You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sense and Sensibility Girl's Apron Review

I just had the opportunity to review an e-pattern and an e-class by Sense and Sensibility Patterns. Those of you who know me are scratching your heads mumbling “but you can barely sew a button??” And you’re right, but my friend Natalie has her own sewing machine and she agreed to sew it for me, um, rather, help me sew it.

If you’re new to Sense and Sensibility, here’s a little information about Jennie Chancey and her business:
I named my business "Sense and Sensibility," because my designs are for lovers of Romantic fashions who want beautiful clothing that fits nicely. I create all my patterns with period details, while using standardized American measurements to make fitting a snap.

All patterns are printed on sturdy white paper and come packaged with illustrated instructions. In addition, I have online instructions with photographs and extra tips for my most popular patterns and will continue to add online helps as I am able. I am also always available via e-mail to answer any questions you may have about the patterns.

I contacted Jennie expressing interest in reviewing her Girls’ Edwardian Apron pattern and class, which is available as a set for $24.95. The ePattern can be purchased individually for just $7.95.. They were promptly emailed to me in a Zip file which also contained a number of supporting files including short videos explaining some of the more challenging aspects such as making your binding, and sewing the binding around tricky corners, a thumbnail of the pattern to help you as you piece it together, a measurement chart, and more.

What made me smile:

  • The apron is adorable and Ella loves it.

  • Jennie has a delightful practicality that I found very reassuring. I particularly appreciated her reminder that 1) I won’t be able to perfectly match the lines on the pattern because I’m human, and 2) I won’t be able to perfectly cut my material – again because I’m human. Those two statements were a big load off my perfectionist shoulders.

  • The e-class is 57 slides that take you step by step through the entire process from choosing your material to completion and is accompanied by an audio file of Jennie explaining each step demonstrated in the slides. Natalie and I found this to be very helpful.

  • Once I got the pattern printed and started laying it out, it wasn’t too difficult to piece together, but it did take some time and I had to lock my kids out of the dining room to do it.

  • She gives you a lot of hints as you go – how to make sure your pockets are even, where to place the pockets so it’s comfortable to reach the bottom of them, why you should iron after each step, and more

  • You can buy e-patterns or paper patterns. Natalie’s oldest daughter actually made the pinafore a couple of years ago, and she confirmed that the paper patterns come on nice, sturdy paper.

  • Jennie very graciously explains the pros and cons of e-patterns if this concept is new to you.

  • She has a page of sewing tips and photo instructions for a number of her patterns

  • There is a photo gallery of dresses Jennie has made as well as photos of customer creations to inspire and encourage you

What made me pause- keep in mind I haven’t sewn since high school so these probably won’t be issues for an experienced seamstress:
  • The material used in the videos was a little busy which made some steps difficult to see.

  • We couldn’t get the pattern for the apron sides to fit on the fabric the way the ‘suggested pattern layout’ showed.

  • There was a lot of material left over

  • While I hesitate to recommend this pattern for beginners, I was actually able to do some cutting and sewing after Natalie showed me how. I would classify it more as an Intermediate pattern
I really enjoyed this project, and I am eyeing the pinafore and pantaloon patterns for Ella to do with my mother-in-law.

You can buy the Girls’ Edwardian Apron pattern and e-class here, and you can read what other TOS Crewmembers have to say about it here.


Momma Snail said...

That turned out really cute! Great job!

Mrs. White said...

It looks darling!!

Mrs. White

Shanna said...

Great job! Your daughter is too cute and you have a beautiful family. I was looking at your pictures on your sidebar abd I have to say every time I meet someone who has a child in 12th grade it makes me tremble...will my kids really be that big one day? Surely not!! (I'm okay with living in denial...;0) )

Debra said...

I love the purple binding, that looks very sharp! And what a great smile. Someone must have been happy with her apron!! :)

Tracy said...

Shanna, I can't believe he's in 12th grade either and I'm the one schooling him! Seems like just yesterday he was a little pipster! And what I really can't believe is that I'm *old enough* to be momma to a 12th grader! I'm only 29! ;)

Tracy said...

And thank you all for the sweet comments. I was worried about this little project. Ella was really excited about it so I really hoped it wouldn't be a dud. I'm extremely happy with how it turned out! :)

Michelle said...

Very pretty! I love your choice of fabric and she looks adorable in it!

Tracy said...

Thanks Michelle! Ella actually chose the fabric and binding color herself. She has way more fashion sense than I do! :)


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