Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Minerva Blogger Network - The Blackberry dress


For this month's Minerva make I decided to make a comfy knit dress. I have lived in knit dresses this autumn / winter as they are so cosy! When  I saw Rachel from House of Pinheiro in her Dakota and felt the lovely soft fabric for myself I know i had to use it.

The pattern is a really good one - the much made, loved and blogged about New Look 6000. You might recognise it as the pattern Winnie used for her polkadot frock fest. It's a great basic darted dress pattern with  cute collar and cuff variations and a version with side pleats. I've had the pattern a while and I used it as the basic bodice for my Mad Men dress.


 As I had already worked on the fit of this one, I didn't need to make a muslin. I just traced off the  bodice pieces and added the skirt.  All bodice fit alternations were written about in detail here if you are interested!  I decided to make the version with collar and cuffs.  I had originally intend to make the side pleated version, but it has no bust darts and I couldn't wrap my tiny brain around how to do an FBA on it.  Any advice/ links?  As I'd love to make that one - it looks so flattering.
The fabric is a ponte jersey in blackberry.  Its hard to describe and the picture on the site really doesn't do it justice.  It's a greyish, purplish marl.  The reverse is slightly darker and has a stripe to it so I decided to use it for the collar and cuffs (not that it's terribly obvious from the pictures!).  It is lovely and thick, easy to sew and handle and very soft.  There have been other lovely projects made from this jersey - Rachel's Dakota as mentioned above, and Jane's Lady Skater to name a few.


Vicki from Minerva helped me with my button choice as usual. She suggested these white buttons with a black rim around them.  I think the rim really helps the buttons stand out.
I really like this make, but I am thinking about shortening the sleeves. I'm not that happy with how I finished them and I tend to prefer either 3/4 length or short sleeves. I think short sleeves will work better under a cardigan.  But it's totally wearable and I'm going to wear it a few times and see how I feel about it!


The only changes I would make would be to leave out the zip (as I can get this on and off without it).  Typical since it is probably my best invisible zip insertion to date!  I think i would also interface the collar - you can see in the back view pic that it's a little bit floppy. The pattern calls for interfacing of the cuffs but not the collar.

If you want to make your own version, you can buy a kit from Minerva here.  It includes fabric, an invisible zip, 4 small buttons and 1 large one plus matching thread.

15 comments:

  1. This is fabulous Jo, a really classic dress!

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  2. This is lovely! NL6000 is probably my favourite dress pattern, I've used it loads.

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    1. Thanks Sam. It's so versatile isn't it?

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  3. Wow! The fit looks fantastic! That must be so handy having a bodice pattern you've fitted so well to your figure. I love your fabric choice too.

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    1. thanks kathryn! i had so much help on the fitting front but i think it made a difference to take a bit of time to work out the tweaks you are likely to need so you know what to look for. like the books say but of course i never listen usually!

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  4. Perfect for winter! I had the same issue with the pleated version - I just couldn't work out an FBA. Intrigued to know if anyone has had any luck with it!

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    1. thanks jo! i'm sure there must be a way of rotating the bust dart back into the pleated sides? or else just adding a bust dart i suppose?

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  5. Beautiful dress - love it!!!
    I think what I'd try for an FBA is do it the regular way, adding a dart, and then convert the dart into an additional one or two pleats (depending on how much of an adjustment you need). Hard to say without seeing the pattern piece. I did something similar with the Anna bodice, only I had to first rotate the dart to the waist, and then convert it into pleats LOL.

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    1. thanks so much! the pattern piece looks a bit weird. i did the same with the anna if i remember correctly!

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  6. Great dress!! I love the elegant and simple silhouette. I think grey was the right choice to play this up.

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  7. This is such a lovely dress. The pattern is so versatile. I really love this on you.

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    1. Thanks Laura. Your knit version is perfect!

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    2. Thanks! I really like the collar and cuffs in the version you have done.

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  8. Thanks Katja. It's a great pattern

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