adult’s clothing

Ricki and Tulip and Scuba….

The Style Arc Ricki top I blogged a couple of posts back was actually a wearable muslin for this one.

Style Arc Ricki top with Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal skirt both in Spotlight scuba

Same size, same slightly too long sleeves, different fabric. This time I used some printed scuba from Spotlight. And had enough to make a skirt to go with it!

Style Arc Ricki top with Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal skirt both in Spotlight scuba

The skirt is the Itch to Stitch Petal skirt – I’ve made it before here.  This time I remembered my own advice and cut a waistband piece to encase the waist elastic then attach to the top of the skirt.

Style Arc Ricki top with Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal skirt both in Spotlight scuba

Scuba fabric is quite substantial but is also rather slippery and not all that heavy. I don’t have the same issue with the top pulling backwards in this fabric. It was very easy to sew – mostly on the overlocker – and simple to hem with the twin needle. I did pay attention to the pattern piece placement when I was cutting out in order to have the colours of the print where I found them most pleasing.

Style Arc Ricki top with Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal skirt both in Spotlight scuba

As it turns out I tend to wear these pieces separately more often than I wear them together. The skirt is great with my chocolate brown long sleeved tee and Harper jacket. And the top layers easily over a long sleeved tee when the weather is cold and works well with Misty jeans.  Scuba is definitely not a summer fabric, but it works beautifully in winter (all that double knit polyester)!

Style Arc Ricki top with Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal skirt both in Spotlight scuba

This time I got the combination of fabric and pattern just right.

Style Arc Skye top

Another wearable muslin for you – but not to be worn by me!  This has already been passed on to my friend Kathryn – and it looks great on her! But you’ll have to make do with photos of it on me.

Style Arc Skye top in pleather from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Kathryn wondered aloud “how would the Skye top work in pleather?” And that was all that it took for me to pull some pleather out of stash and get sewing. I knew when I started that this would definitely not be a great colour on me. But the pleather was only $2 per metre (yes, from Darn Cheap Fabrics) and I’d bought it to play with anyway! I cut the front and back pieces from pleather, and the neckline and hem facing pieces from blue viscose. I omitted interfacing completely, as I didn’t want it show through the perforations in the pleather.

Style Arc Skye top in pleather from Darn Cheap Fabrics

As you can see there is no way to hide with pleather and this top could definitely have done with a short back waist alteration. There is a centre back seam that makes it easy to do, so I’ll remember that for the future. Those folds at the back waistline make me cringe!

Style Arc Skye top in pleather from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I chose to do all the stitching with a zig zag in blue, to bring a little more colour into the top and tie it in to the facings. I like the curve of the front and back hems. The pleather was challenging to press and surprisingly it creases quite a lot, but with an organza press cloth I was able to tame it into submission. The bust darts are too high on me – I need to remember to drop them next time I use the pattern. I sewed size 12 again (forgetting that winter coat; I really need to size up when I sew during winter).

Style Arc Skye top in pleather from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The back button is also blue. As it turns out I can easily get this on and off without undoing the button. I sewed a simple fabric tube from the viscose for the button loop.

The illustration and description from the Style Arc website is as follows:

SKYE TOP: This wonderful top has been designed to skim the body, the extended shoulder line and rounded hemline makes it a perfect top to wear with your jeans and skirts, it will be the go to top in your wardrobe

FABRIC SUGGESTION: Scuba, Ponte, Stable Knit, Silk or Linen

It’s rather fun to try things in an alternative fabric and just see what happens, especially when the fabric has been inexpensive.  And now I know what fitting changes to make the next time I sew this!

Style Arc Skye top in pleather from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Style Arc Melinda knit tunic

First things first.  This was intended as a wearable muslin.  I’m never going to wear it, and it’s going into the op shop bag.  But that doesn’t mean it was a failure.

Style Arc Melinda tunic in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics - not very wearable muslin

This is the Style Arc Melinda knit tunic. The line drawing and description from their website is as follows:

MELINDA KNIT TUNIC: The boat neck on this style gives this tunic length top a sophisticated look. The band treatment at the neck is both interesting and clever. The sliced bodice allows you to create your own version by mixing colours or textures. This tunic will become one of your favourite go to garments.

FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Jersey knit, slinky

I used a linen knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics as my muslin, and it wasn’t a good choice. This would have been better in a fabric with more structure and stretch – such as the jersey knit and slinky suggested! I made straight size 12.

