I’ve had this book, Simple Sewing, by Lotta Jansdotter for a while now and haven’t done more than look through it. While sitting out in the sun the other day, I realized that this might be the summer to invest in some kind of hat. I remembered seeing a pattern for it in this book and thought it was high time to make something out of it.
The pattern is pretty straight forward and simple and you can easily make this with about 1/2 yard of fabric for each the outside and the lining. This fabric is Aneela Hoey’s Little Apples that I had leftover from this outfit that my darling daughter refuses to wear. The inside is some Riley Blake leftover from her Easter dress last year (that she also refuses to wear…do you see a trend?)
Overall this hat came together really easily. The brim was a little monotonous to sew line after line, but I love how it looks and feels now that it’s done. I did have a few snafus matching up the brim to the top and the lining didn’t go in well either. I don’t know if this is something I did wrong (more than likely) or if my seam allowances didn’t all match or what.
One change was that I did not hand stitch the lining in. I serged it because I can and because I am too lazy to sit and sew something like that. I think if I make another hat, I will put the outside and the lining together first and baste them, then serge them both to the brim at the same time. There is a lot of bunchiness on the top which I think would be alleviated by doing it that way.
This is a great book though. It has some really cute (and simple…tee hee) pattern ideas inside it and the directions are well written even for a fairly novice sewer.
The pattern on the other hand was probably one of the most disappointing patterns I’ve sewn from in a long time. I’m no stranger now to “boutique” patterns (aka, not the run of the mill Simplicity etc) and this one was really disheartening.
The cover (and cost mind you) made me think that it would be much in the same vein as a Portobellopixie pattern that I sewed from in the past. Not so. Upon opening the pattern and looking at the directions, I noticed that they are merely black and white photocopies of photos. I actually even emailed the person I bought the pattern from because I thought there had been a mistake! You can hardly see what it is that you are supposed to see because the photos are so dark. I kept thinking, if I were new to sewing I would be so depressed and lost. Even the directions were lacking in description.
This was my first time using elastic thread and it went pretty well after I got the hang of it. I’m not sure I’m as enamored with it as many people are, but maybe it’s just because I’m not used to using it. I do love how the neckline and arms turned out with the rolled serged edging. I think the next time I make this dress I’ll leave out the shirring in the waist. It drives my girl nuts and with the little tie you really almost don’t need it. Without the shirring in the waist it merely looks like an A-line dress, which is fine with me!
I topped it off with a matching bow, making me think, “why don’t I make more of these?!?” It was super easy and quick and really made it all come together.
Overall, I do love the look of this dress and I’ll certainly sew more of them, but if you are new to sewing I wouldn’t recommend this pattern just due to the cruddy directions.
When I was cruising the net to find some patterns for a friend’s daughter (who is a very tall, robust 8 year old) I came across Lila Tueller designs and this Abigail pattern. I loved it and knew this girl, who loves ruffles and sparkles, would too. She picked out the fabric she wanted and this week I finally set to work on her new dress.
Overall I would give this pattern probably 3 out of 5 stars. I knew pretty much as I got started cutting that there was going to be a lot of figuring out on this pattern. One of the most frustrating things is that there is not one page with all you need to cut out for each pattern. You have to read along in the pattern to know how much fabric you need to cut for the sleeve and hem ruffles and that really bugged me.
My other ugg with the pattern was honestly putting the neckline together. It was a bit frustrating and if you were a novice sewer you probably would have thrown in the towel.
Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out. It’s bright to be sure (the color is actually more of a orangy-yellow that is kind of hard to see in the pictures)! Like I said, I would probably rate this one a 3 out of 5 and not a pattern that I would recommend to anyone just learning to sew. I felt like there were a few places in the instructions that had I not sewn a lot of garments, I would have been pretty lost. Would I sew it again? Not sure, but not ready to get rid of it either!