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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Monday, June 4, 2018

Genius ideas: Jalie's new Lisette skirt and Mimosa Tee shirt

Yes I have been sewing my brains out and have a lot to show you this week. 

Today I would like to talk about the Lisette skirt and Mimosa T-shirts from Jalie. 

Let's discuss.

First the Lisette skirt:

This is a pattern for a variety of pull-on knit skirts. The versions with the angled seams are interesting and would probably be quite flattering particularly on boxy bottoms like mine as they would provide some illusion of hourglassness that is not really there. However for my first time out I decided to make the plainer version with the interesting waistline/yoke because it was the higher waisted option.I was interested in the dropped waistline at the front.

I thought this detail would be particularly comfortable (less cutting in when you sit down) and I was right.

I need to mention, and you need to know, that this is a negative ease skirt, fine in a knit, I used a nice ponte, and it will fit right close on your body. This is fine for many of us, but if the idea of something that fitted scares you off you might want to measure the pattern and go up a few sizes for a profile you might be more comfortable in.

I have to say that I do this a lot with my Jalie patterns - I trace off sometimes 2-3 sizes and use them for different fabrics or looks accordingly. 

For instance I use a size smaller than I measure in the Jalie pull-on pants when I want to use a knit, my exact size for a stretch woven, and a size larger for real woven like a linen. Having such a fine graduation in sizes in among the 26 allows me to do this.

For this version of the Lisette I actually made it to size, that meant negative ease and I feel somewhat like I am wearing Spanx in it (I am a woman of a certain age  with a body that got me this far) which is why I made the Mimosa T-shirt to go with the skirt since the Mimosa ends well after the stomach evidence.

The waistband on the Lisette is very much like a yoga waistband, a wide shaped knit band with narrow elastic encased along the top - comfort without much slippage.

Here is a shot of the front of the waistline with the interesting slope:

I was so taken with this waistband that I detoured in my pattern testing and made a maternity version for my daughter-in-law. She wanted a longer skirt so I actually added a centre back seam and a walking slit and for her I added the elastic insert in the back but left it out of the front to make it less constricting on her belly.

She tells me it is very comfortable and just got back from wearing it around a trip to Sweden:

 See how versatile this pattern is?

Now back to the original, my own, teamed up with the Mimosa.

 I see a few horizontal lines in these shots, this skirt actually came right out of my own suitcase. Although my own trip was to Winnipeg not Sweden ...

Now on to the Mimosa Tee, here are the line drawings:

These tees are a real departure from Jalie's line of fairly fitted T- shirts and sort of something I had been looking for to fill a gap in my own closet. I like to float over my belly but am getting tired of all the triangle shaped top patterns I have and this seems to be a bit of a solution. There are several interesting variations (I am happy to see a looser body but with not sloppy sleeves) but of course I made the one with the ties on the sleeves because how could I not?

The particular fabric I was working with was a very buttery rayon knit with terrific drape ( I think the softness of the fabric shows in the bottom of the neckline and if I was thinking I might have added some fusible knit interfacing to the band to counteract this, but I am not at all bothered I didn't do this actually) and I made it in my bust size, a 38, but will probably trace another one with in my high bust size, 35, for some slightly heavier but still drapey knit I have next time. It will be interesting to see how that works, slightly closer to the body particularly around my shoulders.

More and more I am using these Jalie patterns to customize my own looks. I can see this one extended into a dress and even into a night gown. I have some linen knit that I think I will make the long sleeved version in as sort of a pullover (might go up a size so I can wear it over a shirt) and I am definitely going to finally make myself a decent white T shirt with this pattern to wear with jeans.

You never know.     


Yvette Chilcott said...

Barbara, I really like how you made a outfit with those two pieces. I reviewed those same 2 patterns, but not together. Keep it up, they're stunning!

Anonymous said...

Good morning Barb, too cold to be in the garden.

Your skirt and top look great.As soon as I get the Mimosa Tee pattern and come the first rainy day I making it up. I love the looser fit for my older body.And the tie sleeves make it a little more than a tee shirt.Thanks for test driving the new patterns and working out any kinks. I am loving the Jalie patterns I've tried as you said they are so adaptable/adjustable.


MaryEllen said...

Love both of these . Haven’t tried a Jalie pattern but your looks make me want to jump in .

Connie-in-FL said...

Great advice on sizing for stretch wovens and knits! I love the outfit but agree with you that you could go down a size. I think it would look sleeker if it was a bit smaller in the shoulders. I'm sold on these two patterns! cha-ching$$ (tell Jalie you made a sale! lol :) )

Cindy said...

Love your blog.

Can you talk some more about pattern testing and your thoughts and experiences? I apologize if you've written about this before. I am a regular reader, but I don't recall seeing a post.

I ask because as a former Quality Assurance Software Engineer, I don't understand the pattern "testing" paradigm. Reviews are always glowing, never a criticism in sight. It would seem to me that a tester would be giving all kinds of feedback to the designer, everything from the fit to the instructions, to not enough notches or notches in the wrong place, or move this here, there, etc. How can everything be so rosy at this stage of the product cycle?

I have to ask; if Jalie had given you a pattern to test that was garbage, would you have written about it?

I do not mean to sound confrontational, I really am trying to understand. I'm thinking that the definition of 'tester' is different than what I think of.


Barbara said...

Cindy so glad you asked this question and happy to have an opportunity to respond. First off I sew many, many different pattern companies and if you look at past reviews I have been highly critical of many. In particular I tend to come down on lazy drafting and bad instructions- I hate bad instructions. Also you will note this is an ad free and affiliate free blog. No one gives me anything and asks me to review it for them and I certainly don’t go looking to be a pattern tester to have access to free patterns. The only time I ever sew a pattern and materials I do not pay for is when twice a year I make something for the Fabricville blog as a sample on request and that is a pattern and fabric I choose and in the case of the pattern I have already used before in my own sewing and can vouch for.

Jalie is the only pattern company I have worked with on the pre production stage. I was shown the proposed designs, indicated which ones I was intetestef in beta testing and we went from there. Believe me there were revisions made in this process in response to feedback from a few testers like me and I personally sent a number of emails on details I noted in the testing stage. The final products I sewed and reviewed here are the end products of a rigorous collaborative process. I am impressed that Jalie put their patterns through this process and believe me this was hard work.

I have not done this for any other company. I would rather test than just review and Jalie wanted that. If you don’t see me reviewing any other test patterns right now it is because I don’t work for “free” patterns but to advance pattern quality in the rare opportunity I can do that. I have worked with Jalie patterns since the early 90s when they were available only in Quebec where I lived at the time and they were only known largely in the Francophone community. I think I gave them my first English language shout out in a Threads article in 1994. I have no hesitation in bringing attention to this small but mighty pattern company because the drafting is so careful and the techniques so interesting. I wish I could say the same for many other pattern producers large and small. My personal hope is that in drawing attention to excellent pattern making other designers might be encouraged to up their game. Sewers deserve patterns that are the best use of their time. I appreciated your question so much btw gave me a bit of an opening to sound off! Possibly a future post on pattern companies I prefet would be useful.

Cindy said...

Thanks Barbara. I think what I missed is that the reviews I'm seeing from testers are reviews of the final product, not reviews of the test version. That really helps; and I asked because I am a fan of your blog and reviews.

Thanks, Cindy