Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pattern review of Kayla Kennington's Cross Over Top #425

Pattern Sizing:Much has been said about the sizing already.  I was lucky enough to purchase my pattern from someone familiar with the pattern.  She advised me to make the large even though my measurements indicated an XL or XXL at the hips.  I made the L and it is fine even a bit roomy.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?I think so.

Were the instructions easy to follow?In a word No.  A previous reviewer said that the pattern would not spoon feed you.  Well, I was on the floor begging for scraps.  The instructions were minimal.  The diagrams were not clear. I would say that you just have to trust yourself to put it together the you think it should be. My pattern included a small scrap of paper instructing the sewer to leave a small opening on a seam to put one of the ties through.  There are no markings.  You need to try on the top to figure out wear you want the ties to be. In fact there are no marking on this pattern at all.  Some would have been very helpful.  In the end I decided I did not like bows beside my boobs.  Just too much going on.  I sewed one tie to the inside so it was more like a wrap top.  I also made it tie at the side seam not the front princess seam.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I liked the unique seaming technique.  I liked the shape of the top and I was in love with the batik rayon with ginko leaves.  The ginko is my favourite tree.  I could see the creative potential from this pattern.  I did see Kayla's samples at a show and they are breathtaking.  I disliked adding seam allowances.  I understand that it is easier to grade a pattern without seam allowances but this is not a fitted pattern that requires pin point accuracy.  My pattern did not come with gainlines.  I emailed the vendor about this.  She kindly sent me this message that I will share with you in case your pattern is also missing this.
"Refer to the pattern guide for layout for the crossover top.  For the
sleeves the grainline is 90 degrees to the straight line that forms either
the "sleeve cap" or the sleeve hem.  For the back pieces use the straight
edge that runs vertically as your grainline.  For the front pieces, used the
straight vertical lines as your grainline.  For the ties and lapels use one
straight edge as your grainline. You can cut the garment on the straight of grain or crosswise grain as long as you are consistent; e.g. cut body of garment on straight of grain or cross grain.  Sleeves don't have to be cut on same grain as the garment but should both be cut on the same grain."
For the record, my pattern guide contained no such instructions.  I even had my husband who reads files for a living read my pattern.
Along with grainlines, notches would have been helpful.  Once you get through the pattern issues you can have fun embellishing your garment.  Kayla recommends sewing the two rolled hem edges together with a clear plastic foot so you can see the stitches.  I used my walking foot as I was more concerned about the bias edges stretching and not lining up at the edge.  There is no margin for error.  I still managed to see my stitching.  I used a multistitch zigzag set to 7mm.  The pattern guide shows the garment pieces pinned together.  You cannot pin butted edges of a thin drapey fabric together and think it will stay like that.  I overlapped my edges and separated them as I was sewing.

Fabric Used:I used a rayon batiked with ginko leaves.  I love the colours in the print.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I wish that I had narrowed the shoulders as the top.  I used the rolled hem with multi-step zig zag.  I embellished the front seams with small glass beads.
I made some beaded fringe for the ends of the ties.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?To sew again or not to sew again, that is the question.  I like the concept  and the embellishing potential but how many statement tops do you need?  It seems to lose its impact when you have too many.  My daughters are not interested in this top at all.  Maybe just one more from silk or something dressy just to prove to myself that I can do it.
My recommendation to others is to be brave and be prepared. You must know and love your serger. Too many women I meet are afraid of it.  It takes courage to roll hem on bias and roll hem an inside corner on bias.  Prepare by making lots of samples.  I used iron on stabilizer for most but tearing off the stabilizer was tedious and sometimes stretched the fabric.  I next tried two layers of spray on starch.  That worked well.  I wish I had figured it out earlier.

Conclusion:  It's done.  I like it.  I am glad I made it.  I am looking forward to wearing it to the Creativ Festival  in Toronto next weekend.

I am linking this post to Fabric Fun Thursday at Cheap Chic Home.


Catherine Goetz said...

Hi Janlynn, I hope you come by my booth (830) at the Creativ Festival. I love the added touch of beading and the fabric looks wonderful. I'm sorry you struggled so much with the pattern instructions; the construction is very different from the norm. It took me a few garments to get the hang of it.

Kim said...

Hi Janlynn, I was wondering how your upholstery was coming along, but I see you've been busy with this top. It looks like a lot of detail work. I can't believe you had to call to find out about the grain line-yikes. I like the fancy seaming.

ceodraiocht said...

Hi - your top came out beautifully. I'm browsing your site and also love your concept for a winter coat - it is just beautiful. After hearing your challenges with both the book patterns and this one, I think I'll stick to the majors adn just adjust as needed.
Thanks for sharing!!!