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I have a very special relationship with Pattydoo’s Ella. She was the first dress that I made for myself, and also the first dress that I sewed up for someone else (my little sister). Both times I made the cowl neck version – I love cowl necklines! I chose a very soft viscose jersey for the first dress – wonderful for the cowl neck, not so wonderful for the dress itself. I can’t even wear tights underneath without everybody being able to see their marks from the outside… So for the second version for my sister I chose a more stable jersey. This worked great for the dress, but not so great for the cowl neck… So I decided that three would be the charm and chose the “American neckline” pattern version to make up in a stable jersey.
However, the sewing journey for this dress proved to be a difficult one… I had bought a nice black jersey at the Dutch fabric market that tours Germany, and I also picked up the same fabric in pink. My plan was to colour-block the dress and use the pink on the neck and waist band. Both fabrics went onto the cutting table and I cut away. I paid no attention to the pattern laying plan – I had already sewn two versions of Ella, so I felt confident that I knew how to lay out the pattern pieces. Weeeelllll…. When I got to the last pattern piece, the back part of the skirt, it turned out that I was short of 10 cm of fabric. Because I had not followed the pattern laying plan. I went on to play fabric tetris – but had to give up after about an hour. I just couldn’t squeeze out enough fabric for the back of the skirt. You can image the level of my frustration… Once I had got over that a little bit, I moved on to plan B: Find another black jersey and cut the back skirt out of that. I went to all fabric stores in Munich and also ordered some swatches online. Turns out there are about 1 million different shades of black – and none matched my original fabric. In the meantime my frustration had reached the “stuff the UFO into the back of the closet”-level, and that is exactly what I did. This Ella was not meant to be, and I moved on to another sewing project.
Until one fine day a couple of weeks ago: I was browsing the beautiful Stoff&Co fabric store in Munich, when my solution jumped out at me! There, laying on the cutting table, was a black jersey with light pink and grey triangle and even glitter! The fabric pattern of “Wishful Ease” is busy enough that you don’t realize the non-matching shade of black – and in my opinion, you can never go wrong with pink! I ditched the colour-blocking plan and decided to make up the entire skirt and the neck band in the new fabric, with a black bodice. An hour later, my new Ella was finished.
I am so happy with the result! I still want to do the colour-blocking combination, but I really like my “emergency” version. It even travelled to Scotland with me, as evening attire. We shot the picture at Loch Lomond, and in true Scottish style it started to end during the end of the “shoot”. Anyway, here’s the Flying Needle summary:
Pattern: Ella from Pattydoo (available in English)
Changes made: none
Difficulty Rating: a very easy and quick sew, also suitable for beginners
Summary: I really like Ella, and I like all the options that Pattydoo offers for the dress (long, short, medium sleeves; cowl neck, American neckline, round neck etc.). I’m not crazy about the fact that you have to buy a new pattern for each version – but as Pattydoo’s patterns are quite cheap, you don’t spend more on the pattern versions that you would if you buy from another Indie designer.
Have you experienced similar “fabric shortages”? If so, I’d love to hear about them – leave a comment below!