It was so lovely of the DIBY Club to get in touch with me and ask if I would like to sample and review one of their patterns. I’d not heard of the brand before but a quick look over their website and I knew they would be right up my street.
The DIBY (Do It Better Yourself) Club aims to teach you to make your clothes better than you can buy them with a focus on getting the perfect fit for your individual body size and shape.
I was asked to review the Emmeline Dress, a fit and flare jersey dress with a variety of sleeve and hem lengths and the option for either a scoop or V neck. After reviewing some of the examples of previous makes in their gallery I decided to go for the short sleeve, scoop neck version with a knee length hem.
I downloaded the pattern which is more of an e-book than simply a pattern. I really love how detailed the pattern book is, there was a tutorial and a very helpful video explaining how to print out and assemble the PDF pattern pieces. There is even a table included telling you which pages you need to print for which version so that you don’t have to print every single option and waste the extra paper of those sizes and versions you don’t use. The pattern itself has a no trim assembly and was very quick and easy to put together.
I decided to use a French Terry from Girl Charlee UK that I already had in my stash in this beautiful floral print because it had the right amount of stretch and I thought that it would suit the pattern really well. The pattern said that I would need 2.25 metres for the hem length I wanted to make and I only had 2 metres so I decided to leave out the pockets this time (sadly, I know!) and I managed to just squeeze it out of the two metres.
The amount of detail this pattern book goes into with regard to sizing is amazing! It includes instructions on how to measure yourself correctly, how to grade between sizes and how to make full bust, sleeve and hem length adjustments if necessary. My sizing graded from a 0 at the bust to a 4 at the waist so I graded out my pattern lines according to the instructions given. Given the flare nature of the gathered skirt I didn’t worry too much about my hip measurement as I knew there would be some give there.
After cutting out all of my pieces with my cutting mat and rotary cutter (my preferred method for cutting jersey) and marking my notches and darts it was time to get stuck in to sewing.
The instructions are super clear with helpful hints, tips, blog posts and videos throughout. The bodice came together very quickly, and I liked the way the skirt was gathered, and the waist stabilised with clear elastic. The sleeves went in very easily too which is always a bonus.
I have always struggled with fitting neckbands in jersey garments. I had cut my neckband according to the length and width given in the e-book but before fitting I decided to watch the video included on how to fit the perfect neckband. This was really helpful and I realised that the neckband I had cut was actually slightly too large for how my neckline had turned out so I recut based on an 80% stretch measurement. As advised, I measured around my neckline and multiplied my measurement by .80 to give the length I needed. This fit really well. I topstitched my neckband after sewing to keep it in place and give a little finishing touch.
After the neckband was fitted it was just the hems to go. I tried on the dress before sewing the skirt hem to check the length and decided that the 1” hem would be fine so I went ahead and turned this up and then sewed with a double line of stitching to give a twin needle effect. It’s probably worth noting that the pattern is based on a height of 5’5” I am 5”3’ so I could have shortened my skirt pattern pieces by the difference of 2” before cutting to produce a hem length in line with the finished garment measurements of the pattern but I decided not to do this and judge my hem length at the end – I didn’t want to end up with a skirt that was too short and would much rather have to take some length off than wish I had more fabric to play with.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS PATTERN?
A big fat ABSOLUTELY, and I think it would be especially good for someone just starting out in their jersey sewing journey. The instructions are so clear and well thought out and the hints and tips are excellent at holding your hand throughout the entire process.
If you are experienced in jersey sewing you’ll knock this dress out in a couple of hours once you’ve got your sizing sorted and pattern cut. I think it took me around 3.5 hours sewing time – I’m still pretty cautionary when it comes to knit fabrics and want to take my time.
Now that I have this pattern in my stash I will definitely be making more; I’d really like to try the sleeveless maxi version – with pockets this time of course as I think it’ll be perfect for summer.
Thank you DIBY club for inviting my to try this pattern, I absolutely love it! If you’d like to try this dress for yourself (and I highly recommend you do) you can get your own copy of the PDF pattern here.
The DIBY Club offer a variety of different patterns and you can view more of what they offer by clicking on any of the links below:
*Just to be absolutely clear some of the products I’ve linked may be affiliate links meaning that should you choose to purchase via any of them I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you*