Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sense & Sensibility Patterns

As a 2nd year member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out more products and giving you my honest opinion.

My 2nd year of reviewing products for the TOS Homeschool Crew has officially begun and I now have fun products arriving in my inbox and on my doorstep. One of the first products I received was an e-bundle from Sense and Sensibility Patterns. This is quite a unique online company ran by a homeschooling mom, Jennie Chancey, who has created a line of vintage patterns. She offers her patterns in print, as a download, and through live and MP3 classes.

I was very excited to learn that I would be reviewing the Girl's Edwardian Apron Class and E-Pattern. It's an absolutely adorable little apron that I knew my girls would love. And since the website boasted that "This is a fantastic pattern to use as a mother-daughter project to teach sewing!" I thought that perhaps...just maybe...my limited sewing skills would be enough to complete this project.

I was well..sort of...right.

Since I had never actually sewn from a pattern before, I read through all of the directions and watched the entire class before beginning. It was incredibly helpful to have the class. As you listen, you can click through slideshow of pictures. This makes it very easy to pause the MP3 and actually make the apron step-by-step with the class. Each step of the pattern's instructions are thoroughly covered including lots of helpful tips from Jennie and links to additional videos at the end.

Nevertheless, I still felt slightly inadequate to attempt this all on my own. So I decided to call in reinforcement...my friend, Cheri, who actually has sewing skills. She very graciously agreed to bring her kids over to play with mine and help me to make the apron.

Now, I should pause to tell you the things that I needed help with and admit how minimal my sewing skills previously were so that you understand why I needed the additional help despite the class offered by Sense and Sensibility. First and foremost, because I had never used a pattern before, I didn't actually know how to cut out a pattern....or even measure my daughter correctly. Neither of these were covered in the class or e-pattern instructions, nor would I necessarily expect them to. Also, occasionally the pattern would call for a different stitch, like a zig-zag stitch or a basting stitch and I wasn't sure how to set my sewing machine to do these stitches. Other than that, the instructions and class were quite thorough enough for me to attempt on my own. But it was SO nice to be able to watch Cheri do a step, and then repeat it or to just confirm with her that I was reading the instructions correctly since it was my first sewing project from a pattern.



Before Cheri arrived, I printed out the e-pattern. It was 25 pages that needed to be pieced together and taped. There were instructions on how to do this including video links to demonstrate that I found quite helpful. This part actually seemed quite easier than I expected to and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase an e-pattern and do it this way again.

Cheri helped me to measure my daughter, A7, and cut out the pattern and fabric. Then we began working through the pattern step-by-step. It took about 5 hours total to complete the apron...the last hour I was working on my own.

And the finished product...

The Girl's Edwardian Apron features straps that criss-cross in the back and tie which allow for easy adjustments as the child grows. The pattern includes sizes 2-14. A Yardage Chart is available online. *Note about Yardage Chart: The Girl's Edwardian Apron features a bias binding around its edges. Jennie's instructions on how to make your own bias binding are included in the pattern or you can purchase pre-made binding. Since I had experience with using pre-made bias binding, I went ahead and purchased that. However, even though the pattern only called for 3 1/4 yrds of double fold bias binding for the size I was making, I actually used almost 6 yards. So I'd advise buying extra bias binding if you don't plan to make your own.

Here's the front of the apron with the very-handy deep pockets. A7 loves, loves, LOVES her apron! She literally wore it all day long. I'm planning to make H4 a matching apron.

The Girl's Edwardian Apron E-Bundle that includes both the MP3 class and e-pattern is $24.95. You can purchase the print version of the pattern for $12.95 or instantly download the e-pattern for $7.95. Sense & Sensibility's website has many other patterns for purchase, including the original Edwardian Apron for women and other beautiful patterns from the Regency, Romantic, Edwardian, Titanic, and Swing Eras.

I so enjoyed conquering my fear of sewing from a pattern. I loved the finished product and how much A7 enjoys her apron. And I thought the e-pattern instructions and class were extremely helpful. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Sense & Sensibility Patterns to anyone who enjoys sewing and is looking for unique and historic patterns.

Don't forget that I'm not the only one reviewing Sense & Sensibility Patterns. You'll find other homeschool moms' reviews on the TOS Crew Blog!

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7 comments:

  1. You did a great job. It looks so cute. :)

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  2. Wow, Shanna! That turned out so cute. I'm going to have to print out the pattern, buy some fabric, and make one of these for Gracie. Adorable!

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  3. Just reviewed your wonderful file folder games. Go see!

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  4. I love your review...I had to call in reinforcements, too! :)
    The apron turned out really well!

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  5. Oh, I love it! I think I'd keep it on all day too :) At least, I know I would have when I was 7!!

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  6. It came out very nice! Great job!

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  7. Shanna,
    A lovely young lady wearing a wonderfully made apron. I am sure she will treasure it for a long time. Congratulations!!!
    I wear a similar apron over my dress for Sunday School classes where I help. It was purchased as an "Edwardian" apron but mine has the back straps coming straight down (not crossing) and are sewn to the waist band. It is basically the same, floor length and high round yoke , giving great coverage of my dress(need that with toddlers). Did you make the alteration (cross ties) or is it the pattern? Another pattern you might like to try is the... Jewels apron
    http://www.candleonthehill.net/store/catalog.php?item=73
    It also comes in adult sizing, I also find this apron very comfortable to wear for long periods unlike those aprons with a neck loop that tend to hang heavy after a while.

    Take care,
    Kim.

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