Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pattern Review: Refined Raglan by Winter Wear Designs

Raglan lovers rejoice... There is a new raglan pattern in town!

I'm sure by now you have a favorite raglan pattern, but this one is different. It's drafted for wovens.

Yes, a woven raglan pattern!

I was immediately intrigued when I heard about it and I jumped at the chance to help test the pattern. 

I sewed two different versions while testing: one in a bright floral chiffon and another in a non-stretch sweatshirt and a plaid flannel. 

As you can see, it's two different looks from the same pattern. One for spring and one for fall!

 And I feel like I'm barely unlocking the possibilities in this pattern... I can't wait to play around with it some more.

The options include 3 different sleeve lengths (short, 3/4 and long), optional side vents, several options for the front (standard, pleated or open) and three neckline finishes. 

All finishes for the neckline use bias tape, either single or double fold and instructions for making your own are included in the pattern.

The fit is relatively roomy, especially if you are used to knit patterns as I am. The armscye is relaxed and there is plenty of room for easy mobility. Yet the shape is flattering, with a defined waist and any less ease would make dressing and undressing a bit difficult. There are no closures on the shirt anywhere so this is important. :)

All views have a curved hemline. I sewed one with side vents and one without:

The chiffon top was an earlier version in testing, which has since been revised to add a little more ease in the back for mobility and to adjust the neckline based on tester feedback at that time.

I still loved this version and will wear this a lot! But with fall approaching it might look a little out of place, so I might have to hold on to it until spring. It's so light and flowy, I'm sure I will love this on hot summer days as well. 

I graded out for my waist and hips in the chiffon version, from a small to a medium. 

I felt like I had more than enough ease, so I did not grade out for my size in the next version, which was the flannel and non-stretch sweatshirt shirt: 

I felt like the fit was great, even without grading out for the waist and hips to the next size. The finished measurements as well as the measurements the pattern is drafted for are both included in the pattern, so you if you might be able to get away without grading if you normally need to grade. Just keep in mind you will want more ease for a woven pattern than for a knit pattern.

I didn't make any changes to the final pattern except for adjusting for height. The bustline and waistline are clearly marked in the pattern, which helps a lot if you do need to make adjustments. I cut along the waistline to add length to the pattern.

I seriously love this version! It fits so well and I have full range of mobility wearing it. We were asked in testing to make sure we could reach our arms all over the place, haha. 

I might adjust the neckline to have less of a scoop in my next version, but that is a personal preference. 

Or I might not, I'm lazy sometimes.

The only other differences in the two shirts that I made, besides the obvious different sleeve length, was the way I finished the neckline. The chiffon one is finished with a single fold bias tape (making it not visible on the outside of the garment) and the plaid/sweatshirt is finished with double fold (I really wanted to show off that plaid some more!)

I will definitely use this pattern again. I'm hoping next to make one with denim or chambray next, maybe lengthened to a tunic. With so many different types of woven fabrics, there are so many different look possibilities!

You can find the pattern, the Refined Raglan by Winter Wear Designs here:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PRP Week 1: Pokemon Go Challenge

Another season of Project Run and Play is here! I always try to sew along if I have time. I love the push it gives me to sew creatively. 

This week the theme is Pokemon Go Inspired. 

I will admit that I am hooked on playing Pokemon Go. When it first came out, I didn't think it would be something I was interested in, but I downloaded the game anyways so that my Pokemon obsessed daughter, Kylie, could play. Little did I know how much I would love it! 

My husband is equally as obsessed and we may, or may not, have gone Pokemon Go hunting on dates. That's normal, right?

I wasn't sure if I would have time to participate in the first week of Project Run and Play (maybe too much Pokemon Go hunting, ironically?) but Sunday night, the day before the new season kicked off I decided I should make something. My oldest is Pokemon obsessed after all. 

I didn't make up my mind until that night, after the kids were in bed, so I was limited on time and also on what fabrics I already had in my stash. I did have Pokemon fabric, but as this is an inspired challenge, I wanted to think outside the box in true Project Run and Play fashion.

This is the look I came up with:

What? How is that Pokemon inspired? 

I'm glad you asked. I pulled my inspiration from a colorful, slightly funky, but beautiful Ivysaur:

Here are the design elements I noticed on Ivysaur:
-color scheme: pink, green and blue.

I already had the perfect pants that I made during testing for the Summer Caye pattern by Love Notions. (aff link.) I hope it's ok I included the pants that I had already made in this look, but either way I'm doing it anyways, because

1) I was short on time. 

