Pattern Review: Trailblazer Vest

 

Pattern Description: Women’s Trailblazer Vest by Twig and Tale

Pattern size made: Size G per measurement chart

View made: Zipper closure + wind flap. Yoke back + curved dropped hem

Fabric/Notions used:

  • Outer – 1 yard Burgundy Nylon/Lycra Heavy Activewear from Fabric Mart
  • Lining – 1 yard Faux fur from thrift store
  • Notions – 6 sets Black Kamsnaps

Woven fabrics are suggested for this pattern. I decided to use a heavy activewear because it was quite stable and didn’t have a lot of stretch.

Alterations: Took in the bust area slightly.

Skill level: Twig and Tale rates this as Adventurous Beginner to Intermediate. I agree with that recommendation.

Look and Fit: Garment fit as intended – slightly loose – other than having to take in some fabric at the bust area. I think I could have gone down a size as the fit was quite loose.

Pattern drafting and instructions: Pattern is well drafted and easy to understand. Instructions are excellent! Detailed instructions include videos to follow along as well as tips on fitting issues that are easy to follow even for beginning sewists.


 

Vests are one of those things that we’re never in my wardrobe and I’m not exactly sure why. I had made this pattern once before as a gift and intended to get back to it to make one for myself.

I had this burgundy activewear fabric that I had bought not realizing that it was VERY heavy weight, too heavy for most of my activewear patterns, and with only a yard I had no idea what to do with it.

And then I found the faux fur at a thrifts store and it hit me!

Vest pattern + athletic fabric + faux fur = cozy goodness in the PNW

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I wore the finished vest recently to walk to my child’s school on a morning that was chilly but I knew I’d get too warm in a coat. It kept my core warm but not too warm and the faux fur made it seriously comfortable. I normally don’t like anything that touches my neck but I did not mind zipping the vest all the way up. And of course: pockets!!

An overwhelmingly positive experience with a lovely pattern that was also fun to sew.

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Wedgwood Skirt

I love looking through Mod Cloth at the wild printed skirts and vintage styles. I’m not sure I’m an interesting enough person to pull off those looks but I can dream. So with that in mind, I found a one yard piece of this purse print fabric at the thrift store for a few bucks and it reminded me of those skirts I love.

I started searching out a good pleated skirt pattern and then I remembered… I already had a fantastic one in the Wedgwood by Straight Stitch Designs!

I had made this skirt once before when I was pretty new to sewing and I had been meaning to get back to it. I’m happy to report my sewing skills have in fact improved (go me!). I find the fit to be true to size and the instructions are easy to follow. I especially like the instructions for the zipper and the waistband.

The best parts, though, are the cute little details! The pocket flaps, which are a little hidden in this wild print, elevate what would otherwise be a fairly basic pleated skirt.

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And the waistband is finished with the neatest method ever! I swear I’m modifying all of my waistbands to this method. It’s finished off with a button tab that I added these adorable little blue buttons to (same as the pocket flaps). I inserted a shorter zipper than the one called for in the pattern – 7″ instead of the recommended 9″.  I kinda love the contrast that it provides.

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Paired with my current favorite t-shirt (any other Schitt’s Creek fans out there?) and it makes for the fun outfit of my Mod Cloth dreams.

**THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**

Deer Creek Dress

Oh Fall how I have missed you! By mid-August I am a thousand percent done with summer and start dreaming of cold weather sewing. Of course it’s still pretty warm here most days so I’m all about a transitional dress like the Deer Creek from New Horizons Designs.

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I’ve been eyeing this pattern since it came out and finally bought it during their Labor Day sale this year. Why oh why did I wait so long!?

This is a dolman sleeve dress that can be made in short or long sleeve. It also has a tunic variation that I’m going to have to try soon too. The dress length comes just to the calf which is a length that I don’t always find flattering on my body but the curved hem makes it work. I think if I make it next year for warm weather I’ll shorten the skirt a bit.

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I made a straight medium according to my measurements and it fits great and is so comfortable. I did add a little length to the elastic in my second one because I get a little fussy if things are too tight around my middle.

The first one I made was this black “Jolene” print double brushed poly (DBP) from Knitpop. I’ve been holding on to this fabric specifically for this dress and it’s everything I hoped it would be.

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The second is this beautiful mustard yellow floral DBP that I picked up from Fabric Mart also just for this dress. I’m looking forward to pairing these with boots and a scarf for a cute winter outfit.

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I did make a few changes in the order of assembly because of my personal preferences but otherwise the directions were clear and easy to follow. I also made a mistake assembling the waistband the first time but that was on me for not following the directions. When I went back and made a second one it was pretty clear in the instructions what I did wrong. This is what I get for sewing while listening to podcasts.

All in all a totally positive review from me. This a fantastic dress pattern.

**This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.**

Vogue V9252

 

Confession: I’ve always been intimidated by paper patterns. That is until I decided to make myself a dress for a wedding we recently attended. One thing that is seriously missing from PDF patterns, but abundant in paper patterns, is good special occasion wear.

So I decided to conquer my fear and have a go at Vogue’s V9252, a princess seamed dress with a high-low hem and of course…pockets!

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Very Easy Vogue V9252

I picked this pattern because it seemed simple enough and had multiple cup sizes built into the pattern which I am always a fan of.

And I’m a sucker for a high-low hem.

And pockets.

I made the dress  with this super pretty blue floral shantung satin and lined with a matching blue satin, both from the wonderfully helpful Cali Fabrics.

Unfortunately I fell between a 14 and a 16 in sizing which meant I fell between the available pattern ranges. So I did a little hand grading and made LOTS of small adjustments and muslins but in the end I felt like I got a pretty great fit. The only other major change I made was to bring the armscye up just a bit. It was very low as drafted and I’ve seen other people who made this dress complain about the same thing.

The construction was pretty straight forward and all the pieces fit together with no problems. I ended up hand stitching the lining which, while time consuming, gave a nice finished look to the whole garment. The pockets are generously sized so I was able to keep my phone in there and not need carry a purse.

Maker:L,Date:2017-9-22,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-Y

The hem was a little tricky since this amounted to a full circle skirt and the shantung frayed like crazy. I serged the hem, folded it over and stitched it in place, and then folded and stitched again to hide the serger stitches.

There are only two things I’d change if I were to do it again:

  1. A swayback adjustment. I didn’t get good pictures of the back but thats ok, it had a bit of a ripple. Some of it was probably caused by my zipper technique that still needs work but I think a swayback adjustment would have fixed most of it.
  2. Boning in the side. The skirt is quite heavy and pulls the bodice down more than I’d like, especially in the back. I think boning would have added some much needed support.

Maker:L,Date:2017-9-22,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-Y

I’ve come a long way in my garment making and I’m really proud of how it turned out.

P.S. My husband is looking pretty good too. Love you babe!