Sunday, 27 April 2014

Kwik Sew 3816: Pattern Review

This week was meant to be a "rest" week. After the excitement of Kid's Clothes Week and then the Easter long weekend out of town, I was planning to rest up and then get into some Selfish Sewing.

Those plans were laid aside, however, when my long sought navy windproof fleece arrived in the mail. P needed a windproof vest for the cold, morning bike rides to school and the weather was definitely turning....

 
I had thought I would adapt one of many patterns I already owned and draft my own vest, but then I found Kwik Sew 3816 which looked just perfect.

The school uniform is red and navy so the photo top right looked perfect, and my fabric which is a double sided red/navy fleece with a windproof membrane in the middle was spot on. But my son, ever the stickler for detail, said that the "real" school vests were all navy, so mine was made with all the "contrast" fabric navy side out. Secretly I was gutted 'cause having found reversible windproof fleece in red and navy to hide all the red just seemed a waste. Inside out, however, you get to see a fair bit of red:
 
 
The pattern recommends fleece or sweater fleece fabric and does mention windbreaker fleece, but I somehow doubt one was meant to use double sided windproof fleece for both the main and contrast fabrics. This was one tough sew!
 
 
The biggest challenge was creating a welt pocket with super thick fabric, the instructions for which were superb.
 
 
 I was surprised to realise that the small zipper listed amongst the notions was for that welt pocket. (I've heard some people read through patterns before they get started, how droll) What?! A welt with a zip? Heck...
 
 
 Not so tricky after all.
 
I added a label since it's for school:
 
 
And here he is, all ready for the cold, windy mornings:
 
 
I'm delighted with the fit, however I suspect by next winter it will be too small. I definitely won't be doing it again with both layers being windproof fleece. I think a drill or similar would be better for the over-layers.
 
 
Pattern: Kwik Sew 3816, vest view B
Size: S (6)
Fabric: Windproof fleece from Pennine Outdoor in the UK*
 
I was so delighted with the end result, and had enjoyed sewing the pattern so much I decided to make another straight away. Well, after going out to buy some new, straight, sharp pins and a couple more overlocker and sewing machine needles that is. How I forgot to buy a thimble is beyond me. I really do need one!
 
This time I went to the fabric pile and picked some fabrics that were gifted to me by a relative's neighbour who would have had no idea about my dislike of purple. My daughter apparently loves purple, and since I had purple fleece and some co-ordinating corduroy I wanted to see how the pattern would sew up in some more manageable fabrics. For the cost of a zipper I couldn't really go wrong.
 
 
This time I chose the jacket, view A.
 
The sleeves have the cute contrast overlays that remind me of an '80s ski jacket:
 
 
The zippered welt pocket was much, much easier in a fabric that was a reasonable thickness and which could be ironed into some semblance of a crease.
 
 
Given that the front has double fabric on the top sections, and the bottom sections by virtue of the pockets, this should be quite a warm jacket, even without the windproof fabric of her brother's version. The back also has a double yoke at the top and only the bottom of the back and the sleeve fronts are single layer fabric.
 
 
Curiously, for all it's purple-ness and the softness of the inside of the fleece, there has been no way of coaxing A to try it on. Instead she is happily wearing this dress, day after day after day. Maybe I should have pleased both of us and made her a brown jacket after all!
 
Pattern: Kwik Sew 3816, jacket view A
Size: XS (4/5)
Fabric: Sweater fleece and embroidered corduroy
 
The pattern is wonderful. There are a lot of steps and the sewing is fairly time consuming but the instructions are very clear. With heavier fabrics it would probably pay to increase the seam allowances (from the recommended 1/4") so that you could grade the seams, but for the second version using the overlocker to sew the seams worked perfectly. Pattern runs from XS (4/5) up to XL (10/12) and (I think) is also available in male or female Adult sizes.
 
