Hello there! How are you? I hope you’re having an incredible day! It’s getting close to the holidays! Can you feel the excitement building? We celebrate Christmas here and the kids have their final day of school tomorrow. To say they are excited would be an understatement.
I’m one of those people who doesn’t get excited for the holidays…until the last minute. Once the 15th (or so) rolls around, it starts to hit me that Christmas is right around the corner and I only have X amount of days to get things done. When this happens, I normally kick into high gear, & spend 20/24 hours in a day sewing, decorating, wrapping making cookies, etc. This year, I’m down with a sinusitis and bronchitis, so I’ve been moving a bit more slowly than usual. I’m determined not to let it stop me. Not that mom life ever REALLY stops, anyway. As a result, we won’t be traveling after Christmas like we had planned. Instead, I can use the time to relax (she says, knowing full well she has 4 kids. ha!) and recuperate (hopefully!).
I have been in a frenzy, since I still have so many people I need gifts for. When I got the Be still and know panel from Aurora Designs, I fell in love with it. I had been using it as a wall hanging in my office (just pinned it around a frame, see above), but knew it would be absolutely perfect for my mama. While I was cutting out the Be still panel, I decided I should do another dolman with the largest size Zero Foxes Given panel. At first, I thought it would quite funny to give them both to my mom, so on days when she felt one way or another, she could advertise it with her shirts….but then when I put more thought into it, I realized I wasn’t sure she would wear them both and I would hate for a good Fox to go to waste. (It’s my favorite panel!) I still had yet to get my friend Laura something. Thankfully, she is about the same size as my mom & would LOVE the fox. So that was an easy decision….although if I’m really being honest, I would have been plenty happy to keep it and wear it myself, even though it’s too big. haha.
The Halla slim dolman pattern is one of their many free patterns you can find on the Halla Patterns website. You will need to join the Halla Patterns Facebook Group to grab the code that makes it free upon checkout. The code is in the pinned post, once you’re added to the group. While you’re in the group, be sure to check out all the other freebies! I love the stardust tank, swing tank, sleep shorts and kids leggings. (I have the others downloaded but haven’t tried them yet) The slim dolman is one of my constants. You know those patterns that you leave out, because you know you’re just going to use them again, right away? This is one of those for me. I like to make it with the lower/wider neckline and all the cuffs. I also love to cut it on the hemming lines, THEN add cuffs, to give it a bit more length and a bit looser of a fit up top. I’m a fan of sleeves being around my hands, for some reason, especially when you add thumbholes. The photo above was one of my most recent slim dolmans (also made with Aurora Design Panels and fabric!)
The pattern is easy to follow and easy to modify, if you wish. There are instructions for dong a short sleeve version, banded, unbanded, hemmed, etc. You can widen the neckline, make the arms more of a batwing style or make it a boxier cut. All your choice. It’s a great basic staple that works well any way you want to make it, in just about any fabric! For these 2, I used the Aurora Design Fabrics largest panels, a yard of their natural cotton lycra solid and then some pink sweater knit I had in my stash. I’m currently waiting on a large order of french terry and double brushed poly solids and can’t wait to get them in my hands and make more dolmans!
To make the panels work on the entire front, I had to trim the attached sleeve for the Be still and know shirt. (As admins, we receive the panels/pieces with “flaws” and the flaw on this particular piece was that it wasn’t perfectly centered) I took a few pictures of how I did it. Basically, I unfolded the panel as far as it would go, to be sure and use every piece of it. Then I folded the sleeve into a straight line where it needed to be cut, trimmed that piece off of the sleeve piece (the part attached to the shirt bodice pattern piece) and added it to the seperate sleeve piece. It was easy enough to hack with a dolman style. Let me know if you have any questions, but I’m hoping the pictures make it fairly easy to see. 🙂
The “hack” (if you want to even call it that) was simple enough. I’ve also done a bit of colorblocking on the sides of smaller panels, to make them work as the front of it. You can sew small pieces of your coordinating fabric on the sides, top and bottom if needed to use it. The panels I used for these two were the adult sized panels. The first one I showed was the standard size, with a bit more colorblocking done. You can find all the Aurora Design Fabrics panels here. Feel free to drop me a comment or find me on Facebook and ask any questions you need to!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading! Happy Holidays and enjoy all your holiday sewing! What presents are you planning to make? Have you made a lot of them already? I would love to see your work, too!
You can find the Halla website here: Halla Patterns
The Halla Facebook group (with the free coupon code for the patterns) is here: Halla Facebook Group
And the Aurora Designs Facebook Group is here: Aurora Design Fabrics Facebook Group
The Aurora Designs shop: Aurora Design Fabrics Website
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! Have a wonderful day!
Until next time,
April Simpson Hunt
Mermaid Mama Designs