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 

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

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

Begonia by Schultz Apparel in Fabric Hoarders Micro Dots

We were really excited when we finished our Minna dress for Schultz Apparel that is had such a great sleeve, and then we saw the Begonia!  Another great sleeve again!  Thank you for Schultz Apparel for including us in the testing team for this new style. 

Begonia Dress Details

Begonia by Schultz Apparel in Fabric Hoarders Polka Dots

The Begonia style has a top and dress option. They are a loose fit, with a V-neck at the front and a deep V-neck with gathering at the back. The optional belt pulls the waist create the fitted silhouette and highlights the two tiered ruffled skirt. The silhouette is balanced with a short puffy sleeve.

Begonia by Schultz Apparel in Fabric Hoarders Polka Dots

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

We made the dress version with the v neck back from the top style as we wanted a easy to wear style and not worry about bra lines being seen.

Micro Dots in Burgundy from Fabric Hoarders

Fabric Hoarders is a small independent fabrics stores based in Echuca which is a small town on the Murray River in North Victoria. They have a wonderful range of cotton and liberty fabrics in their online store. We have partnered with Fabric Hoarders and its business owner Leanne to share with you their great selection of fabric.

For the Begonia dress we chose to use a burgundy and white cotton from the Micro Dots range. It is a sweet print with a repetition of the small white dot.

The fabric print is available in a rainbow of colours on the Fabric Hoarders website and is purchased in 25cm increments.

Check out the cutting video to see how great is to snip and tear this cotton woven fabric.

Constructing the Begonia Dress

Begonia by Schultz Apparel in Fabric Hoarders Polka Dots

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 finished with a double roll hem and the casing for the elastic is made from a bias binding. We folded the ends under and butted them up against each other lining this up with the under arm seam and threaded an elastic through to pull it in around the upper arm.

Finished Begonia Dress

The Begonia dress easily slips over the head and is drawn in at the waist with the tie.  It could be worn either way depending on your own style. The weight of the dotted cotton sits well and holds its shape in the gathered sleeve. 

Constructing this dress was quite easy as it does not have any difficult fastenings such as a button or zipper.  This means it would be great for a beginner sewer. 

Photography Notes

Photographer: Erin Ritchie
Model: Lauren Ritchie
Dress Pattern: Bergonia Pattern by Schultz Apparel
Dress Fabric: Micro Dots – Burgundy from Fabric Hoarders
Earrings by: Meli Clay

Minna Dress by Schultz Apparel

Schultz Apparel has released a stunning new pattern called the Minna Dress.  Their style is strong and feminine designs with features including large sleeves and fitted bodices inspired by vintage designs.  Minna is no exception and she is devine!  We really enjoyed being part of the pattern testing team for this style. 

Minna Dress Details

The Minna Dress has a fitted bodice, statement sleeves that gather into a cuff, and a full skirt. This pattern includes three bodice options, three sleeve options, and three skirt options. The designs can be mixed and matched depending on your style. The design is not lined but uses a facing to finish the neck edge.

The pattern is designed to be made in a woven fabric including cotton, linen and wool.

We made Design A which has a boat neck, buttons at center front, long sleeves and flip cuffs. It has a slightly gathered circle skirt.

The fabric we used was a block wax cotton that Lauren purchased when visiting London. It was from African Queen Fabrics located in the Brixton Markets. You purchase fabric by the piece that comes 120cm wide by 5.5 meters in length. This was the perfect amount for us because of the way we needed to use the pattern placement to make sure the key parts of the printed landed correctly on the pattern pieces. Schultz Apparel do not suggest that you need this much fabric, it is best to check the instructions for their recommendation about the style you make.

Constructing the Minna Dress

The fabric print placement on the cuff

The pattern suggests user an under arm invisible zipper. This is difficult to get in and out of for a garment that has sleeves. The style does not have any detail or collar in the back that would be interrupted by a center back zipper so we opted to do this instead. We hope it will provide a little bit more longevity to the make instead of straining the underarm seams trying to get in and out of an underarm zipper.

