A Mayfair Affair

When you think of London's Mayfair, what springs to mind? For me it is elegance and sophistication, tree lined streets and glossy black front doors. That's exactly the sort of air that Nina Lee London's Mayfair dress evokes. A perfect balance of comfort and style, this pattern is made for jersey and other knit fabrics and is designed to flatter every figure.

Mayfair would make the perfect work dress, for when we all return to the normal world. Because of it's loose fit and knit fabric, it is incredibly comfortable, meaning you could sit in this all day and still feel great. Even though it is a stretch garment, there is a lot of positive ease, and most of the dress is sewn with straight stitches or zigzags, much like you would sew a woven garment. For this reason its a good introduction to sewing with stretch, for any confident beginners who are well versed in sewing with wovens.

Mayfair has some lovely pattern details that set it apart from other jersey dresses. Firstly, it has a self-faced neckline that, on first look, seems a complicated addition, but the instructions are brilliantly clear and it finishes off the inside neatly, giving the dress a professional look. The other detail we love is the pleated back collar. The two halves are pleated down separately, using pattern notches, and then matched and seamed. You then sew this part to the dress neckline and all of a sudden it starts to make sense.

As the Mayfair is made with positive ease, it makes fitting a this dress a breeze. You bring in the waist with some elastic on the front panel (neatly hidden by the belt) that gathers it down without having the ‘elasticated waist’ look that can sometimes cheapen a garment. You can then tie the belt behind you for a chic and sophisticated look.

The dress comes with two versions and three sleeve options. Version 1 is a knee length dress and Version 2 is a maxi length. There are short, elbow and long sleeves, so you can mix and match to make everything from a flirty summer beach dress, to smart workwear and a dramatic evening dress. It all depends on the fabric you choose.

We made ours in our black cotton jersey and chose the short version with elbow length sleeves. Its a lovely workwear option if dressed up with heels, or jazzed up with colourful tights and trainers it makes for a funky basic dress. We also made the short sleeved version up in our Olive Marl jersey, which is such a gorgeous fabric to work with.

As you can make this little beauty up in almost any stretch fabric, we've popped some of our faves below.

L-R: Lady McElroy Terracotta Moon Gemstones; Navy Glitter Stripe French Terry Cotton Jersey; Eggshell Stripe Cotton Jersey; Olive Marl Cotton Jersey; TATB Love Your Nails Cotton Jersey; Pewter Dotty Cotton Jersey; Snow Leopard Cotton Jersey; Lady McElroy Savannah Crepe Jersey; Nautical Ponte Roma - Navy on White;

So go on, start your affair with Mayfair today!

Keep Safe and Happy Sewing, the Sew Creative team x

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