Orono Top by Itch To Stitch Patterns
An Introduction to Itch to Stitch
I was recently introduced to the patterns designed by Kennis Wong, designer and owner of Itch To Stitch sewing patterns. Let me tell you - shirts, skirts, dresses, cotton, rayon, jersey knit, or whatever fabric you desire; her patterns are wonderful. I have only made two of her many many garment designs. Oh..... there are many more heading to my sewing room in the near future!
All of the patterns from Itch To Stitch are pdf format and available for download (after you purchase them of course!) For some strange reason, I avoided pdf patterns because - well - we are a retailer and offering patterns to our customers is as important as offering our batik fabric and notions. I will continue to use and recommend wonderfully designed garment patterns regardless of their print or pdf formats.
I have to say that I have enjoyed making the Orono Top and the new Gothenburg Top from Itch To Stitch. These are two of my first makes from her pattern collection. I will be purchasing many more tops, skirts, and dresses from her pattern collection. Stay tuned for more fun makes!
A Bit About PDF Patterns
I'm not writing this column to convince you to purchase pdf patterns. But if you have avoided pdf patterns - don't. The benefit of purchasing pdf patterns are many, but specifically - there is no waiting for the pattern to arrive in the mail. I selected my favorites, purchased the patterns, and followed the instructions for downloading each. I printed the instructions and pattern pieces. Yes - I trimmed and taped the pattern sheets together, but - you don't have to do this if you have a local print shop that is reasonably price. They will print your pattern on full sheets of paper.
What do we do next?
With the pattern sheets trimmed and taped I'm ready to start my project. Here are a few quick tasks never to forget...
- Read the pattern. Read every single word of the pattern. There are times when I have not taken the time to do this and it has had consequences. Always know what the pattern steps are from start to finish. This way you are prepared and ready to go.
- Take your body measurements. I measure my key body measurements before starting a project. We all change. I record my measurements on the pattern itself. I always seem to use a pattern more than once and knowing what I cut the first time is a good reference.
- Find the right size pattern. Most patterns have two sets of measurements - body measurements and finished garment measurements. The difference in these two measurement is the "ease". Ease is the amount of room available to move, or the difference in inches between your body and where the garment sits on you.
- Trace the pattern onto tracing paper. Use tracing paper, I recommend Swedish Tracing Paper, to trace your desired pattern size. This step is important to me. After taking the time to trim and tape the pdf pattern together, the last thing I will do is cut it up again. If needed, I can also grade between two or three sizes while I'm tracing the pattern. Take the time to do this step.
- Cut out your new pattern pieces.
- Layout the pattern pieces on your fabric and carefully cut around each pattern piece. Always remember to cut/mark each notch/marking from the pattern piece to the fabric. These markings include taking a snip on the center back fold of a back piece, center front fold of a front piece, etc... these are markings that are not physically marked on the pattern pieces themselves, but good to have when you are assembling your garment.
Set all your pattern pieces aside and organize your new fabric pieces. If you find it difficult to tell the right side from the wrong side of your fabric use a pin to mark the right side on each fabric piece. I say this because batiks are reversible and it can be difficult to tell the right from the wrong side of a woven fabric. The Jersey Knit I used for the Orono Top has an obvious right and wrong weave.
What Makes the Orono Top and Pattern Special
Size and Size Ranges: I have to say that the sizing on this pattern and the Gothenburg Top pattern are easy to follow. Each garment will fit you if you are honest about your measurements and trust the measurements provided by the designer. This isn't always the case. I have found the measurements on the pattern charts to be amazingly accurate to my body size.
Fabric Preparation: Kennis takes the time to include instructions on fabric preparation. She guides you through the use of stay tape for curves and stretchy portions of each garment. She shows you when to use edge finishes instead of serging. She also gives options for finishing seams before you start sewing a single stitch.
Step by Step Instructions: The pattern is well illustrated and the instructions are easy to follow.
The Pocket: I seem to avoid pockets. I have no idea why. I had fun making these and feel silly for avoiding them in the past. We cut 2 pocket pieces from our fabric, not four - two. This pocket is a curved pocket. The opening is at the side seam. It is sewn into the front hem and top stitched along the top curve to create the actual pocket enclosure. Simple. Instructions are included for securing the pocket in place using a tight zigzag stitch.
The Collar: I had concerns that our Jersey Knit would not stretch enough for this collar. I was wrong. I pulled this top on without any issue. The standup collar is simple to attach and it's a very comfortable collar.
The Curved Hemline: I love the crossover front pieces of this garment. The hem style is so nice. I didn't use my cover stitch this time, instead I finished the edge of the hemline with a over lock stitch. I pressed the hem to the wrong side and top stitched. Simple.
Time for Warmer Weather
I love this top and I will enjoy wearing it. It is soft and amazingly comfortable. I am looking forward to my next garment designed by Kennis for Itch to Stitch. What a find!!
Until next time....