As soon as I found out about Tilly's new book 'Stretch: Make Yourself Comfortable', I knew I had to have it, and the more sneak peeks I saw of the patterns in the book, the harder I fell for it.  The Joni dress is probably my favourite of all the patterns in the book, but really I envisage making ALL of the patterns.
Although I think the dress will work in most stretch fabrics, I was keen to try this Stretch Velvet Fabric in teal. I love the richness and depth of colour, and the feel of the fabric is beautiful. It's exceptional quality given the price. The reverse side is so smooth and it has great drape. I would describe it as medium weight - not too bulky to present any difficulties sewing through several layers. I would definitely order more of the fabric for future dresses, it really is delicious! I could totally see myself making a red stretch velvet Joni for Christmas.
The pattern is simple enough to make up. The only alteration I made was to lengthen the skirt as Tilly's patterns often come up quite short on me.
I had a bit of difficulty with the neck facing, though. I had already made another Joni dress before this one, and I had a few issues with the neckband on that one, too. On my first Joni, when I attached the neck band, I attached it with the standard seam allowance. This meant I 'lost' a lot of width for the band and it was tricky to turn it under. This time, I sewed the neckband on with a smaller seam allowance, but probably too small, as when it is lying flat or on the hanger, it looks 'bumpy'. Luckily, when I'm wearing it, the shape of my body means it all lies flat and in the right place, and it looks fine. Tilly does say to use a lighter knit for the facing, and I'm sure that would have helped. Take heed, people! She knows what she's talking about!
The other issue I had with this Joni dress which didn't happen with my first one, is that when I pressed the hem from the wrong side, it altered the pile of the velvet on the right side. That's why you can see a kind of 'ironing stripe' at the bottom of the dress! I don't know if it will wash out or not. It's mildly irritating, but I still LOVE the dress. I'll just have to be more careful next time I press stretch velvet!
I used my overlocker for the majority of the sewing, except for topstitching and hemming. I even applied the stabilising elastic (Hemline Swimwear Elastic) with my overlocker, which to be honest was a bit of a faff. I would just zig zag it on with my regular machine next time!
Thanks to Minerva for the beautiful fabric and matching thread. I love my new dress! Oh, and it is super duper comfortable to wear! Yay!