Seamwork Loretta top

I’ve been wanting to make a Seamwork Loretta top since it was released but for whatever reason just kept getting pushed out of my sewing queue. I’ve had it printed and put together for a while now but finally decided to take the plunge a few weeks ago.

The Loretta is a pull over woven top with raglan flutter sleeves and an elasticated neckline. It also features a rounded front hem and a straight back hem.

I made my usual size 28 with Seamwork patterns. I did no alterations. I actually find that it fits pretty well for the style. The fabric I chose for it, a yellow cotton gingham, is a bit stiff. I do think it would benefit from a much more drapey fabric. I am also not a huge fan of how high that neckline is on me.

In the top version, it’s also pretty short. I’ve been mostly wearing it with skirts rather than with pants like in these pictures. I think the tunic version with the tie would be super cute and help define my waist a bit more. I am getting major… um….”all boob” feels from these pictures. Not that there is anything wrong with that! But it’s not all I want to show off.

 

I think that the pattern is really cute, though, and already have another version cut out in a white gauze. I’m going to add some fringe trim to the hem and the arms for that one. I can’t wait. All in all, it’s a great pattern and looks especially cute with skirts. I’ll have to show that when I take pictures of my next version. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Loretta top
  • Pros: Good size range…although only to a 54 inch bust so it could be improved… Love those flutter sleeves.
  • Cons: A bit short in the top version and a pretty high neck, but these are preferences not major pattern issues.
  • Make again?: Already have another cut out.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Designer Stitch Pippa Wrap top

I cut out this top LAST YEAR. Not even like in December. It was shortly after I made the tropical M7624 which Miss Bossy, you, voted for making. I said I would make the Pippa dress, however, turns out that I didn’t have enough fabric for a dress so instead I made a top. A few people will finally be happy that I made this though. Hahah.

The pattern is the Designer Stitch Pippa wrap dress and top. I cut out a size 10. The main issue with cutting out a top and then sewing it a year later is that sometimes our measurements change in that amount of time and things don’t quite fit the way they should. I’ve not changed much in my bust measurement but my stomach has changed a bit. This is one of those cases where I should probably have made a muslin first, but I made it work. My bust measurement puts me in a size 11, but my stomach and hip measurements put me outside the measurement chart. Like where Artax is after he sinks into the swamp of sadness. Yes, I just watched that video and cried a lot. Artttttaxxxxx. Um….moving on…

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern before cutting it out.

As you can see, I needed to wear a top underneath since the bust is too small. Even given the size change, though, that bust is definitely drafted for a cup size smaller than mine. If I were to make changes for another version, I would definitely choose to do an FBA on the size 10 instead of sizing up since the shoulders are wide already. I may even use a size 8 shoulder and then grade out.

The fabric I used is thrifted cotton dot. Not the greatest picture but it does show the texture. The dots are printed on with a puffy feel to them.

It’s cute fabric.

I added a ruffle to the bottom of the top since as drafted, the top is actually pretty short. And that’s coming from a short-waisted person here.

 

I’m sort of over wrap dresses like this, though. What do I mean? Well, the closure on right side is a button and a piece of elastic loop rather than a tie that goes through a hole and then ties around. I’m not sure what it is about these types of wrap dresses and tops that I hate but I never like how insecure they feel on me. A wrap dress with the tie just feels better to me. It might just be me or maybe it’s because my bust is so big that I feel like snaps and buttons don’t quite contain it. Hahah. Not to brag or anything. HA!

I’m really into how I styled it with the white tank dress (made using the Concord t-shirt pattern). It’s super cute. But the big question is will I make the pattern again. Honestly probably not. I know the pattern could easily be altered to be the type of wrap dress I like, but the fit issues (big shoulders, needing an FBA, etc.) combined with how much fabric it required… Well I am just not really up for that. I love the result of this look, but I’m not sure how else I would style this top.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Designer Stitch Pippa wrap dress and top
  • Pros: Okay size range (could definitely be better, but points for going to a 52″ bust). Cute style. Love the sleeves.
  • Cons: Drafted for a small bust for sure since there isn’t much fullness in the front and a pretty wide back and shoulders for the size. To me, when the shoulders are like that, it’s a drafting issue for larger sizes. Disagree with me. That’s okay, but shoulders and back don’t change too much due to fat so they don’t need to be too wide. Not a fan of the type of wrap it is at all… Buttons and pieces of elastic do not make Andie feel secure and probably send her to the swamp of sadness.
  • Make again?: Probably not.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 3.5/5 stars

 

Workhorse Pattern Ione shirt

When the Workhorse Ione shirt came out, I knew I needed it. And then we got an offer from Becky to get the pattern for free for a CSC post. As usual, my opinions are my own in spite of getting free shit. Unlike other boxy style shirts with cut on sleeves, this top has an interesting yoke feature and sleeve bands. It boasts being a scrapbuster. You can colourblock and mix and match prints and fabrics with the yoke, sleeve bands, and the front and back. I also love the hi-lo hem. All of these features together are what sold it for me.

