Loubodu Blogger Team - project 1

Back in November last year I was accepted as a member of the Loubodu Blogger Team. Loubodu Fabrics is a fabric shop based in Evesham which specialises is stretch fabrics such as french terry's, sweatshirting and jerseys. I've bought from them before because they have the most wonderful collection of designs available and I knew there would always be something I would love!

In January I chose my first fabric, 2.5m of a lovely soft blue grey cotton jersey to go with the New Look 6525 dress pattern which my sister gave me for Christmas. Loubodu have so many colours in this fabric it was difficult to choose!

I wanted to recreate the dress on the model, version D, which is a high neck, long sleeve dress with a deep ruffle at the bottom. Now, lets be honest, who doesn't love a jersey dress, right? I would live in these if I could! I hoped it would be a comfy, loose fitting dress but with a little something to make it interesting!

The fabric is a beautiful weight for this project and is wonderfully soft. I washed it immediately so I could start my project ASAP! But in doing this I found a problem... the selvedges curled terribly and I lost about 5cm on each edge due to the curling. Now this pattern, unlike a good few I've used in the past, uses every last millimetre of fabric in the pattern layout so I needed all of that 150cm width. I tried ironing the edges down but it didn't make much difference so I just had to make sure that when I folded it in half and lay it on the floor for cutting I did so as carefully as possible to get the edges lined up then I just pinned the selvedges together to help it lie flat for my pattern pieces. I'm sure there's a better way of doing this but this is just what I did in the moment! I'm not the most patient of sewists and just wanted to get on with it!

Once I started it was fairly standard in construction (shoulder seams, neck, side seams and sleeves etc) but I think this might be the first time I've done a proper set in sleeve on a jersey garment. This is not my most favourite technique and I did wonder if I could just do it on the flat but I followed the instructions and by some miracle it all worked out fine!

The next challenge was gathering the ruffle piece however with two lines of gathering stitch and a bit of patience it wasn't as difficult as I expected with this fabric. I marked each of the front and back dress pieces into quarters and sat with my box of pins attaching one to the other until I ran out of pins!

I stitched the ruffle on along one of the gathering lines and unpicked the other line of gathering stitches after. I love the way it looks and the weight of the fabric means it hangs beautifully.

All in all a very easy project which resulted in a very comfy dress. I made a straight size 14 with no additional adjustments. I'm smaller up top than around the hips but the style of dress gave me plenty of ease in this area. I made it on both the overlocker and sewing machine and, aside from the patient pinning of ruffles, it's a fairly speedy sew!

I think View C might be next with the pouffy cuffed sleeves and I could definitely see version A as a nightdress in a lighter weight jersey. So, basically, I need 100 of these!

Massive thanks to Loubodu Fabrics for providing the fabric free of charge in return for a blog post.