Pattern Testing and Playing with Remnants

Remember back a little while, when I said I had signed up to be a pattern tester? And then I mentioned that, although I’d made up the pattern and sent in my feedback but couldn’t talk about it until the pattern was officially released?

Well….

I can talk about it now!

The pattern, by designer Bettsy Kingston, is titled “Far Away Tunic.” It uses about two yards of fabric – a little more if you’re doing the long sleeve version, which I didn’t make. The skill level is listed as Beginner and it took me about an hour from start to finish. It’s really rather straightforward – a front, back, sleeves and collar, with two darts in front and back for shaping. It’s a pull over shirt, which usually means using jersey, but mine came out just fine with regular woven fabric. There was a slight problem with the collar on the original pdf version. It was a little too short, which meant making a few small pleats in the back of the pattern. I let the designer know and she took it into account when she altered the final draft.

It’s actually a pattern I can see myself making a couple more times. Often times I’ll make a pattern and I’ll like it but not enough to make again and again. There are a few exceptions, of course. Most of the exceptions are costume pieces, though. I haven’t made as many “real clothes” as I’d like to. I’m hoping that will change.

Like I said, the pattern doesn’t take much time to finish. It’s easy to cut out and piece together. It’s a good project to work on when your fingers are itching to sew something but you don’t want to deal with something that’s going to take hours or days. I think the pdf version is still available for purchase and download, but you can also get a regular package pattern from Bettsy Kingston’s etsy shop.

Since Christmas ended I’ve been able to focus more on projects that I want to do for fun. I haven’t actually been sitting at my machine a whole lot. Instead, I’ve been perched on the edge of the futon in my little work area, pinning odd remnants to my body form. I haven’t done a lot of draping or drafting – mainly because I’ve never really been taught how it’s “supposed” to be done. I just kind of play with the fabric and see if I like the result.

I had some fabric left over from when I cut out a cute little 50s style dress. It’s not a color I’d normally choose to wear. It’s kind of like a seafoam green but not really. Maybe it’s more accurate to call it mint green? Anyhoo, I had some stuff left over – most of it, as I’ve mentioned, odd shaped. I’m sure I could have used some kind of pattern with the leftovers, but they just seemed to lend themselves to playtime rather than anything specific.

This is where I am so far. It’s just the bodice, so far, and not a finished one at that. I’m not a fan of sleeveless dresses, so I’m going to be adding on something to cover my upper arms. Unfortunately, the lighting in the picture isn’t the best, so you can’t really see the detail on the midriff. It’s a navy blue, cut from some random yardage I had sitting about the basement. Originally, the blue had been set aside for some really cool pants I found in Vogue. When I started looking around for fabric to use for the midriff and skirt there were only two choices that might have any hope of working with the color of the top. One was a charcoal jersey, which came really close to being used. At the last minute I remembered the blue. It’s got a nice drape and feel to it and I love the color. There’s plenty to finish up the bottom of the dress and still have enough left over for another small project. Not the pants, as originally intended, but perhaps a shirt or a skirt.

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