adult's clothing · sewing

Another Linden

I made the Grainline Linden top a couple of times last winter.  I found it a great pattern for relaxed tops for those “at home” days.  I also found it a great way to use up remnants. Got to love a raglan sleeve!

Grainline Linden tee in jersey remnants

The patterned viscose blend knit came from the remnant bin at The Cloth Shop. The sold wool/acrylic blend knit came from Super Cheap Fabrics. I think that they combined really well in this top.

Grainline Linden tee in jersey remnants

Because I’d sewn it before the pattern pieces already had any pertinent alterations made. I sewed size 10, with length removed from the sleeves both above and below the elbow.

Grainline Linden tee in jersey remnants

From the Grainline website: The Linden Sweatshirt gives a modern update to the classic sweatshirt. Featuring a relaxed fit, raglan sleeves, and a graceful slightly scooped neckline, this sweatshirt is perfect for fall layering. View A features long sleeves with cuffs and falls to the mid hip with a lower ribbing band while View B hits at the high hip and has short sleeves. You can also mix and match sleeve and body lengths to create multiple versions of this sweatshirt.

11005illustration

This was constructed entirely on the overlocker. Because bands were used to finish the sleeves, hem and neckline it was very quick to assemble. I decided not to twin needle the neckband in place – it pressed well enough with the iron, and I was probably being too lazy to change the needle in the machine! Either way, its a nice relaxed addition to my wardrobe.

Grainline Linden tee in jersey remnants

adult's clothing · sewing

Simplicity 1323 and Flat Bottom Flo

I tend to choose tops that are fitted through the shoulders and bust, but then flare out loosely over the mid-section.  Simplicity 1323 is a good example.

Simplicity 1323 top in dry knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

The Simplicity website says:  Stay comfortable and chic with this sportswear pattern for Misses. Draped knit top has option of contrasting band, and can be worn with pull-on knit pants and stylish infinity scarf.

simplicity-sportswear-pattern-1323-envelope-front

I sewed view B, possibly in size 12 (I’d need to pull out the pattern to check).  It was actually very straightforward.  One pattern piece for the front, one for the back, one for the sleeve, plus a long piece cut on the cross grain for binding the neckline.  The centre front seam made it very easy to bind the V-neckline – this is done before sewing up the centre from seam, so there is no awkwardness navigating the angle.  You just need to make sure that you pin it well to line it up perfectly.

Simplicity 1323 top in dry knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

The rusty orange knit came from Super Cheap Fabrics, and was described as a dry knit. It’s a bit of a crepe texture, and has a good weight for such a flared style. The folds just fall straight down.

Simplicity 1323 top in dry knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

It was also super easy to hem – lots of straight lines! I used Vliesofix (double sided fusible) tape as usual to secure the hems before top-stitching. Most of the construction was on the overlocker. This was a quick sew.

Simplicity 1323 top in dry knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

The pants are a pattern I’ve used before (but not as often as I think I should – it’s great). It’s the Flat Bottom Flo, from Style Arc.

Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo pants in stretch bengaline from Super Cheap Fabrics

As Style Arc say on their website, Every butt has a different shape! This stretch pull on pant is for those with a flatter bottom. The back side seam comes to the front giving this slightly narrow legged pant a slimming look and the back yoke adds to this flattering shape.

flo-pant

Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo pants in stretch bengaline from Super Cheap Fabrics

Whoops, pant leg caught up on the back of my shoe! I sewed size 10, in a printed stretch bengaline I found at Super Cheap Fabrics. I did shorten the pattern pieces both above and below the knee to account for my 158cm height These were SO fast to sew! The back yoke is a nice detail, and I really like the forward side seams. Together this top and pants make a comfortable work outfit. I do still have some wrinkles at the back leg, but that is a combination of both the style and how thin my legs are compared to the rest of me. It’s a big change to get from the sizing I need around my middle to the sizing I need around my thighs! The stretch in the bengaline and elastic waist combination mean that I can get pants to fit me comfortably but not be ridiculously large in the leg.

Simplicity 1323 top in dry knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

I’m pretty happy with this outfit combination. It’s not “wow”, but it’s a steady, sturdy performer.  (And Style Arc, if you’re listening, I have a friend who has requested a “Big Bottom Betty” pant that would work well for her figure!)

adult's clothing · sewing

Mandy and April

These are both repeat sews – Tessuti Mandy boat tee and Style Arc April pants.

Tessuti Mandy tee with Style Arc April pants

The Mandy boat tee is made exactly as per the pattern. The body is a striped ponte (a remnant from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe) and the sleeves are in a black viscose knit. It’s really important with this pattern (and any with a very dropped shoulder and fitted sleeves) that you choose a fabric with plenty of four-way stretch. Otherwise it will be way too tight across the biceps, and uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately both of these fabrics were fine in that regard.

