Out of Alberta!
After reading the fabulous post by Pearl Moon about Lagenlook, I thought that I would follow up with some reviews of garments that I have made in this style. I have played around with the layered look for quite some time – wool trousers, vest (Colette Sorbetto) top, longline cardigan with shaped hems – and this works great for the winter, but what about summer?
Through Artisan’s Square I came across a Lagenlook thread, and the name Tina Givens came up. Tina has her own pattern line as well as producing a collection of Couture/Ready to Wear clothes. She describes her style as ‘Out of Africa meets the 1920’s’ (my favorite fashion era) so that was it – I was off!
I started off with the Jaqueline Pattern which consists of a pair of loose fitting cropped trousers, a longline slip and a boxy top and I’d like to talk to you about the slip today.
I made a muslin of the slip first, out of some drapey woven rayon. The pattern is ridiculously easy to make – back, front and bindings, but the fit was not too good. I am not sure whether this is my issue or the pattern and I had to add two small darts on the front piece, arm openings to take out the excess fabric. Personally, I like to keep my underthings hidden from the general public, but Tina Givens’ esthetic is to wear a vest top or t-shirt underneath so that nothing shows.
However, I did like the asymmetrical hem, the way the garment flowed, loose – but not baggy fit, so I decided to superimpose a good fitting vest top on top of the pattern – and what a difference this made! I used the Sorbetto pattern by Colette – I have played around with this over the years and made adjustments for my bust (I am a ‘C’ cup), sway back, and shoulder slope etc, and placed this over the Jaqueline pattern. I then put my tracing paper on top, merging the side seams of my Sorbetto with those of the Jaqueline, and voila – a great fitting slip top.
For the coral linen/rayon mix version above I bound the arm and neck openings by making the bias binding (I always cut it a little wider than recommended, 1.25”, and fed it through my Clover bias binding tool), attaching it on the wrong side, then flipping it all over to the right side and edge stitching. This means that I have ½” of bias binding showing on the right side and I have found that this helps the binding lay flat.
The hem was finished by using my serger to make a rolled hem. The seams were serged together, then ‘faux fell stitched’ by sewing down the seam twice, edge and top stitching. It takes a little extra time to do this, but I like the flat, professional finish.
As you can see – the asymmetrical hem can fall on either side – depending (cough cough) if you remember what is the wrong side or not! In fact, I have a couple of these slips that I cut out by folding the front and back pieces in half, so I had the long drape on both sides.
The white slip features a small piece of lace just zigzagged to the front:
I also tried a different type of binding for this slip. The bias binding was folded in half and then sewn (with raw edges) to the slip by using my three step zigzag stritch. After washing, it fluffs up rather nicely! I may have since replaced the rolled hem edges of the slips with this binding as well – I love it! I’ve also added pockets to both the trousers (3” down from the waist) and the slips (9” down from the arm opening) on more recent versions, and that makes them much more functional.
What can I say about the patterns? Well, here are my thoughts:
The pattern is available as an immediate .pdf download as well as a printed pattern (I use the .pdf) and comes in sizes 4-18 (up to 43” hips). I ususally use a size 20/22 in most sewing patterns, but by using my own patterns for the neckline and the crotch, these patterns worked well for me. A number of Tina’s patterns go up to a 58” bust, 44” waist and 50” hips – she calls these ‘goddess’ sized! I am a 5’7” cylinder, which I think is 3-4 inches taller than the model that the patterns are designed for, but I didn’t make any height adjustments. The .pdf goes together pretty well, but I did find a few lines didn’t join up properly. Due to the nature of these designs, it doesn’t really matter too much, but it is something to be aware of.
There are no line drawings of the patterns however you can look at the instructions online by going to the design page for the .pdf and viewing them there. The instructions are very sparse but these are very simple patterns. As far as fit is concerned – this is really a style that you either love or hate. I happen to love it! I’m not concerned whether my waist looks smaller or must bust looks perkier (although now that I make my own bras, my bust point has risen an inch, but that is another story!) and does my butt look big? I really don’t care! What I like is to be comfortable and feel good. And I do! I love the flowing fabrics – I’ve been using linen/rayon/cotton mixes that drape beautifully and these garments make me feel very glamorous!
I would say that these patterns are particularly good for the cylinders/apples amongst us. I think that those who like a defined waist may not feel comfortable in this style. As this has now become my signature style, I have been making up a lot of these garments, and will continue to do so!
Finally, the scores on the doors. Here are my ratings!
Size Range: 2/5, but would be higher if this came in the “goddess” range.
Instructions: 3/5. Again, it would have been 5/5 if there were line drawings and more detailed instructions. But quite frankly, these pieces go together so easily, it doesn’t really matter.
Construction Process: 5/5. Yep, it is that easy!
Final Fit: 5/5. I love it!
Overall Rating: 4/5. Just because I love this style!
Lorraine blogs at http://spottydogsocialclub.blogspot.com/