Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pattern Review - La Mia Boutique Cardigan

Pattern Review ~ La Mia Boutique Caridgan from 2/2010 issue #29

Pattern Description: Double ruffled collar ladies cardigan

Pattern Sizing: Italian sizes 40-46 - I made a 40, but my m'ments say I'm a 38 for tops. It's a little oversized, but for a cardigan I think that is okay, especially if you plan to wear something a little thicker under it. I might size it down to a 38 next time and see what I think. Also the fabric I used was a rayon/lycra jersey which is more drapy and relaxed than a cotton/lycra jersey so that will make a bit of a difference on the look you get.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much, they look like they used more of a sweater knit.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Well I followed Lynn's Instructions on Pattern Review so yes! I bought the March 2010 issue of Ma Boutique which is the French reprint of the Italian La Mia Boutique February 2010 issue. I don't read or speak either French of Italian so I would have have to muddle my way through if Lynn hadn't posted her instructions. If you've been sewing for any length of time I think you'd probably have no problems figuring it out on your own. I appreciated Lynn's efforts so I printed it out and read it before I started - thanks Lynn!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's such a cute and unique cardigan - what's not to love and since I'm always cold, I'm sure I'll wear it often!

Fabric Used: I used matching rayon/lycra jersey and cotton/poly ribbing both from Joann's

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I omitted the button because I didn't anticpate ever using it. Also, I did make an error when ruffling and had to redo the lower ruffle which ended up shaving off a bit more than it should. It's not bad, but the under layer should stick out a bit more. Also my top layer of lettucing isn't as lettuce-y as it should be but I'm hoping the washer will fix that. This was my first go round and I'm very pleased with the outcome even tho it's far from perfect.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I'm sure I'll be sewing this again. It's a little tricky to find matching ribbing and knit, but Joann's actually had a decent selection when I went looking last week. I love purple, so it worked out perfect for me.

I'd definitely recommend trying the cardi if you have this issue in your collection.

Conclusion: Really cute cardi, I'm so glad this was brought to my attention on the PR message board. :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pattern Review - McCalls 5974

McCall's 5974 ~ Palmer/Pletsch The Perfect Knit Dress

Pattern Description: Ladies knit dresses with scoop neck or mock crossover with self-ties. Bodice has front pleats, self-faced midriff, pleated skirt front, back zipper, and three lengths of sleeves. I made view "C" - the mock wrapover with 3/4 sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 8-24W - I made size 8 based on my chest m'ment which is also my typical size for tops. Since the dress is fuller through the hips, I didn't alter the waist and hips for my m'ments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were such great instructions. Having taking a Palmer/Pletsch fitting class from Marta in Fall 2008 and being a fan of the FFRP books by Pati & Marta, it was great to see the fitting addressed in the pattern sheets. The first sheet (both front and back) discussing tissue fitting, how to get the tissue ready for fitting, trying on the tissue, and common alterations you might have to make for this particular pattern. It is a mini FFRP course right in the pattern envelope! My only disappointment is they show how to make a FBA (full bust adjustment), but no SBA (small bust adjustment - they don't really discuss this to any length in the book either so I should be surprised).

Throughout the instructions there are helpful tips to guide the seamstress along so that the outcome is as professional as possible. The only thing I find utterly rediculous is that they don't have you put the sleeve in flat. This pattern is for knits only and they have you set in the sleeve - so dumb! One nice "tip" they offer is suggesting you try on the dress during the sewing process to see if you really need a zipper for your body shape. This is such great advice because putting a zipper in a knit dress is down right nuts (well unless you need it to be able to put it on).

One last interesting tidbit is that they give you 1" seam allowances in the sides to give you a little extra wiggle room when you're fitting.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There are lots of positive reviews about this dress so I decided to give it a whirl. I really like the look of wrap dresses on my figure so I thought this might be a good on to have in my wardrobe. Beware, if you're making the mock wrap dress, it requires 2 5/8 yds - 3 5/8 yds depending on your pattern size ~ a hefty chunk of fabric.

Fabric Used: I used some poly/lycra knit I purchased at Joann's that was in my stash. I had almost 2.5 yds and was able to eek out the dress with no fabric to spare.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I altered the pattern tissue by giving myself a 1/2" broad back adjustment and a slight swayback tuck. I also shortened the dress by 1". I probably didn't need to shorten it, but when I pinned it up that is where I liked it.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might sew the dress again. It was easy to sew (took me about half a day or so from start to finish). I decided Saturday morning I should have a new Easter dress for church and then had it done by 3pm. This included doing a little tissue fitting as well to make sure the bust fit. Unfortunately it ended up being too big so next time I will make a SBA on my tissue. I should have known better, but the tissue fit well (duh the tissue is not knit! LOL). Thankfully it doens't gape open, it's just a little bit fuller in the bust area (I'm a 32B for reference).

Yes, I'd receommend the dress.

Conclusion: Cute knit dress with great pattern instructions.