Dressmaking · Pattern Testing

Pattern test: Homer & Howells Ingrid

I tested this pattern for Homer & Howells and in return was given a copy of the final pattern as well as a pattern of my choosing from their range. All views as usual honest and my own!

Following the recent discussions in the sewing community, I reached out to Homer & Howells regarding their size expansion plans, as currently this pattern is only available up to 52″ hip.

Introducing Ingrid! I am on the Homer & Howell’s pattern testing team and as usual really enjoyed working with their pattern. Nic and Susan have a wealth of pattern designing experience between them from the RTW fashion industry and you can really see this in their patterns.

Now then. When I first saw the Ingrid line drawings, I’ll admit I was a little dubious as to whether I would take on this test. This is a very modern, asymmetric pattern with a geometric style and voluminous sleeves. All absolutely beautiful, but not necessarily my personal style.

However one of the things I really enjoy about pattern testing is the opportunity to try something new. It feels a little less pressured to me as (depending on the designer!) as you are not making something with the aim of a perfect photogenic make that will make people buy it, but rather checking the instructions and pattern pieces and being mindful of your process and understanding as you go. It also takes the pressure off using the “good” fabric and often when pattern testing I’ll make a toile then if I like the pattern, remake it in fashion fabric.

With Homer & Howell’s it definitely feels like the latter and there was no pressure to share our makes publicly if we didn’t want to. This test wasn’t paid but we did receive Ingrid and another pattern of our choosing, as well as being able to chat on Slack which I enjoyed a lot. If you are interested in pattern testing, or the topic of paid sewing marketing, I really recommend this conversation piece by Time to Sew as well as the ensuing conversations on Instagram which are much more eloquent than myself.

Anyway, back to the Ingrid! I was excited to try a new style on me and as always learn from Nic & Susan’s patterns.

There are multiple views to the pattern including a lovely dress, but I went for the top view which has the tuck front and elasticated sleeve.

The tuck on the front pattern replaces any darts and is a really nice detail that I hadn’t come across before. It was tricky at first but once I got my head around it, really neat!

The other lovely feature of this pattern is the sleeves. Recently I explored the magical world of sleeve heads when making a Betty dress and learned that the “flatter” a sleeve head, the more movement in the armhole. This is a very flat sleeve and hence is super comfortable and lovely. Even better, there is no ease and therefore no gathering, so the volume is at the cuff which I really like. I will DEFINITELY be tracing this sleeve onto other patterns as it’s one of the nicest I have sewn.

I used a toile fabric for this make from my local market in Amsterdam. This top therefore cost me a grand total of 2 euro and honestly I think I’ll get so much wear from it!

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There is a keyhole back which, full disclosure I messed up a bit. I wanted a ribbon tie but it isn’t as neat as I would have liked it to be. The original button closure is also lovely.

I made a size 12 graded to a 14 on the hips in this pattern. Homer & Howell’s is drafted for a C cup but I didn’t need any adjustments on this make and the shoulders fit really well. A note about the sizing – following the conversations currently happening in the sewing community, I wrote to H&H to ask about their sizing expansion plans as this is currently available up to 52″ hip. I look forward to seeing their patterns become available to more sewists beyond this size range.

I hope you found these notes useful and like the Ingrid!

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