US Uniform Pattern/Sewing Advice

Aggie Donch
Co-Leader, Senior Troop 204
New Milford, Connecticut
Northwestern CT Council

Well, I went off to Jo-ann Fabrics and got *all* the patterns and read the pictures and directions...BTW, *all* the fabrics are/will be 60 inches wide, which may help some with the little minor "adjustments to make life simpler" I'm writing here tonight! Blouse fabrics weren't in yet at the Joann's I went to in Berlin CT, but they said they should be in shortly.

My first impression was that the patterns are clear and straightforward, no unnecessary hand stitching and tacking (I'm death on doing hand work when there's no good reason for it!).


Brownie Jumper -

I'm not a Brownie leader, but I've heard quite a bit about the jumper/culotte being a hassle especially at potty time. I don't think the Uniform Police <VBG!> will notice if you quietly draw a line parallel to the grainline at center front and back, allow a seam, and slice the "leggy parts" off to make a skirt front and back. I think you *may* even be able to put the newly created center front/ center back seamlines on folds, saving a seam to sew and possibly some fabric - but I haven't done a fabric layout to try that idea out. Who knows, it just might work!


Vests -

The vest patterns allow for a certain amount of fabric to be used as bias binding to cover up the vest raw edges. I think it would be real difficult to find fabric to exactly match for binding, but if you do a test layout with the other uniform pieces you choose to make, the vest-binding pieces can come out of a big enough scrap. Test before you eliminate that binding piece that's given to make sure you have enough fabric.


Sashes -

At first it looks outrageous that the sashes (especially Brownie and Junior) call for way more fabric than the vests. There's a reason for this, and it's not trying to sell more fabric (although that's how it looks!). The Brownie and Junior sashes are all one piece of fabric. The fabric in the sash would look mighty strange as worn going at a 90-degree angle to the fabric in the culottes/shorts because the fabric in all those pieces is a twill, and twills look different and reflect light differently at different angles (they're best treated as *one-way* fabrics). The layout in the pattern is so the fabric in the sash and the fabric in the culottes or shorts are all going in the same direction. (Fold a pair of dungarees so one leg crosses the other at a 90-degree angle - you'll see what I mean) ..... So how can you get around this? I have a couple of ideas:

1) Split the sash piece at the shoulder, adding seam allowances;

2) Do a trial layout and see if the sash fits between/around the other pieces without getting too terribly out of alignment or pushing anything else out of alignment - I have found that you can tilt some pieces a few degrees either way and no one will be the wiser;

3) Gang up with some friends who want sashes too and split the fabric cost that way.

In all cases, do a test layout first before you do something rash like buy too much fabric (although to a true fabricholic there is no such thing as too much fabric!)