adult's clothing · sewing

Butterick 6289 top and Style Arc April pants

Butterick 6289 was an impulse purchase the last time that Spotlight had Butterick patterns on sale.  You know how it is – they never seem to have the pattern that you really wanted, so you buy another one that you sort of like to make up the numbers to get the special offer?  This pattern was one of those.

Butterick 6289 top and Style Arc April pants

This pattern was actually released  in late 2015, but there are only three reviews of it on Pattern Review.  I think that’s a pity – in my opinion it’s a really great pattern!  Maybe it’s a case of look at the line drawings rather than the envelope photo and artwork?  There are a few options in the pattern envelope.  From the website: Loose-fitting, pullover tunic has neck band, stitched hems, overlay variations with raw edge finish.

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b6289

As you can see, I sewed view D, the long sleeved option with the overlay covering one sleeve and the entire body.  I cut the length of the underneath body to the shorter length of view A, mostly due to fabric restrictions, but left the rest of the pattern as is.  I sewed size Medium, the 12-14, and it was plenty roomy enough around my middle.

Butterick 6289 top and Style Arc April pants

I used a knit from EK Fashion Fabrics in Sydney Road for the sleeves, neckband and overlay. It has a fair bit of stretch in one direction but not as much stretch in the other, so I paid attention to the grainlines when cutting out the top. Because I was working with a panel print, and I only had two panels, I ended up with what was a pretty good print layout but not a completely perfect one.

Butterick 6289 top and Style Arc April pants

The fabric used for the underneath body of the top was a wool blend crinkly knit from deep stash. There was just enough of it! I was determined to make this top work from the metreage that I had. It was very straightforward to construct and everything fitted together nicely – but don’t skimp on the notches and markings! You’ll need them! I decided to narrow hem the overlay edges rather than leaving them raw as per the pattern instructions.

Butterick 6289 top and Style Arc April pants

The pants are the Style Arc April pant, in the very last pieces I had of that Style Arc leather-look stretch bengaline. I’ve made these pants many, many times.  They’re really designed for ponte or a stretch knit, but they worked out okay in this bengaline.  From the pattern website: 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.

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These were sewed in size 10, with construction all done on the overlocker but topstitching alongside each seam done on the sewing machine.  The stretch of the fabric, combined with the wide elastic in the waist, makes them very easy to pull on and wear.

Butterick 6289 top and Style Arc April pants

The seaming makes them that bit more special than just plain stretch leather-look pants, in my opinion. I can tell that I’ll pull this pattern out again in the years to come – actually, I think this pattern is one of Style Arc’s earliest ones!

Butterick 6289 top and Style Arc April pants

I feel great in this outfit – it’s a bit “out there” and definitely feels very me.  I’d like to try the top again with a sheer or lace overlay.  There is a stunning version of it here on Sharon’s blog (also worn with leather-look leggings).

adult's clothing · sewing

Cashmerette Springfield top again

When I first sewed the Cashmerette Springfield top I sewed it a size too big, but I thought that it was definitely worth taking the pattern out for another try.  A month or so ago I did exactly that, and sewed view B in size 12 C/D.

Cashmerette Springfield top 12 CD in thai hand woven cotton

The fabric is hand-woven Thai cotton, the leftovers from a dress that I made earlier in the year (and love dearly and wear quite often). I had just enough to eke out view B, which is the version with back princess seams. I didn’t alter the pattern at all – and this is the result!

Cashmerette Springfield top 12 CD in thai hand woven cotton

Surely there is a built-in swayback alteration to this pattern! It fits so closely through the back without being tight, yet there is plenty of room in the front for my generous tummy.

Cashmerette Springfield top 12 CD in thai hand woven cotton

I really liked sewing this fabric. The bias cut strips that finish the armholes and neckline are from the same cotton. It presses and sews very nicely, topstitches beautifully, and it’s great to wear a it relaxes into the shape of your body.

Cashmerette Springfield top 12 CD in thai hand woven cotton

The pattern descriptions is as follows: Make room in your closet for the Springfield Top! This woven shell is ideal for layering under a cardigan or pairing with dark jeans and your favorite heels. View A features a loose, swingy silhouette and optional hem band, while View B uses back princess seams to beautifully skim your curves. Both variations have scooped necklines, back yokes, and comfortably split side seams. Bring on the weekend!

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I am so impressed with this top.  It’s a definite woven fabric winner.  No gaping, nice details, lovely fit.

