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Orsola dress & skirt sewalong coming soon!

Our latest pattern, the Orsola dress & skirt, is finally out in the wild! We've been smitten with this one from Day 1, and we hope you fall just as hard.

Named after and expertly modelled by Elisalex's wondermum, and cofounder of Fashion Revolution - Orsola de Castro

To help you get the most out of the pattern, we'll be hosting a sewalong, packed with the usual in depth step by step instructions, tips and tricks, alteration tutorials, hack inspiration and more. If you consider yourself a confident beginner who just needs a little hand holding along the way, or you like to take things slow and pick up some fresh inspiration along the way, then this sewalong is right up your street! Who's in??

I’m in! Tell me more…

The first post will be going up on Wednesday 5th July 2017, so if you haven’t already, you still have time to get your pattern and supplies. We’ll be publishing two-three posts per week, aiming to have our Orsolas finished in time for the summer holidays. As well as going over some customisation inspiration and potential pattern hacks, as usual we'll be delving deep into the world of pattern adjustments and alterations, covering everything from full busts to full butts, sway backs and pot bellies, giving you the tools to create a made to measure garment that fits and flatters.

How do I get involved?

Really all you need to do to get involved is just sew-along with us! Obviously, we love nothing more than seeing your By Hand London creations out in the wild, so if you’d like to share your progress with us and the rest of the world – sharing is caring after all – please feel free to post on your blogs, show some love on our Facebook pagetweet us or Instagram @byhandlondon using the hashtags #byhandlondon and #OrsolaDressAndSkirt.

How will the posts be broken down?

  • #1 – Choosing the right fabrics and notions for your Orsola, inspiration and pattern hack ideas
  • #2 – Finding your size; making a toile
  • #3 – Pattern alteration week! We'll be covering FBA's & SBA's (Full & Small Bust Adjustments), FAA's (Full Ass Adjustments), sway backs, gapey necklines, lengthening/shortening the bodice, pot belly alterations, and more!
  • #4 – Cutting, marking and stabilising your fabric; focus on working with drapey fabrics
  • #5 – Assembling the bodice
  • #6 – Assembling the skirt and sewing a faced hem
  • #7 – Joining the skirt to the bodice; finishing touches

I can't wait. What do I need?

  • The Orsola dress & skirt pattern
  • Fabric. Please check the fabric requirements on the back of your pattern folder or on our product page for advice on how much fabric to buy. We'll be talking about fabric choices at the very start of the sewalong, so if you're unsure or undecided, you may want to hold out until you've read that post before you part with your cash. Drapey woven fabrics will bring out the best in Orsola. Opt for woven viscoses, tencel/cupro or linen for a grown up sundress that is as at home at work as it is at a garden party, or go all out with opulent silks such as sandwashed, crepe or velvet for the cocktail dress to end them all. Please make sure you pre-wash your fabric before cutting! Nothing worse than spending all that time making something beautiful only for it to shrink in the wash… Been there, folks. Never again. 
  • A couple of spools of matching thread – it’s always a good idea to get this when you get your fabric (or bring a swatch of your fabric with you) to get a good colour match. 
  • 1/4" - 1/2" wide twill tape or clear swimsuit elastic to stabilise the back neckline (optional)
  • A couple of little snaps / poppers (optional)
  • Various dressmaking supplies: a sewing machine, fabric scissors/rotary cutter, paper scissors, pens & pencils, pattern paper, pins, a hand sewing needle, a tape measure, tailor’s chalk, an iron.

That's it from us for now, we can't wait to see you back here next week and get this sewalong started!

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