adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Coral Cardigan

I definitely sew many Style Arc patterns more than once.  The Coral Cardigan is no exception.  This is a fairly recent release – just a couple of months ago, I think.

coral-cardigan

The website describes it as follows: 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

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in wool knit from Clear It

I really like to wear garments that are essentially quite simple, but have small details. In this case, it’s the shortened front neck band. I know that lots of people find it a little strange, but I love it.

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in wool knit from Clear It

I sewed straight size 12, which is my usual Style Arc size and pretty much correlates with what I’d buy in the shops (if I bought clothes in the shops). The sleeves are rather long on this cardigan – I could have shortened them a little. It is incredibly fast to sew. The in seam pockets are straightforward, and were sewn on the sewing machine. I used the overlocker for the rest of the construction, including sewing the wrist bands to the sleeves.

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in wool knit from Clear It

The fabric is a lovely wool double knit from Clear It. It’s possibly a bit heavier weight than this pattern recommends, but still worked out okay. It’s very warm to wear, and has lovely flecks throughout. I try to avoid buying black fabrics, but will relent for grey on occasion.

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in wool knit from Clear It

I topstitched the hem and down the front of the jacket to hold the neckband in place and finish the centre edges of the lower front. The neckband sits very nicely around the back of my neck, and those little pockets are rather cute.

Style Arc Coral Cardi in Anna Sui printed poly knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This simple pattern was the perfect canvas for a brightly coloured print! My second version of the Coral Cardigan is sewn in a polyester double knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics, that is apparently an Anna Sui print. All those colours and shapes and swirls! Fantastic!

Style Arc Coral Cardi in Anna Sui printed poly knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This was cut out and sewn exactly the same as the grey cardigan. Because I had already sewn it once before it was even faster to assemble.

Style Arc Coral Cardi in Anna Sui printed poly knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The centre fronts and the band edges do actually line up – I must have done something weird with how I put it on before these photos were taken.

Style Arc Coral Cardi in Anna Sui printed poly knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Prints like this are loads of fun, but they definitely require more plains to go underneath! I know that many people can mix prints with aplomb, but I don’t think that I am one of them. Although I do think that stripes are a neutral, as is animal print, and spots, and can be worn like plains….

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in wool knit from Clear It

I highly recommend this pattern. Remember that the arms are pretty long, but otherwise I think that it would work well for everyone who likes knit cardigans without waist shaping. It also works well with a scarf or shawl – thanks to Mum for this knitted one!

Style Arc Coral Cardigan in wool knit from Clear It

cloth diapering · kids clothing · sewing

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry

When Tessuti announced their most recent competition, the Cut Out Lace Sewing Competition, I looked at the fabric and knew that I would never sew it for myself.  I don’t really wear lace, as much as I love it on other people.  But I had a very strong suspicion that Clare would like a lace dress.  There were three colour ways on offer – black, red and ivory.  Clare chose ivory, and I ordered two panels. When it arrived and I opened the parcel all that I could think was “tablecloth”.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry begins

Now that I’ve said that, it’s all that you can see too, isn’t it! I had a dilemma – how was I going to best use this fabric in a way that it wouldn’t look like a tablecloth? I ran a few pattern options past Clare, and a few lining options, and in the end we decided to base her dress on view B of Simplicity 8086 with a contrasting taffeta lining.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry begins

So, the first challenge. This is a women’s pattern. Clare measured a 4 bust and an 8 waist. I didn’t care about the hip measurement as I knew it was a full skirt. I also checked front and back waist lengths, and shoulder width, and knew that I had some adjustments to make.  I really would have made life easier for myself if I’d started with a girl’s pattern.  I needed to focus on the bodice pieces.  Firstly I graded between sizes where needed then did a SBA to remove the copious bust shaping.  Then I cut a muslin from an old sheet and tried it on.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry begins

It was SO worth sewing the muslin. As you know, I’m not usually a muslin maker, but there are times when I can really see the value.  I made some more alterations, sewed them, tried it on Clare again, then unpicked it completely and used it as the pattern to cut out the lace. Having sewn the muslin also meant that I had all the pattern pieces needed for the bodice, which made working out the lace placement more straightforward. Hooray!

