I have a giveaway for you today! Yay! I always love giving cool stuff away and I think this is such a great one as it’s definitely sustainable! I was sent some Patterntrace Swedish Tracing Paper to try out by the lovely people at Creative Industry UK and they have got a roll to give away to one of you!
If you haven’t heard of Swedish Tracing Paper before, it is a see-through fibrous paper used for tracing/drafting sewing patterns. It’s quite sturdy and doesn’t tear too easily but is still see-through enough for tracing.
It comes on a 10m long roll (1m wide) and I think that it will last me quite a long time as there is no grainline so I could really cram the pattern pieces close together to trace them off. Any small offcuts are compostable which I think is so amazing! My local recycling do take paper and cardboard but explicitly state that they do not recycle tissue paper (no idea why!) so it is a bit annoying knowing that any tissue pattern offcuts or regular tracing paper has to go into the black bin. As Patterntrace is made from abaca fibres, any scraps can go in the compost bin! Hooray!
I chose to make the Victory Patterns Hannah Dress as it’s been on my make nine for the last two years and I’ve been a bit intimidated to attempt it. The Hannah dress is a slightly more advanced pattern than I have made before and it definitely includes some techniques that I have never done before. For example, I have never made a shirt placket, let alone a hidden one! And the pattern has some origami magic in the back which merges into the pockets at the front?! What?!
I had read that you could sew the Patterntrace together to make a toile and I also read that it could be ironed so I thought I would see if I could use it to get me round some of the more intimidating parts of this pattern. After the darts, the very first thing you do in this pattern is the placket – so no hesitation, I had to dive right in!
To construct the placket, I was able to iron the pattern piece along with the fabric so that I could make sure I got the folds in exactly the right place. It was a comfort to be able to use the actual pattern piece to know that my creases were going in right and you know what? The placket came out amazingly well, I cannot believe how well it turned out!
The origami back also seemed challenging so I had a go at folding and manipulating the Swedish Tracing Paper according to the sewing instructions to learn how it all goes together. It actually wasn’t as complex as I had expected so I didn’t need to sew it together but I did pin parts of it and I found it very useful. I wish I had done that before I cut the fabric out as I think I could do a better job of the plaid placement in the back now I know how it folds and which parts will be seen.
The fabric I used for this make is actually a duvet cover I found in a charity shop. The cover had a different fabric on each side so I used it to make view B with the contrast back and placket. I am pretty pleased with it, it definitely stretched my sewing skills and I am SUPER excited at how the placket turned out. I now feel confident approaching a shirt pattern soon!
The pattern has very unusual side seams because of the fabric-manipulation-folding magic. This meant that I had no idea how to grade out at the hips to accommodate for my pear shape and I don’t think the fit is amazing. I either need a full seat adjustment or a sway back adjustment (or something else?!) as I’ve got some fabric pooling in my lower back, but I don’t know if those adjustments might affect how those folded ‘wings’ at the side hang?! As I’m also having some problems with those. I had a dream of making this again in two beautiful contrasting Atelier Brunette fabrics but now I am not so sure this pattern suits my shape and I don’t know where to start to fix it!
My measurements are 36-32-44 and to be sure it wouldn’t be too tight in the booty I made the straight size 12 (size chart can be found here). This means that across the bust, the size I chose is over three sizes too big. I don’t think it looks too big at all from the front but because there are five layers of fabric pulling down at the back vs only one layer at the front I think most of the bagginess is occurring in the back of the garment and that is making the pockets hang a bit funny (see weird yellow lumps at the pockets in the pic below). It doesn’t look too bad in the photographs so perhaps it’s not too noticeable but when I stand in front of the mirror like a mannequin I can see problems!
My sewing skills are improving all the time so maybe this will be a pattern I will revisit in a couple of years when I know more and can make better fit adjustments. Who knows! I do have two colours of this beautiful Atelier Brunette fabric I was hoping to use for another one but unless I manage to make some fit changes I don’t see me making it up in such special fabric!
However, fit issues aside, I am definitely pleased with the Patterntrace Swedish Tracing Paper and when my roll runs out I will definitely be buying it again! If you would like to enter the giveaway to win a roll for yourself (UK only due to the large parcel postage costs) please head over to my Instagram page to enter!
Disclaimer: ⭐️Swedish Tracing Paper was provided free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions are totally my own, and I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t like!
Pattern: Victory Patterns Hannah Dress
Fabric: Duvet cover from a charity shop
Anything Sustainable about this one?
Yes! The fabric was a secondhand duvet cover I bought in the charity shop with making this exact dress in mind! I also used old buttons from my button tin and the scraps from my Patterntrace paper will decompose in the compost bin.