Cashmerette Springfield top 12 CD in thai hand woven cotton

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Camp pants

This blog post is really mostly for my records, because it’s not terribly exciting for the rest of you!  As you know, both my girls are involved in Girl Guides.  Clare is a Ranger Guide, and has the opportunity to attend plenty of camps.  Apparently a must-have item of clothing for camp is a pair of camp pants – essentially a pair of pants that are as bright and patterned as possible.

Clare's camp pants - Simplicity 1043 girls size 14

Clare sewed this pair herself from Simplicity 1043, a kids pyjama pattern. She sewed size 14. It’s a super easy pattern – there’s just one pattern piece, so no outside leg seam. Elastic and a drawstring in the waist, and Clare decided to put elastic in the leg hems as well. The fabric is a brightly patterned rayon woven from Super Cheap Fabrics.

Camp pants - Simplicity 1043

I whipped up the next pair in quilting cotton from stash. Different fabric for each leg was Clare’s request! Originally she wanted a slimmer leg, but once I sewed these up and she realised that the quilting cotton didn’t have the drape of the rayon, we decided to leave them alone.

Camp pants - Simplicity 1043

Nice wide elastic in the waistband makes them super comfy. I make sure that I put a little tag at the back to make it easier to know which is which.  We didn’t bother with a drawstring for this pair.  Apparently both pairs of camp pants were well worn on her recent school holiday guide camp.  They certainly make a group of Rangers travelling around the state quite noticeable!

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children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Lekala T4001 dress

Oh Lekala.  When it comes to fitting non-standard shapes, you really are the bomb!

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I generally consult with my daughters before I sew them something. I prefer to put my time into sewing things that will actually get worn, unsurprisingly! They usually have input into both style and fabric. I always have the final say or what I will or won’t sew though – generally if I hate it, I won’t sew it! However, this dress was mostly from me. I’d seen Lekala T4001 on their website, and thought it would be fabulous on Clare sewn in denim. So I sewed it for her, pretty much without her consent.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

The denim is a rigid dark remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics – I think that I paid $9 for it. I decided that all those lovely seamlines would benefit from being highlighted with topstitching, and chose a colour that toned beautifully with Clare’s glasses frames.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I used regular thread to do the topstitching, but did a triple stitch. The hardest thing was finding a zip that would work! I have a fairly extensive zip stash thanks to a bulk auction buy a couple of years ago, and luckily for me there was a chunky plastic zip in there that toned quite nicely.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

The zip is actually green, not teal like the stitching, but it still seems to work. The neckline and armholes are faced, so I used a quilting cotton rather than the denim to reduce bulk. You can get a little peek of it at the armholes.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

For girls’ patterns Lekala require height, bust, waist and full hip measurements. I reckon that this has worked really nicely for Clare. The shoulders are possibly a little broad, but overall the fit is rather good.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

Lekala don’t provide descriptions of their patterns, but do provide illustrations and line drawings.

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You can tell now where the inspiration came from for Clare’s dress, can’t you!  This was an enjoyable garment to sew, and fortunately Clare seems to really like it!  It can be worn in summer or styled for winter with tights and boots (the ones she is wearing are from Django & Juliette) and a jacket. Phew.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Winsome dress

This pattern was released a little while ago, possibly around a year ago?  It’s been in my stash for a while, and I’ve seen a few versions of it online.  There were lots of aspects that I liked in the drawing, but others that I wasn’t so keen on.  Anyway, I recently sewed it up and I’m very pleased that I did.

Style Arc Winsome dress in cottonish seersucker from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

This is the Style Arc Winsome designer dress, and in the above photo is how I wore it a week or two ago. You can’t see all the details with that scarf on though!

Style Arc Winsome dress in cottonish seersucker from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

The versions I’ve seen of this online have been sewn in a variety of fabrics, including knits. I used a dark navy splodged with black cotton seersucker that was in stash – yes, originally from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. This dress takes a fair bit of fabric, and fortunately I had plenty!

Style Arc Winsome dress in cottonish seersucker from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

I’ve been embracing some slower sews lately. Really, most of my clothes aren’t required in a hurry, and with working an extra day per week this year, I’ve really had to slow down in general with extracurricular activities! There are a few pattern pieces in this dress, and of course some details that take a little longer to sew and require more attention. No late night wine sewing when constructing plackets or fancy drapey pockets!

