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Me Made May 2016 Week 1: Vilma x 2

First week of Me Made May is over and I made two dresses! Both are done using the same pattern, Vilma, from Mekkotehdas aikuisille. It’s now become my go-to pattern for knit dresses.

Under the bottom of the UFO pile I found this green polkadot dress. All pieces were already cut and ready to sew. I’d bought just one meter of the fabric and managed to tetris all pattern pieces out of it with some modifications. Sleeves were shortened to a t-shirt length (the pattern has ¾ sleeves with a ruffle).

I’d also shortened the hem by some 10 cm and was worried it was going to be too short with the hem turned. Luckily, I found a perfect length of vintage lace in my stash. Flatlock that to the hem and voilà - a summer Vilma!

Now this I’m very pleased with! My butterfly Vilma turned out even better than I expected. It’s sooo comfortable to wear! Again, I made a few modifications.

Mod #1: Neckline In the pattern photo, the neckline is cleverly (?) hidden with a shawl. Take a look at the pattern schematic and you can see the neckline is a really low-cut scoop — too low for my liking. So, I drafted a smaller neckline and added a fabric band cut from the selvage edge.

Mod #2: Pockets Cause you gotta have pockets! I found the perfect instructions and the pocket pattern piece in Tilly’s book Love at First Stitch. Mod #3: Sleeves If you had to pick out one flaw in the pattern, I’d say it’s the sleeves. They’re very narrow at the upper arm, like cut-off-circulation narrow. They’re also ¾ length and end in a ruffle, but I wanted something simpler. Having sewn this pattern before I knew what to alter, and drafted a new full-length sleeve pattern.

Mod #4: To gather or not to gather The front hem piece of the green polkadot one was cut according to pattern – the hem is wider than the bodice and gathered in the middle. For the butterfly one I didn’t want that much volume. The bodice and hem pieces are the same width but there’s an elastic tape sewn in the seam to give that empire-waist look. I love this dress! Too bad I made it with long sleeves because it’s too hot to wear in the summer. :D Or I could wish for a cold and rainy summer…

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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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