Hello my dears!
It’s been a wee while. I’ve been a wee bit tired (ok, extreme exhaustion with the addition of insomnia, how thoughtful is my body to couple these two at the same time), and it was time to take a break from everything. Lesson mostly learnt, must slow down to an even slower pace than slow pace previously established. And posh hotel room service is much more delectable than hospital food. So next time I’m booking into the Windsor. Thank you to all the lovely people who sent universal energy and happy thoughts my way. I got warm fuzzies.
Now, back to the real purpose of todays post. My blogging is very much in it’s infancy (8 months going strong “cartwheels in skirt”), although I feel as though I’ve been writing it from “within” for the past few years. I only discovered the online sewing community after having an iPad mini pressed upon me as a present (I was very much anti tablet tech prior to purchase, very much pro tablet tech post) and have been an avid pursuer of the Internets on location (usually the couch) ever since.
As part of finding my footsies/niche/voice I quickly discovered a myriad of sewing and creative blogs. So. Many. I thought if I added my own blog/voice it would be overlooked on the webs what with my loosely based writing structure of waxing lyrical on old times, inspiration for new garment and then the photo shoot with some hilarious outtakes. I have however found some readers which again gives me the warm fuzzies. Curtsies and waves to all my bloggy reader friends. But I digress.
The discovery of independent pattern companies and PDF pattern availability shifted me quickly away from the Big 4 (not that there is anything wrong with them, there is just so much EASE!) and into the realm of indie patterns that were more my style. A little cute, a whole lot of quirky and some that are specifically drafted for bodies of the pear shaped variety, please and thank you Tasia from Sewaholic.
One of the interesting aspects of these indie companies and patterns is that prior to release they are tested by volunteers in the sewing community. There was a significant amount of discussion and contention some months ago about the ins and outs of pattern testing. I never had an issue with it, however like many was most interested in testing a pattern myself.
I think the desire to pattern test has something to do with sitting down with a number of pages, a project and a red pen. Possibly I was a teacher in a past life…
So how did I get chosen to pattern test the Sandpoint Top? I’m a long time lurker on the Monthly Stitch. When Helena from Gray Day Patterns put out the call for pattern testers I politely and quietly put my hand up via survey detailing my sewing experience and enthusiasm and was then contacted by Helena asking if I would like to participate. YES!
So. Onto the details and review.
The Sandpoint Top is described as being “a loose fitting t-shirt with a dramatic cowl back feature. There is a shoulder band behind the neck to secure it. In a fluid, stretchy knit it skims the body and drapes beautifully down the back. It can be made up in a comfortable cotton/rayon knit or made dressier in a slinky jersey. You can make the shoulder strap in a contrast colour to highlight that fun feature too!”
Now, I’m not a big knits kinds of girl, my only recent foray into stretch was with the Coco from Tilly and the Buttons which has encouraged me to try more sewing with this fabric. I do also like to step out of my comfort zone (wovens, I shall never leave you…), and am also a devotee of the cowl neck. I’m just yet to make a pattern that includes one. Until now. There shall be more. I promise.
The PDF was a breeze to put together. A nice touch was that the separate front and back pieces could be taped separately without having to join due to overlap of the pattern lines (look at the pick, I think it makes more sense than my words. Less taping is my friend).
I made view A with the V neck in a size M. View B is more of a slight scoop neck line.
There were no issues with cutting out the pattern pieces and pattern matching my stripes was a breeze. Helena has included some notches on the side just to ensure you match up your knit fabric distribution evenly.
Even though this is a reasonably simple make, I acquired some new skills along the way which resulted in some immense satisfaction. So proud of that V neck band. It would have been nice to know how to do this 15 odd years ago, but live and learn. It gives the top a very professional finish.
The band that goes across the back I accidentally attached to the inside shoulder seam, but it was designed to go on the outside seam line. I believe the instructions have been amended to clarify that this does go on the outside, however it still works the other way around. It is also possible to reverse the top and have the cowl at the front and keep the band at the back. I found that with the test pattern that didn’t quite work for me, the cowl kept inching upwards, but this may have been amended in the final pattern. I like the idea of the cowl at the front.
The arm bands were a neat technique that finished of the arm holes nicely. I was concerned a smidge about my cowl flicking out at the back so I put a couple of tacking stitches just to hold it in place. I also completed most of the stitching on my overlocker (serger) which made it a very quick make.
I’m really happy with the finish and look of the Sandpoint Top and it is definitely a wearable muslin. I wore it to work with a long black skirt and had many lovely complements, including from those who noted that I had side stepped my normal style of floral dress and cardi for a moment. I’m planning a black slinky jersey and my Mama has already put in a request for a stripy version for herself.
Congratulations to Helena for a really good, well drafted t-shirt that has some thoughtful details that separate it from the myriad of patterns out there! I look forward to seeing more patterns from Gray Day Patterns in the future.
The Sandpoint Top pattern is available for PDF download here for the very reasonable price of $8.95.
And you can see me on the Helena’s website here! Look at all those gorgeous women!
To see more versions and reviews, check out some of these links below:
Curtsey for now.
Disclosure: I received the original copy of the pattern for testing free of charge as it’s kind of necessary in order to test it. Once the pattern had been refined and released, Helena sent me a copy of the finalised PDF pattern. I purchased my own fabric from Joys Warehouse. All opinions expressed are my own.