Manequim magazine January14 Sheath dress

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As I slowly get accustomed to be called Mrs. time seems to have flown by and nothing been sewn during the last 12 days. The husband and I decided to stay home honeymooning later in the year. What a bless in disguise. The Uk has been experiencing a delicious heatwave. Do I even have to say how much I’m loving the weather. We both have been making loads of trips to the beach and drinking Pimms on the terrace. I’m still definitely feeling on cloud9. I will be dishing all the wedding info soon but let’s start warming back to blogging with some of the projects I have backlogged. I don’t know what is harder, finding the flow to write or photographing myself (so many award poses), so don’t be alarmed if projects come to the blog not on chronological order.

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The pattern I’m sharing with you today is the same one of Fehr Trade Galaxy dress, actually she kindly borrowed me the pattern from her large Manequim collections. For those that never seen or heard about Manequim, it is a Brazilian monthly sewing patterns magazine. My first memories of Manequim, which is over 50’s years running, has always been positive. A bit of beauty, fashion with the differential that you can actually make what you see. They closely follow current Brazilian and world -wide fashions trends and use RTW as base for their designs. A lot of the pictures shown of the patterns is actually the ready-to-wear version. Buy or make, it’s completely your choice.

manequimjanuary2014sheathdress21The patterns don’t come in all sizes. The mix of sizing is generally really good and there are editions with a lot of plus size patterns. I have sent some to Carolyn to try.

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source: Fehr Trade

This dress only came at size 42 (Which end up been too large for me but more on it later). The tracing sheet is very similar to Burda. In Brazil there aren’t many sewing patterns available. Either you use PDF, pattern magazines or draft your own. Most sewing schools get you drafting your own while teaching you how to sew. Only recently with the help of Instagram that I got to meet a lot of Brazilian sewists and in many occasions we spoke about the lack of local options for sewists there. Of course that leads to many patterns produced from magazines and I shawl one day spread the word and my opinion about them.

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Let’s chat fabric, shawl we? The pattern is design for knits. I made my dress out of cotton lawn (rebel). A beautiful, floral, monochrome roses print. I knew by experience that I’m a size smaller that what the pattern offered and gambled on the fabric choice. It worked but not with some pattern modifications.

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Besides the general side seam and sleeve seam adjustments, two neckline darts were created, raising the neckline consequently. The darts front and back from both the bodice and skirt were adjusted and lengthen. Before I forget to mention, Manequim patterns don’t come with seam allowance included but I haven’t added either for this project.manequimjanuary2014sheathdress23

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the fit. As mention by Melissa, this pattern doesn’t contain lining or facings so I used bias binding for a neat finish. As I fitted as I went along I didn’t have the final adjusted pattern to serve as a lining.manequimjanuary2014sheathdress

It’s not as close fitting as I would have made if I was using cotton sateen. Only shaped over my body, following it silhouette and allowing me to move and feel comfortable. Perfect for the current temperatures. I even lost the grey layer from my skin. It will take ages to actually be tanned ( i’m always factor 50 on the face and 30 on the body) but I’m feeling so heathy and energetic.

Did I mention I used an invisible zipper? I cannot recall when was the last time I used a different zipper method during the last few years. Lazy? Surely maybe (lol).

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When I asked the husband if he liked this dress he quickly replied: “That’s your shape”. Indeed it is. Sheath dresses not only suit me but reflect my style. They are elegant and timeless, I can use prints to my heart content and of course, they work well on both professional and social environments. Talking about bodies and pattern shapes, I normally avoid large pleats after noticing how unflattering they are for my body shape and although I love circle skirts they annoy me when I wear them. It’s always so windy in the UK and I feel I always on the look out to avoid unnecessary flashing. Practicality is a big world on my wardrobe right now and by eliminating pieces that I can only worn “when” and “if” I find myself not having too many dramas when getting dressed.

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Since taking control and making my clothes I haven’t suffered from that dreadful “I haven’t nothing to wear” feeling. Self knowledge is uplifting.

