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Archives: August 2020

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Striped Jersey Dress

There is nothing I love to make for my daughter more than dresses. Little girls' dresses are so sweet! This month I chose to make the Maggie Peplum by Love Notions with this narrow stripe yarn dyed Knit Fabric.

This fabric has a good 4 way stretch and is the perfect weight: it's opaque but not heavy, perfect for all of my dress and t-shirt needs. I love that the stripes are yarn dyed and not printed because they are perfectly on grain! This makes cutting out so much more enjoyable. (Trust me - I've cut out my share of off-grain prints.) Did you check out the listing yet? This stripe is offered in 11 colors total. I also love the fuchsia, jeans blue and light aqua! (If you've checked out my blog you'll find that those colors are plentiful in my other projects.)

I chose the elbow length sleeves and lengthened the peplum into a skirt. I also added little flutter sleeves to the tops of the sleeves. This is done by cutting a strip of fabric, gathering it, and then placing it in the top half of the armscye, with the flutter centered over the shoulder seam. Since knits don't fray, I didn't bother to hem it.

After stay stitching the flutter in place, I sewed in the sleeve, catching the flutter in my overlock stitch. To keep the flutter lying flat, I topstitched close to the edge of the seam on the bodice side. This is the first time I've 'winged' a flutter sleeve and I'm pleased with the result!

If you've never given knits a try, may I suggest starting with childrens' clothing. Although I've come to know that no fabric is wasted (There is a valuable lesson to be learned from each failure as it adds to your experience), learning on a smaller piece of fabric can be less intimidating for some people. The other thing I love about it is children don't care if it looks like a practice project. I tend to be picky about what I wear but my daughter couldn't care less if the topstitching veered off to the side or the neckband wasn't completely flat.

When we walked up the hill to take pictures and I pulled out my camera, my daughter immediately took that as her cue to run. Awesome. It was also super windy up there! I decided to go with it. Childhood should be savored and enjoyed in the moment. Wouldn't we all wish for a carefree day of living in the present?

Now I just need to make her a pair of matching shorties for playing in!

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie @ The Petite Sewist

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Fancy Unicorn Dress

Want to bring joy and happiness to a little girl? For me it was made easy with this gorgeous Fabric. All I had to do was show her this beautiful unicorn print and she was hooked. The combination of this lovely print and the amazing pattern was a perfect match. I am thrilled to be able to share more about my latest make for Minerva below.

Let’s take a closer look at that beautiful fabric. This is from the Timeless Treasures line, in a cotton poplin. This unicorn print is one of Several Fabrics with designs that span the entire width of fabric. I recently created a reversible dress for Minerva using the heart print from the same fabric line. You can find that post here.

When I was deciding on a pattern that would showcase this unicorn print I was drawn to the beautiful details on the Lily Dress from Made for Mermaids. This pattern was part of a tea party collection released in the spring and any of the lovely dresses would have paired well with this fabric. I particularly like the Lily pattern because of the back detail and simplicity of the bodice front that would let your eye go to the skirt and the fun unicorn picture.

I made two modifications to this pattern while making this dress. The first was to cut the maxi dress as one long panel with a center back seam only rather than a front and back with side seams. This allowed the print to be centered how I wanted and the picture to run continuously around the dress. In order to make sure it would work I laid it out on the floor and drew it out in chalk. I was able to check pattern placement this way before I cut into this beautiful fabric. Because the pattern uses a gathered skirt, this was an easy modification to make.

The second modification I made was to the back straps. The dress normally calls for lace. I made a lace back version of the dress before and knew I liked it but felt that the lace options I had didn’t look quite right with the skirt. For this one, I decided to create a ruffled strap using the bodice fabric. To do so, I simply cut the fabric 3 inches wide and 3 times the given length measurement for the back straps. I folded and pressed the fabric in half and ran two rows of gathering stitches on the cut edge. This allowed me plenty of fabric to ruffle with the gathering stitches and then encase the cut edge in the bias tape per the pattern. I love this little strap detail so much and I hope to use it again on future Lily dresses.

This dress was so fun to create and I love seeing the joy on my daughter’s face when she wears it. The Timeless Treasures fabric was lovely to work with and would make any unicorn loving person smile. I hope you enjoyed this look at my daughter’s new maxi dress and this fantastic fabric option.

