Thursday, July 7, 2016

3 for 1: Lottie and Beth

You get a 3 for 1 deal with this blog post... 2 Lotties and a Beth!

I've got 2 versions of the the Christine Haynes Lottie pattern for you today, my first a wearable muslin and the second a wearable wearable!

I was attracted to this pattern because it is just the type of easy to sew, easy to wear top I like. Although I have some TNT similar-ish patterns in my stash already, like Marilla Walker's Maya, the Lottie has an interesting combination of cut-on sleeve plus a bust dart that I was curious about. I went with view A, the short sleeved top with split hems.

For each of my Lottie tops I chose a length of hand-stamped floral batik from my stash, purchased when I was living in Indonesia: one cream with peach and marooon, one electric coral with hints of mint. I have so many batiks in my stash, but because of the busy prints and the fact that handmade batik typically comes in lengths between 2 and 2.5 meters (usually closer to 2) and narrow (about 42" wide), it's sometimes more difficult to use than you would imagine. The Lottie pattern fit perfectly on these pieces, though, with very little left over. 

Both pieces had a small border print on each short end that I used for the bottom of the pockets (2 pockets on my first, 1 on my second). The fabric is a fairly lightweight cotton, somewhere between a quilting weight and a lawn. A little stiff at the beginning from the residual wax, but it softens over time with washing.

I found my measurements put me smack in between two sizes (14 and 16) at the bust, and right at 16 in the waist and hip. For my wearable muslin I opted to start with a straight 16... I'm swimming in it a bit, though! It's quite roomy and the darts are too long and low. It looks ok in these photos but in real life it's quite oversized and has a slight scrubs-esque feeling to it:

For my second Lottie I decided to go down an entire size to a straight 14, which was a good choice. The fit on the 14 is much better. Still plenty of ease, but the darts hit me in the correct spot and it's not overwhelming me:

The construction of this garment is quite straightforward, as you can imagine. A front, a back, a bias neckline and patch pockets! A very quick sew.

I was really happy with how my bias-faced neckline came out following Christine's instructions and the sewalong- perfectly flat! It's worth understitching and taking your time. 

After making my first Lottie, though, I was less enamored with how the underarms turned out on the inside. Clipping and finishing the seam allowance in that tight underarm curve was tough and I ended up with a sloppy mess. For my second Lottie I decided to serge the sides of the front and the back first, cutting off 1/4", and then I sewed the side seams at 3/8". Much neater for me, although Christine warns in her sewalong that the sides can get stretched out this way. I figured my fabric was stable enough to handle it, but I'd be wary with a less stable fabric.

I am really happy with the Lottie pattern- a great basic that shows off a good print (of which I have many) or looks lovely in a solid or stripe as a wardrobe staple. I'm eager to try the dress version; I could use a good shift in my life. Or maybe a maxi? Lots of options...

The pants: these are Style Arc's Beth Stretch Woven Pant, the new-and-improved version of everybody's favorite (and mine), Barb's Pant. It's got added details like angled and topstitched seamlines at the waist and hip and elastic sewn directly into the inside of the waistband rather than threaded through a casing. I feel like the legs might be slightly more narrow, but I was too lazy to pull out the Barb pattern to compare, so don't take my word for it.

My fabric is a deep, over-dyed black textured stretch denim-ish stuff. It has a pattern/texture that is vaguely piqué. Not sure what to call it. I think it's mostly cotton, with a hint of spandex. I went down a size (to a 16) from my Barb pants, because I find they slide down a little bit throughout the day. That, combined with a less stretchy fabric, makes these Beth pants snug through the hip and thighs, but snug in a good way. I like how sleek they are and I think they're sucking me in a bit in the waist/butt/hip area, which is good.

I found it difficult to line up the waistband with hip detail for some reason. Not like you can really see it anyway since I'll likely always have a shirt covering that part of the pants. And because black is impossible to photograph!

Do I think you need to buy Beth if you already have the (free!) Barb pattern? Probably not. But curiosity won out for me, so now I am the proud owner of both.