*A note on international shipping: I found the Pennine Outdoor site to be wonderful and the shipping was very reasonable. In fact I priced shipping a similar fabric from the US and it was absurdly expensive. If I had shipped fabric to a US domestic mailbox, used a NZ on-shipping service to send it to my stalker (thanks for the offer), and then shipped from New Zealand to Aus it would have cost about 60% of what the US fabric store quoted for direct shipping! From the UK was a little cheaper again and I'll be looking at Pennine Outdoor for all those outerwear fabrics and buckles and bits from now on.


26 comments:

  1. These are great! Who would have thought that fleece could look so good? I might have to pull out my stash fleece to make something as good looking as these

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    1. Thanks J. Sweater fleece would not be high on my list of all time favourite fabrics but I do love the feel of the windproof fleece.

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  2. Well done, I have made these and they are more work then they look but they last forever!

    Hugo's has done four or five little boys!

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    1. Oh I am pleased to hear that, as, if his little sister should go to the same school I can save this vest and not have to make another in the same size!

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  3. Truly, what awe inspiring jackets. Brilliant. Pennine Outdoor are one of the main shops advertised in my sewing mag. Maybe I should take a look after this. I am after something to make myself a parka and showerproof is a key quality required. I think I will look tonight. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. It seems that outdoor fabrics and camping style sewing supplies shops are completely separate from all the usual fabric outlets. This shop looks like a real treasure trove for sewing hiking clothing and backpacks and the like. Good luck with a parka, I look forward to seeing what you make. A sewing anorak sewing an anorak perhaps?!

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    2. That shop is a little gem! I have picked out my fabric and am chuffed I can get the zips and other things there too. My only summer weight coat is falling to bits so I need to get cracking. I am looking forward to the challenge of sewing something different.

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  4. Seriously amazing! When I lived in Canada, I made my son a Windbloc Polar fleece snowsuit. A tough fabric to sew on, and he sweat like a pig in it! I've got to go through some of my old Kwik Sew patterns now...

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    1. Gosh that would have been cute though! I had it in my head that I'd seen you sew this pattern for Julia... Maybe it was something similar. I'm glad she liked the picture of P hamming it up. There were plenty more of those (sigh)

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  5. woah these are great! Sometimes just switching up your fabric to some new type can be so fun, eh? Even if it is a pain to work with. Both versions look super profesh and cute.

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    1. Thanks Kristin. I bought enough of the windproof fleece to make something for my husband, but I will need to buy that thimble before I start on that! I think he was suitably impressed with the non-handmade look,....

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  6. They are so amazing and look so perfect. I love the embroidered corduroy and think the purple looks pretty though I should really be sick of the color by now because of my little one.

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    1. Thanks Christine. I would describe this purple as the exact shade of purple that makes me a purple hater! If only it were a bit redder, or bluer, or darker...
      This is one of those patterns that makes you feel terribly proud of yourself when you look at the end result.

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  7. Really, really nicely done. I love a pattern that serves a boy or girl, and I love both versions you've made are great.

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    1. Thanks Kristi. It's surprising how some embroidered butterflies can really girly-up a pattern isn't it.

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  8. Whoooaaa. Shelley! These are seriously impressive! And a welt pocket with a zipper? That's a pretty cool detail. And I thought it was cool that I could make a t-shirt... :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel. This was a project where I managed to impress myself, my son and I think even the mostly un-expressive Flipper was impressed too. There's a lot to be said for a well made T-shirt. I really want to get my head around how to neatly bind the back neckline like the shop bought ones. Plus, you're doing it with more kids and a dog underfoot! I'm impressed!!

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  9. So cozy. Well done on the perfect pockets, I'm in awe!

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    1. Thanks. It's only the soft, fleecy insides that has sold my daughter on hers. My son is delighted with his.

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  10. You did such a great job on those pockets! Both versions are fantastic!

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    1. Thanks you. The pattern's good instructions should take credit for the pockets.

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  11. They both look fantastic! Really nice work!

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    1. Thanks a lot. I enjoyed sewing them. It's not often a pattern makes me want to do an immediate second take,.

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  12. I have this pattern, but I lost the directions. Suggestions?

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