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry

See those instructions? They were basically gobbledygook, so I discarded them completely. I cut out the bodice overlay entirely from the lace. For the under bodice I cut the bodice waistband and lower back pieces from the lace and underlined them with taffeta. I cut the upper front and back bodice from the taffeta as well, then cut all the same pieces again to sew a full bodice lining. The taffeta is a copper colour, with red threads in one direction and green in the other. It has enough depth that the patterns on the lace really stand out, yet it blends fairly well with Clare’s skin tone beneath the looser overlay.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry

I sewed the overlay, the under bodice, and the lining separately. Then the fun began. I needed to join these pieces in a way that would fully enclose all the seam allowances. There was a lot of fiddling, a lot of pinning, and a lot of working in small spaces involved. I started by putting the overlay in place on top of the under bodice, then sewing the lining to it right sides together around the neckline. This seemed to work okay. Then I used the burrito method to sew one armhole, then the other. The overlay is joined at the neckline and armholes, but hangs free elsewhere. Once I’d done that, I needed to finish the edges of the upper back under bodice. Once again there was a fair bit of pinning and turning inside out. I’d left the waistline and centre back seams open so that I could manipulate the rest of the bodice. By taking things slow and steady, and thinking logically, I was able to complete the bodice other than the centre back seam. I knew that I wanted to leave it for the eventual insertion of an invisible zip.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry

The skirt width is the full length of two panels of the lace.  I cut it as a long rectangle, without any shaping. I underlined it with the taffeta, hoping that the taffeta would add fullness to the pleats and prevent any show through of the seam allowance at the centre back skirt seam. This worked well. Pleat placement was a matter of trial and error. I spent some time manipulating the skirt fabric, measuring, pleating, pinning, unpinning, re-measuring, pinning, checking, and so on, until we had the pleats at a depth and distribution that was pleasing to the eye. The mirroring of the lace was really important here as well – some pleat depths looked better than others. Eventually the pleats were stitched in place, then the skirt attached to the bodice and the seam allowance edges overlocked together. There is quite a bit of bulk in that seam and we wanted it to sit as flat as possible from the outside of the dress.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry

After all of that it was a relatively simple matter of inserting an invisible zip at the centre back seam. The bulk at the waist seam made this a slightly delicate process, but once again patience was my friend. I sewed a button loop from embroidery thread at the centre back neckline, and covered a button with a flower from the lace, with taffeta underneath.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition entry

The last step was to sew the hem by simply turning the edge of the lace under and stitching it by machine. This just made it a little more substantial and helped with the skirt fullness.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

This was one of those special sewing occasions where I turned the finished dress around the right way, gave it a shake, and felt a huge smile spread over my face. I just loved it! Then I called Clare – and she had entirely the same reaction. And once she tried it on? Just beautiful. I know that I am biased – she’s my daughter, after all – but I think that this dress is absolutely perfect for her.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

We had an absolute ball doing a photo shoot down at the local creek. We managed to get some lovely photos in the natural environment, as well as some at the industrial estate nearby.  That green wall is an auto body repairers, and the grey wall belongs to a funeral director!

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

So now I’ll subject you all to yet more of the photos that I took – because I found it incredibly difficult to narrow down which ones to enter in the competition. There is a week or so left before the competition closes, and there are already a number of stunning entries. I don’t expect to win the competition, but as far as Clare and I are concerned, this dress already takes first prize.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

You can follow the entries for the competition on Tessuti’s Pinterest board here.

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

Tessuti Cut Out Lace Competition

adult's clothing · sewing

Tessuti Berlin Jacket

I have had a great deal of success with many of Tessuti’s patterns.  The Berlin Jacket is no exception.

Tessuti Berlin Jacket in wool cashmere remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

The Tessuti website describes this pattern as follows:This collarless, longline jacket features patch pockets, extended dropped shoulders and full length sleeves with a turned back cuff.The back neck is slightly raised. Effortlessly stylish, the jacket is the ideal winter wardrobe staple and perfect for layering over dresses or any casual outfit. Ideal made up in boiled wool knits, ponti knits, boiled felted wools and neoprene fabrics. IMPORTANT: Not suitable for woven fabrics that fray when cut.

Tessuti Berlin Jacket in wool cashmere remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

This is similar to the very popular Sydney jacket pattern, in that the edges are left raw and the pattern pieces are overlapped and topstitched throughout the majority of the construction.

Tessuti Berlin Jacket in wool cashmere remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

This means that you do need to pay attention to the instructions. They are well illustrated throughout with photographs and explanation, so I didn’t have any issues with assembling the jacket. The front has a raw edged facing, that is topstitched in place, and the pocket tops and cuffs are made in a similar way. the only place where you have a conventional seam sewn right sides together is the side and sleeve seam.

