Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cousu Coat, Pants and Top Pattern test for Sew Straight Pattern Co.

I am emerging from an unintended blogging hiatus because I have to tell you about this pattern testing I just finished for a set of patterns by Sew Straight Pattern Co.
Let me preface this review by explaining... all fabrics were chosen by the Bug... lest you think I've lost my marbles when you look at these pants!
First up, the Cousu Trousers and Gauchos. Obviously, I made the pants not the gauchos.  Please go and look at the lovely pattern photos so that you can see the details of th darts and top stitching that are totally lost in this busy fabric.  The pattern is gorgeous. Gorgeous. Like... someone draft this pattern in lady sizes, k? Because Momma would like a pair... just not in tie dye.
This girl... she is getting entirely too grow up looking, yes??  Someone in the pattern testing group referred to her as a "tween" and my heart skipped a beat.  She is still 7 folks!! For a few more weeks anyway. But yes, the attitude and the style choices are veering from childish to more grown up and she can look very much older than she is.

But back to the pants... They are a lovely wide legged pant with an optional cuff (I opted out of the cuff), six darts, a flat front and elastic back and pockets.  The Bug refers to them as "Mom pants" which I think it supposed to be a compliment (she's not so much of a "tween" that she is embarrassed by how I dress... yet...) since I wear a lot of wide legged pants to work.

There is also a gaucho option which is super crazy adorable and in hindsight, she might have gotten more wear out of. These pants may not get worn much. Not because they aren't impeccably made and a beautiful style, just because this girl lives in skinny jeans and leggings. Wide legs are perhaps a bit too sophisticated... even when in crazy tie dye... for her. But we shall see.
The second piece in the collection is my favorite of the three, the Cousu Coat.  Isn't it darling? The theme of the darts is carried through here onto this swing coat.  I think there were something like ten of them total between the front and the back but really, I lost count.
I don't usually spend this kind of time sewing anything.  The Bug can be so fickle and my time is so limited that I generally stick to quick and easy projects that I'm sure she will like.  But this was worth the risk because I loved the pattern so much.

This coat was more of an intermediate level pattern in time spent and skill set required but it was so fun to challenge myself a little bit on those skills that I've allowed to get rusty.
Several of the testers played with contrasting yokes in the back which is such a pretty option. We stuck with simple so as not to compete with those pants. Ha!! Also, pink... you know... you just can't lose.  You can see the darts and top stitching a bit here. I wish I would have taken more of a close up so you could see the detail.  This is a quality garment.
The coat is fully lined. You'll see the Bug got her crazy rainbow of color in here.  It suits her and it finishes off the jacket so nicely.

Since taking these photos, at the Bugs request, we replaced the flower buttons with some simple round covered buttons which tones down the whole look.

It's such a lovely dress coat and the fit is so good.  It reminds me of my own favorite spring jacket that I got at H and M like five years ago and just can't part with.  I know this won't fit her that long but it's so classic it will certainly work well for her sweet cousin in five or so years as a hand me down.
Finally, my last test for this round, the Cousu Top and Dress pattern.  This little top was a really quick and fun thing to sew. I knew right away that the Bug would like it because it's knit and sleeveless.  I love that it's big on style without being over the top ruffles and such.
Bless her heart it was in the low 40's when we took these photos. She was such a trooper.  
The top features a pleated bodice and three pleats on the "skirt" part. The band pulls it all in on the bottom.
I've done a good deal of pattern testing over the last few years for several different PDF pattern designers. It's a process I love and I'm so happy to be able to help these ladies bring their dreams to fruition. As such, I've seen a lot of patterns.  I've come to know the behind the scenes and the tremendous amount of work that goes in to putting out just one PDF pattern.
That said, Sew Straight Pattern Company has become a fast favorite of mine.  Teri's patterns are aesthetically beautiful which tells me at first glace that she takes great pride in the product she's putting out there.  As well she should, these patterns are well put together and full of excellent information.  The instructions are clear and thorough.  The designs are modern.  They have simple, classic lines and great details and technique.  They are well worth the money.  These are classic pieces that I know I will sew again.
Teri has curated a group of pattern testers that stays pretty consistent from test to test which has created a neat dynamic that feels a bit like a social sewing circle. It totally adds to the experience and I'm so thankful to be part of it.
This Cousu pattern set is set to release March 27.  Keep an eye out!
And watch the Sew Straight and Gather blog for a round up of other tester photos. You really need to see what the other talented ladies have done with this to fully appreciate the versatility and simple beauty of these garments.
She's such a goober.

~Lindsay