adult's clothing · sewing

Union St Tee

I have SO many tee patterns.  Some for summer, some for winter, some for layering, others to be worn alone.  They all vary a little bit in cut and in fit.  You really would think that I would have settled on a few favourites by now – and actually, I do have a few favourites – but I continue to try new ones.

Hey June Patterns Union St Tee in remnants

This one is the Hey June Handmade Union St Tee. This appears to be a very popular pattern – I’ve seen it a lot on blogs and instagram. And now that I’ve sewn it, I think that it is popular with good reason.

Hey June Patterns Union St Tee in remnants

I have a feeling that I sewed the size large, but it could have been a medium. I usually choose my size based on finished measurements. This tee is loose through the mid-section (hooray!) so I presume that I was only interested in fitting shoulders/neck and bust. There is every chance that I cut size medium through the shoulders and neckline then size large through the body – I often blend sizes that way.  I cut the regular front, but there is a full bust option.  The pattern ranges in size from XXS to 3XL, which I think is rather impressive!

Hey June Patterns Union St Tee in remnants

The fabrics are scraps from stash. I can’t really remember where either one came from, although I think that the textured body knit was from Darn Cheap Fabrics. The sleeves are cut from a soft mesh-like knit. I decided to finish the sleeves with cuffs cut from the body fabric. The hem and neckline are secured with a twin needle, and the rest of the construction was on the overlocker.

Hey June Patterns Union St Tee in remnants

This is a tee that I think works nicely on my shape. I chose the scooped neckline version, but the pattern also has a V and a crew neckline option. From the pattern website: The Union St. Tee is a great wardrobe basic to have in your pattern stash.  It comes with the option for a v-neck, scoop neck, or crew neck, and has four sleeve lengths included – short, elbow, 3/4, and long.  There is an optional chest pocket and a separate front piece that has been adjusted for a full bust (FBA).

The Union St. Tee is incredibly versatile depending on what options you choose, your fabric, and any embellishments you choose to add.  Embroider, applique, screen print, stencil, dye, sequin – this tee is a perfect blank slate for anything you can dream up.

The measurement chart and the instructions in the pattern will show you how to measure your high bust to pick your correct size and determine if you need the full bust adjustment.  Because the Union St. Tee starts at size XXS, it is suitable for tweens – adults.

The Union St. Tee pattern works well with cotton and cotton blend jerseys, as well as rib knit, interlock, waffle knit, rayon lycra, or even stretch lace!  Anything with a stretch of at least 30% will work, but 50 – 100% stretch is best.  Just remember – the smaller the stretch percentage, the more fitted your shirt will be, so plan accordingly.

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As usual, I used the method from Gillian’s tutorial to get the neckband length right so that it sits flat. I find this an almost foolproof way to attach knit neckbands, especially those cut from the same fabric as the rest of the tee.  It works especially well with necklines that have a fair bit of scoop at the front in comparison to the back – it distributes the stretch better than just quartering and pinning both the neckline and the neckband.

Hey June Patterns Union St Tee in remnants

I will mostly be wearing this as a layering piece. The green tinged yellow works well with many of the other garments in my wardrobe. Another great tee pattern to add to the arsenal! And yes, I’ve had a change of hair style with a red refresh as well. I’m really enjoying the shorter look!

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Eden dress

The Style Arc Eden dress was the last garment that I made at Sewjourn a few weeks ago.  I suspect that it is my favourite.

Style Arc Eden dress in double sided striped knit from Clear It

This is the type of dress that I wear constantly in cooler weather. I really love to pull on a knit dress that is loose through the mid-section, and pair it with warm tights and boots, and snuggly singlet or slip underneath, and then a cardi or jacket over the top when I go out. And as much as I admire all the statement sleeves that have been around lately, you really can’t beat a classic fitted sleeve for wearability – it goes under things so much better!

Style Arc Eden dress in double sided striped knit from Clear It

I do love a stripe, but I’m not as excited about stripe matching. As always, most stripe matching success starts at the cutting out stage. It’s so important to have all those pattern pieces lined up correctly! This dress required stripe matching of the sleeve seam, the centre front and centre back seams, and at the lower side seams. I pinned the pieces together every fourth stripe or so, then happily overlocked away (yes, removing the pins before they got to the blade of course) and it worked rather well. Some of the alignment is half a millimetre or so off, but I’m not concerned about that.

Style Arc Eden dress in double sided striped knit from Clear It

Of course, mixing stripe widths on the right side of the fabric definitely removed some of the stripe matching pressure! This fabric is a double sided knit, one side with the wider stripes and the other side with the narrower ones. It came from Clear It, and I’ve actually made quite a number of garments from it over the past couple of years. There’s even one last garment cut out! It’s easy to sew and comfortable to wear, and I definitely enjoy playing with the stripe widths. I didn’t decide which side was going to be the right or wrong side for each part of the garment until I arrived at Sewjourn.

