I always enjoy trying new pattern lines, so when Maria Denmark announced her new English-language online magazine called Sewing Life, I was excited! I’ve sewn Maria Denmark patterns since I started working with knits, and I’ve always appreciated her drafting. Maria has run a Danish-language sewing magazine called Sysiden for a few years, and now an English one as well.
I mentioned in my “Good News in Sewing” post that the Sewing Life magazine patterns go up to Euro size 54, which is couple sizes beyond me. That is roughly a 2x or a size 22, I think. It’s a wider size range than plenty of indies, so I’m pleased to support them!
According to the size chart, I’m a 48 bust and 50 waist/hips. They do suggest that you go down a size if you are sewing with a knit, as I was. I compared the pattern dimensions to my trusty Cashmerette Cedar dolman pattern to get a sense of the size, and ended up cutting 48 on top, and between a 48 and 50 from the waist down.
In the end, the hips fit well, but the bodice part was huge! I took it in at least an inch above the waist, and also raised the shoulder seams an inch. (I’d already shortened the pattern an inch at the waist.) When I cut my pattern down to match, it seems like I sewed something like a 44 on top. Fitting a shapeless garment like this is hard, because if you go overboard it will pull in all the wrong places! In the end, I’m fairly happy with the fit.
Did you notice the snow falling and scattered on the ground? I sewed this during a little warm spell last week, but now it’s colder. I was *determined* to shoot it as a spring dress though, with my bright scarf, red sneakers and denim jacket, so I braved the cold yet again. (What you can’t see is my winter pelt of blonde leg hair keeping me warm!)
The fabric is a stiff poly pique fabric, which was destashed to me by my sewing friend Sarah. It was perfect for testing out a pattern like this – thanks, Sarah! I wore this outfit today, plus warm leggings and boots, and felt good all day… so I picked up a very-large-scale floral scuba to make another one!
I’m wondering about how I could make the pattern longer sleeved, without losing the all-important proportions. I could try for set-in sleeves, like the Named Inari dress, or do dolman sleeve extensions like I did on my Cedar tops. It’s a pattern which lends itself to thick knits with body, I think, and that says cold-weather clothing to me! Which method do you think would be better?
I almost forgot to mention – the first issue of Sewing Life is free! So if you want to try out the drafting or make a cocoon dress of your own, you can go download the issue and the pattern on the Sewing Life website. (That’s how you know I’m not being paid or asked to write this – I forget to spread the word about the important stuff!)
Are you sewing for the new season yet, even if the old season hasn’t really left yet? We could easily have another 6 weeks of snow here, but I sure would love it to be spring!