Tessuti Mandy tee with Style Arc April pants

The pants were also sewn from remnants. They are a mixture of jacquard bengaline (also from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe) and ponte (scraps from stash). It’s hard to see the texture in these photos, but if you squint a bit you can make it out!

Style Arc April pant in bengaline and ponte

These patterns have plenty of seams, which makes them great when trying to use up remnants. Style Arc describe this pattern as follows: Up to minute stylized knit pull on pant, make it all one fabric, or contrast side panels as seen on the cat walk and in the fashion magazines.

april-pant

I’ve sewn these quite a few times – you can see previous pairs here, here and here.  I made my usual adjustments of shortening both above and below the knee, but that’s it.  They’re fast to sew, mostly on the overlocker, and comfortable to wear.

Style Arc April pant in bengaline and ponte

The above photo shows the fabrics a little better, although the colour is more accurate in the other photos.

Tessuti Mandy tee with Style Arc April pants

This outfit was definitely a scrap/remnant buster!  I recently delivered two huge bags of scraps to Clare’s school, but usually keep larger ponte and bengaline scraps precisely for these types of garments.  I think that the April pant pattern will get a few more outings soon – there is a fair bit in the ponte/bengaline scrap tub needing to be used up!

adult's clothing · sewing

Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

Now that Hot Patterns sell their patterns in pdf (only A4 and letter versions, no A0 option, but the postage on the hard copies of their patterns is a killer) I am starting to buy more of them. I think that I’ve also got the sizing worked out for me – in knits, at least.

Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

This is the Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt (worn here with Style Arc Elle pants in bengaline). Their website describes it as follows: Get the laid-back cool and classic comfort of a sweatshirt or sweater dress, with a dressy, modern twist. Top and dress are designed for knit fabrics with a little body and stretch, like velour or stretch velvet, ponte or double knits, French terry, lightweight fleece, sweatshirt, T-shirt, or sweater knits. Pull-on A-line sweatshirt or sweater dress has a center back seam, angled side seams & bust darts for a neat fit. Mix up the details for the perfect look: choose a long flared sleeve or add a turn-back cuff; make the optional cut-in pockets or not; pick a boat-neck or a shapely semi-V neck. Make it your best length too, either a thigh-length tunic or a knee length dress. Sleeve and body hems and necklines are finished with deep stitched facings. These are the perfect throw-on-&-go pieces-try skinny or bootcut pants under the sweatshirt, pull on your favorite boots with the dress, maybe add a scarf and you’re d-o-n-e done…

hp_1211_weekender_swingy_sweatshirt_sweaterdress__20338-1481220171-1280-1280

It’s pretty obvious that I sewed the sweatshirt, pretty much as per the pattern illustration.  Boat-neck, pockets, cuffs on the flared sleeves.  My measurements put me at around a size 14 but I took an educated guess and sewed size 10.  That seemed to work for me. No alterations to the pattern.

Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

Actually, that’s not quite true. A couple of weeks after I sewed this (and while sewing the sweater dress from the same pattern) I unpicked the sleeve cap from the armhole seam and re-sewed it, shaving off around a centimetre from the “point” at the top of the sleeve. After doing this the entire sleeve sat much better on me.

Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

It’s a pretty wide boat neckline, as described. It covers my bra straps, but only just. That is something to consider depending on how you like your necklines. I did like that despite it being a boat neckline, it didn’t choke me. And my neck doesn’t get cold – because I have a plethora of scarves and shawls to choose from! The one in these photos was knitted by my Mum in Wollmeise. Thanks Mum!  I think that the pattern is the Settler Shawl by Libby Jonson.

Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

I used the textured side of a green/blackish mid-weight sweater type knit that was in stash as the right side of the fabric. Oh where, oh where did I get this? Was it Rathdowne? Was it at Restash? I really cannot remember – but it’s great fabric! I really like those curved pockets and the wide cuffs. The wide sleeves can be a little annoying though – they don’t fit well under other garments, so to keep warm I’d be better off layering other garments underneath this sweatshirt rather than trying to find things to go over it. I do have a few cape-type things that would work though. I really don’t think I’m likely to jump on the statement sleeves trend in a big way, because I just can’t figure out what to put on top to stay warm! Maybe in summer.

Hot Patterns Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

So, the verdict? This pattern is a winner. Hot Patterns have a very active Facebook group, if you are interested in sewing their patterns. I find that more people who sew them post their than in blogs or on Instagram. There are some terrific versions of this pattern popping up, and I bet that there will be more.

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Cross Over Kit

This pattern has been in my stash for ages.  It was plotter printed – quite different to the fancy printing that Style Arc do nowadays, so must have been from some time ago.

