Sewing

JLH Mayberry

IMG_3473I came across Jennifer Lauren Handmade on Instagram a short while back, and I have been following her account since. This past fall, she posted a call for people to review a pattern that she would provide, so I signed up. She sent me the Mayberry dress pattern in November, and although I couldn’t wait to start sewing, I wasn’t able to start on it until this month.
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My favorite thing about Jennifer’s designs is how modern her patterns are while also having a sweet, vintage vibe. I love the off-centered placket, the curved placket at the neckline, and of course, the pockets on the Mayberry. For this version, I decided to make the ¾ sleeve version since I made a similar sleeveless McCall’s dress last spring and it’s one of my favorite things to wear in the summer. I used this Hearth Indigo print from the Cotton and Steel Sienna collection and used just about every bit of fabric from the pattern requirements.
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After viewing the size charts, I decided to make size 10 with a B cup based on the high bust measurement to full bust measurement that I was taught. Jennifer instructs you to go by your under bust measurement and compare it to the full bust measurement, which would have me sized at slightly larger than a D cup. On my next one, I may muslin the size 8 in a D cup and see if the fit on the bodice is closer to the fitted ones in the listing photos. I don’t mind the looser fit of mine, though; it’s so comfortable!
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I made my usual adjustments as far as shortening the bodice and skirt, but I forgot to measure the upper back through the shoulders to ensure proper fit there. (I have a broader back, so I’m slightly an inverted triangle, but mostly rectangle shape.) The shoulders are slightly too wide and slope over my shoulder a tad. Also, I feel a bit as though I’m Anne of Green Gables wearing puffed sleeves because there’s so much width in the sleeves as well. This most likely would not be as much of an issue had I followed instructions and made the size 8 with a D cup…and muslined. (If any of my former students are reading this- Do as I say, not as I do.)
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I considered lining the bodice, but decided to use the facings in the pattern. I was pleased to see that she provides illustrations instead of photos, and she includes steps that I don’t always see in indie patterns, like when to use interfacing. The facing piece has a buttonhole guide, but I prefer to sew my buttonholes vertically on tops and dresses (I did sew them horizontally for the tie openings.), so I used my expandable sewing gauge for a guide instead. I purchased the buttons from Arrow Mountain awhile ago, and I love them! I had a different dress planned, but I think they added the perfect touch to make this dress extra sweet.
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I deviated again from the instructions when it came to sewing the casing at the waist. She has you trim and turn down the seam allowance to topstitch. I serged and trimmed the seam allowance from the bodice and waist and cut a binding strip about 1½” wide by width of my fabric. I ironed the long edges under and sewed it at the waist to create the casing instead. I used a Petersham ribbon from my stash for my tie.
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Overall, I think the instructions are well written and an adventurous beginner could easily make this dress. So, tell me, is there a designer you have been following for awhile, but haven’t tested their patterns yet? What design details do you love to see most?

4 thoughts on “JLH Mayberry

        1. I forgot I have those, too! I made a pair, but years ago when they first came out, and I need to adjust them a bit to fit me well. Glad you love them! Can’t wait to see your denim pair!

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