A little while ago I signed up to review Jennifer Lauren’s patterns and the one I got was the Mayberry Dress. I didn’t own this pattern before and received it free for my review, but all my opinions are completely my own.
I’ve been eyeing this pattern since it came out, I thought it could be the perfect casual but nice dress that would work for my work just perfectly. And pockets…. And I was so right.
I pretty much got started as soon as I got the link to the pattern. I went through my stash and found this lovely, slightly stretchy cotton that had been sitting there for so long that I cannot remember where I bought it. And luckily enough I had these very interesting tan coloured wooden buttons in my stash, just the right number of them 🙂
Quick wash later and I got to cutting out the pattern and the fabric.
I love that you can just tape the pattern together and don’t have to cut 2 sides off first (the other half appreciated that too, since I tend to stick and cut patterns in front of the TV and more cutting – more noise, this one has his approval because of less cutting 😉 ). There’s also good clear lines to cut and notches, but not too many of those. And I really liked the instructions on which pages to print. Total thumbs up.
I made a size 12, B cup, following the measurements in the table. When cutting out the dress I realised that I didn’t quite have enough fabric, but I thought this could just be super cute as a summer dress without sleeves… so I pushed on with this fabric. The only thing I changed was to add two little darts at the back of the neck, something that I have to do quite a bit for dresses/tops. It was sticking up/standing away from my back quite a lot. While this wasn’t necessarily intended to be a toile, it seems to have turned into a wearable toile and I’ll make another one where I’ll try to address that on the paper pattern before cutting. Will have to figure out what I need to do…
I was thinking of doing a forward sloping shoulder adjustment, something I also need regularly, but forgot in the end and didn’t actually need it.
I found the instructions are very detailed, I don’t really need that much detail, but it’s good if you’re starting out. The illustrations are really good too.
Well, I started writing this as I was sewing, so I wouldn’t forget anything, and, just now I draped the top over my dress form to figure out how to adjust the back neck facing to match the top with the two little darts, and guess what? Despite paying detailed attention when cutting out the fabric, I messed up and cut the right and left facing the wrong way around. Hahahaha. Oh well, now I will hunt up some other fabric for the facing that matches one of the colours and then will redraft the back neck facing to match the bodice without needing any seams or darts… I’m sure the different colour facing will make this dress even more special.
The only thing I found in my stash was a black and white similar thickness stretch cotton. And since I was going to cute the facing I thought might as well cut the sleeves as well in this fabric. I quite like the style mix.
I’ve worn this dress several times prior to the Christmas break and got a good number of compliments. I felt really good in it and was right, tit is the perfect casual but nice dress!!! I highly recommend it.
I was so excited that I started to make a second version of it, this time, with the waist string coming out at the same level of the button band the the button band continuing all the way. I had a black viscose crepe in my stash and some pink as well and thought that would make a lovely contrast. I decided not to try to make changes to the pattern to eliminate the darts at the shoulders, I quite like that, even though I think it is considered old fashioned. I just marked the changes I made in the first version on the patterns and made the same dart on this version.
All came together really quickly, I just cut the skirt at the same width as the top, added seam allowance and cut facing strips in pink, super easy. The dress is still made according to the instructions, it is not openable all the way. I like this style, but I don’t like the dress. Sad really. It just looks really bad on me, I feel fat and frumpy, which is the exact opposite of my previous version. I think it was just the wrong choice of fabric, something with a bit more thickness to it is better in my mind. I won’t show a photo of it on me, just on a hanger… I didn’t even hem it…
Fazit, I like this pattern very much, it’s a simple one, but a bit special with the off centred button placket and the ability to turn it down. It is also a quick make that can be made out of a range of fabrics (although clearly the cheap viscose crepe did not work for me). There will definitely be more Mayberries in the future! Watch this space.
P.S.: Somehow I managed to make one dress with the buttons on the right and one on the left… strange… 😉