Friday, June 27, 2014

Made by a Fabricista: Pamela's Patterns Favorite Bias Skirt

With summer finally here, I wanted to update my skirt wardrobe. I have been wanting to make Pamela's Patterns Favorite Bias Skirt for a long time and I finally did it! I was inspired to make this by Pamela herself because she was wearing this skirt made from linen during a visit. I have to admit I'm not keen on linen because of it's wrinkle factor, but thought this was my opportunity to give it a try! 



I chose a printed linen that was in Julie's Picks a few months back. Anyone else have this fabric?! I love the design. And when you put it on the bias it looks even crazier! 



If you have the same fear of linen that I do, you may want to consider a linen blend fabric. Linen can be blended with many different contents, but one I see more often than not is linen/cotton or linen/rayon blends. Bunch up the fabric in your hand. Does it create a lot of wrinkles that do not seem to come out very quickly? Or do the wrinkle go away somewhat gracefully? If the wrinkles do not go away, you most likely have 100% linen. If they come out in some way, then it is a blend. 

The pattern also calls for lightweight wools, silks, rayon challis, lightweight denim and more. The skirt can also be lined. There are directions included with the pattern to show you how to create a lined skirt with the elastic method Pamela uses. 

The pattern can be made in two lengths -- long and short. It also can be made in a full or slim silhouette. I chose the slim silhouette. There was not much to this pattern. It is super easy and is a great pattern for instant gratification! There is only one piece to this pattern and you use it for both the front and back. You need to tape together the two pieces to create the bias skirt. 



I've worked with bias cuts before, but Pamela had a good idea when pinning two pieces together. With right sides of the skirt together, pin the top and bottom of the skirt along the side seams. Then pin into the center. This way will allow you to stretch the fabric evenly so you don't have excess at the bottom of your skirt. 

Here you can see how the ends do not match up, before pinning. 

Here is the pinned side seams, all lined up!

I really liked how the elastic was attached. This seems to be a RTW technique, quick and easy. Once you have the side seams stitched, you will need to try the skirt on. Here I am in this lovely picture (cough cough!) I had my skirt sit just above the hips. Seems to fit good enough for me. (But now that it is finished, I wish I would have made it just a little bit smaller.) Make sure your length is even too. Mine was and I didn't have to do any alterations. Refer to the pattern for more information on fitting the skirt. 

**Pamela uses her Fantastic Elastic. I did not have any, but assumed I needed a soft elastic, not a really stiff one. I had a soft knit elastic in my stash and cut the width to size. I made it 1-inch, it was originally 1 1/4". If you're not using Fantastic Elastic, test your elastic to see if the width can be trimmed. It will fray if it cannot be trimmed. You can purchase Fantastic Elastic on her website



Once you have the fit correct, stitch the elastic together at the ends. Then find four points on your skirt and the elastic. A front, back and two sides. Line up all these points to the same points on the skirt. 



I used a serger to attach the elastic to the skirt. You can use a regular sewing machine to do this as well. Start stitching at one of your pins, stretching the elastic as you go. Stitch the entire way around the skirt. 



Turn the elastic to the wrong side and stitch the waistline. The fabric will stretch because of the bias, so I recommend pinning it before stitching. Press with an iron to flatten out the waistline. 


That's it! As I mentioned before, this skirt is really easy and you will have it done in no more than an afternoon. 


This skirt can be casual or fancy depending on the fabric you select. Mine is casual. Great to wear with a tank or solid top. I can see myself wearing this to an arts festival in my future...!


I would definitely recommend this pattern from Pamela's Patterns. I'm ready to try another one of her patterns! Click here to see all of the Pamela's Patterns we carry. 

Which is your favorite Pamela's Pattern?

Happy sewing! ~ Julie



Monday, June 23, 2014

In the Studio with Pamela's Patterns

This week's featured pattern designer is Pamela Leggett from Pamela's Patterns. I have bee very fortunate to work with Pamela for the past three years selling her wholesale fabrics for Steve's Sewing and Vacuum (you will read about that below!) I've even been in her fabulous studio! Threads Magazine featured her sewing room about a year ago and let me tell you, it is a gorgeous as the photos show! Enjoy learning a little bit about Pamela and her journey through the industry. 


Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Michigan where both my grandmothers and mom did many types of handcrafts:  sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, weaving, beading.  My mom was a great teacher and encouraged my love of sewing.  I actually started earning money with my sewing skills at age 14!  I’ve had many types of jobs, all related to sewing, design, teaching and business.  Hands-on work was my “college”.  I’ve been teaching since 1981, and it is my true passion.  I love working with women.  Women who sew are so giving and inspiring.  When you teach, you get to hear all their amazing stories. 

I spent 22 years in Connecticut where I raised my two children.  My daughter sews beautifully and uses her skills to sew for people she cares about.  I have four wonderful grandchildren who make me laugh all the time.  I married Bill in 2005 and moved to the Philadelphia area.  He has two teenage daughters who live with us part time.

My work life consists of teaching locally, traveling to teach, running Pamela’s Patterns and working for publishers such as Threads Magazine.  I just finished a serger DVD with Threads called Fashion Serge, which will be released in the Fall of 2014.  We are also working on a serger book/DVD combo, which will be released in the Fall of 2015.


What is a typical work day like?
I have three aspects to my work life.

Traveling – When I am traveling to teach, I have to prepare several weeks in advance so that products can be shipped to the location.  The day before I leave is when I get my class plan together and pack.  Once I get to the location, I have to set up my “Pamela’s Patterns Store” and get all my multi-media equipment set up prior to students arriving.  Teaching all day makes it worthwhile!  Then break everything down, pack it up and travel back home.  Sometimes I am at the location for several days.

Teaching at Steve’s Sewing in King of Prussia, PA – This is where I teach locally.  I am usually teaching there 24+ hours per week.  I teach a variety of classes, private lessons and guide classes.  I am also responsible for purchasing, maintaining and merchandising the fashion fabric carried in the store.

Pamela’s Patterns – My studio and warehouse is in my home, so on days when I am there, I get up and get ready for work right away (at least most of the time!).  Then down to my studio to start working on Pamela’s Patterns.  This usually consists of answering emails, working with my assistant on shipping and receiving, planning for classes, working on new designs and sewing.  I wish I could say t


hat I get to sew all the time, but that is actually the hardest part to make time for!!

What made you want to be a pattern designer?
I am the instructor for the Palmer/Pletsch East School of Sewing where we teach a hands-on way to fit commercial patterns.  Most of my customers have mature figures.  I was fascinated at how the body changed as it matures.  It didn’t seem to matter what the weight of the person was, it was the curves and scallops that were different.  Commercial patterns are made for a youthful figure.  I wanted desperately to make patterns for the changing figure so women would feel empowered to sew for themselves and be happy with the results.

Did you go to school for fashion? If so, where? If not, how did you get into what you’re doing?
I never went to a formal school for design, but I have always studied and taken classes with sewing educators I admired.  I made custom patterns for students in my classes, but I was not a professional pattern maker, just self taught.  In 2004, I decided to make three of my standard patterns into a multi-size pattern to make it easier on me when I was teaching.  I had to learn how to grade the patterns, add graphics, print, make instructions, photograph and package.  It was way more work than I thought!  My editor at Threads Magazine ran a story on the patterns, and all of a sudden I was a pattern designer!

What inspires the patterns you make?
I want them to be simple to make, easy to fit, and a classic style that one would wear every day.  I leave the complicated and super fashionable patterns to others! 

Who is your favorite fashion designer?
I love the detailing, fabric and styling of Tahari.  I try to go into their showroom at least once a year for inspiration.  The clothes are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside!

What is the best thing about what you do? The hardest thing?
The best thing is the teaching – it’s what makes everything else I do worthwhile!  The interaction with other women is amazing.  We all learn so much from each other, and not all of it is about sewing! The hardest thing is delegating and time management.  I don’t know if I will ever get that totally right!

Out of all the sewing patterns you created, which is your favorite?



Do you have a favorite pattern designer, (other than yourself!)?
I love working with the Palmer/Pletsch patterns available in McCall’s.  They have all the pattern markings built in for fitting.  I am a huge fan of Stretch & Sew, even though they are no longer in business.  I learned so much from working with those patterns.  I am excited to see the young independent pattern designers today.  I hope they keep doing it!

What is your favorite fabric type?
I definitely have a love affair with knits and stretch wovens!  I really like wool knits, they come in so many varieties of weights that you can wear them all year round.  Silk of any kind are also faves.

What is your favorite sewing tool?
That would have to be my rotary cutter and mat.  I also have a love affair with drafting and quilting rulers – I can never have enough!


