Meet Stephanie, while her fascinating blog contains travel photos, artwork and sewing, she felt compelled to share her latest creation with us. I will just include everything she said to me:
Hi Mrs. Mole,
I have an entry for your Sew Bad column, inspired after seeing Kate of Fabrickated’s version a few weeks ago. I’m not the most experienced seamstress so I don’t know if this would be of interest to your readership. Something I find frustrating about blogs is that people are generally “nice.” I’m not suggesting that people should be mean, but I like a debate and an honest opinion, as I’d like to learn how to sew properly and don’t have any in-person guidance. I think I can trust your readers to provide sincere feedback. (I write a journal/blog here: http://myvintageinspiration.wordpress.com , although I write about things other than sewing for the most part.)
Why did you pick this pattern?
I can’t remember! Knowing me, I probably liked the floral fabric in the picture on the pattern envelope. I also had not made a shirt yet at that point and so didn’t understand that this shirt does not have a collar stand. Oh, I remember – I was thinking of making the shirt dress version, to wear belted, although I decided to try the shirt version first to get the hang of the pleats. I am also a big fan of vintage patterns generally, especially pre-1970, although as a relatively inexperienced seamstress I am not yet the best judge of whether a vintage pattern will produce a garment that can be easily worn as a contemporary style.
What size did you think you were according to their envelope numbers?
The pattern is a size 12, bust 32, which is what I consider to be my base size, based on my shoulder size and upper bust measurement.
What size did you cut and did you alter before cutting?
Same. I think I did narrow the bust darts a bit out of a fear that they would be too pointy. I could definitely have moved the darts down on the finished product, as my bust is not sufficiently pointy (or rather my undergarments are not) and sits lower than the dart! I recall measuring everything on the paper pattern and deciding that I would go ahead with the darts in the pattern’s position.
Did you encounter difficulties others would like to avoid?
This is not a difficult pattern. The instructions were clear and I had no problems putting it together. I actually quite enjoyed making the front pleats. I’ve always liked pleats.
One thing to note is that I know that the sleeves are not set in properly. There was too much sleeve ease when I got to that stage, so in the end I allowed them to pucker in the back. I’m not sure whether there was too much ease because I had originally cut the shirt fronts and back for the sleeveless version of the garment and had to cut some of the armscye out once the shirt was sewn together and I realized my mistake. I could probably have taken the sleeves out and hacked away at the underarm a little bit to make the sleeves fit, but by that point I was sure that this was not going to be a shirt worn as is. I don’t like the length or the cuffed look of the sleeves. The shirt might be nicer if I take the sleeves off and turn it into a sleeveless version – a project for next summer.
Is there anything in the photos we cannot see that you wanted us to know about?
As I mentioned above, there is no collar stand. I don’t like a collar with facing, as it turns out. It feels a bit flat to me and doesn’t open out as I would like.
Is this garment wearable with tweaking or not?
As I noted above, I think I might wear it if I were to shorten or remove the sleeves, although the bust darts kind of bother me. I’m mostly thinking of it as an “experience” garment and if I make the shirt again I’ll make a sleeveless one in a prettier fabric and with lower bust darts.
Thumbs up or thumbs down on buying this? Worth the effort?
I haven’t tried making the pants part of this pattern yet, which might also suit me, so I can’t dismiss that part of the pattern. As for the shirt and the shirt dress, I wonder if with some tweaks to modernize a bit and a nice fabric they could be attractive summer casual wear items. That said, I don’t think this is a spectacularly interesting pattern. I am excited to receive comments from your readership.
Do you want to make any suggestions on how to “make it work” or is it beyond that?
As I noted above, the shirt suffers from my poor fitting and sleeve sewing. I also think the cotton voile that I chose is not the greatest pick for this style, especially in Pepto Bismol pink. I don’t know what I was thinking. The button placement also makes it look dowdier than it has to be. Oh and oops – I did reverse the button placement to the wrong placket, but that doesn’t bother me. Improving each of the above, however, would probably improve the style.
I suppose in summation I would say that with the sleeves that length and with their cuffs, it looks to me like a uniform for cleaning or for working in a cafeteria, or possibly bowling, which are all fine activities, but not what I was aiming for on this occasion. I think I was thinking something a bit more Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing, perhaps as she is learning to dance on a log in the forest with Patrick Swayze…as one does! In other words, the final modification that I would make would be to go sleeveless or shorten the sleeves.
Any thoughts from your readers would be welcome, as would suggestions of alternate patterns.
Please direct your comments to Stephanie so she can make this pattern work for her. Thank you, Stephanie for sharing and being the guinea pig for this post. The SEW BAD Saturday spot is always open for new talent and submissions!