adult's clothing · Lekala · sewing · tween

Tangled

This is a way overdue post – I sewed this dress/costume for Clare some months ago, for a Girl Guides event.  The theme was Disney; Clare wanted to go as Rapunzel – specifically, the “version” from Tangled. For reference:

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sewing costumes. They are often a great deal of work, and often a fair bit of expense in fabric cost. But once the girls are all dressed up in their costumes and grinning from ear to ear, it is SO satisfying! The costumes I’ve made in the past have all been worn until they’ve no longer fitted (and any that I make for Clare are then worn by Stella) so when I weigh it up they are actually a worthwhile garment to make. There may be some Cosplay sewing in my future, I suspect.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume McCalls 6420

So, on to costume details. We figured out the key elements of the costume, and looked for a pattern that contained most of them. McCalls 6420 included patterns for both Women and Girls, but nothing for tween/teen sizes. However, it did provided us with a basis to adapt.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume McCalls 6420

I took a look at the smallest Women’s pattern pieces, and knew that there was absolutely no way that the bodice was going to work on Clare. I could adapt the sleeve and skirt patterns without much hassle, but not that bodice. Over to Lekala I went! Rapunzel/Tangled costume Lekala 5017

Lekala 5017 provided the basis for the dress bodice and vest. We’d decided to sew the dress all in one with the skirt and sleeves attached to it, then the corset-style vest over it. I figured that I could use the same pattern pieces for both. I altered the neckline of the Lekala pattern pieces and redrew the hemline into a point to match the illustrations and the skirt piece on the pattern pieces, then cut into some quilting cotton to sew the vest.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Lekala is really wonderful for the non-standard shape. I could tell straight away that this was going to work without too much drama and alteration.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The front of the vest is quilting cotton, and the back is cotton drill. The vest is fully lined – I used the same quilting cotton as the central skirt panel. This costume was constructed in bits and pieces over a couple of weeks. The sleeves were fun to make. I used the McCalls pattern pieces as a base.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The purple stripes on the upper puffed sleeve are strips of ribbon sewn to the base fabric. The lower sleeve is pale pink stretch mesh. You can see how much I had to pin out of it to make it fitted to Clare’s arm.  I completed both sleeves, ready to be attached to the bodice, then laid them aside and moved on to the skirt.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

I used poly satin from Spotlight for the skirt. There is a hell of a lot of fabric in that skirt, and consequently a hell of a lot of gathering! The centre front skirt panel is quilting cotton. The stretch lace trim used throughout came from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The bodice fabric was also a poly satin from Spotlight, but was definitely much nicer quality (and was also more expensive) than the fabric used for the skirt. I used the same pattern pieces for the bodice as for the vest, except I placed the centre front line on the fold. It is self-lined, with a zip down the back. I have to say that sewing the zip into place in poly satin was NO fun at all. It is covered by the vest when she has the entire costume on, but I still wanted it to be fairly well inserted!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Then it was back to the vest!  Time to learn how to insert eyelets.  After a few experiments with the setting tool that came with the pack of eyelets (which involved a hammer and breadboard) I suddenly remembered that somewhere in my stash of handy sewing equipment I owned a setting tool that squeezed the parts together – it’s the one with the orange handles in the photo below.  The other very handy tool was the one that cut the holes for the eyelets – the one with the red handles.  I think that I bought it at Bunnings a while ago.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The eyelets set in much more nicely than I’d anticipated – the practice ones on scrap fabric were definitely worthwhile.  We found some purple ribbon to lace through them, and then the costume was almost complete!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

That laces up quite nicely!  Clare had ordered cheap hair extensions from eBay, and attached them to the bottom of her plait to add extra length.  The flowers were a couple of bunches from a $2 shop that we cut up and stuck into her hair at intervals.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

So, there you go!  I present to you all, Rapunzel!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

She was VERY pleased with her finished costume, and I think she makes a highly convincing Rapunzel!  It looks as though this costume is going to get another outing again at Guides soon in a Halloween-related activity.  Stella’s pretty pleased with it in anticipation as well.  I’m now starting to wonder what might be a fun costume to sew next…

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

 

adult's clothing · sewing

Liesl + Co Chai Tee – twice!

I love the name of this tee – it really does just roll off the tongue!

Liesl and Co Chai Tee in striped cotton spandex from Crafty Mamas

I sewed up the Liesl + Co Chai Tee shortly after release. All of Liesl Gibson’s patterns are beautifully drafted with excellent instructions, and this pattern was no exception. From the website: This simple and stylish pull-on top is much more than a basic tee. It has an easy fit and is as comfortable to wear as your favorite T-shirt, but it brings a touch of elegance to every day with its shoulder yokes and pleats and its feminine shaping. Leave the sleeves uncuffed (View A) or stitch the cuffs in place to secure them (View B). The pattern comes with separate pieces for A/B, C, and D cup sizes to help you make a great fitting shirt. Suggested Fabrics: Designed for lightweight cotton knit fabric with moderate stretch. This tee can also be sewn from drapey woven fabrics, but you may need to go up a size or two for a good fit.

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Liesl and Co Chai Tee in striped cotton spandex from Crafty Mamas

I sewed this striped version in cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. This is a quality fabric with loads of recovery but not masses of drape. It was interesting to compare the fit of my tee to that on the model on the website. The neckline ended up much smaller on my tee – which isn’t a criticism either way, more an observation about how fabric choices affect fit.

Liesl and Co Chai Tee in striped cotton spandex from Crafty Mamas

The shoulder yokes are cut double, and they enclose most of the associated seams. The neckline is bound, rather than having a band added. The little pleats at the shoulder add some nice detail and improve fit across the bust. I folded the pleats as per the instructions for this tee.

Liesl and Co Chai Tee in striped cotton spandex from Crafty Mamas

Size wise, this tee is a mash-up to accommodate my belly. I chose to sew the C cup version – don’t you love it when pattern pieces are provided with FBA already built in? – in size Medium, graded up to XL through the waist and back to the Medium for the hips. Basically, this meant that I removed all of the waist shaping!

Liesl and Friends Chai Tee in viscose spandex from The Cloth Shop

As it turned out, one Chai Tee simply wasn’t enough! I really wanted to see how this pattern would work in a drapier fabric, and as it turned out I had this printed viscose/spandex remnant from The Cloth Shop handy. There was just enough of it to make the tee by combining it with a solid black viscose/spandex for the shoulder yokes and neckband.

Liesl and Friends Chai Tee in viscose spandex from The Cloth Shop

This is exactly the same size as the striped version. You can see that it drapes differently on me, and the neckline is a little larger. This time around I folded the shoulder pleats the other way (contrary to the instructions) and I’ve decided that I actually prefer it.

Liesl and Friends Chai Tee in viscose spandex from The Cloth Shop

Most construction was on the overlocker, with the sewing machine used judiciously for topstitching and for attaching the neckline binding. I used a twin needle to hem the bottom of the top after securing the hemline with double sided fusible tape. The sleeves don’t require hemming, as they are cut double with the hemline on the fold.  This is the pattern length as drafted, so it’s fairly long (I’m 158cm tall).

Liesl and Friends Chai Tee in viscose spandex from The Cloth Shop

This is a lovely pattern – that step up from a basic tee. In the right fabric it is definitely a great summer office top, and it’s a nicer version of casual.  There is also a sewalong for its construction on the Liesl + Co blog.  Highly recommended.

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.

b6289_a

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.

april-pant

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!

simplicity-girls-pattern-1043-envelope-front

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!