adult's clothing · sewing

Another Adeline

The Style Arc Adeline dress was such a success for me that I made a third – except this time it was for my Mum.

Style Arc Adeline dress in pinstriped cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Okay, it would have been better if I’d ironed it before she tried it on – it was a Christmas present so was all nicely folded up in a pretty gift bag! Anyway, she likes it!

Style Arc Adeline dress in pinstriped cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Mum and I have some distinct figure similarities, which is hardly surprising considering I share half her genetic material!  It means that dresses that work well on my shape often work well on Mum’s shape too.  She was always a couple of inches taller than me, but is now about my height. I left this dress the pattern length (I shortened my second version) as Mum prefers to have her dresses longer rather than shorter.

Style Arc Adeline dress in pinstriped cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s a straight size 16 for Mum – mine is a size 12. Mum and I share the same thick waist, round belly, relatively slim hips and flat bum. She is more blessed in the boob department than I am,  but we both have similarly rounded upper backs. Interestingly, despite the similarities in our body shapes, our head size, hair colour and type and facial features are completely different – I look like Dad, and my brother looks incredibly like Mum, who looks incredibly like her father. Interestingly to me, when I visited Germany twenty odd years ago, I was shocked at how much I looked like many of the population. I have a German great-grandfather, and it seems that those genes are the ones that have been expressed more in my facial features than the Scottish and English genes that make up the rest of me (many, many generations back). Ah genetics – they’re fascinating! My husband’s parents are Dutch (as are all preceding generations of his family) and I find it interesting to watch my girls grow and develop and see which features they express from each side of the family. I don’t think that biology is destiny or that it’s nature before nurture, but those chromosomes do mix things up!

Style Arc Adeline dress in pinstriped cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, back to the dress. As it’s the third time I’ve sewn this, it was pretty quick and straightforward. The fabric is a olive green cotton pinstriped in black, so I used black thread for the topstitching as well. The fabric is from deep stash but I think it was initially on the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table.

Style Arc Adeline dress for Mum in pinstriped cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Do you like how I ran the stripes on the pockets horizontally rather than vertically? That was really to avoid attempting to match the stripes, but I think it’s a nice detail!

Style Arc Adeline dress in pinstriped cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I think that this dress is definitely a success on Mum. You can see my earlier versions here, Meg’s here, Jean’s here, Meg’s here (in a superb colour) and Anna’s here. It’s a great style on anyone who isn’t especially interested in waist definition.  Long live the cocoon dress!

adult's clothing · sewing

Another Negroni shirt

The Colette Negroni pattern appears to be my go-to for shirts for my husband.  Well, for more casual shirts.

Colette Negroni shirt in Liberty cotton

The fabric is really what makes these shirts. This is a seasonal print Liberty lawn, bought online from Shaukat a couple of years ago (so it’s probably from one of the 2013 ranges if you’re trying to find it). All those houses! It’s cool to wear and silky against the skin. Because of the tight weave you do need a nice sharp new needle in your sewing machine. Otherwise, it’s a dream to work with.

Colette Negroni shirt in Liberty cotton

There are actually two chest pockets on that shirt – can you see them? There was no deliberate pattern matching involved; the print is so busy that the pockets seem to disappear. I love the buttons – they came from Notionally Better on etsy. I might have to stock up on these when we’re in Thailand.

Colette Negroni shirt in Liberty cotton

I sewed size Medium, and took a substantial fold out of the sleeve pattern piece to shorten them. Maybe as much as three inches? They are incredibly long otherwise. I always forget to make the top button lower than I have here – it’s really that bit too high, and he tends to leave it undone.

Colette Negroni shirt in Liberty cotton

Colette describe this pattern as follows: For men that like a classic, slightly retro shirt with a more modern cut, this shirt pattern is just the thing. The instructions will guide you gently through every step of creating a well-crafted casual shirt: felled seams, a lined back yoke, and sleeve plackets on the long sleeve version. Subtle details include a convertible collar (also known as a “camp collar”) and midcentury style collar loop detail. This shirt can be made in a variety of fabrics, such as crisp shirting, warm flannel for winter, or cool rayon for summer. Check out the pattern info for more details and suggested fabrics. Version 1 has long sleeves finished with a placket and cuff. Version 2 has short sleeves.

