My winter delight – Maria Denmark Audrey C dress

Coming out of Me May May, this is by far my favourite dress at the moment.  It’s snuggly and warm, and really comfortable.  Perfect for a melbourne winter really.

maria denmark audrey dress

Maria Denmark drafted two different versions of this dress, utilising different cup sizes.   If I was going to be really fussy I would have loved it if the two cup sizes were a B and a D, just for a bit more differential.  It has two darts up the back to provide some gentle back shaping, so the skirt flares out flatteringly over some less flattering areas.

maria denmark back darts
Fabric

As a first cut of the pattern, I used a stash fabric which was gifted to my stash.  Double win.  It’s a very thick fleece knit with very little give.

Fit

As a result of the lack of stretch in the fabric, the pattern is a little tight over the shoulder.  The fit through the hips is lovely, but may also be a little large if you had a super stretchy knit without recovery.

Audrey Maria Denmark dress neckline

 

Techniques

Serged all the seams.  It makes life very, very quick.  I heart knits and serging.  I used Vsielofix (also known as Steam a Seam) to the neck and sleeves, then serged, then pressed over and twin needled.  See my pretty twin needling?  It comes up beautifully on fleece.  This was a fast and happy make

maria denmark audrey c dress arm

Future learnings

Make more.  Now.

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FO : Maria Denmark Day to Night top

Over the christmas break I went a little MIA from both the internet and my sewing room.  Finishing up at work on the 21st, I was at home until the 14th of January, so that should have been heaps of time to sew.  Right?

After loving the Kirsten Kimono Tee, I joined forces with the tweeters to pester Maria Denmark to release the Day to Night top after seeing a sneak preview on twitter.

Maria Denmark day to night top

In the week around Christmas, I greedily used every nap time and bed time to cut out all the glorious things I would sew.  And the Maria Denmark day to night top was one of them.  With a little bit of this cotton/rayon blend jersey left, I wondered if I could eek out another Kirsten kimono blouse AND the day to night top.  (The correct answer is yes, and I possibly could have cut out four tops if initially I had cut responsibly).

I spent AGES laying the pattern pieces out to get the four pattern pieces to fit, and then to fold the fabric on the grain.  Right, so picture my fabric folded up all neatly, with all my pattern pieces sitting perfectly on their respective folds on the floor.  I get halfway through cutting out, literally half way through one piece and the baby wakes up.  I duly attend to her needs, and pop her with Daddy so I could just spend 5 minutes to finish cutting out.  AND CAT-TASTROPHE.  This MONSTER has decided to play and roll about on my fabric.

Charlie, destroyer

Anyway, to cut a very long story short, the cat survived, I rescued my fabric and it probably ended up a smidge off grain.  The initial story was how I had the week of cutting out fabric, remember?  My sewing got hijacked by two weeks of DIY.

Tragically, sunflower yellow walls, burgundy trim and green cupboards that were the lovely stylings of our home were not quite our taste.  Variations of white on white on white?  Yesssss please.  In honour of my long arduous hours of sanding, paint stripping, priming and painting (which are still to be completed, there is a whole lot of gloss paint destined for those skirting boards, and doors to be hung), my newly completed day to night top has been photographed in the newly painted hallway and study.

Back view

Fit

Very comfortable.  This top is drafted without any seam allowances, (and I forgot to add them) and it fit beautifully, so for my personal preference for this top, this seems to be the right way to remove a tiny bit of design ease.   I am thinking I need to start doing sway back adjustments on my tops, there always is that pooling sitting there.  It’s an easy adjustment to ignore, as most the time I can’t see it.

The cowl drapes nicely, but can dip a little low at times.  Then again maybe I’m just getting more conservative.  Or, maybe I didn’t read the instructions right and missed something.  I won’t rule that out.  Ever.

Maria Denmark day to night top

Bend safe check

Fabric

This is the same fabric that I used for my Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee (what a mouthful!), blogged about here, managing two kimono tees AND a day to night top out of this.   Not bad for 2.1 metres and a grand total of $8.10.  Jealous much?

lovely soft knit fabric easy to sew

Techniques

The construction of this blouse is quite straight forward, with side seams serged, the back neckline finished with elastic and the hems/arms done with a twin needle.  The twin needling needs a bit of a press in this photo.  The really neat thing about this pattern is how the cowl is folded and sewn into the shoulder seam.  It’s a nice detail and finishes the top well.

maria denmark day to night top

Future lessons

This top needs a fabric that won’t relax so much during the day as the cowl got a little more daring as the day progressed.  By 5pm at work, if the cowl dipped at the right angle it showed a little bra.  Just a little hint.  Which doesn’t bother me at work but a little more at playgroup.   All said, I’m really tempted to try and combine this top with the tiramisu waistband and skirt, a kind of take on SewbusyLizzy’s sewing dare, which is the day to night top as a dress!

FO : Maria Denmark kirsten kimono blouse

The real test of how much you love an item of clothing for me, is if it ever makes it to the wardrobe.  This top get pinched out of the washing basket and worn again before being folded and put away.  Admittedly, my washing does occasionally linger in the washing basket, but who wants to be folding clothes when they can be sewing?

knit fabric

Sewbusylizzy is a big supporter of Maria Denmark patterns, and after hearing about them so much on twitter, I decided to go the low commitment route and try her free pattern, the kimono blouse.  This was a pattern that I expected to never wear, as it’s completely unlike any of my other tops.  It fit perfectly with only a small grading between sizes as a lazy bust adjustment.

I named this one of my top 5 favourite patterns of the year as it goes with everything.  I wear it to work under a suit, with jeans or a skirt for days at home and at playgroup.  It’s amazing with with the heat wave we’ve been having as it just skims over your body.

Maria Denmark Kimono top

Fit

Perfect.  This top is drafted without any seam allowances, (and I forgot to add them) and it fit beautifully, so for my personal preference for this top, this seems to be the right way to remove a tiny bit of design ease.

Fabric

This is a cotton/rayon blend from GJ’s fabrics on Lygon St Melbourne.  It was a quick remnant table find, and was a bargain.  I really shouldn’t tell you where it was from in case there is any more left to buy.  IT’S MINE.  In EVERY COLOURWAY.  I managed to squeeze another two tops out of the remnant.  That’s how much I love it, and the tiny slivers of offcuts are holding my tomatoes to stakes.  So also a great gardening fabric.

lovely soft knit fabric easy to sew

Techniques

Time for a small confession here.  I didn’t follow the instructions at all, I did faux twin needling and was amazingly lazy in every conceivable way.  I serged up the sides, and used steam a seam on the neckline, hemline and sleeves before doing my shocking faux twin needling as my twin needle needed replacing.  At least I used a stretch needle!  The neckline stretches out by the end of the day, so really Maria has it right and I’ll be using stretch elastic next time.  Promise.

Future lessons

The finish on this would have more professional if I had made it as per the instructions.  While I can often sub in techniques, it doesn’t make them better.  A little knowledge can be very dangerous!

You can download this pattern either at Craftsy or at Maria’s website, ShopOnion.  There is a rumour on the internet that Maria will be releasing printed patterns this year… Very excited!