Wednesday, September 21, 2016

FO - Sew Over It Alex Shirt

I suffer from insomnia.  Over the years, I have learned to deal with this by napping, sleep therapy, and medication.  But, sometimes there's nothing to do except get up out of bed, make a cup of tea, and read, sew, browse the internet or knit.

That's exactly what happened last week.  I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, made a cup of tea and opened up my emails where I found the e-mail announcement for the release for the Sew Over It City Break e-book.  OH MAN.  This fits my sewing philosophy to a Tee! (See what I did there?!)  I love Lisa Comfort's aesthetic and patterns, and this e-book is no exception. And with the fashion photographs for the e-book being taken in Paris, there was nothing to do but grab my credit card and make a middle of the night purchase.  I then been dreamed about sewing a wardrobe based on these patterns and travelling to Paris!

This past weekend, a sewing friend of mine and I planned a sewing retreat of sorts.  Basically, we got together at my house, just the two of us, with assorted sewing machines, patterns, sewing necessities and fabrics for an entire weekend of just sewing.  We only stopped long enough to eat pre-planned quick meals.  Well...maybe some wine and a margarita or two - but only as a celebration of finishing a long day of sewing!

Because I had just gotten the City Break e-book and was SUPER excited about it, I couldn't help but incorporate one or two items of clothing into my NOLA Big Easy Swap plan, replacing the originally planned shirt pattern.  I chose the Alex Shirt & Dress pattern, printed it out, taped the pages together, traced off the pattern and jumped right in.

Pattern Description: From the Sew Over It website:

Alex Shirt & Dress
Two-in-one, the Alex Shirt Dress is a versatile, classic pattern that will take anyone seamlessly from day to night. Although always loose and comfy, this pattern can look completely different depending on fabric choices. Made in linen, the shorter Alex Shirt is ideal for exploring the city in the daytime. But choose a lightweight crepe, viscose or georgette and you have a glamorous, knee-length evening shirt dress, perfect for that special restaurant.

Pattern Sizing:  UK 8-20.  I chose the size 14 comparing my body measurements to those written in the pattern.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, I believe it does!

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, very easy to follow.  I actually used them, thinking I would write a review.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  The instructions are very well written, and Sew Over It offers a lot of support on their website.  They even have a tutorial for putting PDF patterns together here:

The patterns are included as separate files from the e-book, which I really liked as well - this makes it really easy to figure out which pages you need for the specific item of clothing.

One thing I had trouble with was the tabs for the sleeves.  I'm sure this is operator error.  Mine turned out pretty narrow and a bit bulky, and as a result I had a great deal of trouble putting buttonholes into them.  I think next time I may attach them to a piece of stabilizer using temporary adhesive spray before trying to make the buttonholes.

As much trouble as the tabs gave me, I really like the end result.  They offer a bit of versatility to the shirt, and give it a designer detail.

Fabric Used: I used a dark navy poly lightweight, almost sheer georgette with white polka dots.  I was hoping this would be a wearable muslin.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I chose the pattern size 14 by using the measurements included with the pattern directions.  I added 3" to the length of the sleeves, based on my arm measurements, but I ended up removing about 2" of this when it came to hemming.  I also ended up taking in about 1-1/2" off of the side seams below the underarm.  I think next time I may size down one or two sizes and do a full bust adjustment to keep it from being quite so voluminous.  But for a wearable muslin, it turned out just fine.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I highly recommend this pattern and I did immediately sew it again out of a dark mustard yellow silk georgette with a raised floral pattern.  I just have to do the buttonholes and sew the buttons on, and then I'll write a post on it too.

Conclusion:  I can see this pattern as a TNT (tried 'n true) pattern in my wardrobe.  I am already searching through the stash to make it into the dress length!  I am also excited to try the other patterns in the e-book as they look like great basics too.  Lisa has really nailed it with the wear-ability of these patterns as a travel wardrobe.

I can see wearing this shirt with a pair of stretch jeans in mustard yellow with a chunky knit infinity scarf in cream or even a plaid blanket scarf for fall.

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