Mirabel Petite Dressmaker PDF Pattern

Summertime calls for fun playful dresses!  We enjoyed the chance to be part of the testing team for the Petite Dressmaker’s new release the Mirabel Dress.   

Mirabel Pattern Details

The Mirabel dress is a cute, asymmetrical babydoll style. Perfect for a beginner or intermediate maker it has a square neckline at the front and back with no need for a zipper as you can pull it over your head.

The main design feature is the slanted waistline and two slanted tiers. To showcase these design lines there is an optional ruffle feature.

This PDF pattern includes 12 size options in the layered PDF files with A/B and C/D cup options along with high options of Petite (5’2”) and Standard (5’7”).

You can find your copy on The Petite Dressmaker’s website here or in the babydoll bundle here.

Fabric: Ellie Whittaker Golden Gaytime Cotton

This pattern called for a Light/Medium weight woven fabric such as cotton, quilting cotton, linen/cotton blends or broderie anglaise. Given how playful the design lines were with the asymmetrical feature we wanted a fabric that would match this character. We went into our stash to pull out the Ellie Whittaker Golden Gaytime Cotton we had been waiting to use for a fun project.

To showcase the design lines we included matching piping between the tiers instead of the ruffle.

Finished Mirabel Dress Make

This is a fun Summer dress that is easy to stitch. You can create your own details by showcasing the design lines like we did with the tiers by adding a ruffle or piping. Have fun with the designs! The Petite Dressmaker has provided very detailed instructions to help you construct your own playful make. We can’t wait to see your version of this pattern!

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Mirabel dress by Petite Dress Maker available here
Fabric:  Ellie Whittaker Golden Gaytime Cotton Print

SisterMags Patterns 68-8 Military style shirt dress

We were invited to preview the latest SisterMags pattern and explored the designs making the 68-8 Military Style Dress. The style is a straight-through dress that has a button-up placket front, a two-piece collar with pocket detailing.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: 68-8 Military style shirt dress by SisterMags
Fabric: From the stash 

Lucca Dress pattern by Schultz Appar

We joined the pattern testing team for Schultz Apparel’s latest release. We were looking forward to creating the t-shirt as just last week we were reflecting on our top collection and commented about how we were looking for a great t-shirt pattern.  

The Lucca pattern is a dress
pattern with both modern and
vintage inspired details.
All options comes with a curved
front waist seam, a front button
closure and a faux-shirred back.
Options can be mixed and
matched.

Fabric

This pattern called for light weight woven
fabric and can be lined in the same fabric or another light lining fabric in the same fibres.

We created this Lucca dress in printed cotton from East Coast Fabrics. It was a white floral pattern with a green background.

Finished Lucca Dress

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Lucca Dress Sewing Pattern from Schultz Apparel
Fabric: Green floral cotton from East Coast Fabrics

Two Sewing Sisters wear pattern test of Tetra Tshirt Top Sewing Pattern by Schultz Apparel in May Gibbs printed cotton jersey with black cullotte pants standing on the path showing a close up of the neck detail

Tetra T-shirt Top Sewing Pattern by Schultz Apparel in May Gibbs Jersey

We joined the pattern testing team for Schultz Apparel’s latest release. We were looking forward to creating the t-shirt as just last week we were reflecting on our top collection and commented about how we were looking for a great t-shirt pattern.  

The Tetra pattern is a perfect everyday
basic top pattern for knitted fabrics. The pattern includes two options; Option A is a cropped top with short sleeve and a lower turtleneck. Option B is a longer top with long sleeves and a higher turtleneck. Both options has a cute vintage
inspired lettuce hem at neck, sleeve
and hemline.

Fabric

This pattern called for light to medium weight knit fabrics/jersey fabric with at least 60% stretch made from fibers: viscose, modal, bamboo, Tencel, or polyester. We had the perfect piece which was a 1 meter remanent of May Gibbs jersey.

