I've come to the realization that I need a deadline; a realistic deadline but a deadline nonetheless. When I'm sewing for the kids, I tend to finish projects relatively quickly because I know if I leave it for too long, whatever it is wont fit or wont be in season. Theoretically I shouldn't grow out of clothes while they're waiting to be sewn up (haha!) so, despite my best intentions, I often get excited about something else (usually making something one of the kids "needs") and I put my own projects aside partially finished for weeks or even months. So I've putting my hand up to test a patterns for women's clothes that I would like to make anyway.
This is the first pattern from Lilith and Eve, LE101 the Drapey Blouse. I was given a choice of paper or PDF, and I chose paper. The cost of the pattern and shipping was covered by the company. It arrived in a large envelope and was printed on quite thick, good quality paper.
With the dollar being so low and shipping costs so high, I went shopping for supplies locally. My fabric shopping choices are fairly limited and all I found was this rayon which just happens to be covered in a granny-print floral. The weight and drape were right though (Why, oh why can't fabricland get a decent print with this fabric?? It's really quite nice, flowy and soft, but all the prints look like they should be made into Hawaiian shirts!)
The pattern pieces were well drafted and, despite the very, very brief instructions, it came together quite easily. My feedback was that more illustrations were needed, as well as more detail given in the written instructions. I think their intention is to do video tutorials for some of the more difficult parts. That doesn't really excite me since I don't have the patience to stop and watch a video when I'm working on something. Plus I don't have a tablet or laptop and my PC is two floors away from my sewing space; I'd rather just have what I need right beside me.
I also didn't like that the instructions came on a huge piece of paper. I keep my instructions next to my machine when I'm sewing and these were really unwieldy.
Design-wise I think it's a interesting blouse. It takes quite a bit of fabric to make the curved yokes and the drapey back. I'm not really sure about the buttoned-all-the-way-up look the models are sporting on the website (likely I'm just not cool enough for that) and I wasn't really keen on the baggy, long sleeves (really long! I have monkey arms and the sleeves are long on me!). The sleeves are only finished with a band, not a cuff which strikes me as a little too casual for the rest of the blouse but there is a sleeveless version as well.
I finished this in April and I have to confess I haven't worn it. It's comfortable but the fabric is too, ummm, bold for me. I thought about making another one and was under the impression that I would be receiving an updated version of the pattern post-testing but I haven't. I emailed the company (twice!) to ask if there were any significant changes made as a result of testing and they didn't respond. The first time was over a month ago and then again two weeks ago. Not sure what's going on there! I did receive a thank-you package in the mail last week -- a fabric glue stick, some ban roll, a swatch card and a necklace charm -- which was very nice but I'm a little taken aback that they don't respond to emails. All that being said, I may make this again in better fabric and if they come out with any new designs, I'd be happy to test again.