adult’s clothing

Another Maddison

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. If you buy the pdf patterns via my Gumroad links, I make a little bit of money that is likely to go toward buying myself yet more Style Arc patterns…

Yes, another pattern repeat. This one is the Style Arc Maddison for a second time. There may yet be a third.  I’d be interested to see this sewn in a woven.

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

The striped knit that I used this time is from Rathdowne Fabrics. It feels like a cotton spandex but there might be some viscose in there as well. I could not resist the colours.

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, once again we have stripes, which once again entails stripe matching. The only place that gave me pause for thought was the sleeves. The stripe is an uneven stripe. I decided to keep the focus on the most strongly coloured stripe – the black – and keep the pattern symmetrical rather than matching exactly. The result is that one sleeve is green on the front whereas the other is grey. I think that with a little more thought I might have been able to make the sleeves complete mirror images of one another, but will have to play with the scraps of the fabric to check it that really is possible or if I am deluding myself with this uneven stripe. I did manage to cut the sleeve cuffs so that they lined up perfectly with the same colours on the body.   I did similar with the neckband, to continue on the striping of the colours in the same order.  Win to me!

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

MADDISON TOP: A great everyday raglan sleeved top with a slight trapeze the body, the wide hem allows this top to fall beautifully. Make this in a stripe to show off all the design lines. This top can be made in a knit or a stretch woven fabric.

FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit, Ponte, Crepe with a natural stretch or Silk

madison-top

I sewed size 12, the same as the first time, and construction was primarily on the overlocker.  The lower hem and neckband topstitching were with the twin needle on the sewing machine.

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

Both this Maddison and the first one I made are already favourites in my casual wardrobe. I think they’re especially good for in-between weather.  Style Arc have the paper pattern available from their website, and the pdf is available from their Gumroad store or via Etsy.

Another Crafty Mamas Triangle dress

Sometimes I get so excited by the result of a new pattern that I sew it up again almost straight away.  That is what happened with the Crafty Mamas Triangle dress.  After sewing my first one, I quickly pulled more fabric out of stash and launched into another.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

This time I overlaid the front yoke pattern piece onto the front dress pattern piece before cutting out in order to eliminate the yoke seam completely. Much easier when I was sewing the dress entirely in stripes! I also scooped the front neckline an inch or so lower than the pattern.  I stayed with the size Large as I was so pleased with the fit of my first dress.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I still have some things to address with fit through the back waist of patterns.  I think that there is just too much length there.  I am fairly short-waisted, but in the front the extra fabric length is used up by my boobs and my gut.  Those things aren’t in the back, and I really do need to remember to alter patterns BEFORE I cut them out, rather than when I look at the photos taken afterward.  Of course, I can’t see how the back looks in the mirror, so it’s easy to forget.  I folded up the sleeve pattern piece a little to both narrow the sleeve toward the wrist and shorten it before cutting out, as I’d made that alteration after the fact the first time that I sewed it.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I also decided to sew a matching cowl from the scraps left over after cutting out the dress. I had to piece the scraps together, so there are some weirdly angled seams in the cowl, and the length and width was determined entirely by the size of the scraps. I like wearing scarves in winter, and a separate cowl like this is handy because there is no risk of it slipping around or falling off.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It - neckband detail

The fabric is french terry, from Clear It. I wonder if they still have some left – there were bolts and bolts when I bought it last year. You can see in this photo that it has a smooth face with a looped pile on the back. Construction was all on the overlocker, with hems twin needled on the machine after securing with Vliesofix tape. I also twin needled alongside the raglan seams as a design detail.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I am very happy with the way this fits at the upper back and shoulders. It’s a super snug dress, and a perfect garment to layer with tights and boots and a jacket for winter.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

The hem was cut at the pattern length for the dress, and on me the front curve falls just above the knee. I’m 158cm tall, for reference. You can see in this photo that I did made the effort to match my stripes, rather successfully. I do prefer them to all line up properly! Successful stripe matching starts at the cutting stage – you have to pay attention with the pattern placement on the fabric before you even cut into it, then I use plenty of pins to match the stripes before sewing.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I will probably put this pattern aside for now, but I’m pretty sure that you haven’t seen the last of it yet. And I have a new Crafty Mamas pattern to move on to – I’m planning a long sleeved winter dress using the Queen Bee pattern.

