I’ve decided to take advantage of this long-weekend to find the perfect pattern to use for my treasured marsala merino, which I’d like to make the winter-layering-turtleneck-of-my-dreams from!
Since we’re in lockdown here in NZ and it’s not possible to print any new patterns out, this throwdown has been limited to patterns that I already have printed. Spoiler Alert: after making them, I’m still not sure which one should be the winner (or if I should keep looking), so I’d love to hear your opinions.
I’ve used my ‘sewing in isolation’ time to work through the backlog of printed-but-unmade PDF patterns in my stash, which includes toiling this Adrianna Dress pattern from Friday Pattern Co in some rayon fabric that I bought on super sale, and which I now consider to be extremely ugly (but I can’t remember if I thought that at the time of purchase, or if I thought it would be handy for toiles)…
The Adrianna Dress pattern (which is available up to 54″ bust and 57″ hip) is the woven dress companion pattern to the Adrienne Blouse (which is for knits, is a top and isn’t available in the extended size range).
Size Details: So I started with a 1X at the bust and graded out to the 4X from below the bust dart (I used the 1X sleeve pieces, since they seemed generous enough). I then used this tutorial on the Curvy Sewing Collective to do a FBA of 2 inches (so 1 inch on each side). This hideously patterned fabric might be hiding a multitude of sins on my FBA, but given how to top of the dress fits (quite snug), I definitely couldn’t have gone without it.
I had to cut the sleeves shorter than called for due to a lack of fabric (the sleeves are so wide) and I didn’t bother putting elastic in the bottom since this dress isn’t likely to ever be seen outside of my apartment.
This was my first Friday Pattern Co pattern and I thought the instructions were great. I saw that the designer Chelsea studied fashion design and I think there’s absolutely a correlation between having training and being able to make consistent patterns which fit bodies, I’m looking forward to purchasing and making more Friday patterns!
I made a size “I”, which was going by my bust size. I was part of the original testing group for this jacket and I didn’t make any changes to the pattern apart from making the sleeves slightly shorter
Pattern Sizing: The pattern is available in 10 sizes (A – J, which equates to Australian sizes 6-24) In the folds sizes run from a 30-52″ (76-131cm) bust and 33-55″ (84-139cm) hip and they’re all drafted for a B cup and someone who is 5’7″ (170cm) tall
Although I’m technically sized out of the In The Folds size range by 1 inch, I didn’t make the largest available size of the jacket, and I think that I definitely didn’t need to ‘size-up’.
I really like this pattern, although the pockets are a little low for me to reach in to comfortably, except when I’m sitting down! Because it would be a bit of a mission to change that, I’ll probably never change the pattern to do anything about that!
Probably my favourite part of this pattern is the box pleat at the back of the jacket, along with the style line (which is also where the facing sits), I think this makes the jacket look especially classy from the back.
The jacket calls for bottom-weight fabric, and I was at a bit of a loss so went with this denim, but I’d love a way to make the jacket in a more fancy-work-appropriate-fabric. The sleeves were almost comically long on me, but that’s an easy enough fix for the next iteration of this jacket (which is definitely coming once I find the perfect fabric)!
The Cornell Shirt from Elbe Textiles is a non-gendered pattern available from 30.5-54.5″ (78-138cm) hip and 32-56″ (82-142cm) chest, the finished measurements on the chest and hip of this shirt go up to 70″ or 178cm
I love shirts and I especially love grandpa collars but I’m also terrified of buttons (even more so now because my sewing machine was such an absolute jerk trying to sew the button holes on this!
Size details: All the juicy details are coming as soon as I find my pattern pieces to confirm what I cut out!
I’ve had the Michelle Blouse from Schnittchen printed out for ages, but now that NZ is in lockdown and it’s not possible to print anything, I was finally spurred me on to testing it out (also because I hate buttonholes but love shirts)!
The Schnittchen plus-size patterns up to EU 56 or 53.54″ (136cm) bust and 55.91″ (142cm) hip. The shirt has a wide, swingy cut and a small collar, there is a yoke and a box-pleat in the center back.
It can be sewn up either sleeveless or with sleeves, but rather unusually the sleeveless version is exactly the same as the sleeved version but with bias tape around the armscye.
The pattern doesn’t list finished measurements, and although this arm hole looks very generous, there was no way the sleeve would fit my arm in there, so sleeveless version it is.
Size details: I cut out the straight size 56 (the largest side), and it’s too big across the shoulders, but there’s not enough cross over at the front for me to be certain that I wouldn’t flash a lot of people if worn outside of the house, and the shirt is much longer on me than it is on the model. I’d also need to do a very substantial full-bicep adjustment if I wanted to make the version with sleeves!
Would I make this pattern again?
Maybe.. The instructions were quite inscrutable and although the instruction sheet talked about instructions with pictures on the website, I wasn’t able to find any to use. I did quite a bit of head-scratching but I’m still not sure that I sewed things up in the correct order.
I love the aesthetic of the patterns, but I think it would likely be much quicker for me to start with a pattern that fits and adjust to recreate this look rather than spending the time to make the necessary adjustments at the shoulders, hips and the arms too.