Summer Wardrobe (Part 2) Wins and Fails

The Seamwork Rhett Jacket and the Love Notions Melody Dolman were big wins in my summer wardrobe and both have gotten a lot of wear.

I’m back! It’s only taken me 3 months to get around to writing this, but I’ve discovered that I prefer sewing (and my new obsession, knitting) to actually writing about it. However, since I posted a Part 1, I figured I should at least add a Part 2 and finish off my Summer Capsule Wardrobe. I had a couple more successes and two big ol’ fails.

Success: Seamwork Patterns Rhett Jacket:

I had 30 yards of white denim that I purchased to make a slipcover for my family room sectional and then realized that a white slipcover and black dogs was a dumb combination. So I made the slipcover from dirt-colored linen and have been using the white denim for all sorts of other projects. So far my very favorite has been this jacket. This is the Seamwork Rhett Jacket, size 8, without any adjustments. And I absolutely love it. The style works with a variety of garments and it’s easy to throw on over most anything. Rhett is a big winner and there will definitely be more in my future. I think I will try one in linen next.

Success: Love Notions Melody Dolman

I’ve made a few other Melodys. It’s a fast project with results that look like you really spent a lot of time on it. I hacked this one a bit to play with the checks of this gingham. The Melody pattern has a cut-on facing that you just fold over so I had to cut it off and make a separate button placket. None of it difficult, I just had to remember to add the correct seam allowances. Love Notions generally uses a ⅜” seam allowance but I finally decided to make my new seam allowances a half inch since the squares of the gingham were a half and then I had some nice straight lines I could cut on. I was happy with the results. My husband said, “Oooh, Mary Ann!” (And if you get that reference, you are old—like me😉)

Fail: French Navy Calyer Pants

I have made the Calyer Pants three times before and I LOVE the pattern! They have the comfort of an elastic waist but the trim look of a traditional flat front. Both of my fails were due to a mismatch of fabric and pattern. I had ordered this yarn dyed linen from Fabrics-store.com . I love their linen and they have about a million colors. However, I didn’t really check out the specifications for this particular linen and it wasn’t the right weight and it just grows and grows and grows about five minutes after you put it on. Initially I was so pleased with my new pants until I saw a picture of my backside…Oh, dear! I’m not sure how to save them so they may just live as a reminder of what doesn’t work.

Yep, same pants! The picture on the left was taken by my husband while I was fitting them. They look pretty good-I can live with the few lines that are there. The picture on the right was also taken by my husband because, well, he thought I should know! Dang! Even I can’t live with pants like that!
It’s so difficult to photograph white and I wasn’t really feeling this outfit anyway so I only took a few.

Fail: Love Notions Rhapsody 

Like the Calyer Pants, I have made several versions of the Rhapsody. It is one of my favorite patterns and it is super versatile. I had been saving this beautiful lightweight burnout fabric for the perfect project and I thought this was it. I thought I wanted a very floaty, boho type top but what I got was a nightgown. I added width to the back and then gathered it all up, and yep, nightgown! Fortunately, this one can be saved and maybe some day I’ll get around to doing it.

Seeing it hanging here, this is really a beautiful top! And look at those French seams!

Fail: True Bias Lander Pants

I never actually got past the muslin stage of the Landers. Although I’ve made them before, I was never really happy with the fit and now that I’ve put on a solid Covid Ten I just couldn’t even get close to a fit I could live with. Sadly, I think this pattern just isn’t for me.

Too much pulling around my belly and too much fabric from my crotch! The back wasn’t any better. I tinkered with the fit for a couple of days and it just wasn’t happening without completely redrafting the pattern. I’m not that kind of sewist! I’m fine just getting a decent fit instead of a perfect fit but I couldn’t get anything even close with the True Bias Landers.
Looking back at my original plans, I had some hits and a couple of slight misses and one great big fail. I did make some white shorts which I haven’t photographed although they’ve been in heavy rotation. But now it’s on to fall planning!!

*All Love Notions links are affiliate links. As you can see, it really is my favorite pattern company and I have way more success that fails with them!


I was a pattern tester-and it was fun!

Recently Love Notions Patterns put out a call for testers to work on a new dress pattern, the Vivace. About the same time, The Love to Sew Podcast featured Meg McCarthy from the Cookin’ and Craftin’ blog and the had a great conversation about the pros and cons of being a pattern tester. So I took the plunge and filled out the tester application with Love Notions. I answered questions about my sewing skills, my measurements, and my photography skills. Frankly, I didn’t dream I would ever be selected, I was just proud of myself for “putting myself out there.” Imagine my extreme surprise when I received the email: “You’re in!”

Now the real terror began. What if I did it wrong? What if I was chosen by mistake? What if I hated the pattern? Relax, I told myself. I can just quietly slip away, never to be heard from again, if I can’t keep up.

Testers are asked to send a variety of views to the pattern designer. This was my initial version. A bit of the ease was removed in the final pattern.

Fortunately, none of those fears came true! The Love Notions community is nothing but kind and I loved the pattern! In fact I loved it so much that I’ve made three versions and have another couple planned. As far as the process goes, testers are emailed the initial pattern and instructions, asked to make a specific size and view, and then asked to give feedback. All feedback is welcome and as the pattern evolves you might be asked to make another sample. I actually found a mistake in the initial version that was quickly corrected in subsequent versions. At the end, testers are given a credit to get the final version at no cost.

One of my final versions of the Vivace pattern from Love Notions. I’d had this large scale print in my stash for a couple of years and this pattern turned out to be perfect for it.

After making a couple of other versions, I got a little creative with the pattern and added a lace overlay. I don’t know where or when I will be able to show this off but it’s ready when I need it!

I really enjoyed the process of testing a new pattern! It’s a community within a community and it’s been a great way to get involved.