adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Halle stretch skirt

Over the years I have worked out my preferred skirt styles.  A quick glance in my wardrobe shows a predominance of straight skirts in stretch fabric.  There is the odd A-line skirt in there, a maxi or two, and a few straight skirts in woven fabrics, but you won’t find anything with a gathered waist or a great deal of fullness.  My thick middle/pot belly combination makes a straight stretch skirt the most comfortable one for me – remember, they always have that magic elastic in the waist!

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I saw the Style Arc Halle Stretch Skirt as a great way to add a little variety to my straight stretch skirt wardrobe. Style Arc describe it as follows:  Fabulous slim line skirt with a cross over front; featuring an asymmetric hemline. A must have skirt in your wardrobe. The elastic waist makes it easy to make and wear. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Ponte, Knit.

halle-skirt

I was fairly certain when looking at the pattern pieces that this skirt would probably be too long on me if I sewed it up without alteration – I’m 158cm tall.  I folded a chunk out of each pattern piece (maybe about four inches?) about half way between waist and hem, and straightened the diagonal edges to remove the resulting jog.  Then it was cut it out and sew it up!

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

(End of the day photos – hence the multiplicity of sitting wrinkles).

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

If you’re sewing this you need to pay attention to the instructions in regard to what to hem when. Much of the hemming is done before the side seams are sewn, and you do need to get that part right! It’s easy to sew (yes, mostly on the overlocker) and results in what I think is a nice variation on the basic straight stretch skirt. I sewed this one in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics – it matches the Nina cardigan I’ve blogged before.

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Here’s a good example of getting proportion WRONG – this cardigan, despite being the same fabric, does NOT work with this skirt and top at all in my view. The jacket drapes and ends at the wrong places of the skirt hem and overlap and it all gets visually messy. I will definitely not be wearing this combination out the door ever again (my excuse is that I got dressed in the dark as per usual in winter and didn’t look in a full length mirror before I headed off to work).

Style Arc Halle skirt in bengaline

I’ve also sewn this skirt in this olive bengaline from Style Arc, but haven’t worn or photographed that one on me yet. Bengaline is a magic fabric for me – it works so well to fit around my shape, especially in pants. And the comfort level is high.

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So this pattern has had two outings already. Definitely a positive contribution to the straight stretch skirt stable.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 7427 for Clare

McCalls describe pattern 7427 as follows: Loose-fitting cardigans and vest have shaped hems. A, B: Front self-facing. B:Purchased lace. C, D, E: Wrong side of fabric will show. D: Hood and contrast back. E:Bands and peplum with handkerchief hem.

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Clare chose view F, the cardigan with a drapey front collar.  It’s basically the same view view D, the cover photo, but without the hood.

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

As you can see, the reverse side of the fabric shows at the front collar. The collar can be worn two ways; fairly spread out and flat, or in more of a folded waterfall.

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

The fabric came from Rathdowne Fabrics, and is a loopy maroon knit on one side but smooth black knit (with flecks of white) on the other. It is quite stretchy and substantial, definitely cardigan weight. And you know that I’m about to say that it was very easy and fast to sew.

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

Sewed the shoulder seams, set in the sleeves, sewed the side seams.  That was all on the overlocker.  Then turned a narrow hem and zig-zagged around the entire hemline, making sure to catch the very edge of the seam allowance so that when you could see the wrong side around the collar, the hem still looked flat and smooth.

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My guess is that I sewed size 12 for Clare (although it could have been size 14).  I’d rather like to sew her view E at some stage – I think that the peplum shaping would be rather nice on her.  This is a great easy to wear kids pattern.  Nice work McCalls!

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Yet another Mandy

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

 Oh Mandy, you came and you gave without taking….

Okay, I’ve lost count now of how many times I’ve sewn this free pattern from Tessuti.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

The striped front and back are a piece of rugby knit that Nicole kindly sent me. And in among my ponte scrap tub was some left over pink double knit (bought ages ago from Clear It) that was the perfect colour and perfect weight for the sleeves. Despite its substance, it had plenty of stretch – always important for the sleeves of this pattern.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

There’s not much more to say. Neckline turned under, secured with Vliesofix tape then twin needled. Other hems twin needled. Other construction on the overlocker.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

And that’s it styled with the Style Arc Simone cardigan made from the fabric that I used for the sleeves, along with a pair of Style Arc Elle pants in ponte. I know, the total look reminds you of something, doesn’t it….

