A couple of months ago, Zoe sent me some pictures of her new batwing top/tunic/dress pattern, and asked if I would mind testing it out. Zoe was my first real-life sewing friend, and is one of the nicest people you could hope to meet, so I was very happy to help. I’d been keen to give sewing with knits a try, and I’d got as far as cutting out a lady skater pattern when I got the email. I’m glad I hadn’t got the fabric cut out as it proved to be perfect for the Dolores batwing dress. I was a little apprehensive, as my only knit project to date was the t-shirt refashion, but this came together beautifully. The pattern is so quick to put together, with just eleven pages, and four pattern pieces (of which you will need three for each variation – unless you fancy a selection of arms on your garment for ultimate changeable weather protection). I really appreciate this kind of level of environmental awareness in a pattern design, and it’s the kind of touch I’d expect from Zoe, who is the queen of reusing, refashioning and recycling. And, well, lets be honest, nobody really likes assembling pdf patterns. I’d planned to make this really slowly over a week, in order to be able to go crazy with notes, but it was such a quick and easy project that I was done in an afternoon (and I am not a fast sewer). Since I was testing the pattern, I made everything according to the instructions, although I did some neat little tucks on the sleeves, rather than gathering them. According to the instructions, I was a 12 at the bust, grading out to a 14 for the waist and hips. I’m really pleased with how that sizing turned out. I wasn’t 100% sure that the shape of this dress would really suit me, especially as I usually do not have love for you if you were a fashion born in the 80s, but I’m in love with the relaxed slouchy shape. I’m sure that other people would look fantastic in this dress without a belt, but I am not one of them. This is fine, as I rarely look good in anything without some kind of waist definition, and it’s nice to actually use all of the belts I own. After going through my (extensive) belt collection, I was really surprised to see that it went with pretty much every one of them!! Ben was astonished that I’d made something so practical. What I love about this dress is that pairing it with different belts completely changes the look of the outfit. With a thin black belt, it’d be perfect for work; with a massive gold belt, it’s ready to party; and with a canvas belt it would be perfect for a day at the beach.
I’ve got a fair bit of this gorgeous fabric left (although not enough for the lady skater), so I’m wondering whether to make a long sleeved t-shirt length version. It’s a bit strange really, as I didn’t think I was a pink person… Are you planning to make this pattern? I reckon the long sleeved version would make a fantastic snuggly little black dress for winter. In unrelated news, I thought I’d do a little advertising for my little brother, who is a personal trainer. I’ve been working out with him for a couple of months, and have noticed an amazing difference from my previous sloth-like existence. If you’re based in the Brighton and Hove area and would like to get in shape with a supportive trainer who will write a programme based on your goals and lifestyle, either outside in the fresh air, or indoors at Underground Gym in Portslade, then check out his Facebook page.