adult's clothing · sewing

Another striped draped t-dress

I first sewed the You Sew, Girl! Draped T-dress back in January 2011.  Yes, that was a while ago!

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

And wouldn’t you know it – this is my sixth version, the fourth in a stripe! You can see two of the other striped ones here and here (there was also a red/white striped version but I don’t think it was ever blogged). I’ve sewn it in a solid once, and in a print once. (And actually, since I wrote this blog post I’ve sewn a seventh dress, this time as a gift).

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

This fabulous stripe is viscose spandex knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe. I needed 2.5 metres in order to be able to match the stripes along the edges. This is a one pattern piece dress – the front and the back are the same, then the front neckline is cut deeper. I cut a strip for the neckband a little less than two inches wide. When doing neckbands from stripes the finished neckband width really depends on the width of the stripes and what I think will look best.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

As always I determined the length of the neckband by following the method described in Gillian’s tutorial. Construction was on the overlocker, with the hems finished by machine with a twin needle. I also twin needled down the neckband seam allowances to secure them.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

I used double sided Vliesofix tape on the dress hem before stitching, and I think that it’s actually stiffened it a little too much and has made the hem a little wavy. That might ease up with washing. I sometimes attach a fishing sinker or washer to the inside seam allowance of the point at the side drape so that it falls nicely, but haven’t done it yet with this version of the dress and the folds seem to be draping as they should.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

Stripe matching required lots of careful cutting – I cut one side of the dress, then laid it exactly on top of the fabric right sides together to line up the stripes accurately before cutting the other side. That had the added advantage of having the front and back all ready for the stripes to be carefully pinned together. Sewing this in a solid or print makes it a very fast dress to sew, by the way.

You Sew Girl Draped T dress in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

My dress is size Medium. It’s extremely comfortable to wear, and I think we all know that there will be more versions of this pattern in the future!

adult's clothing · sewing · teen

Vintage Style 4728 shorts

Clare and I had fun trawling through my stash of old patterns late last year in search of skirt patterns.  She’s a mix of sizes, but for skirts will generally fit into a women’s 6 or 8.  She was looking for fuller skirts, that ended above the knee. Then we spotted this one:

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

This pattern is from 1986, and I do think that the cover art is a perfect example of the fashions of its time. The pattern description is as follows. Misses’ Skirt, Trousers, Culottes and Shorts: Flared skirt, slightly tapered trousers, culottes and shorts are gathered front and back onto waistband with side-front pockets which form buttoned opening.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

So as you can see, we decided on the shorts! The fabric is double gauze from Clear It, left over from an earlier project.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

I do rather enjoy working with printed patterns from this era. I learned to sew using them, and they really do give me pleasure. They are SO familiar to me! We cut straight size 8 for Clare. The pockets tuck into the side seams but form part of the opening at the front.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

The buttons are also vintage, from stash, and are the only closure. You can see the slanted front pocket edge in the photo. Because of this opening method, the pockets aren’t actually as deep or as secure as you might think. The teen does keep on putting her mobile phone into the leg opening rather than into the pocket!

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

The gathers at the front and back provide lovely fullness to these shorts, and they really do work in the same place as an equivalent skirt. Clare tie-dyed the tee with a friend as some school holiday fun. She also dyed her hair!

Holiday hair - Clare

Clare’s hair is waist length, so she needed a friend to help her to get the ombre pink to purple effect! They’re just temporary colours that wash out after around 8 washes (Schwarzkopf Live Colour range; we get them from Priceline) and it’s become a bit of a school holiday tradition to have ‘holiday hair’. If it’s done right at the beginning of the holidays it is all gone by the time that school goes back – Clare’s school is quite strict about ‘unnatural colours’ in hair.

Holiday hair - Stella

Of course, Stella wanted to be in on the action as well. Her choice was ombre blue ends! They really do enjoy this bit of holiday fun. I’ve still got a few of last year’s projects to get up on the blog, so will try to get that done over the next few days. I’m between jobs at the moment, and as you can see we haven’t gone away on a ‘big’ holiday this summer. We’re all enjoying the time at home, pottering away and getting lots of things done that we never usually have the time for. Yes, there is lots of organising and sorting and tidying up and throwing out going on! As well as reading, watching movies and Netflix, and from me, sewing.

