Hello all! 

For this months Minerva Make I wanted to use this fantastic elephant print Jersey Fabric. I then decided to make a black polo neck which would make a fantastic layering piece for winter.

The original plan was to make a simple Lady Skater fit and flare dress, but when I thought about the scale of the elephants I decided that the best way to showcase the large print was in a maxi dress. The final question was to decide what the bodice was going to be.

As I'd had so much success using the Noelle bra pattern as a bodice I decided to try that again, just extending the front and back pieces and leaving out the front and back band because I didn't want to break up the print. It took a while to figure out the best placement for the bodice, again because the print is so large but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

The skirt I gathered with Clear Elastic, leaving the bottom half of the centre back seam unsewn to allow me to walk without any restriction. I cut the clear elastic to my waist measurement but when I tried the skirt on it became apparent that it was far too big. My solution was to pleat out the excess at the side seams and centre back which was a bit messy but did the job.

The straps were just the black parts of the jersey without any print on, but I wish I'd put some elastic in there as well because they just don't take the weight of the skirt very well.

For the polo neck I used Grainline's Lark Tee Sewing Pattern and just sewed a long and wide strip to the neckline and folded it over. The fabric is not one I've come across before. It's a jersey, but with a looped back which makes it incredibly warm and cosy to wear.

The sleeve hems and hem were topstitched with a twin needle which worked fantastically. The fabric was just stable enough not to stretch out and I'm really pleased with the professional finish.

When I added the polo neck I forgot that my head is bigger than my neck so it's a bit of a squeeze to get the top on and off but I'm pleased to report that with further use it's stretched a bit so it's much easier to take on and off now.

All in all, I'm really pleased with how both garments turned out. I love that the elephant dress is easy to layer and I look forward to wearing it without any layers when it gets warmer. The top has been worn many a time since I made it, purely because it goes with everything. I need another one!

Thanks for reading, to Minerva for all of the supplies and to MK for taking photos and to Grace for directing.

Lauren xx