Oh, those Simple Simon and Company girls! They are always so much fun. Seriously, I adore them both and have so much respect and admiration for everything they do. They’re just good people. They are currently running a series, You Can’t Judge a Pattern by Its Cover, the idea being that even the ugliest of pattern-ducklings holds within it some promise of beauty. You have to click that link and check out the amazingness that is the first featured pattern. Two words: Tulip Bra.
Though I didn’t get any floral-shaped underwear, the Elizabeths did send me a little something from their collection. The pattern I was sent was Kwik Sew 885, of unknown publishing year. I’m guessing ‘70s-something. It’s a fun little pattern, showcasing all the wonderful ways drawstrings can be incorporated into a garment. And very little else. Really, it’s all just boxy shapes pulled in with drawstrings. What confused me the most, though, is that View B. See how the illustration shows a fold below the placket? That’s not just artistic license. The pattern actually is designed so that you have a weird off-center pleat from the placket down. I don’t understand. Why would you want this?
So, yeah, I didn’t go with the placket pleat. Sorry to disappoint. Instead, this is where Kwik Sew 885 took me
What I kept: The length of View B, though I started out with things more full tunic length. And it was hor.ri.ble. I even sent out a late-night distress call via Instagram because I just could not get things to look non-hospital-gowny. I thought for sure I was going to have to scrap the whole thing. But after some sleep, and some swearing, I cut off to the View B length and all was well. I also tried to keep the look of gathered shoulders, only moved down to be elastic ruching at the sleeves. And I kept the gathered waist, as seen in View A, only I ran elastic through the casing instead of a drawstring.
The fabric I used is a linen blend from JoAnn, this season. Being linen, it has a slightly stiff drape. With the curved hem coming out from a gathered waist, it gives a slight peplum look to the lower part of the shirt. Total accident, but fun, right?
I also like how the ruched sleeves pop up a bit at the end of the ruching. Oh, and yes, those are my homemade jeans I’m wearing. Just wanted to point that out. *pats self on back* My only issue with using elastic rather than a drawstring, is that I get a gap at the waist of the button placket, where the elastic is trying to pull the shirt open from both directions. If I was a smart girl, I would have spaced my buttons to have one right over that area. I even thought about it, but then forgot when I was putting in the holes. So then, I had to go back and add a special little button to keep things closed. I thought putting a small white button would be kind of cute. But it’s not. It just looks oddly out of place. Whatever.
So all in all, I didn’t really make any major changes from the original pattern. Even my fabric choice echoes the cover illustration.
But what changes I did make really helped make things more interesting, and hopefully not in a what-is-that-pleat-doing-down-your-left-side kind of way.
So thanks for the pattern and the challenge, Liz and Elizabeth. I’ll take your ugly cast-offs any day!