Pattern review – Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater

Hi! I reviewed the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater on Pattern Review.  (I’m @csews on PR.) I also blogged about making a reversible Toaster Sweater on my blog and as a guest blogger for Britex Fabrics here.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

Here’s my pattern review of the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater…

Sew House 7 Toaster Sweater sewing pattern

Pattern Description: High-necked sweater with two versions. I made version 1, which is described as “a closer fitting, semi-cropped sweatshirt/sweater. It works best when sewn in thick, stiff knits with some body to keep the neck standing upright. It features raglan sleeves, a wide waistband, a loose turtleneck, long cuffs and falls between the high and low hip. It’s great in a standard sweatshirt fleece (with stretch) however, it’s also extremely handsome in a sweater knit to dress it up a bit.”

Pattern Sizing: XS – XXL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was easy to sew and the raglan sleeves fit my broad shoulders.The pattern was relatively easy to make into a reversible version, with a few adjustments.

Fabric Used: Reversible ponte knit – red on one side, black on the other. It was medium-weight stable knit with a very nice drape. You can get the fabric at Britex Fabrics here.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I cut size L but added 1/2 inch width to the bottom band and to hip area of front body piece. I made this into a reversible version, which meant making changes to the neck-band and bottom band, which are cut on the fold. Instead of cutting them on the fold, I folded the pattern pieces in half and cut two of each. I wanted those pattern pieces to be less wide than the original so I didn’t add a 5/8″ seam allowance. Also with this fabric, the neck-band would have flopped down if it was the original height. If you are using a knit with drape, you might want to add some interfacing to the neck-band if you don’t want it to flop down.

For the cuffs, also cut on the fold, I folded the pattern piece in half and added a 5/8″ seam allowance to side with the fold and cut two pieces for each cuff (4 pieces).

When I sewed it together, I hid the seam allowances by either folding one side over and topstitching or hand stitching. For more details on making a reversible version, see my blog post here.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I would sew it again and yes, I would recommend it. Next I want to make Version 2.

Conclusion: I made a test version in fleece and cut a size XL around the shoulders and hips but it had too much ease in the seams near my bust and it was too roomy in the waist. I also made that test version 2 inches longer, thinking that might look better with a lower hem. But it didn’t look good. It was too roomy in the bust and the added length wasn’t flattering. The pattern was designed to hit you on the high hip, which is more flattering than the length I attempted. I recommend cutting Version 1 at the length it was designed. Version 2 is the one that will look good at a longer length.

For this red/black version I just cut size L and added a little more ease in the hip area and it fit perfectly. My hips are about 43 inches.

If you sew a reversible version, buy extra fabric – at least a 1/2 yard so you’ll have enough for the extra pieces you’ll need to cut. It takes a bit longer to make a reversible version because you’re adding extra steps. I used my sewing machine to make mine. I didn’t use a serger because I needed to hide my seam allowances. See my blog post for more photos and construction details.

If you’re making a regular version, you can easily sew it up in an afternoon, especially if you use a serger.

Pattern review - Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

Pattern Review – Vogue 9191 sewing pattern

Hi, reviewed the Vogue 9191 wrap pants sewing pattern on Pattern Review. I made them last month and blogged about them here.

Vogue 9191 - wrap pants - V9191

You can find my review on Pattern Review here (I’m Csews on PR) and you can read it below.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - left view - V9191

Pattern Description: This pattern has four pieces – poncho, sleeveless top, shorts, wide-leg front-wrap pants.

I bought the pattern for the pants, which the pattern describes as “Wide-leg, front-wrap pants (fitted through hips) have back-button front waistband, back waistband with tie ends, and no side seams.” Suggested fabrics – crepe, linen blends, jersey, silk broadcloth.

Pattern Sizing: 4 to 26 on the Vogue website but the pattern envelope I have says Lrg to XXL. Large is 16-18, XL 20-22, XL 20-22. I’m size L.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - front view - V9191

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I made the wrap pants in a jersey knit. They were easy to make once I figured out the best way to sew the 10 darts (6 in front, 4 in back) in a jersey knit fabric. I sewed the darts using a shallow zigzag stitch and tear-away stabilizer. There are only 4 pattern pieces (front, back, tie pieces).

Fabric Used: Jersey knit with a tiny houndstooth print – a stable knit with no stretch, fusible knit interfacing.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - back view - V9191

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I cut size L for most of the pattern except for the sides of the pants, which are the part that wraps around your legs. I cut XL for extra coverage. My hips are 43 and size L is for hips 40-42, XL is 44-46. I cut size L for the inseam. I shortened the pants by 1 inch but they are still a little too long. Finished length is 42 inches (107 cm). I cut the ties at the XL mark so the front piece, which buttons in the back was a little too long.