Cutting

As the pattern has a small exposed edge finish there is no seam allowance on the hem of the sleeve, bodice and neckband. It does include 1cm on the side seams and armhole seams. We constructed the t-shirt on our 4-thread overlocker.

Finished Tetra Tshirt

We like the fit of the bodice and sleeve shape of this pattern. Next time we make it we will make some modifications to include seam allowance so we can add a hem to the sleeve and bodice as we had trouble making the adjustments to our overlocker to get the lettuce hem design feature and double the width of the neck band to fold it in half to able to create a folded neck finish. As this one was a printed fabric the fabric rolled showing the white back of the fabric. We are looking forward to exploring more options in jersey knits with this Tetra T-shirt pattern.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Tetra Tshirt Top Sewing Pattern from Schultz Apparel
Fabric: May Gibbs printed cotton jersey from Spotlight Store

Adrift Shift dress pattern by Gracie Steel constructed by Two Sewing Sisters

Adrift Shift Dress by Gracie Steel

We were excited to be invited to be part of the testing team for the new pattern release from Gracie Steel.  This dress is a great beginner make with a loose fit.  It has simple bust darts and a tie feature at the top of the centre-back keyhole.

Adrift Shift Dress Design

Adrift Shift Dress by Gracie Steel

The Adrift Shift Dress sewing pattern is a classic and timeless shift dress. This shape was a staple of the 60s and continues to stand the test of time.

The swing bodice shape features a bust and shoulder dart. You can choose a round neck or sweetheart’s neckline with a back keyhole and tie feature.

Gracie encourages hacking of her patterns but for the pattern testing, we wanted to create the pattern just like the original design with the round neck for the first time we made it. However, we have a few hacks up our sleeve and can’t wait to see the different versions that come through in the #adriftshift on Instagram.

Fabrication

The pattern is described as being suitable for a range of fabrics, both knit and woven, including cotton, linen, and silk or jersey.

We went through our stash to find a fabric looking for a bold print that would be a great showcase for this dress. We came across this canvas from Nerida Hansen that we had purchased at a Finders Keepers Market in Melbourne a few years ago.

When we were testing this pattern the fabric requirements had not been released so we worked out that we would need two lengths of the dress, as we assumed the front and back dress pieces would not fit side by side.

The fabric we found was not quite wide enough to place them side by side. As a result, we made the width of the doubled-over section and were the fold the width of the dress so that we could keep the long length for another project.

Once we had placed the front and back dress pieces we then fitted the facing pieces in around the larger pieces.

Construction

The instructions provide great step-by-step instructions for a beginner sewer and a “Super Speedy Construction Summary” for those more familiar with garment construction. If you would like some more support for the construction you can also watch Gracie’s sewing along video on YouTube.

For the back keyhole feature, the facing piece provides great coverage of the seam. It is a great technique to mark the centre backline and then stitch either side of the chalk line before cutting it open.

Finished Adrift Shift Dress

Adrift Shift Dress Details

Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Adrift Shift Dress by Gracie Steel
Fabric: Canvas print from Nerida Hansen

16-6 Sleeveless dress Sister Mag by Two Sewing Sisters

Sister Mag Pattern 16-6 Sleeveless dress

When Sister Mag Patterns approached us about making one of their patterns we were excited to explore their collection.  We were drawn the details of the 16-6 Sleeveless dress with the collar, epaulettes and unique tuck detail through the armhole.  The dress features a pleated skirt that has a playful swing and long zipper in the back.

The pattern comes in at an at home A4 version and print shop A0 size.  We opted for the A0 zero option and made sure to turn off the layers we did not need and just printed our size.  

Fabrication

For the fabrication, Sister Mag recommends virgin wool, cool wool fabrics or a fabric that has a nice slightly heavier drape. 

We ordered a lovely ink blue Cora 8 Wal Corduroy from Fabric Deluxe and ordered a little extra so that we could lengthen the skirt. We love the mod style of the skirt but are looking to make a dress we can wear into the office so a longer skirt was needed this time.

