Sewing for Miss M

On challenges …

A few months ago (seriously, that long?) I got an email from the lovely Sabrina, a student designer from England, that had just started her own pattern company – Student Designer.

Sabrina propose me to test a new girl’s pattern: The Secret Garden Tea dress (seriously in love with the pattern name) and, as expected, I was willing for the challenge.

It was rather nice to test a pattern actually made by a fashion design student and learn more about drafting and dressmaking terms.

I must say that the dress is quite lovely and if you follow the instructions carefully (which I didn’t) you should end up with a very professional-looking dress. Nevertheless, there’s quite a few work to be done before the actual sewing begins: the pattern doesn’t include seams allowances and there’s a bit of drafting to be done before you start your dress.

Secret Garden#3

Sabrina pattern’s are meant to teach you some proper dressmaking techniques and this pattern is actually rated as advanced, so approach it with caution as you really need to be accurate with the measurements and your stitching to achieve great results (I can see so many flaws in my version …) 🙂

Secret Garden#4

The dress includes a double-layer collar, several pintucks in the back and front bodice (my favorite part) and a semi-circle waist-down skirt (there are also instructions for adding an over-skirt. I didn’t get that far as my girl would not be wearing it. Sorry!).

For my version, I used blue chambray (two different shades for the bodice and skirt) and a soft floral for the double collar – Sweet and timeless (quite appropriate for a tea dress, right?).

Secret Garden#2

Overall, and despite my initial excitement, I did find this pattern to be a bit too challenging for me 😦

I’m sure I still have a long away to go before I could actually draft my own patterns (obviously, I knew that already …).

Secret Garden#1

Yet, if you care for a lovely sewing challenge The Secret Garden Tea dress might just be the right pattern for you 🙂

Thank you so much Sabrina!

Happy sewing,

xx Ana Sofia



7 thoughts on “On challenges …

  1. This is a darling dress!
    If you added 3/4 long sleeves and a healthy sash, it would look like those dresses from the movie the little princess.

    Which come to think of, your daughter resembles the little actress, at least from the side and her hair style! Obviously one of my favorite movies. Lol

    1. 🙂
      I do love this dress style – and to be honest, she loved it too as it was really very comfy to wear.
      I might try a version with 3/4 sleeves and a sash – I ‘m quite sure I’ll love it too 🙂

  2. The dress looks very nice. Good for you to take on a challenge. Time restraints would keep me from attempting a pattern that required drafting and extra work.

    1. I did took me some time to figure some of the drafting, but other than that it was really straight forward (obviously, there are so many details that it ends up taking more time than I usually do). Like you, my sewing time is limited (and mostly after-hours, which doesn’t really help with drafting) so I usually pick patterns with seam allowances included (one of the main reasons, for me not sewing as much as I would love from Ottobre). I do wish my sewing time was unlimited 🙂

  3. Pretty! I’ve found that those challenging projects that didn’t seem quite so fun when I’m in the middle of it, end up teaching me quite a bit so that the next time it comes together easily.

    1. So true Cindy!
      The drafting part (not all, just the back) was the most challenging for me. Other than that, it is such a pattern with lots of lovely details, so you do need some time to sew it 🙂

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