adult’s clothing

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee

Phew, that blog post title really is a mouthful!  I recently sewed the Hot Patterns (name of pattern company) Athleisure (name of pattern collection) Layer Cake Tee (name of pattern).

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I haven’t sewn many Hot Patterns designs, but lots of them appeal to me. Postage from the US used to be a killer and definitely put me off purchasing, but nowadays they have the option of pdf downloads, so have become more accessible. The pattern description from the Hot Patterns website is as follows:

Layering is one of the secrets to a truly fashion forward look, so let your T do all the work for you in this layered beauty, perfect for all those tissue and lightweight knits,
especially bamboo, modal, silk and rayon knits with a little stretch and a lot of drape. This one *will* also work in heavier knits like French terry, interlock and lightweight ponte or sweatshirting, but please proceed cautiously to avoid a bulky silhouette!

Relaxed-fit dolman sleeved pull-on knit top has an inserted wrap-over cowl neckline, and an inverted center back pleat. Top features a contrast V-neck faux-tank insert at the neck, plus contrast double-layer lower sleeves and a double layered hemline with a gentle frill.

This super-cool T is going to take your casual outfits to the next level…make this in different textures of your favorite solid color and teamwith matching or contrast yoga or track pants for a modern post-workout or lounging outfit, or try it in contrast colors and/or prints to wear with your favorite classic, skinny, bootcut or boyfriend jeans for a super-cool off-duty look.

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So, it seems that this is the Hot Patterns take on a ready to wear top.  Works for me!

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I am not fantastically confident with Hot Patterns sizing. I measured around a size 14-16, but from past experience and discussion on the Hot Patterns Facebook group I was fairly certain that I would need to go down at least one size. I cut and sewed straight size 12, but possibly could have gone down to a 10.

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

As is usually the case, fabric choice is key. Although this top looks like a number of tops layered over one another, the only place where there really are two layers is the lower sleeve. The pattern under-top is attached to the body of the tee at the same seam as the cowl neckline. And the lower frill and striped fabric are attached only at the bottom hemline (which does make for a thick seam actually).

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Speaking of fabrics, the striped and the pattern fabric come from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. If you are after high quality European knits, it is definitely worth checking Crafty Mamas out. They’re pricey, but the fabric is superb. The solid fabric I used for the body of the tee was a gift from a generous friend, and had the perfect drape so that this garment didn’t get too bulky at the seams.

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This is not a quick sew, as there are a number of component parts to assemble. However, it’s quite enjoyable and very logical. I wasn’t overly thrilled with all aspects of the instructions. They suggested binding the neck edge of the cowl, but the method suggested would have been extremely bulky and interfered with the drape. I just turned that edge twice with a narrow hem, which worked well. The instructions for the centre back pleat also appeared odd to me.

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

They had you sew two lines of stitching at the top and the bottom of the centre back (in addition to the centre back seam, which I eliminated by cutting on the fold). But by doing this, I ended up with what was effectively a double box pleat with the centre of one pleat directly above the centre of the other. If I made this again I’d just do one larger box pleat – and I suspect that was what was actually meant to happen but wasn’t written accurately in the instructions.

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Either way, I’m very pleased with my Layer Cake Tee. It’s fun and relaxed to wear, The fabrics coordinate beautifully, and I really like that it looks layered but isn’t! Just be careful with the sizing and the instructions if you choose to sew this pattern.

Hot Patterns Athleisure Layer Cake Tee - main fabric was a gift, stripe and print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Vogue 9057 view D

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Vogue 9057 is the pattern that comes with the Tilton sisters’ Craftsy class, the Artful T-Shirt.  I really enjoyed the class, and although I’ve been sewing with knits for a long time I still learned a number of useful things that can be applied to sewing any tee.  Since the pattern came with the class, I thought that I’d better try it out!

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Vogue 9057 view D in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I sewed view D in an almost jumper weight knit from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. This knit doesn’t have a great deal of stretch and doesn’t appear to contain any spandex. It’s pretty much two-way stretch. I decided to sew size Medium (12-14) after checking the measurements of the pattern pieces. The envelope says that the 12-14 is for a 34-36 inch bust – well, mine is definitely more than that, but I knew from experience that there was likely to be adequate ease. I was right.

Vogue 9057 view D in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I did take a decent fold out of both the front and back pattern pieces at waist level to shorten them to account for my height. I knew that these were likely to be quite long otherwise – once again, the tape measure helped to figure that out! I also didn’t pay much attention to the neckband pattern piece, but cut a long strip to the width I wanted and determined the length in the same manner as Gillian’s tutorial.

Vogue 9057 view D in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was shared between the sewing machine and the overlocker, with a zig-zag stitch used for finishing. I rather like the wide sleeve hem allowance included for the 3/4 view D sleeve – it would be very easy to apply the Craftsy class techniques to this pattern. Since making this top I have sewed view D a second time, and have sewn views B and C. I think eventually I will sew up every view. I like the fitted shoulder and upper chest to bust, with the gently flared body. Apparently the pattern is designed so that sleeves are interchangeable and necklines will nestle together – it’s a real mix and match pattern. I look forward to sewing more!

Vogue 9057 view D in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Yet another Tessuti Fave top

If you’re after a fast, effective sew then I highly recommend the Tessuti Fave top (free pattern).

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is another “one size fits most” pattern, so keep that in mind when you sew it up.  Because of the style it is fairly flexible.  I have sewn it without any body width or length alterations, but have lengthened the sleeves to full length.  This was done via the technical method of just keeping on cutting until I thought the length looked about right.

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This gives you an idea of the shape of this top. One pattern piece for the front, one pattern piece for the back. The sleeves are meant to be fitted, and indeed I think that if they weren’t the volume of the tee body would just swamp you. If you wanted to make this pattern smaller or larger it would be pretty easy to either slash and spread or to fold in to make it smaller. For reference, I’m 158cm tall, and wear roughly an Australian size 12 top in RTW.

