Down with OPP

Yeah, you know me! (yes, this is a reference to the Naughty By Nature song. What can I say? I have a soft spot for 90's hip hop. If you do too, definitely go and re-watch that video. Queen Latifah makes an appearance.)

In this case OPP stands for Other People's Patterns.

As you know, along with designing patterns for you, I make a lot of patterns for myself. Lately I've been experimenting with using other people's patterns when I would normally make my own. As a pattern maker, it's a great way to do research and it is also a great way to distinguish 'work sewing' from 'pleasure sewing'. I tend to make up patterns rather than use pre-existing patterns for almost everything, including recipes (as discussed here!)  So using OPP gives me an opportunity to relax and not think too hard about what I'm making. Which is nice.

This is my 3rd Aster shirt by Colette Patterns. When I first saw this pattern it spoke to me immediately. I love Colette Patterns' designs, but usually they're not quite my style. This top, however, fits the bill for something I've been thinking about a lot lately: variations on button up blouses (especially without collars). This was definitely a quick and easy sew, though I'll admit, the button band threw me off a bit (I blame this on not using Colette's instructions. There are some differing seam allowances I didn't expect! Note: Always read the instructions, even if you think you know what you're doing ;)  )


My first Aster was a a 'wearable muslin' made from a stripey cotton gauze. Colette Patterns are drafted for a C cup, so I already knew I would need to do an SBA (Small Bust Adjustment). The results were good, thought the fit was not perfect. Having a very petite upper body (not so much on the bottom), I found the fit comfy but a little too low cut all over to feel comfortable. I figured this was due to the bodice/armhole length being a bit long.

For this version, I shortened the pattern by 1/2" evenly at each shoulder seam, bringing the armhole up to a more comfortable place. I also narrowed the sleeve by 1" to compensate. However, I still found the neckline to be a bit gape-y. I think I should have taken 1/2" from the shoulder only at the neckline, tapering to nothing at the sleeve, like a sort of 'square shoulder' adjustment. The is usually an adjustment for square shoulders. I have what's often called a 'forward shoulder'. I think in subsequent versions, I can take out yet another wedge shape from the shoulder seam to eat up the extra length at the neckline (as shown in the pic above).

Tiny fit issues aside, it's absolutely wearable as is and I love it! As you can probably tell, I changed the V-neck to a scoop neck. I also shortened the sleeves and omitted the bias cuff. I see many more Asters, or at the least, more button down variations in my future.

Can we talk about this fabric for a second? This was one of those 'love at first sight' fabrics. I picked it up at Britex when I was in San Fransisco. Their selection is truly overwhelming, but luckily I was able to browse enjoyably without having a panic attack. I decided to treat it more like a gallery visit than a shopping trip.

I picked up this amazing Japanese cotton print. I find it super unusual in the best way (though who knows, maybe it's super traditional in Japan. A friend pointed out that a lot of the motifs appear in Japanese scrolls). The fabric was only 35" inches wide, which seems scary but in reality worked out quite well and resulted in less waste fabric. The color palette is perfect and the fabric feels sort of old and worn in the best possible way.

I couldn't wait to cut into it! I defied the oft held fear of charging forward on a project with beloved fabric. And it worked out well!

Have you ever seen a fabric in a shop and just knew it would make the perfect so-and-so? Did it work out?