I first discovered the Belgian sewing magazine La Maison Victor three years ago, on the shelf of a French supermarket. I was drawn to both the styling and the wide variety of patterns that was included. The arrival this summer of an English edition was a source of joy and I hope that more will follow. For now I’m thinking of doing a magazine exchange with a friend so that I can work from the new edition in Dutch.
I made the Lulu pants for my daughters during the summer, which they both love and wear regularly. Next, I planned to make the Solange dress.
It’s a fairly straightforward shift dress in knit fabric, with an exposed zip and bias bound neckline. I chose a fabric very similar to the original, a loop back poly cotton stripe (French terry) from Discovery Knitting. It’s lovely to work as it girls very little, it isn’t bulky but is soft and warm to wear.
I made size EUR 38, which is perfect on my shoulders and gives room for movement elsewhere. My only grumble is the bizarre conversion between metric and imperial measurements, which results in inches with decimals rather than fractions! Thankfully I’m used to working with both systems but it could be very confusing.
Making up the dress was pleasingly quick, although I had to unpick one side seam to correct some missed stripe matching (which was my fault for hurrying). When cutting out, I’d matched the stripes on the side seams from below the busy darts, and somehow they more or less match the whole way.
For the neckline, I changed the method slightly and used home made bias binding in a single layer rather than doubled, then used another matching scrap to form the zip shield instead of ribbon, as I didn’t have any of the required width. My zip was also shorter than the pattern asked for so I adjusted for this.
I lengthened the sleeves to fall just below the elbow for extra warmth.
The dress is comfortable, practical and warm. It goes well with my – largely blue! – handmade wardrobe and I might well make another for the autumn and winter seasons.