After a tragic disappointment with another pattern, I needed something to pick me up. This asymmetrical pattern was exactly the thing. No two pieces are alike, and there are interesting curves and a forgiving silhouette. It's a 3D puzzle in fabric. An easy one, if you take it step-by-step.
Studying the envelope and online reviews, I wasn't thrilled by this tunic made in stripes. Nor with the seams outlined in piping. Mixing colors didn't speak to me either, which surprised me a bit. What did appeal, was fabric that appeared to have texture - and you can see both examples on the envelope have this appearance. I did see some attractive plaid versions, and will keep that under consideration for future makes.
For this initial effort, a beautiful piece of Ankara was chosen from my stash. Its pattern is vaguely tie-dye, with mock-croc elements, and even (if you look closely) some floral and geometric shapes. This fabric reminds me of exotic walls with numerous layers of paint washes. It's a fabric that makes me happy. It's also cotton, and I'm leaning towards natural fibers these days, and the purchase supports an African-American woman-owned small business. What is this amazing resource? AnkaraMalkia.com
This tunic in this fabric. Ankara is a substantial fabric, and I really like the short "tent dress" appearance. In fact, I might consider using the bust-up portion of this pattern for a tent maxi dress. It will definitely be made again. Possibly in other fabric weights as well as Ankara.
In the interest of total honesty, this is not a garment that makes me look smaller. It does however, fill me with joy and glee, and I like that.
It might not hurt to add a small bust dart...and that's the one additional tweak I'd consider, looking at my photos. I adored this pattern, and was happy sewing the beautiful fabric, and the unusual pieces kept me feeling as if I was doing a puzzle. This tunic makes my "Me Uniform" list. A fun sew, with distinctive, excellent results...definitely recommend!
These wide-leg woven pants were the reason I purchased S8177. They are high-waisted, and with Mimi G, I knew there would be room for my ample rear. Otoh, there's a yoke, and a zipper, and my figure, and...
This pattern overwhelmingly won a "do this next" survey, providing me the needed push to overcome my anxieties about its details. First modification was moving the zipper to the side, as my belly just does NOT need anything extra on the front of it. Belt carriers were left off, as these are to be pajamas. The final adjustment was grading from size 26 at the waist to 28 at the hip. My measurements supported this move, and I wanted all the help I could get in defining my waist!
I watched Mimi G's tutorial beforehand. While I consider myself an intermediate sewer, I know there are gaps in my knowledge, and it's best to be humble when approaching fabric. She advised watching her "basics" video, so I did that, and improved my layout/cut technique:
I did the staystitching, darts and pleats as directed, and then assembled the main section of the pants (the legs), leaving the whole outer left leg seam open. Next I put together the yoke, again leaving the left side open. This made it easy to match up and sew the yoke to the legs. The invisible zipper came next, and it will get its very own post, as it was my first one ever! The result was good, and like Mimi G, I prefer the zipper goes all the way to the top of the garment, avoiding the need for a hook and eye. The video did not show seam finishing, and I happen to like French seams. Tidy and sturdy, so that is what I used on the long leg seams. A bit of hemming (I opted for a deep hem, rather than the cuff shown), and I was done. Perfect fit!
Awesome and Not (Love is Complicated)
This pattern is love. It is everything I'd expected: fits my waist and rear end, and has lovely wide legs. That said, as you can see from the "side view" above, it is not particularly flattering to my belly - at least not from the side. What to do?
Vogue 1297 is an excellent pattern for Apples. It looks fabulous in striped fabric, thanks to the giant pockets set at a slimming angle. It's also surprisingly easy to make, even when you're working with an older sewing machine like I do!
My first version of this dress was made with a substantial brick-red striped knit. It's not a scuba knit, but it is almost that substantial. I do think you could get away with a medium-weight knit. Anything too light might not skim over you as flatteringly (no surprise to most of us). The minor wubble in the front-facing pic is my not-very layerable shirt scrunching!
Not As Awesome