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I also leave off the collar loop.  He’s never going to do that up and it’s just fiddly and I don’t think it particularly adds anything.  I do like the burrito style yoke of this shirt.  I don’t do the felled seams – I just assemble on the overlocker instead, and topstitch with the machine.

Colette Negroni shirt in Liberty cotton

I have another length of Liberty in my stash waiting to become another shirt. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take three years this time!

Colette Negroni shirt in Liberty cotton

adult's clothing · sewing

Vogue 1496

Vogue 1496 ended up being my Christmas Day dress.  At first I’d planned on wearing the blue linen Mary dress that I blogged a couple of days ago, but when I tried it on I just wasn’t feeling it.  So at 4.15pm Christmas Eve I started cutting out and sewing this dress.

Vogue 1496 in printed rayon from The Cloth Shop

Surprise, another sack dress! What what a comfortable, and dare I say it, flattering, sack dress! Vogue describe the pattern as follows: Very loose-fitting, tapered, pullover dress has V-neckline, optional pockets (stitched in place), front extending into yoke back, no shoulder seams, back armhole openings with narrow hem, and stitched hem. A: Optional neckline inset.

v1496

Vogue 1496 in printed rayon from The Cloth Shop

I sewed view A, the shorter length, but without the optional neckline insert. I did actually read the pattern instructions and follow them when constructing this dress, and I’m really glad that I did. Firstly, I raised the neckline two inches as per the instruction. This is a very low neckline as drafted.  It does say that in the pattern, and there are instructions on how to raise it. That alteration needs to be done on both the front pattern piece and the neckline facing piece.

Vogue 1496 in printed rayon from The Cloth Shop

I also topstitched the neckline facing down, after trying it on. I found that on the shifty rayon the neckline just wouldn’t sit nicely as it was (despite under stitching etc) but when I put in on my dress form and pinned it suddenly the whole neckline sat flat and the entire dress was more supported. So I topstitched it all down. Design feature!

Vogue 1496 in printed rayon from The Cloth Shop

The construction of this dress is quite unusual. Excluding the facings and pockets there are just two pattern pieces. The front piece extends around to form the back yoke – there are no shoulder seams. The armholes are formed where the lower back is seamed to the back yoke area. You definitely need to make all markings and refer to the instructions to get this right. I also used 6mm Vliesofix tape as per the instructions and found it really useful in construction.

Vogue 1496 in printed rayon from The Cloth Shop

Even the pocket construction is a bit unusual. The pocket bags are topstitched to the front pattern piece, so the front of the dress is the front of the pocket and your hand slips through a opening just beside the side seam into the pocket. The pocket opening is also topstitched.

Vogue 1496 in printed rayon from The Cloth Shop

Even though I sewed the shorter dress length, after finishing and trying on I folded the hem up another one and a half inches and topstitched it in place. That resulted in a better length on my 158cm height and a doubled hem, which gave the dress more pleasing weight and drape. Size-wise, I sewed size D (Sandra Betzina patterns have different sizing to other Vogue patterns) which was about one size smaller than my measurements suggested. The fabric is printed viscose from The Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe, bought some time a year or so ago.

Vogue 1496 in printed rayon from The Cloth Shop

This was actually really quick to make. Even though I didn’t start it until 4.15pm Christmas Eve, I didn’t take any short cuts along the way, still had dinner and went to the Christmas Eve service at church, and had the dress finished somewhere around 8.30pm. It’s a great pattern – just read the instructions before you start!

adult's clothing · sewing · Uncategorized

Jalie 2918 in Spoonflower knit

I have sewn Jalie 2918 for my husband so many times that the earlier versions are the first images that come up on a Google image search.