This design is not lined and uses a neck facing to finish around the neck and button area. It is a neat finish however we are also working on a version with the flat front which we chose to line the bodice of as the fabric was not as stable. We did this by cutting the same bodice piece in a lining fabric and omitting the facing pieces.

Keep and eye on your seam allowance – it is 2cm for the pattern. If you are use to sewing with other patterns your default might be 1.5cm so make sure to check the instructions in case it varies.

Finished Minna Dress

The Minna dress is such a sweet style.  We really liked the fit of the bodice.  It is easy to wear as even though it has a wider more open neckline there is no need to wear a strapless bra with it as the neckline is really well placed. The instructions are quite good, keep an eye on how to finish the cuff for option A, it is a little difficult to finish the curved split cuff.  The shape of the sleeves is fantastic and provides a strong statement. 

Photography Notes

Photographer: Lauren Ritchie
Model: Erin Ritchie
Dress Pattern: Minna Dress by Schultz Apparel
Dress Fabric: African Queen Fabrics, Brixton, London

Legends 2.0 by Stay and Stitch

Stay and Stitch have been making some changes to their business and also the layout of their patterns.  As part of this Terri the owner and pattern designer chose to update an existing pattern which was known as Legends releasing Legends 2.0.  With the relaunched she reached out to her testing community to trial the changes which we were excited to be a part of.  

Legends 2.0 Details

The Legends pattern has a few variations between bodice shape, length and sleeve options. Each option has the grown on shaped neck feature.

The pattern is made in a knit fabric with the suggested fabrics being; jersey knit, bamboo jersey, cotton/lycra, cotton/spandex, stretch polyesters, stretch rayons and moda.

Stay and Stitch have done some really lovely neck detail features between Legends and the Solace Top. The instructions for Legends marked the stitch line for the neck with a tracing wheel and tracing paper. Instead of this method we cut out the middle piece of the facing and used a tailors chalk rolling pencil to mark the stitch line. This creates the same effect and doesn’t rely on safely storing the transfer paper (messy!). Transfer paper has chalk on one side and when run over with the tracing wheel leaves the chalk mark.

For the skirt section we opted for the long length dress hem with the split in the side.

Constructing Legends 2.0

As this is a knit garment it can mostly be constructed on overlocker. We did this on our 4 thread Juki machine and finished the hem using a stretch stitch on a domestic machine.

The neck finishing is very clever around the back and easy to finish. Stitch across each shoulder and then the extension of the front is joined at the center back and stitched across the back.

The instructions suggested to close up the side seam and then put in the sleeve. There is another method where you stitch the shoulder seams, insert the sleeve head and then down the side seam. Both have the same result but the second is easier to manage easing in the sleeve head and you don’t have to worry about getting caught up when stitching in a circle around the armhole.

Finished Dress

The Legends was an easy pattern to stitch up, the instructions were very good in outlining the process.  It is a great pattern for any level of sewer as the instructions would support a beginner or be a quick guide for an advanced seamstress. 

As we are working on building up our work wardrobes we chose to make the dress is a thicker patterned knit that can be worn with tights and high heels for a winter look.  The pattern has versatile style options and could be made to suit many occasions.  

Photography Notes

Photographer: Erin Ritchie
Model: Lauren Ritchie
Dress Pattern: Legends 2.0 by Stay and Stitch
Dress Fabric: Spotlight

Solace Top from Stay and Stitch

Welcome to our top making phase!  We are great dress lovers but have been trying to fill some gaps in our wardrobe recently.  After creating quite a few Summer tops (in the middle of winter) we began to explore what options are available for some comfy winter styles.

We are not big sewers of knits but when Stay and Stitch did a call out for pattern testers for their new design we were excited to give it a go and loved it.  

Solace Top Details

The Solace Top has a funnel neck with an option to cut out the back piece on the fold or place a center back seam in it. This cutting option allows for more flexability if limited by fabric layout.

