Hello everybody – today I am writing about my new discovery – the Canadian pattern company Jalie. They are quite specialised and sell a lot of kids patterns and active-wear, especially for gymnastics and dancing etc. but once you get past the spangly leotards and ice-skating tutus there are a few really nice patterns for casual garments.
They offer paper and .pdf options on a lot of their patterns. To be honest I’m getting a bit bored of .pdf patterns, they are such a palaver to put together, so even though they would have been cheaper and quicker I opted to order the paper patterns. I was pleasantly surprised at the cost once I converted the Canadian dollars – even the postage wasn’t too bad although they did take quite a long time to get here.
If you read my post from 26.9.15 I mentioned that I’d done a bit of holiday fabric shopping in France and that I bought two lots of material. I used the second piece to make this V-neck top. The fabric is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a viscose mix from Mondial Tissus, still available online by the looks of it. It’s so smooth and drapey and the big abstract design is just the kind of thing I love.
I didn’t make any alterations to the Jalie pattern, the sizing seems pretty accurate although as usual I should have remembered about my short arms and altered the sleeves.
I really love the way it’s constructed. The top part is double-layered at the front and the way you sew the neck-line opening seemed ingenious to me, involving some magical origami type manoeuvre. The instructions are sparse but there are good diagrams and I found it fairly easy to follow and was very happy with the outcome. I think you could make this with a plainer jersey material for a more casual outcome, this one has turned out quite posh looking. Happily my suit-wearing days are in the past but I think this would work really well under a smart jacket.
So, before I put all the pattern pieces away I had received in the post another lot of totally awesome fabric – this jersey knit from Fabric Godmother I knew that I wanted to make something to show off those wonderful massive swirls and an idea spouted in my mind.
I have been searching for a long time for the perfect knit dress pattern but I have yet to find it. I do love the Tiramisu dress but that wasn’t what I was looking for here, besides to my mind that’s a summer dress and I wanted something more appropriate to the season.
What if I took this top and just lengthened it to make a dress ……? Now, I have not entered the realm of pattern hacking yet. I’ve only been sewing for about 2 years and don’t really have enough knowledge or experience for that kind of shenanigans – but this would just be extending the seams downwards until it was dress length – how hard could it be? Joyfully it turns out – not too hard at all. I am so chuffed with the result. It turned out exactly how I hoped – really making the most of the fabric design and it’s also super comfy 🙂
Both of these items were sewn on a regular machine – an overlocker is still a figment in my imaginary future. I use a ball-point needle and lower the feed dogs as far as possible, I use a shallow zig-zag stitch for the seams and then a deeper, narrower zig-zag to finish them off. The tricky bits are the hems – on this I ironed on some strips of fusible knit interfacing to stabilise the fabric, zig-zagged the edge and straight stitched it up like a regular hem – still not perfect but it’s getting better. The one change I made with the dress, other than making it a dress obviously, was to shorten the sleeves to three-quarter length.
The other Jalie pattern I sewed was the hoodie. I was really happy with this pattern too if only I hadn’t used the kind of fabric you would make a baby-grow out of. I don’t know what comes over me sometimes, why on earth I ordered this I don’t know. I have been subjected to all sorts of mockery from hubby and I honestly feel I totally deserve it.
I suppose it doesn’t look too bad in the photos but this will be a strictly around-the-house item. Once again the pattern was quick and easy to sew up. I do really like the shape of the neckline and I will definitely make this again. One of the interesting things about the Jalie patterns is that included in the package are not only adult sizes but kids sizes too so if you wanted to you could make matching clothes for you and your offspring – is that a thing people do? – haha, probably not – but it makes it pretty economical if you have little ones.
I have a funny little story for the last photo. I take all these photos with a timer on a tripod in the back garden. To my right is the alleyway down the side of our house. So I had just set the timer going when I heard the postman coming up the alleyway, I looked around and instantly recognised the familiar packaging of a fabric order from Sew Over It 🙂 See how joyful I am as I run to meet him …