Style Arc Esme again

I have a few repeat patterns to show you.  First up is the Style Arc Esme top.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

You can see my first go at this pattern here. Style Arc describe the pattern 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.

esme-top

This time around I sewed the top in scuba from Spotlight.  The large abstract pattern really appealed to me in the shop – as did the sale price at the time.  Scuba is very easy to sew, and has plenty of body, but this one was a little softer than others I have used.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

This time around I had enough fabric to cut the collar on the bias, which is really does need. In combination with the slight softness of this scuba, it has resulted in a collar that rolls beautifully, just as it is meant to.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

I really like the deep hems on this top in combination with the longer back and the side splits. This is so easy to do, but adds a point of difference in comparison to a regular straight around hem.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

I sewed straight size 12, with no alterations. Construction was shared between the overlocker and the sewing machine, with the twin needle being used to finish the hems. The pants that I am wearing with it are Style Arc Barb pants, in Style Arc bengaline. I don’t think that I have finished with this pattern yet – I’d like to try both the collarless version and the extended shoulder version, probably in soft ponte. Watch this space!

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

Triangle dress and scarf-neck cardi

I have had significant success over the years with Crafty Mamas Patterns.  They are all for knits – and I’m a huge fan of knit garments – and are cut in ways that skim the areas I prefer to be skimmed.  They’re also very versatile – most come with a variety of sleeve and neckline options.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in ponte from EK Fashion Fabrics, Brunswick

This one is The Triangle Dress. The website describes it as follows: The Triangle Dress/Tunik is a wardrobe staple- a pattern you will use over and over again. Designed with real figures in mind- The Triangle Dress is a flattering A line dress/tunik/top, with lots of options!

The Triangle Dress is ladies sizes xs- xxxl which also makes it a great patterns for tweens. With several raglan sleeve options- , full length, ¾, cap or short; this clever pattern will take you all through the year. Your Triangle Dress can be made with a funky hood, or with round neck. There are optional side seam pockets or a nifty kangaroo style front pocket. The yoke section in the upper bodice allows for clever play and colour blocking.

With an ever so slightly hi low hem, The Triangle dress look fabulous made full length as a dress or as a tunik length over leggings.

triangledresscover_1024x1024

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in ponte from EK Fashion Fabrics, Brunswick

I sewed this in straight size Large, which is the 12-14. My measurements are slightly larger than this, but after checking the flat pattern I was fairly confident that the Large would be okay, especially because it had plenty of waist and belly room (always my issue when sewing dresses).

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in ponte from EK Fashion Fabrics, Brunswick

I decided to highlight the yoke seam by inserting a strip of coloured elastic a bit like piping, then topstitching it in place. This pattern gives the opportunity for lots of colour blocking with the yoke and raglan sleeves. Maybe another time! I scooped the front neckline about an inch lower than the pattern before finishing it with a band and machine topstitching with a twin needle.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in ponte from EK Fashion Fabrics, Brunswick

Vliesofix double sided fusible tape was used to hold the hemline in place before stitching with the twin needle. I find the tape works really well on shaped hemlines like this one. It really stops things from shifting around. Sometimes it can make hemlines feel a little bit stiff, but it was fine on this fabric.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in ponte from EK Fashion Fabrics, Brunswick

I am pleased with the fit at the back neckline and upper back, made no changes in that area. I did alter the sleeves quite a bit, taking a total of around two and a half inches from the wrist circumference and shortening them a couple of inches as well. This was done after the fact – I sewed them up and tried on the dress, then turned it inside out and remarked the sleeve seamline with a line that angled from the underarm to a narrower wrist opening, and stitched along that. This gave me plenty of upper arm room and a sleeker appearance through the lower arm.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in ponte from EK Fashion Fabrics, Brunswick

The fabric is an incredibly soft printed ponte from EK Fashion Fabrics in Sydney Road, Brunswick. Such a terrific find! On the same day I bought wool blend knit from Super Cheap Fabrics, just a few doors down from EK Fashion Fabrics, and used it to make a coordinating Scarf Neck Cardi.

Swoon Patterns Scarf-Neck Cardi in wool blend knit from Super Cheap Fabrics, Brunswick

I have sewn this cardi for my daughters in the past, but hadn’t made the adult version.  I’ll definitely be sewing it again.  It’s very easy to make and comfortable to wear.  From the website:  An open-front layering cardigan made with lightweight knit, featuring form-fitting princess seams, a draping scarf neck, and an irregular bottom hem. Half sleeve or full length sleeve options.

This cardigan is very easy to sew, great for beginners, and takes no time with a serger. Instructions are included to sew this together with neat french seams if you are using a regular sewing machine instead.