The hem has two options a curved or straight finished, both which have a side split detail.

We really loved the neck shape of this style, Stay and Stitch described it as a mock turtle or funnel neck. To help showcase this feature we chose to construct the top in a jade double knit fabric from our stash.

The pattern was easy to cut out with only three pieces; front, back and sleeve.

We opted for the curved hem to provide a nice line if the top if worn out over a pair of pants.

Constructing the Solace Top

Finished Top

This was an easy pattern to stitch up, the instructions were very good in outlining the process.  It is a great pattern for any level of sewer as the instructions would support a beginner or be a quick guide for an advanced seamstress. 

We are looking forward to making a few more versions of this top and in particular would love to make it in a textured knit.  We styled it here with jeans and a head wrap but would look great tucked into a pair of high waisted pants for a more corporate style. 

Photography Notes

Photographer: James Christie
Model: Erin Ritchie
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery
Top Pattern: Juliet Coat By Hand London
Dress Fabric: Two Sewing Sisters fabric stash

Juliet Coat By Hand London with Drapers Fabric

The Juliet Coat is the latest release from By Hand London.  We enjoyed been part of the testing team for this project and partnered with Drapers Fabrics who supplied us with a beautiful wool coating for the project.  The Juliet coat is fully lined and features two-piece raglan sleeves, in-seam pockets, a roomy swing shape and the option of a classic notch collar or a softer shawl collar.

Channel your inner Mrs Maisel with this perfectly retro swing coat!

By Hand London

Drapers Fabric

Drapers Fabric Fitzroy

Thank you to Draper Fabrics for partnering with us for this project. They supplied us with the lovely wool and lining for the testing of this pattern. We had a look at their online store which ships from New Zealand to get an idea of they might have available. before we headed into the Fitzroy Store.

We selected a checked blue, grey and cream wool for the outer fabric and a silk twill for the lining

Outer

Storm was the other colourway, we went with the blue tones of the London Wool

Lining

This silk twill was a perfect colour match – only available in store

Finished Juliet Coat

Construction Notes

This is a PDF pattern which means that you download a PDF file and then need to print it out. Words from the wise – copy shop. Visit your local print shop.

We did the testing for this in the first stages of lockdown of COVID19 so we didn’t feel we should leave the house but if we were to print this lovely coat again it would save so much time to get it printed on A0.

Instead Erin spent a long afternoon with tape and scissors. The other disadvantage of printing at home is that the edge of the pattern pieces fall on tape lines of the A4 pages.

The outer shell

We are big fans of under stitching, big fans! It stops seams from rolling and the underside showing where it shouldn’t. This wasn’t listed in great detail in the instructions. We should suggest under stitching the underside of the collar piece, on the facing from the hem up to the button

If you are nervous about make a coat – don’t be for this one. There are no shoulder pads or complex pocket details to worry about. Essentially make the outer shell, make the lining and stitch the together around the openings (okay there is a little more to it but that is an overview)

Juliet Coat Details

Anna Dress

We have been excited to make an Anna Dress since we saw Stitches and Sutures wearing it and it has come one of her favourites. This seemed like a great chance to give it a go.  We wanted the coat to have the iconic fitted dress and oversized coat styling.  The colours within the coat where specific tones and we found a piece of light wool suiting in our stash to that blended perfectly and did not distract from the stunning coat fabric.  

Anna Dress by Hand London

We used the higher neck bodice style of the pattern and as we only had a small amount of fabric replaced the paneled skirt with a straight skirt and back split.

We fully lined the dress in a polyester lining to allow for ease of movement in such a fitted style

Photography Notes

Photographer: James Christie
Model: Erin Ritchie
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery
Coat Pattern: Juliet Coat By Hand London
Coat Fabric: Drapers Fabric
Dress Pattern: Anna Dress By Hand London
Dress Fabric: Two Sewing Sisters fabric stash
Shoes: Wittner