Style Arc Winsome dress in cottonish seersucker from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

Style Arc describe this dress as follows: The drawstring back and the draped pocket it gives this dress a true designer look. The rolled up sleeves and the asymmetrical hemline allows this dress to be worn by those who love an Avant-garde look. This is a slightly oversized style which makes it such a comfortable dress to wear and not to difficult to make. FABRIC SUGGESTION Crepe, Silk, Rayon or any fabric that drapes.

winsome-dress

Now, did you read that part where it says “fabric that drapes”?  This slightly floaty cotton definitely doesn’t fit that bill, and that affects the overall look of the garment.  I like the way it’s turned out, but it’s probably not what was envisaged by the designers, especially where the pockets are concerned.  My are very structured in comparison to others I have seen.  But to me that’s one of the joys of sewing – you need to know what the rules are so that you know what might happen when you break them!

Style Arc Winsome dress in cottonish seersucker from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

This is a straight size 12, and I didn’t make any alterations for length. Size wise, I think it is a pretty good fit on me. It’s not too oversized, but that’s probably because I’ve been chubbing up a bit this year and my usual size 12 fits differently! I measure closer to a 14 now. The curved hemline is a bit of fun – there is a fair bit of volume in the skirt when the breeze catches the fabric!

Style Arc Winsome dress in cottonish seersucker from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

The front and back princess seams make fitting and sewing straightforward, and the back drawstring casing is easy to make. Only the front placket took a little bit longer, but the instructions were quite adequate. Actually, choosing buttons was the most difficult part! I auditioned all sorts – self, contrasting, flat, shank – but in the end went for these very dark navy buttons that blended well with the fabric. I’m glad I did, as it lets the accessories shine.

Style Arc Winsome dress in cottonish seersucker from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

This pattern will get another outing, in something much drapier.  And yes, those huge drapey pockets are quite reminiscent of a couple of Marcy Tilton dresses I’ve sewn in the past.  There’s definitely something that attracts me to them!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Handmade City Park Tee

You’ve seen a few of the Hey June Handmade juniors patterns on my blog before.  Here’s another one!  This time the City Park Tee.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

These were sewn back in March when the weather turned cool. They’re both size 12, and Clare has been wearing them all winter. They should definitely see her through to summer! The pattern description and line drawing from the website are as follows:  The City Park Tee is a casual tee for juniors in sizes 6 – 16.  It comes with the option for a v-neck or scoop neck, shirt length or tunic length, and has four sleeve lengths included – short, elbow, 3/4, and long. The City Park Tee is incredibly versatile depending on what options you choose, your fabric, and any embellishments you choose to add.  Embroider, applique, screen print, stencil, dye, sequin – this tee is a perfect blank slate for anything you can dream up. This pattern works nicely with jerseys, both cotton and cotton blends, but you can also use rib knit, interlock, waffle knit, lycra spandex, or even stretch lace!  Anything with a stretch of at least 30% will work, but 50 – 100% stretch is best.  Just remember – the smaller the stretch percentage, the more fitted the shirt will be.

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As you can see, we chose to sew the scoop neck, long sleeve, tunic length version of the tee.  The striped fabric is a cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics.  The other tee was sewn from a combination of viscose/lycra for the body (so super soft and drapey) but printed cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics for the sleeves and neckband.  I was trying to use up more of my quality knit leftovers!

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Both tees were sewn on the overlocker, with the twin needle on the sewing machine used to secure the hems and neckband. I chose the neckband length according to this tutorial, as usual. I also altered the width of the neckband for the purple and white striped tee to take advantage of the purple stripes.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Over the course of the school holidays (now sadly almost at an end) I went through the girls’ wardrobes and removed everything that was too small. Now I’m on to sewing Clare a pile of short sleeved tees for summer!

adult's clothing · sewing

Dressmaker’s Dinner outfit

A month or so ago I attended the Dressmaker’s Dinner, a social event for Melbourne sewers.  It was a delicious meal at a restaurant, with a small group in attendance – my idea of a perfect evening, as I had plenty of light to examine everyone’s outfits and plenty of time to chat to them about sewing and many other things!  I decided that instead of sewing a new dress, I’d sew an outfit – pants, top and jacket.

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

Really, this outfit was planned around the jacket. The sequinned fabric was a gift from a delightful sewing friend. The sequins were embroidered on a stretch mesh, and I used plain black stretch lining to underline it.

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

It took me a little time to decide which pattern I’d use, and I settled on Butterick 6464. This is a Lisette pattern, designed by Liesl Gibson, and I always have faith in her designs (although I believe that she provides the design concept and sketches for Lisette patterns but Butterick do all the actual pattern making, grading and instruction writing).

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

There are three pieces included in this Butterick pattern, and they are described as follows: Very loose-fitting jacket has dropped shoulders and contrast bands. Fitted pullover halter top has back button loop closure and contrast neckband. Close-fitting pull-on skirt has elastic in wide waistband.

