sewing with a deadline
last week, i was lucky enough to be selected to be a tester for a pattern with bella sunshine designs (disclaimer: that's my affiliate link!). there are quite a few of these "pdf designers" out there who create some fantastic patterns for sewing that are pretty awesome. so instead of going to a local sewing store and picking up a paper pattern from one of the "big 5" (you know, like mccalls, butterick, simplicity, etc.), you can buy these online, download instantly and print them out to use right away. the instructions are easy to follow and pretty much anyone from a beginner level seamstress can create their own custom apparel. i've been sewing with these kinds of patterns for a couple of years now and i love it.
BSD came out with a dress called the "sahara" for girls not too long ago. it's a really good basic pattern with different options for sleeve lengths and top, tunic or dress lengths. i really wanted to pick it up to make some stuff for the bean to wear over the spring and summer months, but she's sized out of most of the girl patterns out there. and so when they put out a call for testers for the adult version, i jumped on it even though the deadline was pretty tight. luckily, i can sew pretty fast and knew i'd be able to get my sample done in time.
i was super stoked to receive my assignment - it was only my second test ever, with the first one having been just the week before. i was to make a sleeveless top in my size, and while i'm not typically a peplum top kinda girl, i figured it was time to step out of the comfort zone and give it a shot.
just like i'd expected, the pattern was super easy to follow. i read through the instructions a couple of times, printed out the pattern and got to work. the pattern comes in a PDF file, with layers you can turn on and off to show the specific size you need, and then you assemble it using the guidelines and markings printed on the pages. i usually stand at the sliding glass window with a pile of paper and a roll of scotch tape to make sure i line the pages up properly. the girls used to think i was a little nutty when they'd walk in and see me doing this, but then when they got their new top or dress or whatever i was working on they got over it. heh.
in my stash, i found the perfect fabric to use for my first go at the top. i'd picked up about four yards of some basic turquoise knit downtown a few months ago, and it was in their clearance rack. this stuff was $.88 a yard! i hadn't had any plans for it, and it was just right for what i needed to do.
of course, as i finished the bodice, i got a notification that the pattern had been adjusted based on some feedback from earlier testers. bah. and so i printed the new version, cut it out and went back to work. it was also the first time i was using clear elastic, which was called for in the instructions. i usually skip that step, but since i was testing i figured i'd better follow them exactly as they were laid out. i'm still not sure if it made a difference in the final product, but whatever. i'm a rule follower, people.
here's my $1.50 top...worn over a pair of shorts i'd also sewn up just a week ago, and photographed by the bean using my phone. woohoo!
when it was time to sew up my final version of the top, i stupidly decided to use a sweater knit that i thought would work nicely. and it did in every way...except for the damn stripes. i managed to get the stripes to match on the bodice (which i was actually pretty stinking proud of!), but when it came to the peplum i wasn't thinking as i cut it out and it ended up looking like...well, this.
it looks crazy, right? like, what the hell are those stripes even supposed to be doing? not to mention, with them being so wide and going across instead of down, i look really...wide. blech. here's the side and back view:
i will say that i love how it fits, and it's comfy and overall looks pretty good if you disregard my fabric selection. i've got plans to make a couple more, although this time i'm going to make them in dress length and probably give the short sleeves a shot too.
and for sure, i'm avoiding stripes. good gracious.
if you're interested in purchasing this pattern, here's my link again - and the disclaimer again that this is an affiliate link. i mean, it's not much, but fun money is fun money, amirite? mama needs a new pair of shoes. or something. whatever. buy the damn pattern. ha!