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FREE Climbing the Willow Izzy Top

Welcome back this happy Monday. I want to apologize for not getting a women's pattern up last week! I thought a pattern I was testing w...

Welcome back this happy Monday. I want to apologize for not getting a women's pattern up last week! I
thought a pattern I was testing would release in time, but it didn't. But no worries, I've got some good stuff coming for you this week, including an awesome free women's pattern! But that post will go up tomorrow, because today, I've got a free girl's pattern for you.

Climbing the Willow Izzy Top

The Izzy top comes in 2 size ranges, 18 months to 5 and 6-12. I remember when this pattern first came out and it was ALL over the Facebook. Things have since died down, but this is still a pretty good free pattern. And many people have extended it to be dress length too. With a nice straight hem, that is pretty easy.

Now, if you've been following my blog, you've probably noticed that I've become a little bit obsessed with truing. What is this truing I speak of? The best definition I've found comes from "Truing patterns is the process of checking and correcting seam lines, shapes, and measurements on a pattern. It’s the process of making sure the seams of two adjoining pattern pieces equal, making sure both legs of a dart are the same length, and making sure that shapes are smooth as they continue through different seams. If truing is not done, then when it is time to sew, one seam or dart leg may be longer than the other and stretching or easing any seams that aren’t meant to be will cause puckering."

The more I learn about truing, the more I realize I need to know! I'm by far no professional but I do know that since I've started learning about truing and checking patterns to see whether they are true, I've learned a LOT. I've started pinning resources about truing and pattern drafting. if you'd like to begin following my learning journey, you can check my pin board here. So far, I've learned that:
1- Many designers use Adobe Illustrator, and it doesn't "true" the corners into right angles automatically.
2- If you don't true a pattern, it can be harder to assemble
3- Patterns that aren't true can make from some strangle lumps and bumps.
4- Truing is easy if you are drafting by hand on paper. As a designer, I can't imagine drafting every pattern size on paper and then scanning into adobe and digitizing it.

So all this talk of truing, is the Izzy Top perfectly trued? Nope. Does that make it a bad pattern? Nope. Just means we need to be cautious with our assembly. The area of most concern to me is the underarm seam. It pokes out a little rather than having a nice smooth transition. Part of this is the curved underarm seam and part of it is that the corner isn't trued. I don't love it, but for every day wear, I can live with it.

The other area that is not trued is where the skirt attaches to the bodice. The angle of approach from the underarm seam is so angled that when you go to sew the 2 together, you have to do some shifting of the fabric to get it to sit flat at the underarm seam. Problem is, I have no idea how to fix it. The angle of the side seam on the bodice is really sharp and I think I'd end up changing a fair amount of the pattern to get it to straighten itself out.

Big deal? Not really. I'd still sew up this pattern. Its pretty fast and actually looks pretty good. And I just LOVE fast sews. When you're trying to sew up a complete wardrobe for a kid each season, fast is priority. Sure, I take a little time and make some more time consuming pieces, but I aim to have a majority of my projects be an hour or less. A seasonal wardrobe here equals 7 shirts, 7 pants or shorts, 7 complete sets of jammies (shirt and pants/shorts each take about an hour), 2-3 skirts, 2-3 dresses and then any necessary layers. That makes for 34 separate pieces, minimum. Even if each only took 1 hour, that's 34 hours of sewing. If I dedicated all my sewing time each night (2-3 hours), I'd finish a seasonal wardrobe in 10-17 days. That doesn't even include fabric shopping time or project planning! Now I don't know about you, but I have to take breaks from the grind to sew things for me. That means I have to spread out those 34 hours across about a month. Whew. OVERWHELMED. So, summary. Add the Izzy Top to your free pattern list. Its worth the little bit of frustration with the angles.

It might seem early, but you may want to start planning out your little girl's wardrobe for the spring. Start thinking about what pieces they'll need. You probably already know how to do this if you've ever bought clothes. Just instead of buying, you're making. If you are feeling overwhelmed trying to know what patterns to use, you can take a peak at the patterns I've picked so far for my free pattern wardrobe on my pin board. To keep yourself organized, I LOVE this free printable from Jessica of The Berry Bunch. Her chart is AMAZING. It includes spots to write down measurements and individual pages to plan out outfits all the way down to fabric selection! I wish I was that organized, but if you're a planner, this is a great chart. BUT, don't fill in measurements just yet. Chances are your kids will grow more before spring!

Check back tomorrow for a great FREE women's pattern review.

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  1. Too early to start spring sewing, heck no! I started planning my spring list last September so I can start sewing it in February.
    I started following your Pinterest board to help me out when I have to alter patterns. I've learned through trial and lots of error about trueing up, but now I'll know where to watch out for it.


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