adult's clothing · sewing

Another striped draped t-dress

I first sewed the You Sew, Girl! Draped T-dress back in January 2011.  Yes, that was a while ago!

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

And wouldn’t you know it – this is my sixth version, the fourth in a stripe! You can see two of the other striped ones here and here (there was also a red/white striped version but I don’t think it was ever blogged). I’ve sewn it in a solid once, and in a print once. (And actually, since I wrote this blog post I’ve sewn a seventh dress, this time as a gift).

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

This fabulous stripe is viscose spandex knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe. I needed 2.5 metres in order to be able to match the stripes along the edges. This is a one pattern piece dress – the front and the back are the same, then the front neckline is cut deeper. I cut a strip for the neckband a little less than two inches wide. When doing neckbands from stripes the finished neckband width really depends on the width of the stripes and what I think will look best.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

As always I determined the length of the neckband by following the method described in Gillian’s tutorial. Construction was on the overlocker, with the hems finished by machine with a twin needle. I also twin needled down the neckband seam allowances to secure them.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

I used double sided Vliesofix tape on the dress hem before stitching, and I think that it’s actually stiffened it a little too much and has made the hem a little wavy. That might ease up with washing. I sometimes attach a fishing sinker or washer to the inside seam allowance of the point at the side drape so that it falls nicely, but haven’t done it yet with this version of the dress and the folds seem to be draping as they should.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

Stripe matching required lots of careful cutting – I cut one side of the dress, then laid it exactly on top of the fabric right sides together to line up the stripes accurately before cutting the other side. That had the added advantage of having the front and back all ready for the stripes to be carefully pinned together. Sewing this in a solid or print makes it a very fast dress to sew, by the way.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

My dress is size Medium. It’s extremely comfortable to wear, and I think we all know that there will be more versions of this pattern in the future!

sewing · teen

Yet another Ogden Cami

Clare and I spotted a piece of floral printed rayon among the remnants at The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe and pounced.  We both knew that it would work beautifully for yet another True Bias Ogden Cami!

True Bias Ogden Cami in rayon from The Cloth Shop

I used our altered pattern, cutting the smallest size but moved over the fold another 5/8″ and joyfully sewed it up. I then wondered why it seemed to come down lower at the back to the point where it was showing her bra back strap a little.

True Bias Ogden Cami in rayon remnant from The Cloth Shop

Clare then popped on to Instagram and read the details on the posts about my earlier adventures in Ogden sewing, where it fitted well. I had forgotten to shorten the shoulder straps! Out came the unpicker, and I shortened the straps, then redid them.

True Bias Ogden Cami in rayon from The Cloth Shop

This outfit has been in heavy wardrobe rotation. These photos were taken on an incredibly bright and baking hot Melbourne day. It appears that denim skirt and Ogden Cami is the combination of choice for the sixteen year old.

adult's clothing · sewing · teen

Vintage Style 4728 shorts

Clare and I had fun trawling through my stash of old patterns late last year in search of skirt patterns.  She’s a mix of sizes, but for skirts will generally fit into a women’s 6 or 8.  She was looking for fuller skirts, that ended above the knee. Then we spotted this one:

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

This pattern is from 1986, and I do think that the cover art is a perfect example of the fashions of its time. The pattern description is as follows. Misses’ Skirt, Trousers, Culottes and Shorts: Flared skirt, slightly tapered trousers, culottes and shorts are gathered front and back onto waistband with side-front pockets which form buttoned opening.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

So as you can see, we decided on the shorts! The fabric is double gauze from Clear It, left over from an earlier project.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

I do rather enjoy working with printed patterns from this era. I learned to sew using them, and they really do give me pleasure. They are SO familiar to me! We cut straight size 8 for Clare. The pockets tuck into the side seams but form part of the opening at the front.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

The buttons are also vintage, from stash, and are the only closure. You can see the slanted front pocket edge in the photo. Because of this opening method, the pockets aren’t actually as deep or as secure as you might think. The teen does keep on putting her mobile phone into the leg opening rather than into the pocket!

