Hello out there! It has been a while, hasn’t it? I’ll be very honest and say that it’s been a rough few months mentally; I had a good run with managing my depression, but it’s really been a struggle recently. I’m okay(ish), just utterly out of energy and motivation for…everything. I’ve barely done any sewing since December! But I’m hoping I’ll come out the other side soon and be back to sewing and posting regularly.
In the meantime, here’s a post I had written wayyyyyy back about a pattern I tested.
(WARNING: post contains a .gif)
Today I have a tester version of a pattern to share with you all, and from a new pattern company at that!
After my first testing experience was so positive, I applied for a few more calls in the months that followed. I was delighted when Becky added me to her tester pool for her first pattern, the Ione Shirt. Full disclosure: I cannot for the life of me remember if Becky posted a brief description of the pattern in the call for testers. All I know is I was up for it and sent in my stats, and was accepted!
So what did I think of the pattern? Well…
- It invites pattern play. I am a sucker for designs that make it intuitive to play with directional designs like stripes and plaids, so the cuffs and yoke had me like ❤ ❤ .
- However, it does require a patterned or other interesting fabric for best results IMO. I will be honest: I was afraid to make this in a plain fabric because I was worried it would look like I was wearing a sexy scrub top.
- The shape of the hem is very well executed. High-low hems aren’t anything we haven’t seen (and honestly, unless they’re vented, they aren’t normally something I go for), but I really like the shape of this one with the cropped length. The curve of the front is very pretty and I love how it looks with my high-waisted trousers! It looks well-designed and intentional.
- Clean neckline finish. THERE IS NO BIAS TAPE FINISH ON THE NECKLINE THANK YOU JAYSUS. This is a pet-hate of mine, because unless finished invisibly (aka by hand), I think it tends to look cheap and/or homemade-in-a-bad-way. (And I say that as someone who once-upon-a-time used that finish. Time makes fools of us all!) Plus you also tend to see that telltale upward bend at the bias tape from there being layers of fabric folded together and possibly distorted or stretched during application.
- Clean, professional treatment of the yokes. Relatedly, the finishing of the yokes and neck opening is awesomely clean and professional-looking.
- I am unsure of the proportions of the yoke on my body. I am not 100% keen on where the yoke stops on me, personally; it ends just about at the top edge of my bra cups and I vacillate between being fine with it and finding it unbecoming.
- The size range!! The Ione pattern comes in sizes 0-32, which the size chart equates to a bust ranging from 32″ to 57.5″.
- Approachable project that’s highly wearable. It is a very approachable sew, especially for people who are beyond the Beginner level. Once you get past the neck opening, it’s so quick. And the resulting top has been a great fit for my wardrobe from Spring to Fall, so it proved to be a good use of a small amount of precious sewing time.
Honestly, the only bad part about this project was my fabric, which was not only guilty of perpetual show-through of the black stripes but was also rather uncooperative with my machine! The stitches were really tight and were causing puckers in the fabric. Since I made this amidst the chaos of house stuff last year, I didn’t have all of my supplies back in my sewing area yet–sewing machine needles included. So rather than attempt a needle change to solve the tension issues, I lowered the needle tension on my machine from “Auto” to 2. This is quite low, but it did the trick. I would like to see what happens with “Auto” tension and a smaller needle though!
Related to this, I should note that I used a different fabric for my yoke linings–a cotton batiste. I used the same material to make bias tape for hemming also. As it was, I had to trim all the black yarn out of my seam allowances wherever I could–it showed through horribly and ruined the look of the top. Using it for the inner yokes would have been a disaster! And while my hatred of bias tape is now a known thing, the hem finish ended up being a two-fold problem for me. For one thing, despite knowing my body is long up top even on Named patterns, I didn’t add any length to this top at the given lines. (WHP are based on a 5’8″ draft height, FYI.) This was dumb and I knew it was dumb, but did it anyway. #lazy So when it came time to hem, I needed to take less than the given 1 1/2″. On top of that, I could not abide the shadow of the black stripes all around the hem. My solution was to make bias strips out of the plain white batiste and take about 1/2″ for the hem in total.
For those of you who have been around here for a while, you may recognize this fabric from this 2013 project. (I KNOW, WHAT?!? IT WAS LIKE MY SECOND FINISHED PROJECT EVERRRRRR.) Total throwback. 😉 And yes, this means that Past Mads held on to nearly 2 yards of this material for 5 years “just in case” and actually did end up using it. I have enough left for an Ogden cami after this top, so that’s
probably going to happen. (The first blouse I made with this fabric has since been donated because I didn’t wear it anymore.)
I did make a couple of regrettable-in-hindsight mistakes with this top, namely centering the outer yoke CF and CB folds on a stripe instead of the actual center of the fabric’s repeat. But the yoke stripes match across the shoulder seams, so it’s not a total loss. I also wish I had considered the placement of the stripes on the cuff pieces better; they’re identical to each other, but don’t match with the horizontal stripes of the lower bodice pieces AT ALL because I didn’t think to check that. Derp.
If you are intrigued by this pattern, you should know that Becky made a few adjustments after receiving tester feedback: she has added 2 additional neckline shapes as well as a few other tweaks. She’s also hard at work on some hacks for the Ione, so keep an eye out for those too!
And I couldn’t leave you all .gif-less now could I?
So that’s my Ione! I hope I’ll be back again soon to share new projects, plans, etc. because I miss blogging so much! But you know, it’s hard to blog about sewing when you haven’t really been sewing, eh? 😉