After trying a couple of the patterns from Scottish Homer+Howells I was thrilled to be able to join the tester group for their latest pattern, the Ingrid top and dress. I have learned a lot during the process, and I have a new top to show for it, too. Win!
I chose to sew the top version during the testing period because initially I was unsure if the dress would be for me. I love the style, however, and I think it is spot on with the asymmetric gathered skirt and voluminous gathered sleeves. It looks like something you would expect to find in COS or maybe Arket, very cool and modern. There are in fact two dress versions: A mini dress with wide t-shirt sleeves and a midi. As much as I love the mini on others, I think I would feel more like myself in the midi version. Let’s just say I have put it on my project list.
Let’s talk a bit about the design lines of Ingrid: It has a modern crew neck and a deep keyhole opening in the back. The sleeves come as mentioned with or without a gathered cuff, with different pattern pieces for both versions. The asymmetric skirt comes in two lengths. The defining feature of the pattern, however, is probably the bust tuck which adds shaping instead of traditional darts. The bust tuck looks fabulous and I think it’s ingenious, a wonderful idea. The placement is important, it should sit just above the chestbone to look its best. Ingrid comes with very clear instructions and the pattern is reworked after testing and comes together perfectly. Seam allowance is included in the pattern. Have a look at the #hhingrid tag on Instagram for more inspiration.
Sewing Ingrid is pretty straight forward if you are a somewhat experienced sewer, but I recommend paying attention to the details and make sure the bust tuck aligns perfectly. I struggled a little with the keyhole opening in the back. It’s unfortunately gaping a little, maybe because I stretched it out. During testing I learned how to take out a tiny wedge of the opening by pinning it out to nothing towards the shoulder, so I’ll try that next time. I’m considering adding a zipper on this version to get rid of the gaping. Otherwise everything was smooth sailing. I made it in a crisp cotton poplin, but any mid-weight structured fabric will do, like lawn, linen, taffeta or fine cords. Avoid very lightweight fabrics with a lot of drape to prevent the sleeves, tuck and gathers from collapsing.
The actual testing was very interesting, too. We were invited to join a Slack group which made it very simple to share photos and ask questions. Everyone was very supportive and helpful, and I got loads of inspiration and ideas from the process. This was my first experience of a social testing period but hopefully not the last. Susan and Nic, the designers, were very supportive and answered any questions we had, and it was great having a such a well informed mini community to discuss the testing with. All information and deadlines were super clear, and with enough time to complete each step. I will definitely join again if they still want me.
I fit very well into the Homer+Howell block, fortunately, and this is a size 12 with no other adjustments than shortening it by 1 cm. The sizing is not as generous as some of their other patterns, so I advice against sizing down – choose your regular size for Ingrid.
I like this top both tucked and untucked, and hopefully I will soon be able to wear it, finally, because the weather is warming up at last after the coldest spring in memory. The next week will be balmy, and if that wasn’t enough, we are finally allowed to go out at restaurants and cafes again after seven months of lockdown. Nothing is better than a beautiful new top to celebrate that with dear friends. I think Ingrid would look good with a glass of cold rosé, dont you agree?
Transparency: I received the pattern for free with no obligation to post about it. The fabric is purchased by me.
Pattern: Ingrid dress and top from Homer+Howells
Size: UK12 (EU40)
Fabric: 1.7 m cotton poplin, 110 cm wide from Rainbow Fashion, Oslo
Time: One day