By Hand London Jenna Dress in the Prettiest Double Gauze

Well, I’ve been up to a little bit of sewing! It’s been so tough to find time to myself to sew lately – a combination of the admin of about to move house, and a toddler who has been fighting sleep. Not ideal!

Anyway, I’ve managed to steal lots of snippets of time here and there to sew this. And I’m so pleased to A) Finally finish it, and; B) Show it to you all!

This is a By Hand London Jenna Dress. As soon as this pattern dropped, I immediately added to the sewing list. It was one of those which I fell in love with, and attached to instantly. But it’s taken a while for me to get round to finding the perfect fabric, and actually having some much needed time to myself to sew!

And then…. I came across this stunning double gauze fabric at my local haberdashery, Backstitch. And WOW. Just WOW. I love the splashes of colour… the arty Jackson Pollock-ness of this… and the neon pink is just stunning.

I married this fabric up with the Jenna pattern because I felt as though it was a little bit of a clash of girly cutesy dress with the sort of girly grungey/graffiti kind of look. Anyway, that’s where my brain went in case you’re interested 😉

The Jenna pattern was just as you would expect from By Hand London. Beautifully straightforward – literally no issues with this at all. It was an absolute joy to sew.

I tweaked the back neckline to bring it in a little, as it was quite gapey on me. And I think if/when I make another Jenna I will try to just take a little out of the front neckline too. It’s not a big deal, but I think I could tweak that a tiny bit and have the perfect fit. I didn’t bother toile’ing this – time was scarce and excitement was high (sure you’ve been there and bought the t-shirt!).

The double gauze fabric was a little on the sheer side so I decided to fully line the whole dress with a white cotton lawn – which adds to the lovely soft feel when wearing this. I picked up the lawn at Cotton Reel Studio‘s closing down sale, and have to say it is so lovely. Buttery softness at its best.

Oh and how did I get this far without mentioning the ties on the sleeves?! They’re so cute. And very easy to sew. These were maybe the main feature which sold the dress to me. I love the girly style they give the dress. The only thing I found was that I wasn’t sure whether or not to double knot them. A single knot looked better, but it didn’t last long before it fell apart. Or maybe I should just stitch them together…. I don’t know…!

One other small thing I decided to do to this dress – I used a lightweight interfacing and fused it to all of the bodice pattern pieces. I decided this would help with holding the structure, as otherwise the double gauze being a nice loose weave, would have potential for sagging out of shape.

I also dug out my hand sewing skills for finishing the little details – like the lining along the zipper, and the hem. I feel like when I spend the time to hand stitch a hem, I appreciate the dress so much more! I don’t always do this… in fact I mostly whizz my hems through the overlocker, and then topstitch on the machine… but now and then I feel like a dress is truly worthy of having that time spent on this final detail 🙂

Anyway, hope you’re into this dress! I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to drop me a comment – or head on over to my Instagram to give me your thoughts!

Jen x

Pattern: By Hand London Jenna Dress

Fabric (shell): Double gauze from Backstitch 

Fabric (lining): Plain white cotton lawn from Cotton Reel Studio closing down sale

Size made: 10

Alterations made: Adjusted back neckline to remove gape (narrow shoulders adjustment)

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