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As you can see from the line drawing, this is a straightforward style.  There aren’t many pattern pieces, which makes it a good choice for the sequinned fabric.  I laid the sequinned fabric over the underlining, and cut them out as one.  Something I paid a lot of attention to was centring the design so that it was balanced on the front and the back of the jacket. I probably cut this out as size 12.

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

Once the pieces were cut out I overlocked all the edges of the sequinned mesh and the underlining together so that I could handle each piece as one and it wouldn’t fall apart. It was also a good way to enclose the sequins along the edges. Most things that you read will tell you to remove all the sequins from the seam allowances. I took the lazy route and left them there, after determining that they were small and not too dense, and would easily be sewn through. I had a good feel along the seam allowances once the jacket was sewn, and removed all the sequins that were caught in the stitching and were sticking out so had scratch potential. I left the rest. I also hand-stitched the seam allowances to the underlining to keep them looking flat.

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

The contrast fabric that I used for the collar and cuffs was in stash – it originally came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 per metre table, and the colour and sheen worked beautifully with the colours of some of the sequins in the main fabric. I also used it to hem the jacket by sewing a folded strip to the hemline right sides together, then turning it to the inside, understitching near the fold, then finally hand-sewing it in place. I really wanted to keep as many sequins as possible off whatever I was wearing under the jacket!

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse in wool lurex knit from Clear It

So, to what I was wearing under the jacket. I sewed myself a pair of leather-look bengaline pants that were a hybrid of the Style Arc Misty and Georgie pants pattern (mostly the Misty).

Style Arc Misty Georgie jeans in leather look bengaline

Since this was a pattern I’d used before it came together very easily. This fabric is a bit slippery to work with, so does need adequate pinning, but goes through the sewing machine and overlocker with ease. I’d been lucky enough to get the last of it from Style Arc after my first go at a pair of Georgie pants in this fabric resulted in beautifully sewn pants that had been cut out with the stretch going up and down the body instead of around it. They ended up in the bin. Take it from me – check, double check, then triple check that you are cutting out your bengaline with the stretch going AROUND the body. You won’t be able to get your pants on otherwise! (I still can’t believe that I’d sewn up the entire pair of Georgie pants before I realised what I’d done….)

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

I used the pockets, complete with topstitching, even though it’s unlikely that anyone will ever get to see them! I know that they’re there. The same thing applies to the fake fly stitching. The waistband has elastic inside it; these are pull-on jeans (my favourite kind).

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

So, on to the top. It’s a pattern I have used before, and always like on me. It’s the Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse.

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse in wool lurex knit from Clear It

The pattern description says: Do the twist! This top is simple but packs a fun surprise. The dolman sleeved blouse is a flattering top meant for light weight drapey knits that are the same on front and back. The neckline features a gradual v-neck that is a breeze to sew. The back of the blouse can feature a special fabric such as stretch lace or a really cool scrap of knit you’ve been hoarding for years. The surprise in this blouse is the twist at the front. The shirt-tail hem really makes this top a great choice for just about any pants or skirt style. Fabric recommendations: Lightweight and drapey knits that are the same on both sides such as cotton/rayon, jersey, modal, activewear, dancewear, jersey/rayon. Knits that are the same on both sides are usually solids and stripes. If you have a print you’d like to use that is not the same on both side you may piece the front.

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I used a wool/lurex knit from Clear It for the top.  It was slightly sheer, and different colours on each side, so I decided to cut it double for the top.  This eliminated the problem of the wrong side showing on half of the front.

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

I spent ages trying to come up with a way of constructing this top so that I could have most of the seams encased between the two layers of fabric, but in the end I just overlocked the edges of the two layers together for each piece then treated them as one.

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse in wool lurex knit from Clear It

Because I’d already overlocked the edges – and to reduce bulk by pressing seams open – I constructed the top on the regular sewing machine. I used a narrow twin needle (in conjunction with double sided fusible tape) to finish the neckline, sleeves, and hem.

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

Overall, I felt great in my outfit. I really enjoyed the shine and sheen and contrast of textures. It was lots of fun – and I generally enjoy some fun in my clothing!

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

I accessorised with Django and Juliette shoes, long earrings, and my mum’s Glomesh purse. Not everything matched perfectly but the different pieces worked together in my eyes. All the sparkle!

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

One of the benefits of sewing an outfit like this is that I can hopefully mix and match the pieces in different ways with other items from my wardrobe. Not that I’ve actually done that yet, but over time, I think that I will! They’re also pieces that can accommodate weight and shape fluctuations, so they’ll hopefully stand the test of time and become “classics” in my wardrobe.

 Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining