Thursday, June 30, 2016

Top Knot Tour

Uh, have I been looking forward to show you this dress.

I'm participating in a fun three day tour for Chalk and Notch Patterns' newest pattern the amazing Top Knot (romber, dress and tunic). Every day has a new theme. Day 1: Print Mix, day 2: Sister Style and day 3: Pattern Hack. As you can see, I could both have participated in day 1 and 3. 

As you already know from my review of the Fishtail Kimono, I'm a massive fan of Chalk and Notch's patterns. They are very detailed and are made by Gabriela who has real life pattern drafting experience and on top of that is clearly a perfectionist. It's impossible to open the pattern file without being more or less blown away by the product.

The pattern has great details like the pleats on the front bodice (towards the 'shoulder' seam) and the back bodice wraps all the way over the shoulders and creates a yoke effect.

Part of my pattern hack is to add a horizontal seam on the back bodice and create an actual yoke. That way I could have more fun with the print mixing too. The stripes in the fabric makes it very clear that the sleeves are part of the bodice.

Talking about fabric...this dress was made in quite a few stages. First I bought this adorable cat face printed double gauze (Cotton + Steel) at the Imagine Gnats Shop on a whim (ahem, sale). Then W saw it and begged for a dress...any dress. Sure thing! 
When Gabriela asked me to participate in this tour, bingo, the fabric had a perfect pattern match.....except the narrow double gauze didn't match very well with the wide fabric required circle skirt pattern that the pattern originally comes with. Idea comes up: gathered rectangles as skirt instead. That uses way less fabric than a circle skirt. (Also Pattern Hack category here I come!). I still didn't quite have enough fabric though haha and I vaguely remember seeing this amazing striped double gauze at Miss Matatabi in what looked like the exact same colors as the cat fabric. You never know with colors on a computer screen though but I crossed my fingers and ordered some. After checking the mailbox for 10 days or so straight it finally came all the way from Japan and after som consideration I decided that they matched up good enough. 

While waiting for the striped fabric I finished up the paper pattern with the hacks and made the back yoke separate.

Sewing went like a breeze because I had practically sewed the whole thing in my head a 100 times while I was waiting for the striped fabric. The only thing that gave me a bit of problems was the waist elastic casing. Because of my hack the gathers from the fabric added quite a bit of bulk that the original circle skirt wouldn't. It all ended well, I just wrestled with it a bit more than in the other areas. No biggie.

Only thing missing: buttons.
Ohhhh dear. I think I spend the same amount of time trying to decide which buttons to use as I spend sewing the whole dang thing.

See, the thing is I kept going back to that cream colored button with the black ring (that you see above) because it was just PERFECT but I only had one left. So back to the computer and ordering some more from Lots of Buttons....located in Hong Kong, wah. Told you this was quite the process.

But I can now definitely confirm that this is exactly the result that I wanted. No compromises, ha.
And what is even more funny...both Imagine Gnats and Miss Matatabi ended up being fabric sponsors for this tour so that's pretty neat. They are both two of my go to online fabric stores. Both are places where I don't have to worry about quality because I know it will always be good from them.

And is she happy for her dress? YES!!!! She wore it on our summer vacation and looked dang cute in it.

The tour has a giveaway where you can win gift cards to amazing online fabric shops and this pattern. There is an extra prize to the one who fills out all the entries...just kidding, haha!

If you can't wait to see if you won the pattern or want to the buy another Chalk and Notch pattern then you should use the code "tkt20" to receive 20% off your entire order. Offer ends Friday July 1st at midnight EST.

Also don't forget to check out all the other amazing participants!

Thank you!

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