Where do you go when you need to get away from it all?
Spending time with my grandchildren would be my favorite!  But I also love movies, books and theatre.  And the ocean!

What is your favorite food?
That would have to be lobster and sushi.  And my guilty pleasure would be licorice (thanks grandma!)

What is the most common fabric/sewing-related question people ask you?
Most common fabric question – Where can I get good knits?  I tell them Fabric Mart, of course!
Most common sewing question – What is the best way to sew on knits?  I have lots of info on that! Just check out Pamela’s Patterns website for YouTube tutorials, downloads, DVD’s and patterns!

What is one fashion trend you love? Hate?
I love all the draping, ruching and color blocking. I hate people who where leggings like pants! 

Are you working on any new patterns? Can you give us any behind-the-scenes info?
I’m working on two new patterns.  The Pretty Peplum Top is made for knits and can be made with a jewel, scoop or keyhole neckline.  The Softly Pleated Dress or Tunic is also made for knits and has a slightly elevated waistline and very small gentle pleats to hide tummy and “fluff”.  Both garments are a lesson in proportion.  They look great on all figure types once the proportion is correct!  The patterns are just about ready to be sent to the printer, and then I have to finish the instructions, have the cover photography done and do a few YouTube videos.  Making the pattern is just the first step!

Thanks Pamela for giving us an inside view of your busy life! I know I'm really excited about the new sewing patterns. Can't wait to buy some for our website too! 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Made by a Fabricista: Tutorial on Collar for "A Right to Bare Arms"

If you read my review on "A Right to Bare Arms", a sleeveless top by Dana Marie Designs, you will see that I talk a lot about the collar. The pattern comes with directions on how to make the collar with a bias collar and a non-bias collar. 

On my first attempt at this top, shown below,  I made the collar from a black ponte knit. I chose the ponte knit because I didn't want to mix a knit with woven. I also didn't have any solid wovens in my stash, so I opted for the black ponte thinking it would have enough stability. Putting a knit on bias is not a smart choice. (I should have known better!) Here are some close-ups of my issue...


I really should have used the non-bias method if I wanted to use the ponte knit. 



I decided to make another top, but this time using a woven for the collar and cut it out from the non-bias method. Here were the results: 


Much better don't you think? I also top-stitched the collar to give it more strength. As I mentioned in the previous blog post, I used a loose-weave linen for this collar with interfacing. 


For the sake of my reader's, I wanted to try the bias-cut again. I selected a cotton shirting to test. The pattern calls for you to cut out a 4"x 22" bias strip. 


Using the paper patter as your guide, pin one end to the pattern piece. 


Gradually stretch it following the pattern and steam iron at the same time. Pin as you go. 


Let the collar cool, then finish the pattern as read. 


I still did not have success with the bias-cut method. I laid it over one of my finished tops to mimick the curve it needs to take and it still did not lay flat.


I'm the kind of person that likes to have things work the first time and unfortunately, I have to say I will not be trying the bias-method again. It may have to do with the fabric I selected (again.) Maybe I need a softer fabric like a voile or challis. But to make my life (and hopefully yours) a little easier, I will be doing the non-bias method in the future.

Other than the collar, I really like this top. It is super easy to make and can be done in an afternoon. The fact that it can be made in different lengths is even better!

Happy Sewing!
Julie

Friday, June 13, 2014

Made by a Fabricista: A Right to Bare Arms by Dana Marie Designs

To go along with the recent post, In the Studio with Dana Marie Designs, I selected one of her patterns to try out! I selected A Right to Bare Arms, a sleeveless yoke styled design that can be cut to three different lengths (tunic, knee and calf.) It has princess seams for a flattering fit and a slightly flared hem. I've seen this pattern made up many times and I'm not only going to share with you the two items I made from this pattern, but many other variations of this pattern using different fabrics! I love when a pattern can be used with a wide variety of fabrics because you're going to get something a little different every time!

The first design I made about a year ago. I used a rayon jersey knit from Fabric Mart (sorry, not available anymore) for the bodice and a ponte knit for the collar. The pattern calls for stretch knits as well as cotton, rayon or any other woven fabric with nice drape.

It is important to note that the pattern comes with two different ways to make the collar. The collar can be made from a bias-cut or a non-bias cut. I tried the bias-cut version for this tunic. BIG mistake! The finished collar does not sit nicely on my body. It curves away from me. I asked Dana for advice on what I should do with the collar. She recommended using the non-bias cut collar for knits. I don't know what I was thinking, but I'm going to take the collar off fix it! (One of these days!)