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Fabric really is the key to making this top work. It needs to have loads and loads of drape. This poly/spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics works perfectly. Lots of four-way stretch, which makes the fitted sleeves comfortable, and lots of drape so that it hangs down nicely. You really do need to choose something that flows. As you can see, I took advantage of the leftovers to make a coordinating infinity scarf. It’s rather long, so I can wear it hanging down as above, or double loop it to make it shorter as in the first photo.  I don’t use a pattern for these scarves/cowls – there are plenty of tutorials out there if you need one though.  I basically just sew the leftovers into a tube by stitching the long edges together, then joining the short ends together.  Easy peasy!

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was on the overlocker (only four seams – one shoulder/arm, the other shoulder/arm, one side/underarm, the other side/underarm; it really is straightforward) and hems were stabilised with Vilesofix tape then twin needled. The neckline had the same treatment – turned to the inside and secured then twin needled. You could add a band or finish the neckline however you like.  This pattern has been around for ages, and you can see my other versions of it here.

Style Arc Pearl top

I am SO behind with blogging garments that I have sewn.  Every now and then I think I’ll just not bother, but then I remember that I really do like to document what I’ve made for future reference.  And I know that others appreciate seeing patterns on “real” people.  So I will catch up at some stage, with blog posts out of order, sometimes months after the garment is sewn.  So please bear with me!

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

This is the Style Arc Pearl top. Details from the Style Arc website are as follows:

PEARL KNIT TOP: The gorgeous draped side panel cleverly creates an interesting pocket detail.  The asymmetrical hemline adds a stylish effect to this on trend top.  Mix it up by using different textures or colours.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Jersey knit, any soft drapery knit, t-shirt knit

pearl-top

I sewed it in size 12, in a viscose/lycra knit from Tessuti (a Christmas gift to myself – does anyone else do that?  I bought it and wrapped it and put it under the Christmas tree…) The colours are absolutely me – especially when my hair is freshly dyed.  The neckline is higher than I would prefer, and to me it looks a little higher than in the illustration.  However, I do have a forward head and rounded upper back, so on my shape necklines can often look and feel higher than illustrated.  That is something that I need to keep in mind as I get older and spend most of my time looking forward (either on the computer for work or pleasure or sewing or reading or crocheting or texting).  Scoop that front neckline lower, and consider other appropriate adjustments!

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

This top is not terribly fitted, which suits me fine, especially at the moment where I am experiencing some cognitive dissonance with my weight gain and consequent increased belly deposits. I don’t intend to change my diet or exercise regime, so my weight isn’t going to drop. I enjoy food and a glass of wine, and have found that every time I have dieted in the past I just end up fatter six months later. Intellectually I am fine with my weight and shape, especially since all my other health indicators are well within range, but sometimes how I look in the mirror doesn’t match up to the picture of myself that I have in my head! So tops that skim my midsection work very well for me.

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

The main appeal of this top is of course the little draped pocket. It’s actually very easy to sew, being incorporated into a few seamlines, and adds an extra touch to what would otherwise be a fairly basic tunic length tee. I really like the slim sleeves, especially in this fabric, and feel that they balance out the less fitted body of the top.

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

I think I’ll use this pattern again, and do recommend it. Just make sure that you choose a knit with nice drape so that the pocket can hang well.

Style Arc Hazel dress

I came across this bright digitally printed scuba knit at Spotlight a few months ago, on sale.  I don’t actually go in to Spotlight for fabric as a general rule (I have many other sources that I think provide better quality for the price) but do go in to take advantage of their pattern sales.  Sometimes I can’t resist a browse among the bolts, and that is when I spotted this.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

I love the colours – so bright! – and I love the abstract nature of the print. Those touches of yellow throughout are perfect for me too. The pattern is the Style Arc Hazel.

hazel-combo

HAZEL COMBO: This cocoon-type dress is Style Arc’s take on the exciting new oversized shape of this season. We’ve provided so many options for you with this pattern. Make it with or without sleeves. Make it with or without hidden pockets. You can even choose to make it as a top! 

FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Soft Ponte, Wool boucle, Stable jersey knit with drape or any fabric with a slight stretch and drape

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

Scuba fabrics are very easy to sew. I’ve made a few garments from scuba now, and have found that the fabric does vary a bit in thickness and drape. They’re all 100% polyester double knit, and have a cool feel to the skin and lots of body. Not having to finish edges makes them a quick sew too. But for me the main appeal is the variety of prints and the intensity of the colours that are used on them.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

This one really shows the shape of the dress. It can be made without the 3/4 sleeves, and can be shortened to a top. I don’t think that I’ve finished with this pattern yet, actually. I’d like to try it in some softer knits than scuba, and the seaming really lends itself to colour blocking if that is what you are in to. There are little pockets hidden in the front seam between the bodice and the skirt, which are rather cute and just big enough for a mobile phone or work ID card.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

Construction was shared between the overlocker and the sewing machine. I can’t remember encountering any issues, but I did sew this a couple of months ago. Construction was fairly logical, and I assume that the Style Arc instructions – that I think included a diagram or two – were quite adequate.  I did a fair bit of twin needle topstitching to highlight seam lines and to secure hems and facings.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

I sewed straight size 12, choosing according to hip measurement as the rest of the garment is oversized enough to accommodate bust and protruding tummy. I have discovered that batwing sleeves like this are difficult to wear under other things. I need to consider what jackets or coats I have before I sew too many more of them – that dropped armhole and all that fabric in the sleeve area doesn’t fit easily under more fitted garments. Something to keep in mind!

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

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.