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children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Morrison tees

When the weather changed from warm to cold a few months ago Clare complained that she no longer had long-sleeved tees that fit.  Kids – they keep on growing!  So I dived into the pattern stash, and over the course of a weekend she had around seven new long-sleeved tops to get her through the colder months.  These are two of them!

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Once again, this is a pattern I’ve used before, except last time it was a short-sleeved tee for Stella. It is the Hey June Morrison tee. It is one of a pattern line designed especially for Juniors – that tween and early teen age that can be challenging to fit in styles they like.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

From the website:  The Morrison Tee is a casual boxy fit dolman tee for juniors.  Options include banded sleeves, cap sleeves, or long sleeves.  Choose a hi-low hem, a straight hem, or either version with a front tie hem.  The Morrison is perfect for 4 season wear and can be made dressier or more casual.  Make a slubby gray front-tie tee for lazy Saturdays or use a pretty floral for a cap sleeve top to pair with a pretty skirt and sandals for fancier occasions.  Personalize your Morrison Tee with cute iron-on decals, fabric paint, tie dye, or applique.  This versatile top will be a wardrobe staple for your tween or teen!

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I started with a long-sleeved version of the top with a straight hem.  The design was mainly dictated by fabric restrictions – there was just enough of the Crafty Mamas printed french terry to get the body of a top, and I added sleeves from black viscose/cotton/spandex that was elsewhere in stash.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This was such a simple top to make! Front, back, sleeves attached to a dolman dropped shoulder so easy to attach in the flat, and a neckband. It was all assembled on the overlocker. I decided to use contrasting thread in the twin needle to topstitch down the neckband and hems, with pink in one needle and red in the other.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I sewed this in size 12, knowing that the style was designed to be slouchy and oversized. However, the sleeves did end up a little on the short side, and the body slightly more cropped than we hoped (that was unavoidable – we couldn’t add length to the body anyway with the amount of fabric that we had.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

So when I cut out the next version, I added length to the sleeves – maybe an inch or two. By the way, Hey June has the sleeve pattern piece cut on the fold. This always drives me NUTS for sleeves that need two cut anyway, so I got out some tracing paper and turned the pattern piece into a full sized pattern. Much easier.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

This fabric is a knit jacquard from Super Cheap Fabrics. I love this shade of green on Clare! We chose the version with the curved back hemline and knotted front this time.  Body length was pretty much perfect in this style.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

The knot section of the hemline is faced, and the rest turned and stitched. I finished the rest of the hemline and sleeve hems and neckline with a zig-zag on the sewing machine.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

These were both fast and easy to whip up, and have entered regular wardrobe rotation.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

New Look 6397 vest

When we were in Thailand/Laos in January I bought quite a few fabric souvenirs.  I really want to turn them all into garments (maybe some into cushions) but it does take sort thought for me to figure out what will work best for particular types of fabric.  The idea to turn a length of ikat into a vest came to me while lying awake in bed one night.  Do others plan their sewing projects when they are meant to be asleep?

New Look 6397 in ikat from Chiang Mai and denim

I looked at the length of ikat and knew that it would have to be combined with another fabric to have enough for an effective garment – and denim would hopefully work well! I had some stretch denim scraps in my stash, and they were just the right shade of blue. I used the denim for the collar/front bands.

New Look 6397 in ikat from Chiang Mai and denim

The pattern is New Look 6397. From their website: Misses’ cozy jacket with patch pockets can have a straight or handkerchief hemline. Vest can have a straight hem with patch pockets or a high-low without pockets.  Fabric suggestions: Lightweight to medium woven or knit fabrics with drape such as: Linen and wool types, double knits, fleece, interlock, jersey, ponte, stretch velvet.

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You may have noticed that the fabric suggestions are mostly for knits, but I figured that the vest would be fine in my medium weight wovens.  I sewed view C without the pockets, possibly in the size Small (10-12), although it could have been the Medium (14-16) but I’m too lazy to pull the pattern envelope out and check.

New Look 6397 in ikat from Chiang Mai and denim

The front bands are seamed at the centre back of the neckline and form the gentle shawl collar.  From memory the bands are rectangular pieces,cut double on the fold. The ikat frayed terribly, so I overlocked all the edges first then did the assembly with a straight stitch on my sewing machine. The bottom of the vest is a 5/8″ turned hem, just straight stitched into place, as are the armhole openings.

