megan nielsen design diary http://blog.megannielsen.com handmade style by a designer Sun, 20 Aug 2017 07:45:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 89930924 How to sew the waistband and placket // A Matilda dress tutorial http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/sew-waistband-placket-matilda-dress-tutorial/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/sew-waistband-placket-matilda-dress-tutorial/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 07:45:18 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25366

Today i’m going to show you how to sew the waistband and placket of the Matilda dress! I find this part of the dress construction to be the most exciting – it’s when we join the bodice and skirt together and it finally starts to look like a dress! Ready to sew? Lets do it! […]

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How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Today i’m going to show you how to sew the waistband and placket of the Matilda dress! I find this part of the dress construction to be the most exciting – it’s when we join the bodice and skirt together and it finally starts to look like a dress!

Ready to sew? Lets do it!

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

If you haven’t done so already, sew the side seams of the bodice, finish the raw edges and press the seams either open or to the back of the garment.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Don’t forget you should have two interfaced and two un-interfaced Front Waistband [16] pieces, as well as one interfaced and one un-interfaced Back Waistband [17] pieces. I forgot and only realised once everything was completely sewn together, so my waistband pieces are uninterfaced – giant whoops.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryHow to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the two interfaced Front Waistband [16] pieces right sides together with the interfaced Back Waistband [17] and so that the side seams are aligned. Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge along the side seams. Press the seams open.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Repeat for the un-interfaced front and back waistband pieces. You will now have one fully interfaced waistband and one un-interfaced waistband. The interfaced waistband will form the outer waistband and the un-interfaced waistband will form the inner waistband.

I used a contrast fabric for my inner waistband pieces so they should be easy to identify.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the outer interfaced waistband on the bodice with right sides together and so that the notches on the waistband line up with the seams on the bodice. Place the inner waistband on the inside of the bodice with the right side of the inner waistband facing the wrong side of the bodice. Again line up the notches on the inner waistband with the seams on the bodice. The bodice will now be sandwiched between the outer and inner waistband. Pin and place and sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge through all three layers of fabric to attach the waistband to the bodice.

Be very careful that you don’t attach the waistband upside down. Remember that this waistband curves downwards.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryHow to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the outer and inner waistbands down and away from the bodice enclosing the raw edges. Press the waist seam well.

As you can see i folded in the bottom edge of the inner waist by 5/8″ (1.5cm) and pressed. This will make it easier to enclose all the raw edges later.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the bodice over the skirt with right sides together. Line up notches and seams on the skirt with the notches and seams on the bottom edge of the outer waistband. Sew the skirt to the outer waistband only, 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryDon’t forget that you should not be sewing the inner waistband to the skirt at this stage.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Press the seams towards the waistband and away from the skirt.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryHow to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary Fold the inner waistband down, to enclose all the waistband seams and topstitch or hand sew to close. I like to topstitch both the top and bottom edge of the waistband at this stage to be more efficient.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Now we are on to the placket! Before you begin sewing mark the future button and buttonhole place placement with a tailors tack, chalk or fabric pen. Also don’t forget that both placket pieces should be interfaced before sewing.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the placket in half with wrong sides together and press.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Open the placket and fold one raw edge in by 5/8” (1.5cm) and press. This will be the raw edge opposite to the side with the button markings. Repeat for the second placket, ensuring that you fold in the opposite raw edge so that the plackets are mirror images.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the placket pieces on the dress with right sides together and so that the notches on the placket line up with the waistband seams on the dress.

Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge to attach the placket to the dress.

How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Press the placket away from the dress.
How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryHow to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the waistband and placket // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold over the placket to enclose the raw edges, and topstitch or hand sew to close.

Repeat for both plackets.

Now your plackets are done and ready for buttons and button holes!

// LOOKING FOR MORE MATILDA POSTS? //

Here’s the full list of Matilda posts and tutorials:

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Don’t have the Matilda sewing pattern yet?! Order Matilda today! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNmatilda and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Order Matilda!

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How to sew yokes with fully enclosed seams // A Matilda dress tutorial http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/sew-yokes/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/sew-yokes/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:45:44 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25336

Hi everyone! SO first things first – big massive apology for how late this tutorial is. I had a minor drama working on the Matilda posts, namely that my machine timing was off and causing massive issues for me. I tried to push on through as i wanted to do the tutorials on time as […]

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How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Hi everyone! SO first things first – big massive apology for how late this tutorial is. I had a minor drama working on the Matilda posts, namely that my machine timing was off and causing massive issues for me. I tried to push on through as i wanted to do the tutorials on time as promised, and did the first few posts, but then came to the realisation that my seams were not going to be strong and long lasting if I kept trying to sew with a timing issue, and at the end of the day, i really really want to wear this dress and not have it fall apart hehe.

So long story short – my darling Bernina is back from the repair shop and all fixed and at her best again! Hurray!

So lets get to it! Today i’m going to show you how to attach the shoulder yokes to the Matilda dress. This method results in fully enclosed neat yoke seams, and I honestly wouldn’t bother sewing a yoke any other way unless i had to :)

It’s really simple and i know you’re going to love it!

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the Front Yoke [3] and Back Yoke [6] right sides together and so that the shoulders line up.

Sew the shoulder seams 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge. Press the seams open.

