April 21, 2011

pattern review: Lisette Portfolio

When I heard about the Lisette patterns, I was super excited and couldn't wait to try them. I love Liesl's work on Oliver + S, as you may know from the proliferation of Tea Party sundresses and playsuits you've seen me sew. (here, here, and here, for example.)

Liesl has said that the most frequent question she got asked about Oliver + S was when she would design a women's line, and now finally it's here! And thanks to the partnership with Simplicity, the Lisette patterns are easy and affordable. Nice bonus!

I picked up all four patterns in the collection during a Joann Fabrics $.99 Simplicity sale, because I love a bargain and I knew I would regret not getting them all when they were so cheap. I will never pay full price for anything at Joann, but I won't even pay 40% off for a pattern when I know that there are times that they only cost a buck. I mean seriously, why would you?

I had spent a little bit of time checking out the Lisette website and scoping out the flickr group trying to decide which garment to stitch up first, and I decided on the Portfolio tunic because I loved these two so much. And Liesl's (the first one) really inspired my fabric choice for this muslin because I love how hers is so sheer and summery feeling and I was hoping that my *ahem, old bedspread* would give me the same look.

And it almost did! Mine is a little bit more opaque, but it's definitely got a good spring vibe. I'm just excited that what was meant to be just a test run to check the size ended up fitting well and being cute enough to wear in real life. So hooray for muslin success!

The on-seam pockets are brilliant and absolutely my favorite feature of this top. It took a little leap of faith for my not-spatially-gifted brain to manipulate that step, but once it came together I was totally impressed both with my own incredible skill and the cleverness of the design. I love it when things just fit together so well like that. It's so satisfying!

Based on what I read on the forums and on some of the flickr pages, I decided to cut and sew two sizes smaller than the size indicated by my measurements and I'm glad that I did. Simplicity patterns are designed with A LOT of ease, and I just like my clothes to fit closer. This thing would have been a tent had I gone by the envelope, so I'm happy that I took the risk. There's still some shaping that could be done under the arms, but I'm not worried about it this time. Maybe if I sew this pattern again I'll try to figure out how to fix that.

There is some nice detailing on the front placket, with a hint of gathering and the topstitching that makes it look professional and finished.

By some miracle, I even had two linen-looking covered buttons in my stash that matched the color perfectly and I thought added just the right feel to the back closure. Overall, I think the top has a nice 60's housedress style that I'm totally digging.

I normally don't go for a tunic length top since I'm short, but I think the look is growing on me. Husband says it looks like curtains or a smock (said like "schmock"), but I try not to pay much attention to his opinion when it comes to fashion. I told him that I was sure that he would be proven wrong once I got the pics up in flickr and added my top to the Spring Top Sewalong pool. So go: prove him wrong!

And then since Lincoln couldn't understand what I was doing taking all of these pictures without him being the star, I had to get a shot with my little ham and what is becoming his signature crazy and untamable hair. Also note his digger (shobel!) and ever-present water cup. That kid loves to hydrate. And is huge! He's practically as tall as me already and he's not even two!