The sizing system for the shirt is a bit different than usual. You rely on finished garment measurements and choose your size based on what sort of ease you want. I was going for the boxy shape so I made a size 30 and graded out the hips a bit to give me more ease there.

My first version used leftover cotton voile from my Willow robe and a small cut of linen blend fabric. Underneath the top, I styled it with a Cashmerette Concord tank dress in a white cotton lycra.

I used the square neckline for both versions. In my first version, I found the neckline to be a bit wide so I added in a half inch on either side to bring it in.

My second version uses leftover gingham seersucker from my Sky jumpsuit and my Maple dress. I used the pink colour for the front yoke and sleeve bands. The front yoke is also lined with a bit of pink cotton leftover from a different project.

I love both shirts. They have a boxy fit and style. They work great with layering or with shorts.

I definitely want to make the top again. Probably using a drapier fabric next time with the tie neckline in the hack pack.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Workhorse Patterns Ione shirt
  • Pros: Good size range. Love the colourblocking style and neckline choices.
  • Cons: None.
  • Make again?: Well of course!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Rad Patterns So Over-it-Alls

Okay, I might have a problem with buying every overalls pattern out there. Yes, I have the Yanta overalls, too. When I saw Martha rock the So Over-it-Alls from Rad Patterns on IG, I knew I had to have them. And then they sat in my sewing queue for a bit. But truly what is better than overalls… obviously knit overalls. Hello, comfort to the max!

I made a 3XL to accomodate my waist measurement of 48-50 depending on the time of month. These are my first version so they aren’t perfect in terms of fit. That won’t stop me from wearing them all the time, though.

For my next version, I will narrow the bib at the top by taking out a wedge at the centre front. I don’t have any issues with how the front or back fit, but the length of the shorts means that my thighs want to eat the fabric (hence how they are bunching in the back, but the fit of the back is fine otherwise). They are meant to fit loosely with the drawstring pulling them in tighter.

I think they are super cute overalls and I’m not fussed over the fit issues. I used a ponte knit in a lovely raspberry colour from a local store. I just managed to get the shorts out of a yard and a half of fabric with some super strategic cutting. I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

Except for topstitching, I used my serger for the whole thing. Sure there are instructions that say don’t use a serger for this step, but I definitely just used my serger. It worked out just fine.

Some things about the pattern that I am not super thrilled about are the size of the pockets. I know I love to put the world in my pockets but my smallish phone *just* fits. I also don’t like that the waistband doesn’t have lines of channeling for the cord. It’s huge in comparison to the cord and the cord just goes wherever in that wise waistband. I’d fix this by sewing lines of channeling for the cord to sit nicely in. I am also not a fan of having the cord there and would prefer to used some elastic and then sew the cord to the ends. That tends to be more comfortable for me.

What else can I say about these? I love them and I could wear them 24/7. I’m going to hunt for some soft French Terry to make a longer cropped length pair. I can’t go to the store in my onesies, but these are pretty close in terms of comfort.

Edited to add: I used snaps for the straps instead of overall clasps because the size I ordered was too bit. The snaps look cute though so I actually need to get more of those now!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Rad Patterns So Over-it-Alls
  • Pros: Great size range. Easy to make on the serger. Good instructions.
  • Cons: I don’t like that the waistband is so large given the size of the recommended cord for it. The cord goes wherever it wants in the waistband. Also the pockets are actually quite small imho.
  • Make again?: YES. I have a vision of these in french terry.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

Scrapbusting with the Concord T shirt

When you are fat, all those suggestions for using smaller bits of fabric don’t really work the same way. You need far more fabric than people in smaller sizes so when you are looking up “what to make with less than a yard of fabric?” on google, the suggestions are a bit disheartening and frustrating when they use existing patterns that in larger sizes actually require much more fabric than a yard. When I buy fabric, I don’t ever buy less than a yard and a half. That can make me leggings or a short sleeve top and many other things. But sometimes, a yard doesn’t even make underwear in larger sizes. I think that’s tough to remember when you are smaller sized and writing these lists. There aren’t lists for “How to scrapbust when you are fat.” Although, now I want to write that list.

