Talk about going out with a bang! I couldn’t be happier with the way my final “Project 12” project turned out.
If found it difficult to splurge that much on a pattern (I’m used to $1 – $4 a pattern), but here were my thoughts.
- This is a great classic pattern with a lot of options – long, 3/4 length, short, and sleeveless, two lower bodice styles. It even includes a built-in “modesty panel” option!
- It includes 27 sizes, from 2-year-old girl to large woman. The pattern itself is printed on a heavy-weight paper and will not shred to pieces with lots of use. I can copy off different sizes and options as needed.
- It can be converted to maternity, or even a nursing top.
- Jalie patterns have consistently gotten rave reviews from those who use them. (Thanks for the recommendation Quixotic Pixels!)
After rationalizing the heck out of it, I purchased it through Pattern Review and I had it in my possession within less than a week of placing my order.
I have never used a Jalie pattern before, but based on my current bust measurements I am a size “X”. To leave room for growth in this pregnancy, I bumped that up to size Y.
Once I traced off the correct size on tissue paper, I modified the pattern as follows.
- I added 1 inch to bottom hem all around. I have a long-ish torso and carry very low. At 25 weeks, I’m already struggling to keep my shirts covering my belly.
- I did the same “full tummy modification” to the lower bodice pieces that Assorted Notions did. I swung out the side 1.5 inches (adding about 3″ in width to the bottom hem). To do this, slash the pattern parallel to the fold line. Pivot out at the seam line until the correct width is added at the hem. Pivoting at the seam line preserves the original seam length and allows it to still attach easily to the upper bodice.
- After adding to the side seams, I brought down the center front hem 1 1/2″ (plus another 1″ in overall length). I wish I knew of a more precise way of redrawing the bottom hem curve. I just eye-balled it and it seemed to work out.
- I also swung out the bottom hem of the back just a half an inch (for a total of 1 inch). This is not a maternity adjustment, it is a Child Bearing Hips adjustment. 🙂 (Original pattern in light green, adjustments in dark)
I was pretty thrilled with the length of the sleeves and was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to lengthen them at all. Go, Jalie!
I found a Cotton-Spandex Jersey blend at Joann’s. I was happy to move away from the rayon-spandex of my last two projects, plus the print was so fun! I realized as I was cutting it out that this was the first of my 12 projects that wasn’t a solid. The recommended 2 yards was just enough fabric even with my adjustments. I cut the modesty panel out of scrap rayon-spandex.
Be sure to test your stitch settings on scrap fabric before you begin. I tried out Jalie’s recommendations for sewing stretch fabrics without a serger, and I wasn’t terribly happy with the result. What worked for me was sewing the seams with a stretch stitch and overlocking the edges that were supposed to be zig-zagged with my serger.
My first attempt to attach the neckband was a real failure. The recommendation to stretch the neckband along the neck wasn’t very clear. I stretched it along the entirety of the neck and it left the chest puffy. I had to spend 45 minutes carefully pulling out the stretch stitches. Not fun. It worked much better to attach the neckband without stretching along the front (straight) edges and stretching to fit along only the back neckline. I’m glad I took the time to redo this.
I found the upper bodice to be every so slightly baggy compared to the rest of the shirt. I could have gotten away with a size “X” chest. The size “Y” sleeves were a good fit and I am definitely not size “X” in my hips, in pregnancy or not.
If (When?) I make another of these tops, I think I will leave off the not-gathered under-layer of the lower bodice. I don’t think it is necessary for the construction, at least not for a maternity shirt. The bottom hem would probably lay smoother without it.
Exciting Things About This Project:
- Converting a shirt to maternity! I can’t believe it actually worked!
- Feeling like I’ve really hit my stride with working with knits. I really love using my glue-stick method for hemming knits.
- Using a print!
- Trying out a Jalie pattern. I’m now a convert. I would love to try more.
- Successful completion of my 2010 New Years Resolution!