I’ve got a double-header for you today, and that’s because it was in fact a double test I did for the lovely Beth of Sew DIY. Back in April I made both a pair of stashbusting quilted slippers for her, as well as a test of the Tasi jacket/robe, which really appealed to me because of the draft-your-own adventure style of the pattern.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’d really intended to take part in many fewer tests this year. I enjoy testing a lot, which is why I do it, but I felt I wanted a bit more creative time this year as I spent quite a lot of last year making things to a deadline. However, as it turned out, some tempting tests raised their sneaky little heads in the first half of the year and many of them were a chance to test an extended sizing range, which was an opportunity that seemed too good to miss. I made the Nina Lee Mayfair Dress way back in February. Then, like buses, a few arrived at once. The Blanca Flight Suit from Closet Case Patterns arrived first, followed by the Highlands Wrap dress by Allie Olson, which was a dress I’d wanted to make for ages, and then finally the Bastion Culottes from Jennifer Lauren, whose patterns I really enjoy testing – her construction details are second to none.
Sew DIY quilted slippers
Anyway, this was the final test I signed up for and it was definitely because the subject matter was unusual. First, the slippers, which are unusual because they’re… slippers. As you may know, I’ve been making bits and pieces over the last 12 months in an effort to use up small pieces and scraps and get closer to a zero waste sewing habit. Slippers were on my list for my next bunch of projects, so when Beth’s testing call came up it seemed serendipitous.
Apart from being a quick and (hopefully) easy project to test, I was attracted by the fact that the slippers were quilted. I’ve never tried quilting, but was always interested in giving the technique a little shot and this is a hang of a lot easier than trying to make an actual quilt. There are two views of the slippers: a bootie and a low-profile slipper, or “skimmer”.
I went for the latter style and decided to make the outer in some lovely linen I had left from my Nani Iro coat, and the lining in a nice contrast from my Summit Pack, also made earlier in the year. Some testers opted to do the sole in leather or suede, and I think that’s probably a good idea, but I kept it simple this first time and used linen there as well. You can really use any medium-weight woven fabric and you can also use a pre-quilted fabric to make things even simpler. Otherwise, you’ll need a little piece of batting with which to quilt, which is easy to find.
The slippers come in sizes A to K, which corresponds to a wide range of adult sizes and you figure out which size you are by actually measuring your foot. I made the size D and am a UK 6/EU 39/US 8.5 if that gives you an idea. The fit is very casual and the slipper is intended for light indoor use only, but that means that they’re quite simple to sew.
The part I enjoyed most was trying the quilting, which I kept very simple with a cross-hatch on the main body and thin lines on the sole, in an effort to add a little friction to the walking surface.
This is a really sweet project that is ideal for using up your favourite scraps and there is definitely a case for making a few pairs for guests or as little gifts.
The Tasi Robe/Jacket pattern appealed to me immediately because of my love for experimentation and numbers. It’s really quite a clever idea, whereby you draft your own pattern pieces by using a bunch of measurements you take at the beginning of the project. Beth is a really detailed person and the worksheets she has you go through are very thorough and well-laid out, but there’s also an Excel-type formula sheet that does all the work for you if you prefer (obviously you still need to take measurements – it ain’t that advanced).
For such a project, the shape has to be quite simple and, indeed, the pattern is made up with a number of rectangles that you draft to size depending on your choices. The great thing is that there is a huge array of pattern choices you can make based on the humble rectangle. I made a knit jacket with wide, deep pockets, but you can use almost any woven or knit fabric and the length and sleeves can change the look completely. Check out Beth’s versions to see how different a woven robe or even a woven jacket looks from my jacket.
Instructions are provided for both versions, and I went the serger route with my jacket, making it up in pretty much the same way as any knit tee or cardigan. I made the jacket in a cool knit jacquard from Albstoffe with orange contrast bands and turned up cuffs. As I mentioned, I made the wide pockets, which are sewn into the side seams, but they turned out slightly loose, so I added two snaps to keep them flush, which I rather like as a detail.
Other options for the pattern include regular cuffs or sleeve-ends, patch pockets and a belt and carriers. Next time I would shorten the dropped shoulders as they’re a bit low for me, but otherwise the pattern worked out exactly as I thought it would.
I really enjoyed testing this unique pattern and one of the fantastic things about it is that it can be adapted for anyone at all. A set of dressing gowns would be fun I think and really quick and easy to knock up. I haven’t signed up for any more tests, although let’s see what happens for the rest of the year. I’m definitely not short of projects and will be posting a few more items from my loungewear capsule soon as well as a couple of other fun makes. Talk to you later!