There’s big love for independent pattern companies and I think that makes sense given the audience. If DIY-ers won’t embrace creative people cooking up their own businesses and designs then who will?
Salme Patterns has been mentioned a few times and the clean, modern lines much admired. London-based Elisa of Salme patterns offers PDF patterns for women, children and accessories, and I took the plunge last week with the Kimono top. And here it is, in all its navy and off-white blooming glory:
The pattern comes without a seam allowance. Happily the cutting line for two sizes up was the 1/2 inch recommended for the seam allowance outside my size’s cutting line, so I used this instead. (I’m not alone, so did Knitting neels!) This kind of improvisation perhaps lead to my cuff problems later…
I didn’t use the neck facings, preferring to use some bias binding to finish off the neckline. After deliberating over the cuffs I decided to put them on but the instructions were a little confusing, so I ended up concocting my own approach, which boiled down to:
- After sewing side and shoulder seams, turn top inside out.
- Pin cuffs right side to wrong side of sleeve, with bottom of cuff along edge of sleeve and sew together.
- Flip cuff out so right side now extends beyond edge of sleeve, press.
- Turn top right way round. Fold cuff back against sleeve, wrong side to right side, along seam allowance and press.
- Turn top of cuff in by desired amount to achieve the width of cuff you want. Press then top-stitch in place.
…with the caveat that this was not altogether successful! I think because I used french seams throughout (which would have benefitted from increasing the seam allowance I also improvised on) I lost some width on the sleeves, meaning the cuffs ended up too big for the hole. There was some ugly fudging and folding on the bottom seam.
Eh, I’m not going to sweat it. Look at the pretttttttty:
I was worried there’d be too much room in this and I’d feel swamped or frumpy but I like the finished shape. This is the smallest possible size and untucked it is loose over the body but there are large-lunch-related advantages to this style. Looking at this along with Tova, there seems to be a marked looser vibe on my sewing table (hah, living room floor!). An extended procrastination to avoid FBA-ing perhaps.
- The neckline. I think this shape works for small and large busts and it definitely works to showcase a big ol’ necklace.
- Three pattern pieces (without the neck facing).
- The cotton fabric (which I spotted in an Urban Outfitters concession rail a few months back) is ticking all my boxes. Drapes nicely, fairly opaque, big print and a colour palette I can wear with almost every single skirt or pair of trousers I own. Remnant bin, you spoil me with your treasures.
- I think the instructions for this pattern could be enhanced, so for a newbie I’m not sure this is the right intro pattern. But if you’ve sewn a cuff or put together a few tops then you can handle it.
I took advantage of the great deal from Salme to get three patterns for < £12/$18 U.S. dollars, so expect to see some more designs featuring here.