February is the season of love and what better way to love yourself than to buy fabric and make something pretty. I invested in myself and purchased one of my own Spoonflower Shop prints in velvet. This print is called Hepburn and it comes in three color ways. While we don’t personally celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’m not opposed to the endorphins and the benefits it brings.

Part of my goals for 2021 is to use more designer patterns and learn more. I chose this 1970s square dance pattern from Jean Hardy. I couldn’t find a lot of info on Jean Hardy, or even if she was a real person, however a lot of the patterns look country western and I like that. There are patterns for riding pants, country western shirts, and suits for sale on the internet.

The pattern said I would need 4 yards of 45″ wide fabric. I made the pattern work with 2 yards of 60″ fabric and only had salvages left.

I chose this pattern for velvet because it had no visible topstitching and it’s best not to topstitch velvet. The directions were just a few small squares on the pattern piece page. The directions also had a lot of potholes and the pattern pieces were printed on both sides. That meant I needed to trace out each piece. This was good because it gave me the opportunity to hack it.

Alterations made – I omitted the ruffle on the bottom of the circle skirt and added 4.5″  to the hemline. I also skipped the caplet. The pattern had no neckline facings and I couldn’t figure out why or find anything in the given directions. Once I started tracing the bodice I found a small exert printed in the piece that said, “cut bias tape and make binding.” Very unusual but it did force me to pay attention to details.

This pattern was simple for an experienced dressmaker. I liked the three necklines to choose from. I also liked that I was the same size 12 as all of the big box patterns.

The velvet was similar to upholstery velvet so I used a large size 14 sewing machine needle. I probably could have used a 16. I also used a regular 2.5 stitch length although a 3.0 would have been much easier to rip out. I added horse hair trim to the hemline that was I going to hand stitch down once flipped. I broke that no topstitching rule and opted to machine stitch the hemline.

Mistakes I made – since this is a designer pattern it is more like an indie pattern that does not have the shorten and lengthen lines. I forgot to shorten my bodice by 1″ and had to take it apart at the waistline because it was too long. It was TOTALLY worth it!

Behind the scenes~

Spring sewing classes are now listed.



Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it!

Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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