Last month, Megan Nielsen reached out to me to see if I would review some of her new patterns that are coming out today. Seeing that I LOVE her patterns (and after dying a bit from excitement that she would even reach out to me - eeep!), I happily accepted her offer and chose to take on sewing three of her four new patterns: the Jarrah, Dawn, and Wattle. I wanted to take you all through my process with each of them as well as some tips I picked up along the way!
I was super excited when I saw this sweatshirt because I am in dire need of some more slouchy, comfy, sweatshirty goodness in my summer-dress-filled wardrobe! I also just love the fact that this one pattern comes with four different views, making the combinations almost infinite for my wardrobe!
I ultimately went with view D in a size 8, the cropped funnel neck version with sleeve slits. I spent a long time picking out fabric for this particular pattern because I really wanted it to be a staple in my wardrobe. I also wanted something that was cozy and a bit more slouchy as I like a slight cowl to my necklines- it makes me feel less like I am being strangled by my clothing or that I am attempting to be a turtle and hide inside my sweaters!
The fabric I wound up purchasing was a Merino Wool Jersey from Nature's Fabrics. I took a chance with this new company and this new fabric because I kept hearing so many wonderful things about working with Merino that I had to take the leap! There is actually a funny story about my first order with Nature's Fabrics that I have shared at Topstitch Studio and Lounge's weekly sip-n-stitch that I will have to share with you all another time.
Alas, I have to say I loved working with this fabric. It's lovely to know that I am using a fiber that is more environmentally friendly than a synthetic in the long run. The jury is still out on whether my skin actually enjoys the feeling of wool right next to it though (I may be allergic - yikes!).
It is definitely more cropped like the Toaster Sweater. Even after adding 2" to the length of this sweater to accommodate my longer torso, I feel as if it is still a bit too short for my taste. It works perfectly with some of my high-waisted garments, but I just personally prefer a longer style, especially when pairing with most of my tops underneath (though this length does look REALLY great with my scarab silk Ogden Cami peeking out from under). I think next time I make this sweater, I will do a mash-up of View D's top and View B's Hem!
One of my favorite things about this sweater, I have to say, is definitely the little slit detail in the sleeve. It allows for good ventilation to my arms when I need it and it makes the sleeves easier to roll up when it gets a little bit toasty inside heated buildings!
These are by far my FAVORITE jeans ever! The fit on them is a dream and I just love love loved following Megan's instructions on sewing them! She gave three separate instructions on doing the fly front: a hidden button placket, a button placket, and a fly front zip- amazing, right? Plus there are 4 jean styles to choose from!
Now, I won't lie- I had to do quite a bit of grading of sizes to get the fit just right on these pants. I have monster calves that don't seem to fit into Megan's patterns as easily as say the Closet Case Ginger Jeans (though my calves feel a bit tight in those as well!) Going in to the Dawn pattern, I knew I would have to make adjustments, especially since I had just sewn a pair of Ash Jeans that wouldn't go on past my thighs *Insert crying emoji here* This has absolutely nothing to do with the draft of this pattern- I just have a very interestingly shaped bottom half!
I chose to do View A, the Tapered Leg, in the tall cut. SHE EVEN INCLUDED MULTIPLE HEIGHT CUTS - I AM SO IN LOVE I CAN'T HELP BUT YELL!
Look at how cute my pocket bags are- they make me so so happy!
My measurements say that I am a straight 8 exactly. However, I decided to go up to a size 10 based on my recent experience with the Ash Jeans. From there, I flat measured the pattern at the thigh and calf points and compared those to my own thigh and calf measurements. What I came up with was that I needed to grade from a size 10 waist to a size 12 thigh and then I graded out to a size 14 calf. I also used a 1/2" seam allowance for the outseam and inseam of my pants when sewing, but I stuck with a 5/8" seam allowance everywhere else. This resulted in the pants fitting perfectly everywhere they needed to fit.
I made one other adjustment to the pattern: I added 2.5" to the rise of my jeans. This was mainly because I was so excited to get started I hadn't even stopped to read the pattern and how it clearly stated that these were already high-waisted jeans. Whoops! I wound up cutting off an inch from my original addition, making the rise 1.5" higher than the original pattern, which was perfection on my long torso! The waistband now hits right at my natural waist- yay!!
I was super stoked when I saw that this skirt had a pleated version- I mean, pleated skirts were what got me started down the path to this sewing obsession when I was a wee-pre-teen! I was feeling ultra-nostalgic sewing up this bad boy.
Ultimately, I went with two versions of this skirt in two different fabrics: View B using a Velvet Curtain and View C using this interesting poly blend faux-jaquard stuff from my stash. I can't even properly describe this fabric I used because I have no idea what it is, just that I love that it's a crisp white-on-white textural thing. I cute the same size for each skirt which was a size 8.
I have never ever ever seen a skirt put together in the way that the Wattle skirt is sewn up which made me really excited! It's intriguing and ingenious the way that Megan has thought to craft this skirt. Maybe there are other patterns out there in the world that are made in a similar fashion, but I have not seem them!
The waist band actually overlaps on the side seam WHERE THERE IS A SLASH POCKET. My mind was literally blown sewing this thing together. Like, what?! It definitely made for a quick and satisfying sew.
Of the two skirts, I definitely LOVED the pleated skirt most. However, I was a bit underwhelmed with the gathered skirt once it was completed. I am not sure what it is about the white skirt that I am just not so excited about. Perhaps the length or the drape of the fabric or maybe I need to size down in the waist as it is a bit loose even when the bow is tied as tightly as possible? I'm not sure, but I will be attempting another one regardless. I just really love that little bow detail and I want it to work for me! I will note that my boyfriend actually likes the white skirt most, so maybe I'm just being silly!