Out of the Envelope

Not many patterns work well right out of the envelope even if you, like me, measure the paper diligently and add ease. Clients ask me why their attempts at sewing patterns right out of the envelope don’t work. My answer is always a bit flippant but so true: They are not meant to fit anyonehow can they, if they do not know what size of normal you are?

Maybe you remember my older post about the Serendipity kimono pattern and the JoAnn’s white fabric to make a sample top?  I also ordered the latest pattern from The Pattern Loft supplying Sewn brand patterns, one called Swing Shift.

Well after tissue fitting the Kimono pattern to my mannequin and measuring for ease I decided to just cut out the pattern right out of the envelope…living dangerously! All the fitting is done with an under bust panel and a sash or ribbon inside. I lined the top of the bodice with polyester lining fabric since it was sheer and lined the lower half skirt with cotton batiste for weight. Here is the result…excuse the lime green ribbon tie, it was the only correct width I had on hand:

   You have the option of using a gathered skirt or flat and since I only had 1.5 yards of fabric I could only make the tunic length. It really looks like it needs some sort of lower panel or strip along the hem and some binding along the sleeve hems. Even though the fabric needs ironing and a better shade of ribbon it actually fits using the band for fitting. The next version of this will be floor length using some Amy Butler fabric that I bought cheapy cheapy on Craigslist.   Not content with one thing fitting so well, I have moved unto the latest challenge. I have never used SEWN patterns so tissue fitting was the first step again. Here is what the pattern did after being pinned to itself: please click on the photos for a closer look

What an almighty mess! Can you see the side seams swinging away towards the front? Can you see the back bulging away from the waist? Can you see the shoulder seams do not have enough ease to even be sewn to each other? The killer is…the princess lines in front do not even join over the bust point…what good is that for fitting or adjusting? Oh Wait…that is where they have hidden pockets, how wonderful, pockets that fly away from the body!

Makes you wonder what happens when professional people design these patterns with specific design lines. Sure throw a seam in here and there and it doesn’t make any difference if they are useful or not. Drag lines all over the place, fabric flaring away from the body which bear no resemblance to the body underneath outlined with red dots…this is so typical. Remember the Liberty Shirt…wonky shaped pieces zigging and zagging all over the place…is this what women want? If patterns could simply COME CLOSE to a woman’s body we would be elated/wetting ourselves!

But no fear, in the coming weeks I will be working on solving this problem and cutting it out in fabric for testing. Next time I hope to have up the photos of the collection of suits that have been restyled and altered and more goodies for you.

Before I leave, those of you local gals who have been wondering about the white thread on black pants mystery… the client checked her records and discovered that a certain team of two women in town did that sad hemming job…enough said.

Have a super weekend…we are expecting snow tomorrow! This week WordPress told me that I had 75 readers from the UK so I am waving a big hello to all of you and thanks for checking in. I lived 8 years in Liverpool and learned lots about the culture and lifestyle under rainy skies.

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3 Responses to Out of the Envelope

  1. theresa says:

    I NEVER would have looked twice at that Serendipity pattern, but it has turned out to be a lovely tunic! I avoid those all in one sleeves but maybe I need to rethink that. I can see it done in a lightweight linen with some linen pants to match. In fact I have just the pant pattern too! 😉
    Uh OH! I have one of the Sewn patterns, the Upline Jacket, someone gave it a good review in Threads this last issue I might add. I wonder if they even made it? I can only hope the cut and drafting is better than what you are working with. Of course it will be ages before I even get to it no doubt….

  2. mrsmole says:

    The Sewn Upline jacket looks so much more normal and cute. Hope for you it works well even if you have to make a muslin!
    The Serendipity Kimono pattern will work with so many body shapes and with the extra weight of a longer skirt it should be lovely and flowy…picture yourself on the patio this summer swanning around in a delightful long dress handing out cocktails amid doggie tails.Yes, you already have the perfect pants pattern!http://runamuckweaving.blogspot.com/2012/03/faux-flax.html

  3. DebJules says:

    I am from the UK and have been following your blog over the last year. I enjoy it so much I’ve decided to go back to the beginning and read all your posts in order. I’m really enjoying myself – you are inspirational and I’m amazed by the stories of some of your nightmare clients!

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