Happy Sewing,

Shannon @ www.indoorshannon.com

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Washed Linen Faux Jumpsuit

Hi everyone,Blanca here with my first guest blog post for @minervacrafts. Thanks so much Minerva for giving me this opportunity. I chose the gorgeous black Washed Linen Fabric for this month. I adore black linen for summer and fall so these two pieces will get plenty of wear.
The top and trousers together can look like a jumpsuit if I tuck it. And what is better to wear in the summer in the city when the trains and subways can be some what grungy. This black linen is airy and also won’t show the dirt or any chocolate ice cream bar drips during a long day of transit. What a win for staying some what put together. 
I really start rating a fabric as soon as it is pre-washed and this linen went through a hot wash, next a warm wash then a cold wash and through 3 medium hot dryer cycles. The linen came out soft and fluffy with no hard creases or cracking and was easy to press and with minimal shrinkage. This did it for me, I wanted to use every bit of the yardage and chose to make trousers and a top. The trousers are the Pietra Pants from Closet Case Patterns and the top is the Wiksten shift dress and top. 
These trousers are so good, high waist and very chic. Decided to hem them at ankle length for a vintage look. Isn’t this linen great even after sitting and lounging around in them for hours.
The Wiksten top...no wonder it is so well loved. Easy to make, easy to wear, and again black linen is versatile.
Now for some of the details...
The trousers were made with no changes except I allowed for a looser back waist by adding an inch to the elastic. My middle is a bit thick so this helped allow the trousers to hang nicely from the band. These are great and the linen is perfect for this on trend pattern. I omitted the pockets on the Wiksten because I wanted to be able to tuck it in to the trousers.
There are french seams on the trousers and the top which gives them a beautiful and sturdy finish and no overlocker needed. With black it is a good idea to have a press cloth handy, some black interfacing and elastic. Honestly though this fabric is dense enough that black elastic was not really needed. Don’t forget the lint roller if you share your space with a furry beast like I do.
For the neck finish I did not use the facings, they can be fiddly in a light weight woven so a simple and already on hand item was to use a cotton percale bias binding. Pressed into a gentle curve before attaching it and it lies flat. Under stitch the bias trim before folding it over and all is even better.
And after wearing them all day, they don’t look bad at all. This was such fun to make.Thanks again Minerva!
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Faces

Sew... face fabric! I don't normally go for black/dark fabrics, unless they have a pop of colour but there was something that drew me to this Lady McElroy crowded faces fabric that I just couldn't resist. It's a lovely quality cotton poplin/lawn, some describe it as a poplin and others a lawn, that also comes in a few other colour ways. For this colour way the large ivory female face outlines are on a black background.
Although this fabric would make a perfect dress I really wanted to make a pair of trousers. I was torn between the Helens Closet Winslow culottes and the Tilly and the Buttons Marigold trousers.
The fabric is a super soft lightweight cotton which has a certain amount of drape. I really like my Winslows nice and floaty so decided this wouldn't be suitable for what I wanted but it would be perfect if you wanted a slightly structured version of the culottes. Although the Marigold trousers don't recommend cotton lawn as a fabric suggestion I thought it would work after asking a few fellow sewist friends. I decided to go ahead with the Marigolds.
 
I have made the Marigolds before, see my first ever pair here, so the pattern was already traced, see my review of Swedish Tracing Paper here, and cut out. I decided to make a few small adjustments to the pattern; I shortened the crotch length by 1 inch and shortened the leg length by 2 inch. These are really easy adjustments to make, just take out the excess on the lengthen/shorten lines and redraw the curve. Remember to alter the front and back pieces and any other pattern pieces that maybe affected by the alterations, eg pocket.
Although the faces pattern is reasonably large and busy I did faff around a bit and pattern matched the pockets. I do love pattern matching. I didn't match the centre front and centre back seams and kinda wish I had but then I would have had the worry of awkward face placement so maybe it's better I didn't!The Marigolds are such a satisfying quick sew. With a relaxed fit and elasticated waist there are few fitting issues to worry about and no fiddly fastenings to get your head around.
Even though this is a cotton poplin/lawn it hardly creases which I was really surprised about. They came on holiday with me and even after a trip in the suitcase they didn't need ironing!I'm very OCD with my finish so I either overlock or French seam. Because I wanted a nice quick sew I finished these on the overlocker to give a really neat professional looking finish. To hem I turned them up 1/2 an inch and then another 1/2 inch and topstitched. 
I now have three pairs in my wardrobe which will definitely see me through three warmer months. I'm thinking of pairing these up with some pastel tees to add that splash of colour. 
Thanks for reading,
Georgina @sewinthegarden
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My Floral Lisa Dress

