adult's clothing · sewing

Cityscapes dress

I subscribe to emails from The Sewing Workshop, but until recently haven’t used any of their patterns.  This is the Cityscapes dress.

Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress in ponte

Because my shape has changed I am finding it harder to choose the best size for me when using patterns from companies I haven’t sewn from before. I sewed this dress in size Medium, despite my measurements being more like a Large. I still think it’s a bit to big across my shoulders. I also shortened the pattern considerably by taking folds out of it at a number of places. Shortening from the hem wasn’t an option as that would have affected the cocoon shaping.

Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress in ponte

The fabric is ponte, I think from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I rather like the colour, but in combination with the high neckline, long sleeves and long dress length, feel a little swamped by blue when wearing it. Tights, shoes and scarves make quite a difference!

Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress in ponte

The neckline really is too high for my personal preference, and you can see better in these photos that the shoulders are probably a bit too wide. The dress is shaped with long darts that run from just below the bust to the hemline.

Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress in ponte

I actually think that I may have done a bit of a sway back alteration in this dress, but even given the cocoon shaping, it still looks as though there is excess on me at centre back (which regular readers of my blog know isn’t unusual at all). Construction was shared between the machine and the overlocker.

Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress in ponte

From the pattern website: Cityscapes Dress Semi-fitted, long sleeve dress has extended darts creating bell shape and tapered midi length hemline. Suggested Fabrics Moderate stretch knit, jersey, interlock, double knit, novelty knit.

cityscapestechnicals

I’m glad that I gave this pattern a try, and would possibly sew it again, but using a lighter weight fabric, narrowing the shoulders and scooping the neckline.  It’s an interesting style – simple, but a little bit quirky in shape.

Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress in ponte

adult's clothing · sewing · tween

More Elle pants

Not only do I like Style Arc Elle pants for me, but Clare likes them for her!  She did work experience in an engineering firm a couple of months ago, and needed some pants that she could wear to work.  Elle pants to the rescue!

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

This pair is in black bengaline, so it’s hard to see them clearly in the photos, but I also sewed her a pair in an eggplant colour and in a neutral beige/brown. They’re SO quick to make!  She’s also got a navy pair that is terrific for Guides.

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

I’m pretty sure that these are size 6. I shorten them by taking a fold out of the pattern pieces between the knee and the hem. Construction is all on the overlocker, with the machine just used to twin needle the hems (and to join the ends of the waist elastic together.

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

From the Style Arc website: This is the pant of the moment, slim line from ankle to waistline. Elastic waist 35mm or 1 ¼ inch wide. These pants sit so beautifully without any bulk, wear them with your high heels out for the night or with your sneakers for brunch…..a must have piece in your wardrobe! FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION Stretch Bengaline is perfect! You can buy Bengaline at our store.

elle-pant

These have the comfort of leggings but the fit of a slim pant, and the fabric elevates them above a ponte pant.  Will skinny pants ever completely go out of fashion?  I doubt it.  I’ll probably be sewing this pattern for the rest of my life.

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

By the way, I sewed the jacket a couple of years ago.  The shirt is purchased.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Ottobre dress for Stella

I’ve probably said before that Stella can be quite fussy about what she wears.  Sometimes I’ll sew her something in accordance with her direction, and she’ll say that she likes it, then she never wears it.  She’s recently been wearing this dress that I sewed over a year ago.  She’s had a growth spurt, and this dress is really not a dress any more – it’s a tunic.

dress from Ottobre 4 2016 in plush backed knit from Spotlight with rib trim

The pattern is from Ottobre 4 2016. I really don’t use Ottobre patterns as often as I should. I know that it’s tracing them from the pattern sheets that puts me off, but I also know that it really doesn’t take all that long to do it. Definitely no longer than taping together a pdf pattern!

