2014 SWAP · adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic Top

I think that the Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic Top may have been the free pattern when I ordered one month. I really do like the Style Arc freebies, and must admit that I often will hold off an order to see what the freebie for the following month is going to be if I’m not all that enamoured with the current month’s offerings. I’m glad that I received this one.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

I sewed this in size 12, my usual Style Arc top/dress size, and am pleased with the fit. The pattern drawing and description are as follows: This is gorgeous layered top that is perfect for wearing over your narrow legged pant. It has an interesting darted neckline and a flattering dropped shoulder. Use two different textured fabrics for an on trend look or a beautiful coloured silk will create a total luxe feeling.

After reading other reviews, I decided to eliminate the back opening and button/loop.  This was an easy change to make.  I just seamed the centre back right up to the neckline, and sewed the neckband pieces together at the centre back as well.  Otherwise the construction was fairly straightforward.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

I finished the edge of the neck and sleeve facing pieces on the overlocker, and stitched them flat in the ditch from the right side rather than turning them inwards. This has kept the bands sitting flat, and eliminated the need to hand-sew the facings in place. The fabric is from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s a textured woven, linen mixed possibly with some cotton and maybe a little metal? Creases didn’t iron out easily. I haven’t worn this yet other than for the photos, and it did feel a little itchy next to my skin, which might be the metallic component. We’ll see!  Otherwise it was quite good to work with.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

I was a little uncertain about how to attach the bottom pieces to the top to make the fold at first, but when I slowed myself down and read the instructions a few times it worked out quite well. The diagrams were particularly helpful. I really like the wide hems on this top, and the pattern piece is drafted so that the corners mitre beautifully. A lovely feature.

Style Arc Lu Lu Tunic top

The tunic also coordinates well with the Style Arc Lola pants that I made for SWAP – because it is also one of my original planned SWAP garments! I’m glad that I followed through with this one.

2014 SWAP · adult's clothing · sewing

Some more SWAP items – Vogue 8805 and Style Arc Fay

You’d pretty much forgotten about my SWAP plans, hadn’t you?  Because it certainly appeared as though I had!  Although I missed the SWAP deadline by many, many months I am still making some of the garments that were part of it.  These ones were actually sewn many, many months ago but I was slow getting photos.

Vogue 8805 with Style Arc Fay skirt

The top is Vogue 8805, sewn in a ponte and shortened. I was using a remnant piece of fabric (I can’t even remember where from!) and it took considerable juggling to get the pattern pieces out of the small amount that I had. I decided to bind the neckline and sleeve hems rather than simply turning or facing. The neckline was also scooped lower than the pattern. The shaping of this top works well for me.

Vogue 8805 with Style Arc Fay skirt

I completely eliminated the centre back opening – I don’t need to use it to get this on or off. There is plenty of ease through the back, which makes it super comfortable to wear.

Vogue 8805

There is not much to say about the skirt – it’s the Style Arc Fay skirt, but unlined as once again I was working with a small amount of fabric. The fabric is a floral textured jacquard knit from Tessuti. Side seams, elastic in the waist, hem turned once and sewn in place.

Vogue 8805 with Style Arc Fay skirt

I also made a third item to wear with this top and skirt, a Style Arc Floating Fran cardi (actually a vest).

Vogue 8805 top, StyleARC Fay skirt & Floating Fran cardi

I used fabric from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 per metre table for this one. It’s quite sheer, and is a knit, but doesn’t actually have a great deal of stretch. And as it turns out, every time I put the vest on I take it off again. In this fabric it’s just that bit too firm around the bust. And the colour isn’t quite “me”.  So it’s been donated.

Vogue 8805 top, StyleARC Fay skirt & Floating Fran cardi

Despite that I do like the flare and the overall shape and fit – it just needed a softer and stretchier knit. I did shorten it throughout the body to accommodate my height, and it’s still quite long at the back. The fronts are faced, and the armholes are bound. Because of the flare it takes quite a lot of fabric. I’ll definitely use this pattern again.

Vogue 8805 top, StyleARC Fay skirt & Floating Fran cardi

So, I still have two pieces of the three in this SWAP 3-pack.

Vogue 8805

2014 SWAP · adult's clothing · sewing

Colette Mabel skirt and Vogue 8819 jacket

So, who has made a Colette Mabel skirt?  Come on,hands up!  I jumped on that bandwagon, because I am always a sucker for a simple straight stretch fabric skirt.  Although I already own and love the Style Arc Fay skirt (which is self-lined and has a simple elastic waist) I decided that the Mabel skirt was different enough that purchase was justifiable.  There are three versions and a separate faced waistband.

Colette Mabel skirt.  Size M hips grading to XL waist (too big).

Now, this is my wearable muslin. I chose to make view 3, which is the longer length with side front panels and centre back kick pleat. I made this in size M hips, grading up to an XL waist. This worked with my measurements but actually made the waistband too big. It’s comfy, but there really isn’t much negative ease there at all.

Colette Mabel skirt.  Size M hips grading to XL waist (too big).

