Great minds think alike

Karen recently noticed that high street stores are making the same clothes as us home-sewists. So I was slightly surprised to see that Monsoon has made a dress just like one I made two years ago (before I started blogging).

My handmade blue floral summer dress

Monsoon’s blue floral dress

The Monsoon dress is on sale for £75 whereas mine cost approx £5 (I got the fabric at Kilburn Market thinking it would be a muslin) Me 1: Monsoon 0

The jersey in my dress is a decent weight and drapes well, but is probably a big mix of poly-blends. The Monsoon dress is 100% cotton Me 1: Monsoon 1

Both dresses have fitted bodices and full skirts, and are sleeveless. My dress is (a little too ?) short, has decorative stitched hems (I had just bought my lovely Janome) and is embellished with lots of handmade roses. The Monsoon dress looks like it is a more modest length and has a nice piped waistband. Who is the winner? You decide!

I have got lots of wear out of my little summer dress, and I love that it is a print I would never normally choose – I got the fabric because it was cheap and intended to make a muslin, but ended up keeping it. However I do sometimes feel a bit self-conscious as it is shorter than anything else in my wardrobe and is not good on windy tube escalators! Last year I had been considering adding a layer underneath the skirt to make it a smidgeon longer (and maybe give it a tad more body), possibly in navy or white with a matching waist band – what do you think?

Sorbetto success!

This morning I hinted that I was working on something very exciting, and I can now reveal that I have spent the long weekend trying to perfect the Sorbetto.

FBA on the original pattern

I had already made a couple of Sorbettos last summer, but the fit never felt right. I assumed it was because I’m not used to wearing woven tops (RTW woven tops = nightmare fitting problems) but I had a niggling feeling that I should be able to move my arms.

I tried on the existing tops to work out what was good about them and what needed changing, then I made a muslin (using actual muslin for once). I did lots of pin-fitting, pinning out any weird bubbles and wrinkles, taking it in at the sides so I had a bit of a waist.

Adjusting my muslin and marking changes

As you can see above, I pinned out some baggyness in the back, then looked it up in Fit for Real People and discovered that I need a sway-back adjustment (or a normal-back-big-bum adjustment). I used the Sew Weekly sleeve pattern, but slashed and spread it to make a floatier sleeve, before making it in this purple floral poly-crepe (from Fabrics Galore last week).

Fitted Sorbetto (worn with me-made jeans)

I think the neckline was a tad too wide, causing it to keep slipping off my shoulders, so I added a tiny pleat in the centre front to pull it in, although this nearly undid the good work I did on the FBA.

There is another version 2/3 of the way to completion (I though 11pm was probably too late to use the sewing machine, but everything is pinned and ready to sew up) and a couple more fabric choices planned. I am slightly concerned that getting a comfy fit for this pattern now opens up my fabric buying options – hello pretty printed cottons!

I have made so many changes that I’m not sure if it is still a Sorbetto – how many modifications do you have to make before something stops being the original pattern and starts being a self-drafted pattern?