Today I'm really excited to share the first of what will hopefully be many guest blogger contributions. Gabrielle's first review is of the Beryl Bomber Dress by Named Clothing . For transparency, I have provided the fabrics, pattern and paid for her precious time - but I have explicitly asked for an honest and open review. So without further adieu....
BERYL BOMBER DRESS IN NEEDLECORD:NAMED CLOTHING
CORDUROY FABRIC + ORGANIC COTTON RIB
The needlecord is teamed with a richly-coloured rust-coloured organic rib knit for the collar. I was worried that it wouldn’t be firm enough for the task, but the rib knit has worked perfectly for this dress: sturdy, but not too firm. This fabric is lovely, and I have my eye on the leftovers for some stretchy and warm winter headbands!
HOW TO SEW NEEDLECORD
Cutting: This fabric needs to be treated like a stripe as the wales of the cord are a very dominant feature, even in this floral, and you don’t want squiffy stripes. To that end, I cut everything flat, pinning along the length of a wale and using that as either the centre of my pattern piece or as a point to measure grainline from. I didn’t worry about pattern-matching the floral (even though I agonised over that decision) but prioritised making sure the nap ran in the right direction—down the body.
Unpicking: One thing worth noting is the needlecord doesn’t love being unpicked. It is very soft and not as robust as you might think on handling it, so I highly recommend hand-basting the trickier areas (like the zip, the vent and the waistband casing) before committing machine stitches to it.
Overall: Both the cotton viscose needlecord and the organic cotton rib knit are lovely and comfy to wear against the skin; they are easy to handle while cutting and sewing; and they have worked so well for the Bomber Dress. This needlecord feels deliciously fuzzy and is wonderfully stroke-able, but it’s not the warmest; I’d probably categorise this as a really good transitional-season weight dress, and with a merino slip it can definitely be layered to cope with colder days. The shape of the sleeves and underarm makes it a little tricky to wear a slim-fitting coat over (it can be done, but it’s not the most comfortable) however, it’s great under a slouchy, over-sized coat! [such as Le 803 Raglan Cape or TN31 Parker]
PATTERN NOTES: BERYL BOMBER DRESS
My measurements are 39” bust, 33” waist and 43” hips, and I made a Euro-size 44 which has the body measurements at 39.5", 33" and 42.5" respectively (the pattern size range is 32-46). The biggest change I made to the pattern was in shortening it. The pattern is drafted for a 1.72m person, and I am but a measly 1.61m tall. I shortened the dress by a total of 108mm - taking out 26mm at the bust, 52mm at the waist, and 30mm at the hips.
These were guestimates, but I’m really happy with the length of the dress. Which is lucky because you don’t get a chance to adjust this later in the make—one of the first things you do is create the front vent, and from there the length is set. So, if you’re fussy about the skirt-length this is something to watch out for.
Waistband: Although there are placement notes for the waistband, I would recommend only using them as a guide: for me, I had to raise the waistband up by a couple of inches. To judge where to place my waistband, I used the ribbon to cinch in the waist where I wanted it and marked the front with pins. From there, I marked the line for the waist-casing, and hand-basted it on before machine sewing it in.
THE FINAL RESULT!
USEFUL LINKS AND FURTHER INFORMATION:
SAVE IT FOR LATER....
Hi Lee, it looks like she is using metal washers which you can easily get at hardware stores! Hope you are able to find some – thank you from Caroline from Miss Maude
Hi there! Would Gabrielle mind sharing what she’s using as pattern weights? They look perfect.