Sew Over It- Cowl Neck Dress/Top PDF pattern review
I will soon be stocking patterns, so for every pattern I stock, I will be making it, then writing a review/blog and offering some video tips. I will also stock fabric options and haberdashery essentials and machine tools linked to each pattern. Making postage and research/shopping time less.
I would strongly recommend getting this pattern printed at NetPrinter: https://www.netprinter.co.uk/sewing-pattern-printing/ as when I printed this, it was 40 plus pages and took a whole role of scotch tape to stick together.
I would strongly recommend when you are making a product for the first time you must check the measurement chart. Then either make it in a size bigger or even better toile it in a cheap fabric. I appreciate balancing parenting and a full-time job means we don’t all have a lot of time, so toiling might fill you with dread, so isn’t always an option.
This was my first time making this dress, so I checked my measurements, with most patterns I come up 1-2 sizes bigger, compared to high street fashion. This can make you feel rubbish and reach for the diet recipe books, but honestly its positive, you are making something made to measure, rather than off the peg. I am tall and have broad shoulders from years of swimming, so I find shop bought clothes never fit perfectly. Shops sizing is all determined by their customer, like I would never fit anything from Top shop as their customer is between 10-25?
I decided to make the top first to check the measurements and to prevent me wasting fabric on the dress. I also tried it on before I put the sleeves in and checked the length of the sleeves before I cut them out and again before I hemmed them.
The instructions are easy to follow and photographs and layout drawings are clear. The instructions include the usual; fabric recommendations, measurement guide, top tips and a glossary. The instructions look a little like someone has sat at the computer and written this in 5 minutes, they are very basic. Old school patterns are full of technical, sewing terminology, words you just don’t understand unless you are in the industry. The glossary is literally 2 words; notch and top stitch. There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple. people who I have taught, said that they find paper patterns very daunting, this is definitely not that.
There are only 18 steps in total, so really quick and easy to make. You only need to over lock or zig zag stitch the shoulder and side seam’s at the beginning, the arm holes are over locked together later. I lengthened the sleeves pattern before making the dress, as I have long arms. You do need a twin needle and the pattern doesn’t mention anything about how to set your stitch for working with a stretch fabric, they do offer more support on their blog. maybe it does there? I had a quick look and it’s just the instructions in colour? There is a blog on how to put the pattern together, and a workshop you can attend, but nothing about the stitch options.
The sleeves are the most challenging part of the make, I would suggest pinning and then tacking. Then you can check on the dress stand to make sure the sleeves are sitting correctly. Make sure you also match the notches, making sure the front is attached to the front.
I made this in stages as I only had short pockets of time, but was so please with how quick it was and when I made the dress I made it in less than 2 hours. Really good for working mums and a perfect dress for work. I am so pleased with it that I want to make it in a sequin fabric. I am not sure my over locker will cope with the fabric though, so I may need to line it. This will mean that I will have to adapt the neckline to allow for a lining? I will test my over locker and fabric first.
The dress is so comfortable and has such a tidy smart finish. I have worn it and it feels so comfortable. It’s a versatile product that can be dressed up and down. I wore it with my Sew Over It ultimate trousers and high heals, it could also be worn with jeans and trainers. The test is always in the wearing and I didn’t feel like I was wearing something homemade, which is often not the case. I made the dress too, the weather hasn’t allowed me to wear this yet, but when I tried it on, it felt great. I used a black Ponte-roma fabric, this is a medium weight stretch fabric, so perfect for this dress. The dress looks great with a thin red belt and can be worn with thick tights and flats, or even long boots or high heels.
I highly recommend this pattern, it’s so easy and such a satisfying make. For a beginner it will give you confidence and for the experienced maker you can make one in every colour.I will be making a red one next 🙂
I will be reviewing lots of patterns and will be stocking all of the best on my website very soon. Watch this space….
I will review the ultimate trousers next.