Repeat for both sets of yoke pieces, to end up with two sets of yokes, an inner set and outer set. I ran out of the lovely rust fabric when sewing this dress, so I have cut all my facings from contrast fabric – which makes it really easy for you to see which is the inner yoke and which is the outer!

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the back bodice between the two yokes. The yokes should be right sides together, so that the right side of one yoke is facing the wrong side of the back bodice, an the right side of the other yoke is facing the right side of the back bodice.

Remember that if you are using a different fabric for your inner facings and inner yokes etc, then your outer yoke will be right sides together with the bodice, and the inner yoke will be right sides of yoke facing wrong side of bodice.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary Sew the back seam 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the yokes upwards away from the back bodice, and press well.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

If you’re like me and you are topstitching allll the damn seams, then now is a good time to topstitch the back yoke seam.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the front bodice pieces on top of the front yokes with right sides together so that the notches line up. Ensure that the front bodice is also right sides together with the back bodice.

Remember that we are not pinning anything to the inner yoke at this point, only the outer yoke.

Stay stitch the front bodice to the outer yoke only, ½” (1.3cm) from the raw edge.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Roll up the front bodice panels and pin them to keep them out of the way.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Roll up the back bodice panel and pin it to keep it out of the way.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the inner yoke over the rolled up panels so that the front yoke seams line up and the rolled up front and back panels are sandwiched between. The inner and outer yoke panels should be right sides together at this stage. Ensure that your notches are matched up.
How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Sew the front yoke seam 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Turn the yokes right side facing outwards and unpin the rolled up panels. You can literally pull the rolled up panels through either the neckline or the armhole side. Press well.

How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew yokes with completely enclosed seams // Matilda dress tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

And don’t forget my fellow topstitching freaks, now is a great time to topstitch the front yoke seams!

Now you can sit back and admire your ridiculously neat and pretty yokes, and feel rather smug about how easy it was to do.

// LOOKING FOR MORE MATILDA POSTS? //

Here’s the full list of Matilda posts and tutorials:

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Don’t have the Matilda sewing pattern yet?! Order Matilda today! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNmatilda and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Order Matilda!

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How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/add-side-ties-mini-briar-tee/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/add-side-ties-mini-briar-tee/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 06:40:18 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=24954

Lately I’ve been really inspired by the trend of tees with interesting details. There are ruffles, ties, bows, crossed straps, keyholes, etc. It takes your comfortable and easy-to-wear tees up a notch. You look pulled together without trying to hard or wearing something uncomfortable. I used the Mini Briar Tee pattern for this tutorial, but […]

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TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee

Lately I’ve been really inspired by the trend of tees with interesting details. There are ruffles, ties, bows, crossed straps, keyholes, etc. It takes your comfortable and easy-to-wear tees up a notch. You look pulled together without trying to hard or wearing something uncomfortable. I used the Mini Briar Tee pattern for this tutorial, but it can also work for the Briar Tee pattern or any other knit tee pattern. TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee

SUPPLIES

DIRECTIONSTUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee

  1. Prepare the size you will be working with. I made the 2/3 size of the Mini Briar. You will be using the sleeves, neckband or neckbinding, and the front and back of the version you want. The length of your tee with be about the length of the side so choose which version you want depending on the side length. First, straighten the hem. I just drew a line from the bottom of the side seam and perpendicular to the center fold. (You can also use this tutorial for straightening the hem of the Briar.)
  2. Draw ties along the hem close to the side seam. Remember to not draw the ties in the side seams of the tee and add hem allowance to the ties. My ties were 5.5″ (14 cm) long. Then I added 1/2″ (4 cm) of hem allowance bringing my total length to 6″ (14.25 cm).TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee
  3. Cut out the fabric, and follow the pattern directions for construction until it’s time to hem. Here are some tips for working with knit fabrics.TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee
  4. Hem the bottom and ties. Some people like to use fusible hem tape to hem knits which work but would be a little tedious with all the curves. I cut multiple 1/2″ (4 cm) tall strips, with the width going with the stretch, to use inside my hem. It gave my hems a little bit of stability around all the curves and made it easier to hem with a twin needle. Alternatively, you can sew in a facing to finish the bottom of the tee if you know how to create a facing.TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee
  5. Tie the ties. I found it best to fold the ties in half with right sides out, and then tie it. This keeps the inside from showing once tied. I tied mine in a square knot so that they wouldn’t come undone. TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee

I love the simple process of these side ties, but it looks so good. It’s really on trend right now, but it’s not hard to create it yourself. The hemming is a little trickier than the original Briar hem, but it’s not too difficult.TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee

It’s great for active girls or busy moms. It would look equally good on a cropped tee and a tunic length. My daughters is perfect for leggings or skirts. The ties make the hem sit right at her waist so it can be paired with anything. It’s not too long for a skirt but it’s not too short for leggings. My daughter loves the “bows” on the side.

TUTORIAL // How to Add Side Ties to the Mini Briar Tee

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Bodice + Breast pockets // A Matilda dress tutorial http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/bodice-breast-pockets-matilda-dress-tutorial/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/08/bodice-breast-pockets-matilda-dress-tutorial/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:56:25 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25279

As you know by now, I love pockets – so of course i’m extra excited about the fact that Matilda includes two kinds of pockets! I love the utilitarian edge that these pleated breast pockets add to the Matilda dress. One of the things that makes them really special is the box pleat in the […]

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How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

As you know by now, I love pockets – so of course i’m extra excited about the fact that Matilda includes two kinds of pockets! I love the utilitarian edge that these pleated breast pockets add to the Matilda dress.

