Sunday, March 19, 2023

Edwardian Fan Walking Skirt - Simplicity 8747

Finished garment photo coming.

Simplicity 8747 (2018)

Pattern Description: Misses' mid-length full skirt with a center-front seam and a godet at center back from a vintage-style two-piece suit.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes: 16-18-20-22-24; I cut size 22.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Exactly, it's a simple but classic design.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were very easy, but it's important to mark all the marks from the pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern works perfectly for replicating my inspiration outfit.

Fabric Used: 
58" Stretch faux suede (90% polyester, 10% Spandex) in Sycamore from Joann Fabrics, Coats All-Purpose 7" polyester zipper in Forest Green, Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Forest Green #792

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Interestingly, the fabric was tough to pin, and I pulled out a size 16 ball point needle to sew it without skipping stitches. However, that bodes well for winter warmth, meaning no cold breezes will get through!

Initially, I thought of making the skirt flared at the bottom or adding more width to the back godet. However, I procrastinated enough that a straightforward sew was best. I didn't get that straightforward so though. The combination of cutting the pattern as 22 instead of 20 and it being a stretch fabric meant that I eventually had to unpick the entire thing, cut it down a size, and sew it up again. Ugh.

After cutting it down to size it fit better but not perfectly. I attached the waistband and instead of slip stitching as I usually do, I followed the instructions and stitched-in-the-ditch of the waistband seam and it worked out beautifully.

The only thing left to do was take care of the very very wide skirt hem. This, of course, I did whip stitch by hand. It probably took 3 hours (over two days) but it looks spectacular. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may attempt this again, but would make sure to use a non-stretch woven. As it is, it's quite clingy around the stomach and hips. I'm not sure I know how this should fit. 

Conclusion: I originally envisioned this skirt for a Halloween costume, which wavered between an Edwardian adventuress or a house mistress complete with a chatelaine of keys and tools.

It does match the shape but not the historical look of the inspiration. Perhaps choosing a wool or twill would have been best. To more accurately replicate the look, I may add a petticoat to smooth the lines and allow the skirt to skim my body versus hugging my curves.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Woodland Magic Lounge Set - Assembly Line Pyjamas

Pattern: Assembly Line FREE Pyjamas pattern (2022)

Pattern Description: A two-piece loungewear set consisting of a short-sleeved top with a wide neckline and relaxed fit shorts with an elastic waistband, and side seam pockets.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes XS to 3XL, I made a Medium top and a Large in the shorts.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looks exactly like it!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Definitely, in fact, the instructions were excellent.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was looking for an easy shorts pattern but after I saw all the cute flannel and jersey prints available, I thought of making the entire set as sleep or loungewear. I normally just sleep in a random t-shirt and add leggings once I wake up. However, with these, I have an entire cute outfit. Best yet, they were designed with roomy pockets.

Fabric Used: 58" Pop! Fall Mushrooms lightweight fleece (100% polyester), Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Ivory, #800, Pellon Sheer-Knit fusible interfacing, 58" Pop! Forest Green Fox interlock (98% polyester/2% Spandex), 1" elastic, Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Deep Burlywood, #791.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Seeing examples on the web and reading reviews showed that the neckline was wide. However, even though I reduced the width by 1/8-1/4," it still could use less width as you can see in the last picture below it tends to shift from side to side. Remember though, if you shorten the width, make sure you can still get it over your head.

The shorts could easily be a smaller size, or the legs slimmed down a bit, because they are quite roomy.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, definitely, not only is it cute, but the pattern is FREE! What's not to love?

Conclusion: I am already eyeing some more cutesy prints (in knits and crisp cottons) for spring and summer sets. One thing I really appreciate about the instructions is that they have you finish all the seams, secure the pockets, and have you prepress all the hems before any side seam construction. Those steps result in a neat and elegant finish, inside and out.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Navy Knit Bootcut Pants - Vogue 1663

Completed in 2022.

Finished garment photo coming.

Pattern: Vogue 1663 (2019) 

Pattern Description: Misses' Jacket, Top, and Pants: Pull-on pants have a self-lined yoke with hidden waist elastic and topstitched hems.

Pattern Sizing: Y(XS-S-M), ZZ(L-XL-XXL) I cut an XL, which was the closest to my measurements.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very much so!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The yoke construction is similar to one from my favorite knit skirt, Butterick 6464. It is meant to have the convenience of a gathered waist without excess bulk around the waist and hip. I also love the slight bootcut shape of the pants leg.

Fabric Used: Navy cotton interlock (from a 2016 Hancock Fabrics liquidation sale!), Dritz 3/4" wide braided elastic, Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Navy #272.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I decided to compare the leg shape to two similar patterns in my stash, Simplicity 1283 and Vogue 8963. I was initially going to make one of those and add the yoke from B6464. This just made it so much easier!

