Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sew Sew Def Saldana T-shirt

I was curious about the new Mimi G digital sewing magazine, Sew Sew Def. So, after I confirmed that the accompanying pattern came in my size (the size charts weren't available on the website; now the finished garment measurements are up), I bought the first issue!




The magazine, which has a mix of DIY style inspiration, "sew stories," and tutorials, among other things, includes two PDF patterns each month: one for men and one for women. You can also buy these patterns individually (here) if you're not a magazine subscriber. The patterns come in print-at-home and copy shop versions.


For the inaugural issue (April 2017), both patterns are t-shirts: the Saldana and the Westbrook. 


Here's how the Saldana, the t-shirt for women, is described: "The Saldana pattern is the perfect High-Low T-Shirt or Maxi Dress. It is designed to be easy to sew, easy to wear and very chic. There are so many possibilities with The Saldana by simply mixing prints and colors. Along with the two variations that come with your pattern we also provide a quick and easy modification to get a third look from one pattern!"


The t-shirt has a v-neck, side panels, gathers at the back neckline, roll-up short sleeves, optional topstitching on all the seams and a slightly curved swingy hem. I really liked the pink colorblocked version Mimi showed off, so I decided to give it a go (plus I needed a quick palate cleanser after the involved project that was my Hampton Jean Jacket!). I always need more t-shirts (they get really gross really fast in Bangkok's perma-summer weather), and give bonus points for t-shirts with a bit of interest, like the Saldana.


For my fabric, I wanted something drapey, so I went with this turquoise and black striped rayon/lycra jersey from Imagine Gnats, combined with solid black rayon/lycra jersey scraps for the side bodice pieces and neckband (the colorblocked Saldana is a great scrap buster!).


My body measurements put me in a L at the bust and XL at the hip, but after looking at the finished garment measurements, I decided I could get away with a straight L in this swingy style.


As far as adjustments go, I did a 1" full bicep adjustment after comparing the sleeve to some other t-shirt patterns I have; it seemed a bit narrow for me. I also decided not to do the roll-up sleeve. I shortened the sleeves by 4" and just hemmed them up 3/4". 

I finished both my sleeve and body hems with a twin needle, using wash away hem tape to stabilize the jersey a bit. I opted to topstitch all of my seams on this one, which the pattern suggests as an option.


The two patterns in this issue of Sew Sew Def were designed by Ann at Designer Stitch, whose patterns I've tried and liked in the past. I was pretty delighted to see that she was attached to this project; I really enjoy working with her patterns. This was my first knit pattern from Designer Stitch; I appreciated that the pattern uses 1/4" seam allowances, perfect for serging (although, frankly, I was too lazy to change the thread on my serger, so I just zig-zagged this whole t-shirt!).


The only issue I had when constructing the tee is that I had to ease the striped bodice into the side panel a bit below the notches, which the instructions didn't mention. I double-checked my tracing job to make sure I had traced the right lines and everything seemed fine. As you can see, there is a bit of rippling from the lower half of the seam connecting the main bodice to the side panels, in both front and back. I'm not sure if that was part of the design or not. I don't mind it, but it did seem a little bit strange that it wasn't mentioned in the instructions.


I really like this Saldana top! I'm a fan of t-shirts that fit closely at the bust, but then swing out at the hip so they don't cling to my chubby bits. The seamlines are nice, the v-neck is a great depth and shape, and it's got a nice casual/cool/sporty vibe. I could definitely see myself making more of these, and I'm curious to both try the Westbrook for Tim! I'm also looking forward to seeing more from Sew Sew Def... it appears that the just released May issue has lots of good stuff, including articles on curvy sewing as well as his and hers swimsuit patterns!

If you want to check out the Saldana on other curvy gals, CarolynLaquana and Brittany have all recently made lovely versions!

16 comments:

  1. I really like this on you and the style is cute.

    But ... I'm finding the SSD website a little confusing and once I could figure out the cost, I think the mag is a bit expensive for an unknown commodity. IDK, maybe I'm just cynical. I'd love to see a free sample issue/pattern, before plunking down $$, especially since I'm thinking you actually found a drafting problem, not an instructions problem. There's no reason to ease that seam, so was it tested before release? Hmmm.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie!