Sizes include S, M, L, XL and XXL. Sizing should be fairly accurate to what you normally wear. Includes sizing chart.

swoon-womencardi-pdfcover-300x300

I’m not certain if I sewed a Medium or a Large in this cardi, but I’m guessing a large.  My knit was very soft, and I think it has given a looser fit than it would have otherwise.  All construction was on the overlocker, and it comes together very quickly.  The princess seams in the front and side seam shaping keep it from being too baggy.

Swoon Patterns Scarf-Neck Cardi in wool blend knit from Super Cheap Fabrics, Brunswick

You do need to think carefully about the centre back neck seam. I have made a few garments with that seam and it can end up being exposed in the finished garment, depending on how the collar is worn. If the collar is worn folded back, it works out better to sew the centre back neck seam wrong sides together, so that it looks neater after folding. A flat fell seam works very well here too, or even a french seam. I overlocked the seam wrong sides together thinking that the scarf neck collar would be folded back in wearing, but notice from photos that it actually tends to just gather and does expose the stitching. Next time I sew this in something super soft I’ll do that centre back neckline right sides together (although might not in a more stable knit).

Swoon Patterns Scarf-Neck Cardi in wool blend knit from Super Cheap Fabrics, Brunswick

I hemmed the edges by machine after turning once to the inside, and used a zig-zag that ran right along the inside raw edge. It looks quite neat. You could also used an rolled hem. I like the scarf effect of the neckline and the irregular front hem – this free pattern gets a massive tick from me!

Swoon Patterns Scarf-Neck Cardi in wool blend knit from Super Cheap Fabrics, Brunswick

Yet another Mandy

The (free) Tessuti Mandy boat tee is my go-to pattern whenever I want a quick top or some instant gratification.  I have sewn heaps.  And here’s another.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in scrap knit for front and linen blend knit for back and sleeves

This one was inspired by a scrap of printed fabric from a friend. There wasn’t enough for a whole garment, so I scrounged around in my other scraps and found a solid linen knit (from Darn Cheap Fabrics a while back) that I thought coordinated. So I used the print for the front and the solid for the back and sleeves.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in scrap knit for front and linen blend knit for back and sleeves

I sewed the pattern exactly as is, without modifications. There is a recent blog post from Tessuti about sewing this top with lengthened sleeves and a narrowed body. It really is rather adaptable. I secured all hem edges with Vliesofix and top-stitched them with the twin needle. The rest of the construction was on the overlocker.  There’s really not much more to say!

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in scrap knit for front and linen blend knit for back and sleeves

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket

Last year I did a little pattern testing for Nita-Jane of Pattern Fantastique.  The pattern, the Falda jacket, has just been released – and I have to say that I love it!

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I have a whole lot to say about this jacket, although to a large degree the photos tell the story. Firstly, about Pattern Fantastique. I first stumbled upon the Celestial dress pattern eighteen months or so ago, and have sewn three so far. Then the Aeolian top/dress pattern was put through its paces (Anna is the queen of the Aeolian), followed by the Lucent Visor.  As it turned out, Nita-Jane also lives in Melbourne, and is a trained pattern maker who has been working in industry for many years.  It certainly shows in the drafting of her patterns and in their individuality.  I really like her aesthetic.  The Falda jacket is certainly individual, so I was enthusiastic about being a pattern tester.

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

(Although the front hemline doesn’t look like it lines up in the above photo, I can assure you that it actually does in real life – it’s just the angle).

I’ll use the description from the Pattern Fantastique website:

The Falda jacket was developed using a combination of draping and flat paper pattern making. Fabric carved into bold clean shapes. A nod to the classic Chanel tweed, the sensibility of a bomber jacket and the humour and volume of a victorian era sleeve.

The Falda jacket pattern comes with two different styles, depending on your fabric weight choice. A jacket weight cotton with patch pockets for the transitional seasons or blanket weight wool with welt pockets and full lining for deep winter warmth.

Skill Level
Style A – Intermediate.
-Lighter weight fabric.
– Zip insertion.
-Top stitching.

Style B – Intermediate / Advanced
– Bulky fabric.
– Optional block fusing.
– Welt pocket.
– Full Lining.
– Zip insertion.

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I chose to sew view A, in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics. And yes, I am wearing double denim – the pants are Style Arc Misty jeans that I sewed back in last winter.

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I sewed size 12, without alteration. This is not a quick sew, and you really do need to pay attention to the instructions. Take things step by step, and it all works out!

