I made my first Made For Mermaids pattern! I have been a fan of the patterns for a while but never actually purchased any. They have a great following over on Facebook and I often find myself scrolling through other sewists makes on the group page, this can be inspiring and overwhelming all at once.
They recently launched the Sommer tunic, dress and maxi pattern and I saw a few of the tester versions and fell in love. It was the straps that sealed the deal for me. I was after a jersey maxi dress pattern for the summer, but it needed to have a low neckline as I will hopefully be nursing during the summer months.
As with the majority of Made For Mermaids patterns, there are many options. The dress can be made top, knee or maxi dress length. The bodice has cut lines for either an empire line or natural waist and there are 3 straps versions.
I chose the empire line, firstly as I would be wearing when pregnant and secondly I don’t have much of a waist. My figure is straight up and down so I look wider when the waist is emphasised. For the straps I went with style A, the double crossover.
For the fabric I rummaged through my stash and picked out this geometric print from Girl Charlee Fabrics UK. I purchased it from their stand at one of the sewing shows (I think it was the Knitting & Stitching show at Olympia). The fabric is called Modern Collection Quilted Diamonds, from the BOLT by Girl Charlee range. The fabric is super soft, with a good amount of stretch. Content is 95% combed cotton and 5% spandex. Its one of the pricier fabric on their website, but I fell in love with the print and had to have it.
Important note * the washing instructions on the website say machine wash cold and I highly recommend you do so! I didn’t prewash this fabric. It is preshrunk according to the website and you can expect less than 5% shrinkage so I didn’t bother. I haven’t actually washed this dress yet, but I made my daughter some leggings out of the remnant and I washed those. All my clothes get thrown into the one hour cycle on 40 degrees. Once out the fabric seems to have gone fuzzy. They are currently drying on the washing line, so I’ll see what they are like once dry and ironed, but I was disappointed when I took them out of the machine. I usually buy the European organic knits for my children’s clothes and they wash really well on my standard settings. There isn’t too much difference in price so I think I will stick to those brands in the future. A cold wash is not really an option with stained kids clothing.
Anyway, back to the dress. Construction was relatively straight forward. The instructions and pictures were detailed. It was a little confusing trying to follow the instructions for the style of strap I had chosen. I think the steps relevant to your chosen style could be better laid out.
For the straps I had in my stash a really good quality organic cream ribbing that I purchased from Mauds Fabric Finds. I can’t seem to find the colour I used on the website at the moment but there is a good selection of ribbing in stock here.
The dress is really comfortable and I’m pleased with the finished result. I think it would look great in a rayon jersey for good drape, so I will try that next time.
I’ve purchased another couple of Made For Mermaids patterns I’m excited to try.