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Going Dotty for Gyo!

Hey Minerva Makers!

It’s Vicky from Sewstainability here with a review of the new Gyo Top and Dress Pattern by Merchant and Mills. This is my first time using a Merchant and Mills pattern and I really enjoyed it, the packaging is lovely and I really loved the newspaper style pattern instructions. In fact, the pattern was so beautiful I couldn’t bring myself to cut into it so I traced it instead!

This pattern has a clean, geometric style. The packaging itself says it is Japanese inspired and I can totally see that. Because of this and because of several other versions I’ve seen online I wanted to go for a linen-y type material. I found this grey cotton/ramie blend Fabric on the Minerva website and thought it looked perfect. It has a crisp handle and a great texture very reminiscent of linen. It is a really great match for this pattern and there are so many colours to choose from!

I chose to make the top and I cut my size based on my bust measurement as there is quite a lot of ease in the bust and hips and I think that was the right call, there was no need for any adjustments or grading. It just pulls on over the head and so there are no fastenings to deal with, this meant it was a quick and simple sew. I enjoyed making the asymmetric straps and I also love working with patterns that have facings – anyone else? Just me?!

The top came together really quickly but I hesitated when it came to hemming. I knew the top was a cropped design but when I tried it on it seemed like if I sewed the 5cm hem it would be a bit too cropped for my liking. After a bit of experimenting I decided to bias bind the hem to retain the length and add a fun little design feature!

As it was coming together I did think it was looking really stylish, just like the Merchant and Mills promotional pictures. It was looking cool and simple and understated. So obviously I didn’t like it – I am not cool, simple or understated EVER. It just so happened that Zeena Shah (@heartzeena on Instagram) had just released a tutorial for how to print on her Tilly and the Buttons Stevie Dress with a parsnip. Obviously this was the solution to my boring top problem! I had some yellow Dylon Fabric Paint in my stash and one parsnip in my fridge – it was meant to be.

I did a few tester prints on some scraps of the grey fabric before I got stuck in. I found how to apply the paint really smoothly by dipping it and getting a nice even ‘spot’ on the fabric but I really wanted it to look hand-printed. I wanted it to look a little more uneven so I found if I applied the paint to the parsnip with my finger it would print with a patchy look I absolutely love. I didn’t have a plan as to where the spots went, I just applied them randomly. I did try and be really careful to avoid headlight boobs but apart from that there was no plan – I was just playing with paint! It was so fun!

Now it has this fun yellow pattern I am really happy with this top, I’ve worn it with jeans and a skirt and because it’s so cool and airy I think it will get a lot of wear this summer. There is only one problem I have had and that is the angle at which the skinny strap is sewn on – it is a bit too wide for my shoulder and feels like it is slipping down – something to take note of if you have narrow shoulders like me. I just need to unpick the strap slightly and sew it on a bit more straight than angled – a lesson learned for next time. I would like to make a dress version next, I’ve seen some stylish black versions out there but what do you think the chances are of me leaving it plain?!

Thank you to Minerva for sending me this gorgeous fabric and don’t forget you can find all my sewing adventures at Sewstainability.

Until next time – happy sewing!

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