A few weeks ago I saw a photo on a Pinterest page belonging to Laurie of Sew Exhausted, it’s a great page as it’s full of free patterns. Two caught my eye, one of them was the Eva dress, isn’t it gorgeous, so elegant. I downloaded it straight away. It’s from a website called Your Style Rocks which sadly doesn’t seem to be active anymore, I suspect their great idea turned into too much work. Each month anyone could put forward pencil drawings on a theme, one would then be chosen to be made into a pattern, they are not (from what I gather) professional pattern designers so they did an amazing job. One of these patterns is Eva.
Eva is made from jersey, she has a cowl neck (still not sure about me and cowls!) a drape across the front and a pleat in the back. I wanted to make it up in the Liberty jersey I made a top from, it would have been gorgeous in that, unfortunately I couldn’t find any more. I have to admit to struggling to buy jersey on line, I’ve only just started to sew with it so the various types mean nothing to me, I’ve also worked out pretty quickly that I prefer the feel of the more expensive jerseys (no surprise there then!) I find they sew much easier too.
I looked on the Minerva website and felt a little overwhelmed by choice, in the end I e-mailed them with a photo of Eva and asked which one they suggested. Rebecca replied within a couple of hours suggesting the John Kaldor Roanne jersey, I ordered it and it arrived a couple of days later, now that’s what I call service!
I ordered the John Kaldor jersey in navy blue and when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed! It feels gorgeous, drapes beautifully whilst still having enough body and stretch to cope with a pattern like Eva. It was at the upper end of my budget but luckily I’m in the Minerva Club so I could use my discount! Minerva’s shop isn’t actually that far from me but it would be several buses, I think I’ll have to persuade Helen to have a car trip over there sometime soon!
The pattern called for 2.1m of 60″ wide fabric, I didn’t bat an eyelid ordering 2m of 54″ but those 6″ made all the difference! Having sellotaped the 40+ sheets of A4 paper to make the pattern (not my favourite job!) I decided to cut out on the dining room table as it’s a bit bigger than my sewing table. There is only one fabric piece cut of each pattern piece so the layout is full width of fabric. A quick layout showed that extra 6″ of width were pretty vital, like I didn’t have anywhere near enough if I cut it out according to pattern. After some quick thinking I decided I would lay it out across the grain, rather than the usual way, I also decided that there didn’t appear to be a nap, so I could lay the skirts in opposite directions, in error I also turned one piece over but luckily I can’t tell the difference between the front and back either!! I JUST got the dress out of the two metres, I would have liked to lengthen it a little, but there was no chance of that!
After the hassle of cutting out, the dress went together so easily. There are fairly basic written instructions so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone new to sewing, there was the occasional time when I could have done with a picture, but I cut out and sewed the dress in an afternoon and evening (with time off for cooking tea!!)
I used the stretch stitch on my sewing machine, which is a bit slower to stitch but it does mean the stitching will stretch with the fabric. I hand stitched the hem after struggling to machine stitch the first fold of the hem. The double fold on the centre back is hand stitched, I’m tempted to put something like a button or a small bow on it just as decoration over the seam. I think if I made it again I would be tempted to stitch darts rather than the fold.
I love my Eva dress, I’m still trying to get used to the cowl neckline, I think I probably just need to forget about it and let it sort itself out. It’s very comfortable to wear, I’m tempted to make another for spring (if I can get used to the cowl!!) My photographer is busy working at the moment so my muse Florence is modelling Eva, probably much better than I could!