I recently had the opportunity to pattern test the Sudley blouse/dress pattern for Megan Nielsen (test version blogged here). As soon as I finished my test version (in a cotton lawn), I decided I wanted to make the pattern again in a drapier fabric.
I picked up this gold knit fabric at Birmingham Rag Market on a recent trip with a few local sewists (organised by Rachel), and thought it might be a good candidate for a Sudley Dress. The fabric was £2 per metre and is a relatively heavy knit with a lot of drape, and a slightly metallic texture and shine. I actually used the reverse of the fabric, as I thought it had a more unusual colour and pattern than the right side.
The Sudley pattern is designed for wovens, but it’s a good candidate for substituting for knits due to the loose fit and absence of darts or fastenings. I made Version 3 in size XS, with the sleeves from Version 1. I only made one change to the pattern/construction as a result of using a knit fabric; the pattern instructs you prepare skirts pieces in both main and lining fabrics and attach these to the main and lining bodices respectively. Due to the weight of my fabric, I felt that the weight of the skirt piece was likely to stretch out the bodice, so I only cut a skirt in the main fabric (not the lining) and attached this to both main and lining bodices for extra support. As suggested by the pattern, I cinched in the waist of the dress by attaching elastic around the waistband.
I think the resulting dress actually has a similar silhouette to Colette’s Moneta pattern. I forgot to get any photos of the dress worn in reverse (it is reversible, so the keyhole can be worn at the front).
Having completed this dress version, I couldn’t resist also making the blouse Version 1 (minus the collar) so that I could enter the Monthly Stitch’s current Indie Pattern Month, One Pattern, Two Ways contest! I really love the contrast between these two versions.
This version is made in stash fabric, purchased as a coupon in Paris a few years ago. The fabric is a border print and I only had scraps left so couldn’t continue the pattern across both sides, but I like the contrast of the finished result. The fabric is beautifully soft and I’ve been hording these last scraps for ages – I only have tiny pieces left but haven’t been able to bring myself to throw them away yet, maybe I’ll be able to use them as a pocket lining!
I hand-stitched the blouse and sleeve hems by hand. I thought I’d ignore the instructions for finishing the neckline and keyhole opening and instead turn twice and hand stitch. The finished result looked puckered so I had to rip-out that hand stitching and instead created a facing – which was much more successful. I reduced the depth of the keyhole opening slightly on this version as I find it slightly low for the office on the dress version (although I wore it that way ’round regardless today!).
I’m looking forward to wearing both of these to work this week – I can never resist wearing new garments the instant that they are finished!