One of the things that makes them really special is the box pleat in the front. This works really well given that we are placing the pockets over the curved princess bust seam, which means that the pocket is able to mould over the bust, rather than have to sit awkwardly above it to avoid messing with the bust shaping. I love features that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are also smart.

They’re also much easier to accomplish than you’d imagine! I’m going to walk you through how to sew them neatly and line them up perfectly, and you’ll be all ready and set to sew your own!

If however you are opting to leave off the pleated breast pockets, you can simply follow the instructions for how to sew the bodice seams. Easy peasy!

Ok lets get sewing!

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Before you begin sewing mark the pocket alignment markings on the fabric with tailors tacks, chalk or washable fabric pen. This will help later when lining up the pockets.

Staystitch just under 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge along the notched seam lines of the Front [1].

Clip along seam allowance at regular intervals from the top to the notch.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the Front [1] on the Side Front [2] with the right sides together. Ease the seam of the Front [1] into the curved seam of the Side Front [2]. Ensure that the notches line up.

Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Finish the raw edges by your preferred method. Press the seams open or towards the centre front.

Repeat on other side.

If you are choosing to topstitch all the seams (you don’t have to, but i am), then topstitch along the princess seams of the front bodice panels.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

 

Repeat the same steps to put together the back bodice. And again, if you are topstitching all the seams don’t forget to topstitch along the princess seams of the back bodice panels.

 

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Before you begin sewing mark the future button and button hole placement on the Pocket [7] and Pocket Flap [8] with a tailors tack, chalk or fabric pen, and do not forget to mark all your notches, you will need them!

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

To make the box pleats, fold outer notches on the top and bottom of the Pocket [7] towards the wrong side of the fabric so that they butt up against the centre notches.

Don’t forget, we are creating a box pleated not an inverted box pleat. As such the pleat should sit on the right side of the fabric.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Baste the pleat along the top and bottom edge to keep in shape, and I also used this opportunity to sew 5/8” (1.5cm) around the raw edges of the pocket. Press well.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold ¼” (0.6cm) along the top edge of the pocket towards the wrong side and press. Fold ¼” (0.6cm) towards the back again to enclose the raw seams and topstitch. Press.

I added an extra step here which is sewing on the buttons. The reason i did this is because i like to sew all my buttons by machine and realised it would be easier to do so right now, before the pocket is attached to the bodice. you don’t need to attach the button now, but if you are like me and using a machine to attach your buttons, it’s a good time to do it!

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the raw edges in along the line of basting stitches and press. I really recommend you spend some time carefully pressing and turning in your corners here to ensure that your curves are even and neat before attaching to the garment.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryPin the pocket to the bodice front using the markings on the pattern as a guide. The top edge of the pocket will line up with the pattern markings, and the bottom edge should be centred over the bust seam.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Even though you have the pattern markings to help, i highly recommend you get a ruler out and maker sure that your pockets are even before you sew them to the bodice. It’s really easy to make the two sides very slightly different, and its much better to catch any issues before sewing.

I like to measure from every corner to the side seam, centre front, and down the princess seams. If the pockets are not quite even, maker your adustments.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Carefully topstitch around the edges of the pocket to attach to the bodice.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

 

Don’t forget that fusible interfacing should be attached to the back of two Pocket Flap [8] pieces.

Place two Pocket Flap [8] pieces (one interfacing, and one not) right sides together. Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge around the sides and bottom edges.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Trim back the seam allowance, or notch carefully. I’m going to add in one of my favourite tips, which is using pinking shears to trim back the seam allowance. This will result in a nice even curve, and it’s fast!

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryHow to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Turn the Flap the right way round, reshape the curved sections and press well. If you are topstitching all the things, don’t forget to topstitch around the outer edge of the flap.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Sew a button hole on the flap in the indicated position on the pattern piece. As with the buttons, you don’t have to do it now, you could do it at the end with the placket closures, but i just find it’s so much easier to do it at this point when they are small easy to manoeuvre pieces.

Don’t forget that the interfaced panel of the flap will be facing outwards once the garment is completed, so it should be on the top when sewing your button holes.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the flap on the bodice with the interfacing side facing the right side of the bodice and so that the flap is pointing away from the pocket opening. Line up the raw edges of the flap with the top edge of the pocket.

Attach the flap to the bodice by sewing 1/2” (1.3cm) from the raw edge of the flap and the top of the pocket.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Trim back the flap seam allowance to roughly 1/8” (3mm).

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the flap down to enclose the seam allowances and topstitch ¼” (0.6cm) from the top folded edge of the flap. There should be enough room that this isn’t an issue, but be careful that you are not sewing the pocket itself, you are only enclosing the raw edges of the flap.

How to sew the bodice and pleated breast pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Press well. Repeat for both pockets and flaps.

// LOOKING FOR MORE MATILDA POSTS? //

Here’s the full list of Matilda posts and tutorials:

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Don’t have the Matilda sewing pattern yet?! Order Matilda today! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNmatilda and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Order Matilda!