The instructions have you sew double seams, so I needed to first baste the pants together to see how they would fit. This is hard to see without the waistband, so I decided to leave them as-is, baste on the waistband, and then reevaluate them.

I pulled out the elastic template and noticed that the measurement for size XL was too long. Size XL should fit a 34"-37" waist, but the elastic length for XL would be 40." Ridiculous! The same formula was used for the other two sizes in the packet. I did not trust their installation method. Instead, I adapted the technique from Butterick 6464 and cut my elastic to my waist measurement, 36" (also the length Vogue 1663 said to cut for size L!). I cut off 1-2", making sure it could comfortably stretch over my hips. That was the right call.

Once the waistband was in place, I could evaluate the fit. The front rise was 1/2" too long while I would want to add at least 1/2" to the back rise, which seemed (exposing underwear when bending over) low. The width of the legs was fine, but the length was ridiculous, 3 inches too long! This means that the knees can't possibly be in the right place, so the shaping could be better, and this will need to be altered on the paper pattern for any future pants.

I noticed when I took the pants apart that the fabric had stretched. Choosing a cotton interlock for pants might not have been the most sustainable choice. I had to recut the side seams and even out the pants legs to the original length before I cut 1-1/2" off.

Like the XL waistband, I think the pant legs were too large (or stretched out) because I ended up recutting the legs between the size XL and the size L. I will also need to alter the yoke pattern, which I thought was too wide. Next time, I will also cut a size L.

I trimmed down 1/2" at center front, tapering out to nothing at the side seams. In future pairs, I will do the same and add 1 /2" to the center back piece.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I would recommend this pattern for the pants even though I didn't use their elastic insertion method. I liked the use of a yoke to minimize elastic waist bulk and the flared shape of the legs. However, in my future makes, I need to use appropriate fabric and make alterations to this pattern.

Conclusion: These pants will be paired with McCall's 7254, a jacket I made in this same fabric five years ago! I had meant to muslin Vogue 1411 in this fabric instead. However, I'm still intimidated by that pattern, so instead, I've created a casual and cozy knit suit.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Hug It Out Pullover - Hug Hoodie Madeit Patterns

Completed in 2022.

 Hug Hoodie by Madeit Patterns (2020) (OOP)

Pattern Description: Relaxed fit sweatshirt with raglan sleeves, overlap neckline detail, curved back hem, and an optional hood.

Pattern Sizing: UK sizes 6 to 20, I made a size 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It looked exactly like the pattern images and drawings.

Were the instructions easy to follow? So simple and very beginner sewist friendly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The curves at the bottom remind me of similar RTW details I've been interested in for a few years but never got around to drafting for myself.


Fabric Used: 58" anti-pill plush fleece (100% polyester) in Pineneedle and 58" Sew Classics interlock ( 60% cotton, 40% polyester) in Ponderosa (for the hood lining) from Joann Fabrics, Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Forest Green #792.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Checking the final garment measurements, I noticed that the pattern was made for a personal height of 5'6". Accordingly, I shortened the body and sleeve pattern pieces 2" using the shorten/lengthen lines.

While truing the altered pattern pieces, I added more ease in the lower arms so I could push up my sleeves. That was a good call because I could barely try on the cuff pieces. This makes sense since the pattern did suggest cutting them from ribbing! However, I found that the cuffs make the arms super long. So, I could cut new wider and shorter cuffs or go without the cuffs completely. I decided to baste them on, wear them for a while, and see if they needed to be altered.

I used a remnant for the hood lining; it's not an exact color match, but close enough. I liked how it came out, and the pattern cleverly provided a way to add a drawstring if you wanted to add one.

The neckline was surprisingly small, which made it a tight fit once you attached the hood. The pattern does not address the stress point where the hood edges overlap. As it is a tight squeeze, this area will need reinforcement. I will add a binding to this front edge similar to the back neck.

Everything else went easy; I especially loved how clever the faux wrap hem binding is constructed. Easy-peasy.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will probably make it again in a pattern with the other neckline or with some color-blocking. I recommend it as a wonderfully simple-to-construct sweatshirt pattern but with design details that make it versatile and unique.

Conclusion: I am glad I made the alterations I did, although they were not perfect. Removing 2" from the length of the body was too much for a cold-weather garment. It is now too short in front to cover the waistband of my pants and skirts. However, it was too long in the back with a lot of excess fabric, so I removed the back binding, shortened the back a total of 1", and straightened the curve. I also slimmed the sides by 1/2."

Though the cuffs were roomy, the lower arms were still too tight to push up my sleeves, which meant the overlong cuffs now get wet when I wash my hands. Besides fine-tuning those changes, I will also enlarge the neckline by 1/2" and the hood's width by an inch to create a more substantial overlap. Otherwise, it's a great design that just needed adapting for my body.