The front piece buttons in the back at the waist and the back ties in the front. The pant legs are quite wide and overlap so you have a lot of coverage. By cutting my pants using the XL line, I made them a few inches wider, providing even more coverage – especially on a windy day. If I wear them with leggings, I will be able to wear them nearly year-round in the Bay Area.

The pattern calls for one 3/4 inch button. I only had 1/2 inch buttons in my stash so I used two 1/2 inch buttons, which seemed to make it more stable. With my current button placement, the pants sit a little below my waist. I may add a third button so I have the option of wearing them higher.

Instead of sewing a 5/8″ narrow hem on the sides and bottom, I serged a 3/8″ (1 cm) hem for the sides and bottom (trimming off the excess), then I folded the fabric at serged edge and sewed it down using a shallow zigzag stitch.

Would you sew it again? Yes. Would you recommend it to others? Yes.

Conclusion: These pants are really comfortable to wear. I feel like I’m wearing pajamas. The only drawbacks are no pockets and managing the pants when you’re in the restroom. For more on the pants and for more photos, see my blog post on CSews.com here.

Vogue 9191 - Wrap pants in houndstooth jersey - front view - V9191

Pattern Review - Vogue 9191 wrap pants V9191

Pattern Review: Pilvi Coat

Pilvi Coat - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style - C Sews - csews.com

This is my review of the Pilvi Coat pattern as it appears on Pattern Review (I’m csews there). You can read my review here. Some of the information is repeated in my post about the Pilvi Coat but there’s some more info on construction details here.


Pattern Description: Coat with a simple neckline (no collar), 3/4 raglan sleeves and side pockets. There isn’t any lining, just front and neck facings, no buttons or closures unless you want to add one at the top. The shorter version of the coat is the Pilvi Jacket. You use the same pattern pieces but shorten the front and back pieces.

Pattern Sizing: XS to XL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but the facing construction can be a little confusing so pay close attention to the pattern pieces. The front facing is not a separate pattern piece. It’s part of the front pattern piece. You fold it back and the top of that front piece attaches to the shoulder neck facing. The shoulder neck facing attaches to the back neck facing. You topstitch the entire facing in one long stitch line.

NOTE: The pattern pieces for this book are printed on both sides of two large sheets. This means you must trace the pattern pieces – similar to what you do for Japanese pattern books or Burda. The shoulder and back neck facings are traced using the back pattern piece and the sleeve pattern piece.

There is a helpful pattern sheet guide in the back of the book that shows exactly where each pattern piece is located on the pattern sheets. The Pilvi Coat pattern diagram is on page 153.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the clean design and the pockets. The top stitching of the facing is a nice design detail. But you really need to baste the facing in place if you want that top stitching to look good. I pressed, pinned, and basted the facing using a ladder stitch before I topstitched. If you don’t want to topstitch, you could easily hand stitch it in place.

Fabric Used: I really don’t know what the fiber content is. It’s a heavyweight home dec fabric I got on sale a few years ago. It’s a black synthetic something with blue cords woven in. I’m guessing poly with maybe cotton cords? This version was my wearable muslin. I used a bright cotton print for my shoulder and back neck facings and the pockets. The book recommends “wool coating, textured mid-weight wool, mid-weight cotton fabric.” Using heavyweight fabric can result in bulky seams around the arms.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I traced size L and then before I cut my fabric, I decided to grade up to XL in the shoulders. I have broad shoulders so I thought it would be good to have a little more ease. Size L is Bust: 38″-40.5″/96.5 cm-102.9 cm; Waist: 30″-32″/76.2 cm-81.3 am; Hips: 41″-43″/ 104.1 cm-109.2 cm. I’m a size 16 in Vogue patterns.

I finished my hem with black bias tape because I had some in a drawer and then I hand-stitched it in place using a catch stitch. The book calls for topstitching the hem but I prefer an invisible stitch.

Piliv Coat - hook - C Sews - csews.comThe book says you can add a button at the top. When I wore it, the front opening flapped around in a light breeze, which was a little annoying. I considered adding a button but it would distract from the clean neckline. I got a great suggestion from Britex Fabrics – use a hidden hook and eye. I got a covered hook and eye in blue, which matched my fabric. So I have the option of leaving it open or using the hook.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I plan on making another version with a fun print. It’s a style that is very versatile. I can wear this coat with a lot of things. It can be dressed up or down.

Conclusion: I really like the shape of this coat. I’ve got a small bust so it fit me perfectly there. I think if you are larger than a B cup, you may need to make some adjustments to the pattern. If you use fabric that’s not medium- or heavyweight, the front facings will likely flop down. If you don’t want that, then you should add some interfacing on the front facing. You can just trace a piece by following the lines of the front pattern piece along the fold line.

The coat feel comfortable to wear but I noticed that in the back there are slight drag lines around the upper arms. This could be because of the fabric I chose. It doesn’t feel tight. But I think when I make it again, I’ll just make a straight size XL.

For more photos and construction details, read my blog post here.