sewing

Tween winter raglan dress

Clare spotted this fabric at Darn Cheap Fabrics when I was on a stash enhancement visit one day.  The printed side is smooth, and the reverse soft and fleecy.  She wanted an easy warm winter dress.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s really just a long raglan windcheater. We based the dress on the BurdaStyle Sweater Dress 10/2014 #144, which I’d sewn for Clare last year.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I reprinted the pattern and taped pieces together to eliminate the contrasting sections.  Then I was left with a very straightforward front pattern piece, back pattern piece and sleeve pattern piece.  I cut size 146 and added some length- I remembered that last year’s dress was very short!  I cut full length sleeves, narrowing them toward the wrist, and eliminated the back zipper completely.  So really, imagine the line drawing of the original pattern simplified to the absolute basics!

144-102014-m_large

Because there was a definite “stripe” to the print, once again I had to pay attention to print matching.  I tend to match from the armholes down, and from the bottom of the armscye up for raglan sleeves.  In this case I cut the front piece first, then lined it up beside the back piece to ensure that the print would run across it properly.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I cut a neckband from black viscose spandex and cut it to length and applied it according to Gillian’s tutorial. Way easier than attempting a neckband in the self fabric, and I think a better finish than using a facing around the neckline. The black contrast just somehow finishes the otherwise super simple dress quite nicely.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was all on the overlocker, but I did use the sewing machine with a twin needle to finish around the neckline and to hem the sleeves and the bottom of the dress. This was SO fast to sew. I think including printing the pattern and cutting out the dress it took around an hour. Maybe an hour and a half. And most importantly – it was exactly what Clare had envisaged. The sewing mum wins again!

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Speaking of sewing mums winning, if you don’t already follow the blog Five and Counting, you definitely should.  Nicole sews the most divine clothing for her entire family, including herself, her husband, and her six children who range in age from toddler to young adult.  She does beautiful work, always incorporating the wishes of her kids into what she sews.  Her blog is a must read.

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

Slouchy cardigan

Now that we are into autumn I am quickly realising that the girls have both grown quite a bit since last year, and definitely need warm clothing in larger sizes.  Stella gets Clare’s hand-me-downs, so there isn’t as much urgency to sew for her, but Clare needs some new layering pieces.

Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardi in wool blend knit from Clear It

This is the Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardigan.  From the website: What an essential wardrobe piece! great for layering. This pattern is for the Slouchy Cardigan. This sweater features a relaxed fit bodice and shoulder, open front, extra long slouchy sleeves and fitted cuff. The cuffs can be folded up, scrunched and pushed up and down for the perfect look for you! Looks great belted too!
This cardigan is perfect for those new to knits, a super fast and easy sew.
This is a perfect “blank canvas” pattern for your inspiration, solids, patterns….
The possibilities are endless!
This will be your favorite thing to sew!

I sewed the size 11/12 for Clare (who turned 13 in January, but is very petite).  The fabric is a wool blend knit from Clear It.  It was beautiful to sew with – and fortunately I think that there is enough left for a top for me.  It feels quite substantial yet is not super thick.  This garment was sewn entirely on the overlocker.

Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardi in wool blend knit from Clear It

It’s definitely a very loose and slouchy garment, with the back considerably longer than the curved front. The front and back hem edges are all finished with a band that is attached in one long loop. I went my own way a bit with how I attached the band, sewing it on once the rest of the garment had been constructed completely. I decided that a centre back seam and centre back neck seam would work best for me, and I pinned the folded band in place stretching it more along areas that had more curve.

Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardi in wool blend knit from Clear It

The pattern suggests that you cut the width of the band according to personal preference. I cut strips six inches wide, which was three inches when folded in half, before being overlocked to the garment body. This is something that you can adjust quite easily.

Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardi in wool blend knit from Clear It

The pattern includes long tight lower sleeves / cuffs. This means that they can be pushed up easily and stay in place. Clare definitely prefers the sleeves pushed up – she just pulled them down for this photo so you can see how slim they are. They were so slim that there was only just enough stretch to attach them to the body of the cardigan with the overlocker. A friend of mine who has made this cardigan used ribbing for the lower sleeve / cuff and the body bands, which she said was much easier than using self fabric.

Heidi and Finn Slouchy Cardi in wool blend knit from Clear It

This has already been worn a lot.  So much so that we have another planned in the orange/apricot colourway of the same fabric.  A great layering piece for the in between seasons.

Scarf neck cardi for Stella

Did I mention that the Scarf Neck Cardi pattern that was in my last blog post also comes in children’s sizes?

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

I’ve sewn this cardi for each of the girls in the past, and Stella has worn hers a great deal. It’s a little too small now, so it was time to sew her another in the next size up. This is the size 7/8.

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

The fabric is the same wool/acrylic blend knit from Super Cheap Fabrics in Brunswick that I sewed my scarf neck cardi from.  It is super soft and has a lot of give to it.  I bought this colour intending to use it for myself, but Stella pulled it out of the pile as her cardi preference. How could I refuse? It’s a great colour on her.

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

As with my cardi, construction was on the overlocker. I used a zig-zag stitch on the sleeve and cardi hems to secure them, but used a rolled edge finish on the overlocker for the front edge of the cardigan to allow it to either fall forward or turn back and still look neat.

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

Stella finds this a very easy cardigan to wear – I’ll be making yet more for her. I wonder which of “my” pieces of fabric I’ll have to give up next!

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

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