19 March 2018

Stretch Patterns - It's the Joni Dress!

 Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons
 Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

For the final pattern in my new book Stretch! I wanted to create a showstopping party dress to prove that comfy clothes don't have to be casual!

The Joni dress has become one of my favourite patterns of all time. Depending on what fabric you pick, you could wear it for work, dinner dates or even fancy dos.

 Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons
 Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

The twist-front bodice may look complex, but it's actually pretty simple to make once you try it. The bodice is fitted with a plunging neckline and flattering empire waist seam. The flirty half-circle skirt is great for twirling, with a gentle dipped hem that lands just above the knee.

You can make it with three-quarter or elbow-length fitted sleeves, or try the flared sleeve pattern hack.

 Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons
 Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

Joni works well in light- to medium-weight drapey knit fabrics that stretch crosswise at least 25% and which have good recovery (in other words, they ping back down to size easily after stretching).

Look out for cotton or viscose (rayon) jersey for everyday, or a sumptuous stretch velvet or silk jersey for parties. The book also gives tips for making the skirt part of the dress in sequin knit.

 Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

There's also a variation to ruche the sleeves using narrow elastic. This is a cute idea that you can use on other dress, top and blouse patterns, including those made in woven fabrics.

Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

Plus I show you a simple hack for turning Joni into a maternity dress! I made three versions of this dress to see me through my pregnancy - it's such a lovely one for feeling comfy and dressed up at the same time.

Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons
Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

This is how much fabric you'll need for your Joni dress:

Elbow length sleeve version:
2.1m (2¼ yards) - for sizes 3–8 fabric must be at least 130cm (51in) wide to fit the skirt.

Three-quarter length sleeve version:
2.3m (2½ yards) - for sizes 3–8 fabric must be at least 130cm (51in) wide to fit the skirt.

You'll also need 1m (1 1/8 yard) of 6–10mm (¼–3⁄8in) clear elastic to stabilise the shoulders and waistline (sometimes called swimwear elastic).

If you’re making the dress in stretch velvet, use 7cm (3in) of lighter-weight knit for the neckline binding so it’s less bulky.

For the flared sleeve hack, you may need a bit more fabric depending on how wide and long you make the sleeves (I'd get an extra half metre or yard to be on the safe side).

You'll need around 0.1m (4in) extra fabric for the maternity dress.

If you're making the skirt in sequin knit, 1.4m (1 ½ yards) of the above amounts will be for the skirt.

Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons
Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

There are six patterns in the book, printed on full scale sheets - no need to download them. The sheets are double sided, and some of the pieces are overlapping so you'll need to trace your size onto paper, or you could trace them directly onto your fabric with dressmaker's carbon and a tracing wheel.

The patterns come in eight sizes included, from UK 6 to 20 / US 2 - 16 / EUR 34 - 48 - you can see the measurements on the sizing chart.

Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

I hope you like the Joni dress as much as I do! Please share your pics with us on Instagram @TillyButtons with the hashtags #StretchSewingBook and #SewingJoni - I'd love to see what you make!

Order your book from our online shop to get your hands on Joni and the other five patterns included.

*****
Stretch! is published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant)
Fashion photography: Ellie Smith
Models: Alexandra Bruce / Emily TanZeena ShahYasmin Elizabeth
Hair and make up: Danni Hooker
Styling: Andie Redman + Tilly Walnes

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