Thursday, June 26, 2014

Miss Taylor Believes That We Will Win: Pattern Revolution

Good morning, lovely ones! As I write this, Sam and I are wandering across the southern United States. We're Georgia bound, for his wonderful uncle's 60th birthday and a weekend of family revelry. Consequently, we're also missing the USA v. Germany match. 

Yes, there were heartbroken wails, when we realized this fact last week. Such are the sacrifices we make for beloved family members! We are not entirely unpatriotic, however. My phone is synced to a radio broadcast of the match and we're both decked out in red, white, and blue road trip attire. Sam is in the official USA kit and I...well, I'm wearing the most ridiculous shorts ever owned by a Mary.  

These are the Taylor Shorts, by Greenstyle Patterns, and the Hip Hop Tank by Love Notions. After the rousing success of my Katy & Laney Tap shorts, I was eager to try my hand at some other styles. When Robin, of Pattern Revolution, asked if I'd try any of this sale's bundled patterns, I jumped on this cute pair of shorts and awesome blouse. Shorts are only part of my wardrobe during hot weather, but it is brutally hot here until October! An easy, modern pair of shorts sounded just perfect. 

Unlike the retro silhouette of the Tap Shorts, the Taylor pattern features a low rise waist and three inseam lengths. It has a traditional zip fly, faced pockets (!), and a darted back. Since the rise is pretty low, you're directed to choose your size based on hip measurement. For me, this translated to something between a 12 and a 14. Which means, of course, that I made a size 16. 

When it comes to my lower half, I am never convinced by stated measurements. This may be from a particularly traumatic experience with Colette's Ginger skirt or just a desire for more than the standard ease. Part of the reason I love dresses is that they don't constrict my rump party. So, yeah, I refused to believe I was a smaller size and cut a 16. This was ill-advised, y'all. When I tried on the muslin, they were ginormous! I ended up sizing down to a fourteen in the hips and a twelve at the waist. PSA of the day: trust your measurements! 

As fabric, I used this red-and-white anchor print cotton canvas from Hancock fabrics. A Hancock just opened in Waco on June 14th and I've already been there six times, including one post-dinner trip to buy this fabric because it was haunting me, demanding to be nautical shorts. I sewed these shorts through Saturday night, intent to have patriotic attire for our World Cup viewing party in Austin. The sewing gods demanded it be so! That I already own a navy anchor print dress was, obviously, a nonissue. 

The construction of these shorts was pretty easy, if a bit unorthodox. I opted for the longest inseam of the three, for comfort's sake. Greenstyle provides photographs and video tutorials, along with the directions, which were super helpful in this case. The fly insertion doesn't use a fly guard and has you insert the zipper upside down, which would have been a challenge to my spatial reasoning skills, without those detailed pictures. I still somehow inserted the fly incorrectly, but it zips and looks perfectly normal. To be honest, I prefer the method in the Tap Shorts, which is a more traditional finish. Y'all know how I like to do thinks the "proper" way, after all. For a beginner, I think the Taylor method would be an easier introduction into fly zips, if not the one that should be used forever after. 

Other than that, the construction was super painless. Every piece fit together beautifully and all the instructions were clear. I did end up taking a bit more room out of the center back waistband and seam, in the end. The canvas has more stretch than muslin, so it was gaping back there and driving me insane! An additional 1.5 inches were taken out and things are still roomy, but more secure. I'm not sure my body type is proportioned well for low rise styles, honestly. When there is such a discrepancy between waist and hip measurements, fitting that middle area can be a beast. The next time, I may take the shorts in a bit more through the legs, just to perfect that fit. I quite like this comfy little pair, however. Wearing anchors makes me crave fireworks, hot dogs, and a bit of Sousa in the background. 

The only problem to deal with? What exactly one pairs with red anchor print shorts. I opted for a simple chambray tank, using Love Notions' Hip Hop Tank. The pattern comes with a ton of variations and the option of using either wovens or stable knits, which is an interesting twist. Never able to resist a button, I opted for the yoked, button-back version with a dipped hem. 

This was such an easy pattern that I had to add in some technical flair, just for fun.  Every seam is flat-felled, with white top-stitching along the hem, neckline, and every seam. If it could be top-stitched, it was. There was a great button debate, but I ended up with simple vintage white buttons from my stash. I almost went with polka-dotted red buttons, but really wanted this to be a versatile basic. As much as I love my country, I don't wear red, white, and blue together terribly often. 

There really aren't that many construction details to impart. Indicative of the knit option, this is an undarted blouse. It's flowing and loose-fitting, providing a wearable summer silhouette. Everything is finished with bias tape, which makes it a really beginner friendly pattern. If one made the straight, unembellished version of this blouse, it would be a 1.5 hour project max. As it is, my flat felled seams and top-stitching rounded me up to 3 hours. 

It's funny, I didn't expect to feel one way or another about this blouse, but I ended up loving it. It's just such a cute, summery little basic. It's well-shaped, despite the lack of darting, and so comfortable. I don't own anything with a high-low hem, as I'm rather impervious to  trends, but I like the rear coverage. If I were a busy parent, constantly chasing after a wee one, a million of these shirts would be in my wardrobe! As it is, I may make a few more, just for filling out the summer wardrobe. 

Excuse the wrinkles! This was my second round of outfit pictures, taken next to a lovely field in East Texas earlier this week. I also decided to wear it as a cutaway back, unbuttoned, as demonstrated in the pattern images. It can be buttoned all the way, but it does lose a bit of swing!

Now, let's chat about Pattern Revolution, shall we? I'm so thrilled to be part of the Bundle Up! blog tour, which features so many awesome indie patterns. Until June 27th, you're able to bundle up the patterns to fill our your own summer wardrobe. If you'd like to learn more, click here! If you'd like a bit of inspiration, check out the rest of the blog tour below. 

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