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

This was one of his Christmas presents.  The fabric makes it special.  It’s from Spoonflower; their cotton/spandex knit substrate.  It’s nicely stretchy and comfortable to wear, but the best thing about it is the print.  A friend of mine, Lisa Christensen, is a graphic designer, and has a number of interesting designs available on Spoonflower at Three Branches Design.  Last time there was a free international shipping offer I snapped up a few.

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

The tee itself is a basic men’s tee.  Short sleeved, long sleeved or layered sleeve options, with either a round or a vee neckline.  I sew these on the overlocker, and twin needle the hems and neckband on my sewing machine.

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

So far the fabric is washing and wearing quite well.  There isn’t much more to say about this!

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Mary shift dress

Thanks for your Christmas wishes.  I hope that all of you have had a pleasant couple of days, doing the things that you enjoy doing.  Boxing Day is generally my favourite day of the season – low key, no rush, no pressures.  Yesterday I managed to fit in afternoon drinks with some of the Melbourne sewing blogging/instagramming community – since this is the second year we’ve met up, it’s clearly now an annual event!  I was able to end the day with our annual Boxing Day family event of watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special.  It was highly entertaining.

Style Arc Mary dress in Merchant and Mills linen

I wore one of my more recently sewn garments, the Style Arc Mary shift dress. I originally made this to wear on Christmas Day (which means it was finished Christmas Eve) but changed my mind and sewed/wore something else. This pattern has been in my stash for a little while. Now I wish I’d sewn it up sooner.

Style Arc Mary dress in Merchant and Mills linen

I’ll talk about the pattern first. Style Arc describe it as follows:  MARY SHIFT DRESS: This wonderfully versatile dress is suitable for all occasions. The raglan sleeves and patch pockets give this shift dress a sense of style. Create your own design by using a contrast colour or fabric on the sleeves, neck bind and pocket tops. Why not sew this dress in a beautiful lace and omit the pockets. FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Silk, Rayon, Crepe, Lace.

mary-dress

This is one of those simple patterns that can be dressed right up or down depending on the fabric combination that you use.  The raglan sleeve shoulder dart means that it sits nicely on your shoulders (really, all woven raglan garments need that dart in the sleeve piece).  There is a neckline facing option if you prefer that to binding the neckline.

Style Arc Mary dress in Merchant and Mills linen

I’d better talk about that fabric. What a colour!   I think it’s called Kandinsky Blue.  It’s Merchant and Mills linen, purchased from Stitch56. I have a few garments in this fabric now, and while it’s definitely expensive, it is always so lovely to sew and to wear. I chose to sew the entire garment in the one fabric, using triple zig-zag stitch to secure the sleeve and dress hems, to highlight the raglan seams, to secure the pocket tops, and to hold the neckline facing in place. I do make sure that I under stitch facings properly so that they roll to the inside to sit flat, but find that in fabrics with a lot of give or shift, such as rayon or this particular linen, the neckline sits better if I topstitch the facing down. It just gives it more support. So I used the triple zig-zag for that too.

Style Arc Mary dress in Merchant and Mills linen

I did make some minor alterations. I folded out about three inches from the length of the dress, just above the pockets. Luckily for me a friend Kathryn, who is not much taller than me, had already sewn this dress and was able to give some length advice. I also made the neckline about 5/8 inch larger all around. I sewed on the facing and turned it and tried it on, and it was just too round and high for my preference. So I restitched it, another 5/8 inch from the original line of stitching, then trimmed, under stitched and turned before trying it on again. Much better! I prefer a more open neckline on me, especially in summer.

Style Arc Mary dress in Merchant and Mills linen

This will be a terrific dress for our forthcoming overseas holiday. Linen wasn’t one of the fabric suggestions – and it definitely wrinkles enormously – but it works well in this design and is so comfortable to wear. I can now visualise this dress made up in fancier fabrics. It’s a very versatile pattern.

adult's clothing · sewing

Madeit Patterns Groove dress (for me)

You’ve seen the tween version of the Madeit Patterns Groove dress on the blog before.  I sewed myself a couple of versions too, months ago, and have actually worn them quite a lot.  It’s taken a while for this blog post to be written!

