Hey my Sewcialists!
I’m popping in today with a review of the Lani Gown by a new-to-me pattern company Iviye! By the looks of it, I’m not the only one who has been in the dark re this company…well, if my Insta poll is anything to go by. 95% of those who voted had no idea this pattern company existed…so I’m about to change that.
Iviye is a small, black-owned, indie pattern company established in April 2020. Lynn, the face behind Iviye, gifted me three of her latest pattern releases for review. I recognize and applaud any pattern company for their hard work in producing patterns and I am thankful to Lynn for trusting me to review not one, but three of hers. That being said, transparency and authenticity are important to me on my social platforms and those of you who follow along my journey, deserve my honest opinions on any and all sewing projects I embark upon. This is no exception. The opinions I am about to share on this pattern are my own.
The Lani Gown is a flowy caftan with three lengths: tunic, midi and gown. I really wanted to sew up the gown, but my fabric would not allow for it. I had 3 yards of a 60” width fabric, and was able to cut out the midi length with minimal scraps. Although the pattern gives a size range from XS-4X i.e. bust 35”-60”, it is, in actuality a one-size-fits-most kinda pattern. The only sizing indications on the pattern itself, were the markings for the inner tie placement.
The pattern is designed for woven fabrics with cotton, linen and silk being the recommended ones. When I shopped my fabric stash, I opted for this light weight, border print viscose with gorgeous drape. My hubby bought this fabric on a trip to Dominica and I was pretty impressed that he didn’t buy me something stiff and scratchy. I loved the print on the fabric, but I was a little less keen about the colour on me. TBH I’ve never really been drawn to yellow… then I had my colours professionally done a few weeks back by ‘yourcolorguru’, and confirmed what I already sorta knew. If you’re interested in giving this a go, be sure to use my affiliate code: unsewcial to save yourself 10% off on your color analysis! Anywayyssss, hubby bought the fabric, and it NEEDED to be transformed into something fabulous. Sooooo rich Auntie… here we come!
As expected, this fabric was challenging to work with. It feels like butter on the skin, and felt like butter to cut too! I did press my fabric with spray starch to make it a little easier to handle, but I still had to exercise extreme caution when placing, cutting and sewing it. Instead of positioning the border at the hem of the caftan, as is probably expected, I chose to place the border down the side. I figured this would add some extra oomph to the caftan… and THAT. IT. DID!
The pattern is rated for a beginner to immediate sewer but I’m not quite sure I agree, let me explain why. The pattern itself is beginner friendly, and only has 3 pieces: the back, the front and the ties. However, a beginner sewist might find that the accompanying instructions are a little scant. What’s more, the pattern instructions did not have any diagrams, which are quite helpful, especially to visual learners. Notwithstanding, I was able to construct the pattern with very little head scratching, but I regard myself as an advanced beginner/intermediate sewer.
Another thing of note is that the instructions have you finish the neckline of this pattern either by doing a double turned hem, or using bias binding. In my experience, (which is arguably very little) pinning and sewing bias binding around a curve can be a little tricky; so too can neatly pressing a curved hem into place. Perhaps a beginner would struggle with either of these options,… I know I did!
Personally, I don’t fancy bias binding finishes and I substitute them for a different finishing technique whenever I can. This time, I drafted facing pieces for the neckline. The facing added a little more support , is much neater and as a bonus, allowed me to easily add my sewing label. Whichever method you choose, I would suggest stay stitching your neckline very early into your project, especially if your fabric grows! This was not included in the pattern instructions, but it will save you a lot of headache… ask me how I know.
The pattern included a ½” seam allowance (although a ⅝” seam allowance is more common). This was perfect as my fabric was screaming for french seams. It didn’t take me long to cave in to my fabric’s wishes, as it frayed just from being looked at!
By way of observation, there are no lengthen/shorten lines included on the pattern, though I don’t think they were particularly necessary, at least not on this one. I did reduce the front bodice by ¼” between the shoulders and bust, but I simply picked a spot in the general area, and went with it. I also made a ¼” hollow hip adjustment as well as a ¼” sway back adjustment. Do not be alarmed; these are all typical adjustments for me, so no surprise there.
I’ll tell you a secret, when I tried on this caftan, I wasn’t sure it was my style. I had never sewn a caftan before… in fact, I’ve never even tried one on. I felt a little better once I added the internal ties, though next time, I’ll have to remember to raise them. I felt A LOT better once I had styled it for my photoshoot. I think I’m missing some large Jackie-O sun glasses and perhaps a martini glass, but cheers to the rich auntie vybes!
If you have any specific questions about this pattern, be sure to leave me a comment or head on over to my instagram account @unsewcial and let’s chat. If I’ve managed to spark your curiosity about this company and you wanna give this or any other Iviye pattern a go, please feel free to use my bonus code: Unsewcial20 for 20% off. Come on, let’s be rich aunties together (think Crazy Rich Asians – the movie).
Gotta luv ya and leave ya.
Until next time,
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