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Skirt + Skirt pockets // A Matilda dress tutorial http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/skirt-skirt-pockets-matilda-dress-tutorial/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/skirt-skirt-pockets-matilda-dress-tutorial/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:00:53 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25258

As you probably know by now if you’ve been following me for a while, I really love statement pockets! The skirt pockets on the Matilda dress have to be some of my favourites. Not only are they roomy and super practical, but i love the architectural nature of them. Instead of the pocket opening simply folding […]

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How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

As you probably know by now if you’ve been following me for a while, I really love statement pockets! The skirt pockets on the Matilda dress have to be some of my favourites. Not only are they roomy and super practical, but i love the architectural nature of them.

Instead of the pocket opening simply folding over, we have included a separate pocket tab piece. I love this feature because it leaves you open to making the tab out of a contrast fabric, playing with direction print placement and also provides stability to the pocket opening and prevents them stretching out.

Today i’m going to show you how to  sew the pockets, add them to the skirt and sew all the skirt panels together. If you decide not to add pockets to your skirt, you can simply skip those parts, and put the skirt panels together as shown.

Ok lets get sewing!

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the Pocket Tab [14] in half with wrong sides together and press. The reason we do this is that it makes it much easier to correctly fold over and topstitch the tab later on.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Open the Tab and fold in one raw edge by 5/8” (1.5cm) and press. Repeat for the second pocket tab, ensuring that you turn in the opposite raw edge so that the pocket tabs are mirror images.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the Pocket Tab [14] on the Skirt Pocket [15] with right sides together ensuring that the notches are aligned. Sew pocket tab to pocket opening 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.

I like to sew exactly like this, with the tabs on top. Since the pocket opening is cut on the bias, putting it underneath will help the feeddogs ease it in and prevent stretching.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary Press the tab and seam allowance up away from the pocket, but try and avoid pressing out the centre crease as you’ll want that in the next step.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold the tab over to enclose the seam and topstitch closed just under 1/8” (0.2cm) from the edge. Make sure you are topstitching on the right side of the fabric.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Fold pocket side and bottom edges in by 5/8” (1.5cm) and press.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the skirt pockets on top of the Skirt Front [12] with right sides of both facing outwards and pin in place. Ensure that the pocket lines up with the notch on the waistline of Skirt Front.

You’ll notice that the skirt side seam notch is not used for lining up the pocket. That’s because it is used for matching up the back and front skirt pieces.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Topstitch around the folded edges of the pockets to attach the pockets to the skirt. Baste the pockets to the skirt at the waistline and side seams.

I like to topstitch around 2mm from folded edge, and when i baste along the side seams i like to do it 1/2″ (1.2cm) from the edge. That way i keep everything in place but my basting doesn’t risk showing when i sew my side seams.

Repeat for both pockets and both sides of the skirt.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary Place the two Skirt Back [13] pieces right sides together and so that the centre back notches line up. Sew 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge.
How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryFinish the raw edges by your preferred method. This may be overlocking/serging or zig zag stitch on a regular machine, binding etc.

Press the seams open or to the side.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryYou can also topstitch along the back seam like I did above. Since i finished my raw edges together and press them to the side, i just topstitched along one side of the seam.

However on our lookbook sample, we finished the raw edges of the centre back separately, pressed them open, and topstitched on either side of the centre back seam. It’s up to you!

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Place the skirt front pieces and skirt back right sides together and so that the side seam notches line up.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Sew along the side seams 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge. Finish the raw edges by your preferred method. Press the seams open or towards the back of the garment.

As you can see i pressed towards the back of the garment. I personally prefer this as it’s hard to press the seams open neatly with the pocket bulk, pressing towards the back feels more natural and less bulky.

How to sew the skirt and skirt pockets on the Matilda dress pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

If you’ve decided to topstitch everything like me (you honestly don’t have to topstitch extra things like seams, i just like it!) then now is a good time to topstitch the side seam as i did above.

The last thing to do is staystitch along the waistline just under 5/8” (1.5cm) from the raw edge. Clip the seam allowance in regular intervals being careful not to cut through the stitches.

// LOOKING FOR MORE MATILDA POSTS? //

Here’s the full list of Matilda posts and tutorials:

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Don’t have the Matilda sewing pattern yet?! Order Matilda today! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNmatilda and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Order Matilda!

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Vintage Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten sweatshirt for Buddy http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/simplicity-5591-sweatshirt/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/simplicity-5591-sweatshirt/#comments Sun, 23 Jul 2017 10:47:01 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25245

I have been on the hunt for the perfect sweatshirt pattern for Buddy for quite some time. But i kept stalling, never quite finding exactly what i wanted, and doing that classic sewer thing, where i convince myself i shouldn’t buy a pattern because I could draft it myself. Umm no. Don’t tell yourself that. […]

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Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie I have been on the hunt for the perfect sweatshirt pattern for Buddy for quite some time. But i kept stalling, never quite finding exactly what i wanted, and doing that classic sewer thing, where i convince myself i shouldn’t buy a pattern because I could draft it myself. Umm no. Don’t tell yourself that. Every time i tell myself that, you know what happens? No sewing. When i’m completely honest with myself i remember that i don’t have time, and it’s better to use someone elses patterns that’s already been tried and tested.

SO on my endless hunt, I forgot something important. Years ago my mom bought a massive stack of vintage patterns at an Op Shop (we call Thrift Stores, Op Shops in Australia) for almost nothing, just because she thought i might like them. My mom is clever. In that stack was this ridiculously adorable, total 80’s childhood throwback, sweat suit pattern. YES.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

There are a lot of things i love about this pattern, starting with the cover art. Can we please talk about why that one child is wearing shorts over track pants? Can we also talk about how short those shorts are on the other kid? Or what about that poor little guy in the background with his hoodie string tied tightly in a bow? The roller skates? Oh yes, 1982. Of course.

