Sunday, 6 August 2017

Late to the party - Patrones matching set

Hola amigos!

I’ve made myself a matching summery set of boxy woven tee and midi skirt, approximately two (or more) years after this look became fashionable. Aw well, sewing for me is definitely slowww fashion.

The patterns here are the falda H&M Evasee and Top Corto Alba Conde from Patrones magazine, which I picked up (alongside Patrones Extra, which has an amazing selection of shirt and trouser patterns) in Madrid in March. I bought this issue on the strength of some line drawings of three incredible dresses, all of which I realised on more leisurely inspection were actually in the plus size section - but I’m hoping to work out how to size them down. I’ve already put in an order with a friend to pick me up a copy of the latest Patrones when she goes to Spain later this summer.

There are loads of lovely things to make in this issue, but I was drawn to this set because 1) I have been meaning to get on this trend for a while 2) I wanted to try out a boxy woven tee as a trial run for some lovely Japanese fabric I bought with a Cloth House voucher that I’d like to make up this summer and 3) these patterns are meant to be ‘costura facil’ - an easy sew - and that’s what I was in the mood for!

You’ll notice here that the patterns don’t have quite the same proportions on me as they do on the model. The patterns are without seam and hem allowances, and I tried to work out a way to cheat this when tracing the skirt pieces which ended up backfiring. I had planned to just trace the size up and work with that (a bad idea anyway) but then ended up autocorrecting myself when in the act into tracing my size - hence cutting out my pieces without any seam allowance at all!

I sewed the skirt with ¼” seam allowances to try and make it work for me and it just about fits, but there isn’t any ease over the abdomen and hips so the skirt isn’t as swingy as intended. I made the same mistake with the waistband, which is one piece that is meant to be folded over, but as I realised this would be too skinny without the seam allowances I decided to cut another waistband piece as a facing instead to preserve some width. I probably could have cut a replacement piece properly instead of that workaround really!

Sewing this up was very easy - I didn’t use the instructions (which are pretty brief, and let's face it, in more complex Spanish than I can handle) and decided to make it without lining as the fabric is quite structured (it might even be a home furnishing fabric), and is intended for summer wear. The fabric is from a gift bundle that my former manager gave me - the selvedge says ‘Cranston Print Works, Schwartz Liebman’ and I believe it’s from the 1970s or 80s and came all the way over from Texas. Not sure if the fabric was ever sold on these shores, or if it’s a memento from a trip. I hope I’ve done it justice!

I aimed to avoid my seam allowance mistake with the top, but ended up using a guide with ⅜” seam allowances to draw these directly onto the fabric so didn’t give myself much wiggle room, and then forgot to extend this for more of a hem turn-up! Translating the instructions for the fiddlier parts of this ended up being a bit of a headache, so again I just went with my instincts and hoped for the best. Unfortunately with all the nested patterns I seem to have missed off marking any match points too, so attaching the cap sleeves in the right spot was essentially guesswork. I haven’t quite finished the back neck fastening (still need a button and to sew down the bias loop closure) but I think I might have made the opening slit a bit wider than designed here, so something to watch out for on the next incarnation.

The fit is certainly boxy - but I think that to imitate the model photo better perhaps I should have cropped it even more? The back has come out a little crumpled in these photos and isn’t hanging as freely as intended which might mean it’s a bit long. To create a little shaping there is a seam across the bustline that also cuts the back section in half, so if I wanted to make this again I could experiment with colour blocking. I didn't make any adjustments for fit, and I think perhaps I’d need to peg the side seams in towards the waist for a more flattering look, but think this might necessitate a side zip (argh, scary new technique!).

Anyway, a fun experiment and an outfit I enjoyed wearing out last night, which earned a compliment from a stranger so gets the seal of approval! Have you ever made something up from a foreign language pattern magazine? How did you get on?

NorseOtter xx