Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers Day at Lowes Buying Plants and a Pattern Review

We rewarded our Saturday weeding with Sunday planting. Here we are choosing flowers. The top I am wearing is one I made for the 'Best Patterns' contest at Pattern Review. This is my review:
Pattern Description: Very Easy Vogue, number 8634. Voted one of the best patterns of 2010 (It must have been a tough year.) My description is different from the pattern envelope. I would say it is a loose fitting, pullover top with raglan sleeves and a lame cowl neck. But then you might not buy it or even be interested in reading this review...ooops! There is hope, read on.

Why I chose this pattern for the Best of Patterns contest:

I have a bin full of fun knit fabrics and I am committed to sewing with what I already have as much as possible. Normally, cowl necks are good for me. In general, I like interesting necklines and I thought I could play with this one a bit to make it better. I am a sucker for raglan sleeves, espiecially with the 2 piece front idea. Color blocking! Fabric mixing! My daughter would say "I know, right?"

Pattern Sizing: Make a size smaller than you would based on your measurements. I measure 38,30,40 so size 16 patterns are usually perfect for me. I made a medium, size 12-14 and it is roomy. Also your fabric stretch is going to greatly affect the size you choose. My patterned cotton fabric is just a one way stretch. No Lycra nor Spandex woven into this, just cotton. Not as stretchy as the pattern envelope recommends. So imagine how big it would be, if I had followed their suggestion and used only two way stretch knit. The stretch lace is a two way stretch and you do need that on the sleeves. I would say this top is roomy enough to make it in a woven with stretch sleeves if you wanted. Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I think it is still recognizable.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy, but I added a couple of steps of my own.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was skeptical about the cowl. It looked so limp and lifeless on the other 38 people who reviewed the pattern before me. I knew that I could improve upon it with some playing around on the dress form, so when it came to adding the cowl, I stitched only one edge of it right sides together with the top. I wasn't sure whether I was going to cut it smaller or make it bigger. I put the top on my dressform and played with the cowl fabric. I found that my fabric had enough body on its own to make a fairly good cowl with no adjustments. Still, I wanted to give it a little more body and a drawstring for interest. I have posted several photos on Flickr with comments to show how I did it.

Fabric Used: The patterned cotton fabric came from Girl Charlie Fabrics The stretch knit came from ebay.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I eliminated the front seam.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? For Fall, I think I will do a dress version of this with long stretch lace sleeves. I have another patterned knit that looks good with the teal stretch lace. I recommend it with caution.

Conclusion: Ha, Ha. As I was writing this review and looking at the photos of me in the top on Mothers Day, remembering what a warm day it was, and how my arms were perfect, but my neck was a little warm...I realize that a cowl neck on a short sleeved shirt is STUPID. So I cut it. I cut about 8" off of the cowl and I am refashioning the neckline. I will post an edit with the new neckline. I did receive compliments on Sunday, even with the cowl.

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