And i’m not even talking about the best part! This pattern was a Hang Ten collaboration, so it comes with, drum roll please, Hang Ten heat transfers! I DIE. You are instructed to then hand embroider the inside of the transfer to fill it in. I’m so sorry, but I do not have the patience of a saint, so i skipped that… for now. Chris really really wants me to make Buddy a sweatshirt with the Hang Ten transfers on, because apparently as children of the 80’s it is our duty hehe.

This pattern has a lot of variations and i’d like to try them all. It includes a sweatshirt, a tee, shorts, track pants and a zip up hoodie sweatshirt. It honestly seems like the perfect kids sweatsuit pattern – and i feel like a super duper jerk for saying that, because it’s out of print. I’m sorry, please forgive me.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan NieSimplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan NieThis pattern is a single size pattern, and is apparently for 4-5 year olds. But knowing big 4 patterns often include a lot of ease and Buddy is not a big 7 year old, i checked the body measurements, and they were literally perfectly his measurements, so i knew all would be ok. Don’t you just love it when things work out that way?

The fabric is a grey marl french terry from Potter Textiles in Perth. They’ve now sold out I believe? It’s very soft and incredibly stretchy. I used the wrong side of the fabric for the neck band, sleeve and hem cuffs, and i really love the contrast. Buddy is very sensitive to scratchy things, and he has declared this the comfiest softest jumper ever, so i feel like i’ve won the mum-made-jackpot. He even tried to sleep in it.

I wish i could have shown you how cute it was on Buddy himself, but he wasn’t interested in having his photo taken today, and I try really hard to respect my kids boundaries with things like that.

Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

I’m not sure how everyone else stores their vintage patterns, but i am always terrified of damaging them. So I tend trace out all the pattern pieces (which in this case SUCKED because there were so many and the print lines were kind of faint), and then i store everything in a zip lock back. I hate the fact it’s plastic, but after we had a water leak a few years back that damaged a bunch of patterns i’m not taking any risks.

I can’t wait to use this pattern again, i’m so happy with how it turned out! Simplicity 5591 Hang Ten vintage 1982 childs sweat suit sewing pattern // Megan Nie

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layering reef and rowan // aka salvaging a sewing failure http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/layering-reef-rowan-aka-salvaging-sewing-failure/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/layering-reef-rowan-aka-salvaging-sewing-failure/#comments Wed, 19 Jul 2017 06:02:19 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25232

If you asked me what was one of the silliest trends i wore as a teenager in the height of the 90’s, I would tell you it was camisole tops over t shirts. Paired with cargo shorts, Superstars, a stupid choker necklace with “meg” on it, and a heavy swipe of sparkly blue eyeshadow. Shudder. […]

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Megan Nielsen black Reef camisole layered over a white Rowan teeMegan Nielsen black Reef camisole layered over a white Rowan teeMegan Nielsen black Reef camisole layered over a white Rowan teeIf you asked me what was one of the silliest trends i wore as a teenager in the height of the 90’s, I would tell you it was camisole tops over t shirts. Paired with cargo shorts, Superstars, a stupid choker necklace with “meg” on it, and a heavy swipe of sparkly blue eyeshadow. Shudder. This is how i know everyone who says fashion is cyclical is right – because here I am 32, and wearing a camisole over a t shirt. To add to the hilarity, I actually owned basically these exact same shoes when i was a teen. Full circle.

The interesting thing about seeing the whole camisole/camisole dress over everything trend come back, is the updated approach to it. Something about slightly different cuts and better fabrics, and pairing much loved pieces together. I think layering pieces that are already your style together, makes for a more winning combination. I think the trick to wearing a trend from your past, is to wear it sparingly, so you have a few elements that throw back, but aren’t wearing an entire dress up costume.

The Reef camisole actually started out as a dress variation i tried last year. I absolutely loved it and had every intention of wearing it all summer, but i must not have prewashed my fabric or something (very unlike me) and it shrunk terribly in the wash. It ended up a very awkward tunic length, that I knew wasn’t workable in my wardrobe. It felt like a massive waste of fabric. But after mourning it a bit, i trimmed the hem back to the original Reef camisole length, which has resulted in a rather nice black cami. Now I have a black camisole – which if i’m honest, has turned out to be a much more useful wardrobe piece than a black cami dress would have been. My lifestyle after all is very casual.

Megan Nielsen white Rowan tee

The Rowan tee is also a bit of an accident, though not quite as happy. Actually, i’d almost call it a failure, The fabric is (i thought) a really amazing knit from Potter textiles in Perth – i would describe it as dreamy. It’s so soft that you just want to stroke it over and over. I wanted to make everything out of it! The problem is that it’s shockingly see through. Which is something i didn’t anticipate when i was making this tee, hoping it would be the perfect little white tee i could wear with everything.

It’s so transparent that there isn’t a bra in my possession that can be worn underneath without every detail showing. I really can’t deal with that. So sadly, this really gorgeous perfect little white tee… is actually just a perfect layering tee. It’s job now is just to be worn under things. Which on one hand i do find sad, but on the other hand has helped me to stretch my wardrobe a bit more by wearing pieces like this Reef camisole in different ways.

