Have you heard of the Wiksten Tova pattern? If you follow any variety of apparel sewing blogs out there then you know how incredibly popular this pattern is and if you have had the joy of sewing it... then you definitely understand what all the talk is about!
I bought the pattern before it was available as a pdf, which if it had been an option I'd honestly have preferred. I like having a copy living in a folder on my desktop other then my actual hard copy and with this set up I could have the option of referencing it later if I needed to. I know some people are very anti-pdf patterns and I totally understand that there is a lot of work behind the scenes that needs to be done in order to get to sewing... but I like them. I found this post after I began using these types of patterns regularly and I would suggest reading this first if you haven't used this type of pattern before. I love the organizational tips and it's a great source for beginners because it lets you know what's ahead for this kind of project and how to be smart about doing it.
Anyways, this was the first indie pattern I have bought and it really got me excited about what individuals and small companies are doing for apparel sewing. The thing I like the most about these patterns is how well thought out the design is, and how well the technical pattern mimics that design. I find I need to do less fittings to get the garment to look right on me... and that makes me a happy lady. In fact, with the Tova pattern I made absolutely no changes to the original pattern (unless you count the 2 or more inches I accidentally took off the hem...).
I used a vintage gauze fabric that a friend gave to me out of her mother's stash and I think it paired with this pattern perfectly!
It's making me realize how much more I love the projects that I invest a little money into concerning supplies. I feel like as a whole I'm always trying to go cheap, and for instance this fabric is gorgeous(!) and super high quality... and if I had seen it in a fabric shop I probably would have only admired it from a distance and then checked out the bargain bin. As much as it pains me at times to spend legit money on fabric due to some preconceived idea that my sewn garments should cost a fraction of what a store bought garment does... well I'm here to say that that just will never be the case again. Clothes have dropped to such a price point that there is no way you can look at sewing as a way of "saving" money on simply clothing yourself anymore. The way you have to look at it instead is that the clothes you choose to make can be made with such special attention to detail, such beautiful fabrics, and such care that in the end your saving thousands of dollars in comparison because your item has crossed over to couture level of care and attention.
I decided to underline the gauze with a lighter weight cotton broadcloth. It worked out beautifully, giving the main fabric a bit more structure and a less translucent look. I left the sleeves unlined and it's a detail that is barely noticeable but one I like very, very much.
This is a pattern that really can be a workhorse in your wardrobe. I plan on next making the tunic version for some fall sewing projects... and honestly if you know how to manipulate patterns your possibilities with this are endless. I've already made up a more casual version with really quick and easy pattern revisions that make it more appropriate for late spring, early summer. More on that a little later though.
You can check out the pattern and more of Jenny Gordy's work here. She makes incredibly beautiful things.
All photos for this post taken by the talented Carlie Curlee. Please check out her blog here.