Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pattern repeats are awesome

Recently I made up new versions of two patterns I've used in the past, the Sewaholic Renfrew and Colette Beignet. It was a good reminder of just how much I like returning to old patterns. You're really free to enjoy the experience when you take the sizing guesswork out!

First up, I made this Renfrew out of an impulse addition to my Girl Charlee cart. It's completely ridiculous and makes me laugh every time I wear it. Best $6.50 ever spent.

I think I've got the Renfrew fit alllllmost perfect. This time I did a size 8 in the shoulders, a 6 in the bust and then blended to a 4 in the hips. I also did a 1/2" broad back adjustment using Sunny's method like I have in the past, but somehow it still felt really tight in the shoulders/armpits and I had to let it out. I saw a different method in the most recent issue of Threads magazine that I'm going to try next time around.

I also tried interfacing the hem with lightweight Stitch Witchery before I used my twin needle, and it came out so much better than the hem on my Lady Skater did with Wonder Tape. I'll be sticking with interfacing in the future, especially for lighter weight knits. 

I was inordinately proud that I was able to squeeze this out of a single yard of fabric without sacrificing pattern matching. I did a Breakfast Club-style air fist when I was left with my teeny tiny pile of scraps. I felt like such a cutting wizard! Or, maybe more appropriately, like a Boss Witch.

Secondly, I finished my Colette Beignet do-over! I was gutted last fall when my special birthday outfit turned out to be such a bust. Luckily I had enough corduroy left over to give it another go, and this time it came out much, much better!

The first version came out too big, and in attempt to make it fit better I cinched the waist and ended up with crooked buttons. This time I sewed up a straight size 4, and the fit is much improved. I worked really hard to get the buttons straight and even, but they're still not perfect and my eye starts to twitch if I look too closely. My machine has a 4 step buttonhole, and it's hard to be 100% consistent every time no matter how carefully you make your markings. Still, it's at least not in-your-face wonky like the first version, so I'm calling it a win.

I'm still not convinced that this is the most flattering silhoutte for my figure, but it's nice to know that I am capable of sewing this intermediate pattern. Sometimes I just need to prove to myself I CAN do a thing, so that I know in the future I'm choosing not to do it because I really don't want to, not because I'm afraid to fail.

It's funny looking back at how difficult I found this pattern to be a year ago. I really struggled with the lining and the waistband, and this time I didn't find it that challenging, just time consuming. It was a really gratifying, tangible example of how much my skills have grown in the past year, and it makes me even more excited to take on new projects and new challenges. Next up, Ginger Jeans in stretch corduroy!