Hepburn Henley by Winter Wear Designs - a completely new-to-me indie pattern company. I saw Abby Dabbles' tester version on the Curvy Sewing Collective Flickr board back in October and I was in love. I waited on buying the pattern since I knew I couldn't make it up at the time, but then they had a Black Friday Sale and I caved, lol. Since this was already printed out I decided to just bite the bullet and make it up :) I picked a size 14/16 by my measurements on the size chart, traced it off, and hit the stash to pick some fabric.
Classy Parisian Top a few years ago and it was a perfect match - talk about meant to be! I cut out the pieces and set to work. The real attraction to this pattern is (obviously) the neckline. The pattern gives options of a full henley with button placket, a faux henley, or just a plain t-shirt. I went with the full blown henley since that was made me get the pattern - I haven't seen anyone else make patterns like this in knits, have you? You also have the choice of 3 sleeve lengths. I went with the 3/4 option.
This is how the neck band looks after my alteration. Not perfect, but certainly not obvious in the slightest to anyone who doesn't sew. It just burns my biscuit to think about it though. Ugh. And for the record No - I did not over stretch the neck band. I've sewn many a t-shirt and sewed this just the same. I also absolutely could not do the angled edge she shows in the pattern at the placket. With how the photo instructions show you to do it, I ended up sewing the band on upside down to what it actually needed in some way and too far in to actually wrap the placket piece - this makes more sense if you've sewn it - but when I kept comparing my project to the photos and the diagrams my neckband piece was sewn in the same way. I still have no idea what happened here. Personally, I work much better with just written out instructions and maybe a few drawn diagrams - I have a very hard time with actual photos (anyone else like this?) so maybe it was just my brain not wanting to work that way. Again I was able to get there in the end (though my neck band is just barely enclosed and is squared off because that's all I could figure out to do), but holy crap was that frustrating to deal with at the time. Most. Difficult. Neckline. Ever. And most of that for me was due to the instruction format.
Here is how the new shoulder seam looks on the inside and outside. And looks at that pretty placket :) The buttons were some vintage ones I had in my stash and I think they look pretty cool with the design on the fabric. I do kind of wish the placket opened, but the instructions say you can add the buttonholes before finishing the placket or after, and not feeling like changing everything a completely different machine to set up the button holer, I opted to make them at the end. Bad decision. After 2 total failures caused by the machine not liking the bulk at the bottom of the placket that I was trying to fold out of the way, I threw in the towel. At that time I thought it was a goner anyway, so I couldn't be bothered. This is also the first time I ever twin needle stitched on top of the actual neck band - every other pattern I've done has you stitch below it, or even straddling that seam. This one you stitch right on top and near the bottom edge. It looks nice, and everything is completely enclosed inside, but man was that a pain in the rear.
So, I'm still kind of torn as to what to say about this as a pattern. I hate to dis an indie company when I am certainly no expert, but I can't help but say I had a very hard time with this pattern. Sizing issues aside, the pattern has no notches. Zero. Maybe I'm just spoiled by companies who try to gear toward beginners, but I've never used a pattern without a single notch before. The pattern doesn't even tell you to mark the center so you know where to put the placket - I had to do that on my own from sheer common sense having sewn so many knit tops before. I always notch the center front and back no matter what to make it easier to stretch the neck band evenly, and this time it majorly paid off. Had I not done that and discovered I needed to mark the center later, I would've been pretty annoyed. Again, maybe I'm just spoiled as I've only used larger pattern companies even in the indie realm. Others obviously loved the pattern, including my inspiration who made me look into this pattern in the first place. Add the fit issues, the no notches, and the issues with the photo instructions (that switch fabrics constantly, which threw me off too) and I was not having a great sewing experience with this top. It felt like I was having to solve problem after problem, which is really not enjoyable. All that said I do love the style of this shirt, and I do already have the pattern, so I will probably revisit it at some point, but I will be sure to make the changes I need before I begin next time. That time may be far in the future since I'm still ticked I have to trace out a different size and start from scratch. Ugh. *sigh*
Fabric: 1.5 yards poly blend knit - $5.00, scrap pieces of fuchsia cotton interlock - free (from stash)
Pattern: Hepburn Henley by Winter Wear Designs - $5.00
Notions: 4 vintage buttons - free (from a friend), thread - $0.50, woolly nylon thread - $0.25, knit interfacing - $0.50
Time: 7 hours
Total Cost: $ 11.25