Megan Nielsen Karri Dress

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I was thrilled for the opportunity to help Megan Nielsen out in the development of her latest gorgeous pattern – the Karri Dress.  Meg has been such a fabulous supporter of my local sewing endeavours and it turns out we’re practically neighbours, it would have been rude to say no!

This fit and flare style dress has arrived just in time for our spring but also comes with sleeves so could easily be paired with tights and a jacket for cooler weather.

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Things I love…

Princess seams.  I love princess seams and find them really flattering.  They take a little bit of extra pinning and slow sewing to avoid puckers but are definitely worth the effort.

Back neck line.  With a fairly high neck line in the front I love the contrast with the deep V in the back.  It’s just the perfect depth to avoid any bra strap peeking out.

Pockets.  All good dresses need pockets in my opinion.  No pockets. No sew.  It’s my new rule.

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Awesome instructions.  I’ve made a few lined dresses now but am still eternally grateful for fabulous hand-holding instructions like these ones.  It makes the sewing process so much easier and avoids any furrowed brows and head scratching that usually accompanies me using a commercial pattern.

That I managed to get a perfect cross in the centre of those front bodice panels.  I used a trick a friend’s quilting-mum taught me.  You press the seam allowances of each piece in opposite directions to each other so that when you sew them together they “lock” together and form a perfect cross on the front.

How about that! It worked!

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Fit

As usual, my waist size was one larger than my bust/hip measurement so I graded between a small and medium to account for that.  I made a bodice toile and took out some of the bodice length plus made a small adjustment to the back neck line to reduce a bit of gaping that was there.

I’m still learning about adjusting patterns to fit and while I think I did ooooookaaaayyyy, looking at these photos now I can see I probably needed to take more length out of the bodice.  The bodice probably isn’t as close fitting as it should be but, hey, summer and the festive season is coming so a bit of extra room could be helpful!  The sensible thing would be to sew up my toiles when sewing friends are around to help pin me in.  This would give me someone who knows at least something about fit (i.e. not husband)!

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Fabric

I really struggled with how to plan the panels in the front of the bodice so in the end I went with the easy option of using the same fabric throughout.  I think it was the right decision with this fabric but I do really love Meg’s grey/black dress which gives a clever slimming effect.

This polka-dot chambray was from Textile Traders.  The dye ran terribly during pre-washing so I recommend using a colour catcher if you plan to get some yourself.

For the lining I used a cotton voile also from Textile Traders.

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I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and this one is definitely a spring/summer staple that will be getting heaps of wear now the weather is warming up.

Do you have a fave spring dress pattern?  What sewing plans do you have for summer?  I’d love to hear!

Catch you soon,

Nat x

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