Hello everyone!

I am Olympia from @my_lovemade_wardrobe and I am really happy to present you today one of my favourite makes ever, the Lisa Dress.

Well, it was last summer when Athina from @akpatterns contacted me to test her new pattern. It was the Lisa Dress and I fell in love with it from the first time I saw her drafts on my email. I most liked (and yes… I still like) version 2 with scalloped-shaved cap sleeves. I think this detail gives a more romantic option to the dress!

I have made 3 Lisa Dresses so far using linen fabric, light denim fabric and this wonderful floral Cotton Poplin Fabric from Minerva this time. All these fabrics work really well for this pattern.

Especially speaking for this 3rd dress that I made with poplin, after having pre-washed the fabric, I cut size 14 for the top and size 16 for the skirt. I made this adjustment from the first Lisa Dress I sewed, so I knew I would not have any fitting issue. Sizing chart is perfect at @akpatterns so you don’t need to size up or down. Just take right measurements.

The sewing process itself is very simple as there are well-written instructions with a lot of pictures that show you how to sew one thing or another. Also, it is a quick make… I sewed this one in 3-4 hours!

The pattern features optional pockets that I really love! But, as I had included them on last 2 dresses, I decided not to sew them on this one. I couldn’t resist a fabric sash though… I find it so feminine and elegant so I made one.

For this version I used approx. 2.5m of fabric.

Overall, I think the Lisa Dress is the absolute summer dress that you can sew with many different types of fabric depending on your tastes and that you can wear it all day long. The poplin that I used for my 3rd Lisa is a really good choice as it is 100% cotton and perfect for warm days during summer. Although it’s a quick and easy make, it’s so elegant that I feel I really need more in my wardrobe!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Until next time,

Happy Sewing!

Olympia @my_lovemade_wardrobe

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Floral Farrah Dress

Earlier this spring I took a hard look at my wardrobe and found that it wasn’t quite reflecting my personality. I vowed to bring in more lively colors and prints with my future makes. When I saw this floral Viscose Challis Fabric, I fell in love with the color palette. The bright oranges and pinks are complemented by the subtle blue background and the floral print is balanced by earthy sage and mustard tones.  It’s just so pretty.

I instantly knew this fabric would be perfect for a summer dress with floaty sleeves. Initially, I thought a SOI Eve or V9328, which would be beautiful for a summer special occasion. But since I don’t have any occasions coming up this summer, I decided I needed a pattern that would give this beautiful print some everyday wearability. Enter the Chalk + Notch Farrah dress. This pattern paired with this bright floral viscose was everything I was hoping for. It’s so easy to wear. When I put it on, I feel instantly elevated without feeling overdressed. I can dress it up with a belt and heels for a fancy brunch or wear it paired with my lilac trainers for a trip to the park or grocery store.

While this fabric had a steadier hand than most viscoses I’ve used, I still treated it the way I do all slippery fabrics. After washing, I starched the fabric to keep it from moving around when cutting. I cut the fabric using a rotary cutter and marked it using a fabric pen instead of snipping notches. I interfaced the hems and all bias cut edges. I used a microtex needle and had no problems with snagging or pulling. Though the fabric is a bit sheer, I didn’t line it since I usually wear a slip under dresses anyway.

This pattern has some really lovely details and I learned some new techniques. I must say, this pattern was deceptively complex. I was thinking that since it’s a shift dress, the construction would be pretty simple. The details however, really elevate this pattern and it is aptly described as an intermediate pattern.