I do like however that the pattern's princess seams accentuate the body. I also like that on this tank it does not bare too much above the bust at the arms. I cut out size large in the tunic. It was good for my hips, the bodice fits nice but I felt like I should have graded down to a smaller size.

After waiting a year to make the pattern again, I decided to make it again in a top. This time I used the non-bias cut for the collar. It turned out a lot better. I used a loose-weave linen. I chose this only because I did not have any solid knits, or fabric for that matter that matched the print. Because of the loose weave in this linen, I could have used the bias-cut version, but opted not to just because of my experience with the tunic. I ended up stabilizing the collar because the weave was SO loose. The non-bias cut pattern calls for the collar to be interfaced, but I used a little heavier interfacing than normal just because my fabric was so loose! 


For the top I cut size medium , therefore the fit is much more fitting to my figure! I probably should have made the back a little bit bigger, because in this photo I felt like it fit more snug than when I was sewing it! (Although I thought it had to do with the fact that I just ate before taking the photo and was a little fuller than when I try things on when sewing! Great excuse right!?) 


The pattern does not actually come in a "top" length, so I cut off about 6" or so from the bottom of the pattern.The directions to the pattern are easy to follow. Just pay attention when choosing which collar to make. I would recommend using the bias-cut for wovens only! Use the non-bias collar for knits and don't forget to stablize with a knit interfacing that will stretch with the knit! And if you're worried that your woven won't fall into a bias-cut very well, use the non-bias collar. Dana also includes other design ideas in the pattern booklet. You can see many of these design ideas in the photos below. 

Drape, heaviness and pattern can all make a garment look different when using the same pattern by different fabric. Here are examples of A Right to Bare Arms in different fabrics. 


This is the tunic length made from a heavyweight batik linen. 



This is a top length with a rayon challis batick. Collar was made from two fabrics and embellishment. 



This is the tunic length made from a rayon challis from Fabric Mart! Dana also included a band just below the bust line, creating the look of an empire waist. 



This is a dress length, which you would have to draft the length since the pattern comes in tunic and top length. Ponte knit was used in this design.



This is a detail of the collar. Dana cut the collar using the pattern piece method, rather than the bias method. The edges of the ponte knit were left raw and cut with scalloping shears.



This is a dress length that was featured in the Shipwreck Challenge using muslin as the main fabric. How creative! It does not look like muslin from the photo! Looks like a gorgeous silk! 

Are you ready to try A Right to Bare Arms?! Click HERE to purchase it now! 



I will be posting a quick tutorial on the bias-cut collar over the weekend. This post has a lot of info, so I thought it would be better to spread it out a little bit!

As you can see, the possibilities are endless! How are you going to use A Right to Bare Arms in your wardrobe? 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In the Studio with Dana Marie Designs

If you read my post about Summer Sewing Projects, I plan on sewing basics for my wardrobe, things I can wear everyday! I also like trying to highlight the many pattern lines we carry on our website. So one evening I was thinking about new ideas for the blog and I decided to do a series of interview and review posts about the Indie Pattern Designer's lines that we carry! So not only am I building my wardrobe, but showing how you can do it too with Fabric Mart fabric AND our line of patterns!

This week's featured pattern designer is Dana Bontrager from Dana Marie Designs. I have worked with Dana for a few years now, providing her with fabric for the International Textile Expo Fashion Show. The International Textile Expo is a wholesale fabric show where designers, manufacturers and fabric stores source fabric, trims, buttons and other finds. Dana graciously volunteered to be the first designer to be highlighted! It worked great because I was working on one of her patterns to be reviewed on the blog. 



Dana started her business in 1985 creating custom designs and pattern making for clients and small manufacturers. Today, her business includes her own line of fashion patterns, art stamps and fun toys to have your own wearable art experience. Many of her patterns have a range of sizes XS-5XL. See specific patterns for details. 


Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve made a career of “thinking outside the fashion box”, constantly stretching design and sewing conventions to develop new skills and creativity. Working from my studio in the Pacific Northwest, I create unique, eye-catching garments that are both casually simple and wonderfully imaginative. Always an enthusiast for the unusual, I design pieces that are often whimsical, using a variety of 'materials' to create a certain expression.

What is a typical work day like?
Coffee (the best work days are ones started well caffeinated), sorting through emails, taking care of paperwork, orders, requests, etc. Then it’s working on whatever challenge is next. Sometimes that is preparing for an upcoming event with samples to be made, other times it is working on new ideas for future product.

