Hi everyone! As I mentioned in my last post, there are some exciting guest posts to come for OWOP… I’ve really admired Jane’s amazing makes since I first found her blog, and here she tells us a bit about how she makes such great garments:
Hello! I’m Jane from Handmade Jane and I’m delighted to be a guest blogger for this series of OWOP posts.
Choosing patterns to fit into a handmade wardrobe
We all have special patterns that seem to work for us, but what is it about them that make us want to sew them again and again? The patterns I tend to repeat sew are the ones that fill gaps in my handmade wardrobe. They’re not necessarily the most exciting patterns, but they’re definitely the ones that work the hardest! As we all know, sewing time is precious, so there are three key factors I take into consideration when deciding whether to sew a pattern again: fit, style and how easy it is to sew up.
Trying to achieve a better fit was one of the reasons I first started sewing my own clothes. If you’re lucky enough to find a pattern that fits perfectly straight from the envelope, great! Hang onto it! Generally though, patterns take a bit of tweaking to fit the way you want. It’s quite an investment of time and effort, but definitely worth it to perfect the fit. And once you’ve managed to nail the fit, the whole process is a lot quicker the next time round!
My Sewaholic Granville blouses – a pain to fit to my proportions but I couldn’t be happier with the results!
This is the main factor that draws me to a pattern and one or two unusual design features are often all it takes to lure me in. This could be something as simple as a cute collar, a bow at the neck or even a strategically placed dart. Or sometimes the way a pattern is drafted just happens to be a style that flatters my particular shape.
I think learning to choose patterns that suit you and your shape and style is key. For example I love wide legged trousers and have made several pairs over the years, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they generally look better on somebody a foot taller than me! However well fitting they are, they just make me look even shorter than I already am, so it’s slim legged trousers from now on.
Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers – the slim fitting style is a good match for my shape.
How easy is it to sew?
If sewing a pattern makes you feel like you’ve endured 10 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson, you’re unlikely to want to put yourself through it again. It isn’t always about the number of pattern pieces or complicated sewing techniques either. Some intermediate patterns are a pleasure to sew because they’re well drafted and come with clear instructions. There are also beginner patterns that put me right off sewing them again if the drafting and instructions are poor.
For the last OWOP challenge in 2014, I chose a pattern that made me happy on all three points. It was vintage Simplicity 4238 and I’ve sewn it up five times and counting! At first glance it seems like a standard button up sleeveless shirt, but when you look more closely you’ll see it includes a whopping 12 darts which gives it the fitted vintage look I love. Yes, the darts are a pain to mark up, but they’re not difficult to sew and provide awesome shaping around the waist. It’s also sleeveless, which means it’s not just confined to summer as it can be worn with a cardigan.
I’ve made it twice in polka dots, once in gingham, once in a Liberty floral and once in a solid white. This allows for every conceivable pairing of bottom halves! Will I make it again? Probably! I think a couple more solid coloured versions would come in mighty useful!
I think the biggest challenge for this year’s One Week, One Pattern will be finding a pattern that works as well as this one! Thanks so much Hannah for inviting me to contribute, I can’t wait to participate in September!
Thanks Jane!! I’m excited to see your OWOP garments!
I’ll be posting more about OWOP, including details of the fab prizes, next week 🙂