Tuesday 16 November 2021

Pattern testing for Liesl & Co

I'm way behind in publishing blog posts again while I'm busy making things almost every day. I can always find time for craft!

Maybe what's caused the backlog is the same as in January... Back then I did a pattern test that was not a great experience. I made a raincoat from a pattern that had a lot of issues, didn't fill any niche hole in the marketplace, cost me plenty of money to print the pattern, took a lot (really, a lot) of time and energy to proofread the pattern and submit feedback and finally, left me with a garment that I wasn't particularly happy with. The feedback I gave did amend, and hopefully improve the pattern in it's final form, but was not all that well received. I'd been thinking I'd photograph it further and at least write a blog post about construction techniques for raincoats. But to be honest, I just want to donate it to charity and move on. I have a bit of the fabric left and it will make good toiletry bags. One day I'll make those and write about them.

Meanwhile, I did a few pattern tests for a designer who always makes me feel appreciated: Liesl & Co.

Let's start with the Fira dress

I might have slipped up in that I went with my memory and "vanity" sizing rather than really getting the tape measure out and checking what the world's longest lockdown had done to my hips! This is a straight size 10, A/B cup and while that's right for my top half I should have blended out to 12 for my lower half.

Initially I was a bit meh on the pattern as I'm always concerned that my shoulders and lats look kinda eastern bloc '80's shotputter in that sort of bodice/yoke.

But it's growing on me seeing other versions and I am tempted to make another. The changes I need to make: Lower the bust dart. Oddly this pattern and the Gelato blouse/dress are the only Liesl & Co patterns with bust darts that seem oddly high to me. This one needs to go down a good inch.
I need a bigger size over the hips as well as to use that centre back seam to do a bit of a sway back shaping. I also need to add some length to the sides (sort of sway back adjustment also, right?) to avoid drag lines towards the armpit from side on.

Then I think I'll have a nice throw on, but look dressed up, kind of summer dress. I have some Nani iro double gauze that will suit it well, but I also can't go past Liesl's terracotta linen version. This one is a poor choice  poly shirting that had been intended for a kid's button up and had been in the stash for years. It'll go off to the op shop while I dream up a better version

The first of the three pattern tests that I did this year was the Geneva blouse

Again I made the straight size 10, and given my hips don't enter the equation I got away with it this time.

the fabric is a bit of leftover cotton linen from a long ago purchase from Phillips Shirts and there was just enough for this top with just one join in the neckline facing that wouldn't normally be there.

For me, this pattern had the bust dart in just the right spot. The only thing I'd change if I made this again is to give my Popeye forearms a smidge more room. The sleeve hem tends to catch and ride up towards my elbow instead of floating free and showing off the lovely lantern shape.

I've been wearing this one a lot. I like the easy blouse/shirt look but with a t-shirt level of comfort. It could definitely be lengthened to a shirt dress too.

Finally, I made the Melville cardigan. This was the only one I didn't have a suitable stashed fabric for, so I hit up Fabric Deluxe and landed on this curious poly boucle. It was priced such that it was suitable for a pattern test, but would hopefully still be nice enough to wear.

This one's a simple knit cardigan with facings at the neckline. There's this cropped jacket length as well as a hip length and a full length version. And options for sleeves or sleeveless.

The sleeves are finished with a cuff with a notch which looks quite elegant. I've surprised myself by how much I like wearing this. I often wear it unbuttoned over a plain shirt and it's really quite stylish. 

For an open poly weave, it's also surprisingly warm. This pattern is straight out of the packet perfect for me.

Looking for the perfect size and style of button I eventually decided to use these super special buttons. these were custom designed for Melbourne Frocktails 2018 by ArrowMountain. It was the first Frocktails that Lisa and I hosted, and HoMei of ArrowMountain designed these beautiful buttons for us and put a little origami folded package of 4 buttons in every take home bag.

They were perfect for this cardigan.

Liesl + Co take pattern testing seriously. They reimburse for the cost of printing the pattern and pay for the pattern test. They employ their pattern testers to do a good job and it's always an honour to do it. It's not a workshop of the pattern, it's not a popularity blog tour.... It's checking a pattern, providing feedback via a detailed form, and being paid to do so. I invariably use the money I earn testing the pattern to turn around and buy the hardcopy version of the final pattern! It's the only way pattern testing should be done, and I swear to myself, again, not to fall into the trap of offering my services freely in any other way.

If you're interested in testing for Liesl & Co, they've just put out a call for more pattern testers. Check it out here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your reviews. I have the Fira pattern and though I would not call myself a beginner I am definitely not an advanced sewer. I had difficulty with the sleeves sitting correctly. I made the top in a soft linen but they don't sit well when viewed side on. I love the neckline though so will probably make it again and take a little out of the back armhole. Cheers.


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