I answered the latest tester call for the Laela Jeyne Cosette because I’ve been wanting to get into more pattern testing. I’m enthralled by the pattern making process and have learned so much about it in just the last couple of months.
The Cosette is part of the new La Femme Collection, which also features 2 dresses and a bathing suit. I like French things and the name is close to Paulette, plus it features what I thought was a front ruffle so of course I wanted in!
I was lucky enough to be picked for the final round of testing and made two versions. The first one was a disaster because I printed the pattern off before the corrected page list was put out and didn’t double check my pattern. Turns out I made an E cup by mistake! But that’s just one of the wonderful things about the pattern: cup sizes!
I remade a final in the proper D cup bodice and WOW. After my standard bodice shortening adjustment (didn’t need an FBA and opted out of the high round back adjustment just because) I was so very pleasantly surprised by how well it fit! The length was perfect, and for the first time, the shoulder seams were exactly where they should be, no narrowing or forward rotation necessary!
I went from feeling kind of sad about my first attempt and thinking it was maybe too matronly (before I realized it was the wrong size) to LOVING the fit so much!
There are a few quirks to the pattern but the more intermediate sewists will overcome those quickly (it is rated intermediate). The bust darts are very long, ending at the nipple. Most people will say that’s incorrect but Peggy Sagers herself said that it’s acceptable (go to the 15:50 mark to hear her say it!). I chose to pull the dart back a full inch and would possibly go back another quarter- to half-inch the next time (I had to lower it 5/8” too, because gravity). Also there is no center notch on the sleevehead, which I find maddening. These are both easy enough fixes but it’s sometimes what happens with indie patterns.
I also did not love the sleeves because they kind of end in a weird spot for my arms. I wore the shirt to work and rolled the cuff up once and that seemed to be a better length for me, so I’d shorten the sleeves 1” if I make this again.
And oh, I will. This bodice is about to be hacked to pieces. I plan to remove the front scarf (it’s not a ruffle by does remind me of a boats’s sail) and make a v-neck style with the shorter sleeves.
Oh, did I mention Version 2 comes with adorable petal sleeves and a Peter Pan collar? I don’t love jewel necks on me so I’ll probably skip that design element for myself but it looks darling on other people.
This is also the first time I’ve actually sewn a facing and it worked!! I made sure to staystitch both the neck and outer curves of the facing pieces before interfacing (and finished that outer edge the neat way I tried on my last pattern test, the Franki). That really made a difference and I may have become a convert to facings!!
Laela Jeyne not only offers cup sizing but also a curvy-friendly inclusive size range. 00-26 encompasses a 31” A cup up to a 56” E cup, with a waist of 23”-44”. If you are past the beginner sewing stage (which apparently I am now?!) this top should not be difficult. I think it took me all of two evenings to put it together.The Cosette and all the La Femme Collection patterns are currently on sale so get yours today! The sale ends tonight!