Vintage Style 4728 shorts in double gauze from Clear It

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Eme

The time between Christmas and New Year is one of my favourites.  Expectations have evaporated, there are leftovers in the fridge, most people are on leave, Melbourne has cleared out (which makes it great to be here) and I lose track of what day of the week it is.  I’ve pottered around the house, getting lots of chores done in a relaxed pace according to my own timetable and no-one else’s.  Actually, I’ve barely left the house!  The first few days of last week were baking hot which made me very grateful for air-conditioning; fortunately Melbourne has done what it usually does and the last few days have been delightful with cool nights and days in the mid twenties.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Anyway, this is what I wore on Christmas Day. We hosted lunch for 18 people, it was hot outside, and this dress kept me comfortable throughout. It’s the Style Arc Eme dress.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website: Eme is our new summer cocoon shaped dress that is perfect for the beginner sewer, with no fastenings or trim details required. The loose-fitting shape allows for cool fitting during those hot summer days and the lovely darts at the hem complete the cocoon look. With its simple design lines Eme is the perfect pattern for colour blocking. FABRIC SUGGESTION Linen, rayon, silk, cotton, fine wool.

eme-dress

First things first – that line drawing is VERY deceiving regarding the length of this dress.  I know I’m short at 158cm, but in the illustration the dress ends above the knee.  Mine ends well below it.  Actually, most finished versions that I’ve seen definitely look longer rather than shorter.  You might want to take that into account.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It is a simple dress that is straightforward to sew. If you left out the side seam pockets (I included them) you really could ‘whip it up’ in very little time at all! Like all simple things, it needs to be well drafted in order to look good – and in my opinion, this dress is great. The neckline is a great shape, and finishing it with a wide topstitched facing adds a lovely bit of detail. The sleeves can be left longer, or turned back to form a cuff, which is my preference.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The darts at the hemline – two on the front and two on the back – really do give that lovely cocoon shape. I know that it’s not a silhouette for everyone, but it’s definitely one that I like a great deal. No fit and flare in my wardrobe! The hemline also has a wide facing, which gives it body and a little more detail with topstitching.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The fabric came from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s current stock, and I’m pretty sure that it is linen/viscose blend. The colour is wonderful! It was great to sew with and to wear as it combined the best properties of both fibre types. The Eme is a great alternative to that other Style Arc staple, the Adeline.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing · teen

True Bias Ogden cami – from mini to adult

Last Sewjourn I whipped up a mini Ogden cami for Clare.  (Side note: whenever I type ‘whipped up’ I smile.  What a funny expression to use in a sewing context!  And although the implication that whatever is ‘whipped up’ is done in a frenzy, I didn’t rush my way through this.  It’s just not a complicated garment; there are very few pattern pieces, and no tricky finishing techniques).

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

The fabric is printed woven rayon came from Rathdowne Fabrics and was left over from another project. This is the Mini Ogden cami, sewn in size 10 which was the largest size. I doubted that Clare would be a girls size 10, but the chest measurement looked like it would work, and from past experience I knew that for this pattern I needed to select the size based on circumferential measurements.

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

The first thing that I had to do when she tried it on was re-cut the straps. As designed, the size 10 straps were WAY too short for her height.  I cut out and sewed a new set of straps, adding about four inches to the length, then attached them where they best lined up with her bra straps. I’m old fashioned in that way – I prefer underwear to be covered rather than exposed (unless it’s brightly coloured and worn with an outer garment that suggests it is clearly meant for exposure).

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

Now to me there wasn’t enough boob room in the front of the cami. Yes, it fits, in that it goes around her and isn’t skin tight, but the underarm seams are digging in. Time to pull out the adult version of the pattern and give it another go.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 7.45.22 am

The above diagram is the mini Ogden.  The adult version is a little different, which you can see in it’s line diagram below.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 7.54.52 am

The adult version has a front and back lining piece (it comes down as far as under the bust) and there is no elastic in the back.  Rather, it has a gently curved V neckline like the front.  After checking out the measurements for the adult version I knew that I’d need to sew a muslin.  Clare really needed a size somewhere between the size 10 girls (designed for a 28.5 inch chest) and the size 0 women’s (designed for a 32 inch chest). I found some fabric in the stash, printed and cut out the size 0, and sewed up a wearable muslin.  Then made just-awake Clare try it on with her pyjama bottoms.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