People often ask me about my sewing failures – and i think these two are pretty good examples of projects that have failed, but that I managed to salvage at the end of the day. And thank goodness for that – because is there anything worse than wasting good fabric? I think not.

Megan Nielsen black Reef camisole layered over a white Rowan tee Megan Nielsen black Reef camisole layered over a white Rowan teeMegan Nielsen black Reef camisole layered over a white Rowan tee

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Matilda dress pattern tester roundup! http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/matilda-tester-roundup/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/matilda-tester-roundup/#comments Thu, 06 Jul 2017 13:55:33 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25161

Are you ready to see some gorgeous Matilda pattern tester creations?! As per usual some of our lovely pattern testers have been kind enough to let us share their test makes! I think my favourite thing about these posts is getting to see how everyone puts their own spin on my patterns. This one is […]

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Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

Are you ready to see some gorgeous Matilda pattern tester creations?! As per usual some of our lovely pattern testers have been kind enough to let us share their test makes!

I think my favourite thing about these posts is getting to see how everyone puts their own spin on my patterns. This one is no different! I really hope you enjoy having a peek at what everyone has made, these are a really talented group of ladies! Make sure you pop on over to their blog/IG etc and say hi.

Ok that’s enough from me, lets look at some pretty Matilda dresses!

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Melissa // Find her on Instagram @sewingforellie

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I loved your included suggestions about what else you could do with the pattern, and the suggestion of block interfacing. I also liked that the pattern tells you when you can add top-stitching, if desired. That was really helpful!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I’d like to add a more fitted skirt to the bodice, and try omitting the collar. Definitely would try a different fabric! (I used a linen/rayon blend).

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Katharina // Find her on her blog Froebelina // You can also read her post about her Matilda pattern testing experience in German or in English

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The possibilities to arrange stripes and the pockets. I also like the collar a lot.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

Not yet. I omitted the bodice pockets, the were just too much for me and I also didn’t use the sleeve bands but finished the sleeves with bias binding. I used a fabric with stripes.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Lorene // Find her on Instagram @lorenekaukl

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

Block fusing instructions are excellent! Illustrations are clear and were very helpful. The burrito method used on the yokes are the best I’ve seen. I LOVED how the collar went together. That’s the easiest time I’ve had putting a collar on. And the pockets were fun to sew and look incredible.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

Since my dress was from two different fabrics, which I loved how it turned out, I would like to make one from one fabric.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Kate // Find her on her business Instagram @maizeandmaple and @winzydesign and personal Instagram @k8cann

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The options for just a collar stand, contrasting fabric on waistband and pocket tab, leaving off the chest pockets and still having beautiful princess seams!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I used a vintage sheet and used a coordinating part of the border fabric on the waistband and pocket flap and it’s a very sweet and simple variation. I would definitely do it again in a chambray

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Whitney // Find her at her blog TomKat Stitchery

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The pockets on the front of the skirt are so great! They have a vintage vibe will still being very modern.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I will definitely be making a maxi version in some drapier fabric.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Angela

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The shaping through the bodice back, the yoke that extends to the front and the armhole finishing.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I may make a shirt by lengthening the bodice pieces.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Victoria // Find her on Instagram @vixtodd

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

My favourite thing was the slash patch pockets, I think they look really unusual.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

None yet – I really fancy making it in denim with some pretty piping details… but I will have to wait until I have time to dedicate to it.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Samantha // You can find her on Instagram @brimblebee 

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I love the skirt on this pattern! In the past, I’ve generally avoided shirtdresses. I don’t find that they are very flattering on me because I’m large-busted and short-waisted; however, this pattern is very feminine and flattering. More importantly, the buttons don’t gape! The fit was almost perfect without any major alterations.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I love the fact that the instructions give ideas for modifying the pattern. I will definitely be making a skirt up soon and maybe a collarless version of the dress. I tried the dress on before I attached the collar and liked it so much that I almost left it off. I also might do a version with in-seam pockets instead of the patch pockets. Darling Ranges was my favourite go-to dress pattern, but I think Matilda might have surpassed it!

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Denise

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The really clear instructions!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I will make another one (slightly looser in a chambray)

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Emily // Find her at her brand new blog Emmy Couture and on Instagram @emmycouture95

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I absolutely love the skirt pockets! They are well thought out and super practical. I found them much easier to sew than normal in-seam pockets, and they add a special touch to the dress that you won’t find on most ready-to-wear clothes. I also think that the collar and collar stand are wonderful. They go together smoothly and look quite professional with all the topstitching.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I want to make another dress pretty much exactly like my test version. It came out so beautifully this time around, I want several more now! I think it would be absolutely lovely as a peplum top, and I want to see what it would look like without the pockets on the bodice.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Magdalena

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

Definitely the pleated breast pockets and drop shoulders.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I would like to sew the dress from more stable and unicolor fabric and I am thinking about half circle skirt.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Erin // Find her online store Brave Fabrics, her blog, facebook and on Instagram

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The awesome big front pockets and the professional finish it has.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I think for this one I am going to take off the shirt pockets (edit:  photo of breast pockets removed is above too!). With my fabric choice I think it gives this dress a little bit too much to look at.