There’s always others ways to scrapbust, however, by using existing patterns and making design changes based on the fabric needs.

I had three different grey-based fabrics in my stash all with less than a yard of fabric left. I had a waffle knit with geometric print on it (only 1/4 of a yard), a striped doubleknit (just under a yard), and the remnant of a grey knit sheet that I used for a costume (about half a yard).

I used the waffle knit on the cowl neckline and for large sleeve bands. The grey knit sheet became the sleeves (please ignore the fact that they look twisted here…It’s because the sleeve bands are twisted because I didn’t pay attention putting it on before the picture) and the striped doubleknit became the body of the shirt (no attempt to stripe match since the yardage was so low). I did all this using the Cashmerette Concord T-shirt as a base pattern.

Originally, the shirt wasn’t going to be a cowl neckline, but the doubleknit stretched out when I sewed the neckband on it. You can see how it is stretching in that back view and pulling the fabric down off my shoulders. I’m almost sure the doubleknit has some rayon in the fabric. I got it with a bunch of other knits from LA Finch Fabrics when I won a sewing challenge last year. But not a problem, since I love a good cowl neckline.

The doubleknit is super stretchy; I had to remove a slight bit of width in the back to make it fit in the fabric constraints but the extra stretch makes that okay. The hem is the curved hem view using the grey knit sheet for the hem facing.

How soft is that doubleknit, though? It’s so soft! I wish that technology would catch up so you could feel this fabric. Like I just want to pet it. I wish I had more than just that piece!

I’m hoping the waffleknit softens a bit more in the wash since it’s not as drapey as I like a cowl to be. It looks okay but could definitely look a bit better.

Next time you have some pieces that are less than a yard, think strategically about what patterns you can use and mix and match! You can take any pattern and draw new panels or cut/design lines.

This is the last of my winter projects. I sadly didn’t get around to finishing all the things I wanted to for the season. I still haven’t started a new winter coat! But my brain is definitely not on Winter plans anymore so it will have to wait for the future. Some of my plans, however, might make it in my early Spring sewing since this is transitional weather in Toronto. For most of April, we’ll be anywhere from zero to plus 20 celcius. I’ll still be grabbing for all those layers for the next while.

Style Sew Me Alise Sweater

Is there a better print than houndstooth? I don’t know…

I made this Style Sew Me Alise Sweater in a houndstooth doubleknit. It’s a wool blend knit that I got locally and I love it. I used black bamboo lycra for the ruffle details.

I made the largest size and graded up at the hips by one size (outside the size range).

It’s a cute style, but there are definitely some issues with the sizing. The shoulders are quite large. I think it’s partially due to the heaviness of the doubleknit fabric, but the opening itself is a bit large. As well, the ruffle could be more ruffly.

I added sleeve bands and a hem band since that is my favourite way to hem knits.

The zipper in the back isn’t necessary for this fabric. It goes over my neck nicely without issue. However, with less stretch, it would be necessary.

It’s a cute top, though.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Style Sew Me Alise Sweater
  • Pros: Cute style.
  • Cons: Grading the shoulders out for a larger opening isn’t necessary as much in the larger sizes. I do think there could be some improvements in the grading there and then that would make the ruffle more ruffly.
  • Make again?: Probably not. It’s not 100% my style. It’s a cute top, though.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md4/5 stars

 

Jalie Yoko Sweater

My mind is on Spring sewing plans, but I still have some projects from Winter sewing to share with you. The Jalie Yoko sweater is a free pattern. It’s a basic top pattern: square shape, turtleneck. If you look at the pattern pieces, it is a rectangle with neckline shaping and arms attached. It’s quick and simple.

I made size GG for the 51 inch bust. I am a bit bigger than that, but I knew the over-sized shape would be fine with an extra inch.

I can’t say much about the instructions, because I didn’t really touch them. What’s to puzzle over with a top this simple? It literally took me 20 minutes to sew up.

The shape is very similar to the Seamwork Tacara that I just made. Although, the Tacara has more hip and cocoon shaping. It also has a bit more shaping in the arm.

I love this top. I’ve always been a fan of turtleneck sweaters since I am always freezing.

I used a purple hacci sweater knit.

I hemmed it with my serger and the made me usual sleeve bands to hem the sleeves.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Jalie Yoko sweater
  • Pros: Boxy shape. Includes several sizes. Would work for any gender, as well. I’m not super sure why it can’t be listed as unisex.
  • Cons: It does only go up to a 51 inch bust…. but it’s got such a range from kids to adults.
  • Make again?: Yep. I would likely make it again. Probably not until cold weather returns in the fall. I’m dreaming of Spring.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars