Style Arc Zara dress

I love a sack dress.  I love a dress with a fitted waist too – but just not on me.  I’ll leave that to the girls with a defined mid-section!  I really do prefer things to skim past my middle, which made the Style Arc Zara dress a pretty obvious choice for me.

The pattern description is as follows: This dress is suitable for all occasions. The twist neck falling into a pleat makes it easy to wear. A very clever pattern which is interesting to sew and you will love the result. Make it sleeveless or with a short sleeve.

2014-10-12 15.48.44

I chose the sleeveless option with the slightly extended shoulder. There are separate armscye cutting lines for the version with the sleeve, so I assume that the sleeved version would fit together as it should. I used size 12, and made petite adjustments to shorten it through the body and take the length up to just above the knee. I also eliminated the centre back zip after working out that I could easily get the dress on and off without it.

2014-10-12 15.48.30

That centre twist/pleat feature was pretty tricky. I had to take it extremely slowly, and study the diagrams and instructions over and over. But in the end we got there! If you are making this, do make sure that you finish the edges of the fold/tuck pieces really nicely, possibly with a very narrow hand-stitched hem. I didn’t, and regret it. You can’t really see it in the photos, but given how long I spent fiddling with this part of the dress it would have been just as quick to do the finishing in that area – and tacking – by hand to really see how it came together. I suspect that once you have made this dress once the tuck/pleat would come together very quickly the second time.

2014-10-12 15.49.02

There is a kick pleat at the centre back for walking easy, which was straightforward to construct. The armholes are bound with self-fabric bias strips, as is the neckline. Next time I would just make bias binding from the self fabric with my bias tape maker gadget and use that. The fabric is viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I adore the colour, but it’s shifty stuff to work with, and shows every pull/wrinkle/watermark. Makes for great wearing comfort though. And absolutely my colour.

2014-10-12 15.48.36

I’m looking forward to getting some wear from this as summer kicks in!

In House Patterns Kimono Tee #2

2014-10-12 15.57.03

This is another garment that was sewn and photographed a few weeks ago. It’s the In House Patterns Kimono Tee, made pretty much exactly the same as the last one – but obviously in different fabrics.

2014-10-12 15.57.06

The back yoke is laser cut neoprene from Darn Cheap Fabrics. The mustard knit is very soft and semi-sheer, and was in stash. From somewhere. Can’t remember.

2014-10-12 15.57.09

The two fabrics were vastly different in weight, but still attached without much trouble. Construction was shared between the sewing machine and the overlocker. The final top looks bigger than the last one, and the neckline is definitely lower despite cutting the same size. One of those examples of the fabric type making a difference to the fit!

2014-10-12 15.57.29

The new True Bias Sutton Blouse looks like an extremely similar shape to this, but is designed for wovens rather than knits. It will be interesting to see it pop up on blogs.

Style Arc Tia knit wrap dress #2

I recently made the Style Arc Tia knit wrap dress in a stripe.  Now I’ve made it in a print.

2014-10-19 09.47.40

The construction was pretty much identical to my last one. The fabric was a remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and appears to be a viscose/spandex blend. This means that it has a bit more give and drape than my striped version. Fabric limitations meant that the front crossover panel for the skirt is on the opposite side to the pattern illustration, so I did need to be careful when I wrapped my bodice pieces over one another to make sure that it would line up properly. And it does!

2014-10-19 09.47.47

I had absolutely no control over print placement with the amount of fabric I had available, but it’s all worked out okay. The neckline isn’t lying as flat as it did with my striped version, due to interplay between fabric and elastic. It would have worked better if I’d stretched the elastic a little during application. The viscose/spandex stretches out very easily and doesn’t have the sort of recovery that cotton/spandex has.

2014-10-19 09.47.35

Overall this dress fits a little more loosely than the last make. Not a great deal, but enough for it to feel different. And I love that print and colour! Spots!  Floral!  Animal print!  Lace print!  All tossed into the blender together!  I got loads of compliments on this when I wore it on the weekend. Lots of fun and perfect for the warmer weather. And for those of you who like an idea on cutting/sewing time, this one was probably one and a half hours all up. Construction on the overlocker, twin needle on the machine for hemlines (pink thread in one needle and teal in the other – why not)!

2014-10-19 09.47.52

All other details on this pattern are in my previous post.

Style Arc Meg raglan tee and Lola pants

More Style Arc!  At the moment I am rather partial to a raglan sleeve.  You have probably worked that out already!  And Style Arc recently released the Meg raglan tee pattern.  The description is as follows: This gorgeous elbow length raglan sleeve Tee has a relaxed fit that is designed to flow with the body. It features a high low hemline and a high scoop neck. This style is beautiful made in a soft flowing silk.  It is also worth noting that this pattern is for wovens, not for knits.

