Sunday, December 19, 2021

Vanilla Village Wench Blouse - Adrienne Blouse

Pattern: Friday Pattern Co. Adrienne blouse (2018) 

Pattern Description: Slightly cropped knit top with statement sleeves gathered at shoulders and hems with elastic.

Pattern Sizing: XS-4X, I cut out an XL, easing to size XXL at the waist and hips

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! This was such a quick and straightforward top.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I fell in love with the neckline, the gathered shoulders, and the drama of those full sleeves.

Fabric Used: 57" Birch solid Modal blend knit (49% Modal, 45% Polyester, 6% Spandex) from Joann Fabrics, leftover plush back bra strap elastic from the stash, Dritz 1/2" braided elastic for sleeve cuffs, Gutermann 100% polyester thread in Ivory, #800.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I traced the bodice pattern piece into a full pattern piece, which made it easier to cut out.

According to my measurements, I cut this in the XL size (bust = 40" to 43"). I made a 1/2" full bust adjustment (FBA) using the instructions in the pattern booklet. However, I could have done more; I underestimated how much of an adjustment I needed. I was unaware that I had gone up a few (!) cup sizes to a DD. That was quite a surprise!

I had cut the XL for my measurements, but after trying on the sleeveless bodice, I decided to decrease the side seam allowance to 3/8" to cut down on the cling factor.

The pattern describes this top as "cropped." That is baffling to me because I felt it was long. I suggest that before making alterations to the pattern that you hold the tissue up to your body or compare to a favorite top. At 5' 4," I cut more than an inch off and it is still long enough to tuck into pants or skirts.

Those cuffs!

Those shoulders!

I removed 1/2" from the pattern's measurements for the wrist and neck elastic lengths. This was an improvement in fit that I learned from wearing my muslin which felt too loose.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, most definitely! This is a great pattern; all the examples out there prove how attractive and romantic it can be.

Conclusion: I love this pattern and how it looks. I made the right size and alterations this time, and I will definitely make it again. I already plan to make some in print fabrics like so many of the examples I've seen on the internet. I would also love to make a dress version in a stretch velvet or velour.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

The Sea and the Soil - Style Arc Bob Woven Pants

Pattern: Style Arc Bob Woven Pants (2019)

Pattern Description: A uniquely balloon-shaped pant with an elastic waistband and inseam pockets.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 4-30 (32"-61" hips) There is 7" of wearing/design ease between body measurement and finished garment measurement. Ideally, I would choose a size 18, but I printed this pattern months ago, so it was a size 16.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, I thought so. Style Arc is known for sparse instructions; they do not hold your hand. However, in this pattern, they also split the construction steps into two places: the written instructions and the multi-color illustrated ones on a separate sheet. Only by reading them both do you get the complete process. Other than that, the instructions are adequate if you're an intermediate sewist but may be frustrating if you are a beginner. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the shape of the legs; they give the pants a modern vibe.

Fabric Used: Pair A) An old cotton/polyester sheet, Dritz 1-1/2" soft waistband elastic, Gutermann 100% polyester thread in no particular color; Pair B) 2 yards stretch cotton poplin in Chocolate from Fabric Mart, c. 2014 ($1.99 a yard!), Gutermann #100 polyester thread in Charcoal, #125, and Dritz 1-1/2" soft waistband elastic.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: For the muslin (A), as I was dealing with a smaller size than I would have liked, I changed the seam allowance to 1/4" and crossed my fingers. In the end, I might have been okay with 3/8", but it saved me some stress. In my second pair (B), I chose to throw caution to the wind and sewed a straight size 16 with the recommended seam allowance.

Attaching the waistband elastic

I liked the instructions for the waistband, which allow for equal distribution of the elastic and eliminates the possibility of twisting. However, I regret following those instructions on the muslin (A) because it denied me the option of adjusting the waist, which came out 1/2-1" too loose. (Actually, I think I used the size 18 length for the elastic, oops!) I like the technique; however, I suggest that you try on and adjust the elastic before you attach it to the waistband and the pants.

I read in other reviews that people were changing the pocket draft because the pockets were floppy. I understand that, but I feel that the pattern addresses that issue if you follow all of their instructions. The only sewist review I've read that understood the instructions the same as I did was Sewslowsarah. Hi, Sarah!

The illustrated portion of the instructions

Anchoring the pocket direction

In my second pair (B), I used the shorten/lengthen line to remove 1/2" in length. My blue pair were long enough to make the ballooning sides collapse on themselves; you can clearly see the shape in a slightly shorter length.

Hand sewing the inside waistband

Another change was how I handled the waistband for B. I decided to follow the first few steps of sewing the ends together and folding and pressing them in half. However, before attaching the elastic, I sewed one edge of the waistband to the pants. I then laid the elastic loop inside the fold and stitched it on with a wide zigzag stitch. From that point, I needed to either slip stitch the other edge to the pants or stitch-in-the-ditch. I chose to hand stitch, of course.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, In fact, it was only a week before I cut out the second pair; I have never done that before! I also want to try them in a thicker fabric like corduroy and a fabric with drape like a rayon.

When I wore this ensemble to work a coworker thought I looked like Han Solo. What do you think?

Conclusion: These were better than I expected. I will be making more!