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

The gathers at the front and back provide lovely fullness to these shorts, and they really do work in the same place as an equivalent skirt. Clare tie-dyed the tee with a friend as some school holiday fun. She also dyed her hair!

Holiday hair - Clare

Clare’s hair is waist length, so she needed a friend to help her to get the ombre pink to purple effect! They’re just temporary colours that wash out after around 8 washes (Schwarzkopf Live Colour range; we get them from Priceline) and it’s become a bit of a school holiday tradition to have ‘holiday hair’. If it’s done right at the beginning of the holidays it is all gone by the time that school goes back – Clare’s school is quite strict about ‘unnatural colours’ in hair.

Holiday hair - Stella

Of course, Stella wanted to be in on the action as well. Her choice was ombre blue ends! They really do enjoy this bit of holiday fun. I’ve still got a few of last year’s projects to get up on the blog, so will try to get that done over the next few days. I’m between jobs at the moment, and as you can see we haven’t gone away on a ‘big’ holiday this summer. We’re all enjoying the time at home, pottering away and getting lots of things done that we never usually have the time for. Yes, there is lots of organising and sorting and tidying up and throwing out going on! As well as reading, watching movies and Netflix, and from me, sewing.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

hats · sewing

A Flat Cap for summer

My dad will be 92 in March.  Yes, you read correctly.  And we’re all lucky – other than hearing loss and some comparatively minor age-related issues, he’s in pretty good shape.  Dad still mows the lawns (not in the summer heat) and does basic garden maintenance.  He’s only recently handed in his driver’s license, and he spends his days alternating between pottering with wood in one of his workshops, reading the paper, having a nap, and reading books.  When I think of my dad, I think of a man with a hat.  In summer it’s usually a brimmed hat; in winter it’s a flat cap.  Each time a birthday or Christmas rolls around, I wonder what to give dad – after all, what would a man of that age like?  He’s not a drinker and doesn’t have an interest in sports.  So how about another hat?

Flat Cap pattern by You Sew Girl in textured cotton linen from The Cloth Shop

I figured that this time I’d sew a flat cap in summer-weight fabrics. The main fabric is textured cotton/linen from The Cloth Shop. I lined it with quilting cotton (sorry, no photograph of that).

Flat Cap pattern by You Sew Girl in textured cotton linen from The Cloth Shop

I’ve now sewn The Flat Cap pattern by Nicole Mallalieu of You Sew Girl four times. It’s an excellent pattern. The instructions are great, everything fits together beautifully. You really can tell that the pattern has been designed by a professional with loads of hat making experience.

Flat caps

I did a little trawl through the archives and found the other caps.  One in wool, one in denim, and one in leather.  My dad is a small bloke, with a small head.  His cap is size Small, and as it happens it fits me too.

Flat Cap pattern by You Sew Girl in textured cotton linen from The Cloth Shop

Not sure that I can carry it off with the same aplomb as dad!  Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have recently seen a photo of my broken handled pinking shears. It was trimming back the seam allowances on this cap – through a section with about six layers of fabric plus template plastic – that resulted in that sad occurrence. However, I had no issues trimming the rest of it back with sharper scissors from then on. Moral of the story – make sure that your pinking shears are sharp, and don’t try to cut six layers at a time.

Flat cap - grandparents and granddaughters

Actually, one of dad’s favourite things to do is to see and spend time with his granddaughters. My two are the only grandkids, and dad never thought that he’d be around long enough to see grandkids at all, let alone see them get to this age. We’re pretty blessed.

