Before Thanksgiving (uh, yeah, I’m talking 3 months or so ago…) I was in a real sewing rut. There was not much I was excited about sewing-wise. And then, hark: I noticed a really interesting PDF pattern that was coming out soon in a random sewing group I’m in on Facebook.
A bit of time went by and something tripped my memory about the pattern and I went searching for it again…a bit of hunting uncovered that it was the Love Notions Whistler and it had just been released! I jumped on the intro discount.
In fairly quick succession, I managed to make not just one…but THREE Whistler tunics.
You’ll notice I said I made three tunics, which may make make your head cock to the side when you see the middle one. There was a bit of an incident there: I haven’t been dealing with a lot of delicate laundry lately and I just threw it in the washer with everything else. Even though it was cold wash, all of its friends agitated it from a wool jersey tunic into a teeny tiny top. Ooooops.
Anywho, this tunic was definitely a Goldilocks-esque endeavor for me. This is my first Love Notions pattern, and I began by making the size indicated by the size chart. My full bust is about 38″, so I hemmed and hawed a bit about whether I should go medium (37″ bust) or large (40″), but decided on medium, for the sake of shoulder fit…and I’m glad I did. The large would have been gigantic.
The fabric for Whistler #1 was a cotton/spandex french terry from Girl Charlee with good stretch both directions, but the medium was huuuuuuuuge (yuge?) on me. I took at least 1″ off of each side seam (as in, 4″ in total. Maybe more, but I can’t remember for sure!) and it still feels pretty generous to me.
Because I took the first one in SO MUCH, I decided to trace and cut a small for my next versions. And I’ll tell ya: that was the right choice. So I went from contemplating a large at the beginning and ending at a small. The only way I’d say make the size indicated by the pattern (instead of sizing down) would be if your knit had ONLY mechanical (AKA very little) stretch. If it has any spandex, just go one down. For serious, folks.
Is it just me, or does this tie dye print look like a uterus in about the correct location?
Don’t mind me, just thumbin’ some tie dye ovaries
Sorry, back on track: I was dumb and didn’t interface the collar, and it turned out just a bit too floppy (and somebody didn’t tell me how shitty it looked when we were taking these photos, but I am lazy AF so that’s where we are); I thought the fabric had enough weight that it wouldn’t be necessary, but not so. Ah, hindsight. But how cute are these buttons?!
And while we’re talking about buttons, I also dig version 2s, even if the rest of it is messed. Perhaps I shall cannibalize the beast for them.
The pattern is good, I would definitely buy it again if I had it to do over (the pockets are dreamy, folks), but there are some things that are a little funky. There is a notch on the upper front pieces that is supposed to match up with the collar/lower front seam, and it just doesn’t. I even took the pattern pieces and walked them along the seamlines and there’s just no way. That said, even if the notch isn’t accurate, it’s still helpful and needs to be transferred.
And related to this funk is something I noticed with version 2, which I did NOT transfer the notches with because I thought “they don’t match up, so what’s the point?” This pattern really must be made in a 2 way (both width and lengthwise) stretch knit, or the collar will not sew onto the upper fronts easily. I used a wool jersey from Fabric Mart for V2 that had no lengthwise stretch and it was a bear to get it all sewn together. So much unfortunate yanking and pulling that shouldn’t have been necessary, especially when sewing the curve of the upper front to the lower front.
From all of that tugging and lack of notches, I created a really homemade looking lopsided tunic. You really need symmetry for this thing (OK, most things) to look nice, and holy hell it was not good. I’d show you and we could laaaaugh, but you know, I shrunk the damn thing and it’s not as obvious and is now appropriately sized for a 12 year old. Silver lining?
If you’re keeping track on the Goldilocks barometer: V1 too big, V2 too lopsided (and then too small)…but there is also V3! Will it be just right?
I had high hopes, after getting the sizing issue, fabric stretch, and notch debacles figured out…
I’m definitely happy with V3, fit-wise, so the non-just-right-ness of this one is not pattern related.. I used a poly/spandex sweatshirt knit (another Fabric Mart acquisition) and it began to pill the first time I wore it.
For fuck’s sake.
I should have known better before ordering it: pilling is pretty much polyester’s main purpose in life (though, some are definitely better than others). That said, at least it’s hella cozy, way more so than my other two versions in their current states (the wool one was a tad scratchy but warmer and more comfy before the half-felting).
And since I can’t stop talking about the upper front notch, how did I use it in V3? I made sure to mark it and just pinned everything evenly together beginning at the center back neck so it and made sure the notches were the same distance from the collar/lower front seam to maintain symmetry.
And so there my Whistler story ends for now, a saga of three tunics, one of which met a watery end and two of which are passable. If I had to choose a favorite, I’d say it’s the uterus tie dye number.
Will I make another? Maybe. I’ve certainly been wearing the shit outta the two functional ones I ended up with. Will my next make of this pattern have a hood instead of a shawl collar? Probably not. Perhaps it’s time for a “perfect” shawl collar version first. That said, it will wait until next Fall, ’cause I’m all out of Whistler gumption.