Pattern Testing | Decades of Style Ophelia Overalls

I love overalls, so when Janet from Decades of Style asked if I’d be willing test an overall pattern, I jumped at the chance. Plus, pattern testing for independent designers is such an enjoyable process!

Decades of Style is a Bay Area pattern company specializing in bringing home sewists styles from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. The Ophelia Overalls are part of their microline: Decades Everyday. The line’s focus is high quality patterns, but with zippier sewing. And these did sew up pretty fast!

I’ve been wanting to make a striped pant/overall/jumpsuit for a while and thought this pattern would be perfect. Initially I had wanted to use a lighter weight striped denim, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted… and the timing just didn’t work for a trip up to Stonemountain.

So I went to Joann Fabrics hoping to find a deal. I had to venture in to its Utility Fabrics section to find the stripe I’d envisioned, and ended up buying this pillow ticking! Before washing, it was really stiff but now it’s like walking around in a soft and drapey pillow case.

Word to the wise though, if you plan on making a garment with pillow ticking it SHRINKS SO MUCH. The yardage I bought shrunk about 30%. It was insane and necessitated another trip to Joann’s.

Well, after shortening the pant pieces by 4 inches, I was going to make it work on the shrunken yardage, but then I somehow managed to cut out one pocket the wrong direction. Gah!

I made a straight size 8 (View A). View B has a “cleaner” finish and feels a little dressy. The only modification I made was to shorten the pant legs by 4 inches because I’m 5’2″. If I were to make these again I would also shorten the straps a few inches because there’s a lot of extra strap dangling behind the bib.

The pant legs are divided into four pieces so the pocket edges fit neatly into the seams. Each side has a button and snap closure, but I’ve found that at least on me, I never have to undo the snaps or bettons to get in and out. I just have to loosen the side belts and wiggle!

Both views feature side belts that allow you to cinch the waist. I’m toying with the idea of making a version without the belts for a super relaxed fit.

I’ve been wearing these at least once a week since finishing them. If you’re looking for an overall pattern that has 1940’s Land Girls vibes, these are for you!

Decades of Style is offering 20% off your entire purchase with the coupon code: OVER20 for the next two weeks!

Two Wiksten Kimonos

I had the immense pleasure of pattern testing the new Wiksten Kimono, which first appeared as the Oversized Kimono Jacket in Making Magazine No. 4 / Lines. The updated, standalone pattern will be released by Wiksten, hopefully next month.

In the Making version, I made a size XS. The new pattern includes a larger range of sizes and after comparing the pattern pieces, I made a size S here.

The fabric is also from Wiksten and I think it’s a perfect pairing. Because the black square is a kind of squishy weave I had a hell of time getting the patch pockets pattern to line up. They ended up not, but oh well.

I’m glad I was able to add this to my me-made wardrobe as it’s been one of only three outerwear pieces I’ve had for #MMMay18.

Speaking of Me Made Made I haven’t been anywhere near as productive as I was last year. I only just finished a silk noil Hemlock Tee (21 days in to the challenge), which had mostly been made last month and two Kalle shirts have been all cut out and waiting on my ironing board.

Then, after a particularly long commute home, I just auto piloted through this kimono. It’s been unseasonable chilly in the Bay Area and I yearned for another layering piece.

I cut and hacked this together without much of a plan and feel quite relived it worked out. One side even has some magical unplanned pattern matching on the shoulders!

I’ve had this Baule cloth for over a year, all the while knowing it was destined to be an Ace & Jig-esque jacket. I bought it at the Alameda Antiques Fair and discovered a piece of gum mashed into the fringe as I was cutting it up. At least it’s washed gum.

The textile is only about 54 by 36 inches which posed a cutting layout puzzle. I made an XXS, hacked off quite a bit of sleeve to make it fit, made a half collar, and added a coordinating stripe fabric to the collar piece, which I think is my favorite detail. It’s also unlined.

As it’s unlined, I had intended to flat fell / faux French the seams to fully encase all of the raw edges, but the thickness of the fabric and 3/8″ seam allowances made that impossible. Planning would have been helpful here. The shoulder seams are kind of a mess as I worked out this kink in construction and the side seams just ended up being serged. Another last minute decision was to topstitch the shoulder and sleeve seams with my new Bernina edgestitch foot. While I’m super impressed with the foot, the topstitching doesn’t really work well with this woven fabric. The burrito method was used to apply the half collar.

I’ve now made four Wiksten Kimonos. Too many? Nah.

SPRING BREAK

It was really starting to feel like Spring Break would never get here. Last Friday felt like five days. And I’m definitely not counting, but there are 8 weeks left of school.  Eight.  8.  E. I. G. H. T.   This middle school teacher really needed some time off.

I’m trying to be gentle with myself this break. I have a tendency to over estimate what can be accomplished during a small amount of time off and despite usually getting a lot done, it never feels like enough.

So aside from one project (pattern testing the new Wiksten Kimono) and my PM&D homework, I’m taking it easy. Going to read this book, probably clean some areas of the house, and visit some fabric/thrift stores.

I don’t have to make all the things.

Pattern Test: Mitchell Jumpsuit

Pattern: Mitchell Jumpsuit

Fabric: Black linen from Joanns

Size: M

Mods: None

Way back in late 2016 I pattern tested the Mitchell Jumpsuit by Paddle Boat Studios (Hannah Miley). It was really exciting and I’m hoping that in the future my job allows me to say “yes” to more pattern testing opportunities.

The jumpsuit sews up quickly and the pattern allows for some play with the tie lengths and widths, which is fun. As I was under a deadline, I didn’t have the time to make a muslin and learned I’m SUPER SHORT. If I were to make this again, I would significantly shorten the legs (probably by about 5″ or more).

The pattern includes both the jumpsuit and dress pattern!

Pattern: Mitchell Dress

Fabric: Gold Hopscotch by Merchant & Mills

Size: M

Mods: Shortened sleeve length by 8″, finished the dress with mitered corners.

After laying my eyes on Merchant & Mills’ Gold Hopscotch fabric, I knew the Mitchell Dress would be the perfect pattern to showcase the fabric’s four different prints.

As usual, I planned everything out in my sketchbook and began patiently waiting for the yardage to cross the pond. I bought about 4 yards of it since it has a large repeat and I wanted to get them ALL. There’s enough leftover that I’ve been thinking about making a cropped Willow Tank, or Maya Top.

I initially didn’t change the sleeves, but after trying the dress on, they were just too long for the lightweight fabric. I hacked 8″ off and never looked back. Since the sides of the dress are open and wrap to close, I thought it would be wise to miter the corners for a clean, less-bulky finish.

Sadly, I don’t wear either of these makes very much. I don’t reach for the jumpsuit because the legs are too long and with both the ties and the back zipper, it’s just a little too complicated for this teacher’s bladder.

I’m shortening the the jumpsuit’s legs right after I hit ‘publish’ and I’m bringing the dress to the front of my closet!

UPDATE: I shortened the jumpsuit legs by 5″ and they are the perfect cropped length now. I wore both the dress and the jumpsuit this week!