The fabric was leftovers from a previous project, and was from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I decided to do all the top-stitching in lime green with a twin needle. This highlighted all of the seam lines very nicely. The rest of the construction was on the overlocker. I used the same fabric for the waistband and the waistband lining.

Colette Mabel skirt

I am only 158cm (5’2″) tall, and this is the longest length offered by this pattern and it is right on my knee. Be warned! Also, remember that it is drafted with negative ease – it is meant to be fitted and cling to your curves. There isn’t any elastic in the waistband – although you could add it if you wanted extra security) – but that shouldn’t really be a problem. However, I did find that when I was crawling up on Clare’s bunk bed changing the sheets that the skirt pulled down to my knees very quickly! The next time that I made the skirt (yes, there has been a second time and a third is all cut out) I made size M through the hips again but only drafted up to a L for the waist. It’s a much better fit and feels more secure through my waist. That said, I’ll probably just sew it in a M from now on, in line with my hip measurement.

Colette Mabel skirt.  Size M hips grading to XL waist (too big).

As an aside, who else read the terrific discussion of loving your belly over on Polka Dot Overload the other day? So much to think about with that. Maybe this skirt is one step closer for me to love my belly! In the meantime, I’ll always wear this skirt with a top over it, not tucked in like the photo above. And possibly with a jacket over it like this one, Vogue 8819.

Vogue 8819 view B

As you know, I really do like to wear knit jackets. This was planned as part of my SWAP sewing (speaking of which, the deadline for completion has passed and I haven’t finished. A blog post for another day). The fabric came to me courtesy of Tanya’s stash – thanks Tan! It is an interesting black/green knit with a whole lot of gold running through it as well. Shiny! Gittery! Stretchy!

Vogue 8819 view B

I sewed up view B in size Medium, only making petite alterations to shorten it through the body. I had read that others reduced the amount of flare, but that was one of the elements that attracted me to the pattern. It really does cry out to be sewn in a stripe to take advantage of the bias panels and seaming, but I still like the effect of the intersecting grain lines anyway.

Vogue 8819 jacket with Colette Mabel skirt

The original pattern doesn’t have a closure, but I felt that it really did need one. I didn’t want to work a buttonhole in the bulk of the intersecting knit seams, so added a single button with a loop made from hat elastic. It works well. The back neckline of the jacket stands away from the neck a little in wearing, and the biceps area of the sleeves is a fraction tight. Otherwise, it’s very wearable.  Most construction was on the overlocker, but I used a twin needle to secure the hems and facings.  The stitches disappear right into that fabric – thank goodness there was no unpicking required.

2014 SWAP · adult's clothing · sewing

StyleARC Lola pants and Simple Tunic

I keep getting distracted from my SWAP sewing by other projects.  Fickle!  These are the last couple of items that I made before switching to a couple of as-yet-unblogged non-SWAP items.

Simple Tunic and Style Arc Lola pants

These are the StyleARC Lola pants – the third pair that I’ve made – and the Simple Tunic from the book Bold & Beautiful Easy-Sew Clothes. Are you like me and every time you see/hear “Bold & Beautiful” you immediately think of Brooke, Ridge, Eric et al? Anyway, first to the pants.

Style Arc Lola pants

These are exactly the same as my previous two makes. I included the pockets, but left out the pocket zips. There is elastic in the back hem edge, and I shortened the pants in two places, one above and one below the knee, which took around 3 inches total from the length. I am 158cm tall (5’2″) and this is my typical adjustment for StyleARC pants patterns.

Style Arc Lola pants

The fabric is woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and is navy with a rusty/tan print that I have found extremely difficult to colour match. I was originally hoping to make Vogue 8791 or the StyleARC Dotty blouse from a matching solid, but didn’t find one. So my plan changed. For reference, this is my original 3-pack #1 plan.

2014 SWAP Jan 11 3 pack #1

So now instead of the Vogue or StyleARC top, I have made the Simple Tunic. The fabric is a cross-woven linen from Spotlight. Although it’s not an exact colour match to the print in the pants, it still coordinates and was already in my stash.

Simple Tunic from Bold & Beautiful Easy Sew Clothes

I pounced upon this book the moment I came across it.  It contains the patterns and instructions for a number of loose, linen clothes, many in styles that I like to wear.  There is an accompanying CD with the patterns on it, so you can print them at home onto A4 pages and tape them together.  Or you can do what I have done for some of them and take them to a plan printer (although it still works out to around $10 per pattern to have the large ones printed – they are not laid out in a very cost-effective way).  I decided to start with the Simple Tunic to get an idea of sizing and fit.  As it turns out, I am the smallest size in all of these designs, and they go up to much, much larger sizes than me.  These are some of the other designs – there are plenty in the book.

from Bold & Beautiful easy-sew clothes

I did print and tape this pattern together, as it wasn’t too many pieces. I made the smallest size without any alterations, and think that it fits just as it should. Roomy and slouchy, but not as though it is simply too big.

Simple Tunic and Style Arc Lola pants

Although it is simple, the side slits and curved front and back are a lovely touch. The curves don’t go right to the edge of the side slits, so they are quite straightforward to make and give an interesting hemline. The neckline is faced. Normally I would use bias binding around a neckline like this, but wanted to try the pattern as intended. I think that for many people the front hemline would be a fraction short, but the proportions work well with the Lola pant.