Style Arc Melinda tunic in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics - not very wearable muslin

The fit overall is not too bad – although I have gained quite a winter coat this year, even since these photos were taken, and by now it would probably even be a bit too tight around my middle. I really liked the way that the boat neckline was constructed. It was quite unusual, with folded bands attached to the upper front and back. The bands are straight but the neckline on the upper front dips which makes the bands dip with it. However, the dip wasn’t enough for me and I felt strangled. If I make this again I’ll need to remember to scoop out the front neckline more before attaching the bands. I’d also sew the two bands further in at the shoulders to narrow the boat neckline a little. It felt much too wide on me and exposed my bra straps. That said, my shoulders are more narrow and sloped than broad and substantial.

Style Arc Melinda tunic in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics - not very wearable muslin

So for me this was a classic example of a bad fabric and pattern match. I do like the lines of the pattern, with the above modifications. I’ve seen some rather lovely versions of it on the internet, so don’t let my review put you off entirely. Just consider the neckline depth and width before you sew – and don’t sew it in a linen knit.

Oh Ricki, you’re so fine…

What year WAS that song written?*  Why does it feel part of my era?  Whenever I hear the name Ricki it’s the first thing that I think of.  Now I can think of the Style Arc Ricki top instead.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

This is my “wearable muslin”. It is so wearable that I am wearing it right now as I type this blog post.l I made straight size 12, no alteration. It’s roomy, which I think suits the style.  At first glance the primary appeal of this pattern was the back.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

The two back pieces wrap over one another beautifully, and don’t actually seem to gape open during wear (although I think that your fabric choice would influence that). They do however create more weight at the back of the top than at the front and tend to pull the neckline toward the back, which can make it a little high at the front. The sleeves are slightly bell shaped. I was concerned that the wider hemline could be annoying during wear, but that hasn’t worked out to be the case.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

The pattern drawing and description from the Style Arc website are as follows:

RICKI TOP: This back wrap top is perfect for a weekend project! The back is fully wrapped and is designed to cover the back but retaining the look that is so popular at the moment. The long sleeve is slightly belled or make it with the new longer short sleeve. This top is perfect for the new Scuba fabric but can be made in almost any fabric be it woven or knit.

FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit jersey, Crepe, Ponte, Scuba, Linen

This version was sewn in striped french terry from Clear It.  It was very easy fabric to work with.  Construction was on the overlocker as per usual, with hems secured with Vliesofix tape then twin needled.  I did pay attention when cutting to match the stripes as well as possible – and think that I did a pretty good job!  I’d like to try this again in linen for summer with a short sleeve.  I think it would be lovely and cool to wear, with the added interest of the back wrap.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

* yes I googled it – and was reminded that the song I was thinking of – released in 1982 when I was at high school – was Mickey.  Ricky was the “Weird Al” Yankovic parody.  It’s a bit worrying that I remember the parody as well as the original…

Style Arc Esme

Sometimes a pattern sits on my wishlist for ages.  Other times it doesn’t even make it to my wishlist – because as soon as I see it, my finger hits the buy button.  That is pretty much what happened with the Style Arc Esme Designer top.  Except because I wanted it NOW, I restrained myself for the couple of days it took between the release of the paper pattern and the release of the pdf pattern on the Etsy site.  The printed patterns can sometimes take a few days to be printed to order then sent out – whereas those pdf patterns are dangerously instant.  Even if they do take trimming and taping.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

I was almost as fast to buy the fabric as I was to buy the pattern. The printed knit is pre-quilted, and came from The Cloth Shop. I bought the very last of the roll, and had to do some pattern tetris to eke the top out of the small amount of fabric that I had – all while trying to centre the design and match it at the seams at the same time. Unbelievably, I was successful. Clearly it was meant to be.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

I cut this as size 12 with no alterations. The collar did have to be cut on the straight grain rather than on the bias. I figured that with a fabric like this one it would be fine on the straight grain.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

Because the fabric is quilted it has substantial body. I needed to finish all the cut edges, as there was a layer of “fluff” between two layers of thinner fabric all quilted together, and when it was cut those layers all separated a little. You can see that more clearly in the next photo.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

This was a very easy sew. I used a zig-zag stitch on the machine to secure hems, and used the overlocker for all the rest of the construction. The front hemline is shorter than the back, and there are slide slits. Those are all details that I really enjoy in a top. The pattern illustration shows the collar worn up, but in this fabric that just felt (and looked) weird, so I’ll always wear it folded over.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

The pattern drawing and description from the Style Arc website is as follows:

ESME DESIGNER KNIT TOP: “The Wanted” garment of the season. This knit top has a fabulous bias cut collar that can stand fashionably high or turned over. Make it sleeveless or with sleeves for the cooler months.

FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Ponte, Scuba or any fabric with a stretch component

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

I’ll definitely be using this pattern again!

Vogue 1410

So many patterns, so little time!  I pounced on Vogue 1410 pretty quickly when it was released.  Because I wasn’t sure about how the length would work on me, I decided to make a muslin (gasp!) – but one that I hoped would be wearable.  I shortened the pattern pieces at the shorten/lengthen lines – all two pattern pieces; fastest cutting out ever – and cut it out in some digitally printed cotton twill from Spotlight that had been lurking in stash for a year or two.  And this is what I ended up with!

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

It’s certainly out of the ordinary and is definitely a statement piece! This is the line drawing and pattern description from Vogue’s website.

MISSES’ DRESS: Very loose-fitting, pullover dress has very narrow hem finish on neckline and armholes, front and back pleats, inside button/buttonholes forming drape and three adjustable lengths, French seams, and narrow hem. Purchased cord stopper and elastic cord form front drape. FABRICS: Stretch Poplin, Seersucker, Silk Dupioni, Lt.Wt. Wool Crepe. Unsuitable for obvious diagonals.

Now, did you notice that bit about adjustable lengths?

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to shorter length

They weren’t kidding! There are buttons at different levels on the inside of the side seams and it is simple to button up the hem to any of the levels. As well as altering the length it adjusts the shape; the shorter the dress, the more bubbled the hemline.

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to shorter length

There are pleats/tucks that provide shaping in the back and pleats/tucks in the front that have buttonholes in them to provide shaping in the front with the use of a drawstring to alter how tightly the dress is pulled in.

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

The neckline, hem and armholes are finished with narrow hems before the side seams are joined together with french seams. This is actually very fast to sew, and the instructions were very clear. I had no issues. I think that I sewed size 14 but would need to double check that – it is a couple of months already since I made it. My blogging is very behind!

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

So far I’ve only worn this at full length. I’d like to make it again in a different fabric – possible a solid or a more subtle print – and wear it alone as a summer dress. This is a pattern that will definitely get another outing at some stage. But in the meantime my wearable muslin is lots of fun!

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

Lekala 4393

So, another experiment – this time Lekala 4393, described simply as “knit dress”.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

Lekala patterns are so cheap that I really don’t mind experimenting with them. They are a great way to try out different styles, since I know that they will basically fit me (depending on what measurements I plug in) and consequently my opinion on the final garment will be more about whether I like the style on me than about whether it fits me or not.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

Because this was such an experimental garment, I made it in scraps left from an earlier project. The fabric is a knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and I think it is still available on their website. I used both sides of the fabric, with the more solid side as a contrast.

Lekala 4393 knit dress 1721_technical_drawing_11381

I think that the line drawing looks more fitted than the finished dress, although the fashion drawing on the Lekala website is on the loose side as well. When I ordered this pattern I asked for “reduced” shoulder width. It turned out to be much more reduced than I needed – my shoulders aren’t broad, but they’re clearly not as narrow as I thought either. Subsequent Lekala orders have left the shoulder width alone as “regular”. The shoulders on this dress look okay in these photos, but in wearing are a bit weird.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

Did you notice those pockets in the princess seams? I love that! If I made this dress again I would lengthen the sleeves to full length, as a winter knit dress is a little useless with elbow length sleeves. They’re also a bit tight around the hem.  The collar needs a brooch, pin or button to hold it in place.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

When I first made this and tried it on I put it straight into the op shop pile. But by the time I put it on again for these photos I decided that I actually didn’t mind it and gave it a reprieve. I still haven’t worn it though, so if it doesn’t get an outing soon it is unlikely to survive my next wardrobe purge. Still, it was an enjoyable experiment, and I may well order this pattern again at some stage – without a reduced shoulder width adjustment!

Lekala 4393 knit dress