Marselis Top

The Marselis Top and Dress is a new pattern from The Uncut Project.  I was lucky enough to be selected to test this beautiful pattern. The Marselis can be sewn as a top or a dress. The designers, Anna and Isabel, are from Copenhagen and their design reflects the Scandinavian aesthetic of simple lines with a modern twist. This pattern has a lot of inclusions. The flowy top or dress can be sewn sleeveless, short sleeved or long sleeved. I chose to make the sleeveless top version and I had in mind something that was appropriate for a summer night out.

Sizing ranges from 32 to 74 (European), I was between the 40 and 42 with my bust size of 37 inches so I went with the 40 as the pattern includes a lot of ease in the waist and hips. The top ended at about hip level for me. I thought the sizing was spot on! 

This pattern is made for lightweight to medium woven fabrics. At the beginning of my sewing journey, I madly bought fabric that I thought were pretty but had no idea how or what to sew with. Every time I passed the fabric store, I would go rifling through the bargain bin. It was a thrill at first until I realised, I was guiltily amassing a rather large stack of fabric that I was now responsible for. Time to put a stop to it. I now check my stash before heading to the fabric store. This chiffon felt like the perfect match for the Marselis Top because it’s soft and sheer which would show off the gathers in the pattern.

At this point, I should confess that I have never sewn with Chiffon fabric before. I’ll just share some of what I’ve learnt about Chiffon here in case anyone is wanting to recreate this. Chiffon frays like crazy. When I tried to overlocker it, there was a moment of panic as it started to disintegrate. Luckily, I was testing this on a piece of scrap. So, French seams were the best option for finishing my seams. Another thing I noted about Chiffon is that it gets easily caught in the teeth of the machine. I had to make sure I was leaving a bit of gap at the start of the sew. I could still backstitch but I have read some advice that it’s better to tie off the ends of your stitching by hand.

Putting together the pattern pieces was easy and the instructions were great. It was a bit tricky with my bias binding because I had bought the slightly smaller one inch rather than the one and a half inch that was recommended. It still worked well, and I loved how the ties were formed so neatly out of the bias binding that finished the top of the blouse. I especially love the back of the top where the ties pass through a loop and ties together. 

I remember finishing the pattern test in the same afternoon. It was one of those patterns that are so interesting, you can’t put it down. I really wanted to get to the end to see what it would look like. Needless to say, I’m in love with my new blouse and I ended up wearing it out that night for our Chinese New Year dinner and to see the lion dancers! 

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

X Em

Holmen Top & Dress

When I looked up “Holmen”, images of a water-bound neighbourhood in Copenhagen popped up. The Holmen Top and Dress is a new release pattern from The Uncut Project. Anna and Isabel are the super talented duo behind this pattern company. They are from Copenhagen and their patterns reflect a cool Scandinavian vibe. 

I feel so lucky to be included in the testing team for the Holmen Top and Dress. The top and dress were made to have a good degree of movement and it can be worn for casual outings or out for a night. It transitions so well from day to night. Definitely a good one to pack for future holidays!

Being a self-taught sew-ist, I was mindful of my limitations, but this pattern is made for an advanced beginner which I felt, was an accurate designation. The bodice of the Holmen Top and Dress are made in a yoke style. It has a fitted yoke which a gathered tier is attached. The first tier for the dress is shorter and then fitted to another full gathered skirt tier. My favourite feature is the back of the Holmen Top and Dress. There is a low scoop which skims the curve of the spine, and the back panel is attached by a thin set of ties.

My test was for Size L. I felt the sizing was quite accurate. I did have to check with them for the back of the dress as this is such an original design. My measurements are 37-inch Bust, 33-inch Waist and 38 -inch Hips. So, my measurements fall between Size L and Size XL. I went with the Size L because the finished garment measurements were quite generous, and the fitting of the bust area was adjustable due to the straps. 

Unique Back Details

The process of testing is always interesting. I started by sewing a toile for the Holmen Top using some scraps of fabric from leftover projects and this allowed me to adjust shoulder strap length. It also allowed me time to follow the construction process and make notes where I felt instructions needed clarification. There really wasn’t any, only one small detail about which notch to sew to in the back tier, but all the instructions were clear, easy to follow and followed a logical sequence.

Once the toile was completed, I went ahead and sewed the Holmen Top. It’s a very satisfying sew. I used a thin blue cotton and lined it with white muslin. It was a challenge sewing the thin straps with my lightweight cotton as it kept shredding when I tried to turn the straps the right way around. In the end I used my own method to achieve the look. I love the look of the thin straps and I think it’s worth the effort. There is a lot of gathering especially around the curve of the back and it was a bit hard doing that amount of gathering but it was better the second time around when I sewed the Holmen Dress. Practise makes progress!

For the dress, I found a beautiful honey hued yellow textured cotton. Still lightweight but not as sheer as my blue top. I also lined the dress but only halfway with the white muslin. It’s a bit more economical doing your lining this way. I’m in love with the silhouette of the dress. It seems reminiscent of the nineteen twenties. 

Doing this pattern test has been enjoyable especially with Anna and Isabel, from The Uncut Project. It’s also so fulfilling at the creative level. It really makes me want to do more in the future. I always hesitate to apply when I see the call for testers but I’m so glad that I was offered to join the testing team otherwise I might have not been confident enough to join in!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

X Em