Friends at long last I can show you the first look I planned from the Design Your Wardrobe program. Get ready for a massive blog post as I have a lot to say about these three patterns. First though Design Your Wardrobe is a program from Seamwork magazine (it is free for members) that helps you define your style and plan your sewing in outfits rather than individual pieces. It has changed how I view sewing completely and really helped me see the gaps in my wardrobe and what style I want to fill those gaps with. You can do this at your own pace or each fall and spring you can sign up for the email prompts.
I found what was missing most from my wardrobe was more functional but stylish clothes. I had warm, comfortable clothes but they did not make me feel attractive. So first up was a York Pinafore in a rust microsuede. I purchased this fabric from Mardens a few years ago (I’ve also gotten a skirt out of it) and I’m still amazed at how cheap it was for how nice it is. It’s even underlined.
I made this in a size small in the bust and graded out to a medium at the hips, which is what I needed according to the size chart. For reference, I am a 34″ bust and 37″ hip. I was swimming in this thing. The one you see here has been taken in a good inch on both sides which is all I could manage without taking off the pockets (I could have done that but I was feeling lazy). I have made another one in a straight size small and it fits me much better. I would recommend since this is such a loose fitting style sizing down if you are in between sizes or going by your bust size alone. I also wish I had done something other than suede for my first time making this pattern. The suede was difficult to manipulate with the bias tape on all those curves (I’ve since learned I should have used a larger stitch length as well) and made it hard to iron also. For my second York I used a rayon blend corduroy that was much easier and it turned out sooo much better. Lesson learned. I also want to take a moment to praise Helen’s instructions, as they were possibly the best I’ve ever used in my three years of sewing.
Now on to the Rowan. I could wax poetic on this pattern. And bodysuits in general. I want a hundred of these. I never even considered a bodysuit before coming upon this patten by Megan Nielsen and now it’s the only knit top I want to make. It is perfect for high waisted pants/jeans, skirts, pinafores, overalls; you name it. No riding up, no shifting around, no more tucking my tops into my tights AND I swear they make me warmer since they cover my butt when I’m wearing tights hehe. I made the size small in a viscose jersey from Minerva Crafts and did very small seam allowances on the side seams because it is much more fitted than I realized. The viscose knit is a little more drapey than I would recommend but it works and next time I use that fabric for one of these I will take in the sleeves a little more to compensate. I’ve made another in a cotton lycra (sized up to medium in the bodice and did a 7/8 seam allowance on the sleeves) and it is the perfect stability for this patten. I’m excited to make tee versions for spring and summer but there are endless possibilities because as always Megan gives you a world of variations. Meanwhile the mock turtleneck height is perfection and I can’t get enough of it.
Last but not least, my Oslo coat. Boy do I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. I cut a size 10 (muslined first) because instead of the button I wanted to wrap and tie it as you see here. This worked well with my muslin and works pretty well with my actual coat. For the tie I just measured and cut two rectangles and sewed them together; turned them out at one end and hand sewed it shut. I used a wool blend from Fabric Godmother and a sunback lining from B and J fabrics in Copper. Sunback is a flannel backed satin I learned about from Heather of Closet Case patterns in one of her coat making blog posts, it’s perfect to add warmth without adding an interlining. Both fabrics were easy to sew on and behaved wonderfully. My gripe is with the pattern and even more so the intstructions.
This was the first Tessuti pattern I have ever used and I have to say it may be the last. The instructions were so vague but not only that the pictures…The sample coat they made for the photos are the darkest blue fabric that make it so impossible to see that the only reason I was able to get this coat together was with help from other bloggers who have previously made it. This was my first coat; so I don’t blame the pattern entirely for my troubles but I do blame it in part. Some steps weren’t even photographed. I don’t mean to make this a negative rant against tessuti, some new photos and a little more detail added would greatly improve the instructions and they DID offer me help via direct messaging on instagram when I mentioned them in my story. That being said the pattern comes together nicely and is a fairly simple coat which I would otherwise recommend for beginners. Just remember you will have to look up pictures of other people’s coats.
Even though I made it with the tie I actually prefer this coat open as I can’t look past the mild bathrobe vibes I get when it’s tied. The pockets are a little low and I do wish I had added them to my muslin so I could have adjusted that. I’m only 5’4″ though so that may be because of my size. I did not lengthen or shorten this or make any adjustments other than sizing up to accommodate for wrapping it.
Overall I am happy with my coat making experience and am glad I took the adventure. I learned a lot of new techniques and that is never a waste of time. I love the whole look together and it certainly has the 70s vibes I complied on my mood board (you can see that on my instagram here). I definitely recommend the Design Your Wardrobe program for anyone looking to gain direction with their sewing and Seamwork as an overall pattern company as well.
Till next time -Addy Bryce