A Fashion Pattern Review
Fashion Sewing Skills Disclaimer: I’m good at sewing fashion basics. When it comes to details, I’m very good… unless I’m in a hurry and/or near the end of the project. Then it’s all about getting it done. Right now.
If the project takes too long, I get a little sloppy. Or I don’t finish. Or I’m rushing to finish so I screw something up so monumentally that I can’t finish. Or I set it aside for later and forget about it.
But shyeah, except for all that, I’m good.
Fabric Info: I used some fabric from my mother’s stash. She didn’t know what it was. I don’t know what it is. I think it is some sort of cotton/polyester or cotton/rayon blend. Whatever it is, it has a nice hand and is fairly thin. I thought it would be perfect for a hot Georgia summer. I thought it would be a dream to sew. It turned out to be a nightmare.
I spent more time adjusting my machine than sewing: every time I back-stitched, the fabric would pucker. I changed tensions, needles, presser foot pressure, thread, speed, and machines all in an effort to keep that fabric from puckering. Nothing worked. Eventually I decided to back-stitch 2 stitches only when absolutely necessary and be done with it. Now that I’m finished, everything seems to be fine; the stitches remain and there’s no puckering.
Pattern Promises: It’s Simplicity pattern 2594 and promises to be “easy-to-sew”. (On the pattern, the word “easy” is in a bold font. Wow. It must be really easy, then.) I made shirt F (the light blue one on the front of the pattern): It has a yoke, pleats on the front, gathers in the back, a dropped shoulder, a V-neckline, a straight hemline, and tabbed sleeves. I decided not to put a tab on my sleeves because I thought that it was too fussy with the pleats and the gathers. Also, I have wide shoulders and beefy arms; any kind of gathering/excess of material on the upper arm tends to exaggerate both the shoulders and arms.
Pattern Pitfalls: I’ve never made a shirt with a yoke before. So maybe this is just my yoke inexperience rearing its ugly head here, but the way the yoke connected to the front of the body is weird. The instructions and the illustrations in the instructions do not help. (“Easy”, Simplicity? Better instructions would make this truly easy.)
Here are the basic steps as outlined (as best I can tell, anyway): The yoke and yoke facing are sewn together at the neckline. The front body is sewn onto the outside of the yoke, right sides together. Then the yoke facing is top-stitched to the front body and yoke.
The body front is essentially sandwiched between the two layers of the yoke. This makes the yoke all nice and finished inside, but it also means that it is really hard to line up the body and yoke at the neckline. Which is why one of my connections at the neckline where the yoke meets the body front isn’t aligned slightly. This misalignment is why my seam ripper made the last Easy Friday List.
Pattern Delivers: I like the gathers in the back and the pleats in the front. I love the neckline shape and depth. I like the length (it hits me at low hip).
I’m not sure that I like how much it looks like hospital scrubs. Also, it doesn’t hang properly. The sleeves stick out a bit much for my taste (though that does help disguise my beefy arms). I noticed that the other tops in the pattern are cut on the bias except for the V-neck tops. My V-neck top was cut on the grain. Maybe the hang is the result of it being grain cut. Maybe it’s just the fabric I chose.
Remake It? I bought the pattern to make a blouse for a wedding. This blue shirt was the test run for it. I already have the fabric for the wedding blouse and I don’t think that this pattern is going to be a good one for it. The wedding blouse fabric is very silky and shiny and slippery; that yoke would not be fun to sew with a slippery fabric. So the fabric I bought this pattern for isn’t going to be used for this pattern.
Would I make it with another fabric? I’m thinking of making the cowl-neck version in a jersey like in this review. (There’s someone else who didn’t care for the yoke instructions.) So maybe.
Worth It? It is listed for $15.95 on the pattern flap; I wouldn’t pay full price for it. Simplicity offers it for about $10. I bought this pattern at Joann’s on sale for $2.
In the end: I’m disappointed that I haven’t found the right pattern for my wedding blouse. I’m disappointed that the shirt looks like hospital scrubs. I’m disappointed that the yoke was so stupid and that the instructions were no help at all. Still, it’s a mostly flattering blouse that I’ll wear tons this summer without overheating.
Overall, not great. Not bad. Mainly meh.
I think it’d take a fabulous print to make me happy with it.
Other Web Resources about Simplicity 2594:
At the Slapdash Sewist: The cowl-neck version is pretty in a giraffe print. She didn’t follow the directions. I knew that yoke was crazy; I let my yoke inexperience lead me to follow the directions when they clearly should have been dismissed.
At the Modern Marigold: Having prior knowledge of yokes probably helps…
At Lazy Stitching: “It’s not unwearable – it’s just that it doesn’t make me want to wear it.” True!
I’m working on a new collection of fabric. At first I thought it was going to be part of the Painted Flower collection. But I’m thinking it’s going to have its own collection of prints. I’m super-excited about it. Here’s a
peak peek at my progress.
I really love olive and purple together. It’s so difficult to find a good, deep purple in the fabric store. And in the department stores? Most every item is coral, black, or pale neutral. Which is fine. Neutrals are great, black is wonderful, but I am heartily sick of coral. So, for my own peace of mind (and also for my own non-homogeneous closet/stash wishes), I’m working on a deep, lush purple print.
I’ve also been sewing a top. I’ll post pictures of it soon and I think there’s going to be a pattern review out of it.
Also, I’m going to do a Monster Pin Cushion Tutorial. Because what the world needs is one more pin cushion tutorial.
UPDATE: Just when you’re feeling smug about knowing the difference between it’s and its, someone points out to you the difference between peak and peek. Oy.