What made you want to be a pattern designer?
After years of doing custom work, and pattern making for small manufacturers, I wondered if anyone would actually buy my designs as a paper pattern to be sewn. At the time, there were only commercial patterns available (Vogue, McCall’s, Simplicity, etc.) and a smattering of independents. I decided to try it by offering them in a friend’s booth at a large sewing expo. We sold out, so I figured I must be on to something.

#1047 A Right to Bare Arms
Did you go to school for fashion? 
I am pretty much self-taught when it comes to fashion design, my college degree is in Art, but textiles is my medium of choice. When I needed to learn something I was not very comfortable with in regards to fashion design, I found the most skilled individual in my area at what they did (flat pattern drafting, fashion illustration, etc.) and learned directly from them, this was with Terry Horlamus and the New York Fashion Academy in Seattle. My dad was a boilermaker and I remember from a very young age going over blueprints with him of boilers (not the most exciting item but it came in handy when learning drafting later on). My mom was an imaginative and creative thinker (which helps me step outside the box and gifted me with the ability to visualize how to create from only an idea), so I guess I have the right genes for this work. I learned to sew from my mom and the beginnings of patternmaking from watching the modistas in Spain chalk right on the fabric they were making in to garments, no paper patterns were used.

What inspires the patterns you make?
I’ve had the best luck with going what I’m in the mood for or need next. If I want an outfit for an event, I may draft something new to wear. If the response is exciting and positive (as in, “Where can I get one!”), then I think this just may be a good pattern to release. Many times it is the consumer themselves who ask where they can get a certain design. If I see a need for that in the independent pattern offerings, then I consider it for my line. I also love challenges, so creating pieces that look difficult, but are easy to construct is a favorite of mine.

I see a big difference between your original collection of sewing patterns versus the patterns that have come out in the past few years. Can you tell us more about that?
As in all things, we evolve. From our tastes in design, to our skills to create. While I rarely follow trends, I am enough of a businessperson to pay attention to the marketplace. I try to produce what will sell, while still offering something unique and appeasing my own sense interest in what I do.

#1018 Tai Pei Top and Trousers
#1048 Shooting from the Hip 

Who is your favorite fashion designer?
I don’t know that I have one favorite. I love the complexity of Issey Miyake and the shape and form of Claude Montana.

What is the best thing about what you do? The hardest thing?
The best thing is having the skill to create what I see in my head. The hardest thing is struggling to create what I envision. It is a lot of trial and error, but most often, that leads to something more exciting.

Out of all the sewing patterns you created, which is your favorite?
Oh, that changes with each new creation! However, for a perennial favorite, it has to be the Kimono Jacket. Its clean simple lines make it a great canvas for all kinds of embellishment, piecing or just using fabulous fabric. It looks good on all types of body shapes and it’s quick to construct.


#1007 Kimono Jacket and Vest
Do you have a favorite pattern designer, (other than yourself!)?
Of indie designers, I am impressed with Marsha McClintock of Saf-T-Pockets. Her patterns are fashionable function and that is not always easy to design. A new one I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with is Laura Nash of Sew Chic. I like her retro-vintage look but it also has a modern twist and her attention to detail appeals to the engineer in me. 

(It just so happens we carry both these pattern companies too! Click on their names above to see what we carry from their line.)

What is your favorite fabric type?
I’d have to say rayon. I love the way it breathes, stitches up, comes in a wide array of prints, solids, textures, and types, both woven and knit. It is versatile enough to work up in a multitude of designs.

What is your favorite sewing tool?
I have two, a ballpoint awl and my tailor’s points. I use these every time I sew. They make my work efficient and so much easier.

Where do you go when you need to get away from it all?
The barn. I love horses, so Quincy (my dog) and I, jump in the truck and get some equine therapy. A ride in the countryside is the best way to re-energize and unwind.

#1050 Moto Me Jacket

What is your favorite food?
Coffee. Seriously, I like all kinds of stuff, but I’m crazy about fruit, and if you happen to put that in a pie, we’re friends for life.

What is the most common fabric/sewing-related question people ask you?
“Where do I find all the great fabrics you use?” I am lucky enough to be in an industry where I have access to all kinds of fabrics, but I also do not limit myself to just what is considered ‘normal’ for sewing. I like to step outside the fashion box and sew with unusual materials or use fabrics tasked for another industry other than clothing. Most commonly home-dec fabrics for garments, but I’ve also made clothes out of surveyors tape. Fun colors and it doesn’t ravel!