2) I'm not a real contestant, just sewing along for fun, so I don't think I have an hard rules.

The shirt is the Tidal, (aff. link) also from Love Notions and is what I chose to sew up very quickly Sunday night. 

I choose it because the princess seams on the front of the shirt give the front panel a triangular shape, if you imagine that the tip of the triangle is cut off. The back fabric wraps around to the front, and from the front of the shirt also look like triangles.

I used a green slinky knit fabric that I have had in my stash since I started sewing years ago. This was purchased on one of my very first JoAnn fabric shopping trips!

I honestly don't know for sure what it is. I loved how it felt when I bought it years ago and didn't pay attention to content. If I were to guess now, I would say there might be some rayon in there, because of how it drapes, but honestly from JoAnn, I would be surprised if it wasn't polyester.

The floral fabric is a stretch chiffon. Yes, a woven! This pattern is drafted for knits, but I had success with using a woven for the front only. Although the fabric name includes stretch, let's be real, it only has a tiny bit of give. At the most, this is 3% stretch.

I didn't alter the pattern except for taking slightly smaller seam allowances to make up for the lack of stretch.

I would recommend making a muslin if you were to try use a woven for the front in this pattern. Or at least don't use your most prized or expensive fabrics before testing it out first. But honestly that should be said for every time you sew a new pattern. I didn't, because I am a sewing rebel. Plus I had enough fabric to make a new one should I have needed to tweak the pattern further.

Look at that drape! I love it!

Using more stable fabrics would highlight the shape a bit more, which is a sightly different look, but also fun.

I chose these capris because they are blue like Ivysaur's body and also have a triangular shape at the hem, which is the tulip hem option of the pattern.

I blogged about this pattern here. It's one of my favorites. I actually made Kylie four pairs of shorts in addition to these capris and myself two pairs of shorts, all this past summer. It's definitely a well used pattern here.

That concludes my Pokemon Go inspired look. You can see other fun looks at Project Run and Play.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pattern Review: Perfect Layering Tee by Cole's Corner and Creations

I'm a sucker for a good basics pattern. So when I saw this basic layering tee loaded with options, I jumped at the chance to help test it.

How many options, you ask?

Length options: Shirt or tunic, either length has the option of being banded or hemmed.

Sleeve options: Tank top, short sleeves, 3/4 length and long. The tank is banded, the short and long sleeves have the option of being cuffed or hemmed, the 3/4 sleeve is finished with a hem.

Neckline options: The tank has a lower neckline than the other styles, although if you wanted a shirt of tunic with a lower neckline, you can use the tank neckline and it's corresponding band length. The neckline and arm bands have instructions for both a regular t-shirt style band and instructions for the same banded look but with hidden seams.

Phew, I think that covers all the choices you have in making this shirt (or tunic... or tank top.)

I sewed two different versions during testing. First a tunic, 3/4 sleeves, with a band instead of hemming. Let's be honest, I love it when I can get away without hemming. I should have hemmed the sleeves, but I used the cheater hemming method on my serger. Easy peasy.

Those Royal Blue leggings pictured are the Bonny Leggings by Made for Mermaids. Pattern is FREE with a code if you join their Facebook group. Leggings are so cheap to buy, but I still love sewing them because I can get a much better fit if I make them myself. These are size 3 for the waist, size 4 for the hips and the rise and length are size 7. You can't buy leggings like that in the stores!

The version I just shared, the tunic with the pink stripes, went through some changes before the final pattern. The sleeves were since slimmed down to get a better "layering" style tee.

From the final revised pattern, I sewed Eve a cuffed long sleeved, banded shirt length tee:

The fit in the final version is great! It's meant to be a close fitting tee that can easily be layered, under dresses, other tees... We are very happy with it:

Sorry for the picture overload, but Eve just looks so cute in every one, I can't help it.

A few more details about the pattern:

The pattern is layered, meaning you have the option of only printing your size. The pages are no trim for a fast assembly.

The front and back armscye are not identical and the sleeve is not cut on the fold. This might not mean much to you if you starting on your sewing journey, but this just means the armscye fit will be better than if the front and back were the same. It's not easy to find asymmetrical armscyes and sleeve heads in PDF children's patterns, so that's a win for this pattern!

There is a very wide range of sizes: 1/2 to 16 girls. There is also a separate pattern for dolls in sizes 15" and 18" and a pattern for Wellie Wishers dolls. I did not test the doll patterns.

The patterns are on sale (no coupon code needed) in craftsy and can be purchased here:

With that, I leave you with one more photo of Eve, who couldn't be any cuter if she tried.