Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Not Everything New is Scary!

I am so excited to share my week two entry, or in this case entries, for The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month Contest, New To Me Week. I meticulously thought out all my entries for this event, except this week. I was really nervous to go outside my comfort zone that I had already built up to. The designer's I use regularly are familiar and I know well any alterations I need to make as I am sewing. After staring blankly at the endless list of Indie Pattern Designer's, I settled on Little Lizzard King and 5 out of 4 Patterns. Fair warning this has to be my longest post to date and none of these links are affiliate links, this is simply my experience with both patterns.

I started with my top, the Elia by Little Lizzard King from their Bohemian Spirit Collection. I love the cold shoulder style that is all the rage now, and purchased this pattern what seems ages ago, but really only back in May during a sale when I first saw it posted in a facebook group. I had every intention of sewing it up right away, but kept getting busy and soon the Elia, all printed was collecting dust on my crafting table. I fell in love with the pattern right away, but I am alway leary of any pattern with a peplum, for some reason I feel it makes my hips seem wider.

This weeks IPM submission was the perfect reason to give this gorgeous top a try. I cannot only share my successes though, I orinionally intended to use a lightweight knit I picked up at Joann's specifically for this top. Turns out, I didnt think I would have any issues, but my sewing ego was quickly reminded why I still consider myself a beginner. No fault of the pattern at all, but my lovely knit stretched in the neckline while sewing. I tried to fix it by adding some clear elastic, it worked but not good enough for a contest entry. I do intend on adding the skirt and finishing this knit version, just after the contest. I may have found out why this happened, and address it again in just a moment.

While trying on the failed knit, I noticed I had a enough room to make the whole top out of a Nicole Miller Silky print I grabbed at Joann's months ago. One goal for the summer has been use the fabric I have first, especially since I have enough to open a fabric store, who doesn't? Another goal for the summer is to change every pattern I make, even just a little bit. While this was a new pattern and designer, I was going to keep this goal one way or another. I thought it could be made sleeveless, and that idea was confirmed when I saw a beautiful example of just that on the Little Lizzard King Facebook Support page. I knew it could be done so I decided to push myself and give it a shot.

I printed the pages for my size Large. There are only four pieces to tape, the front and back bodice, the back of the skirt, and sleeve. Since I took the sleeveless route, I didn't bother with the sleeve. What about the skirt front? There is a square piece you are given the dimensions to in tje instructions. I had an idea, and probably not the only one to have this thought, I folded the skirt back up making a rectangle that happened to be the exact measurements needed for the front. I cannot say this works for all sizes, but it did mine,  and saved me some cutting time. The instructions. Speaking of instruction, they are simple and clear. I love the details in the photos where arrows and lines is a bright visible color show exactly what each step in referring to. The instructions for the burrito roll necessary to complete the bodice and lining were a relief. Most times I have had to YouTube how each time, but the photos are so clear I did not need a video refresher.

I did learn one valuable lesson while writing this post. The Little Lizzard King has a 24 hour download policy. Somehow I lost almost all my patterns purchased that day, but have no fear there is a form that can be completed on their Facebook group where you can request the order again. It does take 7 to 10 days though. I found this out because, I noticed in the girls pattern that it refers to a zipper addition in the woven version. I did not recall seeing that mentioned in the Ladies version, but since I cannot find my downloaded copy anywhere, I cannot confirm or deny that I missed something important in the steps. It could even be why its a little loose in the neckline, it would totally make sense. This is still clearly operator error and absolutely no fault of the designer.

I needed bottoms to go with this top, but since this is New To Me week I had to find an alternative to what I normally would use. I stumbled upon 5 out of 4 Patterns and their Ninja Pants which would be perfect to go with this top. The Ninja Pants are a free design available at their site via a code from their Facebook Support page in the pinned post.

Immediately I was impressed with the options in this free pattern. You have multiple waistlines, multiple lengths, a gusset, pocket, and so much more. I had a hard time believing this was really free. On top of all the options in the bottoms, the no trim pages are printed in layers. Assembly was super simple with the use of a thick line used to guide placement.

I had to once again stick to my revise all the patterns theme and decided to add a little lace that closely resembles the print of my top. I had no clue at all how to do it so I did what I do best and guess. After deciding on the pedal pusher length, I folded the pattern in half using the hemline to help determine the halfway mark. I cut out each side and subtracted 1 1/2 inches from each side. It was at that point I realized I  needed to add back the seam allowances or this wasn't going to fit. I decided to just cut the difference when I was cutting the fabric. I took the two 1 1/2 pieces cut off each side and taped them together to make a pattern piece for the inset, again realizing I needed to include the SA wjen cutting to avoid fit issues. I purposely left the inset all the way to the waistline because I was only making these to be worn under long tops. Another first, the gusset, I have never added one before and was surprised how easy it came together. With the extra room, I probably did not need the high waist, and my next pair will be mid rise.

Obviously the fabric choice for my new Ninja Pants had to have great stretch and recovery. I used what I had on hand, a Cotton Lycra from Joann's. The inset fabric I have had for so long I can only say it came from Joann's, as does most of my stuff, during a half off clearance sale over a year ago. It has a little stretch to it also, not nearly as much as the CL does. I have a ton of tops and too short dresses I had this in mind for, but wanted this fabric combination mainly because it closely resembles the print in the top.

I am really impressed with both the Elia and Ninja and how they turned out. The fit test for me is always wearing it to my karaoke job because I am constantly moving, lifting, carrying vs just normal day wear. I has no issues. My Ninja Pants never fell down once, and the Elia top didn't pull anywhere along the night. I received more compliments on the combination than any one thing I have made to date. I need to go back and make each again as they were inteded. I highly recommend both patterns for beginner's or advanced alike.

Next weeks Hack It Up challange goes with my summer theme of revising all patterns. I cannot wait to share how cute this outfit turned out, but I have to be patient. In the mean time, make sure you vote for your favorites from Week 1 Dresses!

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