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By Hand London Jenna Dress

Challenged by my Leggylad to only take a back pack on our Greek Island-Hopping holiday! I’m still not too sure why I agreed… I had to choose this polka dot Microfibre Fabric for my next Minerva Make. It's crease resistant so ideal.

Now what to make?

I was chosen to pattern test for By Hand London and I loved the outcome of the #bhljennadress @byhandlondon I tested. It’s a 90’s inspired dress cut on the bias (something I have never tried before) It means the skirt pieces are cut across the grain as you would do to achieve bias binding. This means there is a little stretch that drapes beautifully across your torso, leading to a beautiful fluttery hem line. I added 3 inches to my skirt pieces the maximum I could achieve due to the width of the fabric. I’ve mentioned before I like my knees covered. 

I had a few hiccups especially with the sleeves. I loved the short-sleeved version with the knotted tie detail but they ended up too tight for my bicep so I reverted to the bicep alteration on the BHL website for the test dress but I really love the short sleeve detail so I really wanted to adapt this problem within this make.

To do this I added 1 inch to each side of the sleeve pattern then added 2 inches to the tie pattern piece, as you can see. I also added 2 inches to the length of the sleeves and I loved the result, worked out (hooray!)

The other problem I occurred was the zip. It stuck out a little at the bum area at the back of the dress, my previous make was in a viscose mix so the material was quite pliable so this may have been the reason, unlike this micro fibre this is really sturdy and very enjoyable to sew. In the end though I didn’t have the correct zip length suggested by the pattern for this make so I had to use a shorter one, a little tight to go over my head but it does!

The structure of the fabric works like a dream for this pattern I would definitely recommend. I know there is a sew-a-long on the By Hand London website so I’m sure every area that challenged me will be addressed on there if you need a help and guidance to see you through your make.

I am usually a flowered fabric girl but I love the colours in this fabric and I can’t wait to wear it on my jollies with a pair of pumps chilling around in the sunshine.


The bias cut makes you feel feminine and is extremely flattering. Go and make it now…

Thanks again for the opportunity Minerva!

Jen @jenlegg4

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