Pattern Testing: The Soho Maxi

Next up in my testing marathon is the amazing Soho Maxi from Striped Swallow Designs. Was so happy that Mandalynn let me test this dress for her, I fell in love with it as soon as she posted the testing call! It is also being featured today in the Pattern Revolution aspiring designer series. The pattern includes sizes 2T right up to a 14, I can see this being a one a year dress! As well as the maxi length, a knee length option is also included. I made the size 4T for Evie based on her measurements, the only modification i made was the lengthen the skirt length by an inch as she was above the recommended height for her size, its a little long, but I am hoping it will still fit her for spring/summer next year.

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First up is the maxi length, I used a lightweight cotton with Russian Dolls as the main, from Oh Sew Crafty! they’re based pretty local to me, however I couldn’t visit in time so ordered online and was very impressed with the despatch and delivery time. And solid quilting cottons for the bodice, front panels and straps. This is the first time Evie’s worn a maxi, and as soon as it was on she demanded I put on the Frozen soundtrack so she could prance around the living room in it! She’s definitely a maxi fan. I’m in the middle of knitting her a grey jumper to layer over and I think they’ll look great together.

I think the most exciting part of this pattern is….

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That back!! Its absolutely gorgeous! Across the top of the back piece is encased elastic, and the back of the waist is shirred. Now I must admit, I’ve had elastic to try out shirring for ages, I’m not sure if I was putting off doing it, or never found the right pattern to try it out, but it just never happened until now! I was a bit nervous, but Mandalynn’s instructions are great, and as if by magic it worked. First time. Love how it looks and it makes the bodice lovely and fitted, while allowing room to grow.

As soon as I finished the knee length version I immediately decided that it was the favourite thing I have ever sewn. I think it was partly due to the surprise as i was unsure if the fabric I used would work, but it did, I adore it!

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The chevron is a cotton Ann Kelle remix that I’ve had stashed away for a while. Mandalynn suggests to use lace for the bodice detail, so I used a piece from a really old dress of mine layered over a light peach solid, and I think it’s my favourite part of this finished dress. Now this is not a pattern to throw together a last minute dress, but it is one that takes a few hours but when completed it is so worth it, the construction is great with a lovely neat finish. I know I mentioned it before but the instructions are really good, it is an intermediate sewing level pattern, but I think it would be great for an adventurous beginner to tackle and learn a few new techniques in the process. It really is the perfect party dress, her birthday is new years eve so I am not sure if the fresh spring colours are really suited for a miserable winters day party, but I’m so tempted to dress her in it regardless!

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Now, go check out all the other amazing tester photos in is tester round up post, then go buy from the Striped Swallows Designs Shop using coupon code SOHOMAXI to get $2 off until 16th November, or through Craftsy where the discount is already applied. Massive thanks to Mandalynn for letting me be a tester, I love love love this pattern!

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