Tag Archives: Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground: Sew Liberated

Hey, Sewists! How has your week been going?  Mine has been busy, which is to be expected while in the process of uprooting one’s life to another state.  I did, however, find time to stitch up another new pattern for the Breaking Ground tour Melissa is hosting. Today, I will be sharing my thoughts on the Sew Liberated – Esme Top.

I picked this pattern up at a local fabric shop in Indianapolis two years ago.  Two years it has been sitting in my pattern stash just waiting to be sewn up.  I have no good reason why it has gone un-sewn for so long, other than I get nervous about cutting into my indie patterns that I have spent way more money on.  When I buy patterns from the big four I always do it during a sale at Jo-Ann’s, so I pay less than $2 for a pattern.  When I am paying anywhere from $15-25 for a paper pattern from an indie designer I tend to be a bit more reserved with them and so they languish in my pattern stash a little bit longer than others would.  Here’s to getting over that caution and trying something new!

My initial attractions to this pattern were the yoke and the gathered sleeve with cuff.  I like unique details and that yoke fits into that category for me.  I just love that curved yoke with button detail.  One of the things the instructions say is that the buttons can either be sewn through both layers of the yoke, making it a faux closure, or you could add buttonholes to make it functional.  I choose to make functional buttonholes even though I will never unbutton them.  It is the little details, like functional buttonholes, that I am looking to include more of in my sewing this year.

Sew Liberated patterns are unique with their packaging and instructions in that they are minimal.  This is all the packaging included: a front cover, a back cover, the pattern pieces, and a single page (front and back) instruction sheet.  The instructions are the basic slimmed down version for a more experienced sewer, which is great for me.  They are easy to follow and the diagrams are helpful to clarify the written directions.  There is also a website and access code provided that lead you to a more in-depth video tutorial.  This is great for beginner sewists, as she walks you through making the top from start to finish with different tips and tricks along the way.  My only critique of the video is that it needs to be updated to look more professional.  The photography on the pattern envelope and the website are great and very professional.  The video, unfortunately, falls short of that professional expectation for me.

On the instruction sheet, it does have a size chart that is pretty standard with other pattern lines.  It does not have finished garment measurements on either the pattern pieces or the instruction sheet, which I find disappointing.  My bust measurement is 2″ bigger than the biggest size (20) on the pattern.  Normally, I would consult the finished measurements to see just how much ease is in the pattern to know whether or not I should add more width to the bust.  Because that finished measurement was not available to me and because of how roomy the top looked on the pattern cover and after a rough tissue fit, I choose to make the standard size 20 with no alterations.  I took a risk and it ended better than it could have been.  The top came out much larger in the bust than expected.  I probably could have made a size 18 and still had enough bust room.  As it is now when I wear it unbelted the side view is not pretty and I look like I am wearing a tent.  This pretty much guarantees I will always be belting this top when worn, which is fine because I have quite the collection of fashion belts to pair with it.  Below are the finished garment measurements and my personal measurements as a comparison.

Finished measurements (sz 20)

Bust:53.5″/Waist: 58″/Hip: 61.5″

My measurements

Bust: 46.5″/Waist: 42″/Hip: 48″

I ended up using 2.5 yards of a light blue denim chambray from Jo-Ann’s for a total cost of $12.50.  This fabric has been in my stash since 2014 because I had a completely different idea of what I would be using it for.  I also used six 1/2″ buttons from my button stash.  This whole project has been an all around stashbusting success!  I am going to enjoy wearing this top as it is just basic enough that I can wear it with any of my colorful jeggings and fashion belts.  The neckline also gives me plenty of options for different necklaces making the outfit possibilities virtually endless.  I would like to make it again with a stripe or plaid fabric.  The sleeve is on the bias and the yoke can be turned on the crossgrain, so I think there are some opportunities to really make those details stand out with a directional fabric choice.

Have you tried a Sew Liberated pattern?  What were your thoughts on it?

 

Check out the rest of this weeks tour participants:

Monday March 20- Anne-Mari Sews, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Tenille’s Thread, Couturious, Embrace Everyday, Sewing A La Carte

Tuesday March 21- mahlicadesigns,  Kaleidothought,  Ronda B Handmade, Elizabeth Made This

Wednesday March 22- Rainy Day SewingAnne-Mari Sews, Sprouting Jube JubeSewing A La CarteTales of a Tester

Thursday March 23- mahlicadesigns, Lulu & Celeste, Very BlissfulSprouting Jube Jube, Ronda B Handmade, Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday March 24- Anne-Mari Sews, Tales of a TesterSewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Harper + Lu,  Sewing A La Carte

 

Breaking Ground: Seamwork Magazine

Hey, Sewists!  I am so excited to help kick off the Breaking Ground Tour this week.  A huge thank you to Melissa from mahlicadesigns for hosting.  I jumped at the chance to be apart of this tour.  Melissa has put together a great group of sewists, who are all talented.  This week we are all sewing patterns from pattern designers that we have not previously tried.  Our goal is to hopefully introduce some great designers and patterns to you all.

For my first round, I picked the Seamwork Magazine’s Mojave dress pattern.  I have had a subscription to Seamwork for a year and had yet to make any of the patterns I got.  Seamwork Magazine is the brainchild of Sarai, who also runs Colette Patterns.  When you subscribe to the magazine you get two credits which can be used to purchase any of the past Seamwork patterns (1 credit = 1 pattern) or the PDF version of any Colette pattern (3 credits = 1 pattern).  Seamwork patterns are quick, skill building, wardrobe filling patterns.  Each magazine issue has a theme that all the articles and patterns are centered around.  The Mojave dress pattern is from the August 2015 issued, the theme was vintage.  Mojave is a kaftan style dress that is casual with a bit of 70’s flair.  This pattern does come in sizes 0-26 (bust 33-54″).  I applaud Colette and Seamwork for offering options for plus size sewists.

For this version, I decided that I wanted it to be a top instead of a dress.  On me, I measured from my shoulder down to where I wanted the hem to hit.  I used that measurement and added a half inch to the shoulder seam and a half inch to the hem and marked the pattern pieces at that length.  That was the only pattern change that I made.  The Mojave is a well-drafted pattern.  All the marking and pieces matched up perfectly.   I made a size 18 based on the size chart and finished garment measurements and it fits great.  I did not have to make any alterations to fit once it was sewn.  This makes me excited to try more of the Seamwork patterns I have printed off.  I think most of my hesitation in trying them is because I am not a huge fan of PDF patterns.  However, these patterns are all quick and easy with minimal pattern pieces, making it a painless process.

Let’s talk fabric!  I used almost 2 yards of this gorgeous floral print chiffon.  I purchased this fabric from Zinick’s Fabrics in 2015.  It was practically a steal at $3.99 a yard!  I love the print.  I have been holding onto it for 2 years because I just wasn’t sure which pattern to use that would show off this print well.  The Mojave definitely does that.  There are not a lot of pattern pieces, which makes it great for showing off large prints.  The front has a split yoke for the center front and a gathered lower center panel.  This is great for adding a little more fullness to the waist while keeping it more fitted at the bust.  I am for sure going to be making this pattern again and again. I want to make a dress version as a swimsuit cover up and a tunic version maybe adding some buttons to the yoke.

Have you tried any of the Seamwork patterns?  What do you think of them?

Check out the other tour participants!
Anne-Mari Sews, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Tenille’s Thread, Couturious, Embrace Everyday, Sewing A La Carte