New dress: The Seamwork Devon for November

The Seamwork Devon is one of the November patterns for Seamwork and boy, are they both corkers this month! I would normally have sewn up both of them, had I not just finished making a bunch of jackets and coats, but I can tell you I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone does with the Baz. Maybe I’ll come back to it early next year.

Note: I’m a member of the Seamwork ambassador team, which gives me a chance to have some input into the behind-the-scenes workings over at Seamwork HQ, giving feedback on patterns, magazine articles, etc. In return I am subscribed to the service for free for a year. Nevertheless, I’m not under any obligation to write subjective reviews of Seamwork patterns and all opinions remain my own.

I’m a fan of the sweater/knit dress for autumn/winter. Over the last few winters, I’ve made the Seamwork Tacara, the Athina Kakou Sheona and the Named Tuuli dress and they all get a LOT of wear. They’re just so easy to throw on and so cuddly. I always feel put-together too in a sort of slightly mature, 50s-movie-mum way.

This month Seamwork introduced some straddle sizing over the 12-16 part of the range and I found it very interesting how different designers really take a different approach with their curvy sizing ranges. I’m usually a “straddle size”, so can pick to use the misses or curvy range from most designers. I decided to try the Curvy 16 this month, even though the misses usually fits me pretty well, to see if I should switch over going forward.

To be honest, it’s hard to tell with this pattern as it’s designed with a TON of ease through it. The curvy range has a bit less ease, which is the main reason I went for it, but the shoulder and sleeve ended up being way too long even so (the armscye was really far down my side), so I had to shorten it a lot. I reckon this was partly because of the fabric I used, which is a gorgeous rayon/modal/cotton blend from Blackbird Fabrics in the earthy sounding “oxblood”. It’s not really, realllyyy drapey like some rayon blends, but still probably a little stretchy for this project as intended. In fact, I notice today that Seamwork advises against this type of knit in the release, so there you are! Nevertheless, with my adjustments, I really like it, so I’m not complaining.

The general ease is not really an issue here, but the dropped shoulder is, because the armhole is way low for me and not very comfortable to wear
An easy adjustment was just to slice off the side and shoulder and reattach the sleeve

So I really have no idea if the fit is better for me or not, but I will maybe try on a more structured pattern another month. In the end I removed 3 inches from each shoulder, which resulted in about 1.5 inches off each side seam. I also shortened it by 6 inches for a just-below-the-knee finish. It still has a decent amount of ease without the belt and looks rather like the bonus model picture on the Seamwork website. I’m quite sure I’ll end up wearing it like this the most, because it’s so comfy and forgiving, which, after all, is the main thing most of us want in a garment. However, I have to confess that I love it with this mustard belt and shoes, which made me smile when I put it together. I love the colour combo and, needless to say, my husband loves the va-va-voomness of it all.

Another big plus of this pattern is that it’s a typical speedy Seamwork knit. I’ve been making a lot of more complicated patterns recently, so there’s nothing like a seven-seam knit to cleanse your palette. It’s well-described in the instructions and there’s nothing tricky about it at all. The version I have here is the bonus version with the gathered sleeves, which I suppose is slightly more time-consuming, but, really, I sewed it up in no great rush in about an hour or so.

And that’s about it! I know it’s going to seem like I’m sewing non-stop at the moment, because all the stuff I’ve been working on is being released, but these tests were all made over the last two months, so it’s a bit deceptive. My next post is on the one thing I made recently that wasn’t a test and I really enjoyed this fun pattern! I need to get a few photos, but I’m excited to show you! Speak to you soon!

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