I was hoping to be showing off more Japanese sewing projects this month, but I was left slightly dejected after the poor turnout of the last project. I had had such high hopes for it – and that top looked amazing in my head. So I was really unsure of what direction to take next, and ended up just cutting out a stack of fabric instead. That’s why Wednesday’s post was full of kid’s clothes, that’s what I concentrated on this week.
Once the kid’s clothes were done, I was going to reach for the next pile, which included 3 Ogden Camis and 3 new tops for my Mum, using her favourite Burda pattern. However… I got slightly distracted with all the hoo-haa on Instagram regarding Indie pattern designers “ignoring” a large part of the market by not catering to people with larger measurements. I watched loads of stories, read blog posts and IG posts and generally got lost down a deep rabbit hole!
Now I’ve been following Paper Theory for a while, I liked the Kabuki Tee when it came out, but thought it might be too roomy for me, and look tent-like, so I left it. Since then, Tara has added a pullover and shirt pattern to her offerings. Hers was one of the stories I watched on IG, and it made me want to do something. She’s a one-person band with seriously limited resources, but wanting to do better. This is where my compulsive desire to “help” popped into the picture. I decided I’d like to help, but what could I do? I’m not exactly rolling in excess funds, I have no experience in drafting properly for “plus size”, cannot use a computer drafting program and am not in London. However, I can buy her patterns. I can offer to be a pattern tester for the current upper range of her patterns. I can do what I can.
So I bought the Kabuki Tee and the LB Pullover as PDF patterns, and instantly sent the copyshop version off to the other half to print at the office on the plotter! Cheeky, but if he’s going to insist on spending 12-13 hours of his day there, I need to get some advantage!! According to the measurement chart, I’m the size 18 for tops. I always go with bust measurement for tops etc, and hip measurement for bottoms. The waist I can take care of afterwards! I also checked the finished measurement chart. For the LB Pullover, the size 18 has a finished bust measurement of 128cm, that’s 20cm of extra. Now normally I’m comfortable with 120-125cm finished width on tops, so this wasn’t too much more. Maybe for a knit I’d be happy going down a size… The size 16 is 123cm, so also falls easily within my comfort zone. I traced both sizes & went with the 18 for my first time.
I have in the stash two pieces of grey and black striped ponte. The one piece used to be 2m and is now the leftovers after cutting a Named Saunio Cardigan. I then bought another 1m bit so I could make something else, because I really liked the colour and the stripe. This is what I was going to make my pullover with. It’s a fairly sturdy ponte, not thick or chunky, but not overly stretchy either – which means I couldn’t use it for the Sew House Seven Tabor Tee. I cut the sleeves, back and neckband from the leftover piece, and the front from the new piece – no problem!
Instructions are simple and to the point, no waffling for pages and pages! It was quick to cut and, if I wasn’t using stripes, would have been quick to sew too! But I wanted to make sure those suckers lined up! Yeah – that. I pinned the sleeve seams first (I always start with the sleeves, weird) and then couldn’t figure out why the sides were so wrong, the stripes wouldn’t line up. I had to stretch the one side to get the stripes to line up, but I’d made 100% sure I’d cut it all properly, so what the *%*£?? Then it dawned on me, The stripes were marginally wider on the 1m piece than they were on the original fabric. Oh crap! I hadn’t even considered for a miniscule portion of a nonosecond that they’d be different! I’d even bought it from the same shop! I should have cut front and back from the same piece, I could have got away with the sleeves being different!
So what did I do? I just pinned and sewed!! I’m considering adding a stripe up the seam to break the join, then it won’t be noticed that the stripes don’t line up! 😀 A sort of vertical “go faster” stripe. Like you find on posh pants/trousers. Maybe. So let that be a warning, people – if you buy two pieces of “the same fabric” check that it is in fact, the same fabric!!
In the meantime, I put the top on the minute I was finished with it, and I like it! the stripe is not as “in my face” as that gingham was, even though it’s still an all-over pattern. The length is perfect (btw, I did not do an FBA), both in the body and the sleeves. I also love the neckband. It was the one thing I wasn’t sure of, I don’t like fabric up againsy my neck – or double chin. I’ve inherited my Dad’s family’s chin, and it makes raised necklines a bit annoying for me. It’s one of the things I don’t like about the fleece Toaster I made last year. I keep pulling the front down to keep it away from my neck/chin, and it’s the same with the Talvikki. On this pattern, the scoop of the neckline is lower (and it’s a sewn-on, rather than grown-on neckband) and the fabric is softer, has more flop.
I wore the top for the remainder of the day, & again the next day! I now have plans for another, but in a woven this time… I was lucky enough to find 3m of silk and wool fabric at a local charity shop. I swear I wasn’t looking for fabric, I only wanted a good book to read! But there it was, sage green & ecru herringbone, lightweight and lovely – and only £12!! I couldn’t leave it there. After washing and ironing it, I think it’s a wool and silk blend. Now, I have hatched a plan in my head to make another LB Pullover in this fabric! Again – in my head it looks amazing. Fingers crossed!