Construction Process

We are very visual when it comes to construction instructions. The instruction booklet features a set of dotpoints so we took photos as we constructed our version of the dress and have shared them below with a combination of their instructions and our own notes.

16-6 Sleeveless dress Sister Mag by Two Sewing Sisters

Alterations

The fit of the pattern was great so the only pattern alternation we made was 1cm lift for a sway back. In fabrication we didn’t use leather instead a lined side panel and continued the lining throughout the bodice.

As we mentioned before, to make it suitable for our office spaces we lengthened the skirt but kept the original line and fullness of the skirt.

Due to the heavy weight of the fabric we inserted an exposed zipper compared to an invisible zipper which would be suitable for a lighter fabric.

Step by Step

Finished Sister Mag 16-6 Sleeveless dress

Sister Mag 16-6 Sleeveless dress Details

Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: 16-6 Sleeveless dress supplied by Sister Mag Patterns
Fabric: Ink blue Cora 8 Wal Corduroy from Fabric Deluxe

Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel in Gertie Border Print

We joined the pattern testing team for the release of the Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel. 

Pattern: Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel

The Mona pattern is a PDF dress pattern that features a V cutout at the front neckline and V shape center front dart. The bodice is fully lined, and the dresses are closed with a Center Back zipper. The skirt options includes circle skirt, pencil shirt or gathered skirt. See the pattern on the Schultz Apparel website here.

Fabric: Amalfi Coast border print cotton sateen print by Gertie from Spotlight

We had purchased this Amalfi Coast Border print by Gertie from Spotlight many years ago and were waiting for the perfect project. When we saw this pattern testing come through were knew which fabric were were going to use. There were so many elements to showcase this bring including the gathered skirt for the border print, clouds for the bodice and lemons in the strap.

Finished Make

The construction of the dress went well, just make sure to clip the center v point before understitching and check the angle of the shoulder straps to ensure they don’t feel like they are slipping for you body shape. What a fun dress! We loved the dart detail in the bodice and will be using this bodice pattern again.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel
Fabric:  Amalfi Coast border print cotton sateen print by Gertie from Spotlight

Obsession Blouse by Chut Charlotte

We were invited by Chut Charlotte to stitch up a version of the Obsession pattern .  This classic style pattern is a feminine button-front shirt.  It has multiple collar options that include Peter Pan, Victorian or Mao collars.  The full-length sleeve has a set-in sleeve head and plaquette detail that goes into the button cuff.  

Obsession Blouse by Chut Charlotte

The shirt can be made in cotton, viscose, crepe, double gauze. We chose a texture blue crepe style fabric.

For fabric that is 140cm wide it needs approximately 2 meters of fabric, 10 buttons and lightweight woven interfacings to support the collar and cuffs.

Our Obsession Blouse

For our version of the blouse, we chose the short Victorian Collar and cuffs with the ruffle to match the other ruffle throughout the style. We have styled it here with black tapered leg pants, brogue shoes and matching blue earrings. This styling played into the masculine style button through style of the top that is contrasted by the soft feminine ruffles.

Details of Chut Charlotte’s Obsession

The ruffles are created by folding a long rectangle with right sides together. The end was closed then turned through. Press from the right side and put a gathering stitch along the raw edge.

The ruffle was then pulled up using the gathering stitch to fit the length of the cuff and sandwiched in between the layers.

A key feature of this top, which caught our eye was the ruffle feature throughout the elements of the top.

The pattern pieces are drafted to have an asymmetrical front with the left side split into two above the bust to include this sweet ruffle feature.

The sleeve has a small amount of gathering into the cuff creating a softness to the finish and compliments the folded ruffle edge near the hand.

With different style collar options available as part of this pattern we chose to use the short ruffle collar.   This style of collar matched the ruffle detail throughout the rest of the top. The short stand of the collar (which is also the Peter Pan version) sat well in this fabric once the light woven interfacing was applied.