I would love to make a more casual version in a lightweight denim, I think that would be a very versatile dress that I would get a lot of wear out of.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Ylenia // Find her on Instagram @len.blueskystitch

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

Two different types of interesting pockets and the side pockets are really deep which make them super functional. I also really appreciated the opportunity for so much topstitching!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

Yes, I have a duck-egg linen that I would love to make this up in, perhaps with contrasting topstitching.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!WHO

Janet // Find her on Instagram @janbags53

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I really like how the collar looks.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I made my test with very fine light cotton, almost cheesecloth but with a good grain, it will make a great beach cover up. I would like to make one with heavier fabric.

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Julie // Find her on Instagram @julie.too

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

All the shirt codes applied to a dress

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

Maybe a peplum blouse version

Megan Nielsen Matilda dress sewing pattern // pattern tester roundup!

WHO

Ingrid // Find on her blog IsaTesDesigns, Twitter @IsaTesDesigns and Instagram @IsaTesDesigns

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I really liked the way the armbands turned out. It is sleeveless but with the band it provides some camouflage.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I opted to not attach the full collar so it only has a standup collar, which I really like. I also found some snap tape in my studio so I opted to try it instead of buttons. It would be a wonderful solution for anyone who has a problem with gaping/pulling at buttons. I may add some buttons as a design feature on bodice at a later date. Also left off flaps of bodice pockets.

// SHOW US YOUR CREATIONS! //

What about you?! We’d love to see what you’re creating from the new Matilda pattern! Don’t forget to tag your creations #MNmatilda and @megannielsenpatterns to share what you’ve been working on, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the pattern yet? Order Matilda today!

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

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Introducing Matilda: The ultimate shirt dress! http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/introducing-matilda/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/07/introducing-matilda/#comments Sat, 01 Jul 2017 10:34:19 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=25128

I am so thrilled to introduce you to my newest pattern, the Matilda dress! I love this design so much, and I am really excited to show you all the details and the ideas behind it! I’m not exaggerating when i say that all the details in this dress were thoughtfully designed to allow the maximum opportunities […]

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Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryI am so thrilled to introduce you to my newest pattern, the Matilda dress! I love this design so much, and I am really excited to show you all the details and the ideas behind it! I’m not exaggerating when i say that all the details in this dress were thoughtfully designed to allow the maximum opportunities for you to vary the design and add your own touches. There are so many ways that you can alter the look of this dress by leaving off or changing some of the details. Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I just don’t think it’s possible to show all the things we’ve included in this dress on a model shot alone, so I’m going to walk you through all the parts of this dress, and basically give you a little tour of Matilda from the inside and out!

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

As is always the case, this design came about because of a personal wardrobe hole. I was really wanting a different kind of shirt dress, something feminine and stylish but with a distinctly utilitarian and tailored feel. The kind of dress you would throw on when you really don’t what to wear, and feel perfectly put together and stylish immediately. That’s what Matilda has been for me. This dress works pretty effortlessly for any situation depending on fabric choice. I’m not going to lie to you, we made one of the samples out of a vintage sheet and everyone who saw it thought it was so pretty that it must be the final sample. That’s the power of tailoring. Also probably time to admit that the made-from-a-sheet Matilda has made it’s way into my own wardrobe hehe.

This pattern is named after Matilda Bay, which is my favourite stretch of the Swan River in Perth. It’s my favourite place to go for a family picnic and let the kids play at the shoreline. When the weather warms up in Perth (it’s currently winter here) I can’t wait to actually wear a Matilda dress to Matilda Bay hehehe. I am corny, it’s fine.

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryIntroducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Practical details are always incredibly important to me, and I have been dreaming about these pockets for so long! The are deep and roomy and can hold basically anything without it falling out. The edge is finished with a fully enclosing tab, which is a detail i love as it leaves you the option of sewing the tab in a contrasting or complimentary fabric, or even playing with print direction like we did.

It’s important to me that you are able to get as much value from my patterns as possible by changing them up and making them your own, so these pockets are topstitched on top of the skirt, making it easy for you to simply leave them off for a completely different look.

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

The front placket is also sewn as a separate piece, fully enclosing all raw edges, again to allow the opportunity to cut it on the bias and show of interesting prints, or even making it out of a different fabric from the rest of the dress. This is the same with the sleeve bands. Some of our pattern testers sewed these from contrast fabrics, and it looked amazing! It’s also easy to leave off the sleeve bands, and again one of our pattern testers did that, and i’ll show you in a few days when i post our tester roundup.

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryIntroducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

The collar is delicate and features a curved edge, which i feel softens the dress. For our burnt orange sample we sewed the collar and stand from the main fabric, but for our gingham sample with played with using a different fabric for the inner collar stand, and i really really love how that turned out. It offers just a peek when worn open and is a great way to use up small pieces of special fabric that you can’t use in a full project.

The collar and stand aren’t just a decorative feature though! They are perfectly functional and can be buttoned up all the way and worn comfortably if that is your chosen styling.

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

The pleated breast pockets are one of my favourite features and again they offer a chance to play with pattern placement and contrast facings. On our gingham sample we cut these on the bias and I’m beyond thrilled with how they look! As with the skirt pockets, the breast pockets can easily be left off for a completely different look.

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryIntroducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

The shaping in the bodice comes from princess seams, which can been topstitched to highlight them as in our rust orange sample, or left plain as with our gingham sample.

I really love princess seams. I believe they give the most flattering look of any bodice shaping method.

