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Michelle by Jalie ~Pattern Review

If you’ve been into the shop asking about patterns, you’ll know that Fiona and I rave about Jalie Patterns. The simplicity of them, coupled with their extensive size range make them a firm favourite. The Michelle (#3911) is a great pattern for a Cami and Dress.

MARICE : Height 5ft 1/2″ / Bust 38″ / Waist 32″ / Hips 41″

SIZE CUT: Jalie W

FABRICS: Viscose fabric, Rose Border print.

I traced the 2 pattern pieces for the Cami, the front and back are identical, also the facing, again identical for front and back. Already a bonus that there are so few pieces to prepare.

My chosen fabric has a white background, so would more than likely be a bit too see-through for me, and so decided to fully line with white lining fabric. I would be cutting out using just one pattern piece to fully line, rather than use the facing piece I had also traced. Washed and dried my fabrics, gave them a quick press on a very low heat!

Before cutting out my fabrics, I had another look at the pattern finished garment sizing. Being 5ft, most things are too long for me, I held the pattern piece against me and decided to do two adjustments.

  • The neckline was okay held against me, but once the seam is sewn it would become lower, instead of shortening the straps to lift the neckline, that would be a bit of gamble, as I’m not making a practise piece, it could have a knock on effect on the underarm becoming to high. I raised the neckline by 2cm at the V and graduated back to the original pattern line about midway to end of strap.
  • Shortened the length, using the shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern, I reduced it by 2inches. I wanted good coverage for my tummy, but it not to drown me. After shortening I drew a new seam line, following on from original, then tucked the excess behind.

MACHINE SETTINGS:

  • Sewing Machine: Using the lighter fabrics, I reduced my stitch length to 2, made sure I inserted a new fine needle into my machine and I used my walking foot. I moved my needle over to the right so when sewing my fabric covered the feed dogs underneath.
  • Overlocker: I overlocked the edges after I’d sewn, and not as I went along. Lowered my differential feed so the fabrics wouldn’t gather and shortened my stitch length too. (you can zigzag your edges if no overlocker)

MY TIP: To make sure the V neck is smooth and doesn’t pull in the front centre, I did not sew the V to a sharp point. I flatten the V off by sewing 2 small stitches straight across, then continue back up the neckline.

I really liked how the straps are sewn together, it was a nice straight forward garment to make. The only thing that would make it tricky is, if you are not used to sewing lightweight fabrics.

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Romy ~ Tilly and the Buttons ~ Review

Romy is one of Tilly’s tops for stretch fabrics. It’s standout feature is the unusal neckline, which is not unlike those on babygrows. This is an advantage if you don’t want to spoil you hair-do when getting into it!

Fiona and I both liked how the top is constructed, the pattern pieces for the front and back have straight necklines. An easier option, given that there is no round neckline to tackle, so no wrestling with stretching in a neckband. The crucial part of the process is the accurate marking of the notches, a very important task when constructing the Romy, paying close attention to the correspending nothces for the version you are making.

Fiona : Height 5’3″ / B 47″ / W 39″ / H 45″. Made a SIZE 8.

Marice : Height 5’0.5″ / B 37″ / W 31″ / H 40″. Made a SIZE 5.

Marice : Front neckline
Fiona : front neckline
Fiona : back neckline. Too much fabric.

NECKLINE

MARICE : whilst the photo may look a little squint, my neckline does sit well, a little higher than I am used to. Normally wearing a crew neck, or V neck.

FIONA : as you can see in the photo, the neckline is far too wide and very loose, bagging. Unfortunately it is the same at the back of the neck with far too much fabric. Whilst I made a size 8 to fit my chest size, it has meant the pattern has assumed I am larger all over. Marice and I measured our shoulder widths and interestingly we measure exactly the same. The issue here is that I carry most of my excess weight in my chest and tummy while still having a small back and narrower shoulders – there’s a lot I need to do to adjust this to fit correctly. One of my favourite knit top patterns is the Tilly & The Buttons Agnes, which fits me perfectly so I was a little disappointed that this wasn’t the case with Romy.

MARICE : SLEEVES are too long, it’s usual for me to shorten by a couple of inches, I’ve not cut shorter yet, as I wanted to see how the pattern comes out true to size. My fabric has a print on the rightside and plain on the wrong side. I’m considering rolling the sleeves up? Not sure yet. I might live with it and then decide. MAIN BODY As you can see in the above photo (middle) I kept pulling the back of my t-shirt down, it wasn’t sitting correctly on me (right photo). Totally expected though, being shorter, the waist needs to be higher up, this is an adjustment I will make to my pattern pieces before I sew the next one. I’ve yet to hem my Romy, but in a lazy way, I kinda like the way the mustard underside rolls up.

FIONA : SLEEVES I made the cap sleeves so no issues here (although I missed the bit in the instructions to hem them before stitching to main body and sewing up the sides!) MAIN BODY Despite the problems with the neckline I actually really like the fit in the body, the Romy is not fitted but it’s also not too boxy so I think the shape is flattering for a variety of different figures. Overall this was an enjoyable sew and as always Tilly’s instructions are well written and very easy to follow. I’ve got quite a bit of work to do to the pattern if I am to make another one but will, of course, update you all on my progress.

Here’s the short sleeved version I made last year … you will have probably seen these photos on our social media. Sadly we have sold out of our hippo fabric, but there will be more funky prints for you to choose from.