|Pattern Description: "Semi-fitted, mid-hip shirt or jacket has French seams, funnel neck, shoulder, bust, and waist darts, set-in two-piece sleeves and narrow hems on all edges."|
Pattern Sizing: XS-XXL. The size chart (in inches) can, at time of writing, be found here.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Basically yes, but I think the neckline would have come much higher up if I hadn't altered it. The waist fit also seems boxier, and the body seems slightly longer than the sleeves, rather than the other way around.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really follow them. They look more or less OK, except that as other reviewers have already pointed out, the finishes used (you are supposed to do French seams throughout, for example) just won't work for many of the suggested jacket-weight fabrics.
What did you particularly like... I like the shape of the hemline and the fact that (at least in front) it is not a straight, unbroken horizontal line. Also, everything seemed to fit together well, and the darts give nice subtle shaping. The only notches that didn't match were the front sleeve notches, but that could have been due in part to my blending of multiple sizes.
or dislike about the pattern? No major dislikes, but the pattern does have some quirks, most of which others have already mentioned:
Fabric Used: Boiled wool.
- The neckline seems impossibly high, especially in front. On some figures, it may work by opening up and falling forward somewhat, but in my case I thought it would have just collided with my chin.
- The sleeve darts are in an odd position. Normally, on a two-piece sleeve you'd have elbow darts or easing. Now, it is possible to rotate those just like it is with bust darts, and maybe that's what they were going for, but it doesn't really work unless the darts are substantially lengthened (as drawn, they'd make a bump more toward the front of the arm). They also seemed way too low. Maybe they were meant for really muscular forearms? AFAICT, anyway, none of the previous reviewers who actually tried them in the intended position thought they created a good fit.
- The button positions are marked right in the center of the vertical buttonholes. They should really be closer to the tops of the buttonholes.
- The dart legs seem to sew together well, but some of the dots along them don't match up.
- The underarm darts get partly caught in the armscye seam, adding bulk.
or any design changes you made: I didn't do any French seams or rolled hems. They would have been a disaster in this fabric. I used plain seams and raw edges, and I decided to sew the darts toward the outside since this resulted in an interesting corded look. To help keep them turned in the right direction, I hand-tacked through the layers invisibly from the wrong side. I also cut the little patch things for the buttonholes without seam allowances, interfaced them, fused them onto the front with a double-sided fusible, and worked the buttonholes through all layers.
- I used size XS in the front shoulder area, S in the back shoulder area, M from the underarm to the waist, and L from the waist down. (Sewing Workshop's chart gives bust/waist/hip measurements, by which I should have been M/L/L.) I tried to match the XS and S as best I could in the front and back sleeve cap, blending out to M for the underarm seams.
- I rejiggered the front shoulder-neck point and neckline, lowering them in stages so that the funnel neck wouldn't be hitting my chin/ears/earrings.
- To make the back shoulder/funnel neck seam match, I cut some height from the back neckline.
- I did a wide bicep alteration on the sleeve.
- I lengthened the elbow dart substantially. Instead of ending 2 1/4" (IIRC) to the front of the grainline, I made it end 2 1/4" behind it.
- To get the sleeve dart at the right height to be an elbow dart, and the sleeve to be the right length overall, I shortened the sleeve by 2 1/8" above the dart (divided between two places, so as not to interfere with the notches) and added 1 3/8" back below the dart. (Note that I do have somewhat short arms, and the shortness IS mostly in the upper arm, but usually elbow darts are at most 3/4" too low for me, not 2 1/8"!)
Would you sew it again? Maybe. I could see it being useful in linen too. I'm not a complete fan of the fairly boxy waist fit, but it could be comfortable for hot weather.
Would you recommend it to others? Yes and no. Often this brand has such unusual designs that any quirky fit aspects would go unnoticed. This particular pattern has a more straightforward silhouette, though, so I think the sleeve dart and collar height issues probably do need to be addressed. I'd only recommend it to anyone who can [be bothered to] address them. That said, the result can be quite nice.