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The curved raglan shoulder seams appealed to me.  I had some pink rib trim in stash that contrasted nicely with the plush backed knit from Spotlight, so decided to use that for the neckband, cuffs, and as faux piping to highlight the raglan seam shaping.

dress from Ottobre 4 2016 in plush backed knit from Spotlight with rib trim

Now I have to say that the Spotlight plush backed knit was HORRENDOUS to sew. I will never ever sew with that fabric again, and am glad that it was a remnant that I picked up cheaply. The print is sweet, and the reverse side incredibly soft, but it stretched out of shape whenever I tried to topstitch it and it was bulky along seams. The overlocker dealt with the seam bulk very nicely, but there was no way that I could neatly topstitch the bands or the faux piping so that they would lay flatter.

dress from Ottobre 4 2016 in plush backed knit from Spotlight with rib trim

Anyway, the dress has now been worn as a tunic quite a few times, so my effort in sewing it wasn’t wasted. It’s soft against the skin, which is what Stella likes, and is easy to move in. I’d call this garment a semi-success. I won’t be sad to see it leave her wardrobe in next season’s cull.

adult's clothing · sewing · tween

Style Arc Tallulah

Another garment that was sewn a while ago – this one at Sewjourn in April.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

It’s fun sewing for the kids! This is the Style Arc Tallulah knit dress, in size 4. The fabric is a super soft viscose/spandex knit from Super Cheap Fabrics. Clare is pretty fussy about what fabrics she wears next to her skin, and this one ticks all of the boxes.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website: You will love this easy to wear pull-on knit dress sewing pattern. With its long sleeves, the side gathers elevate this style from a simple shift dress to a super fashionable garment. This is a very easy sewing project – you could have a new dress in an afternoon. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Jersey or double knit.

talulah-knit-dress

Style Arc are right – this is an easy dress to sew, and if I hadn’t decided to sew it from striped fabric it would have been very fast.  Because I did use stripes, I spent quite a lot of time getting them all lined up when I cut it out, and pinned every single stripe together before I sewed each seam.  Worth it though!

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Clare is around my height now – 158cm tall – and this is pattern length. She prefers it styled with a belt, as she finds the drop waist a bit too late 80s/early 90s and the side gathers hit at a more pleasing location when the skirt is moved up and bodice bloused over the belt.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

As is always the case with Style Arc, the pattern is beautifully drafted and there is just the right amount of fullness created by the gathers. I used both the sewing machine and the overlocker in construction, and hems were twin needled after securing with vliesofix.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

I have to admit that I do get a great deal of pleasure out of seeing my teen in clothes that are all made by me – in this case dress, cardi and scarf! She does have bought clothes in her wardrobe too, but definitely is more than happy to wear what I make – as long as she has a say in what it is! Very satisfying.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

Freya the second – but did I blog the first?

This is a wonderful winter casual top.  I first sewed it in brushed merino french terry from The Fabric Store.  This time I used french terry again, but I’m not sure of the fibre composition.

Style Arc Freya tunic in french terry from Clear It

The striped fabric is from Clear It – plenty of Melbourne sewers are wearing garments made from either the green, pink, or orange colourway. Maybe there was a blue colourway too! It’s smooth on one side, with loops on the other. Possibly a cotton, maybe with something else mixed in too. You can see the colour better in this photo.

Style Arc Freya tunic in french terry from Clear It

Yes, the stripes really are rather vibrant! The fabric in the centre is stretch corduroy – I’ve recently sewn it into a pair of pants. The denim on the left is possibly destined to become some sort of coat or jacket – I’m not actually certain. I have done quite well at limiting my fabric purchases this year, generally only buying fabric for specific projects. The denim is an exception – it’s entered general stash, but it’s a fabric that I admired over a couple of visits to Clear It, and it was on sale last time I was there. So I bought it! I’ve been avoiding fabric stores, as that’s the best way for me to not buy more fabric (duh) but Clear It also sell Dangerfield, Revival and Princess Highway clothes, all of which appeal to my fifteen year old and the smallest size fits her. She’s got some adorable jumpers and cardis from Clear It – I am enjoying wearing them vicariously through her. But I digress.

