Hello and welcome to Sew Tsnius! For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time I am a petite Canadian sewist who dresses modestly. I write about finding patterns that suit my body, preferences and lifestyle. I am also mom to a bunch of adorable kids and so I also review children's patterns. Sewing has opened up a world of fashion possibilities for myself and my family. It has unleashed so much creativity and I'm loving every minute of it. Recently I decided to take the plunge and start pattern testing. It is so much fun helping a designer bring their project to life. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Designers really listen to the comments and suggestions made by their testers. It's definitely a collaborative process.
Now, onto the pattern review! For the giveaway scroll down to the bottom of the post.
When I spend money on fabric I want to use every square centimeter. I Pattern Tetris to make everything fit as snugly as possible and use scraps for bows or applique. It is so frustrating to have all these odd angled pieces that aren't quite big enough to do anything with other than stuffing. So when I saw the opportunity to test the Zero Waste (ZW) Henley by Thread Faction I immediately signed up. The pattern looks like a big square. As if by magic it transforms into this wonderful wearable garment with no leftover pieces. In essence, the designer has done the puzzle for us.
ZW Patterns are meant to be used with woven fabric or stable knits. Woven is generally less expensive than knit and much easier to find locally. An added bonus is that it's also super easy to work with. The top and pants were both made with quilting cotton that I was able to order through Walmart. I'm not an affiliate, but there is something to be said about free, fairly fast shipping. It is so frustrating that I am not able to order fabric through Amazon.ca (maybe this varies by country?). My kid loved the boxy, airy design combined with the lightweight cotton. It is sure to be a summer staple.
I chose to use the projector file (because once you've gotten used to a projector there is no going back to paper patterns - zero waste, right?). With the projector file it was a breeze to transfer darts and notches. You want to be sure that you've traced and cut everything properly as pieces are cleverly embedded within one another.
The instructions were well written and included easy to follow diagrams. I had no issues with assembling both the ZW Henley and ZW Joggers. There is a short video tutorial for one section (though I'll admit that I am a rebel when it comes to these sorts of things and skipped it). Be sure to read the grading directions. On my first test version I thought that I would do a straight size 5 for my son and it was waaay too loose (luckily it was an easy after the fact sort of fix!). For the final I made a 3 width to a 5 length and it was perfect.
The Henley has a cute pocket on the chest. The placket can be finished with either buttons or snaps (I tried both and my kid prefers buttons). You may want to enlarge the pocket as it is quite small. My kid has this need to put snacks when on the go and that pocket can barely hold a rock. It's more decorative than useful. But fear not! The large pockets on the Joggers more than make up for the lack of pocket space in the Henley. Options include inset pockets or zippered welt pockets. This was my first time making zippered welt pockets and now I think I always want to make them. It's a bit more effort but the final look cannot be beat. You should know that it passed my kid's test of being able to fit an entire granola bar. If that is not a winner, I don't know what is! After making these Joggers I purchased a large pack of multi-coloured zippers on Amazon. The Jogger waistband is elastic with an optional drawstring. Grommets/eyelets or buttonholes may be used.
My kid has been doing virtual schooling this past year. His teacher requested more than several times for a photo to be uploaded for his graduation photo. I tried to get him to wear fancy clothes, but he would have none of it. In the end this was what was submitted. He really, truly loves this outfit and has requested several more. It's so satisfying and heartwarming to know that my kid enjoys having Mama Made outfits. I hope that he will always want to wear them.
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