Hello friends, February is black history month in the USA and I live in South Africa where black history month isn’t something we observe but still a big part of our culture as a country. You only have to look at our many public holidays to see this. Even though my country doesn’t observe black history month, I am still a black person and as part of the black community I know we all have the same history of oppression and denied opportunity. Because of this, I thought I could support and celebrate black creatives and designers. On Instagram, @sewnaturaldane and @islandsewcialist are hosting black history month challenge where they are highlighting black pattern designers, fabric and notion stockists. I decided to make the new Giselle Dress pattern by Sew Style Me Patterns. I did this in collaboration with my sew sister Kristen (IG: @unsewcial), she’s from a small Caribbean island Monserrat. We connected on Instagram and we now chat all the time, please check out her beautiful dress on her Instagram, she is also hosting a giveaway of the pattern so you can make one for yourself too.
When the pattern was released, I think I bought it the same day it came out. I thought it was so cute, fun and I really liked the style lines too. The Giselle dress has a fitted princess seam bodice, loose fitting skirt from the waist and a gathered skir/ruffle from the hip with bell sleeves. The construction of this pattern was quite interesting, you basically sew the front and back of the dress independently (bodice, attach skirt, attach ruffle) only afterwards do you sew shoulder seam, flat attach the sleeves and then sew side seams joining front and back in one continuous stitch from the sleeves to the ruffle. In sewing, there are many ways to do things and get to the same place finished product. For beginners, I would say this is just too complex and could have construction issues with things not lining up, especially when using light weight fabric which are quite shifty. This is just a personal opinion.
Don’t we just love fabric 🤩 I love fabric and lately I’ve been enjoying shopping in my stash. I made the dress using Moroccan Crepe, it kinda feels like a Georgette but slight thicker and not transparent. It’s still a light weight fabric but it was actually a lot easier to work with compared to a Viscose or a Georgette. I love that it requires very little ironing, always a bonus with crepes. Overall, I love the mustard of the fabric and the pink and white flowers, it’s so bright and happy.
Overall, I think if you’ve made a couple of projects, a beginner can definitely make this dress. The most challenging thing would be the the invisible zip and making sure the seam match up at the collar and waist. To finish the collar neatly on the inside, you have to slip stitch it finished. I hate hand sewing but I’m glad I did it, it’s beautiful and so much neater. The bodice is very fitted, so I made a large and graded to an XL at the waist and hips. These are standard adjustments for me on most patterns. I cut the size large sleeves and I needed about half an inch to an inch bicep adjustment, I have never had to make this adjustment and I don’t have bulky arms so I’m guessing the sleeves are slightly too small so maybe measure them around the bicep before deciding in size or doing a full bicep adjustment. I also decided to line the bodice because of the princess seams, so it would have a cleaner finish and also for the longevity of the garment. I am a little obsessed with clean finishes on the inside and this dress definitely looks good on both sides. Overall I enjoyed making this pattern, it had enough challenges to keep things interesting and give you that sense of pride and accomplishment at the end because you got it done. Overall, I would rate this project a 7/10. The end result is absolutely beautiful, I love this dress, it’s just what I want to wear to a high tea or lunch with the girls. This past weekend, I had a weekend getaway to celebrate my Goddaughter’s birthday, and I packed this dress for a mini photoshoot, I hope to enjoy the pictures. Stay safe friends and until next time 💛💗