Vogue 9186 -DCF Winter Challenge

Well, I suppose that there are a couple of things that I’d better make clear right from the start.  This is the garment that I sewed as my DCF Seasonal Challenge* garment for winter.  And it’s a summer dress.  And tomorrow is the last day of winter.  It doesn’t look as though I’m doing a great job of being seasonal, does it!  Luckily for me, Emma and I make up our own rules for this little challenge.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, to the dress. The pattern is Vogue 9186, which I originally passed over before stumbling upon these beautiful versions by Eli Cat of the blog Cat In A Wardrobe.  The high collar had been putting me off, but Eli had sewn one with a scoop neckline.  Well duh! If there are elements of a design that I don’t like, of course I can change them!  After all, I am the one doing the sewing.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

(No, I still haven’t addressed that fabric pooling in the centre back issue. Head in the sand on that one). Vogue describe the pattern as follows: Very loose-fitting, pullover dress has mandarin collar, front band, partially elasticized waist with casing, side pocket, and shaped hemline, wrong side shows. Narrow hem. A: Cap sleeves. B: Long sleeves with placket and button cuffs.

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I did initially contemplate sewing the long-sleeved version of the dress, particularly because I had chosen denim.  But then I read a few reviews that talked about how difficult it had been to set in the sleeves, and I considered the challenges of sewing the cuff plackets in the fabric I’d bought…and changed my mind.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, to the fabric. It is a “shredded” denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It came in a couple of colours; this is the darker one. The photos above are NOT a good representation of the colour – it is actually a normal denim blue twill, woven from indigo threads one way and white threads the others. The square “holes” are in a regular pattern. I did pre-wash the fabric, not only to see if there was any shrinkage or colour leakage, but to see how well those shredded areas would stand up to washing. They did surprisingly well.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

That’s a more accurate representation of the colour! The denim is nice and soft, not lightweight but not too heavy either. I hemmed the dress by turning a narrow double hem and top-stitching it in place, and I used self-made bias tape to finish the edges of the armholes and the neckline. The same fabric as was used for the bias tape was used for the shaped elastic casing that is sewn to the inside of the dress.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

In order to alter the neckline, I cut out the dress front and back pieces but omitted the neckband and the front placket pieces. I then sewed the back neckline darts as per the pattern instructions, as I know that I can always do with a little more shaping in that area.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I had decided that I like the neckline of the Tessuti Pia dress, so pulled out those pattern pieces and overlaid them on the front dress piece and the back dress piece, lining up the edge of the pattern pieces with the centre front and the top of the shoulder. Then it was a simple matter to recut the neckline, while retaining some of the back neck dart shaping. From there on this was a very quick dress to sew. Shoulder seams, finish the neckline with binding, one side seam, apply the elastic casing, other side seam, finish the armholes with binding, hem the dress.  I sewed size Medium (12-14) without any alterations.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

You do need WIDE elastic to go in that casing for it to sit nicely. It really needs to fit just inside your lines of stitching. I think that I still need to redistribute the gathers just a little, but I do have to be careful fiddling too much with the fabric. It’s on the delicate side. So overall, I recommend this pattern, and suspect that it might get another outing at some stage. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Emma has sewn with hers.  I have a little bit of the denim left too.  I wonder what that might become – and whether I’ll have to fight the girls for it.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

* Emma and I started the DCF Seasonal Challenge a year or two ago – we buy  a couple of metres of the same fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics each season, and each make a garment.  We then reveal it on our blogs on the same day.  It’s just a fun thing that we started when we realised how often we buy and sew the same fabrics (often from Darn Cheap).

Style Arc Simone Knit Cardigan

The Style Arc Simone Knit Cardigan is an excellent pattern.  I love it so much that I’ve sewn it four times.  These are versions three and four.

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

The Style Arc website describes this pattern as follows: SIMONE KNIT CARDIGAN: This clever cardigan pattern has been designed so as the drape creates the pocket. An easy every day must have cardi. Make it with or without buttons.  FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Knit jersey, Slinky or any drapery knit.

simone-cardigan

The main feature of this cardigan is of course the drape pocket.  It’s all cut in one, and with a couple of folds and a few stitches you have a pocket hidden inside a draped fold.  I love it!

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

Both these were sewn in soft ponte. I wouldn’t want to use a much heavier fabric than a ponte, as there is quite a bit of bulk in the hemline where the pockets are formed. I used plenty of pins when I was hemming it and it all sits well.

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

I sewed size 12. Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to twin needle hemlines and to secure the front band. The printed fabric came from Rathdowne Fabrics, and the stripe from Spotlight.

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

Simplicity 1198 top

Simplicity 1198 is described on the Simplicity website as follows: misses’ v-neck knit top has sleeve variations, optional contrast yoke and panel with asymmetric hemlines. the scoop neck knit top has sleeve options and a beautifully draped hemline.