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Eme

The time between Christmas and New Year is one of my favourites.  Expectations have evaporated, there are leftovers in the fridge, most people are on leave, Melbourne has cleared out (which makes it great to be here) and I lose track of what day of the week it is.  I’ve pottered around the house, getting lots of chores done in a relaxed pace according to my own timetable and no-one else’s.  Actually, I’ve barely left the house!  The first few days of last week were baking hot which made me very grateful for air-conditioning; fortunately Melbourne has done what it usually does and the last few days have been delightful with cool nights and days in the mid twenties.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Anyway, this is what I wore on Christmas Day. We hosted lunch for 18 people, it was hot outside, and this dress kept me comfortable throughout. It’s the Style Arc Eme dress.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website: Eme is our new summer cocoon shaped dress that is perfect for the beginner sewer, with no fastenings or trim details required. The loose-fitting shape allows for cool fitting during those hot summer days and the lovely darts at the hem complete the cocoon look. With its simple design lines Eme is the perfect pattern for colour blocking. FABRIC SUGGESTION Linen, rayon, silk, cotton, fine wool.

eme-dress

First things first – that line drawing is VERY deceiving regarding the length of this dress.  I know I’m short at 158cm, but in the illustration the dress ends above the knee.  Mine ends well below it.  Actually, most finished versions that I’ve seen definitely look longer rather than shorter.  You might want to take that into account.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It is a simple dress that is straightforward to sew. If you left out the side seam pockets (I included them) you really could ‘whip it up’ in very little time at all! Like all simple things, it needs to be well drafted in order to look good – and in my opinion, this dress is great. The neckline is a great shape, and finishing it with a wide topstitched facing adds a lovely bit of detail. The sleeves can be left longer, or turned back to form a cuff, which is my preference.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The darts at the hemline – two on the front and two on the back – really do give that lovely cocoon shape. I know that it’s not a silhouette for everyone, but it’s definitely one that I like a great deal. No fit and flare in my wardrobe! The hemline also has a wide facing, which gives it body and a little more detail with topstitching.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The fabric came from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s current stock, and I’m pretty sure that it is linen/viscose blend. The colour is wonderful! It was great to sew with and to wear as it combined the best properties of both fibre types. The Eme is a great alternative to that other Style Arc staple, the Adeline.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing · teen

True Bias Ogden cami – from mini to adult

Last Sewjourn I whipped up a mini Ogden cami for Clare.  (Side note: whenever I type ‘whipped up’ I smile.  What a funny expression to use in a sewing context!  And although the implication that whatever is ‘whipped up’ is done in a frenzy, I didn’t rush my way through this.  It’s just not a complicated garment; there are very few pattern pieces, and no tricky finishing techniques).

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

The fabric is printed woven rayon came from Rathdowne Fabrics and was left over from another project. This is the Mini Ogden cami, sewn in size 10 which was the largest size. I doubted that Clare would be a girls size 10, but the chest measurement looked like it would work, and from past experience I knew that for this pattern I needed to select the size based on circumferential measurements.

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

The first thing that I had to do when she tried it on was re-cut the straps. As designed, the size 10 straps were WAY too short for her height.  I cut out and sewed a new set of straps, adding about four inches to the length, then attached them where they best lined up with her bra straps. I’m old fashioned in that way – I prefer underwear to be covered rather than exposed (unless it’s brightly coloured and worn with an outer garment that suggests it is clearly meant for exposure).

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

Now to me there wasn’t enough boob room in the front of the cami. Yes, it fits, in that it goes around her and isn’t skin tight, but the underarm seams are digging in. Time to pull out the adult version of the pattern and give it another go.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 7.45.22 am

The above diagram is the mini Ogden.  The adult version is a little different, which you can see in it’s line diagram below.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 7.54.52 am

The adult version has a front and back lining piece (it comes down as far as under the bust) and there is no elastic in the back.  Rather, it has a gently curved V neckline like the front.  After checking out the measurements for the adult version I knew that I’d need to sew a muslin.  Clare really needed a size somewhere between the size 10 girls (designed for a 28.5 inch chest) and the size 0 women’s (designed for a 32 inch chest). I found some fabric in the stash, printed and cut out the size 0, and sewed up a wearable muslin.  Then made just-awake Clare try it on with her pyjama bottoms.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

