The bottom line is that the Love Notions Oakley (affil link) is a fun and versatile pattern. Like all love Notions patterns, it has a lot of options and a lot of possibilities for more with some simple hacks. The pattern went together well, the directions were clear, and I enjoy the final product. (And check out how well it pairs with my favorite Love Notions Sloane!) But before I talk about that…
I’m gonna throw some truth out there with this post. 2017 has sucked. It’s been full of loss and pain and sadness – with one shining exception, the birth of our daughter (which I do not diminish. She is a wonderful light in our lives and watching her develop a relationship with her brother is one of the greatest things I have ever been privileged to witness). But overall, it’s just been a hard year. One of those years where the hits just keep on coming.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you just wanted to accomplish one little thing? And the challenges to accomplishing that little thing kind of sent you over the edge? Just me? Okay then. Well, I had a moment testing this vest. I made my muslin for the test and was really happy and excited. Ready to sew! I was so excited about my fabric plan, but I had to wait for my quality sewing days to make my final. And then…virus. Evil, energy-sucking, butt-kicking, plague virus. I don’t know what that virus was, but I do believe it was sent by Beelzebub himself. I lost my quality sewing days to laying in bed, feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. And I was devastated. DEVASTATED. Like I’m embarrassed to admit this, but kind of crying all over myself devastated. I just wanted to accomplish this one little thing. I just wanted to execute this cute vest I had planned. And instead I was lying in an abyss of germs.
The thing is, my devastation wasn’t really about the vest or the germs. It was about the fact that I have felt helpless this entire year. I have been tossed about in the tumult of 2017 (that jerk) and have felt control over very, very little of it. The sickness was just one more thing, one more challenge to overcome, one more problem to work through. And I was done with it. So I pouted in my plague-induced haze. I felt really sad. I felt angry and frustrated. And then, I came through the other side, carved out some extra time when I felt a little better, and sewed that bugger.
It isn’t perfect. The first time I sewed on the zipper, the hem ended up out of alignment (even though I basted it on first! Rude!). So, I ripped the rude side out and put the whole thing in time out for a couple hours for misbehaving. Then, after it had learned its lesson, I came back to it and fixed it. The corners on the bias tape aren’t quite as sharp as I’d like (it was my first time doing that technique). I think I could’ve gotten the pockets put on a bit more cleanly.
*shrug* It’s not perfect.
But I love it! For once, the final product was pretty darn close to my vision. And I got to try a new thing! Underlining! I didn’t even know that was a thing until this test. Look at me learning new things in my old age! The lining is a magnificent and thick mustard and grey flannel from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. The outer fabric is a soft quilted fabric, with really nice drape (that I think I also got from RCF). The vest is surprisingly warm with these two fabrics paired together.
Like I said, I really like this pattern. The Oakley (affil link) comes in three different views. I tried out both view B (pictured) and C (princess seamed version – princess seams are life) in the large, and love both. View A, the fur vest, may be too cool for me. I don’t know…not sure I can pull that one off. I’ll get a lot of use out of the other two though. The instructions are clear. There are lengthen/shorten lines, if needed. I wish the zipper were finished a little bit more cleanly, and not so exposed on the inside, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the pattern. I might try a little hack with the next one to fine tune that a bit. Overall, I give this pattern a solid and enthusiastic thumbs up. I give the virus a big fat thumbs down. (Well, really I give it another finger, but this is a family show, folks! 😉 )