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Another lovely feature on this dress are the front and back yokes. They are fully enclosed on the inside (don’t worry i’ll show you how!) and provide a beautiful structure and visual detail on the shoulders. They also allow another opportunity to use a special fabric on the inside of the dress. Above is the gingham sample inside out, doesn’t it look pretty with those contrast facings?

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

The fit on this dress is intended to be comfortable and not too close. This is a dress that you can eat food in and sit down in, and allows room to breath on hot stuffy days. If you are however wanting it to fit really closely you can achieve this by sizing down.

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design DiaryIntroducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

The waistband is internally faced to not only enclose all those raw edges, but also provide a lot of stability to the dress. For our gingham dress we again used a contrasting fabric for the internal facing and it gives me so much joy to look at the pretty insides of this dress!

Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

And that is my little tour of the Matilda dress! There are a lot of really beautiful classic tailoring details in this dress, and i’ll be posting some tutorials over the course of the next few weeks. I promise you can achieve all of these techniques – they are perfectly within your reach and i will hold your hand the whole way and show you the easiest way to get a clean professional finish that you’ll be proud of.

I literally can’t wait to see what you do with this pattern! I hope you love it as much as I do!

If you have bought the pattern already, you can get it in store here, and if you have any questions at all, please let me know in the comments! I’ll be back in a few days to show you some of the gorgeous Matilda dresses our pattern testers made.

Order Matilda!Introducing Matilda, the ultimate shirt dress sewing pattern // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

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Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/06/romper-tutorial-mini-tania-mini-briar-mashup/ http://blog.megannielsen.com/2017/06/romper-tutorial-mini-tania-mini-briar-mashup/#comments Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:48:49 +0000 http://blog.megannielsen.com/?p=24971

I have a daughter that is playful, messy, independent, and likes to wear dresses and skirts. She’ll play hard and get muddy, but she wants to do it with her own feminine flair. I have loved the Mini Tania. It is so fun for my daughter to wear shorts that look like a skirt. It’s […]

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Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup

I have a daughter that is playful, messy, independent, and likes to wear dresses and skirts. She’ll play hard and get muddy, but she wants to do it with her own feminine flair. I have loved the Mini Tania. It is so fun for my daughter to wear shorts that look like a skirt. It’s perfect for her when she’s playing hard. Since I loved the Mini Tania so much, I wanted to make a dress that could play just as hard. I decided to combine the Mini Briar and the Mini Tania to make a perfect playful romper. Rompers are so easy for playing and wearing, and I love that this romper looks like a dress but wears like a romper!

Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup

The problem with a romper is figuring out a way to get it off. It’s very common to make a button placket at the front, but I didn’t think my 3 year old would be able to unbutton and button it fast enough. Instead I created a elastic neckline with a ruffle. She can pull it up and down quickly and easily. I used a 100% modal so the fabric has a beautiful drape which is perfect for this romper. This romper works best if using fabric recommended for the Mini Tania.

SUPPLIES

INSTRUCTIONS
Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup

  1. Straighten the hem of the briar. (You can use this tutorial for straightening the hem of the Briar.)Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  2. Slash and spread the neckline to make it wide enough to go over the shoulders and down the body. I made a size 2/3 and added 1.5″ on the front and the back. Since the pattern is on the fold I added 3″ to the front and 3″ to the back for 6″ total. Make sure when you slash and spread that you aren’t cutting into the shoulder seam allowance or the side seam allowance. Redraw the neckline curve.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  3. Measure the new neckline length on the front and the back. Subtract the seam allowance. This is the length of the new neckline. Cut a piece 6″ by the length + seam allowance.
  4. Sew the short sides with right sides together. I sewed the short sides together with a French seam to make the under side look nice.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  5. Sew the ruffle on the neckline. To do this put the right side of the ruffle on the inside of the bodice neckline. Sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance.
  6. Pull the ruffle to the outside. Sew a casing around the top of the ruffle 3/8″ from the edge leaving a 2″ gap. Insert the 1/4″ elastic in the casing you created with a safety pin. Pull through and sew the two ends of the elastic together.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  7. Close the casing.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  8. Cut some bias binding from your fabric 1″ wide. Use it to finish the raw edges of the armholes.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  9. Sew the side seams. I also sewed these seams as French seams. Add a sewing tag if you want.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  10. Construct the culottes and stop before you put on the waistband.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  11. Cut the waistband in half lengthwise and add 5/8″ seam allowance. Cut two waistbands instead of one.
  12. With right sides together sew the short ends of the waistband together.
  13. With right sides together sandwich the waist of the culottes between the two waistbands and sew at 5/8″ seam allowance.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  14. With right sides together sew the bottom of the bodice to the outer waistband at 5/8″ seam allowance.Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
  15. Fold the inner waistband up and over covering the stitches and pin in place. Make sure the raw edges are tucked inside.
  16. From the outside sew an edgestitch around the waistband sewing the pinned edge inside. Leave a 2″ hole to insert elastic.
  17. Insert the 1″ elastic into the casing with a safety pin. Pull through and sew the two ends of the elastic together. Sew the hole closed.

Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup

I made the bodice a little extra long, so it’s slightly too big for my daughter. I wanted some growing room so it’ll fit her all summer and throughout the fall. I love to see her wearing it and playing with it. So far, she picks it first before her other clothing which is a win in my book!
Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup
Romper Tutorial // Mini Tania and Mini Briar Mashup

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