The fabric is printed cotton from deep stash – maybe originally from Spotlight. It’s not as soft and drapey as the rayon I used for the mini Ogden. I used some plain white fabric I found elsewhere in stash for the partial lining, which was much softer and was possibly rayon.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

Now as you can see, the fit of the women’s cami here is WAY better than the mini Ogden. However, as I’d anticipated, the neckline was much too wide and the shoulder straps were too far apart. Clare felt really exposed in this version and wanted more chest coverage. Interestingly, that’s how I felt in the Ogden cami that I made ages ago. When we pinned out a chunk along the centre front and centre back, everything seemed much better.  I cut out a second version of the cami, this time from rayon, but after having folded out 5/8 inch along the centre ‘on the fold’ edge. Yes, I did remember to do this to the lining pieces as well as the front and back pieces! In total this removed two and a half inches from the total circumference of the pattern, while retaining the side seam shaping and the overall neckline shaping.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

Apparently this is drafted for a C cup bust – which Clare doesn’t have.  However, I didn’t do a SBA.  Once change at a time!  And as it turns out, I didn’t need to.  This version fitted so much better!

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

This alteration also raised the neckline a bit at both the front and the back. Clare was really pleased with it. Not sure that the fabric colour is the best for Clare – her skin tone blends into it a bit – but she’s already wearing it quite a lot! She chose to wear it for her early 16th birthday party celebrations (January birthdays often mean that friends are all away at party time, so we chose to have a pre-Christmas celebration this year).

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

You can see how much better that armhole fit is. The back is deep, but finishes above her bra. Bra straps are still exposed a little bit, but not dramatically so, and the cami straps are in a comfortable place on her shoulders.

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

We’re really pleased with the fit of this cami now, and have fabric queued to sew more. I might even give this pattern another go for myself with similar alterations (cut a larger size than I did last time, then move the pattern piece across to shift the neckline and strap position). Clare is also keen for me to sew it as a slip dress. I have a feeling that this will be a very useful garment in the teen wardrobe over this Australian summer.

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

adult's clothing · sewing

Cashmerette Cedar Dolman top

I bought this pattern for the workout tank (yeah, self delusional regarding the likelihood of doing a workout) but have sewn the Cedar dolman top!

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

From the Cashmerette website: Step up your game with the Cedar Workout Tank and Dolman Top! View A is a sleek workout tank, featuring princess seams, a v-neck or crew neck, optional decorative straps, and an easy foldover elastic finish.  Afterwards, clean up with View B, a casual, dolman sleeve top suitable for drapey wovens or knits, with a relaxed fit and an optional pretty knotted detail. From yoga to brunch, this duo of patterns has you covered with stylish, sporty design.

CedarTechDraw_550x

As is obvious, I sewed view B, the top, with the front tie.  I sewed size 12 C/D, grading to size 14 through the waist.  The fabric is printed rayon from my stash.  For once I am unsure about its provenance – maybe it was a Darn Cheap Fabrics remnant?

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

These photos were taken at the end of a work day, after taking off a jacket, and the sleeves are pretty crumpled. Please take it from me that when pressed they are quite even in length!

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

I faced the neckline, as per the instructions. Generally I swap out neckline facings for binding, and that would have worked quite well as an alternative, but I quite like the structure of the facing on this soft drapey fabric. I had to use a million pins to secure it when I topstitched it in place – I should have pulled out some double sided tape instead. The hemline and ties are also faced and topstitched in place. The sleeve hems are simply turned to the inside and stitched (I did overlock the edge first).

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

This works really nicely with my wide-legged Fifi pants. This is really a wearable muslin – I don’t know if that print in those colours is really me – but I’ll definitely be sewing this pattern again.