Style Arc Cross Over Kit in stretch crepe from Spotlight

Style Arc describe the Cross Over Kit as follows:  This knit wrap top has a full under piece and an over wrap piece that pulls through a side buckle wear it by its self or team it with a contrast cami underneath. Short sleeve pattern also included in the pattern pack. FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Jersey knit.

crossover-kit-t027

I used a printed stretch crepe from Spotlight, and a vintage buckle that was in my stash.  This was very easy to sew.  Construction was on the overlocker, and hems done on the machine with a twin needle.

Style Arc Cross Over Kit in stretch crepe from Spotlight

Style Arc suggest wearing this over a contrast cami, which would have been better than doing what I did and using a safety pin on the neckline to make it work appropriate. I found this a very comfortable top to wear, especially underneath a long line cardigan/jacket.

Style Arc Cross Over Kit in stretch crepe from Spotlight

I sewed a size 12, with some side seam shaping removed to give me more belly room. I am still tossing up whether the “ruching around the belly helps to minimise it” theory is actually correct. I suspect that it probably is if you have a more defined waist than I do, but it runs the risk of looking like sausage casing on me. This top is loose enough that where it gathers into the buckle doesn’t actually stretch the fabric too tightly over my tum, but I have tried others (like the Issy top) where I just haven’t felt comfortable with where the gathers lie.

Style Arc Cross Over Kit in stretch crepe from Spotlight

So, verdict? I do like this top, and it will work well in my winter work wardrobe (especially considering that it will usually have other items layered over it). Comfy, easy to wear. Just remember that camisole!

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Maisie designer dress

This Style Arc Maisie designer dress was half sewn during a recent trip to Sewjourn.  I began with the bodice – and the knit fabric I was using did NOT agree with my sewing machine or overlocker at all!  Far too slinky and the machines just chewed it up.  I quickly threw the bodice pieces into the bin (and the rest of the bodice fabric followed suit when I returned home), figuring that I would have something else in my stash that would work.

Style Arc Maisie designer dress

So only the skirt was sewn at Sewjourn – but when I got home I quickly ferreted through stash and found something suitable for the bodice! The dress was completed that night.

Style Arc Maisie designer dress

The skirt was sewn from cotton sateen (with a small stretch component) from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and the bodice is a mid-weight double knit in a mottled green/black. I used the smooth side as the outer; the other side is more textured, almost like a french terry but not quite. I wish I could remember where that knit came from!

Style Arc Maisie designer dress

I sewed size 12, my usual Style Arc size for tops and dresses. The fit is not perfect – usual back bodice issues and some slight folds above the bust at the armhole (FBA needed?) – but I really, really like the finished dress. It’s SO easy to wear! And yes, there are pockets in the side seams.

Style Arc Maisie designer dress

Style Arc describe this dress as follows: The slightly cocoon shaped skirt with asymmetrical design lines balances well with the angled waisted knit bodice on this designer dress. The interestingly shaped pattern pieces come together easily for a quick sew. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Bodice – knit jersey, sweater knit. Skirt – knit or stretch woven.

maisie-dress

I enjoy the patterns that Style Arc label as “designer” – they have more unusual shapes and silhouettes, and many of them work nicely for me.  This dress was an easy sew, and it’s great to wear.  Choose your fabric combination carefully though – the bodice needs to be able to support the weight of the skirt.

Style Arc Maisie designer dress

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Mandy the…I’ve lost count

So many Tessuti Mandy boat tees.  SO many.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

Tessuti describe this pattern as follows:  This oversized, boxy top has a boat neckline and three quarter fitted sleeves with drop shoulders. This top is perfect for all seasons and is best made up in cotton, wool, viscose, linen knits.  

This is a free pattern, and it’s “one-size-fits-all” (yeah, right). The way it fits you will depend on your size and shape, and the amount of ease that you like in your clothes. I lengthened the sleeves to full length, but otherwise this is exactly as per the pattern.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

Be aware that the neckline is fairly high and wide – it is a boat neckline after all. I use fusible double sided tape (Vliesofix) to stabilise and secure the neckline before twin-needle stitching it in place. I do the same for the body and sleeve hems. The rest of the construction is on the overlocker.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

The fabrics were scraps – the body a medium weight wool blend knit that was a gift from a delightful fellow blogger some years ago, and the sleeves in a soft and stretchy poly/spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I used the remaining chevron print to sew up a simple tubular cowl.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

This loose casual style works well for me. I don’t generally like high necklines, but I think that in this case it is counterbalanced by the neckline width and I don’t feel too strangled. Some of my friends take width out of the neckline, or the entire body. Some cut it shorter, or longer. Others alter the sleeves to add width: they are very fitted as they are. I think that the fitted sleeves counterbalance the generous body nicely. I have another friend who narrows the body in a bit toward the hips. It’s an easy pattern to play with.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

I have a suspicion that the number of Mandy’s I’ve made over the years could be in double figures by now…