I felt that this pattern really lent itself to using a combination of fabrics.  I had a very small remnant of printed cotton sateen from Tessuti, just enough to cut the front and back body pieces.  And in deep stash I found some beautifully quality black woven jacquard, originally from June’s stash so possibly from the 70s or 80s.  And together, they became the Meg tee!

2014-10-12 11.56.22-1

I really wish that I could get a photograph that showed the subtle pattern woven into the black fabric, but as you know black is hard to photograph at the best of times. This is a lovely light weight fabric and has combined nicely with the print. The neckline binding is cut on the bias, and the darts at the shoulder of the raglan sleeves provide the opportunity for shaping the top to your body nicely.

2014-10-12 11.55.54

Once again I made my usual Style Arc size 12. I need to pull out the pattern pieces and check if I shortened them through the body to petite it (I possibly did). As with the last Style Arc top I posted, the drafting for the mitred corners at the side splits of the top was particulary nice. The hems are wide, which makes the whole top sit better, and everything went together perfectly.

2014-10-12 11.56.42

And by now you’ve already figured out that I also sewed a pair of Lola pants to coordinate, in the same black woven as the sleeves of the top. I didn’t own any summerweight black pants, and they do come in handy. I think that I’ve made about four pairs of pants from this pattern now, and can sew one up very quickly. They are size 12, shortened both above and below the knee. I’m sure that they will be worn quite a lot.

2014-10-12 11.56.14

The loose fit is cool and comfortable to wear, but the elastic in the back hem edge bringing them in at the bottom gives them a more modern look than if they were wide and loose. Although I do like wide and loose as well…another sewing plan perhaps. The pockets also come in handy.

2014-10-12 15.43.23

I’m really enjoying my Style Arc sewing at the moment! I think that by now most of you know that their instructions are sometimes lacking, but their drafting is always fantastic and styles are definitely up to the minute. I can always find a style that I like, and they design for a broad variety of shapes. I really enjoy their patterns, and have actually grown to like the one-size-only aspect. I know what basic changes I need to make, and it’s actually less confusing than if there are lots of other lines on the pattern pages.

2014-10-12 11.56.05

As has often been the case over recent weeks/months, I am well behind with blogging finished makes. I’ve got a few very busy weeks ahead with work commitments, kids’ school commitments, school council commitments, and extended family commitments, and am hoping that since I won’t have the time (or possibly the energy) to get any sewing done, I might actually get some more blogging done and get up to date! So if there are a plethora of posts don’t think that I’ve been sewing like a maniac at the same time as juggling everything else – the projects will actually date back weeks and weeks.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic Top

I think that the Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic Top may have been the free pattern when I ordered one month. I really do like the Style Arc freebies, and must admit that I often will hold off an order to see what the freebie for the following month is going to be if I’m not all that enamoured with the current month’s offerings. I’m glad that I received this one.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

I sewed this in size 12, my usual Style Arc top/dress size, and am pleased with the fit. The pattern drawing and description are as follows: This is gorgeous layered top that is perfect for wearing over your narrow legged pant. It has an interesting darted neckline and a flattering dropped shoulder. Use two different textured fabrics for an on trend look or a beautiful coloured silk will create a total luxe feeling.

After reading other reviews, I decided to eliminate the back opening and button/loop.  This was an easy change to make.  I just seamed the centre back right up to the neckline, and sewed the neckband pieces together at the centre back as well.  Otherwise the construction was fairly straightforward.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

I finished the edge of the neck and sleeve facing pieces on the overlocker, and stitched them flat in the ditch from the right side rather than turning them inwards. This has kept the bands sitting flat, and eliminated the need to hand-sew the facings in place. The fabric is from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s a textured woven, linen mixed possibly with some cotton and maybe a little metal? Creases didn’t iron out easily. I haven’t worn this yet other than for the photos, and it did feel a little itchy next to my skin, which might be the metallic component. We’ll see!  Otherwise it was quite good to work with.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

I was a little uncertain about how to attach the bottom pieces to the top to make the fold at first, but when I slowed myself down and read the instructions a few times it worked out quite well. The diagrams were particularly helpful. I really like the wide hems on this top, and the pattern piece is drafted so that the corners mitre beautifully. A lovely feature.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

The tunic also coordinates well with the Style Arc Lola pants that I made for SWAP – because it is also one of my original planned SWAP garments! I’m glad that I followed through with this one.

Some more SWAP items – Vogue 8805 and Style Arc Fay

You’d pretty much forgotten about my SWAP plans, hadn’t you?  Because it certainly appeared as though I had!  Although I missed the SWAP deadline by many, many months I am still making some of the garments that were part of it.  These ones were actually sewn many, many months ago but I was slow getting photos.

