These themed sewing challenges for the #CurvyYearofSewing are truly the motivation that I need to add some missing pieces to my wardrobe. I couldn’t get it together to whip up some pants/jeans last month, and I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun again.
I was knee-deep in my extensive pattern stash (curse those blessed pattern sales I can’t seem to resist) and had already picked out a jacket pattern when Schnittchen released the Amy Parka in their extended sizes.
The Amy Parka is a lined oversized coat with wide-cut shoulders, hood and large pleated pockets. I have been in love with this pattern since I got hip to this designer when I did a review of the Betty Top last winter but it was only available in the section where my glory does not reside and thoughts of attempting to grade the pattern gave me heart palpitations.
Let’s talk about the company. Schnittchen is a German company that has a variety of patterns designed for women ranging from European sizes 34 – 46 (82cm-106cm /32″-42″ bust and 91cm-114.5cm/36″-45″hip) with an expanding Extended Plus Size range of European sizes 46-56 (106-136cm/ 42″-53.5″bust and 114.5-142cm/ 45″-56″hip). Their patterns are available as a paper pattern or as a downloadable file in German and English.
Disclaimer: I received this pattern for free, but all my opinions are my own.
Getting started: Based on the pattern’s size chart, my bust measured into size 54, and the hips would need to be graded above their top size 56. Falling into different sizes forced me to be thoughtful of what size to pick because of some of the design features that can be lost in translation when grading, like the pleated pockets. Just to get my mind right, I decided to do a quick tissue fit of the pattern in their biggest size to see what we were working with. The internet is chockfull of information about how to tissue fit, so I won’t go in depth about the method, but I love doing this first whenever I tackle a new pattern. Not only does it help identify fit issues but it allows me to go through the construction steps of the “garment”. Pinning together my garment at the sew lines clears up any confusion I may have when reading the instructions. The pattern comes with sewing instructions in both German and English and sketches that refer to some of the written instructions. Some parts are easy to follow and some parts require you to step back and think about the end goal. The instructions are not skimpy but they definitely do not hold your hand through the process. This is where tissue fitting can be so helpful even before you sew your muslin.
Changes I made: Tissue fit confirmed that I would need those extra inches in the hip area, concentrated more in the back. A full butt adjustment is typically something I always have to do whenever I make something that involves anything from the waist down.
Grading between sizes for the bust area posed a problem because of the unique pattern piece for the front panel but I was able to get the fit I wanted around my bust and shoulder by doing a narrow chest adjustment.
Even though the parka is oversized, those sleeves were no match for my beefy arms. A full bicep adjustment on these sleeves was necessary, which I usually try to avoid because sleeves scare me. I am a card carrying member of #teamnosleeves #teamsleeveless #teamcapsleeves #teamknitsleevesareyourfriend
So of course I scoured the internet and decided upon the method explained wonderfully by Pattern Emporium linked here –> Sleeve Bicep Adjustment There are many techniques that one can use, but this is one that I was not familiar with. It worked out great for me, and I will be using it again.
I added an inside pocket and coat loop which was inspired by @lejditea version of the Amy parka that is just gorgeoussssss in this raindrop fabric! Sometimes we forget those little details that make our garments more functional…Extra Pockets!!!
Fabric: Recommended fabric for the Amy Parka was canvas, waxed fabrics or thicker woolen fabrics for the outer shell and typical lining fabric. I chose to use this beautiful fabric that has a 4-way stretch water repellent nylon shell bonded to a washable merino wool on the inside for the outer shell and a floral crepe de chine for the lining, both from FabricMart. Its definitely a lot lighter in weight than what’s recommended but I wanted something I can throw in a suitcase on my travels. Not only does it look amazing, but it feels luxurious!!
How did you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think that the design works well for your body shape?
It’s an oversized parka, and the fabric I chose is lightweight, so this piece lends itself to be layered, which is what I wanted. Definitely enough room to throw over a thick sweater if needed. The one thing I wish the pattern provided was a Finished Measurement Chart so that I could determine and adjust for how oversized I want the garment to fit on my body.
Will you make this pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
Pattern is pretty unique so multiple versions of the same coat is not needed in my wardrobe but I can see myself sewing up a version with a heavier fabric weight.
Pattern Rating (1-5):
Size range: 5
Construction process: 4
Final fit: 4
Overall rating: 4 It is hard to find sewing patterns that offer something different to the eye and those oversized pockets are giving me life. I know that some in my size spectrum tend to avoid the “oversized” look but I absolutely love the style and appreciate that it is available for me to sew in “my size”. However the disadvantage of great style lines is that it can be a bit difficult to grade between sizes when you have unique pattern pieces that you have to navigate. I listed above some of the techniques I had to use to fit this garment for my curvy body.
When I was studying the instructions to make the parka, I could not wrap my head on some of the steps like how to sew up the pockets and almost put the project down. I’m not sure if it’s because the instructions gets lost in the English translation or if it’s just not clearly written, but I’m so glad I took the time to go through the process of doing a tissue fit and a muslin because it truly made more sense the more I did the steps and made it easier to follow when I made the final garment.
Overall, I am happy to add this to my wardrobe and look forward to checking out the next garment that Schnittchen adds to their extended sizes. Every garment teaches me valuable lessons and techniques to make the next garment even better in my sewing journey.
Until Next time, GariChild