      I think it's true; it would be nice to have the first issue be a freebie so people can have a sense of what they're signing up for.

      Hmmm... maybe it is a drafting error?

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    2. Debbie, I made the maxi dress and DID NOT experience that issue just to let you know.

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    3. Thanks, Carolyn! I think the side panel pattern piece for the dress and the one for the t-shirt are different (the dress panel is longer), so it could be that one has the issue and the other doesn't. Or it could be me, ha!

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  2. Yeah, the pattern is cute, but I can imagine finding something similar from Big 4 that I don't have to print myself. Like Debbie, I found the website for SSD hard to navigate and the preview they give about the magazine minimal. And the sample shots for the men's swim trunks on the site was very off putting, looked sloppy. Thanks for the review of the pattern. How did you find the quality of the articles?

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    1. Ha, you probably could find a similar Big 4 pattern; it's not earth shattering. For me, right now, the hard copy Big 4 aren't an option unless I make a trip back to the U.S. or someone hand carries them to me here in Bangkok, so I'm cool with PDFs.

      Better navigation on their website and a preview would certainly be welcome!

      Regarding the articles, I'd say it's heavy on the interview/chatty-type articles and lighter on the technical how-to stuff.

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    2. Lorraine NewmanMay 3, 2017 at 7:06 AM

      I so agree about the chat-heavy article content. I bought issue 1 of the mag after seeing your lovely Saldana, and I also like the look of the Westbrook for hubby, so $10 seems a good deal for the 2 patterns. I'd like to see the pattern sizing go up a bit larger, and thank you for the heads-up about the drafting issue, I'll look out for that when I make up my Saldana.

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    3. I was thinking it would be slightly more technical than it was, too. But the patterns are nice!

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  3. This top looks great on you!
    Question: on Mimi G's version, all the seam lines of the color blocking (and hem) look unfinished/unhemmed. Is this what the pattern instructs or are all the raw edges supposed to be hemmed?

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    1. Thanks! The pattern instructions have you construct the shirt/dress regularly. I think for Mimi G's pink version she was playing around with finishes (or non-finishes, as it were!)- there's a brief how-to article about it in the magazine.

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  4. If you get a chance to pop into Asia Books, they are currently have MyImage magazine. It appears this issue (spring/summer 2017) has sizes 34-52.
    If you are thinking of donating some of your hot weather things, you may want to ask at the IDC (Immigration Detention Center) if they will accept a few things for the inmates. As you can guess from the name... it is all foreigners, so larger than most locals. In jail, so without a whole lot of clothing options. I've not tried to donate clothing there, but the Pastor's wife over at Calvary Baptist Church (at the end Sukhumvit soi 2) goes to the detention center to visit almost every week. Maybe you can ask her what they will allow you to donate.
    Mary in Thailand

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    1. Thanks, Mary! I tried My Image a few months ago and didn't have great luck with the pattern. I'm not ruling them out, but am also not jumping to buy new patterns from them: http://cookinandcraftin.blogspot.com/2016/10/magazine-and-pattern-review-my-image.html

      Thanks for the heads up on the donations. I've donated to another place in the past, but my clothes are probably huge on Thais!!

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  5. Thanks for the inspiration, I just bought to magazine to buy the pattern as well. Love your version!

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    1. Thanks so much! I hope you like it!

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  6. Hi, Meg! I love your colorblocked Saldana. And your whole outfit is super cute, too.

    I also made the Saldana and found the easing to be excessive. My shirt came out with a sort-of peplum look. It works, but it wasn't what I expected. Mimi G left a message on my post saying that maybe if you used the upper panels for the DRESS that the easing on the T-shirt wouldn't be too extreme.

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    1. Hi Erin! I saw your Saldana post- it looks nice, although I agree that there seems to be too much easing in that one spot. I doubled checked the pattern, though, and didn't use the dress panels as far as I could tell!

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