The fabric is printed cotton from deep stash – maybe originally from Spotlight. It’s not as soft and drapey as the rayon I used for the mini Ogden. I used some plain white fabric I found elsewhere in stash for the partial lining, which was much softer and was possibly rayon.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

Now as you can see, the fit of the women’s cami here is WAY better than the mini Ogden. However, as I’d anticipated, the neckline was much too wide and the shoulder straps were too far apart. Clare felt really exposed in this version and wanted more chest coverage. Interestingly, that’s how I felt in the Ogden cami that I made ages ago. When we pinned out a chunk along the centre front and centre back, everything seemed much better.  I cut out a second version of the cami, this time from rayon, but after having folded out 5/8 inch along the centre ‘on the fold’ edge. Yes, I did remember to do this to the lining pieces as well as the front and back pieces! In total this removed two and a half inches from the total circumference of the pattern, while retaining the side seam shaping and the overall neckline shaping.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

Apparently this is drafted for a C cup bust – which Clare doesn’t have.  However, I didn’t do a SBA.  Once change at a time!  And as it turns out, I didn’t need to.  This version fitted so much better!

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

This alteration also raised the neckline a bit at both the front and the back. Clare was really pleased with it. Not sure that the fabric colour is the best for Clare – her skin tone blends into it a bit – but she’s already wearing it quite a lot! She chose to wear it for her early 16th birthday party celebrations (January birthdays often mean that friends are all away at party time, so we chose to have a pre-Christmas celebration this year).

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

You can see how much better that armhole fit is. The back is deep, but finishes above her bra. Bra straps are still exposed a little bit, but not dramatically so, and the cami straps are in a comfortable place on her shoulders.

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

We’re really pleased with the fit of this cami now, and have fabric queued to sew more. I might even give this pattern another go for myself with similar alterations (cut a larger size than I did last time, then move the pattern piece across to shift the neckline and strap position). Clare is also keen for me to sew it as a slip dress. I have a feeling that this will be a very useful garment in the teen wardrobe over this Australian summer.

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

adult's clothing · sewing

Cashmerette Cedar Dolman top

I bought this pattern for the workout tank (yeah, self delusional regarding the likelihood of doing a workout) but have sewn the Cedar dolman top!

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

From the Cashmerette website: Step up your game with the Cedar Workout Tank and Dolman Top! View A is a sleek workout tank, featuring princess seams, a v-neck or crew neck, optional decorative straps, and an easy foldover elastic finish.  Afterwards, clean up with View B, a casual, dolman sleeve top suitable for drapey wovens or knits, with a relaxed fit and an optional pretty knotted detail. From yoga to brunch, this duo of patterns has you covered with stylish, sporty design.

CedarTechDraw_550x

As is obvious, I sewed view B, the top, with the front tie.  I sewed size 12 C/D, grading to size 14 through the waist.  The fabric is printed rayon from my stash.  For once I am unsure about its provenance – maybe it was a Darn Cheap Fabrics remnant?

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

These photos were taken at the end of a work day, after taking off a jacket, and the sleeves are pretty crumpled. Please take it from me that when pressed they are quite even in length!

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

I faced the neckline, as per the instructions. Generally I swap out neckline facings for binding, and that would have worked quite well as an alternative, but I quite like the structure of the facing on this soft drapey fabric. I had to use a million pins to secure it when I topstitched it in place – I should have pulled out some double sided tape instead. The hemline and ties are also faced and topstitched in place. The sleeve hems are simply turned to the inside and stitched (I did overlock the edge first).

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

This works really nicely with my wide-legged Fifi pants. This is really a wearable muslin – I don’t know if that print in those colours is really me – but I’ll definitely be sewing this pattern again.

adult's clothing · sewing

Iconic Patterns Yalta

I first sewed the Iconic Patterns Yalta top in 2013.  Once again present me is thankful to past me for keeping a record of what I’ve made and when!

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

My blog also reminds me that this was the first iteration of this top by Iconic Patterns. It is still available on the Iconic Patterns website, now known as Top #1105 and I have a vague memory that it was reworked a little at some stage. My top is from the initial release, so if you purchase it now you may find some slight differences.

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is size 14. I deepened the neck facing a little in order for the drape to sit better. The pattern is cut on the bias, and I really like the way that it sits on my body. I cut strips along the stretch of the knit to bind the back neckband and the armholes, and to use to create a casing for the drawstring that gathers the side front.  The fabric is a crinkled wool blend knit that came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table aeons ago.

