Hey Minerva Makers!

Back in black! It might not be a typical ‘Spring’ colour but this pattern sure is getting me ready for some warmer weather, and is there anything more timeless than a black dress?! This time I started with the pattern, I knew I wanted to make the Friday Pattern Company Hilo Dress as I think it’s just gorgeous! I started hunting for a suitable fabric and after looking at loads of inspiration online I concluded that a viscose jersey was going to give me the exact look I wanted to go for.

After some deliberation I decided to go for the black colourway of this plain viscose jersey, there are loads of gorgeous colours available but I decided if I went for black it will be suitable for day or night! It feels like liquid, its lightweight and slippery as well as stretchy so I would avoid it if you haven’t sewn a stretch fabric before. If you are new to stretch, I highly recommend starting with a cotton jersey or sweatshirting.

To cut out this fabric I actually decided to use a combination of rotary cutter and scissors. The ‘lower dress’ pattern piece is quite big and doesn’t fit on my A1 cutting mat. I weighted down what was on my cutting mat and cut that out using my rotary cutter but then decided it was best not to move the fabric around to position the rest of it on my mat. Instead, I left it in place and used my fabric scissors to cut around the rest of the pattern piece.

The pattern is a really simple one to cut out with just three pattern pieces! There is an upper bodice piece, lower dress piece and straps to cut out. There are two neckline options if you want a low back which I decided not to opt for so that it remains bra-friendly.

It was quick and easy to cut out and just as quick and easy to sew. I used an overlocker and it took very little time to make. The straps are interfaced to give them structure. I opted to use non-stretch interfacing so that the weight of the dress wouldn’t be able to stretch the straps at all. The pattern also advises to baste the straps in place and shorten them if needed. I shortened them by half an inch.

The only mistake I made was to sew the straps the wrong side up (so the strap seam is showing upwards), I got a bit confused at this point in the instructions and probably should have spent some time seeking clarification online instead of just ploughing ahead. I decided to leave it as it is because they are both the same (at least they match!) and because the incredibly stretchy jersey probably wouldn’t appreciate being unpicked!

Finally, I turned it all out and gave it a press and it was time for hemming, I had originally thought I would do a rolled hem on the overlocker but after reading the instructions in the booklet I decided that I would just leave it unhemmed. The jersey won’t fray and so I decided to tie off and fray-check the seams and call it a day. I think the raw hem gives it a cool/casual beachy sort of vibe. If the hems start to look scruffy or roll too much I can always go back and hem it!

Despite black being a nearly impossible colour to photograph, I am really happy with this dress and think it looks nice and feels amazing to wear. I will definitely use this pattern again and think this fabric is a bit of a bargain! It feels lovely and is super lightweight while remaining completely opaque!

Until next time, happy sewing!