Sew Liberated Lichen Duster Review

Guess what? You all get to learn from my mistakes! Yay!

When a pattern says “For Intermediate Sewers”, take that seriously. I had never sewn a shawl collar on a jacket before, so the directions were really a mystery to me. Sew Liberated uses hand drawn illustrations to show each step, which if you really were an intermediate sewer would serve as a helpful reminder of how to do something essentially simple.

Oh, I should mention that Sew Liberated has been posting tutorials on their website with great photos for the Lichen Duster, but at the time of this writing there was not yet a shawl collar post.

Edited to add the new Sew Liberated shawl collar video link here

I sewed this up twice and really stumbled through the shoulder joint, leaving lots of puckers and bumps that in the end i just steamed down or hid with the folded over collar.

Please don’t stumble through like I did. Go watch this extremely helpful youtube video where the process is simplified and happening in action in front of you. Duh! I feel soo foolish for not Googling “sew a shawl collar jacket” ahead of time. Oh well, you, dear reader will have an easier time of it at least.

Now let me rave about the PDF pattern construction a bit.

  • Page numbers inside the cut lines – yes thank you.
  • the narrow spread fit on my table nicely

The only problem I saw was there are no lengthen/shorten lines. I found the curved hem version was plenty long on me at 6 feet, but if you are shorter than average, it seems like it would have been helpful.

Construction Notes

Step 1. You have the option to interface the full collar or just the stress points. I recommend interfacing the entire collar, as this really gives the collar its shape. It’s kind of a subtle shawl collar. I found I could ‘pop’ the collar for a mandating collar effect as well once I interfaced it. I actually unpicked the collar and added it in afterwards – it was that necesssary.

Step 2. If you follow the tailors process in Youtube video I linked, there is no need for fussy tailors tacks. Also, I never figured out why the drill mark is soo far from the seam allowance. Remember, I am not an intermediate sewer.

Step 7b. There is a fold line you should have marked on your Side Front Piece. Fold that up so right sides are touching, lay that lower side front on top, then layer the pocket binding on. You will not stitch all four layers together! Leave out the Side Front piece. You will only be sewing the three layers. The illustration is just showing you how the angles fit together.

Step 13b. The directions advise you to sew the sleeve to the armhole with the sleeve down so the feed dogs will gather it for you. Nope. Not MY feed dogs. So I ended up unpicked the sleeves and addition the traditional gathering stitches.

Do I recommend this pattern? Yes! Definitely. Because you get this awesome jacket in the end. Oh, it could be a dress as well, but I wasn’t going for that look. Just an added bonus though right?

I also sewed this as a fleece robe. You can see pictures of that on my Instagram page at @ithinkicansewit.

7 thoughts on “Sew Liberated Lichen Duster Review

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  1. I,also, am not quite an intermediate sewer, yet and I also thought, Eh, no zippers, plackets, or buttonholes, how hard can it be? I’m *so* glad I read this today, as I’m just about to start this. I will definitely watch the video and heed the hitches you had with the directions! The photo illustrations often befuddle me…

  2. Thank you so much for the video! Your jacket came out beautiful!

  3. Such a nice piece! Your fabric choice is really fun. Thanks for your clarifying comments. I’m in the midst of sewing this and they’re really helpful.

  4. This is beautiful! Thanks for the tips, I have the pattern and am currently reading every review I can find before I start. There is nothing in the pattern that I haven’t done before, but it still feels a bit daunting!
    I will bear your advice in mind when I come to make mine.

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