Hello friends! I hope you have been well! Summer slipped me by for yet another year, and here we are in OCTOBER already. It's even snowed twice! I'm also preparing for my yearly foray into novel writing, so things will become quiet again, but after that, I have big plans for organizing and using my fabric stash.
Just a short time ago, Leimomi, aka The Dreamstress, put out a call for pattern testers while I was at work. I was SO excited, it was really hard to wait until I got home to submit my application! I've seen a few bloggers put out similar calls, and just never got around to applying even though I really wanted to, so this time, I made sure to apply! And lucky me, I was also selected to test the Miramar top/tunic/dress pattern :D
Miramar (seen here on Leimomi's blog) is a knit top with either short or 3/4-length sleeves and a drapey neck, aimed for sewists without a lot of experience sewing knits. I've been sewing for 22 years now, and one of my first projects was a t-shirt, but oh boy, let me tell you how much I hate sewing knits... I can probably count them all on both hands. My biggest take-aways from those few projects was ball-point needles, let the machine do the work, and use the serger if it's available. I've avoided knits whenever possible. But I also want to sew more things for myself for my everyday life, and let's face it, modern wardrobes are filled with knits. So, I was really excited to have the perfect chance to experiment with sewing knits! And let me tell you right now -- this pattern is awesome, and I LOVE the tunic I made.
I picked up my fabric for a steal. It was already on sale, and I got it for half-price because the piece I took was pre-cut and the cutter marked it as a remnant. Score! I wanted to use a nice geometric fabric with a fun border, but because the sleeves are cut in one piece with the body, I thought the linear print would be a: too hard to match (read: I didn't want to take the time for it) and b: would bug me if I DIDN'T take the time to match it. (I might go back and buy it anyway, especially after seeing a similar print on Leimomi's blog; it was a great print.) Stripes were SUPER IN last season, I guess, because there were tons in the sale section! I settled on this great black and white houndstooth-and-crosshatched print that stretched VERY well.
Full disclosure: I got a test copy of this pattern to try out. I printed it at work on my fancy professional copier/printer (that was having feed issues) and taped it together there. I have access to a guillotine paper cutter so I did use it, but in the future I won't bother, as my lines didn't print 100% square and I had to trim a lot of them again with scissors, and sometimes the guillotine cut too far into the pattern area. Then I traced my selected size out onto tracing paper (the tunic length on the front was missing from my copy, but this has been corrected!), laid out my fabric and got sewing!
The total time it took for me to put this together was about an hour to prepare the pattern, and 3.5 hours to trace, cut and assemble it. For the most part, I used the serger. It fought me a lot, rolling the top layer instead of cutting it, but since that gets contained by the looping threads, it didn't bother me enough to unpick it. I used my sewing machine for the back neck seam, the front fold-over, and the hems. Then I nanced around the house for a few minutes, pleased with my work, and the pattern for making it so simple! I wore it to work the next day with leggings.
"I like that top; I like the length" was the first comment I received on it. Why thank you! Then, because I'd posted about my project on Facebook (only to tell people that they would get to see my awesome new project if they saw me in person, no pictures for now!), one of my coworkers stopped by to see it, and then a few more did. I'm really proud of it! It's really comfy, and the print is right up my alley. Now that the pattern has been released, I posted a picture (above) to show friends who didn't get to see it in person, to great positive feedback. I really love it! It's definitely going to be in regular rotation for the rest of the year.
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