After expenses, the proceeds from each parcel go to Donors Choose. Donors Choose is a charitable organisation that matches up the needs of teachers and their students for specific projects with willing donors. The funds raised from each Pattern Parcel sale go to help K-12 students in minimising educational inequality and encourage a community where children have the tools and experiences necessary for an excellent education. It's a fantastic way for the sewing community to contribute to charity and support the development and education of the next generation. My sister is a teacher so it's a need close to my own heart as I have watched and heard about the difference good resources and teaching can make. To date Perfect Pattern Parcel has raised over $13,000 for the cause!
The fantastic thing about the pattern parcels is that you can name your own price for the whole bundle! This parcel includes:
And if you choose a price of over $32 you will receive the bonus pattern, which this time is the Odette Dress from Blue Ginger Doll. Considering that the total retail value of all these patterns is $85.75 that's quite a bargain!
Anyway, on to what I chose to make this time. After the frippery of my silk chiffon dress I've been trying to focus on sewing some more practical garments, which I still feel stylish in but which i'll get a lot of wear out of as they can be worn as part of a variety of outfits. The Bronte Top from Jennifer Lauren fits this bill exactly. I've long had my eye on all of Jennifer's patterns as she has a knack for designing basic, wearable garments with interesting vintage inspired details.
Thinking about my aim to make basics I chose to use this plain white bamboo stretch knit which I picked up as a remnant from Ray Stitch when I visited to meet Christine Haynes in the summer. I'm so used to thinking about what I can do to make a project more unique (I mean when you can sew and are not restricted to the designs in the shops it's all about using your creativity right?!) that it was really hard to restrain myself from using a contrast binding or adding buttons to the neckline as the instructions suggest as an option. I had to remind myself that adding in some colour would restrict the garments I could pair it with. I'm so pleased I kept it simple as it's resulted in a great wardrobe staple and let me tell you when you are working with a fabric this lovely it doesn't need any extras!
It isn't cheap for jersey (this is coming from a girl who tends to buy her knits for less than £5/m on Goldhawk Road) but it's totally worth the money in my opinion and any cash that I have for fabric splurges I'll definitely be using to make myself some lovely snuggly tees. I'd also love to make another Coppelia Cardigan in the mustard colour way! It's a super duper soft knit that's the perfect weight for tops and feels so nice against the skin. It's got a good stretch and recovery in both directions (I initially picked it up with a Nettie in mind but didn't have enough for the length of the bodysuit) and was the best knit to sew with that I've tried yet. I still consider myself quite the novice with knits but I could tell I had the good stuff here, it pressed and sewed beautifully.
|I really like how high the design comes up under the arm|
Pattern wise I loved the way the PDF was tiled in separate sections so there were only one or two pattern pieces on each assembled sheet. It meant less time trimming and sticking and also took up a lot less room! I cut a size 8 and have got the nice snug fit I wanted. I only needed 0.8m of the 150cm wide jersey and reckon I could have just about squeezed the long sleeves out of that much too. The assembly was really straightforward and with the thorough instructions and explanation of knits included is definitely suitable for a beginner. Everything is sewn flat with the exception of the hem. The only thing I had a little trouble with was getting the shoulders/sleeve heads to sit nicely as my fabric was so soft and that seam is quite bulky with all the layers of front, back, sleeve and binding. I think I'd grade it more vigorously next time.
I took a different approach with this knit project and sewed it all up using a narrow zig zag stitch on my machine, just using the overlocker to finish the side seams and armholes as I like the professional look it gives. I really like how robust the seams feel with the zig zag stitch compared to my previous overlocked projects and felt I was able to be more accurate when sewing.
I actually had some straightforward success with my twin needle! I'm still not all that confident with it as it feels a bit of a fluke but I'm looking forward to trying it again. I'm not sure what made the difference, the lovely fabric, a different make of stretch twin needle or the thread but the combo of all three certainly did the trick on both the neckline and hem. To get it to work this time I:
- sewed slowly
- threaded the right needle with the standard spool as normal
- threaded the left needle with the extra spool, threading as normal but missing the thread guide above the needle
- used a normal stitch length (of about 2 on my machine)
Just to clarify I was sent all the patterns included in this bundle in return for my review and promotion of the project. I'm wearing the top here with my wool crepe Charlotte Skirt, it's a great top for tucking into high waisted skirts and trousers. This Pattern Parcel is only available until Friday 31st October so make sure to decide on your price and snap it up quickly if any of the patterns have caught your eye!