simple stripes

Another simple long-sleeved tee to add to Clare’s winter wardrobe.

Crafty Mamas May-Belle Tee (with straightened sleeve)

It’s a beautiful quality cotton/lycra knit that Karen gave to me. You have seen it before – Stella has a top in it.  The pattern is the Crafty Mamas May-Belle, but with straight sleeves. That was easily done by laying the gathered lower sleeve pattern piece at the end of the upper sleeve pattern piece to see how much length needed to be added, while keeping the lines of the sleeve slim..

Crafty Mamas May-Belle Tee (with straightened sleeve)

It’s a nice slim fit without being tight, which is great for layering. Construction was the usual overlocker tee method – one shoulder seam, attach neckband, other shoulder seam, attach sleeves, sew up the side and sleeve seam in one pass. I secured the hems and the neckband with a simple zig-zag. Not much more to say about this one really!

Crafty Mamas May-Belle Tee (with straightened sleeve)

Lekala 5801 tunic

Yes, I definitely have more success with the Lekala patterns that are shown on “fuller figured” models.  Such as Lekala 5801.  The illustration:

And my version:

Lekala 5801 tunic

Okay, I’d better show it to you without a scarf obscuring the details! There are five pleats at the centre front, a roll collar, and bands finishing the hem and the raglan sleeves.

Lekala 5801 tunic

I’m not entirely happy with the collar, as it is rather floppy on. Somewhere between a band that is way too loose and doesn’t sit flat, and a cowl which isn’t wide enough to drape down or to fold in half. But it’s fine with the scarf!

Lekala 5801 tunic

I really like the fit through the body. Having the centre front pleats means that the front of the tunic is wider than the back, so it skims over my central bulk. Yet at the back it’s loose, but not too loose.  And raglan sleeves are SO easy.  Other than the front pleats and some minimal top-stitching, this dress was entirely constructed on the overlocker.

Lekala 5801 tunic

The fabric is a double layered knit that I found at Super Cheap Fabrics in Brunswick. My shopping companions also bought some – but I haven’t seen any finished garments blogged yet!  The top layer has holes in it, but it is attached to the grey underlayer.  I’ve been sewing in black/white/grey for myself quite a bit lately, even though I don’t think that they particularly suit me.  But they do make an excellent foil for a pop of colour elsewhere in my outfits!

Lekala 5801 tunic

Figgy’s Seraphic Raglan

Clare has been growing!  Getting older, getting taller, and growing out of many of last winter’s clothes.  Not the width, but the length of the sleeves and the lengths of the hems.  So I made her a couple of new long-sleeved tees.  The first was the Figgy’s Seraphic Raglan.

Figgy's Seraphic Raglan Tee

This is a straightforward raglan tee with a small chest pocket. The sleeve seams are very nicely shaped, and I always appreciate the ease of sewing sleeves into raglan tops! I simplified the pocket even further from the pattern to make a straightforward patch pocket with a slightly curved bottom, and attached it to the tee with a simple zig zag in a contrasting thread.

Figgy's Seraphic Raglan Tee

I used the same thread and simple zig zag to secure the neck band after attaching it with the overlocker (all construction was done on the overlocker) and used the zig zag on all the hems as well. My machine skipped a few stitches while zig-zagging, which didn’t make me very happy – and it was even a new needle! It might be time for some machine maintenance again. Time to defluff everything and to get out the machine oil!

Figgy's Seraphic Raglan Tee

This is the size 8/9, with no alterations. The white knit was somewhere in stash, and the stripes were a beautiful quality knit remnant from one of Anna‘s projects. A very satisfying make.

last week of term

First term of 2014 is over, and the school holidays are here.  The last week of term flew past, but I took some photos along the way.  So this is a snippet of our week (mostly from a sewing/crafty perspective, of course).

last week of term one

  • Patterns arrived from the last Vogue/Butterick/McCalls sale.  One is already cut out to be sewn this weekend, and another has been matched up to fabric.
  • Personal delivery of The Better Bag Maker, by Nicole Mallalieu, soon to be available online and possibly in Spotlight stores.  I took part in pattern testing (and have a couple of excellent bags to show for it that I can finally reveal on the blog soon) and I think that it really is your go-to book for all things bag-making related.
  • Silk fabrics from the Collette Dinnigan end of bolt clearance currently running at Rathdowne Fabrics.  The top two will be scarves; the bottom one will become a dress.
  • Over the past couple of days the weather has turned cooler and autumn has really settled in.  Time to make new stretchy pants for winter!
  • And with winter coming up, time for some new boots (everything at the Diana Ferrari outlet is currently half price).  I live in boots over winter, and was excited when I spotted some coloured ones!
  • Poor little Stella.  She’s sick.  The virus that has been going around and that Clare and I had last week has caught up with Stella.  She’s still on the couch with a vomit container.
  • I whipped up a few tops for Clare to take away on camp with her.  One includes this raglan tee .  It’s a departure from her usual style, but fortunately she seems to really like it!
  • Clare has been busy with the loom/rainbow/whatever they are called bands.  YouTube has been an excellent source of tutorials for a variety of bracelet designs.  You have to love a craze that is this creative, time-consuming and relatively cheap!
  • A quick dress for Stella, from fabric that she chose in a design that she chose.  And now says that she doesn’t like.

 

Vogue 8771 and StyleARC Fay

One of the joys of using a pattern that you have used in the past is that you know what alterations you would prefer to make, and you know how to construct it. Everything zips along so nicely!  I’ve been pondering what to make from the fabric left over from Lekala 5806 for some time.  Eventually I settled on patterns that I have used before – Vogue 8771 and the StyleARC Fay skirt.

Vogue 8771 top with StyleARC Fay skirt

There really isn’t anything subtle about this outfit! First to the top. Last time that I made Vogue 8771 I noted that the neckline was too open.  I fixed that this time by adding a neckband, cut from the same fabric.  When I top stitched it down I used the twin needle, aligning it so that one row of stitches was on the neckband and the other on the body of the garment.

Vogue 8771 top

The cuffs were cut with the hemline on the fold of the fabric, effectively cutting them double and eliminating the need for a hem at the wrist. Once again, I like the way that princess seams have been incorporated into the armhole seam, allowing for some shaping. I shortened the top through the body to allow for my lack of height. The lower curved hem was finished with the twin needle as well. I used different coloured threads in each needle – because I could! One is pink and the other is orange.

Vogue 8771 top with StyleARC Fay skirt

There isn’t a great deal to say about the StyelARC Fay skirt that I haven’t already said. Like the last time I made it, I folded out a large chunk of the pattern to make it a mini length. Side seams, elastic waist, done!

Vogue 8771 top with StyleARC Fay skirt

I won’t always pair this outfit with bright orange leggings, but I couldn’t resist this time. It might find itself toned down a little with more subdued leggings, boots and jacket. Or it might not.

Vogue 8771 top with StyleARC Fay skirt

Deer & Doe Plantain tee

Oh, the free tee patterns.  They are proliferating at the moment!  I jumped onto the Plantain bandwagon recently.

Deer & Doe Plantain tee

There’s not a whole lot to say about this pattern, other than I like it! It is quite similar to the Tessuti Lola pattern in that the body has a gentle flare through the waist and hips. Coincidentally, the Plantain pattern came out less than 24 hours after I bought the Lola tee. However, when I laid one pattern on top of the other there are some differences in the armhole curve and the degree of flare.

Deer & Doe Plantain tee

I cut across a few different sizes, grading across from one to the other through the shoulders, bust, waist then hips. I’ve already packed the pattern away so can’t tell you which ones exactly I used, but remember that I pretty much chose the sizes according to my measurements, and my waist measurement is about two sizes larger than my hip measurement and one size larger than my bust measurement. Clear as mud? I completely ignored the instructions and constructed the t-shirt in the usual way. Sewed up one shoulder seam, attached the neckband, sewed up the other shoulder seam, attached the sleeves, then sewed up the side and sleeve seams in one go. Hems and neckband topstitching were done with the twin needle on the machine.

Deer & Doe Plantain tee - neckband

I used fabric from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 per metre table. It is lovely and soft, but I don’t know that I particularly like this fabric on me. I think it needs a red scarf or similar to lift it a bit. Maybe the stripes are just that bit too far apart.  I definitely won’t be styling it as in the below photo – I was just desperate to get it photographed!

Plantain tee

I should have taken a side photo, because I have to say that my stripe matching down the sleeve and side seams is perfect!  The Plantain is a great free tee. I’ll definitely be adding it to my arsenal of tee patterns.

Figgy’s Celestial tee

It really doesn’t take long to fall behind with blog posts.  Last weekend away with the school mums, followed by frenetic school related activities, and then  a couple of days of gastro for both the eldest daughter and for me, and all of a sudden days and days have passed by without anything being blogged.  And I do have quite a few projects to show you – all as a result of my knit mania a couple of weeks back.  Honestly, a straight forward knit top really does only take an hour or so to make.  And actually, this Figgy’s Celestial tee that I made for Clare yesterday only took around half an hour to make!

Figgy's Celestial tee

The fabric was purchased from Darn Cheap Fabrics in the afternoon. (And I finally ran into Sarah while I was there – I knew that it would happen eventually!  Hello Sarah – so lovely to finally meet you in real life!) Clare has a “Fluoro Disco Party” to attend later in the week, and this fabric really did hit the mark.

fluro poly/spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s very fluid poly/spandex, but worked quite well in this pattern.  I made the size 8/9 for Clare, which is the largest size that this pattern goes up to.

Figgy's Celestial tee

Sorry that the photos are a fraction blurry – light was fading rapidly when I snapped these photos. This tee is quite basic, but has some nice features. There are three pleats at the centre front, and a high-low hemline.

Figgy's Celestial tee

The sleeves are simply cut on, and there is a narrow neckband attached. I used the overlocker for most of the construction, with the machine to finish hems and top-stitch around the neckband with a simple zig-zag.

Figgy's Celestial tee

And of course, we made a matching headband! Clare is very happy with her new fluoro top and guess what – there is plenty of fabric left. Hmmm, am I too old to wear fluoro?

Figgy's Celestial tee