Tessuti Berlin Jacket in wool cashmere remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

I had this cobalt blue, almost purple, cashmere/wool remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics sitting in my stash. It was the perfect choice for this jacket. The colour is vibrant, and fraying is minimal. You really do need to pay attention to the fabric recommendations for this jacket – all those raw edges! I particularly like the way that the collar has been drafted – it sits beautifully close to my neck.

Tessuti Berlin Jacket in wool cashmere remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

I sewed the size Medium, without any alterations. The jacket is designed to be worn with the cuffs folded back to make a 7/8 sleeve, but I find that it also looks good with them left down at full length. It was very fast to sew – probably not surprising when you think of all those raw edges and the lack of a lining – and once again is a lovely weight for an extra layer in Melbourne winter (or autumn, or spring). It’s especially nice with this scarf that my mother knitted me from One Fat Slug yarn hand-dyed by Kate (finally out of stash and being very happily worn). I’ve been sending lots of skeins of beautiful yarn in Mum’s direction lately for transformation into scarves and shawls, and she’s doing a sterling job.  Thanks Mum!

Tessuti Berlin Jacket in wool cashmere remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

adult's clothing · DCF Challenge · sewing

Vogue 9186 -DCF Winter Challenge

Well, I suppose that there are a couple of things that I’d better make clear right from the start.  This is the garment that I sewed as my DCF Seasonal Challenge* garment for winter.  And it’s a summer dress.  And tomorrow is the last day of winter.  It doesn’t look as though I’m doing a great job of being seasonal, does it!  Luckily for me, Emma and I make up our own rules for this little challenge.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, to the dress. The pattern is Vogue 9186, which I originally passed over before stumbling upon these beautiful versions by Eli Cat of the blog Cat In A Wardrobe.  The high collar had been putting me off, but Eli had sewn one with a scoop neckline.  Well duh! If there are elements of a design that I don’t like, of course I can change them!  After all, I am the one doing the sewing.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

(No, I still haven’t addressed that fabric pooling in the centre back issue. Head in the sand on that one). Vogue describe the pattern as follows: Very loose-fitting, pullover dress has mandarin collar, front band, partially elasticized waist with casing, side pocket, and shaped hemline, wrong side shows. Narrow hem. A: Cap sleeves. B: Long sleeves with placket and button cuffs.

v9186

I did initially contemplate sewing the long-sleeved version of the dress, particularly because I had chosen denim.  But then I read a few reviews that talked about how difficult it had been to set in the sleeves, and I considered the challenges of sewing the cuff plackets in the fabric I’d bought…and changed my mind.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, to the fabric. It is a “shredded” denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It came in a couple of colours; this is the darker one. The photos above are NOT a good representation of the colour – it is actually a normal denim blue twill, woven from indigo threads one way and white threads the others. The square “holes” are in a regular pattern. I did pre-wash the fabric, not only to see if there was any shrinkage or colour leakage, but to see how well those shredded areas would stand up to washing. They did surprisingly well.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

That’s a more accurate representation of the colour! The denim is nice and soft, not lightweight but not too heavy either. I hemmed the dress by turning a narrow double hem and top-stitching it in place, and I used self-made bias tape to finish the edges of the armholes and the neckline. The same fabric as was used for the bias tape was used for the shaped elastic casing that is sewn to the inside of the dress.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

In order to alter the neckline, I cut out the dress front and back pieces but omitted the neckband and the front placket pieces. I then sewed the back neckline darts as per the pattern instructions, as I know that I can always do with a little more shaping in that area.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I had decided that I like the neckline of the Tessuti Pia dress, so pulled out those pattern pieces and overlaid them on the front dress piece and the back dress piece, lining up the edge of the pattern pieces with the centre front and the top of the shoulder. Then it was a simple matter to recut the neckline, while retaining some of the back neck dart shaping. From there on this was a very quick dress to sew. Shoulder seams, finish the neckline with binding, one side seam, apply the elastic casing, other side seam, finish the armholes with binding, hem the dress.  I sewed size Medium (12-14) without any alterations.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

You do need WIDE elastic to go in that casing for it to sit nicely. It really needs to fit just inside your lines of stitching. I think that I still need to redistribute the gathers just a little, but I do have to be careful fiddling too much with the fabric. It’s on the delicate side. So overall, I recommend this pattern, and suspect that it might get another outing at some stage. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Emma has sewn with hers.  I have a little bit of the denim left too.  I wonder what that might become – and whether I’ll have to fight the girls for it.