The front and back yokes are both burrito-ed and the shoulder seams are enclosed. I love the burrito technique and I love the finish on the inside. The next step is to hem the flutter sleeves. There’s an option for a double rolled hem but the instructions suggest using a narrow roll hem. To toot my own horn for a minute, I must say that this was my first try using my narrow hem foot. Whoop! Whoop! I’m so happy I decided to try it out instead of shying away from something new and intimidating. It took some practice but I’m so glad I did it!

The flutter sleeves are then sandwiched between the bodice and the underarm gusset pieces. I had a pretty tough time with this construction and had to unpick each side three or four times. It was a bit of a struggle but I did get there in the end.

The side seams are stitched and pressed open leading into what should be a miltered corner. I was finding that the dress was coming up shorter than I liked so I chose to do a 0.5 centimeter double hem instead of the 2.5 centimeter hem which changed the shape at the corners. It’s not as clean as the intended miltered corner but it still looks cool and I am happier with the extra bit of length.

This dress wasn’t the quick, easy sew I thought it would be. In fact, I probably would have really enjoyed the sewing process if I hadn’t been frustrated about it not being as easy as I thought. I learned the important lesson that I shouldn’t underestimate a pattern and to give myself a bit more grace when sewing something new.

The Make Breakdown

Pattern: Chalk + Notch Farrah Dress

Size: 14

Fabric & Notions: 2.3 Meters Viscose Fabric

Fabric Notes: Steady, but lightweight. A slip or lining is best for dresses and skirts. 

Design Modifications: Eliminated miltered corner and hemmed with a double fold at 0.5cm

Fit Alterations: Added 2 centimeters to center back yoke piece

Difficulty: Intermediate - careful around those ruffly gussets!

Future Plans: No more Farrah’s for now but my mom loved this fabric so much, she ordered some for me to make her a little top!

I definitely had some struggles making this dress but I am so happy with the finished garment. I’m so excited to wear this dress all summer! I even love seeing it hang in my wardrobe. All the happy colors bring in a bit of life and joy to my closet. Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Brianna @astitchacrossthesea

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I Made Trousers!

Hey Minerva Makers!

I finally made trousers! Actual real trousers! I didn’t even put trousers onto my #makenine list this year because I really didn’t believe I could do it. But I did it! They are of course the infamous Lander Pants from True Bias and they are made in this gorgeous petrol colour Cotton Twill Fabric.

I am really pleased with myself having completed these but they weren’t without trouble! My sewing machine decided to throw a fit and needed to be sent to the sewing machine doctors before it could sew these up! While it was in the hospital, I borrowed my mum’s old machine to make the toile. I wanted to get a really good fit so I actually made a toile out of an old duvet cover! I don’t like to waste fabric so I almost never toile but this time I think it was definitely worth it.

My measurements are 32 inch waist, 44.5 inch hip. I cut a size 12 at the waist and a 16 at the hips and needed to take the centre back seam in by 1.5cm and both the back darts in by a 0.5cm on each dart leg.  I also added 2cm to the back rise and I am pretty pleased with the final fit. I am super pear shaped and I don’t think I’ve ever had trousers fit at the waist and the hips before!

The twill I used is lovely. The petrol colour is so beautiful, it comes in lots of colours and I just want to make loads of stuff out of just this! It pressed really well, didn’t fray at all and sewed up easily. At some of the thicker parts like sewing the belt loops on, I used a jeans needle and my machine was perfectly happy! I was also really pleased that the twill weave is only pronounced on one side, so there was an obvious right and wrong side. This made it really easy to work with because I didn’t have to constantly struggle to figure out which the right side was!

I think the reason I feel so proud of these is because the pattern is jam packed with what I consider ‘proper’ trouser features. They have front and back patch pockets, a button fly, waistband and belt loops. I feel like there were a few places for me to add special touches, the front pockets are lined and so I used some of the cygnus returns scraps leftover from the swans Kielo dress I made, I also added some nice buttons I unpicked off an old dress and have been saving for the right project.

I’ve never made a fly before and I don’t know if they are all this easy but this one was a total cinch! I honestly can’t believe I’ve been putting off making trousers for so long! I think there may be some work to do with the front crotch curve but I definitely think I’m being picky – I will wear these and love them and worry about further fit adjustments if I ever choose to make another pair!