New Look 6397 in ikat from Chiang Mai and denim

This was really easy to make, and highly satisfying. I took a bit of a punt sewing this vest, and I’m extremely happy with the finished result.

adult's clothing · sewing

McCalls 7441 cardigan

I sewed McCalls 7441 back in May when I was at Sewjourn.  One of the benefits of sewing garments when I’m away with a group of friends is to see how those garments look on people who are ostensibly of a similar size but are different heights and shapes.

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

I am 158cm tall, with a thick torso. Rachel is 175cm tall, with more of an hourglass shape.

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

The main attraction of this cardigan/jacket is the statement back.

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

And on Rachel:

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

The fabric is a soft, slightly marled acrylic knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and the colour is rather vibrant in natural light. It was incredibly easy to sew. There are only three main pattern pieces. I sewed the centre back seam (at the top of the back piece, where the cowl forms) the sleeve seams and the side seams on the sewing machine, but set in the sleeves with the overlocker. Using the machine meant that I had less bulk when it came to turning a hem around the edges of the jacket.

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

I turned the hem to the inside about a centimetre then zig-zagged it in place. The stitches really sink in to the fabric, and the edge of the zig zag is right on the edge of the seam allowance. It all worked nicely. The sleeve hems were turned about an inch before zig-zagging in place.

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

I sewed a fishing sinker as a weight to the inside of the cowl point to keep it draping nicely.  This is view C, the long version with tie front.  I suspect that I sewed size Medium, but it could have been the Small.  There is plenty of ease in this style.

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

From the McCalls website: Loose-fitting unlined jackets and vest have front opening variations, shaped narrow hems, and draped back. Wrong side of fabric will show. B: Hood and pockets.

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I’m actually a little surprised that I haven’t seen this pattern sewn up more. It’s fast, it’s dramatic, and it’s fun. I might give one of the shorter versions a try!

McCalls 7441 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

adult's clothing · sewing

Hot Patterns Milano Dolman Tee

Like all Hot Patterns patterns, this one actually has an even longer name than the one in the blog post title – it is the Hot Patterns Fast & Fabulous Milano Dolman T.

Hot Patterns Milano dolman tee in kni from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The Fast & Fabulous patterns are just that – relatively simple and straightforward, with less sewing time.  I downloaded the A4 version.  With Hot Patterns you butt the page edges together and tape rather than trimming them first.  They makes them fast to assemble, but because the printing doesn’t go all the way to the edges of the paper it introduces opportunity for error.

Hot Patterns Milano dolman tee in kni from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From the Hot Patterns website: Your search for the perfect dressy-T ends here, with these gorgeous dolman T’s. These elegant styles are perfect for lighter weight drape-y knits like rayon, silk, modal, or slubby linen jersey. Loose-fit, pull-on T’s have a classic boat neckline finished with a narrow self fabric or rib trim, plus front and back princess seams for a superior fit. Dolman sleeves are 3/4 length with a rib or self fabric cuff, or add a separate section for a pieced 3/4 length sleeve. Finish your T with a double-thickness hem band for a slouchy-waisted look, or keep it relaxed with a separate shirt-tail hem. These chic dolman T’s look great in solid colors and gorgeous in your favorite prints; try them with color or print blocking, or a little topstitching too. Depending on your fabric choices, your T’s will easily dress up or down for day or night; they work best worn with flat-waist skirts or pants.

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As you can see, I chose to sew the version with the pieced sleeve and shirt-tail hem.  The sleeve definitely finished up much longer than 7/8 length on me.  The fabric is a printed fairly stable knit from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table; it has been in stash for ages.  I thought it would be okay for a wearable muslin to gauge fit and sizing.

Hot Patterns Milano dolman tee in kni from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I paid attention when cutting out and have actually matched the stripes across almost all the seams! The front and back seams and the sleeve band and hem band sleeves have been highlighted with orange twin needle stitching, which is hard to see in these photos. Construction was on the overlocker, and hems were also finished with yellow contrasting twin needling on the machine.

Hot Patterns Milano dolman tee in kni from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I measure size 14 (or more) in Hot Patterns, and sewed this in size 10. As always, check the flat pattern measurements before deciding what size to cut! I think it’s actually a bit too roomy, especially across the shoulders (although I do like the belly room).

Hot Patterns Milano dolman tee in kni from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I don’t dislike the finished top, but I don’t love it either. I might sew it again with the neckline narrowed a little bit and the sleeve cuffs. This one has already moved into the wardrobe in the spare room – I have other tops that I like more and I know I will reach for in preference to this.