sewing the Tammy Handmade Leona Dress in Valori Wells WIsh Knit
Fabric | Patterns

A Leona Dress – 8 years in the making!

May 29, 2022

Oh my goodness. This was one of the first fabrics I purchased online, which prompted me to search through my email inbox to find the invoice and figure out exactly when that was… I learned today that it looks like I started playing around with sewing in 2014! If you’d asked me how long I’ve been sewing, I would’ve told you about 5 years. Looks like my timeline has been off!

I purchased this fabric before I knew anything at all about fabric aside from cute prints. I had fallen in love with a skirt online and pinned it to a Pinterest board, and when I saw this fabric I thought it looked kind of similar so I decided hey, I should get that – I could make that skirt! I can’t find the pin anymore, but if memory serves, what I’d saved was a maxi length, flowy chiffon skirt. This fabric is a cotton lycra knit. So, yeah… That dupe idea wasn’t exactly going to work! So I set this aside, thinking what the heck am I ever going to do with that, and there it sat. On my shelf. For almost EIGHT years.

When I started planning my 2022 makes, I knew I wanted this one to make the list. It has been sitting around for much too long (even when I didn’t realize quite how long!), and it has never been because I didn’t like the fabric. At first, I had no clue what to do with knits. Once I started understanding and enjoying sewing with knits, I simply kept overlooking it in lieu of other projects. Enough was enough!

I had purchased the Leona pattern in a sale on Makerist last year (for $2! What a bargain!), and decided this was the time to get that pattern out! I love the silhouette of the Leona – the deep neckline that doesn’t feel overly revealing, the thin straps, the side slits. It has a great shape which can really be played to a more casual or a more dressy feel, depending on the fabric. Paired with this fabric, I knew that I’d end up with a dress that felt very me in silhouette but would also feel perfectly fine to wear outside with the kids or running errands. 

I was right! I love this dress quite a bit, and I wore it out into the world for the very first time on a day that we went to a 5 year old’s trampoline park birthday party! I layered a jean jacket on top, and didn’t feel overdressed while chasing a toddler through the trampolines, but I totally felt like I could shed the jacket and go on a cute date with my husband (if only that were in the cards!!)

This was my first time with the pattern, and I was a little nervous it would come out too fitted and accentuate my mama belly. I sized into the 12 based off of measurements, but sized up thanks to those nerves. This wasn’t really the right move. The pattern recommends choosing your size based on bust measurement, and honestly I fall into a 12 but almost a 10 in the bust. So when it was all said and done, I had a good bit of gaping in the underarm area. It wasn’t unwearable, but it was noticeable without a jacket on and bothered me enough to go in and make a few little tweaks.

Overall, I’ll need to do something different the next time I use this pattern, but I’m happy enough with this one. It isn’t perfect but I am definitely going to be wearing it regularly now that it is feeling like SUMMER outside!! This dress, which was my self-chosen April project, marks the completion of FOUR months worth of pre-planned, stash-busting projects that I laid out last year. I’m really enjoying these intentional makes in between collaboration-based sews, and I love that it means this 8-year old fabric has finally made it off the shelf and onto my skin!

Dress: handmade by me
Pattern: Tammy Handmade – Leona Dress
Fabric: Hawthorne Supply Co.– Valori Wells – Wish Knit – Andy in Grace

Key Ingredients: 
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine 
Brother 1034D Overlocker 
Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Needles
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Heat & Bond Soft Stretch (Lite)

Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! Both the pattern and fabric used in this garment were purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!

  • XX Elizabeth

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