Style Arc Freya tunic in french terry from Clear It

I sewed size 12, and don’t recall making any alterations. Maybe sleeve length, I really can’t quite remember! I topstitched either side of the centre front and angled side front seams, and twin needled the hems. Otherwise construction was on the overlocker. From the Style Arc website: Modern styled, comfortable and chic, this cowl neck tunic with its angled design line and tucked sleeve opening is a great addition to your wardrobe.FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit, baby wool, light ponte, jersey or any sweater knit.

freya-knit-tunic

Both versions of Freya are on high rotation this winter.  They’re great with stretchy pants, a singlet underneath for warmth, then a jacket over the top when I go outside.  Definite winners.

Style Arc Freya tunic in french terry from Clear It

While writing this blog post I eventually realised that I haven’t blogged the first version of this tunic!  I sewed it at Sewjourn in May.  I’ve managed to find a photo thanks to Instagram.

Style Arc Freya in green merino

I have a feeling that this tunic pattern will get many outings over the coming years.  I especially like the sleeve treatment, with the tuck near the hem.  Sleeve interest that isn’t over the top – marvellous!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June City Park tee

Clare came to me with a dress that no longer fitted, in that it was way too short.  This was a ponte Groove dress that I’d sewed a couple of years prior.  See, my kids do actually grow and get taller!  The before photo from 2016:

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

It was pretty straightforward for me to grab a copy of the Hey June Patterns City Park tee and use it as a guide to straighten out the side seams and curve the bottom hem.  Hey presto, too short flared dress becomes a fitted tee!

Hey June patterns City Park tee

The neckline was a bit too open and scooped when I first sewed this – but now it’s perfect! While the pattern was out I also sewed up a long-sleeved tee in white stretch panne velvet from stash for Clare to wear to a fairy themed party. I know, she’s a teenager, it’s a fairy party, some things you never grow out of!

Hey June patterns City Park tee

Just a quick snap to show you the fit. This is a nice basic fitted tee with set in sleeves. I think that I sewed the girls size 14. The panne velvet was appalling stuff to sew. My overlocker handled it okay but it left terrible little pieces of sparkly plasticky fluff absolutely everywhere. Ugh. I’m avoiding that fabric in the future. It did however fit the bill nicely and Clare looked lovely (and warm) when she headed off to the party – with the addition of wings and a wand, of course!

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The cardi is purchased, and the patternless skirt sewn from scuba a couple of years ago.

I have found Hey June patterns to be excellent basics for my daughters.  I have three that I use regularly – the City Park tee (set in sleeves, fairly fitted), Camden Raglan (raglan sleeves, fairly fitted) and the Morrison tee (drop shoulder, loose body, fitted sleeve).  And as they grow I just reprint and cut out the size that I want.  Very worthwhile.

 

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Coral Cardigan – yet again!

This is the third time that I’ve sewn the Style Arc Coral cardigan, and it won’t be the last.

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in striped knit from Clear It

This pattern gave me a terrific opportunity to play with stripes. The double-sided knit from Clear It (which has become many often-worn garments over the past few years – thanks to Anna for replenishing my stash of it) has narrow stripes on one side and wide stripes on the other. I decided to use both sides, each in different locations. This had the added bonus of making stripe-matching much more straightforward!

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in striped knit from Clear It

I sewed size 12, shortening the sleeves a couple of inches before adding the cuff. The centre front bands are the same length; it’s just that I don’t have it on my shoulders evenly in these end-of-the-day photos.  Construction was predominantly on the overlocker, with twin needle stitching on the machine to secure the neckband and the hem.

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in striped knit from Clear It

The neck band on this cardigan sits especially well on me. It’s nice and snug at the back of my neck and stays close. The relaxed styling is also very comfortable. From the Style Arc website: Everyone needs a cardigan, why not this on trend style. It’s shortened front neck band that aligns with the inseam pocket detail give s a simple cardigan a new lease on life. Carol is a lovely square shaped cardigan, very easy to wear and make. FABRIC SUGGESTION Knit, Jersey, Light Ponte or any knit fabric.

coral-cardigan

For me this cardigan is neat enough to wear to work yet relaxed enough to wear on weekends without feeling like I’m at work.  A definite wardrobe workhorse.

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in striped knit from Clear It