adult's clothing · sewing

Autumn dress for Mum

Another of the Christmas gifts that I sewed for my Mum was the Style Arc Autumn dress. I’d sewn myself a version around a year prior, and Mum expressed interest in one for herself at the time.

Style Arc Autumn dress in printed linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

I took these photos on an incredibly hot and dry day – you can almost see the heat radiating in the glare! Fortunately I sewed the dress from linen (from The Cloth Shop) which made it about as comfortable as you can be in those types of weather conditions.

Style Arc Autumn dress in printed linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

I sewed Mum size 16, without alterations. This dress is a little shorter than her usual preference – although I think that it looks quite perfect at this length. Because I’d sewn it before, constructions was relatively straightforward – except for that large pleat at the back yoke!

Style Arc Autumn dress in printed linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

From what I’ve read on blogs and instagram, pretty much everyone has trouble getting that pleat correct. I note that I think I have it as designed for Mum’s dress, but when I go back and look at how I did the pleat on my dress I reckon that I got it ‘wrong’ the first time that I sewed it. My tips: make sure that you have included EVERY marking. Have the pattern pieces close to hand. Study the illustrations. Pin the yoke to the ironing board to act as a width and marking reference. Pin the back piece just below it, aligning it with the yoke piece, starting at the outer edges until you get to the first markings. Then take it slow with the folds, patiently folding and refolding until all the marks line up correctly and the back piece is folded to the size of the front piece with all markings lining up as labelled. It does work in the end, trust me. But be patient!

autumn-dress

In included the inseam side pockets – always handy for a hanky if you are Mum, or a mobile phone if you are me – and included all the topstitching as marked.  Construction was mostly on the sewing machine, with the overlocker used to finish seam allowances.  I hand-sewed the collar stand facing in place on the inside of the dress.

Style Arc Autumn dress in printed linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

This dress has a number of details that make it a pleasure to wear. I particularly like the curved hemline, which works nicely with the slight fullness provided by the front pleat, as well as the back pleat. Note that the back pleat creates lots of room and airiness through the body of the dress, but the pattern piece narrows in again by the time it gets to the hemline so there’s not lots of excess there around your knees.

Style Arc Autumn dress in printed linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

The lack of closures also makes this a very easy dress to wear – just slip it over your head and go!

Style Arc Autumn dress in printed linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

When I sewed this for myself I wondered whether it would have benefitted from a high rounded back alteration – and I wondered whether I should have done one for Mum. It looks fine in these photos however. I’ll need to ask Mum how she finds it to wear.  I really love the colourway on Mum, and the fabric was definitely a pleasure to sew.  The more I sew with linen, the more that I love it.  This dress should be perfect for summer in the climate where Mum lives.

Style Arc Autumn dress in printed linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

And by the way – Happy Birthday Mum!

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Athina the Third

Athina the first and second were both such a success that I knew there would have to be a third!

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

When I saw this crinkle large yarn-dyed check at The Cloth Shop my mind instantly paired it with the free Tessuti Athina top pattern. Except I left my run a little too late and when I popped in to buy the fabric, they were out of stock! I was left champing at the bit while I waited for another roll to appear. Then I was back in the shop quick smart!

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

This top ticks so many boxes for me. It’s simple. It’s a yarn dyed check. It’s linen. And the green! What a fabulous green! I sewed size Medium again, with the sleeves at pattern length so that I could roll up a decent width cuff. I did remember to do a half inch forward shoulder alteration to the pattern pieces before I did any cutting out – something that I need to remember to do more often.

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

This is very easy to sew and to wear. Of course, it crinkles – it’s linen! But I know that I will wear this for years and years and years to come.

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

The neckline is finished with a bias cut strip, attached and secured like a facing. I tucked in a label too for fast identification of the back. Have I mentioned that I love this top?

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

Anna loves this fabric too – you can see a terrific dress that she sewed from it recently on her blog.

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Adeline (yet again!)

I did a little bit of sewing for my Mum as part of my Christmas gift to her.  I’ve sewn the Style Arc Adeline dress for her twice before (you can see the previous versions here and here).  It’s a style that Mum really likes, so I sewed it again!

Style Arc Adeline dress in crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop

This time I used crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop. To my eye, in real life it’s actually more blue than grey, but I’m not sure what colour it will look like on your computer monitor.

Style Arc Adeline dress in crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop

I sew size 16 in this pattern for Mum, without any alteration. When I sew it for myself I shorten the pattern a bit, but Mum prefers more length. She’s around my height nowadays, but used to be a couple of inches taller than me.

Style Arc Adeline dress in crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop

I really like the wide facing on the curved hemline. It provides stability and to me is a fabulous style. The pockets are also terrific in this solid colour.

Style Arc Adeline dress in crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop

I’ve sewn this so often that there isn’t much more for me to say about the construction. Construction was shared between the overlocker and the sewing machine. I ensure that I use quality interfacing on the neckline and hem facings, and make sure that I use a gazillion pins to hold the facings where they should be before topstitching, which is especially important on this crinkly fabric.

Style Arc Adeline dress in crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop

I really like the way that the neckline sits too. It stays nice and close to the body. As you’ve probably figured out by now, Mum and I have quite similar body shapes, although she’s more busty than I am. The styles that work well on Mum tend to work well on me, and vice versa.

Style Arc Adeline dress in crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop

Feedback is that this is a very comfortable dress to wear in this very hot summer. I think that the fabric choice was perfect – the crinkles in the linen allow for movement and comfort, while the fibre keeps you cool. I love it when a dress that I sew works so well for the recipient!  I think that I’ve now sewn six Adeline dresses.  Oh my!

 

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.