Monday, 23 May 2016

A Tale of Two Walkleys

Remember the striped Walkley top by Wendy Ward I made last year? It's been such a favourite of mine (I wear it at least once a week, often twice) that I knew a dress version for summer was on the cards. I like the fit, it's quick and easy to sew and you only need a metre of fabric.


The fabric I used was a lovely cherry blossom jersey from Girl Charlee - a light cotton blend with a good stretch to it. I originally ordered one metre but ended up with two, as a 'print smear' was discovered on the original batch and I was sent a replacement. It took me ages to actually find the tiny print fault and I'm sure I'd never have even noticed it amidst all that cherry blossom. I appreciate the gesture though and I did end up with two metres to play with, so thanks Girl Charlee!

When I first made the top, I deliberately cut the smallest of the three sizes offered as I wanted a closer fit. This time round I cut the next size up as I didn't want the dress version to be too clingy. Apart from removing a 1" wedge from the neckline, I made no other changes to the pattern. It really is an easy sew: shoulder seams and side seams sewn with an overlocker, then neck, armholes and hem turned under and sewn with a double needle. That should have been the end of it, but alas, I sewed the side seams with a 1.5cm seam allowance instead of the specified 1cm. Doh! The resulting fit was a bit clingy for a dress, but perfect for a top… so I chopped the bottom off and hemmed it accordingly. I then cut and sewed a second dress, making sure I used the correct seam allowance this time. Lucky for me I had that extra metre to fall back on!

Top version….
…and dress version!
The Walkley pattern is a very simple shape, but it really works for me. The neckline's just the right height (and I'm fussy about anything too high) and the cut of the capped sleeves gives it a youthful edge without making me feel too mutton-like.


I now have two garments from the same fabric and I couldn't be happier with them. The dress is slightly fitted but still roomy enough for a few ice creams. It's also easy to dress up or down with flip flops or clogs. And the top is perfect for jazzing up a pair of jeans or a denim skirt. I'll be packing both of these for my holidays this summer.  x







43 comments:

  1. Two lovely makes. That colour really suits you. Thanks for the tip on reducing the neckline K xXx

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    1. Thank you! I always find wide boat necks like the one on this pattern a bit of a challenge! x

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  2. really lovely! the print is gorgeous and i really like the shape on you.

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    1. Thank you, I love the print too! x

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  3. They are both beautiful and look lovely on you.

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  4. Lovely! These look perfect for travel!

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    1. My thoughts exactly, I've already earmarked the dress for wearing on the plane for my summer holidays! x

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  5. I love this as a dress, and the fabric is perfect for this time of year

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    1. You're right, it's a perfect late spring/early summer fabric. x

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  6. Beautiful Garments! And guess what - at this very moment I am wearing a top from this very fabric. I made a "Lady Carolyn" from Mialuna, a German indie-patternmaker. And I love it!
    Greetings from Germany
    Guede

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    1. Yay! We're cherry blossom twins! x

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  7. massively useful and pretty too. i cut my coco funnel neck dress into a top in the end and took the neck off it, a far more useful long sleeved T fro me! Jo x

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    1. I think they'll both be really useful, wearing the dress today actually! x

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  8. Oh ! Love the dress , top and fabric. You have good taste and know what suits you.

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  9. Great little twosome. The colour is lovely and suits you very well.

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    1. Thanks Tamsin, I think I'm going through a bit of a turquoise phase at the moment! x

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  10. They both look lovely! The colour is beautiful and suits you very well.

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    1. Thank you, the colour's fab isn't it?! x

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  11. Looking gorgeous Jane I'm so happy you like this pattern so much, the shape and those colours really suit you!

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    1. It's a fab pattern Wendy, thank you! Love my two new garments! x

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  12. This is lovely, Jane! And it looks fab on you. I am going to make a Walkley, so I am curious as to what you mean when you say you took a wedge out of the neckline. To make it higher, tighter, what? You have sold me on this pattern.

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    1. Hi, the adjustment to the neckline was to make it tighter as boat necks have a tendency to gape or look a bit baggy on me. I used the principle from this tutorial, basically slashing the pattern and overlapping the edges: https://gingermakes.com/2013/09/06/by-hand-london-anna-dress-narrow-shoulder-adjustment/. Hope this helps. x

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  13. Great top and dress - love that fabric. I've seen it on Girl Charlee before and now I think I definitely have to buy it!
    Also, I'm wondering if the Walkley would be a good pattern to hack into a maxi dress? Or perhaps it needs a waist band to keep it from stretching out due to weight of fabric?

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    1. I think you should buy it, I've had my eye on it for a while and I'm so glad I bought it! Will ask the pattern designer about hacking it into a maxi dress, I think it would almost certainly work but you may be right about the waistband. Will report back! x

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    2. I think a maxi version would look amazing!! I can see why you're thinking a waistband, but I think it might change the simple shape of the dress and start turning it into something else. I'd say maybe tape the shoulder seams to help them support the weight of a longer dress. I like to use iron-on bias tape for taping seams in knits (also sometimes called Vilene tape). You can get it here: http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/shop/home/581-vilene-bias-tape.html
      Let me know if you try it, I'd love to see it and it might be a good one for a guest blog post!! Wx

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    3. Thanks for your replies, Jane and Wendy! I will definitely give it a ago as a maxi dress (and use tape at the shoulder seams) and get my order in on that fabric!

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  14. Very nice, I love the colour and the fabric. Both look fab on you. Xx

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  15. They both look great on you.You did a wonderful job on both. Love that colour.

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  16. The dress came out so nice and I love your fabric choice. Very nice work.

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  17. The dress looks fab on you. I made a similar style knit dress for summer and wore it constantly. I think the secret pj phrase gets used to death but there's no doubt a little knit tee dress for summer is easy chic dressing.

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    1. Couldn't agree more, the dress in particular has hardly been off my back since I finished it! x

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  18. Really cute print. The colours are incredibly fresh and uplifting. Very cheery for spring/summer. So lucky you had the extra fabric, though I reckon you will wear the heck out of the top for everyday wear.

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    1. Yes it's a win-win situation - I've already worn both the top and dress to death! x

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  19. i know your son, great guy. love the dress!

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  20. in ICT,(computing), with Louis now. Update: he's still a great guy! (still love the dress too).

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    1. Thanks Denis! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  21. in ICT, (yet again!), with louis! still a great guy and this dress, is by far, my favourite. keep up the brill worl!

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