Simple Tunic and Style Arc Lola pants

So, that’s two SWAP items finished, photographed and blogged. There are actually another two items from 3-pack #3 finished; a top and a vest. And there is a skirt cut out that will replace one of the skirts I’d planned for 3-pack #2 or #3. Clearly this is an evolving SWAP!

2014 SWAP · planned projects

my SWAP plans

There have been a few mentions of the 2014 Stitcher’s Guild SWAP on my blog, but no real evidence of any planning.  You know, the P part of SWAP – Sewing With A Plan.  However, behind the scenes there have been many plans afoot!  First, I’ll remind you of the SWAP “rules”.

3 “3 packs” + 2 “wild cards” = 11 garments. 
Each three pack will be:
2 tops + 1 bottom 
or
1 top + 1 bottom + 1 outer layer 
or 
1 dress + 1 top + 1 bottom
The “wild card” options can be just about anything you like, but they must be “garments” not accessories (hats, bags, blankets, etc.)
A “top” will be any shirt or blouse worn on the upper half; a “bottom” will be any garment worn on the lower half, and it shouldn’t be obscene to wear either without another layer. 
A “dress” will be any garment that covers both upper and lower halves, and again, it shouldn’t be obscene to wear it without an additional layer.
An “outer layer” will any jacket or sweater that is intended to be a second layer, over a top or a dress. If it can also be worn alone, that is fine.
A “bib” garment will considered a bottom, unless it can be worn alone without a top under or over it.
One garment may be previously sewn; another may be purchased.  
If you have an item you’re working on now, you may include it, OR you may stitch up one item from scratch before the official sewing date of December 26.
There’s no requirement that every garment match or every top match every bottom.  However, all the individual pieces must form a cohesive collection -they should all look like they belong together in the closet. 

I really wanted to use patterns and fabric that were already in my stash for this SWAP.  After some thought, I have come up with the following plans.  Some are patterns that I have used before, but most aren’t.  Time to turn those unused patterns into garments!

2014 SWAP Jan 11 3 pack #1

fabric for 3 pack #1

Style Arc Lola pants, in navy/rusty tan printed viscose woven from Darn Cheap Fabrics.  This was cut out before the SWAP start date, as were a couple of other garments.  I thought that it would make sense to incorporate things that I had already cut out into my plan.

Style Arc Lu Lu tunic top, in a textured navy linen woven from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

And this is where things get more difficult.  Either Vogue 8791 (the sleeveless version) or Style Arc Dotty blouse.  I need to purchase fabric for this – something very drapey in a rusty tan colour to match the pants.  However, I’ve just made a Lekala blouse that might swap in here.  We’ll see.

2014 SWAP Jan 11 3 pack #2

Fabrics for the Charlotte dress (and Vogue top)

Style Arc Charlotte dress.  I will use the above three fabrics for this.  Lime green linen from Spotlight, gold foiled white linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics, navy printed cotton brought back from Japan as a gift from my lovely sister-in-law.  Still working out which fabric will go where – time to get out the coloured pencils!

Vogue 8655 sleeveless top.  I’m planning on colour blocking this with two of the fabrics from the Charlotte dress, probably the green and white.

Grainline Moss Mini, in navy textured stretch woven from Darn Cheap Fabrics.  I’ve used this fabric before for pants, and know that it has loads of stretch, so I’ll need to be careful sizing wise when I make this.

2014 SWAP Jan 11 3 pack #3

fabric for 3 pack #3

Vogue 8805 in striped ponte knit from Rathdowne Fabrics, shortened to top length (who gave me that brilliant suggestion?) – there is only 70cm of this.  And actually, I sewed it up last night.

Style Arc Floating Fran

 Style Arc Floating Fran cardi in cobalt blue knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics.  Cut out and ready to go!

Style Arc Mindi skirt in orange stretch denim from Crafty Mamas.  I need to go through my zip collection and see if I have just the right ones to set this off.  I will possibly need to muslin this one first and increase the waist size.

2014 SWAP Jan 11 wild cards

wild card fabric - green knit for jacket, viscose for dress

Style Arc Zara dress in lime viscose woven from Darn Cheap Fabrics. This has been cut out for a month or two. I am doing the cap sleeved version.

Vogue 8819 long sleeved jacket in green/metallic/black knit given to me by Tanya.

So, I’m hoping that not only with this work in the 3 pack groupings, but I should be able to wear the tops and pants from each grouping with at least one other option from another grouping, and the jacket should work with lots of the garments.  I started the planning process with the patterns, then went through my fabrics to match them up.  I made a couple of changes in the process once I pulled the fabrics off shelves and out of boxes and laid them out together, but now I’m quite happy with the overall 11-piece wardrobe.  If I do get this sewn by the deadline I’ll work on another SWAP for the depths of winter!  I am still sewing non-SWAP garments as well, however I’ve been keeping these 11 pieces in mind and have been thinking along the lines of 3 pack as I go along.

By the way, I need a name for my SWAP.  Any suggestions?