Thursday, September 27, 2012
I bought this pattern on impulse last weekend and boy, am I glad I did. Mostly because it really helped draw me out of this funk I've been in, sewing-wise.
I'm not sure if I've ever emphasized this point, but I am not a fast sewist. (Likely exaggerated by the fact that I'm not a patient one, either.) But sewing with knits is a big revelation. This top probably took me about... 6 hours? That includes all the prep work, cutting, fitting, and altering. I feel like, by some people's standards that might be a long time, but for me it's pretty damn fast.
(By the way... "prep work" included a step that I'm not sure was necessary. This fabric is an interlock knit that came in a tube, rather than a flat piece with selvages. When I pulled it out of the bag I realized I had no idea how to work with it. Some impatient googling led me to believe that I had to take the time to cut the whole 2+ meters down a single channel to establish grain... and guys, this is a TINY knit. Is that seriously the only way to establish grain on a tubular knit? Did the internet lead me astray? Anyway, it worked great but took forever.)
So here's the lowdown:
the fabric is a nice, substantial 50/50 poly/cotton blend interlock knit. You guys know I'm not really interested in using poly, but the choices for non-poly knits at my nearest fabric store were pretty slim. In any case, the fabric actually feels seriously awesome and was a pleasure to work with. That being said, I think the result looks a little more casual than I would like, due to the lack of drape in the fabric... a bit sweatshirt-y, if you will?
When looking at the pattern, my high bust puts me at a 10, my full bust puts me at a 12 and my hips put me at an 8. So I decided to follow the Lladybird method and just grade the pattern. I did a 10 for the shoulders/arms, 12 for the bust, 10 at the waist and 8 at the hips. Easy peasy.
This ultimately proved totally uneccessary. The whole thing came out too big, for one. For two, it must be years of squeezing my boobs into RTW tops, but I actually prefer a super tight fit on the bust in knits, so I think I would have been better just to leave the grading and cut a true size. (well, grading down the hips was probably wise.) The construction of the pattern is awesome, though, in that you sew up the arms and side seams in one step, so it's super easy to take it. I ended up just taking in 1/2" on each arm seam and at the bust, tapering out to nothing at the waist.
I think the fit is now totally wearable, although I still find the shoulders to be too wide and the whole thing still feels a tad loose. Additionally, the bands at the arms and hips (which, yes, I did remember to adjust accordingly) are not tight enough at all. I would prefer if bands of this nature were actually tight against my body with negative ease. Finally, I find the sleeve length isn't quite right for me... I think it needs another inch or so in length, or to be shortened to just above the elbow.
(Just a word about those fit comments... part of why I maintain this blog is to keep notes to refer to in the future. I'm not trying to dwell on the imperfections. And in truth I pick the photos that show the garment to its best advantage when possible, so the things I discuss might not always be visible. You'll just have to trust me :D).
Overall, I think this is the BEST pattern and I can't wait to make more of these. But, I think my preference would be to throw the whole "stable knits" thing out the window and start playing around with jersey, because ultimately I think this garment would suit me with a lot more drape to it. (Viscose knits, I'm looking at you.)
Be prepared for a whole host of thoughts on the idea of sewing cake... I'm sold.