Anyway, until next time – happy sewing!

Vicky @ Sewstainability

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The Forty-and-Fabulous Dress

When I saw the Lady McElroy Stretch Viscose Crepe Fabric on the Minerva website I just knew that it was the fabric for me. Like so many others, I caught jumpsuit fever this spring and I have made several jumpsuits, both faux and real ones. This fabric was also planned to be a jumpsuit for a challenge I co-hosted this spring. But when the fabric came, it wasn’t a jumpsuit at all! After talking to my sister about what I should do with this fabric and sending her lots and lots of pictures, she reminded me that I´m turning 40 this summer and that I probably needed a fancy dress. I have eyed the Magnolia dress from Deer and Doe Patterns for a long time and decided that this was the perfect match for a fancy forty-and-fabulous dress!

The fabric is a glorious woven stretch viscose. It has a lot of drape. One thing really surprised me when I opened my package; the weave wasn’t what I expected since it was listed as a crepe fabric. To me, this is a high quality woven viscose with a little stretch, not a crepe. I have tried to capture the look of the fabric here:

The flower-pattern is directional in my opinion, not super obvious but still visible if you turn a piece upside down. This was a problem, since I had another garment in mind ordering this fabric, I ordered 3,5 meters. The maxi Magnolia dress calls for 4 meters in 150 cm wide fabric. I knew it was going to be a tricky business doing the layout since I didn’t want to put any pieces upside down. BUT I MADE IT! (sort of)

I wanted to make a size 42 after measuring my body. This is larger than my usual size but I have cut 42 in other Deer and Doe Patterns and that has been the right size. I don’t know if it’s the thin material, the stretch or if the garment was a little bit bigger but I could have gone down one or two sizes. Be sure to measure how long skirt you will need if you, like me, don’t have a lot of fabric to spare. I am 171 cm long and I cut the skirt pieces as intended. For a flat shoe, the dress is too long, but for my silver heals it works.

I did two adjustments to get all the pattern pieces out of my 3,5 meters. I narrowed my side skirt pieces by approximately 1 cm on each side. And the ties in the back are small pieces of fabric sewn together; I didn’t have enough fabric to do them in one length. But tied up it doesn’t show at all.

I like the pattern. I haven’t done such a fitted garment in a while and I ”forgot” that it’s a good idea to do a toile first. I was so thrilled and relieved that I managed to squeeze in all the pattern pieces, that I directly cut in my fancy fabric! I ended up making adjustments on the front and back bodice pieces to get it to fit me, it was way too big at first.

When I started to pin my zipper to my garment, I got a brilliant idea. Could I get the dress on without a zipper? The dress has a tie in the back and because of that, it doesn’t have to be super tight around the waist. I pinned it together and tried it on and SUCCESS! So I immediately omitted the zipper, it isn’t exactly my favorite part of dressmaking anyway.

So my fancy party dress is in fact a real secret pajamas. It’s fantastically comfortable, the fabric is soft and I think that it wrinkles less than ordinary viscose does.

I love my dress! It is a great fabric, very thin and light, drapey and bouncy. I love the big flowers and dramatic feel. I prefer a natural fiber on my skin and this one is a great choice, both soft and breathable. I think it worked perfect with the pattern and I got exactly the look I was going for. Did I convince you that the Magnolia and this fabric is the perfect match? Please let me know if you make a version of this yourself, even if you’re not turning 40 this year, I would love to see it!

Thanks for reading. Come and say hello over at my Instagram account, Bygousheh. Hope to see you soon.

//Malin

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Landers Pants from Olive Twill – A Great Combination

Hi, Lori from Girls in the Garden and I am happy to be be back again for Minerva. When I saw this army green Cotton Twill Fabric, I knew it was meant to be a pair of True Bias Lander Pants! This fabric is non-stretch, medium weight, 100% cotton and 60 inches wide.

This twill comes in 17 colors, so pick the one you like the best. I see a couple more I like for more Landers, a perfect staple.

This twill washed beautifully and was so easy to sew and press. I find the twill to be the perfect weight, especially for summer. After making my first pair of Landers, I knew I needed more in my wardrobe. I was so excited to see the Army Green color as one of the choices of colors. In my opinion, the Army Green is a neutral and will really work perfectly with so many tops and blouses I have.