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I bought this pattern for view E, with the side tuck/drape (although I am likely to sew view A/B/C at some stage too, I suspect).  There are a few reviews of it online, many mentioning that it runs large.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Because of the reviews, I decided to delve into scraps and hopefully make a wearable muslin. I sewed size Medium, which is a 14-16, dubious about going down to the Small (size 10 – 12) given my weight gain. As it turns out this is quite a roomy top, but not inappropriately so. Except for the neckline – it is wider and deeper than it needs to be, but not unwearably so.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is much easier to sew than you would imagine! There are only four pattern pieces – front, back, sleeves, neck band. The drape is created by taking a fold at one side of the pattern – just follow the instructions and you’ll have no issues.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to twin needle hems and secure the neckband. The next time I make it – there will definitely be a next time – I will make the neckline smaller. It is quite wearable as it is, however. I also like the tunic length and asymmetrical hemline. I’ve also seen this pattern lengthened to a dress, and would like to give that a try as well.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

By the way, the fabric is from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table a couple of years ago, the scraps left over from this dress. I didn’t have many options for how to place the print, given I was working with leftovers, but it still worked out okay!

New Look 6330 jacket

I have had New Look 6330 in my stash for a little while. There are a few reviews of it around the blogs, but not many. I bought it because I fancied sewing the jacket.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

There’s not a great deal of information about this pattern on the website. Misses’ knit pattern includes top, pants with elastic waist and long sleeve cardigan in two lengths with front closure. Pants can also be made in wovens. 

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I had only seen view C sewn up, the cardigan/jacket with the more conventional hemline, whereas I (possibly unsurprisingly) wanted to sew the version with the pointed front and back corners.  After reading some reviews and checking the pattern piece measurements I decided to sew size 14, but I petite-ed the body pieces by folding out some body length at around waist height throughout.  Now that the jacket is finished I think that maybe I overdid this part.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Actually, I think that the fit overall is pretty good – I just might need to unpick those closures and buttons and move them down a little. I wanted them above waist height, but think that they’re a little too empire line where they are.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This was easy to construct. I used the overlocker for most of it, and the twin needle for hems and to secure the front bands. The fabric is ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and I found the buttons in stash. The closures are a simple loop on each side, one threaded through the other, and looped around the buttons. Much simpler to do than it looks.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s an interesting silhouette. I’m surprised that more people haven’t sewn this one, actually. I really like jackets in stretch fabrics for work.

Style Arc Kylie knit top

I’ll say right from the start that I am VERY happy with how this top has turned out.

Style Arc Kylie top in Spotlight ponte

It is the Style Arc Kylie knit top. From their website: KYLIE KNIT TOP: Fashionable and functional top. The overlay has a high low hemline and an opening down the back. This top can be made long or short sleeves therefore suitable for all seasons. Need a basic tee? – Just leave the overlay off.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit jersey.

kylie-top

Firstly, I didn’t sew this in knit jersey – well, not far off though.  I used a lightweight ponte from Spotlight that has a fair bit of stretch, despite being a double knit.  Must be plenty of spandex in that one!  I used size 12, but removed most of the waist shaping in the under layer.

Style Arc Kylie top in Spotlight ponte

Construction was on the overlocker, and most hems twin needled by machine. I really like the overlayer – the shaping is terrific on me, as is the variation in its length. And that split in the back is lovely too!

Style Arc Kylie top in Spotlight ponte

The neckband is sandwiched between the underlayer and the overlayer, and to do this according to the instructions is actually rather tricky. I am sure that I recall this mentioned on other blogs that I have read as well. I had to unpick it and re-do it the first time around. The next time I make this pattern I will probably just apply the neckband once the two layers have been placed together. This means that there will be a seam allowance on the inside, rather than as it is now hidden between the two layers, but I think that it might all sit better that way anyway. At the moment there can be some slight pulling at the front neckline where the seam allowance is secured to the underlayer of the top but not the overlayer and therefore creates different levels of tension.

Style Arc Kylie top in Spotlight ponte

I also did a pretty poor job of setting in the sleeves. I really should have eased the sleeve cap in, but because I was being lazy I took advantage of the nature of the fabric and just stretched the armscye to fit. However this does affect the final shaping a little. You might not know if I hadn’t pointed it out, but I am aware of it. When setting in sleeves in the round, you really are better off easing the sleeve cap than stretching the armscye. Remember that Lara!  You can see what it’s done to the sleeve cap in these photos, probably exacerbated by there being two layers of ponte in the body of the top but only one layer in the sleeves.

