Saturday, February 18, 2017

ann carolyn smock

Freshly washed dobby + the urge to sew from a purchased pattern = a finished Ann Carolyn Smock shirt!

I had picked up Ellen Mason's Ann Carolyn Smock pattern last year at the Squam retreat because one of my cabin mates had been wearing a fantastic version and then I met the lovely Ellen in person. And in one of those weird coincidences that makes the world seem very small, as I was looking at the fabric options in The Workroom for this pattern in particular, another customer was talking to her friend about using one of Ellen's patterns and then working with Ellen's wool (and it isn't like we have access to Ellen's patterns or wool in Toronto). Clearly I took this as a sign that I was supposed to sew this smock right away.

I did make a couple of modifications, though the fabric might be the most obvious. In the fabric photo at the top, you're seeing the right side of the fabric with its fluid scalloped pattern of dots. But after washing, I actually liked the wrong side better because it was darker and more subtle. As for pattern modifications, I used the large pattern sheet to grade a smaller size by hand right on the paper (love those large paper sheets for being able to do this!). After that, I just traced my pattern pieces using tracing paper to keep the pattern intact (in case my hand grading went horribly wrong). I had learned a couple of things from doing a muslin first, mainly that I needed to remove some fabric from the back piece and a little from the back seam of the sleeves. Pretty simple to do, and now it fits perfectly. And I loved trying shoulder darts! I had to move them forward by 1/2" based on the other modifications, but they are pure magic.

If you're looking for a comfortable and cute shirt/dress pattern - definitely give this one a try. I'm already sorting through fabric options in my mind for a breezy, springtime dress version...