more of my sewing on my Instagram @stitch_make_bake

I was provided with the fabric and a £50 voucher for writing this blog post. I chose what to make and all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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