Vogue 8805 with Style Arc Fay skirt

The top is Vogue 8805, sewn in a ponte and shortened. I was using a remnant piece of fabric (I can’t even remember where from!) and it took considerable juggling to get the pattern pieces out of the small amount that I had. I decided to bind the neckline and sleeve hems rather than simply turning or facing. The neckline was also scooped lower than the pattern. The shaping of this top works well for me.

Vogue 8805 with Style Arc Fay skirt

I completely eliminated the centre back opening – I don’t need to use it to get this on or off. There is plenty of ease through the back, which makes it super comfortable to wear.

Vogue 8805

There is not much to say about the skirt – it’s the Style Arc Fay skirt, but unlined as once again I was working with a small amount of fabric. The fabric is a floral textured jacquard knit from Tessuti. Side seams, elastic in the waist, hem turned once and sewn in place.

Vogue 8805 with Style Arc Fay skirt

I also made a third item to wear with this top and skirt, a Style Arc Floating Fran cardi (actually a vest).

Vogue 8805 top, StyleARC Fay skirt & Floating Fran cardi

I used fabric from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 per metre table for this one. It’s quite sheer, and is a knit, but doesn’t actually have a great deal of stretch. And as it turns out, every time I put the vest on I take it off again. In this fabric it’s just that bit too firm around the bust. And the colour isn’t quite “me”.  So it’s been donated.

Vogue 8805 top, StyleARC Fay skirt & Floating Fran cardi

Despite that I do like the flare and the overall shape and fit – it just needed a softer and stretchier knit. I did shorten it throughout the body to accommodate my height, and it’s still quite long at the back. The fronts are faced, and the armholes are bound. Because of the flare it takes quite a lot of fabric. I’ll definitely use this pattern again.

Vogue 8805 top, StyleARC Fay skirt & Floating Fran cardi

So, I still have two pieces of the three in this SWAP 3-pack.

Vogue 8805

Kate & Rose Roza dress

Some months ago Anna set a chambray challenge.  She provided Leith, Rachel and myself with a few metres of beautiful quality chambray from GJs, and challenged us all to make something gorgeous from it.  I believe that Rachel finished hers ages ago, with more than one item from her length of fabric.  After spending a great deal of time to-ing and fro-ing with pattern choice, I have finished mine.

Kate & Rose Roza dress

This is the Kate & Rose Roza dress. A few things drew me to this pattern. The description is as follows:

The Roza blouse & dress was inspired by easy, flowing, and sweet peasant blouses but modernized for today’s makers.

The pattern includes three styles: View A has a cropped hemline, gathered front inset and bracelet-length sleeves. View B has a curved high-low hemline, short sleeves and flat front inset. View C is a knee-length A-line dress with flat front and short sleeves. Mix and match hemlines, sleeves and front inset styles to create your own version.

This pattern is suitable for beginners, with detailed instructions and illustrations for every step of construction. The Róza’s front panel inset is also great for embroidering on (one of our favorite things here at Kate & Rose).

Suggested fabrics: light to medium-light-weight fabrics like cotton voile, gauze or lawn, lightweight silk, rayon challis, lightweight linen.

As you know, I rather like a loose sack dress during summer – and summer is coming!  The raglan sleeves also appealed, as did the chance to use a beautiful piece of ribbon that was languishing in stash.  But I have to say that I am not thrilled with my finished dress – which is not the fault of the pattern, by the way. The pattern was well drafted and the instructions were also nice and clear. There were no issues there at all.

Kate & Rose Roza dress

I cut this out at a size Large, as per my measurements, but I really should have down sized. It’s too big, especially around the neckline. I often make garments with a smaller shoulder/armhole/neckline size than bust size, and this would have paid off here as well. It stays nicely on my shoulders, but the neck opening just looks too big, especially from the back. It’s better from the front.

Kate & Rose Roza dress

The short gathered sleeves are quite sweet, and the ribbon is lovely. The neckline is faced with a strip of bias binding, a technique that I always quite like. This is a fairly easy dress to make and I don’t have any particular construction issues or tips to report.  In fact, I did a lovely job of construction.

Kate & Rose Roza dress

I’m not quite sure what to do with my dress. I adore it on the hanger. It’s just not quite “me”. I really do need to improve my visualisations of “Lara in this dress” before I make things, rather than just visualising the dress but not necessarily with me in it! I am toying with the idea of making it a bit smaller, or just wearing it as it is, or passing it on to a friend. What to do? I will probably use the pattern again, maybe for the longer sleeved blouse with the high/low hemline, as I really do like the design! Fortunately I still have some chambray left and the challenge isn’t yet over….Vogue 8805, I’m probably looking at you!