If participation in Me Made May showed me anything, it’s that I wear a lot of separates, I wore them for 87% of the month. So I knew the Separates Challenge was the one for me. But which pattern to pick? Eventually I decided on the Melissa Dress/Blouse/Skirt pattern by Muse Patterns (in no way trying to curry favour with the judges).
Oh such a natual pose
I cut a straight Size 40 with the B cup option and for once did not need to lengthen the bodice (usually I need to add between 2-5 cms). The lovely chevron design element of this pattern, does mean that there are rather a lot of pattern pieces. I found it helpful to keep the pattern pieces pinned to the fabric until need, to keep them in order and even repinned them after applying the interfacing.
The fabric I used for the blouse is a dress weight cotton from Ikea, it has been in my stash for a while, it does have a 2007 copyright on the selvedge, I had to buy some red cotton poplin for the accent and choose to interface it to give it the same weight as the main fabric. I opted to use poppers rather then button and buttonholes, partly because I felt they went with the design aesthetic but mostly because my sewing machine had stopped cooperating whenever I tried to do a buttonhole (my machine has now had a very well deserved service after 5 years of very hard labour and it feeling much better). The fit across my shoulders if fantastic, it is maybe a little loose at the waist and hips, but I can certainly adjust that next time I make it (and there will definately be a next time).
I have to admit that I did not really follow the instructions, I have been sewing so long that I very rarely refer to instructions. I did give them a quick once over with regard to the pockets, but that was about it. The only things I did differently was to slip stich the front facing down to the seam to keep things nice and tidy. I also set the sleeves in rather than inserting them on the flat and they went in like a dream, which I feel it the sign of a well drafted pattern. I knew those Tetris skills would come in handy
I had a bit more fun with the skirt. The pattern calls for 1.8m of fabric. What I had was 1m of 1.2m wide red denim that I really wanted to use; it’s been in my stash for over 4 years and was begging to be made in to a lovely skirt. So some modifications were called for, unfortunately the first thing to go was the button front, I just cut one front on the fold and I also opted to cut the back on the fold. I was fairly sure my fabric didn’t have a nap, but just to be on the safe side,I cut all the front pieces one way and the back pieces the other way and still didn’t have enough fabric for a waistband. I put in a side zip and finished the waist with ribbon and a large hook and eye.
I did find that when I tried the skirt on it was far too big, I don’t think I accounted enough for the overlap at the button front that I omitted. But it was an simple enough fix just to take a couple of centimetres out of the side seams at the waist.
I do really like this pattern, especially the pockets. They are an integral part of the design, not just functional. I would definately recommend this pattern. Even though dresses aren’t my thing, I am very tempted to make the dress and several more blouses.
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As well as sewing there you can find far too many pictures of my dogs.
A better picture of Hagrid than my separates