Eight Tips for a Better Versalette
Our latest collaboration with Seamly has arrived, and we’ve found that it's just as versatile as its name suggests. The Versalette is a knit garment that can be worn thirty different ways! Multiple skirt, top, and dress options make this garment perfect for wardrobe minimalists and travel lovers. Learn more about the pattern and see it worn different ways here.
Because this design is a bit different than what we currently offer in the Indiesew Pattern Shop, we wanted to provide you with a few tips for sewing your best version of the Versalette. Follow these eight tips below and the end result will be a garment you’ll reach for again and again!
1. Use a Rotary Blade
Most of the Versalette seams and the sleeve hems are left unfinished. This was an intentional design decision, as it decreases the amount of bulk in the garment. But for that reason, you’ll want all of your pattern pieces to be cleanly cut without jagged edges. To achieve this we recommend using a rotary blade (and ruler on straight seams) to cut out all of the Versalette Pattern pieces.
2. Notch at Every Marking
The functionality of the Versalette lies in its four drawstring channels. And because the garment is hemmed, it’s essential that those channels are left open to feed your drawstrings through in the final step of the pattern. Be sure to notch at every marking on each pattern piece as instructed in the pattern. If you do decide to finish the edges of your fabric, be sure to re-notch where the markings should go.
3. Find Your Strongest Stretch Stitch
All four drawstrings and drawstring channels experience a huge of amount of stretching when you experiment with ways to wear this pattern. For that reason, it’s important to find the strongest stretch stitch that your sewing machine offers. We found that a three-step zigzag stitch did the trick. From our experience, a basic zigzag or lightning bolt stitch was not sufficient, especially for the drawstrings.
4. Relax, Then Turn Your Drawstrings
Just the thought of turning long and narrow drawstrings can make a sewist’s skin crawl. Luckily we’ve designed the Versalette drawstrings to be wide enough that turning them isn’t too terribly difficult. But it does take time. Put on your favorite music or TV show, pour yourself a cup of tea, and sit down in a comfortable spot to turn your drawstrings. It’s the one part of this pattern that doesn’t take too much concentration. Enjoy it!
5. Or Go for No-Sew Drawstrings
But if you’re really not keen on turning all four drawstrings, we’ve come up with a super easy way to make no-sew drawstrings for jersey fabric that rolls at the edges. Simply cut your drawstrings out as directed by the pattern. Then stretch them width-wise to encourage the fabric to roll into a tube. Instant drawstring!
6. Tie Those Drawstrings Together
The Versalette drawstrings are cut just long enough so that they aren’t obvious when the channels are fully expanded. But washing and trying on different styles of the Versalette can make those drawstrings tuck back into the channels. We recommend tying the ends of each drawstring together anytime you’re not wearing the garment.
7. But Keep the Serger Pliers Handy
If you forget to tie the ends of your drawstrings together and the end does tuck back into the channel, no fear! You don’t need necessarily remove the entire drawstring and rethread it. Instead, grab the pliers that come with your serger or cover stitch machine and simply reach back into the tunnel to retrieve the end.
8. Spend Some Time in Front of the Mirror
The basic shape of this garment may have you on the fence; we get it. But after ten minutes in front of the mirror, it’s likely that your outlook will change. Spend some time with this video, trying the many different ways to wear the Versalette. Be careful to gather your fabric evenly around the drawstrings. Pull some layers out of your closet to play with varying looks. Above all, experiment and have fun!
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