Pattern Review: The Joni Dress

I am gradually getting through the book Stretch! which came out last year!  Most recently, I made the Joni Dress.


  • Pattern name: Joni
  • Variation/Style: Flared short sleeves
  • Design House: Tilly and the Buttons/Tilly Walnes book Stretch!
  • Size I made: 4


I have used a simple two colour floral fabric from a local haberdashery a year or two ago.  It is quite thin but substantial and opaque and as a result the skirt section hangs well.


It is a bit more challenging than a simple knit dress, but I think it looks more complicated than it is to actually make it.  I’d say it is suitable for confident beginners who have had a go with knit fabrics before.


Like all the other TATB patterns I have tried out, the guidance is very clear.  However, I did follow Sewisfaction’s video tutorial on making the front bodice twist rather than use the book instructions.  Next time, I might try out the original instructions just to see how much difference it makes.

Design and Fit

The design of this dress is great.  The twist detail adds interest and the volume in the skirt section along with the subtle dipped hem makes this dress look more complex than it is.

As it is a knit dress, I found that I didn’t make any adjustments.  My bust size was a bit bigger than the guide for the size 4, but with this fabric it did not matter and fits fine.  As it has a dipped hem, and it has more of an empire waistline, I did not bother to adjust for my sway back.

Time Taken

This was a relatively quick make or a slightly more detailed knit dress.  I took a bit of extra time drafting the flared sleeves and choosing the sleeve length but this was still fairly fast as the instructions are clear.


I love this dress!  It’s so comfy and easy to chuck on for the day.  I definitely want to attempt making one with stripes soon.

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Pattern Review: Gable Top

I realised the other day that I never reviewed the Gable top pattern.  Better late than never!  Also, it means that I have lots of experience in wearing it!


  • Pattern name: Gable Top
  • Variation/Style: View 3 without the cuff
  • Design House: Jennifer Lauren Handmade
  • Size I made: 12


Stripey stretch fabric remnant from The Knitting & Stitching Show in 2017.


This is a really simple top to make consisting of only 4 pieces of fabric.  The main challenge for me was the fabric I chose as it was very stretchy.  You may wish to take extra care on the neckline, which I would argue is the trickiest part.


It is very simple although I did get a bit confused at the neckline.  However, Jennifer Lauren has a video to help you on this to use in tandem with the written instructions.

Design and Fit

The top has come out quite tight.  I am not sure if this is the pattern or the fabric (or both).  I am not used to wearing very fitted garments so this is probably where most of my discomfort stems from!  It’s also very long but I may have stretched it or the fabric I have chosen has encouraged this.  I will have to see how much negative ease the pattern has if I make it again.

Design-wise, it is the perfect staple to go under a pinafore or dungarees – such as the Ivy Pinafore by Jennifer Lauren!

Time Taken

I’d say you can make this in half a day.  It’s very simple and super quick if you don’t have any stripe matching to do!


This version feels a bit too fitted for me so I will probably make it in a larger size next time, or perhaps choose a different fabric which is not so clingy.  However, I have worn it lots with my pinafore collection (yes, it has turned into a collection… expect more pinafore reviews!)

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The £2.50 Dress

I went to my mum’s house with the intention of making a pattern from an old dress I have of hers (which is at risk of disintegrating as it’s been worn so many times!) but I ended up nabbing one of her most recent charity shop pattern purchases and cutting out the pieces to make a dress!

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Cosy Winter – the Ivy pinafore

I’ve been enjoying a bit of dressmaking this month and am finally cutting into some fabrics I bought in one go for numerous projects.  One piece of fabric was some navy polka dot cotton bought especially for the ivy pinafore pattern by Jennifer Lauren.

One worry I had at the very beginning was that I didn’t have enough fabric.  The pattern for view 1 advises to purchase 150cm wide fabric, and my own fabric was 115cm after pre-washing.  However, my fabric did not have a one way nap or design, so i was able to re-jig the cutting layout plan, which reduced fabric waste as well.  I may have enough to make a tote bag too at some point!

I still have my stash of ceramic buttons from taking pottery classes last year, and have only used one so far, so I wanted to use some of these if possible for the fastenings.  The pattern suggests larger buttons, and I was worried that they wouldn’t be big enough.  However, I left worrying about this until the button hole stage came up, and decided that my own buttons would work well.  It’s a real buzz to see my own handmade buttons on a garment!

I selected a traditional lining fabric for the lining, as I wanted this make to work well with tights, leggings or jeggings.  It was a little tricky to work with, and I ended up hemming the lining by hand, but I think it means I will get a lot more use out of it!

It’s a real joy to wear this garment.  It’s loose fittings with seam pockets, which makes it a great lazy Sunday wear when all I want to do is sit in my rocking chair and knit or crochet with a cup of tea!  I can imagine wearing it out on a walk too, when I am on the hunt for discarded rusty items to use when rust dyeing!  It’s definitely a make reserved for my days off!

I’ll have to try out the gable top sometime soon as I only have one top that goes nicely with this pinafore!  The gable top has a high neckline, which works well with this style of pinafore.  Looks like I will be getting the walking foot and ball point needles out very soon!

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