A Monkey Eloise

A post by Josie

The pattern: Eloise Dress from By Hand London (available as a PDF only)

The fabric: Monkey Business Viscose Satin (SOLD OUT)

The Sewing Machine: Husqvarna EPIC 980Q

When I got this fabric I knew I had to make something really dramatic with it. And even though I vowed that my next make would not have any ruffles, how could I make anything but a maxi dress with a ruffle in this fabric?



Who better to go to for a dramatic dress pattern than the always fabulous By Hand London, these girls have got party sewing solutions for everyone. I made a couple of hacks to the pattern, as I pretty much always do. I added in a waist seam, as someone who is very pear shaped I prefer my clothes to slowly get wider as they go down. This prevents that baggy waist and tight across the hips finish. I call it the Wizbit (if you don’t know Wizbit here he is, ha ha this away, haha that away) Once I had added a gentle gathered waist I felt that the circular frill at the bottom of the original pattern wouldn’t sit quite right so I changed it for a straight frill.



Viscose satin is not the easiest of fabrics to sew with, it moves all over the place and has a tendency to pull and pucker when you sew it.

Luckily, I was using the Husqvarna EPIC 980Q. This machine really does live up to its name. It was Epic. When I got this machine I was intrigued to know if spending substantially more on a sewing machine than I did on my first car would really make that much difference (The Machine retails at around £4499). The simple answer is hell yes!


When sewing with a lightweight satin I like to use a short stitch length, with this machine you can quickly alter the stitch length using the touch screen. You an also tell the machine what kind of fabric you are sewing with and it does some magic adjustments to make sure that your fabric glides smoothly through the machine with perfect tension.

This machine will also automatically thread your needle. Yes, that is right. Just press a button and ‘ping’ your needle is threaded.

Strangely, once I had finished this dress it felt really wearable, like I could easily wear it to work, on the school run etc.. This surprised me (in a good way). I was expecting this to be a super fancy dress, real frosting, what with the bold fabric choice and floor skimming frill. But somehow it isn’t, it is really versatile, which just makes me love it even more.


There are loads of other amazing features on this machine that I didn’t get a chance to try out such as the electronic button hole maker and a did I mention that the Husqvarna EPIC 980Q actually threads your needle for you??

(NB This blog post was written in conjunction with Viking Husqvarna UK but all opinions are my own)


Happy sewing, Josie xxx




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