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The Nina Lee Mayfair Dress


As I write this post, it is snowing outside but, all I can think about at the moment are warmer Spring days. I might sew a couple more colder weather garments but my thoughts and sewing plans are now directed to Spring and Summer, my absolutely favourite time of the year and consequently, favourite clothes to wear and sew.

As soon as I saw this Lady McElroy Viscose Jersey Fabric, I knew it would have to become a dress. I adore the contrasting blooms against the turquoise main colour and as the print is large, I thought a dress with big panels would showcase the beautiful print and make it stand out. For that reason, I decide to make the Mayfair Dress by Nina Lee Patterns.

Based on my measurements, I made a size 6 graded to size 8 at the hips. I opted for the mid sleeves and knee-length options that will make it perfect to wear in Spring and very likely, during UK Summer weather as well. The only change I made to the pattern was shortening the length of the skirt part by 3 centimetres. A change I make in most patterns, as I am not tall (at all).

Due to the composition of this fabric being mainly viscose, it gives it a beautiful drape but, as with most knits, it needs to be handled carefully in order to not stretch while sewing. I also used a walking foot and a jersey needle as I usually do when working with knits and everything went smoothly, even in the trickiest parts. I had to be particularly careful making the neckline, in order not to stretch the fabric but, a neat finishing makes it all worth it. Not only looks beautiful but also avoids having a seam itching my neck. Perfect!

Another part of the dress construction that I had to be careful with, was the gathering of the dress front. I used clear elastic to obtain that effect but maybe next time I will try gathering using three rows of running stitches and see if it looks better. If the end result is worth it, I really don’t mind working with the elastic.

The two trickiest parts during the construction, are also the ones which result in my favourite parts of this dress and for which, the quality of the fabric plays a big role. I really adore how lovely the fabric drapes at the front and gathers at the neckline.

Making this dress was actually quite fast and gratifying. I had no big issues working with this fabric, in fact I had no issues at all, just had to be cautious as I usually am with knit fabric and the result is a lovely dress. The colours are absolutely gorgeous and it drapes beautifully. I am sure I will wear this dress innumerable times as soon as the weather allows me to.

Many thanks Minerva Crafts for the gorgeous fabric for this project and to you for reading.

Happy sewing,

Maria @ fairiesbubblesco

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