Sewing and textiles with Ann
This garment wasn’t planned. For the first time ever, I bought Prima magazine, mainly because it had a free pattern that looked to be comparatively easy. Even when I bought the material, I was buying it for another pattern.
I’ve never used the free pattern from a magazine before, despite having a fair sized collection of them. I was particularly cautious with this one as I know nothing about the sizing of Prima patterns. After fully tracing the pattern onto tissue, and then fitting it both to my model, and to me, I was concerned that it was going to be too small, so cut it a size bigger. I also quickly tacked the major pieces and tried it on before starting any detailed work. Well, after all that, I ended up cutting off the extra and pretty much reverting everything to my normal size; everything except the armholes that is. They are a size bigger in the length, and therefore the sleeve is a bit of a amalgam of two pattern sizes.
This pattern is not for novices. There is so much detail missing from both the pattern and the instructions, that you need to know what you are doing. Luckily, I do!
There was no guide as to how much material to buy. I had to measure the pieces and then vaguely work it out. I got it about right. A bit of luck and management!
There is no pattern piece for the neck facing. I sewed the shoulder seams and then measured the neck line with my tape measure on its side. Then I cut a cross way strip to that measurement, and then used my bias tape maker for the first time. I’ve had it for 4 months. I don’t know why I haven’t used it before. This fabric does press, but not brilliantly, so I am sure that it will be easier to make my own binding with different fabric, and I was pleased with the results from this fabric. As a result of their being no pattern piece, there are no markings for the neck binding so you have to work out your own ease as you pin and tack.
I think that the biggest problem is actually the sleeve. The fact that mine is an amalgam of two sizes is the easy part. There is no grain marking on the pattern, which is quite an important factor when working with sleeves. I took a basic sleeve block pattern, tried to match the shoulder marking and the base of the sleeve, and took the grain marking from that as a guide. I also had an element of fabric design to match up. Well, the straight grain of the sleeve is meant to fall slightly in front of the side seam, and they do. I’m not sure that the sleeves are perfect, but I think they are satisfactory.
So, I have spent my day battling with these construction challenges, and testing my sewing knowledge, and got a result. Will I make another? I don’t know. Its not a length that I wear a lot, which is one reason why I had a go at making it. I’ll see how much I wear it. But I know some friends who might get something similar for their birthdays…..