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Jenna Dress in Embroidered Voile

Hi everyone, my name is Emmanuelle from ZoubiZoubisou, my little sewing blog where I share some of my latest makes. I’m very excited to join the wonderful Minerva Maker Team!

For my first project, I decided to make By Hand London’s Jenna dress.  Jenna is an empire line dress with a bias cut skirt. I purchased this pdf-only pattern as soon as I saw it, which doesn’t happen very often. It usually takes me about 6 months of reflection, picking the right fabric and seeing other people make it before I make a move on a new pattern. But, what instantly drew me to Jenna was the gorgeous square neckline and tie cuff sleeves of variation 1. I thought the design was the perfect nod to 1960s fashion which I have always had a soft spot for. 

Now, let’s talk about this beautiful emerald Embroidered Voile Fabric from Minerva. Upon seeing it, I knew it would make the perfect match for the Jenna dress. The embroidered voile is light but it has a bit of body which works very well with the bias skirt. The fabric cut and sewed very well. It didn’t fray much and despite the relief of the embroidery, it was fairly easy to press. So I’m happy with my choice!

This polyester fabric is sheer so apart from the sleeves, I lined the entire dress with a white cotton lawn. I think it makes the green floral motif pop even more. The lining was originally my toile for Jenna to which I made a couple of adjustments (see next paragraph for all the details) before cutting into the voile. I love when I am able to use a toile as the lining of the final garment. Plus, as much as I like a textured fabric like this embroidered voile, I find that having a soft cotton layer against my sensitive skin is much more comfortable to wear.

By Hand London patterns generally fit me well. My measurements being 33/26/36, a size US/UK 4/8 is usually spot on for me. But for Jenna, I added some extra room at the waist to accommodate my growing belly, as I’m expecting a little boy for later this year! As I go through body changes in the coming months, you might see a lot more maternity sewing adjustments from me. But as of now, grading up between the waist and hip does the trick.

I always enjoy By Hand London’s instructions and Jenna was no exception. The directions and illustrations were easy to follow. The only step I did differently was when attaching the lining to the invisible zipper tape: Instead of the recommended blind slip stitch by hand, I used my sewing machine to do it. Oh well… The inside still looks sleek and nice to me!

Overall, I’m very happy with my Jenna dress. It’s cute and comfy, at least for the next month or so ;) It has the right amount of babydoll dress that I love and I think this embroidered emerald voile is a stunner.

Thanks for reading my first Minerva blog post. I hope that you enjoyed it and I look forward to sharing more of my makes with you!


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