Saturday, July 5, 2008

Robin Hood Meets Black and White Brushstrokes*

This pattern, Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina, has been described as looking on Pattern Review as something like Robin Hood might wear. If you look at the envelope cover, yes, the short-hair model does look like she might be Robin's female alter ego: short hair, a grass green top and matching skirt and brown boots. The only thing that's missing is a hat with a feather.

However, don't let the sketch scare you off. This top, Vogue 2977, is my new winner. Sandra likes to talk about how the waistband is great for camouflaging a tummy that isn't quite flat. And she's right. You can eat all the sushi you want in this top, and hide it easily. You can all the $1 ice cream fudge sundaes at McDonald's and no one would know. Finally, you can eat a blue cheese burger and salad with blue cheese dressing at Moody's Pub (my favorite) and wash it down the sangria, and not a soul will notice.

So that's what the pattern has going for it: some visual tricks. Here are some things I really liked about this particular selection:

* Betzina's suggestions in the instructions are wonderful. Why can more pattern directions be more conversational and less technical? Before today, I would peel off the paper on my Steam-A-Seam2 and it would get all over the place. Betzina suggests otherwise: place the fusible strip on the fabric, iron, then peel off the paper. Fold over fabric, press again. My life just got easier, now I'm less prone to walking outside for an appointment with bits of fusible interfacing on my clothes. Phew!
* She talks about using a woven fabric for the bodice, and stretchy one for the waistband. I haven't done this yet, but I think it would be a really striking combination. I imagine a flamestitch fabric like this with some of my favorite jersey. I think it would be very ingenious to make a skirt that matches the waistband of this top, so you would get lots of coverage, and virtually no possibility that your tummy will show even when you sit down.

What I don't like:
* The letter sizing on this top. It was a little bit confusing to be cutting out a size B on the top (34" bust) and to have an actual pattern labeled B. (By the way, I did cut out a size C on the waistband, which translates to a 38 1/2" inch hips on the pattern. I'm actually a little larger there but the streeeeeetch happily and comfortable accomodates me.)
* The facing pieces. I ditched them from the get-go based on this pattern review. I simply turned down the raw edges of my neckline and tacked it down with Steam-A-Seam2. Then I screwed on my stretch twin-needles, set my machine for a straight stitch and dropped then tension down to 2 to lessen any tunneling I might get. I also put teeny notches at the V, so the fabric would lie flat.

That's really about it. Two pluses and two minuses, adds up to a 0 and a fantastic kimono-style top in my notebook! I didn't have to make any adjustments for my long waist. I'm not completely done just yet with this top just yet - I still needle to fuse the the hem on the sleeves and the waistband bottom. I'll put the twin-needle (Schmetz Stretch Twin 130/705 H-S ZWI) when I'm ready to head home on this baby.
* Finally the fabric. You might recognize it from this dress.


Christina said...

Vogue would sell more of these patterns if you and your garment were on the envelope. I was one of those scared by the sketch but your top is just lovely!

Sewer-Sewist said...

Really fabulous---it really, really suits you...This is one of those patterns that I would have never looked at, but now that I've seen yours I may need to reconsider.

Lindsay T said...

Much, much more attractive than the pattern cover. Well done!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at that pattern since it came out, wondering what it really looks like. I think I will have to buy it now.

Re: adhesives: I'm a Steam-a-Seam user too. But I remember seeing Ron Collins on SB's show years ago, demonstrating how to use Stitch Witchery to make really precise sleeve plackets. I've never tried it, but it looked really good on TV.

Gorgeous Things said...

Your version is much more attractive than the pattern. I'm like Sewer-Sewist - I never would have given this a second glance if not for your review.