Hello everyone! Yep, it’s been ages, and I won’t even begin to explain what myriad projects have pushed aside this blog, how I’ve been working like a crazy thing and how I’ve forgotten what it’s like to don decent clothes and get out of the house for a photo – but know that I’m just so pleased to be back here, and sharing with you a brand spanking new pattern to boot!
This is Sangria, one of four new patterns from Capital Chic Patterns. If there’s one thing I love more than sewing new patterns appearing on the market, it’s being asked to test new patterns before they appear on the market! After the challenging but ultimately rewarding (when the reward is a fantastically smart and sexy outfit) experience I’d had sewing the Martini dress from Capital Chic last year, I was raring to go when Sally asked me if I’d like to test a pattern from her new collection, RELEASED TODAY!!!
As with the first collection, all of the patterns are named after cocktails, and their style is decidedly aimed at the trend-conscious professional with more than a little dressmaking experience under her (oh-so-stylish) belt. In the words of Sally herself,
‘Elevated design complexity, atypical construction techniques and slightly unusual shapes (while remaining thoroughly wearable) are intended to provide an interesting but achievable sewing experience for intermediate to advanced sewists who relish the challenge of more complex designs.’
I found my Martini dress a great learning experience; the lined skirt vent gave me hours of head-scratching, but is now my go-to finish for skirts. This Sangria is a simpler make, the simplest of the new collection, but this makes it an excellent way to dive in if you’re new to scuba (sorry, just couldn’t help myself…).
‘Sangria is a smooth sheath dress made from scuba jersey. Its simple shape lends it to office wear, when made in solid colours, or more formal wear when embracing some of the modern digital prints on the market. The short sleeves are fitted enough to work under jackets. This dress features a neck band, bound edges on the sleeves, and a twin needle hem. There is an invisible zip at centre back. In terms of sewing techniques, this pattern is quicker and easier to sew than others in the collection, a great option for otherwise experienced sewists who are working with scuba jersey for the first time.’
I was indeed one of those very scuba-clueless sewists. Then no sooner had I oohed over this ‘bonded lace scuba’ in one of Fabric Godmother’s emails (my bank balance quivers with fear every time one of those pops into my inbox…) but the email arrived from Sally with details of the delicious Sangria: designed for scuba. Some things are just meant to be.
What probably wasn’t meant to be was my cutting in-between a size 12-14 (graded to a 10 at the waist) when this particular scuba has absolutely minimal stretch. The dress is clearly a little too tight for me at the moment (she says, hopefully, as though any minute now those extra pounds will run away to rejoin Europe). This is something to bear in mind with these patterns – they do run to the tight side. I’m a RTW size 10.
I also (and now I remember this from my Martini) could do with a swayback adjustment to take a wedge of length out of the upper back.
Do fitting issues affect my feelings about this dress? Well, to be honest, only when I look at these photos! The rest of the time I feel slinky and sassy, and reliant on the fact that it’s the sort of dress one only wears in the evening (i.e. low-lighting) to cover up any unfortunate lumpy-bumpy. Plus the pegged shape of the skirt means I have to walk rather more elegantly than is my wont, which can’t be a bad thing. I’m looking forward to making a stretchier version in some floral scuba.
I wanted to wear the dress out for Hallowe’en, but we didn’t actually go out for Hallowe’en this year. I’m worried this is because we’re becoming real grown-ups, and only a real grown-up would want to wear a black sheath dress out for Hallowe’en in the first place, instead of a leotard cat costume with elements they’ve owned since Brownies. But we’re hurtling headlong into Christmas party season and I have no doubt this dress will see its fair share of wild nights yet…
I do hope this has whetted your appetite to check out the rest of Capital Chic’s new patterns. And please be assured that I won’t be leaving it until January for my next blog post; I have some fantastic new makes I just can’t wait to share with you!
P.S. Obviously as a tester I was provided with the pattern for free, but the enthusiasm is all my own 🙂