Masters of your own personal wardrobes, do share what style you think “it’s your shape” and if people around you think the same.

Ps: I have missed you all terribly!

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  • Heather

    I love what you said about not making clothes that can only be worn under certain conditions! I also prefer slim clothes like sheaths and pencil skirts as it is also very windy where I live in Alberta, Canada. Love the things you make, they inspire me to get back in my sewing room! It’s very true that a sheath dress has endless possibilities for print and color and always look amazing!

    • Thanks for stopping by Heather. So lovely to hear you feel inspired to get to your sewing room. best space in the world right?

  • Sheats dresses are always a great to be dressed but not overdressed! I love them so much too! Great fabric choice! Bravo!

  • It’s lovely Rachel, so elegant and chic and the fit is perfect. I agree with your husband, this is definitely your shape! Recently I’ve found myself moving away from A line shapes and more towards fitted, sheath styles like this. x

    • Thank you Jane. interesting. why is that?

  • I love this dress. I agree with your husband, it is definitely your shape! I find I also prefer fitted dresses, but also just as much as fit and flare dresses. Almost the same with skirts – I love fill skirts and A-line skirts. But for some reason I am not good with pencil skirts. I love how they look on people but I personally feel super restricted in them.

    • Thanks Anya, so interesting the different perception people have on shapes. Fitted at the waist and gather skirts or A line flares for me is what pencil skirts for you. Just not right but we love in other people

  • Beautiful fabric, design and sewing. It suits you! Congratulations on your wedding!

    • Double thank you Suzanne

  • jen (NY)

    Oh, that’s very pretty! I agree about taking control. I’ve still got some gaps to fill, but am suffering much less from having “nothing” to wear.

    • great to hear. There are gaps that i don’t want to sew for it but just knowing what suits me helps immensely.

  • Congratulations on your wedding Rachel, this dress looks great on you, not only the style but the colour too. I find sheath dresses very flattering but most of the time I tend to choose more flared lines.

    • Thank you so much Ida, i have in the past chosen comfort instead of style but as we learn to fit our bodies, the concept gets mix up.. you can have confront and style.

  • Beautiful dress! The fabric is lust-worthy and the fit you accomplished with the lawn looks perfect. I prefer sheath dresses, but also enjoy the fit and flare style as it nips in at the waist. I agree that sewing empowers you to choose styles that work for you in more than one way. My closet has never looked better :). Congrats on your wedding, BTW! Happy days to you!

    • Thank you Elle, so lovely to know your happy with your closet. xx

  • You are pretty as a Mrs! A week ago I would have answered fit and flare, but I am trying some different, more sleeker, silhouettes. I’m forever trying to find my ‘perfect’ length dress.

    You look fab…you’re right to happy with the fit! And sneaky you…using a woven instead of a knit! Gives this pattern a timeless elegance….or maybe that’s just you!

    • Thank you Sue.Oh that allusive perfect length dress, i don’t think i know mine either. Oh I have read the curly girl guide and has a lot of new tips. Thank you again for the great recommendation. I have been wearing my hair now 50/50 and slowing moving to curly only.

      • Oooh, that is so exciting Rachel! For many, there can be a ‘bad hair’ phase, so slowly integrating the tips sounds like an excellent idea!

  • Congrats on your marriage!

    I love this dress! I wear this silhouette for work a lot and find it comfortable and flattering. Your fabric is so very chic! Cheers!

  • fab dress! I love fitted shift dresses, so easy to wear and flattering – also like fitted bodice with a full skirt for summer. Can’t beat a dress for stress free dressing!

    • so true. dresses and jumpsuits

  • I love this! I totally agree that sheath dresses are your perfect shape- they look great on you! Let’s see, my signature shape is probably skinny jeans + slouchy blazers, but I need to work on summer looks that are my style cause that totally doesn’t work in the heat! 😀

  • Perfect summer floral. Love it.