Reviews: March 2012 Archives
I fell in love with this pattern at first sight but felt overwhelmed by the amount of cutting and interfacing called for so I put it off- for a good long while. But when Spring Break came around I knew it was time to stop procrastinating and get to sewing up what is the perfect bag for a week-long break of school, work or life in general. I'm glad I did. The Sophia Carry-All is not small but not quite medium; it falls into the happy Goldilocks category of "Just Right". I am not a big lining pocket person because the pockets are typically not integrated well but in this bag they are simple and again just right. I can see what is in there but they are just stiff enough to keep it all in. The inside is ROOMY. Much more than the outside lets on. It is the perfect size for toiletries plus hair care tools plus jewelry or knitting or it makes a great Grandma's weekend bag for the kids.
Here are my modifications since I just can't help it.
1) I did not add the fleece but upgraded the stiffness of the interfacing. It is not all full-on Peltex but I used the heavy weight sew in just like the Sophia's sister bag, The Weekender. I wanted the bag to really look like the weekender and didn't care for the puffy, pillow-like look on the pattern front.
2) I eliminated the piping. The main reason I did this is because I thought the piping used in the pattern pictures looks too big for the bag and I didn't have any smaller piping. I really like the clean look that came out. Does this pattern really need the competition?!
3) I constructed the lining, especially the top panels, just like I did the exterior. This means that when I sewed the top panels together, I sewed to the marks and then lengthened my stitch, basted to the next mark, shortened my stitch and then stitched to the end (I backed stitch at the beginning, end and at the marks). This really helped shave some time and make for a clean look. It was easier to sew in the lining and I knew my seam was straight all the way.
4) I used a regular one tab zipper instead of the 2 tab called for. I did this because I don't think I will be using this bag much for travel. I don't travel as much as I used to (My toddler is not a fan) and I have really been eyeing this as my diaper bag to real purse transition bag. It can fit all my essentials (phone, keys, headphones, wallet) plus any just potty trained paraphernalia (i.e. panties, pants, socks) plus snack and sippy with room left over for my brochure collecting habit.
5) I used the recommended interfacing on the lining pieces to make it easier to sew in later. Granted the main panels are not interfaced in the lining but the others were and sewing so many thick layers was a beast with the exterior.
Overall I am as pleased as I expected with an Amy Butler Pattern. They are superbly written and well illustrated. The Sophia bag actually went together in less time than I had budgeted and the outcome is beautiful.
If you're like me (and most other people), right about now, your fitness resolutions need a kick in the pants. Since half the fun of running and exercising is wearing new clothes, I often find that when my resolve is lagging, what I really need is a new outfit for working out. It's like magic. It gets me to the track or the gym. Whatever it takes!
Kwik Sew 3455 is a pattern I have had for a while and come back to time and time again. Both the top and the leggings in this one are total winners.
First, the leggings:
I made this pair out of a black nylon jersey. The unique thing about this particular pattern is that it uses a square gusset at the crotch, whereas most leggings patterns have a sharper curve through the backside to accommodate the seat. The first time I made the gusseted leggings, it took me a little while to wrap my brain around it, but I must admit that I love it now. It really does make a difference in how the leggings feel when I'm running -- there's less pulling when I extend my legs through the widest part of my stride. These days, I use this pattern for all of my running leggings -- and my fashion leggings, too!
On to the top:
I love this top because of its design lines. The curved seaming that joins the back to the front is so cool, and extremely flattering. For this version, I used a black nylon knit for the front, and a patterned lycra for the back and sleeves. As we're nearing springtime, I opted to cut the sleeves short on the top. (I also normally run indoors, so I don't really need long sleeves very often.)
The back and side shots of the shirt show the curved detailing of the pattern, which is so on-trend for activewear. You could even color block the whole shirt, and use different colors or patterns for the front, back, sleeves and even the collar binding.
Whether your resolution needs a little help or you want to reward yourself for sticking with your routine, this is a really fun pattern to stock your fitness wardrobe with. It's also a good fit for casual daywear. Leggings remain popular under dresses and skirts, or even on their own, and everyone needs a handful of knit tops that are as comfy as tee shirts, but have a little extra flourish of style.