I talked recently about all of my failed garment sewing over the past year or so, but I did recently make something that I am very happy with. After I finished up all of the quilts I had in progress over Spring Break, I knew I wanted to swing back to garment sewing and I knew I wanted (needed) an easy win. So I pulled out some French Terry that I bought last summer and decided to try the Seamwork Lex pattern, which is basically an oversized sweatshirt. My thought was that it’s much easier to get a win with a pattern that doesn’t require much in the way of fitting.
That thinking paid off and I did, indeed, get my easy win. I put this sweatshirt on as soon as I finished it and wore it for the rest of the day. And I’ve worn it every weekend since I finished it, making it one of the only things that has me feeling okay about the colder-than-normal spring weather we’re getting this year.
I am a Seamwork member and have one of the memberships that gives me access to the whole catalog of patterns. Is it worth it? I don’t know but I haven’t felt compelled to cancel it at this point. (I’ve also watched a lot of their classes, which is probably where I’ve felt the benefit of membership more.) I will say that I’m sometimes perplexed by Seamwork patterns or feel intimidated to begin them because I know the way they draft is off for my tastes. I find that they tend to include a lot more ease than I’d like (I made the Mel joggers at one point and cut one size smaller than my measurements indicated and still had to take the outer seams in by about the equivalent of another size and my fabric wasn’t even particularly stretchy). I find that their high necklines also tend to be very, very high, just like the rise on all of their pants. The issue is that I basically need to figure out what my “standard” adjustment for Seamwork patterns is and I haven’t been able to do that yet because 1) I haven’t been sewing much for myself and 2) I just started making muslins, like, a week ago. There aren’t a ton of Seamwork patterns that really pull me in but they do have several really good jackets that I want in my closet, so that’s my big drive for figuring out how to work with their patterns.
Anyway. I was less worried about fit with the Lex because it just doesn’t need to be fitted. I think I started with a size 20, based on my bust measurement, and then graded to a 22 at the hip. The pattern calls for a fairly stable medium-weight knit for the main fabric and then a ribbing with 50% stretch for the cuffs, bottom band, and neckband. I did not have access to a ribbing that would match my fabric so the bulk of the adjustments I made to this pattern were just focused on making it possible to use my main fabric for all the pieces that were supposed to be cut from ribbing. Because the terry had maybe ~20% stretch, I cut the largest size for the cuff and bottom band pieces, which worked out well. The neckline adjustment was more complicated—I first made the neckline wider and deeper (because, again, the Seamwork necklines are *very* high) and then I swapped out the neckband used by the pattern for a neckline binding since it required less stretch and wouldn’t add height to the neckline.
So, all told, this was an easy fitting win, but also still required some pattern adjustments and some critical thought about what it would mean to ditch the ribbing. But it was just the right caliber of pattern work to not stress me out and to make me feel more confident in my ability to make fit adjustments after a year of uninspiring garment projects. And it’s supposed to be in the 80s this weekend, but I might still try to wear this for awhile anyway because that’s how much I love it.
Pattern – Seamwork Lex
Fabric – Medium weight French terry (pretty sure it is a cotton/bamboo blend but I’m not 100% sure. I do know I bought it from Fabric.com and I think it is a Telio fabric?)
Size – Size 20 through shoulders and bust, graded to a 22 for the hip.
Pattern changes – wider, deeper neckline; neck binding instead of neck band; added width to hem band and cuffs to account for lack of stretch in fabric; did not use ribbing