February 11, 2020

New Valerie inspiration!

Here they are, photos from our official Valerie photoshoot! If you haven't got your Valerie dress pattern yet, you can buy it here. And I've got great news for you - to celebrate our gorgeous new images, you can get 15% off Valerie all week by putting YAYVALERIE in at checkout (offer ends on February 18)!

Without further ado, let's hear all about these Valeries, learn some sewing tips, and get some inspiration along the way.

Perfect for Spring

Our first Valerie shows off the flirty and elegant flounce sleeve option in a beautiful silk/cotton blend. This mid-weight fabric has just the right amount of body to hold the structure of the bodice, while being drapey enough to let the flounce sit softly and elegantly.


Want to try it couture-style?

This sample was a more advanced make, with some real couture methods applied (why not take it to the next level for a truly gorgeous fabric like this?). The hem of the skirt and sleeves were both hemmed invisibly by hand. One tip for sewing with silk - it is so easy to accidentally leave visible holes in silk. I avoided using pins anywhere other than within the seam allowance. And while for most fabrics, I like to use a spike wheel and transfer paper to mark the darts, I was extra careful and used tailors tacks, placed within the body of the dart. Additionally, I used pins specifically for silk; they are extra fine and carry much less risk of damaging or snagging fine fabrics!



Tips for patterned fabrics

  • Is the fabric directional? In this case, yes! Wouldn't it be a tragedy to cut this fabric with the flowers growing downwards towards the ground?? I make a point never to cut tricky fabrics while tired. Those costly mistakes can be very frustrating!
  • Secondly, plan your placement carefully! With an artistic, large-scale print like this, I made sure to avoid awkward placement of flowers. One classic mistake is to accidentally cut so there is a big flower sitting squarely on one, or both boobs! Not the most elegant look. I also made sure to cut the front bodice so the flower stalks were placed off-centre. A large stalk placed vertically in the centre of the bodice would chop the body in half vertically and look quite strange.


Invisible zips

Ah, invisible zips. So elegant. Valerie features one in the centre back. Yet there are so many ways to do them. My tip is to baste them in with your longest machine stitch next to the teeth (You can even baste only in the tricky areas, like the base, and seam intersections). This helps you test that you've got it in correctly before committing to the small stitches!

    An extra special flounce

    If your fabric doesn't quite drape as softly as you'd like for the flounce, you can always do a narrow bias facing on the edge, instead of a double turned hem. This reduces bulk in the area so the flounce can drape, instead of sticking out. Look closely and you'll see a narrow silk facing on our Valerie! It's those little details that make us all starry-eyed. 


    Take it through to Autumn!

    Our other Valerie gives a completely different look, using the long sleeves and cuff. Wouldn't this be perfect with tights to bring you through the colder seasons?  



    Fabric choice is key!

    For the gathered cuff view, you will want a fabric that is lightweight enough to take gathering well. This rayon crepe is a fantastic choice for these sleeves!


    Clever details

    If you want to really highlight those elegant raglan seams, add some detail with some complementary piping! One of my favourite aspects of this design is how the angle of the pockets echoes the diagonal raglan seams. Using flat piping in these seams is a great way to show them off, as well as breaking up a busy print!



    Why stop at piping?

    Perhaps you're feeling extra clever and want to match your button to your piping. A covered button kit will be all you need to take it to the next level!


    The rest is up to you

    What kind of Valerie would you make? Personally, I can't wait to try a few new Valerie looks - first up is a chambray short-sleeved Valerie, which will be perfect to bring out a more casual feel (I'll be experimenting with some top-stitching too!)

    I can't wait to see what you all make. Everyone has been sharing such beautiful Valeries on social media (check out our Instagram or Facebook for inspiration and updates!). You can also search under #fmnValerie on Instagram. And remember, you can buy Valerie here.

     I hope the new imagery has inspired you. Look out for more fun photoshoot images coming your way soon!

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