Test: The Overlap by Dhurata Davies

The newest pattern from Dhurata Davies Patterns is a real chameleon that can be interpreted in so many ways. Testing patterns is always interesting and worthwhile, but to be honest I don’t always love the result. This time, I’m already planning my next version. That’s how versatile I think it is. It’s completely season-less and a true wardrobe classic.

Recently when Dhurata contacted me and asked if I would like to make a test version of her newest pattern, the Overlap, I hesitated at first because it was a short time frame and I had made other sewing plans (as always). It didn’t take long before my other plans were postponed because I loved the idea of a rather simple construction with emphasis on the finishing and details. It is a kimono-style jacket, blouse, dress or duster that could be made up in almost any kind of fabric and style. View A is hip-length and view B hits just above the knees, and you can add optional belt loops and pockets.

It is unlined, but in place of a lining the pattern includes several suggestions and instructions for how to finish the edges: Hong Kong binding, flat-felled seams and french seams (suggested for lightweight fabrics only). Using one or several of these techniques will result in a garment as beautiful and neat inside as on the outside.

My version is view A with both the side- and back belt loops and one pocket on the right front. The fabric is a medium weight tencel/linen slub. It contains only 20% linen, so it has lovely drape with some additional crispness from the linen and small irregular “slubs” in the weave. I also had to make some bias binding for the Hong Kong seams because I had nothing useful in my stash and there was no time for shopping. A remnant of some lovely Atelier Brunette viscose came to the rescue. A little fabric goes a long way when making bias binding, and for this project I used around 3 meters but have plenty left for another project.

When mixing fabrics I prefer them to have something in common, either the pattern, color or texture to make it look intentional. The tencel and viscose has similar properties and work well together, and the dark background color the patterned fabric is a good match to the dark tencel. A linen binding would have been lovely, too, and probably easier to sew.

I decided to sew the shoulder, sleeve and side seams flat-felled with contrast top stitching. Tencel isn’t the easiest fabric to handle, and I had to do some unpicking several times (with additional swear words) before it looked okay. I’ve since learned from Dhurata that wash-away quilting tape is a great help for achieving even flat-felled seams. The pocket and belt loops have contrast stitching, too. I wanted to tie the pink from the bias binding to another part of the design with the contrast seams.

The instructions are clear and very easy to follow. I think Dhurata’s patterns are great value for confident beginners or anyone looking for a hand to hold on to when exploring new techniques. Hong Kong binding, french seams and flat-felled seams are all classic techniques that can enhance any garment if applied properly. They are great additions to your skill set, and if you don’t know how to make them already, here’s your chance. If you are an experienced sewer, here’s a chance to show off your skills and make something beautiful for yourself – or maybe as a gift? It is an easy pattern to fit. I made a size 12 as per the sizing table and the only thing I would do differently next time is shaving 2 cm off of the sleeves, but that’s a common alteration for me.

It’s easy to imagine this pattern sewn up in a number of different fabrics: Wool, linen, silk, tencel, viscose and cotton will all work incredibly well as long as they have some drape. A very stiff wool or cotton would probably be less suitable. You can make a blouse, light jacket, a dress or a duster, or why not make loungewear? In the Winter of Covid 19 we could all use an Overlap to hug us and shield us from the cold outside. I’m planning to style my version with a lightweight turtleneck when we head into winter, and I think it will work as a light jacket, maybe over a slip dress when summer finally arrives again.

I highly recommend this pattern to anyone. It can be playful, elegant, cozy and anything in between. If you need help or advice, Dhurata is the sweetest and most helpful person in the world, so don’t hesitate to ask. My next version is probably a knee length version in a linen/wool gauze that I never knew what to do with until now. Watch this space!

Transparency: The pattern was given to me without any other obligations than giving feedback to the designer. All fabric is from my stash.

Pattern: The Overlap by Dhurata Davies patterns (size 4-24UK, paper or pdf)
Size: 12UK, no modifications. My bust measurement is 91 cm
Fabric: 2.1 m Tencel linen club from Metermeter (discontinued), and 3 m viscose crepe bias tape made from an Atelier Brunette remnant

Time: A day or so

You can see my other makes from Dhurata’s patterns here.

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