Monday, 30 March 2020

Peggy: Pattern Testing Under Pressure!


When I signed up to test the Sewpony Peggy pattern, little did I know that I'd be completing it in lockdown during a global pandemic! Really, you couldn't write it, could you?! Well, I knew that a global pandemic was taking place of course, but the UK was still 'open for business' at the time, and the phrase 'lockdown' was not yet being bandied about, let alone enforced. For the testing of this pattern, Suz from Sewpony set up a closed Facebook group so we could leave comments, ask questions and share photos. As the two weeks progressed, more and more of the international tester group found themselves working from home, suddenly homeschooling our children, and having to use the fabric and buttons in our stash as we could no longer simply pop to the shops. 

So these are truly crazy times, and it feels kind of surreal to be talking about a new sewing pattern right now. However that's what I'm going to do, because there's only so many times I can write 'this is all so weird' before no doubt you'll head off elsewhere on the hunt for sewing inspiration. 

(image source: Sewpony)

Pattern:

Please note: the outfit that I have made here used the tester version of the pattern, and while it's undoubtedly very similar to the version now on sale, there are likely to be some very minor differences. The Peggy pattern spans sizes 12 months to 12 years. The top part is a simple, fastening-free top that can be made in both knit and woven fabrics (knit only for the smaller sizes) with optional 3/4 sleeve length (for knits only) and bow details. Elastic can also be inserted into the for a different look. The lower half is a gathered skirt with curved waistband, gathered pockets with flaps, button tab details and fastened by a concealed centre back zip. 

For my testing, I started with the skirt as that was clearly going to require the most time. I was pretty overwhelmed last Tuesday evening (the day after the lockdown was announced), and fluffed up the pockets a little; the pocket flaps are not meant to be trapped into the side seams. Overall, the skirt is quite an involved project, and I must admit it took considerably more time and effort than I usually spend on a skirt for my daughter. The result, however is lovely. The full pockets are my favourite feature and I love that the pattern encourages the use of contrast topstitching, as I think this really makes all those details (read: hardwork) pop and stand out.

The top was cobbled together during the course of the afternoon of the deadline. I lengthened the pattern about 1.5cm at the hem, and would do so a bit more for future versions because Dolores seems to have a fairly long torso. I've wanted a simple kids' top pattern that is suitable for woven fabrics for yonks. It's going to be so useful for hoovering up all those small pieces of woven leftovers from other projects. I'll make a version with the bow at some point because she loved that detail when I showed her the pattern, although I'm a little concerned about how screwed up it'll look having been through the wash. I'll let you know....


Fabric:

When you are testing a new, unreleased sewing pattern, you are, by definition, likely to encounter flaws and you can't bank on the finished item being wearable. That fact, combined with my sustained efforts to slowly work through my sizeable fabric stash (oh, and because I was on lockdown), meant that I was limited to the fabric options that I already owned. 

I gave Dolores a choice of fabric for the skirt. I had this piece of emerald cotton/stretch sateen, and some lavender cotton/linen; I was very surprised when we asked for this one. The stretch content wasn't too much of an issue, particularly because one half of the waistband is fused with interfacing. And the thicker weight holds the fullness created by the gathers well. If I'd had the right ones in my stash, I probably would have chosen plain white sew-through buttons for the tab detail. However, these gold ones look good with the emerald green, and Dolores is associating the whole thing with regal princesses (!).   

For the top, I used some cute printed quilting cotton which I have had in my scraps bin for years. Truth be told, it is probably at the stiffer end of the fabric-suitability spectrum, but seems to have worked alright. She wore this top two days in a row, so I'm guessing that my concerns surrounding its stiffness and subsequent comfort were unfounded. 


Thoughts:

I'm very happy that I got to be part of the lovely community of testers for this pattern. It was so fun to see other peoples' versions popping up from all around the world. And it was during a time that I really needed an extra dose of community. 

As for the outfit, I think it's really lovely, and the separate pieces look great with other garments as well. My daughter's waist measurement seems to fluctuate quite a bit throughout the day (like, ahem, her mum's) and the skirt is currently a bit on the loose side, particularly in the mornings. That's one of the reasons that I prefer elasticated waist for kids' skirts, and because they seem to have a longer lifespan, partcularly if the elastic can also be let out a bit. So, I'm not sure I'd make the skirt again in a hurry, but I'm almost positive that I'll turn to the little top pattern many times in the future. 


13 comments:

Allison said...

I really love the combination! the top print is just so cute!!!. The skirt is nice but that waistband just looks unnaturally wide. I think I would have narrowed it a bit so that the fact it's large on her wasn't so noticeable. Nicely done!!!

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