Tag Archives: handmade

Pattern Testing Jazz by Ready To Sew

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I’m not sure about any of the expressions I gave in any of these photos… It’s me again! I’ve had a lot of exciting opportunities recently which is great, but does mean a lot less time for the old blog. That being said, I have a new make to show you all!

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It is my great pleasure to introduce to you Jazz, the new pattern from french pattern company Ready to Sew. They contacted me to ask if I would pattern test and I jumped at the chance. It’s a loose fitting dress or jumpsuit and has sleeve and length options, and I have to admit the design isn’t necessarily something I would have gone for without prompting. When I was sent some photos, however, I saw a black sleeveless jumpsuit version, and I realised that actually my wardrobe could definitely benefit from an easy breezy outfit like that.

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I went for a navy viscose from Abakhan Fabrics. It was my first time with viscose but this specific fabric, while drapey, still had a bit of weight to it which I think probably helped. My cutting could have been a lot better, but sewing it didn’t present too many challenges as long as I went slowly.

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I was sent this pattern to test the instructions and constructions, which I’m not going to detail here. I don’t think it would be very fair to talk about negatives which might not even be in the final draft. This is an intermediate pattern and I definitely feel that in the instructions. Ready to Sew does have a nice feature in their instructions where they have links to tutorials on how to do certain steps such as the invisible zip, if you’re concerned it might have some new construction techniques for you.

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I’m happy to wear this jumpsuit, but as I had to make it quite quickly (see above business, coupled with a temporary loss of sewing space in the flat) I did make a few irritating mistakes which I’d like to rectify next time I make it. One great thing about this pattern is that on the cutting layouts there is a guide showing you which edges you need to serge, which I’ve never seen before but love.

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I enthusiastically zig zagged the required edges, but in my eagerness I didn’t really take much care in ensuring the stitches would actually be caught in the seam allowance. A few zig zags do poke out onto the front of the fabric as a result, oops. Also, I’m beginning to think the sewing foot I thought was for invisible zips is actually only for normal zips, as I have yet to use it successfully.

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As I said earlier, I originally wasn’t sure how this jumpsuit would fit into my style and wardrobe. I very rarely wear or make clothes without a waist, having a look at my choices over Me Made May shows that for certain! I think I’ve got it into my head that because I’m petite and have short hair, I want to show some kind of curve of the body at all times.

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This is, of course, ridiculous. Gender is performative and ultimately irrelevant to clothing, so who cares if I don’t look ‘femme’ one day, or don’t create an hourglass silhouette in a corseted style every day? Choosing to do or not do these things is both completely fine, of course, and any variation in between. Please, wear things you want to wear. I took a look at myself and realised I hadn’t critically evaluated why I wanted to always cinch in my waist, which needed rectifying. This jumpsuit was a nice way of showing the internal criticisms that I am still valid and cute and stylish in something loose fitting. And I like it! It’s really comfy, super effortless and I can eat as much as I want without worrying my food baby will press against the waistband!

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I also like it with a belt, and apparently want to sneeze if this photo is anything to go by. As I don’t often need to define my waist further, plus the fact that I rarely wear accessories (so don’t own many), I didn’t have an exact matching belt to try with this. I had a waist tie from a top I no longer own which, while black and so not exactly matching, did a good job.

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I am already planning my next one, I’m thinking for going for a brighter colour, or maybe a khaki to look like some kind of french fashion style army person who wants no part in the war, and only wants to look cool.

Disclaimer: This pattern was given to my by Ready to Sew free as a pattern tester. All views are my own.

Butterick 4872 Culottes

DSC01509This pattern was originally my Mum’s from the past (I think the 80’s), and it has variations for culottes at different lengths, skirts and trousers. That’s pretty much all the types of clothing you can have on your bum! This pattern could be all you need. It’s an easy pattern, with minimal pieces. It’s pretty voluminous, but there are some darts on the back and front pleats which keep it in some sort of shape. All of the pieces were in here except the waistband, so I just ‘drafted’ my own by cutting a big rectangle of fabric and using that! It worked out fine.

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A game changer in this make was the addition of my pattern marking pen. I am so glad I bought this people! No pins breaking the paper, I just weighed the pattern pieces down, and drew the lines directly onto the fabric. This also made pleats and darts way easier than using the thread method, which is a bit fiddly for my liking. I definitely cut out neater pattern pieces than I usually do as a result and I am very ok with that.

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The smallest size in this envelope was ‘12’ (although that’s pretty arbitrary, since this is a retro pattern the sizes are all different and funny) which was a smidge too big for me, so I eyeballed and made the pleats about an inch deeper on each side. They aren’t perfectly even, but that’s our little secret, k?

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Making these up were pretty easy. I forgot how bland and to the point commercial pattern instructions were, which threw me a little. These were my first seamed pockets and while they confused me for a bit were actually pretty simple. They look so good too! I’m definitely keen to make more things with this pocket type.

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The main sticking point was really near the end, when I was stitching in the ditch for the waistband. I got overconfident, and managed to snap my needle on the zip! This was irritating, but became even more so when I realised I didn’t have any regular needles left except what felt like the thicket, bluntest needle which ever crawled out of the needle tin. I hated using it, it was a terrible time. On the plus side, it made me very quick on those last steps! Don’t worry guys, I have ordered new needles… Sorry bad needle.

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When I started putting the pieces together, I was kind of unsure about how these would turn out. I love this chambray (denim? Not sure! It’s quite lightweight but still has a good amount of body), but was I setting myself up for a fail by combining with this very unashamedly 80’s pattern? I was wondering if I should have tried it with something more floaty, but actually one it was made and I brought it in to fit around my natural waist I got on board with the idea. They’re kind of weird and maybe a little ugly, but they’re cool and comfortable and I like this outfit. I also think they’ll work year ‘round which is a definite plus, seasonal wardrobes can be restrictive for me.

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