Monday, November 10, 2014
Pattern Review: Etage Dress and Top
We recently were connected by a reader, the lovely Joan, she wanted to share a new pattern that she has sewn for her grandchildren and neighbor kids. So of course we asked her if she would be willing to do a reveiw so everyone can see this pattern. And she kindly complied.
Here is her review of the Etage Dress and top by Sew Straight and Gather.
Pattern Source: Sew Straight Patterns at sewstraightandgather.com
Sizes available: 12 months to 12 years
Special materials required: You need knit fabric, in one or several colours. T-shirt knits are the easiest to work with, and lighter weight is better.
Skill level required: Advanced Beginner. You will need a bit of experience sewing with knits, but there are no buttons zippers or anything complicated. The actual sewing is easy, but because the Etage is asymmetrical, you need to keep your wits about you when cutting and assembling. However, there is a great series of picture to walk you through this.
How you came to choose the pattern: I was part of the original tester group. The designer Terri worked really hard at that, putting us through several different versions until she had it perfect. The instructions and the sizing for the Etage are perfect!
Did you deviate from the pattern? If yes, how? The two in my pictures are standard size 9 and 11. I just added leggings to match with the Top version to make it a complete outfit.
Sizes: This pattern comes in a huge range of sizes, and seem to please every girl. My nine and twelve year old neighbours loved theirs, my 4 year old granddaughter has 3 now, and I have two more on the cutting table for my 11 and 13 year old granddaughters. Our tester group had girls of every age, and it looked great on all of them.
Style: The Etage is twirly, and unique in its look and construction. There is a top version with three layers and a dress version with four, along with several different sleeve lengths and a sleeveless version. You can use one fabric for the whole thing, or combine several different ones as you wish. You can use a regular hem, a rolled hem, or a lettuce edge for various looks. Check out the different versions on the website for inspiration. The end result can be anything from cute and playful if you make it in several prints, to super- sophisticated – check out the all black version on the website.
The Pattern: You can print the whole pattern, or just the size you need. The instructions are excellent and there are very clear pictures to walk you right through the process.
Bad: Pattern assembly takes a while, and you need to pay close attention when you are cutting it out. Terri has provided wonderful diagrams to make the pattern assembly easy, and the patterns are well marked to keep cutting clear. It’s not difficult, just time consuming. And the sewing itself is quick and easy.
My hints to make this process go smoothly:
1. Unless you know for sure you will only make size 12, avoid the temptation to print just one size and assemble the whole thing and trace the size you need on tissue paper. That gets most of the work done up front.
2. Put a sticky note with the name of each piece on the cut out fabric. This is especially true if your fabric looks the same on both sides. Lay it out on the floor beside you, just the way Terri shows you in the diagram, and work your way through following the instructions.
3. If you upcycle some old Tshirts for your first version and use several different colours so you don’t get confused, you‘ll be an expert by the time you move on to your pricier fabric.
Overall pattern rating: 5 bolts