Nina Lee Mayfair Dress in Art Gallery Jersey

Nina Lee Mayfair Dress in Art Gallery Fabric Jersey

When I find that a project gets worn repeatedly, I do tend to make a few versions. I have two Nina Lee Mayfair dresses already, both made in quite a slinky jersey fabric. As a result, I wear them a lot in summer. They are comfortable due to the fact that they aren't fitted, relying on a belt for shaping and I like the collar feature which looks nice with hair up. It was only a matter of time before I tried different fabrics!

Nina Lee Mayfair Dress in Art Gallery Fabric Jersey


I've been considering a dress in Art Gallery Jersey for some time. I enjoy the feel of this thicker, soft cotton jersey in my Moneta dress, but the style doesn't fit into my preferences so well. Still, I think AGF jersey would be a great choice for a dress. I sourced this fabric from for £24.99 per metre (I have seen it 20% reduced since then). Seeing as this is more expensive than I would normally go for in fabric, I limited myself to 1.5m. I knew this would be able to yield a dress, likely with short sleeves, but not a lot of room for mistakes.

It is worth the investment though. The fabric is great to sew with - cuts nicely, presses well and easy to sew. It really does behave itself, staying exactly where you put it! I do always use a walking foot where I can which helped with the pattern matching elements, but the fabric helps a lot. To wear, it's comfortable and has more structure and warmth than my other versions. I will include photos of all 3 at the bottoms so that you can compare. This one definitely sits stronger at the back neck, which I quite like for this version.

Nina Lee Mayfair Dress in Art Gallery Jersey

Pattern and Instructions

Nina Lee does have brilliant patterns. They are so clear and easy to follow - and that applies to the pattern pieces as well as the written instructions as well. If you can get hold of a printed pattern, I would say in this case, it's worth the extra (I wish mine was but I was too eager to get hold of one). There is enough explanation at the outset and along the way to make sure that it's super clear what to do. This particular pattern only has a few pieces: front, back, sleeves and belt. The most complicated part this time was the shawl style collar which requires a bit of burrito (and took a couple of goes for me, but is totally my patchy skills). I really needed this project - something simple, easy and that I knew would work. Even with a little bit of unpicking, it was a quick project. 

Nina Lee Mayfair Dress in Art Gallery Jersey

I didn't have to adjust this pattern and in this case, top stitching the belt was easier due to the thicker fabric. I tried very hard to match up horizontal lines, but didn't consider the other part of the pattern at the cutting out stage, so there are parts where it's not perfectly matched. The Sewing Bee judges would probably spot it, but I think in general wear no one is going to notice.

Verdict - win. I'm looking forward to having this one in Autumn with tights and a cardi. 

Nina Lee Mayfair Dress in Art Gallery Jersey


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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