This was one of those pattern tests when I just went bananas. I’ve made three… so far… yes there are another two in the works. I think I have a new BFF.
I’ve mentioned I was working on this several times and I’ve been BUSTING to share – I love this make and it’s very different everything else I’ve ever made here.
Today I’ll show you the first two – because the third is something completely different (patience is a virtue – apparently).
Yes, it’s the By Hand London Holly pattern.
When the By Hand London girls contacted me about Flora… I was cheeky enough to ask if they would mind designing a jumpsuit… and funnily enough it was already in the works! So when they asked if I would like to pattern test… I was completely and utterly unable to refuse. They had me at ‘hello’. I chose to make the jumpsuit as I had been obsessing about jumpsuits – and I seriously don’t think I could pull off a playsuit in my grand old age.
As they have previously blogged, By Hand London completely redesigned the bodice during the testing phase due to tester feedback. So I started all over again… and this time I was beside myself with excitement… BECAUSE IT WAS A COWL BODICE. Apart of my recent jumpsuit obsession – I also have a mad passion for cowl anything. I rocketed past 7th Heaven and into Sewing Nirvana…
HOLLY THE FIRST
My first version was a black ‘sandwashed’ cotton linen. I was having some weird confidence crisis and cut a size larger than I usually would, I didn’t think there would be enough ease around the hips. I’m glad I did as I needed it for the length through the body. The hip in the test pattern hadn’t been graded correctly – this has been fixed. I would recommend that you follow the pattern measurements – then again everyone has a different preference when it comes to fit. That said, I’m longer through the body than average.
Sadly this lovely version is a bit too big through the waist and hips (widthwise) as a result of my decision to upsize. My pattern testing approach is to make up at least one version of the pattern exactly as drafted. I could have graded out the hips etc however my personal approach is to make the pattern up as is. I prefer to see how the original pattern fits first in comparison to other patterns (and there is the notches & all that business to consider) – then I alter on the second round. That’s just the Sew Busy Lizzy way. No better or worse than others.
So this lovely outfit is slightly too large as you can see (and could have done with a better iron, doh!). It creases through the body as I walk due to the slight oversizing (well hello Christmas lunch outfit I guess!). But heck. I still like it.
I’ve been considering how to alter it. I did run it in quite a bit through the side seams. However, there is only so much width that you can take from the side before it looks odd. I think the solution might be to unpick the back waist seam and fiddle with the centre back seam and bodice seams etc. Then again this pattern is not a difficult or overly involved sew so it might be more rewarding to simply make another in black.
Argh – how I love it in a solid. It doesn’t feel obviously ‘jumpsuit’ and ‘fashion-y’, it’s lovely and classic (well I think so!). Sorry any up-close detail photos were a big fail… it’s just so very black…
I’ve used a belt to create a defined waist and dress it up – it’s more ‘going out’ wear than Holly the Second.
HOLLY THE SECOND
With Holly the Second, as I had done the pattern testing business, I added about 1/2 inch crotch length to the test pattern and cut a size US2/UK6 at the waist and graded out to a US4/UK8 at the hips. I took about two to three inches off the legs (I’m 5 foot 4). I cut the bodice as a size US2/UK6.
I was curious how Holly would look as a mad print… and here she is…
I really should have posed with my ukulele (yes I play one – badly). This is a very soft drapey rayon… feels like heaven – looks like a Hawaiian riot!
She’s a little mad, crazy and birthed from my fabric ‘library’ – but amazingly comfortable and I love the fit and feel of this one. She’s going to be lovely on a hot summer day. As you can see the legs are too long – I’ve hemmed it for heels.
I feel like I could hang out with Oonaballoona in this one.
THE MAKING OF HOLLY
It’s really easy to sew together. Like really easy.
It’s got a side zip (no front fly and all that business that often goes with trouders). I added a hook and eye above my zip.
The front bodice is cut on the bias (think about this when choosing your fabric) and the back is in three pieces. For the jumpsuit version, I would recommend a fabric with drape.
The straps are bias and sewn to the inside then turned over to the front and stitched down. I did this by hand, including sewing the straps all the way along by hand. I don’t mind hand stitching later at night (although black-on-black stitching kinda sucked).
