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Messed Up Monday- Modkid Hailey

I loved doing my February Fail post last week. It was great to give constructive criticism and think about how to improve the creative proc...

I loved doing my February Fail post last week. It was great to give constructive criticism and think about how to improve the creative process. So I'm hoping to start a regular thing of posting for Messed Up Mondays.

So what kind of posts can you expect from Messed Up Mondays?
-Reviews for patterns that have issues that make them less than perfect
-Patterns that are fine, but I messed up by using the wrong fabrics, wrong size OR not following directions <gasp!>
-The 15 thousand muslins it takes to get from pattern to perfectly fitted in my size
-The clothing I've made that looks like complete crap on my body
-Tips and tricks for NOT messing up

Ok, so now that you know what to expect, on to today's Messed Up Monday.
Today we're going to be talking about the Modkid Hailey. This pattern is actually a combination of several of the possible problems above, so let's work our way through it.

First, the Modkid Hailey is "a cute and casual dress and shirt with several length options. It can be sewn with knit or woven fabrics and it has no zippers, buttons or snaps so it sews up in a flash. A comfy and stretchy shirred section at the waist creates a fitted silhouette while making this garment versatile for girls of all shapes and sizes."- copied directly from their etsy sales page. The pattern comes in sizes 2T through girls 10 OR you can purchase the women's version.

I sewed up the size 8 for my 7 year old in an amazing Chambray from Cali Fabrics. I made a couple of modifications, so let's work our way through them.

#1- I know that my daughter hates shirring, so I added 1/2" to the bodice and skirt so that I could make a 1" casing to put elastic through. I measured my daughter's actual empire waist to figure out how big to make the elastic. I have done this in the past and not run into problems.
#2- I completely lined the bodice. Turning a 1/2" hem on a curved edge with a woven fabric really can't be done without cutting notches out. If you cut notches, you get fraying. That defeats the purpose. So I cut out a main and lining for each of the bodice pieces. That neatly enclosed all the bodice seams as well.

So now that the modifications are out of the way, let's talk about the pattern pieces. There are some drafting issues on this pattern. Nothing so bad as to say not to purchase this pattern, but someone should point them out.

Issue number one is a super easy one. The hem for the dress length IS trued. The corner where the hem meets the side seam for the shirt length is NOT trued.  This creates a diamond shape at that corner when you attempt to hem in the round.
Shirt length is NOT trued
Dress length IS trued

There are 2 ways to true this hem. 1 is easier than the other, but both are correct.
Option #1
Draw a line perpendicular to your hem at 3/4".
Fold up along that 3/4" line.
Trace out the side seam onto the left over hem piece. For reference, I colored it green

 Cut out the triangle. The resulting hem will turn up perfectly.
Option #2- line up your ruler with the hem and measure up 1 1/2" to the side seam perpendicular to the hem. This will create a PERFECT side seam with no weirdness when you fold up the hem. It will also make the side seam have a decidedly straight ending point. You would cut off that tiny triangle on the outside corner for this method.

So why the 1 1/2"? The hem on this pattern is a 3/4" hem. So the first part to true is the 3/4" for the hem. But when you fold up your hem, it will cover an additional 3/4" of fabric. We want that area to be just as nice and neat on the inside as outside, so 3/4"+3/4"= 1 1/2

Issue number 2, the sleeve hem is not trued far enough into the armscye, so the hem doesn't sit nicely. The sleeve hem is 1/2", so all adjustments to the pattern will be through 1". The adjustments are the same as option 1 for the hem.
Underarm side seam

Fold up hem 1/2"

Insert paper between folded hem and pattern piece. Tape carefully.

Flip pattern over. Trace undearm curve onto colored paper piece. 

Cut out underarm curve.

Open out colored paper from pattern piece. It should look like this. Extend the sleeve hem to meet the side seam (black line).

Trim colored paper at the extended line. Now your hem will fold neatly into the side seam.

Ok, so we made our modifications, fixed the drafting and sewed up our garment. Now we get to actually wearing the garment. When my eldest saw it, she said just 1 word, "no." <sigh> Story of my life. I spend time making something awesome and she won't wear it. She loved the fabric, but hated the elastic around her body. I should have known since she won't wear tight leggings either. But whatever, I can live with that. Thankfully, I've got 2 more little girls that will try on anything.

My middle girl tried on the shirt and it looks beautiful. How could it not with this gorgeous fabric? But then she started moving in it and things all went down hill from there. Let me point out that this is my 5 year old in a size 8/9 shirt length. You see, my 5 year old still has a tummy. This is pretty common in kids her age. But that elastic at the empire line pushes the shirt up and back. That rotates the entire shoulder seam towards the back. This would be slightly better if I had made this shirt actually for her, but I suspect that any little girl with a tummy is going to have that shoulder seam rotate towards the back. A picky little girl is going to be pulling her hem down in the front all day long. A not so pick girl is going to look like the shoulders fit wrong on her shirt. Either way, not the perfection I was looking for. 

No matter what, it was one mess up after the other. We've got drafting issues and wear issues (most likely caused by wearing the wrong size). That makes for a sad seamstress since I spent so much time working on this.

I have of course reached out to Modkid to see if they have plans to update this pattern. It is of course one of their older patterns and we all know that designers improve over time and everyone makes mistakes. I'll gladly update this post if I hear anything back.

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  1. I'm curious - when you are sewing and it's not for a blog post demonstration, do you cut extra pieces and parts for your pattern or do you true them up by eyeballing? I've never thought to add a piece of paper for the extra, but I often true up a pattern by sight while cutting. Is there an advantage to adding in the paper bit?

    Sewing a curved hem - two easy ways using your 3/4 inch with 1/4" turned and then 1/2" turned - 1. Sew a line of loose stitching on each fold line (at 1/4" and at 3/4") press on both and pin in place, pull the 1/4" stitching like you'd pull a gathering thread, and ease in the extra bit of fullness. A little steam, and it will usually fit without any nasty little pleats. Method 2. If you have a serger, run a serged edge around the hem with your differential turned up a bit - this will ease the fabric in. Fold the serged part under for your 1/4" and then turn it up the other 1/2". Steam in the fullness.

    1. I always modify my final pattern because I know that if it works, I will use the pattern again. I'm precise like that.

      Let me add that the hem here is not curved, it is a straight line. I will see if I can't add a photo of how I had to cut the side seam stitches to get the hem to turn up.There was no getting it to ease into place.

    2. OK - I misread & thought you meant you had a curved hem on the bottom. Sorry about that. I should have looked at the pattern link - didn't realize there was a horizontal seam until I saw the garment in a print fabric. I'll drink my coffee from now on before I comment :)


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