In an attempt to be good and put the brakes on my out of control sewing spending, I had started to track patterns I loved for M on a pinterest board. My rule was that if I still loved it a week later, AND if it went on sale, I could have it.
One of my pins was the BIMAA by Lou Bee Clothing. I’d previously stalked her blog EmmylouBeeDoo!, and adore everything she does. Her style is not only congruent with my own, but reading her blog all the way back to the beginning was super inspiring for me as it really demonstrated the growth of a talented designer from the beginning.
So when the BIMAA went on sale, I was thrilled. Until I looked at the sizing chart. M would measure at least a 5, and likely a 6 due to her chest measurements and the slim fit nature of the pattern. I try to only purchase patterns that I will get a few years use out of, and since I don’t make to sell, it has to fit M for a couple more sizes past what she is currently in.
So I took to Facebook and polled all the moms there on the fit and style. Needless to say (but I will anyway) the response was overwhelming. People loved the pattern, and I even had a couple of ladies offer to help me scale the pattern up a bit if I needed it. And I’d wanted to pattern for so long. So I surfed around checking out some of the testers blogs and photos, and decided I simply could not let M go into fall without one.
In an effort to include hubby in the sewing process, I dragged him away from TV one night to help me choose the fabric for my trial run. I wouldn’t let him pick from my knit favourites, but he did a great job picking out a couple prints to make my first run.
I decided to do the size 6, allowing that if it was too big she could at least grow into it, and I wouldn’t have to give it away if it was too small (not that she doesn’t have a little girlfriend who I’m sure would have been thrilled to take it off of her hands!).
This was a brilliant sew. It was my first time working with a 4 way knit, and I was a little nervous about it but I needn’t be. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The photos were great and unlike some PDFs I’ve done in the past actually helped me along instead of thoroughly confusing me.
Attaching the sleeves to the body of the shirt gave me a bit of trouble, and I had to take it slowly while pinning and doing a little creative stretching when attaching, but they turned out fabulous. I also loved attaching the cuffs to the sleeves prior to closing up the sleeves as sewing around an itty bitty cuff drives me utterly mad at times.
I ended up doing the cowl neck version, and am thrilled I did. While a little fabric heavy due to the nature of the cowl, it is unbelievably simple to sew, and turned out AMAZING! When I put pics of M up on my instagram, she was accused of being a little hipster.
I did go back later and re-inforce the stitching. I’d used a zig-zag stitch as suggested (as I don’t have a functioning serger) and the first time I tried it on her the sitching in the arms popped as I pulled it off of her (entirely my fault – do not grab the cuffs of anything and pull it off a toddler. Doesn’t end well.) I went back afterwards when I discovered the triple stretch stitch on my machine and now those seams aren’t going anywhere!
Next up is likely going to be the hooded version, which was my favourite to begin with, however now that I see how utterly adorable (and peek-a-boo worthy) the cowl neck is, I figure she’ll likely end up with quite a few fabric variations in her closet this fall!
My only ‘complaint’ – I need it in more sizes!!