I’ve like my fit slightly looser. Given the softer fit of the bodice and the wide, wide legs I personally would steer away from a mega snug fit through the body – that’s my personal preference. It’s got a bit of ‘swoosh’ about it.
I had to take about 3 inches off the leg length as I’m 5 foot 4.
MY HOLLY LOVE AFFAIR
- Wide, wide legs
- Shoestring bias straps
- Bodice pleats not darts
- Gentle fit
- Side zip (I do like underarm zips, you barely see them)
- and clearly… the COWL. Kill me now.
Overall I do really love this pattern – it’s not often I sew the same things three times in a row so that does say something. I really like the bodice, I love softly fitted bodices. I also adore wide-leg trousers. Overall I think the shape is quite lengthening and slimming on my frame.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Now if you are thinking that a jumpsuit ain’t for you because you have more curves than me – well go check out the beautiful Cashmerette who has just blogged her version (featuring the first designed jumpsuit bodice). She looks fabulous. And she’s also beachside 🙂 gotta love that!
The straps are fine so it’s letting the girls hang as nature intended or wearing a strapless bra if you can’t live with ‘peek-a-boo’ straps. As you can see I am wearing a normal bra with Holly the Second. I pulled this jumpsuit on after snapping my Hello Summer Dress while walking the now world-famous Banjo (also on a tight timeframe as my husband was leaving the country for two weeks). Pulling the jumpsuit up under the dress was modest enough but I wasn’t changing my underwear in public even if the beach was very quiet that day. That said, the bra isn’t unbearably obvious. Thin strap bras could look quite cute if they blend in with your fabric.
If you shudder at the thought of strapless, let me tell you Calvin Klein makes some amazingly comfortable ones (for me anyway), I wear mine all day without any discomfort. Good underwear is worth every penny (note: personal opinion here).
BHL offered to help cover the cost of fabric or find someone to provide fabric for this pattern test. However my stash is big (I consider it a ‘library’ these days) and can accommodate the odd pattern test… instead I suggested something for my readers instead – I get enough stuff and like to share the love when I can.
So I’ve got the giveaway provided by By Hand London – you can indulge yourself in Charlotte, Georgia and Flora, note: Holly wasn’t printed when they sent me this package during the testing phase. Plus it’s in a cute tote bag with stickers!
This giveaway is open to everyone – anywhere in the world. NOW CLOSED. Competition closes Wednesday 10 September 2014 (now closed)- winner chosen by random number generator and notified via email (winner has been notified).
I pattern test. I’ve always been quite clear about that.
I completely understand & respect that some people have issues with the process.
Here’s my take on me doing pattern testing… I simply wanted to say a few things about the subject (kinda why I blog LOL).
I’m OK with doing pattern testing, I once edited craft patterns – making, editing and writing is a passion for me, personally and once-upon-a-time professionally. Yes it involves receiving a pattern – it’s hard to test without one. Pattern testing sits comfortably with me. I enjoy it – even with deadlines and changing details.
Sew Busy Lizzy is about me (whoa – self-centred moment). I sew and blog about sewing because I love it – it really is that simple. I started sewing because I needed some ‘happy’ in my life at a very difficult time. Blogging came next as I had no one to talk to IRL about sewing (I started talking to myself in this space and people started reading and talking back – no strategy at all).
I have a fulltime career and this is my ‘yoga’. It doesn’t mean I’m not serious about my sewing – in fact I’m very OTT about my sewing!
Yes, I sometimes receive patterns and I blog for Mood Fabrics (still pinching myself about that one), I disclose these things. I pass patterns, fabric etc onto my followers when I can.
That’s the plain, simple, unadorned truth. If you think otherwise, chuck me on a lie detector and prepare to be disappointed. I’m really that dull. Sorry about that.
I’m just here for the sewing 🙂
Heavens, that’s probably going to ignite a debate here or elsewhere but seriously people, I just like to sew…
… on a lighter note… and here’s one for Banjo’s loyal followers… yes, my blog photos are most often taken on our family outings when walking – or running with – the adorable little hound known as Banjo.
You can meet Holly the Third tomorrow 🙂 I promise…