One Pattern, Two Fabrics with Marie
I’m Marie, you can find me on Instagram at @sewdisorganised.
I started sewing about 3 years ago and since then I’ve loved building my dream wardrobe. There are many reasons why I decided to start sewing my own clothes, one of these being the frustration when going into a high street shop and seeing an item of clothing that I really liked, but there were elements that put me off. Either I liked the style but hated the fabrication or loved the fabric but didn’t like some of the design features.
Being able to sew what I want and having full creative control is so liberating. Why would anyone not want the option to create clothing that makes you feel amazing and you can adapt to your style?
I really enjoy the freedom that comes with sewing up my wardrobe. If a pattern gets released that I love I know I can make it in a manner that will fit into my wardrobe. I also know that if there are elements that I don’t suit my aesthetic, by choosing the fabric I want and either sewing it up as is or hacking it I can create my preferred style. For example, if I like style lines of a pattern but don’t like a certain feature, such as a ruffle (said no person ever, but just to put my point across) I can omit it and sew up the garment without it.
Then we come to fabric. A lot of patterns are designed for a range of different fabrics, you can sew up a dress in a lightweight drapey fabric, and then sew the exact same pattern in a sturdier fabric and have two completely different garments. Sewing truly is an amazing thing and since I started my journey I no longer find joy in visiting the high street and looking through racks of clothing that I know I can make better, and make truer to my style.
Picking a pattern
When deciding on the fabric for this blog I wanted to choose two fabrics with very different features. My first fabric choice was a silky soft sandwashed viscose that had lots of drape and was very lightweight. My next choice was a midweight stonewashed linen that was more structured and was a plain moss green with a lovely textured finish.
Both are lovely fabrics, but with very different elements. Next was to choose my pattern and as soon as the Davenport Dress from Friday Pattern Company was released I knew I wanted to make multiple versions. I love the shape and the style and with its high neck and long sleeves. It’s a perfect transitional piece between Spring and Summer, so I knew this would be perfect for this project.
I made my first version in the mustard flecked viscose (this also comes in a purple colourway which is equally as gorgeous). This fabric is so soft and slippery and feels amazing against my skin, it was so nice to sew up.
For this version I kept all the elements the same, only adjusting the pattern for fit, and I LOVE IT! I love how it drapes and how it looks, I feel so cute when wearing it, and usually I never feel cute. I love when something looks just as good in real life as it does in your head. The fabric and pattern truly are a match made in heaven. I even had enough scraps left over to make a matching bucket hat. I used the charity pattern from Elbe Textiles and I’m loving how they look together. I can’t wait for a sunny day so I can wear them out and show them off.
For my second version I used the mid weight linen. This was much heavier than the viscose and I decided to omit some features, partly because I wanted something simpler and partly because I didn’t want bulky seams on sections of the dress.
I left out the shoulder ruffles, I went back and forth on this decision because I loved how they looked on the first version and I did think they would work really well on this linen dress, but I decided that I didn’t want heavy seams on my shoulders as it may affect the comfort levels.
I also only used 3 panels for the ruffle at the bottom instead of 4, I thought a simpler less gathered version would work better in this style and I think it worked really well with the finished garment.
Which dress is best?
I love how both dresses turned out, and although you can tell they’re the same pattern they both still look so different. For me personally I think the viscose dress is a marginal winner, I just think that the fabric was made for this pattern, and it’s so swishy and floaty, the bucket hat also helps to boost its points. However, I do also love the linen dress and both have merit in my wardrobe. I know I’ll be getting plenty of wear out of them for years to come.
Sewing has really helped me discover my style and what does and doesn’t suit me. I’m still learning and there are times where I don’t always like or feel confident in what I’ve made, but I’m getting better and I love that having free reign to get creative and adapt patterns to my style really allows me to build a wardrobe that suits my personality and makes me excited to get dressed in the morning. The dreaded “so many clothes and nothing to wear” is a thing of the past, I’m no longer stressed when choosing an outfit.