Sunday, June 21, 2015

Monthly stitch madness

So my goal for this month was to participate in all four Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month contests. I did okay on week one, but on week 2, though my tank top was pretty successful, my skirt sure wasn't. I might try to revisit it one day, but for now, it's in the UFO (aka time out) bin, I just couldn't take it anymore!

For week three (new to me), my plan was to finally make a Gabriola. However, at the beginning of the week, I was chosen as a tester for a pattern company I hadn't heard of before, KZJO Studio. She had three patterns out for testing, but based on what's in my stash, I chose to only test one - the Charlotte Tunic. (I really wanted to try to make Charlotte and Gabriola, but life got in the way, alas. Stupid Chicago flooding...Good thing I didn't commit to more pattern testing!)

To be honest, I initially thought this was a tank top when I signed up to test. Then I thought it was a dress, albeit a short one, and wore it as such, both to a party last night and for these pictures. Now, however, I realize it's really supposed to be worn with pants or leggings! Oh well. The great thing about sewing your own patterns is that it's "supposed to be" whatever you want it to be. I've already got a maxi version cut out, and may even have a couple of stash fabrics that would be good for tank top versions.

I picked up some pretty, slinky poly fabric recently during one of my allowed stash-adding weekends, and I wanted a simple make to show off the pattern properly. This tunic turned out to be just the ticket! For my first version, I cut and sewed as instructed, going with a straight size 16. Since my fabric frayed so much, I used French seams, and since the bias binding shows through on the straps, I went with some pretty lace I had on hand. 

Once I realized this wasn't a tank top, I honestly didn't think it would be very flattering on me, at least not without a belt. It's not my typical fit-and-flare, but...I really like it! I initially had some under-arm gaping, but that's pretty common with all of my makes (I've only recently discovered that this probably means I need a full bust adjustment). Since this was already cut and mostly sewn, I just added some darts, and I think it works fine. 

Pattern notes: Overall, I think the pattern itself is really well-drafted. It's simple enough to be good for a confident beginner (the bias tape might be a little challenging for a true novice), but with enough visual interest to not get boring. The instructions are pretty well written (and are currently being revised before the release to be even better!), and the diagrams/pictures are really excellent. 

What I'd change next time: I'd add at least a few inches so I can wear this as a dress without fear of flashing everyone. :) Because of the French seams, my total seam allowance ended up being a bit more than the intended 1/2", so it was a bit tighter than I'd thought in the bust. I'd probably size up to the 18 next time. 

KZJO Studio is planning to release all three patterns on Tuesday (a racerback knit dress, and a cute summer cardigan, in addition to this tunic), and is offering 15% off until June 30th! What do you think - would you give this pattern a try?

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