PHOTOGRAPHY NOTES

Photographer: James Christie
Model: Lauren Ritchie
Dress Pattern: Obsession by Chut Charlotte

Senna Dress made with vintage equipment

When we helped Schultz Apparel test the Senna Dress we were in a lockdown away from our normal machines so we took on the challenge of stitching the dress in a different way. We would normally use our industrial sewing machine or electric domestic Bernina machine then finish our seams using an overlocker. None of this was an option so we scouted our parent’s house to see what we could find.

Senna Dress

The Senna dress is fitted around the bust and loose at the waist. It features a pleated skirt and tie at the center back and waist.

This is a simple beginner-friendly pattern with no fastening just the self-made ties.

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

We found our Nan’s old Vintage Singer Sewing Machine which is a 306K Model, it has an electric foot pedal and is still working. This was Nan’s first electric sewing machine which would have been purchased in Echuca around 1956 when our grandparents lived in Gunbower. It has made many dresses for our family as has many machines since but this one is lucky enough to still be with us.

In terms of using the machine, it takes some work to get it moving and sometimes required to hand roll the wheel for the first stitch but once moving it stitched really well. The reserve as expected on a machine of this age is a manual leaver which needed to be moved to the reverse position and then back to the forward stitch length position.

Once we had tested the sewing machine worked our next challenge was deciding how to finish the seams. There were a few options including making bias from old sheets but we chose to go with pinking shears which seem appropriate considering the machine we were also using.

Pinking Shears

Before overlockers were available for the domestic market home sewers had to use alternative methods to finish the inside of their garments. Having said this, an overlocker is not essential to have. If you are just starting sewing it can be a large cost and you should not feel the pressure to purchase one, you can find many other ways to finish your seams including bias, zigzag or pinking shears.

Pinking sheers look like a heavier pair of scissors with a sawtoothed instead of straight blades and cut the fabric to have a zigzag edge. This prevents the woven fabric from fraying with the short diagonal cuts of the zigzag that do not provide any long fibres on the edge to get caught or damage and pull their full length. There are few seams in the Senna Dress

Using the selvedge

As we needed the full width of our cotton fabric for the skirt pieces we were to cut across the width of the fabric and we used the already existing selvedges as the finish for our seams. Cheating? Maybe but also using the resources we had on hand, it is an already finished seam and it did not affect the overall finish of the dress

Double Rolled Hem

For the hem of the dress, we created a wide double rolled hem, pressing the material over 1cm and then 4cm. We were able to have such a deep hem because the overall shape of the skirt piece is rectangular meaning that we could work on the straight grain of the fabric.

Finished Zebra Stripes

The Senna dress is simple garment to construct the instructions provided by Schultz Apparel are clever and could be described as the path of least resistant show by the order the all in one neck facing is finished around the neck and armholes.  Always winning points with us the instuctions include understanding in all the good places.

With no fastenings required is a great pattern for beginner sewers to create yourself an easy to wear Summer number. 

Photography Notes

Photographer: Erin Ritchie
Model: Lauren Ritchie
Dress Pattern: Senna Dress by Schultz Apparel

Other Schultz Apparel patterns we have made include Ottlia Top, Begonia Dress and Minna Dress

Ottilia Top - Schultz Apparel - Two Sewing Sisters

Ottilia Top from Schultz Apparel

We watched Schultz Apparel tease us with fun tops.  Sharing them to her socials, they were adorable!  We know we declared our top phase had come to a close and it was going to be dresses for a while. But then the Ottilia Top appeared.  It has all the great features of a Schultz Apparel Pattern; amazing sleeves and clever construction.  Usually we are apprehensive about wrap tops due to cup size and it not sitting well around the bust but we were excited to give this pattern a try.