Style Arc Kylie top in Spotlight ponte

Fortunately, my friend Kathryn sewed this top at Sewjourn in May and I was able to try hers on before I made mine. It’s handy to try before you sew! Her father made the lovely wooden bead necklace that I am wearing in these photos. Thanks so much Kathryn’s dad!

Style Arc Kylie top in Spotlight ponte

This pattern has a lot of potential. I have a much lighter weight printed knit earmarked to sew it in next. I think that it would look wonderful with the overlayer and sleeves sewn in a sheer fabric too. And as Style Arc suggest, you could play with sleeve length, or just bind the armholes.  Despite the imperfections of this version, I really, really like it and am wearing it a lot.

Style Arc Kylie top in Spotlight ponte

Appleton the fourth

I really may as well just refer you to my previous posts on the Cashmerette Appleton pattern.  This is its fourth outing; the second as a top/tunic.

Cashmerette Appleton top in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

After making my first Appleton top I quickly realised that it had been cut too short, and needed added length. That time I had to add the length after the top had been fully constructed – this time I was able to add the length before sewing it together. Good thing that I’d kept those scraps!

Cashmerette Appleton top in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The seam where I’ve added length is fairly obvious, but I think that in this busy colourful print it doesn’t matter all that much. I really like the fabric. It’s a viscose/spandex print from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and I wish that I’d bought more of it. All my colours in one spot!

Cashmerette Appleton top in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Once again I chose to sew the long sleeved, cuffed version and used the long shaped ties. I don’t wrap those ties right around under my bust – that would provide even more gut emphasis and I don’t really want to do that.  At the back the tie sits pretty much on my bra line.  I do wonder if I have lengthened this top a tiny bit too much, and have considered chopping off an inch or two.

Cashmerette Appleton top in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

As usual, construction was primarily on the overlocker, with the machine used mainly for twin needling to secure the hem and the neckband. It really doesn’t take long to make – especially the fourth time around! I sewed the 12C/D size, which is the smallest. I have been considering whether I should go up to the 14 if I sew this pattern again.  I’m still eyeing off some of the other patterns that Cashmerette has launched, particularly the Concord tee and the Springfield top.  The other dresses aren’t my style.

Cashmerette Appleton top in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s worn here with a Style Arc Mason jacket and Style Arc Barb pants. I feel better in the top when the jacket is worn over it.  Interestingly, it’s not the cleavage that concerns me – it’s the belly emphasis.  One of the reasons that I often gravitate to a sack dress!

Waffle Patterns Vanilla top

I have been eyeing off Waffle Patterns for some time now.  I first came across them through the Oliver + S pattern shop, but I didn’t actually hit the “buy now” button on any until I saw the Vanilla Diagonal Knit Top.

Waffle Patterns Vanilla diagonal knit top in fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

The description from the website is as follows:
+++ DESIGN
*Asymmetric dolman sleeve knit top. 
*The diagonal pattern cutting makes unique drapes and silhouette.
*loose fit with hem and cuff bands.
*3/4 sleeve length.
*Border or plaid pattern fabrics will make diagonal effect on the bodice.
*2 options for the neckline.
*Very easy to sew without difficult details.vanilla_012_1024x1024

This top is similar to some of those found in the Japanese sewing book series Drape Drape, as well as one in the latest Great British Sewing Bee book and I’m sure I’ve seen similar from Kwik Sew and McCalls.  Anyway, the finished samples that I saw on Instagram and the pattern page were enough to make me buy this one.

Waffle Patterns Vanilla diagonal knit top in fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

I liked the V-neckline option that came with this pattern, although I did have a number of difficulties when sewing it. V-necks with narrow bands on knit fabrics can be challenging – but I got there in the end. I also liked the diagonal hemline and the 3/4 sleeve – and of course, the fact that it was a loose fitting top with plenty of drape.

Waffle Patterns Vanilla diagonal knit top in fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

The above photo is my “check out my stripe matching” photo. The lovely cotton/spandex stripe came from Rathdowne Fabrics. It is a beautiful quality fabric and was lovely to work with. I sewed size 40, which was smaller than my measurements would have suggested, but I could still have gone down another size. There is loads of ease in this top. My hip size is a couple of sizes smaller than my waist, and this style really does need to fit around the hips in order for the volume to be a little more “contained”.

Waffle Patterns Vanilla diagonal knit top in fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

The above photo shows that the top is a fraction large through the shoulders and neckline – a little bit flashdance, maybe? However, it stays on my shoulders, so is perfectly wearable as it is. I think that this is a great pattern, and the sleeve and hem bands just make it a bit more wearable for me than other draped/twisted/asymmetrical tops that I have seen.

Waffle Patterns Vanilla diagonal knit top in fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

The jeans are Style Arc Misty jeans, in a brilliant “comfort” stretch denim from M.Recht that I will buy by the bucketload if it ever comes back into stock.