Please indulge me – I wanted to share two things with you; my excitement over my first published sewing magazine article and it’s subject matter – my Matilda Shirtdress from Megan Nielsen! I popped along to the newsagents the other day and picked up the January edition of Sewing World magazine because… look! Inside there’s me! Appearing rather more put together than the version of me who stood outside the newsagents clutching said magazine in her be-gloved hands, wrapped up from head to toe and stamping her feet to avoid frostbite, it has to be said!
I received the email* asking if I would like to contribute an article way back in the summer of last year whilst I was in the States. (I remember running into the room where my husband was napping to tell him the news before turning on my heel and legging it back to the kitchen to pour myself about a pint-sized glass of wine to celebrate!)
I couldn’t start on the project until we’d returned to the UK and I ended up sewing it in a bit of a mad rush so I could wear it to the Great British Sewing Bee Live show in September. I think I submitted the article somewhere around the same time. And then had to do what I don’t do very well…keep schtum!
As for the magazine itself, I think Sewing World has had something of a rebrand lately; the styling and content is refreshing and looks clean and polished; much more likely to appeal to contemporary sewists, I feel. It’s got your usual mix of crafty makes thrown in too but even they look like projects suited to the modern sewer as well as your granny! Overall, I felt really honoured to have my own contribution within its pages. I’m contemplating a subscription.
But on to the actual dress! For the full detailed review I’ll have to direct you to the mag article. However, I will say this – the Matilda had been on my radar ever since her release at the back-end of our #sewtogetherforsummer Shirtdress Challenge last year. I’d had a bit of a time of it fitting the iconic McCalls 6696 for the Challenge (but, boy, did I learn a lot!) and was really curious to see how the princesses seams of the Matilda could be reshaped to accommodate my chest rather than having to go down the FBA route. I was delighted to discover that princess seams offer great scope for altering to fit!
I also love all the possibilities Matilda offers to personalise the design – I merely opted to use contrast fabric peeking out from the inner collar stand and the underside of the breast pocket flap. Also, the instructions are fantastic; the Matilda is my first pattern from the Megan Nielsen collection and this is one reason it won’t be my last – I used the burrito method for the first time ever when sewing up the yoke following Megan’s instructions which made it an absolute doddle. Not forgetting there’s a full online sew-a-long for this dress too. It’s not a quick sew, by virtue of all the pieces, but it’s an immensely gratifying one. And of course it offers the option for lots and lots of lovely topstitching to emphasise the design lines of the pattern…I lurve me some topstititching!
If you’re interested in the supplies I used:
- the main body of the dress was sewn up in this wine coloured ‘linen look’ cotton (for the price, this is a really great dressmaking fabric and it comes in 20 colours!)
- for the contrasting fabric peeking out from the inner collar and under the pocket flap, I used this wine coloured floral lawn
- keeping the utilitarian feel of the dress in mind, I opted to use these military crest domed bronze buttons
- for the interfacing I used this traditional/natural coloured iron on woven interfacing as it seemed to blend better with the main fabric.
I do love the dress and I highly recommend the pattern! Again, I feel I learned a lot making this dress but by no means do I think I perfected it but it’s not just for that reason I want to make it again!
Until next time, happpy stitching!
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*I was sent all the supplies from Minerva Crafts to make the dress for the Sewing World magazine article. By no means has this influenced my judgement; any opinions I express are always 100% genuine. Scouts honour 😉
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