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Wednesday, 9 May 2018


It's a Stella Hoodie- but not as we know it.  Yes, I am continuing my love affair with Tilly & The Buttons patterns in her new book STRETCH.
I fell in love with this knit fabric at the Spring Knitting and Stitching show at Olympia.  It is more suitable for pyjamas for the under sevens than a daytime dress for an over 70  but it made me laugh and I had to have it.  

The peppermint green base does not show up well in this shot but the quirky characters, which called to the infant in me, do. I thought that I had bought only enough to make a top but when I came to cut it out I realised that I had enough for a dress.  By this time, having made 5 items from STRETCH, I knew where to go for a reliable pattern.  I wanted to try out the dropped shoulder style of the Stella Hoodie but didn't actually want to wear a hood made up in this fabric- so the Frankenstella was born.

I traced the Stella top, added length from the hemline of the top  and finished it off with the curved hem of the Frankie tee.  This was easy, as you can read in my previous post about creating the Frankie dress,  because I had made a separate bottom piece for that dress.  I extended the end of the Stella hoodie straight down, marking horizontally the point at which I wanted the side edge of the hem to end.

I then placed the piece I had cut from the Frankie tee at the edge and traced around this, ignoring the part that extended past my vertical line.

All that remained was to decide how to finish the neckline.  I went for facings rather than a neckband and made these by measuring and marking 4 cm around the neck of the front and back bodice, then tracing the result for the facing pattern.

With hindsight I would have made a narrower facing of only 2.5 cm.  I understitched the facings after clipping and trimming the curve so that they lay flat and then zig-zag stitch round the neckline- no chance of them popping out from the neck!
The result I have mixed feelings about.

 I did not check the sleeve length and I feel they are too long, but not if I double the cuffs back so I will leave them as they are.  However there are issues on which I should like some opinions.

I  think that I should have made the dress a bit shorter, maybe the length that raising my arms achieves.  I also considered putting elastic in a casing around the waist to get a blouson effect.  Below I have achieved this with a belt. Does the curved hem make it look too much like a nightgown and should I shorten it by cutting the hem straight across?
What do you think?  Should I make it shorter or should I add elastic around the waist or should I leave it as it is?  Please leave a comment below to help me decide.


  1. I really like it with the belt and the blouson effect! I like the curved hem :-)

    1. Thanks for this. I liked the cinched in waist best but my partner said he liked it as I made it. Other people who have seen it also opted for the blouson style so decision is now made and I will get the elastic out.

  2. I think the curved hem at the original length does make it look nightwearish, but I really like the idea of the elasticated waist as that makes it look like daywear again! Elasticating the waist also makes it the right length.. I think either curved hem or straight hem would work with the waist.

    1. Good to see you last night. Thanks for your response. I liked the cinched in waist best but my partner said he liked it as I made it. Other people who have seen it also opted for the blouson style so decision is now made and I will get the elastic out.

  3. Another thing you could try is to put vents in at the bottom of the side seams to see if you prefer it that way but this style is very much personal preference.
    I think the fabric is wonderfully quirky and really lovely full of personality! Love it!! I would probably try to find an oversize plastic belt buckle in a suitable colour (a slightly darker mint green?) and cinch it up a bit with that on a belt, I think that could add to the fun.
    I do like the photo with the belt on the most.

  4. It looks great Barbara. I like it better with the waist cinched in - belt or elastic casing would work as you suggest. A tip I had re working out the most flattering length of clothes was always to end the hem at a narrow part of the leg. It applies whatever length ie knee, midi or full.

  5. Barbara I just wrote a post that shows me as Unknown - not sure why but I am happy to say that it's Maureen McCann

    1. Thanks, Maureen. That's a good tip because ending above the knee would show my knobbly knees.


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