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

Because I was a tester I possibly can’t comment accurately on the final instructions, but they were extremely good even during the testing phase! Nita-Jane uses a large number of testers, many blogless, and many from industry as well as home sewers. Not a lot of fanfare, but a thorough process that leads to an excellent product.

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

This has proven to be a wonderful addition to my wardrobe. The denim makes it perfect for spring and autumn weather. I adore the weird sleeves, but acknowledge that they won’t be for everybody. I love the fact that this jacket is a bit “different” yet it still works well with basics like my jeans. I will generally style it with a scarf, like this hand-dyed one that I bought in Bali last year, which is how I prefer to wear many of my clothes.

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I need to digress for a moment and just point out the shoes that I am wearing – they are a brand called Poetic License and I found them, brand new, in an op shop! Hip hip hooray! I adore them and can tell they will get a lot of wear this winter (although mostly only when I will be sitting for the majority of the time – I can’t stand or walk in heels that high for too long without the balls of my feet protesting!)

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, back to the jacket. All the markings were perfect and everything lined up as it should. Finding a zip in a matching colour was a bit of a challenge, but Darn Cheap Fabrics came to the rescue. I enjoyed the topstitching – it did take a fair bit of thread – and the whole jacket came together over the period of four or five evenings.

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I am very keen to sew up the other lined version in wool for winter, with the welt pockets. I have plenty of wools in stash and once again I think it would be an enjoyable “slower” project. If you are interested in jackets that are a little outside the norm, I highly recommend this pattern.  You can see Anna’s beautifully sewn and beautifully photographed version of it here.

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

(No disclaimer on this blog post – I tested the pattern so didn’t pay for it, but there are no affiliate links etc).

Bootstrap Fashion 44139

Something that I really like about customised patterns such as those from Bootstrap Fashion and Lekala is the ability for me to try out silhouettes that I would normally avoid due to the significant number of alterations that I would have to make to conventional patterns.  Hey, I’m lazy like that.  Bootstrap Patterns recently offered dress 44139 as a free pattern, so I decided to give it a go.

Bootstrap Fashion 44139 in Spotlight printed Scuba knit

Bootstrap describe this dress as a “poet sleeves knit dress” and recommended fabrics include heavy weight, ponte and double knit with spandex. I used brightly printed scuba from Spotlight, which is essentially polyester double knit with spandex. The sort of fabric we’d have been cringing about ten years ago as a relic from the 1970s, but in 2016 fibre technology has changed and although it’s still polyester, it is softer and easy to sew and has the ability to hold colours and prints in a way that most natural fibres simply can’t do. I’m a sucker for the colour.

Bootstrap Fashion 44139 in Spotlight printed Scuba knit

One of the great things about taking photos for the blog is seeing just where fit issues are – and in the above photo I can tell that I have a lot of fixes to make in the back of the garment. I have realised that there is a pattern here. Although this pattern was ordered with plenty of pot belly room, and it fits well in the front of the dress, there is still excess in the back. This is where a fitting buddy would really come in handy! Once again, I need to take fabric out of the back bodice length.

Bootstrap Fashion 44139 in Spotlight printed Scuba knit

I lowered the front neckline quite significantly as compared to the pattern. If you check the fashion illustration and line drawing it is a high boat neckline. I felt strangled when I tried it on, so unpicked the neck facing (a strip of self fabric cut on the cross grain) and lowered it a couple of inches before refinishing. I used a twin needle to secure the neckline and the hems. The centre front inverted pleat is quite small on me due to my small hip to waist ratio, so it’s not as much of a feature as it would be if you were more conventionally shaped. The front pockets are rather cute, and I included them because of the diagonal line that they add.

Bootstrap Fashion 44139 in Spotlight printed Scuba knit

The sleeves gather into simple tubular cuffs. Because it’s a stretch knit, they don’t need a closure, but sit quite firmly around my arm. I made a belt to go around the waistline, as per the pattern, but decided not to wear it. It only served to highlight my stomach and relative lack of waist.

Bootstrap Fashion 44139 in Spotlight printed Scuba knit

So, final verdict? Scuba is super easy to sew with – most construction was on the overlocker. It also doesn’t require seam finishes, and the colours are fantastic. I wore this dress to work, where it performed well and did receive a number of compliments. But it’s a style experiment, and not completely “me”. That said, I don’t want to wear exactly the same silhouette all the time, so it certainly fits nicely into my wardrobe for the moment.

Bootstrap Fashion 44139 in Spotlight printed Scuba knit