Faye is another sewing friend who kindly offered to help me with this sewing blog. She has been sewing for about 6 decades, almost all her life. In fact, Faye has made clothing for 5 generations of her family, from her grandparents to her own six grandchildren. Pre-covid, Faye travelled extensively to visit family in the Middle East and the Far East so a lot of her wardrobe choices reflected her need for classy comfort. She loves her natural fibers most particularly in black. While she is mainly Victoria based now with her job at a local nursery, Faye still loves to sew fashionable garments to wear even when puttering in her own back yard. After seeing our mutual friend, Janet (of the Almost Long Trousers), in the Jane Dress by Tessuti Patterns, Faye felt this was a necessary addition to her wardrobe. In black linen no less!
As Autumn edges out the summer heat, it would make sense to start sewing for winter, but I’m still lusting after linen. One very good reason to be sewing seasonal clothing at the end of a season is that the gaps in our wardrobe are more apparent; I realized during the heat that I needed more summer dresses, and Tessuti’s Jane dress fills that bill perfectly.
Tessuti is one my favourite pattern lines; their instructions are explicit and well illustrated, so I usually spring for the more expensive colour version when having them printed off at Island Blueprint in Victoria.
The Jane dress is listed as being suitable for ‘intermediate and super-advanced’ skill levels. I would say that it does require careful attention to detail, but don’t be afraid, you can do this! The godet attachment instructions on page 19 and 20 are particularly clear; that seam at the top of the godet is a bit odd unless you look at the picture; hence colour instructions, where they show the stitching in red.
I made only one small change to the pattern; I shortened the godet by 2”, giving it more contrast with the rest of the skirt. Sewing friends have given this change the thumbs up, and Janet intends to further highlight the godet by using a contrast fabric.
The front slit at neckline is easier to manage, I found, by leaving it intact at fabric cutting time, then sewing on the seamline before cutting the slit. Note that the line on pattern is the cutting line, not the seam line.
One of Tessuti’s favourite products seems to be Vilene Shields. What are these, you ask? Simply their choice of product to use for stabilizing around necklines etc when stay stitching. Gala Fabrics carries another product that I really like for this purpose, a soluble film called Pellon 551 Sol-U-Film, often used for quilting or machine embroidery but I found it easy to tear away after stitching through. I used it for the stay stitching on all hems as well, to prevent any stretching as the fabric is lightly crinkled.
Notes about size: Generally my size falls between a M and a L, but my ample bust is complicated by smaller shoulders and neck area, so I usually make a M in the upper body with a FBA (Full Bust Alteration), lowering the darts too (bigger, heavier = lower) then wow out to a L in the tummy/hip. After trying on Janet’s L muslin with a FBA done already, I realized that M fits me for this pattern. When in doubt, flat-measure the pattern pieces.
And now to the best part, the fabric! I chose this cotton linen jacquard in black.
It’s a dream to sew with, and the jacquard aspect was perfect for this pattern as I used the reverse side for the godet. There was no shrinkage, not even in the width.
I used it right out of the dryer with no pressing at all, rare for me. It has just the right amount of texture to be interesting, but still shows the top stitching which is an integral part of the design detail of this pattern.
This fabric will be warm and cozy, so alas I may have to indulge my love of linen for even more summer dresses! Back to see Penny….. 😉