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.

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!

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

adult's clothing · sewing

Sea Change – the layering version

I tested the Lily Sage & Co Sea Change top a couple of years ago (yes, time does fly) and ever since have been intending to sew it up again.  I always thought that it would work well as a layering piece for winter over a long sleeved tee.

Lily Sage Sea Change top in mystery knit

I had some knit fabric in stash (originally from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table, I suspect) that had a fairly open weave that I thought would match well with this pattern. The edges are all finished with bands, and the whole thing is constructed on the overlocker. Ticks all the boxes for working with open weave knits!

Lily Sage Sea Change top in mystery knit

As you can see, this is a very relaxed style of top. The front and back pattern pieces are slightly different in width and neckline, which definitely makes it sit better on the body. I sewed size Medium, I think. Could have been a Large. Oh well. It’s loose and roomy either way!

Lily Sage Sea Change top in mystery knit

My biggest issue with this top is one of user error. I cut the neckband according to the original pattern piece, but it wouldn’t stretch enough in this fabric to fit the neckline nicely. So I re-cut a longer neckband piece. Now it’s really too large and the neckline is too wide. And I have a feeling that I don’t even have scraps of this fabric left to do it a third time. I might stitch some elastic into it to draw it in a little.

Lily Sage Sea Change top in mystery knit

From the pattern website: The Sea Change top is loosely fitted, with wide kimono sleeves. The hem is designed to fall just below the natural waist for a modest, cropped look that will both complement and showcase high waist pants and skirts.  The top length can easily be lengthened through the top. The armbands and bottom hem band can also be altered in length for different looks.  Recommended fabrics: Light to medium weight, drapey fabrics will be the most flattering choices for this top. Options include knit fabrics like jersey. Cotton, viscose, and rayon are good options. Woven fabrics like silk satin, silk crepe de chine, and habutai will also suit this pattern. Extra fabric may be needed to match plaids, stripes or directional prints.

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I think that I’ll sew this pattern up again in a different fabric – it’s not as though there isn’t plenty in stash!  Because the style is straightforward and non fitted, fabric selection makes a big difference. And this afternoon I’ll be addressing the loose neckline of this version.

Lily Sage Sea Change top in mystery knit

adult's clothing · sewing

Concord tee and York pinafore

I didn’t plan to sew these two pieces as an outfit – but I’ve discovered that they work together beautifully.

Cashmerette Concord tee and Helens Closet York pinafore

The striped tee came first. It’s the Cashmerette Concord tee, the scoop neck and long cuffed sleeve version, in size 12C/D. And I don’t have any photos of it without the pinafore over it. Oh well.

Cashmerette Concord tee and Helens Closet York pinafore

From the Cashmerette website:  Meet the Concord, your new favorite tee! Fully customizable, this knit T-Shirt is a classic wardrobe staple that’s designed for curves. Choose from three hem lengths (cropped, mid-length or long curved), three necklines (high, V-neck, or scoop), three sleeve lengths (short, medium, or long), two sleeve finishes (cuffed or hemmed), and optional sleeve tabs. Whether you layer them over jeans on Friday night, or pair them with floral skirts at the office, you’ll want a closet of Concords!

alltechdrawshopfiy-03_550x

I sewed the the curved and faced hemline.  I possibly wouldn’t both again; I’d just do a regular straight hem on this.  I find that the facing creates a ridge – possibly a combination of the fabric type and my body.  I shortened the tee before cutting it out by taking out a fold from the front and the back – it’s very long as drafted considering that I have a short torso.  The fabric is a viscose/spandex (possibly also some cotton in there) that I bought from Rathdowne Fabrics a year or so again.  They’re great colours!  As always, I took care when cutting out that the stripes were aligned, and I used a fair number of pins during construction to make sure that they were.

Cashmerette Concord tee and Helens Closet York pinafore

My overall verdict on the tee pattern is a definite thumbs up. I really like the fit around the upper chest and shoulders, and the scoop is perfect for me. As always I used this tutorial to get the neckband length correct, and I used a twin needle to secure it after I’d attached it to the tee. So, on to the pinafore.

Cashmerette Concord tee and Helens Closet York pinafore

The York pinafore was definitely an impulse buy and sew. I think I may have sewn it the weekend that the pattern was released. The cocoon shape and the overall simplicity really appealed to me (once I got past the initial ‘you’re fifty, you can’t wear a denim pinafore’ thought).

Cashmerette Concord tee and Helens Closet York pinafore

From the Helen’s Closet website: The York Pinafore is a playful addition to your handmade wardrobe. It is easy to layer over tank tops for summer or turtlenecks and leggings for colder weather. The York Pinafore is a modern take on a classic pinafore dress with a cocoon shape and two views. View A features large scoop pockets, a dipped neckline, and comes to the knee. View B is a shorter length with a high neckline and a kangaroo pocket. Recommended Fabrics: Medium to heavy weight woven fabrics such as cotton twill, denim, wool, linen, corduroy, and canvas. Crisp lightweight fabrics such as cotton and lightweight linen can also be used for a warm-weather pinafore. Drapier fabrics such as tencel twill, wool crepe, rayon crepe, or viscose poplin work well if you prefer a softer, less structured look.

york_pinafore_flat

This pattern didn’t take long to tape.  I decided to sew view A, the longer version with the lower scooped neckline and the curved pockets.  I love those pockets!

Cashmerette Concord tee and Helens Closet York pinafore

Now, what size did I sew? Hmmmm, racking my brain. Probably the Large (12-14).  I did shorten the shoulder straps an inch, and after I sewed up and tried on the pinafore I went back and took another two inches from the length by folding over the hem for a second time. By the way, the fabric is dark brown denim with a teensy bit of stretch, from Rathdowne Fabrics remnant bins. I love those remnant bins.  I made my own bias tape from printed quilting cotton to finish the curved armhole and neckline edges. I like using bias tape like a facing – it works so nicely around curves, although you do need to ensure that you shape and press with plenty of steam as you go.

Cashmerette Concord tee and Helens Closet York pinafore

I really, really like this outfit. I feel good in it, it’s easy to wear, and layers well under my bright green merino Tessuti Megan cardigan and a scarf. I’ve worn it to a few events since I sewed it, and it is very me. I will definitely be using both patterns again (I have some wool earmarked for the pinafore already – I’ll use the same pattern pieces to cut a full lining so that it doesn’t stick to my tights). Definitely recommended.