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in viscose blend knit from Clear It

This pattern has plenty of options. From their website:  The Groove Dress is an utterly covetable swing dress made using knit fabric, with short or long sleeves and a high low or straight hemline.  And as if that wasn’t enough, we went crazy to offer you five, yes five different neck options. Round, scoop, slash, cowl or hooded, whatever takes your fancy. The combinations are endless (well nearly, you do the maths).  Comfortable and practical, it even looks good over a baby bump.  It’s quick and easy to sew, which means you’ll be using this pattern over and over and over again.   Come on, machines at the ready, time to get your Groove on.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in striped ponte from Spotlight

Both mine were winter versions, so long sleeved. The orange is a lovely mid-weight viscose knit from Clear It. This was great fabric to work with, with beautiful handle and drape. I included a centre back seam for fabric conservation reasons.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in viscose blend knit from Clear It

This is a super fast garment to sew. All construction was on the overlocker, with hems twin needled on the machine. I chose to sew the high-low hemline, which is delightfully swishy.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in viscose blend knit from Clear It

I chose to sew the cowl neckline. It uses a fair bit of fabric, as it is a double layer, and is shaped so that it is narrower where it attaches to the body of the dress.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in viscose blend knit from Clear It

The other version of the dress was sewn in striped ponte from Spotlight. If you think that it looks familiar, I have actually sewn four garments in this fabric. It’s really a soft and stretchy double-knit. This was a slightly slower garment to sew because I needed to stripe match.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in striped ponte from Spotlight

This time I cut the dress with the back on the fold, and used the even hemline option.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in striped ponte from Spotlight

I went with the scoop neckline for this version. It’s not terribly scooped, really. There are also options for a slash or round neckline, and I suspect that either of those would be too high for my taste.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in striped ponte from Spotlight

This is a great staple pattern if you like a knit dress without waistline seams or much waist shaping. I like that it fits well through the shoulders and bust, then flares out from the body to provide comfort and style.

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in striped ponte from Spotlight

And it’s a great layering piece for winter!

Made It Patterns Groove Dress in viscose blend knit from Clear It

adult's clothing · sewing

Tessuti Colette Tunic

Here I am again with another Tessuti pattern!  Thanks for your comments on the Judy top in my last post and your suggestions for potentially “saving” it – nah, it’s not going to happen, it’s been in the give-away wardrobe for months now.  I really enjoy making things from scratch, but alterations are not really my thing.  So, onto the Tessuti Colette Tunic.

Tessuti Colette Tunic top in voile from Chiang Mai

I’ll be honest with you from the start – this isn’t a hit either. However, this time I think it’s due more to the fabric choice. My fault, rather than the pattern. The fabric is a fairly sheer printed voile that I bought in Chiang Mai, and it’s just not quite right for this pattern. It’s a little too crisp, yet has stretched out a bit in the bias neckband application. And I really haven’t worked out how to style it yet.

Tessuti Colette Tunic top in voile from Chiang Mai

I sewed the tunic length, and have considered shortening it to shirt length. However, I might try playing around more with the styling first – or I might try using it as a pool coverup (but let’s be honest – I spend very little time at the pool or the beach). Or it might end up in that give-away wardrobe….it’s a shame, because I love the print and the colourway.

Tessuti Colette Tunic top in voile from Chiang Mai

The Tessuti website describes this pattern as follows: Colette Tunic Top – This comfortable, loose tunic top is the perfect beach cover-up or, in a shorter length, a light and cool summer top. The design features a yoke with button closure, gathered centre front panel, panelled back and three quarter length raglan sleeves that are gathered onto a sleeve band. Suitable fabrics for this tunic top include lightweight cotton voiles, lightweight eyelet cottons, silk/cotton voiles, rayon and viscose.

Katherine has sewn beautiful versions of this top here and here.  Looking at hers and then typing up this blog post has made me decide that I will add buttons, and I will shorten it.  I’m not ready to give up on this fabric just yet!

Tessuti Colette Tunic top in voile from Chiang Mai