Vogue 9186 in distressed denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

* Emma and I started the DCF Seasonal Challenge a year or two ago – we buy  a couple of metres of the same fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics each season, and each make a garment.  We then reveal it on our blogs on the same day.  It’s just a fun thing that we started when we realised how often we buy and sew the same fabrics (often from Darn Cheap).

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Simone Knit Cardigan

The Style Arc Simone Knit Cardigan is an excellent pattern.  I love it so much that I’ve sewn it four times.  These are versions three and four.

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

The Style Arc website describes this pattern as follows: SIMONE KNIT CARDIGAN: This clever cardigan pattern has been designed so as the drape creates the pocket. An easy every day must have cardi. Make it with or without buttons.  FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Knit jersey, Slinky or any drapery knit.

simone-cardigan

The main feature of this cardigan is of course the drape pocket.  It’s all cut in one, and with a couple of folds and a few stitches you have a pocket hidden inside a draped fold.  I love it!

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

Both these were sewn in soft ponte. I wouldn’t want to use a much heavier fabric than a ponte, as there is quite a bit of bulk in the hemline where the pockets are formed. I used plenty of pins when I was hemming it and it all sits well.

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

I sewed size 12. Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to twin needle hemlines and to secure the front band. The printed fabric came from Rathdowne Fabrics, and the stripe from Spotlight.

Style Arc Simone cardigan in printed ponte from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Simone cardigan in striped ponte from Spotlight

adult's clothing · sewing

Simplicity 1198 top

Simplicity 1198 is described on the Simplicity website as follows: misses’ v-neck knit top has sleeve variations, optional contrast yoke and panel with asymmetric hemlines. the scoop neck knit top has sleeve options and a beautifully draped hemline.

simplicity-tops-vests-pattern-1198-envelope-front

simplicity-tops-vests-pattern-1198-front-back-view

I bought this pattern for view E, with the side tuck/drape (although I am likely to sew view A/B/C at some stage too, I suspect).  There are a few reviews of it online, many mentioning that it runs large.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Because of the reviews, I decided to delve into scraps and hopefully make a wearable muslin. I sewed size Medium, which is a 14-16, dubious about going down to the Small (size 10 – 12) given my weight gain. As it turns out this is quite a roomy top, but not inappropriately so. Except for the neckline – it is wider and deeper than it needs to be, but not unwearably so.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is much easier to sew than you would imagine! There are only four pattern pieces – front, back, sleeves, neck band. The drape is created by taking a fold at one side of the pattern – just follow the instructions and you’ll have no issues.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to twin needle hems and secure the neckband. The next time I make it – there will definitely be a next time – I will make the neckline smaller. It is quite wearable as it is, however. I also like the tunic length and asymmetrical hemline. I’ve also seen this pattern lengthened to a dress, and would like to give that a try as well.

Simplicity 1198 view E in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

By the way, the fabric is from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table a couple of years ago, the scraps left over from this dress. I didn’t have many options for how to place the print, given I was working with leftovers, but it still worked out okay!

adult's clothing · sewing

New Look 6330 jacket

I have had New Look 6330 in my stash for a little while. There are a few reviews of it around the blogs, but not many. I bought it because I fancied sewing the jacket.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

There’s not a great deal of information about this pattern on the website. Misses’ knit pattern includes top, pants with elastic waist and long sleeve cardigan in two lengths with front closure. Pants can also be made in wovens. 

newlook-sportswear-pattern-6330-front-back-view

newlook-sportswear-pattern-6330-envelope-front

I had only seen view C sewn up, the cardigan/jacket with the more conventional hemline, whereas I (possibly unsurprisingly) wanted to sew the version with the pointed front and back corners.  After reading some reviews and checking the pattern piece measurements I decided to sew size 14, but I petite-ed the body pieces by folding out some body length at around waist height throughout.  Now that the jacket is finished I think that maybe I overdid this part.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Actually, I think that the fit overall is pretty good – I just might need to unpick those closures and buttons and move them down a little. I wanted them above waist height, but think that they’re a little too empire line where they are.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This was easy to construct. I used the overlocker for most of it, and the twin needle for hems and to secure the front bands. The fabric is ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and I found the buttons in stash. The closures are a simple loop on each side, one threaded through the other, and looped around the buttons. Much simpler to do than it looks.

New Look 6330 in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s an interesting silhouette. I’m surprised that more people haven’t sewn this one, actually. I really like jackets in stretch fabrics for work.