What is one fashion trend you love? Hate?
I love asymmetry, clean crisp lines, and edgy looks without looking like a costume. I am not a big fan of big frothy ruffles or glitz and bling, but I like it in small detail areas. I prefer the unexpected, so I don’t always pay attention or follow trends. Individuality is more important to me than trend, so if it happens to be ‘on trend’ fine, if not, it will be eventually. That’s the beauty of fashion; it is constantly changing, evolving, and cycling. 

Thank you Dana for sharing with us! You can see all of Dana's patterns on her website: www.danamarie.com. 

You can also purchase selected patterns from our website.  

Stay tuned, I will be posting a review on the pattern, A Right to Bare Arms over the weekend! 

~Julie

Monday, June 9, 2014

Made by a Fabricista: By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Hello there!  I don't know about over in your neck of the woods, but here in Indiana it's been raining cats and dogs for the past couple of weeks.  I've been anxiously waiting for the weather to let up so I could get pictures of my next make for the Fabricista blog, The Victoria Blazer.



The pattern is By Hand London's Victoria Blazer that was released last year in their Spring/Summer collection.  It's a casual blazer with 3/4 length sleeves that have french seamed cuffs so you can wear them up or down.  The jacket variations are full length, cropped and sleeveless.  The design is casual and laid back so there is a generous amount of ease which makes for a very easy fit.



The pattern calls for a light to medium weight woven fabric with some body such as cotton, linen, chambray, denim, tweed, etc.  Ponte or double knits are also good options.  I used a slightly stretchy vertical striped cotton sateen from Julie's Picks last month.  I like to live on the wild side so I cut my fabric on the crosswise grain to end up with horizontal stripes.  Before I got all cut happy I took a couple of things into consideration first...
#1 - Stretch...The fabric had absolutely no give on the crosswise grain.  Stretch would of been a big contender if the jacket style was more fitted but it's not so I wasn't worried.
#2 - Drape...I knew cutting against the grain would affect the drape and in effect cause some fit problems.  I was confident I could work those out so I got to cutting.



Ok let's get down to the nitty gritty, fitting and construction!  Again because of the oversized fit of the jacket I was convinced fitting would be a breeze.  Still though I made a muslin to be sure.  The shoulder seams drooped a little too far past my shoulders for my liking.  I shortened those by 1/2 inch.  I also had to shorten the sleeves by 2 inches...I have some short arms.  

The pattern instructions/illustrations were very clear and easy to follow.  BHL also has a sew-along over on their website if your like me and need a little extra hand holding.  Hey nothing wrong with that!

When I arrived to the point where the jacket shell was completely assembled I seen where cutting on the crosswise grain was affecting the drape.  You can see in the picture below how the back balloons out A LOT.  To correct this I added two back darts, 6 inches in length and 1 in wide.


The blazer has a partial lining.  The sleeves are not lined and the lining is left unattached at the sleeves.  I found this kind of odd so I followed a few other bloggers and attached my sleeve lining to the sleeve seams.  This also helps to keep the lining from sagging and peeking out at the bottom hem.  You can see below how I attached the lining to the sleeve.  This picture was after I washed the blazer so my pinked seams weren't as pretty and ironed flat as they once were but you get the idea.  My lining was a lightweight cotton poplin from my stash.



I ended up doing two photo shoots.  After going through the pictures from my first shoot I was just not happy with the way the back of the blazer was still ballooning out.  Ok ok I wasn't happy with my hair either but that's a whole nother story!  I had already washed it once hoping it would soften up and fall into place (the blazer, not my hair) so I got out my seam ripper and re did the back darts.  I lengthened them another 2 inches making a total of 8 inches in length and widened them another inch each for a total of 2 inches in width.  I think it was an improvement.  You decide...



This blazer came together pretty quickly.  I worked on it for an hour or two each evening after work and had it completed by the weekend.  If casual and laid back is your style then this pattern has your name written all over it.  I'm more of a fitted jacket kind of gal however with my shoulder/sleeve alterations and the body of my fabric I think I found a nice balance between the two.  I would/will make this pattern again and opt for the full length style.  I love how cool and chic Victoria herself looks in the vest styled over a cute little black dress.



 - Shannon from Shanni Loves