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From the pattern website: This top will be your favourite all summer – a cowl neckline, covered shoulders and a relaxed drape. It is very easy to sew and a pleasure to wear. Sew it in a slinky knit for the best results.

Print

Construction was shared between the sewing machine and the overlocker.  I used a simple zig-zag stitch to secure the hem.  I’m really glad that I’ve sewn this top again.

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Como cardi, top and pants

I liked every piece in the Como bundle when Style Arc released it, but my initial plan wasn’t necessarily to make a coordinating three piece set.  However, that’s exactly what I did!

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

This outfit actually looks better in real life than it does in these photos. Maybe I should start at the top, with the Como cardigan.

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website: This long-line fashionable cardi sewing pattern is a must have addition to your wardrobe. It has a cleverly designed all-in-one dropped shoulder line and a front band that hugs the neckline. This cardigan is finished off with two lovely large patch pockets. FABRIC SUGGESTION Wool jersey, baby wool, sweater knit.

como-knit-cardi

I sewed this in a super soft knit that I picked up from Super Cheap Fabrics.  I have no real idea of the fibre composition, but suspect that there is plenty of synthetic in there.  I bought some green spools of thread from Spotlight to overlock it all together, but later discovered that my Juki overlocker really does not like cheap thread.  I had all sorts of problems with the tension, which has unfortunately made some of the seams too tight and pull a bit.  Once I went back to large cones of thread from Rathdowne Fabrics my overlocker became happy again.  But in the meantime I did have some construction issues, and I think that they affect the look of this cardi, especially the dropped shoulder seams.

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

There aren’t shoulder seams with this cardi, just some shoulder darts for shaping. The fronts extend around to the back and form the back yoke with a vertical seam. This changes the grain and stretch quite a bit across the shoulders and where the sleeves join, which is why my overlocker issues caused some problems. Since then I’ve done my best to pull out the tight sections and restitch them, but the resulting garment is far from perfect.

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

I found that the sleeves were very long, and since these photos were taken I’ve shortened them some more. I left off the pockets, doubting that I could attach them nicely in this very soft knit. I sewed size 12.  I’m keen to sew this again, but in a slightly more structured knit and using the threads that my overlocker prefers!

Style Arc Como pants in linen knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, on to the Como pants! From the Style Arc website: This fabulous, on-trend knit pant sewing pattern features the new wide leg; not too wide, just perfect. The flat elastic waist and in-seam pockets look great and make the pant so comfortable to wear. Make them with a full-length leg or crop them to what length you prefer. FABRIC SUGGESTION Wool jersey, baby wool, sweater knit.

como-knit-pant

I sewed these in linen knit.  I know, slightly nuts – but it’s what I had in stash, so I figured it was worth a try.  I think that I originally bought it at Rathdowne Fabrics.  I sewed size 12 in the shorter length, without alteration.  I didn’t include the drawstring.

Style Arc Como pants in linen knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

The fabric has a wonderful slubby texture, and these actually feel really good to wear! I used wide elastic in the waistband, trying the pants on before I determined the final elastic length. The legs have a wide hem, and I included the side inseam pockets. We’ll see how well linen jersey works in pants over time, I suppose.

Style Arc Como pants in linen knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, we finally get to the Como top!

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

I picked up this patterned stretch mesh from Lincraft for $2 per metre. I figured that I couldn’t really go wrong. It was perfect for this pattern, because the front is double. I doubled the back as well for consistency.

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

And there we have my usual short back waist issue, which I once again have failed to rectify. Oh well, I can’t see it when I’m wearing it.

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

From the Style Arc website: You will love this versatile knit top sewing pattern. The flattering “V” neckline hugs the neck and is designed to stand at the back. The pattern was designed to have some shape over the body, but not too much, and the shoulder line is extended to cover the shoulders. FABRIC SUGGESTION Baby wool, jersey

como-knit-top

This is a terrific,super simple pattern!  I had to alter the construction a little because I had two back pieces, but that wasn’t difficult.  The front V-neckline is essentially self faced because there are two front pieces.  Style Arc have a YouTube tutorial for this too.  It’s always worth remembering that there are lots of links to tutorials on their website and on their YouTube channel.

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

All three of these patterns will get another whirl at a later stage – maybe even in the recommended fabrics!