I stitched the Landers on my sewing machine and serged all the edges. I did baste the outside edges of the pants to test the fit. After this test fitting, I did taper them a bit more from the high hip down, for a slimmer fit in the hips.

While making these Landers, I wanted to do something different with them. I thought of embellishment but really didn’t want to limit the garment. The hem length was always going to be cropped, just above the ankle.

Then it just popped into my head… a split hem. I did not use a tutorial for the split hem but here is a good one from Burda Style and they refer to it as a slit hem. So split or slit, either name makes for a great detail.

On my pants, I went ahead and stitched all the way down on the outside seam, allowing me to try them on for the length and marking that length. Once the length was determined, I unsewed up just enough to do the split hem. After constructing the split hem, I did double or should I say triple check to make sure each side of the split was even. Yes, I did have to unsew one side a couple of times to get them just right! My final touch was to add a bartack at the top of the split, adding stability to this unstable seam.

The button fly Is such a fun detail, reminds me of the Levi 501’s I always wore! I did have three colors of jean buttons and went with the antique copper. The contrast of the antique copper and the army green was a good combination.

This fabric is so good and so perfect for any type of bottom weight garment. I cannot be more pleased with how my pants turned out and know they will be my go-to garment this summer.

Thanks for reading,

Lori @ Girls in the Garden

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Mademoiselle McElroy Wren Dress

One of the joys of sewing my clothes is the wonderful variety of prints available these days in lovely fabric substrates. I love the comfort and drape of viscose jersey, especially for the warmer days here. Being able to whip up a viscose jersey dress in a pretty print is as satisfying as sewing goes. I'm always drawn to a good floral or stripes but today I'd like to show you a real fun print - the Mademoiselle McElroy viscose jersey.
OK - the actual name of this print is Mademoiselle by Lady McElroy, but allow me to just call her Mlle McElroy here. On a black background, there's these little whimsical pink ladies wearing Dior's-New-Look-esque dresses, each with the hat, handbag and pose to match! Can it get more fun than that? 
I just had to sew up a little back dress with this fabric asap. To give a nod to the style of these Mademoiselles, I want a dress with a vintage vibe - fitted at the top, cinched at the waist and a full skirt. But I also want it to be comfortable to wear, because - Viscose Jersey! 
The Colette Wren Dress has been around for a while and I think it fits the bill perfectly. It's a mock wrap dress with fitted bodice and skirt/sleeve variations. I made the gathered skirt version with short sleeves. The hourglass silhouette echoes the vintage ladies, while the elastic gathered waist makes it super comfy to wear everyday.
The fabric itself is as delicious as viscose jersey goes, slinky and drapey with excellent stretch and drape. It is fairly stable to cut and sew as well. I used my normal sewing machine foot throughout instead of a walking foot, and there was no problem. 
Some reviews on the Wren dress mentioned it is pretty short-waisted. I don't particularly like empire waist on me so I lengthened the bodice by two inches. If you do the same mod, don't forget to also lengthen the front band pattern piece. Those bands are cleverly designed to give a little extra support to the wrap front to avoid gaping. 
The construction of the wren dress is quite straightforward, but I did do a few things slightly differently. First of all, the back neck edge is simply turned over and hemmed. To prevent it from stretching out, I added some knit stay tape in the hem to stabilise it. For future versions, I would probably add a bias tape facing to it. 
The pattern instructions tell you to gather the skirt piece with clear elastic which I find tricky to do. I gathered the skirt with the good old two lines of long stitches instead. After attaching the skirt to the bodice, I then sandwiched my clear elastic in the waist seam and serged everything together. While I'm happy with the result, I feel like there's just a tad too much going on at the waist seam. In my future versions, I might modify the skirt pattern to be narrower at the waist with more of an A-line shape. 
At the end of the day I am very pleased with my Mademoiselle Wren McElroy Dress! It’s all lady-like and feminine looking, but also comfy as pajamas! It’s a dress you can’t help but swish and twirl in. I definitely need more viscose jersey Wrens in my future! 
Until next time,

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