Oh hey – it’s Jaime again from MadeByJaime. I’m this month’s host AND first up on this month’s posting series, but I promise you won’t hear from me again until next week!
When we decided last month to review women’s shorts & tanks, I was super excited. I’d been sewing a lot for my kids, for other people, teaching others to sew, etc. and was itching to get to some selfish sewing! Let’s start with the tanks:
Layer Me Up Shirt by Patterns for Pirates
The Layer Me Up Shirt is touted as a wardrobe staple and I can definitely see why. It is intended to be snug for use as an under layer but can be worn alone too. I always wear a camisole or snug tank under everything so this will be something I truly will make again and again. There are a ton of different style options including various sleeve lengths, shirt & tunic lengths and a band option. There are even instructions for two different finishes for the arm and neck holes.
I made a size Medium on top to a Large at the hip, according to where my measurements landed on the size chart. This is great for a layering tank, but if I were to want to make one to wear on it’s own, I would probably size up to avoid the lines across my back (I might also benefit from a sway back alteration, as is usual for me). The fabric is a medium weight polyester knit that would also work well for workout wear.
The Layer Me Up Shirt pattern includes a brief fabric cutting guide, fabric requirements and finished length measurements. All the pattern pieces are labeled, nested, and laid out on no-trim pages! The printing guide helps you print only the pages needed for the style features you want to use. The tutorial uses photos of the garment construction process instead of line drawings.Please Note: If you want to print on A4 paper, you will want to purchase from Pattern for Pirate’s Etsy store instead of their Craftsy store.
You can see a summary of all the pattern features in the chart below.
Tank, Double Tier Tank and Crop Top Pattern by Seamingly Smitten
The subtitle at the top of the Tank, Double Tier Tank and Crop Pattern by Seamingly Smitten says, “sewing patterns for beginners”. Though this is a knit-only pattern, there is no need for a serger, there are no buttons or zippers and only 12 pages to print.
There are 8 possible styles in this pattern including high low or straight hems (or a combination of both in different layers), single or double layers. My measurements fell in the Medium column on the Size chart, but there are tips for choosing your size, sewing with knits and what stitch to use on your sewing machine. The instructions explain how to print & tape the pattern together but there is no cutting guide or diagram.
The instructions use photos as opposed to line drawings and simple construction techniques. I was curious about their method of joining the layers and turning the neck and arm holes but it worked like a charm and made it super easy. There are two line options for placing the pattern on the fold – a petite cutting line and a regular cutting line. I think next time I make this I will cut on the petite line. There is no guide to choosing the appropriate cutting line in the written instructions, but the patterns are sized similar to ready to wear. If you prefer a slimmer fit in RTW, then I would choose the petite width on the Seamingly Smitten patterns.
The pattern pieces are nested on no trim pages. From what I could tell, this pattern is not designed for A4 printing. You can see all the rest of the pattern features in the chart below:
Hip Hop Tank Top by Love Notions & Ladies’ Skinny Shorts (Pants) by Jocole
The Hip Hop Tank Top Pattern has been in my files for several months and I’ve been dying to make it! This is another pattern full of options – there are different shirt back styles, sleeved & sleeveless styles and instructions for different binding methods.
I am also wearing my Jocole Skinny shorts but I’ll talk more about those later.
For the Hip Hop Tank Top, I made a Small in the width and a Large in the length, mostly because I prefer longer tops. The main fabric is a medium weight cotton interlock knit and the accent piece is poly chiffon. I chose a lighter weight poly rayon (if I had to guess) knit for the binding. It had great recovery so it worked well. To be honest, I just chose it because it matched so well!
I chose the tulip back option, but there is also a button placket back, a color blocked back, and a basic tank option. This pattern has an amazing, linked table of contents. You can click on the place you want to go and you’re instantly taken there. The Hip Hop Tank Top can be printed on A4 or Letter, there’s a fabric requirements chart, a cutting guide, sizing and finished measurement charts. Pattern pieces are nested & layered on no trim pages. Check out all the features in the chart below!
The Jocole Ladies Skinny Pants have a simple design great for style and comfort. They are skinnies with a pull-on knit waistband! Although the style is simple, this pattern is listed as Intermediate and here’s why: Fitting Pants is hard!!!
A muslin is highly recommended – the pattern includes instructions and several helpful links to extra pdf files on how to measure and make a “fitting shell”. I ended up making 3 muslin versions before cutting my final. And then I made changes to the final as I was sewing it. Not all of my fitting issues were eradicated completely, but it’s important to understand that 1) these are the same fitting issues I have no matter what pattern I use and 2) I have big plans to delve much deeper into making pants that fit. If you’re looking for fitting resources, be sure to check out my Pants Fitting Resources post here.
I made changes to the crotch length to get rid of some of the wrinkles in the back. It’s not perfect yet, but much better! I also took a little off the depth so the waistband was in a more comfortable spot for me. Since I chose a denim fabric, I added both optional pockets in front and back. Once you get the fit right on these shorts, they sew up in a FLASH. There are length & waistband options, an extensive range of sizes, cutting guides, a hyperlinked table of contents to quickly take you to the part of the pattern you want to go. There’s also a condensed version of the pattern instructions with no pictures so you can print them without using tons of paper. All the pattern pieces are clearly marked and the size lines are great for both color and black and white printing. Be sure to check out all the pattern features in the chart below!
So there you have it! All four of my garments for this month of The Pattern Exam. You won’t hear from me until everyone else shares their results so be sure to read the rest of the reviews and I’ll see you back here next week!