Ottilia Top Details

Ottilia is a short wrap top with short vintage inspired puffy sleeves and an extra-long belt that can be tied multiple times around the waist.

This pattern is suited for light to middleweight woven fabric such as a cotton, linen, viscose, tencel or polyester.

We made it in a green and white striped cotton fabric we found in our stash. We don’t remember where it came from but based on the colours it is likely something Nanny picked and we are lucky enough to be able to stitch it up.

Constructing the Ottilia Top

The instructions are easy to follow to construct this folky style dress. The tiered skirt is constructed by joining together gathered rectangles. Instead of needing to print pieces for the rectangular pieces, Schultz Apparel gives the measurements for the rectangles. saving on printing and cutting time (not to mention the environment through the saved pieces of paper!).

The sleeve is constructed with two layers, the other fuller body and stabilising under layer. Initially we cut both out of the striped fabric but because of how strong the stripe as you could faintly the stripe in the under fabric. We recut the lining in a white cotton so

How to line something that has a facing

You might have heard us say before what a fan we are of lining garments. There are a few reasons for this. It gives it a better finish, less exposed seams inside of the garment. It also means that the pressure is not on the outside fabric to side flush again the body and appear flat. The lining provides some extra structure.

Not all garments are lined, some just have facings. This is still a great way to finish a garment, it provides clean edges and they are shaped pieces that follow the contours of the outer shape, they mimic the outer layer. It might feel rebellious to divert from the instructions, it does take confidence to know where you are heading with the garment but it can definitely be done. Here is a bit of guide as to how we go about it.

Cut all of the pattern piece as the instructions say, all the bodice pieces and facing.

Cut the bodice pieces in your lining fabric – the same as the outside

Stitch the pieces together to create the outer shell, lining and facing.

Finish the edge of the facing. We over lock ours in a matching thread.

Garment Construction for Ottilia Top from Schultz Apparel by Two Sewing Sisters

Attach the facing on top of the lining.

You are looking to create to make two shells; the outside and the lining.

The lining should be right side up with the facing also sitting right side up. Think of them as becoming one.

Garment Construction for Ottilia Top from Schultz Apparel by Two Sewing Sisters

Bag out the lining and the outer shell.

Put the right sides together and stitch around the neck line. Cut back the seam allowance and under stitch.

As this is a top around the hemline.

Leave the armholes open.

Garment Construction for Ottilia Top from Schultz Apparel by Two Sewing Sisters

Pull the bodice right side out through the open arm holes.

It will now look like this.

Garment Construction for Ottilia Top from Schultz Apparel by Two Sewing Sisters

You are back to following the instruction booklet

Finish the sleeves.

The Ottilia has a lined sleeve to help hold the puff shape.

Garment Construction for Ottilia Top from Schultz Apparel by Two Sewing Sisters

Tack the head together using the gathering stitch

Pin the sleeve into place and stitching

Finish around the armhole. We over locked the seam allowance.

This will finish off the garment. Enjoy wearing it!

This is what it looks like inside out.

Finished Ottilia Top

The Ottilia Top absolutely lived up to the dream! Can we say again how good Schultz Apparel sleeves are? 

The top is easy to put on, again no fastenings.  The wrap fits through a key hole provided in the instructions.  The fit is great, our worry about wrap tops and dresses was not needed here.  We made an elastic waisted skirt with ruffle to wear with it.  

For us the next time we make it we will lengthen it around 3cm so it reaches the waist.  It gives us the option to be able to wear it work.  Don’t get us wrong, we love the striped version!  But it is more casual than what we could wear to the office.  

If you have been feeling inspired by the Minna or Begonia how about a hybrid? It is definitely going on our make list.  Check out Schultz Apparel mash up on her Instagram.  

Photography Notes

Photographer: Erin Ritchie
Model: Lauren Ritchie
Pattern: Ottilia Top by Schultz Apparel
Fabric: Nanny’s Fabric Stash

Who knows what we were laughing about but it was great.