Style Arc Eden dress in double sided striped knit from Clear It

I used both the overlocker and the sewing machine when making this dress, depending on what part I was working on. The hems and the neck band are twin needled with a different colour in each needle (navy and orange). As usual, I secured the hems with double sided fusible tape before sewing. I was recently asked for more information on the double sided tape.

Vliesofix tape

I have a preference for the Vliesofix double sided tape, which comes in a few different widths – I have 6mm, 10mm and 25mm.   The 10mm and 25mm are my favourites.  It is double sided fusible tape cut to width and with backing paper attached.  You iron the non-paper side along the hemline, then peel off the backing paper, fold it over to where you want it, then iron the fabic again to secure it.  There are a few different brands, but I prefer the Vliesofix/Bondaweb one as I find that it is softer and doesn’t leave the fabric stiff. Stock up when you come across it – a quick google finds some (in more recent packaging) here.  Another good option is Wonder Tape, which you can use the same way and washes out of the fabric.  Anna has a terrific tutorial on hemming tricky knits, which shows how she uses Vliesofix tape.

Style Arc Eden dress in double sided striped knit from Clear It

Stella was my photographer this time, and she enjoyed taking photos at rather interesting angles! I sewed size 12, which pretty much corresponds with my bust/shoulder measurements and is what I’d buy in ready to wear for tops. I did shorten the sleeve pattern piece an inch, and folded about two inches out of the dress body pattern pieces to shorten it. I’m 158cm tall, for reference. I included the pockets in the angled front seams, as they can be cosy to put hands in. I am neither here nor there with pockets – sometimes I include them, sometimes I don’t. I know that some people are avid pocket fans – pockets in everything! – but I am a bag carrier and it doesn’t especially bother me not to have them. If they are there my mobile phone is the most likely thing to go in them (although let’s not forget #winepockets).

Style Arc Eden dress in double sided striped knit from Clear It

From the Style Arc website: This fabulous swing dress has a lovely fit-and-flair body shape. The hi-low hemline and V-neck make this dress a great on trend addition to your wardrobe. There are optional inseam pockets in the front angled seams. FABRIC SUGGESTION Jersey, baby wool, ITY.

eden-knit-dress

This would be super fast to sew in a solid, especially if you left out the pockets.  I suspect that this dress will become a cool weather staple.

Style Arc Eden dress in double sided striped knit from Clear It

I’ll have the camera back now Stella!

adult's clothing · sewing

Vogue 9275 tunic and Style Arc April pants

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I recently had a weekend away at Sewjourn.  I had a satisfyingly productive yet unrushed visit, very much sewing at my own pace.  There’s been a lot of talk around the socials lately about slow sewing, in contrast to fast sewing/fashion, which makes sense but which is often presented with a whole lot of judgemental overtone.  Meh.  Sewing is my hobby.  I get great enjoyment from it, it keeps me sane, and the outcome is clothing that fits me and works with my style and my lifestyle.  I reckon that it’s important to sew at your own pace!

Style Arc April pants in stretch bengaline with Vogue 9275 tunic in textured knit

Anyway, I sewed this tunic and pants on that Sewjourn weekend. The orange long-sleeved tee underneath is a Deer and Doe Plantain tee that I sewed from Clear It wool jersey ages ago. The tunic is made from textured knit that came from either Darn Cheap Fabrics or The Cloth Shop – I bought some from each! I used it for Clare’s Josie hoodie, and there was just enough left over for this tunic. Scrap busting again!

Style Arc April pants in stretch bengaline with Vogue 9275 tunic in textured knit

This is SUCH a great pattern. It’s Vogue 9275, a Vogue Wardrobe pattern.  A whole lot of simple designs, all well drafted and executed.  From the website: Very loose-fitting lined jacket has zip front and contrast collar, cuffs. Very loose-fitting pullover tunics have collar variations. Close-fitting pull-on leggings have front and back band at waist. Fitted pull-on pants have elastic at waist. B, C, E, Contrast A: For moderate stretch knits only. D: For four-way stretch knits only.

v9275_a

v9275

My version of the tunic is view B, but without the draw cord.  I sewed straight size Medium, which is Vogue size 12-14.  It’s pretty roomy.  I especially like the armhole facings – cut on, but nicely shaped – and the curved hemline.

Style Arc April pants in stretch bengaline with Vogue 9275 tunic in textured knit

I constructed this tunic on the sewing machine and finished the edges with the overlocker, other than the cowl which was directly attached to the body with the overlocker. Sewing it by machine allowed me to press open the shoulder seams and the side seams, which led to a much flatter and neater finish around the armholes. I used double sided fusible tape to secure the curved hemline in place before stitching it, and really recommend it if you are making this tunic.

Style Arc April pants in stretch bengaline with Vogue 9275 tunic in textured knit

Because the fabric is quite structured, the cowl collar stands up. I’d like to try sewing this again in a mid weight viscose knit, or a soft wool, and see how it drapes and collapses upon itself.

Style Arc April pants in stretch bengaline with Vogue 9275 tunic in textured knit

So, to the pants. These are the Style Arc April pants, one of Style Arc’s older patterns and one that I have sewn many, many times. I love the panelling – it lifts them above regular leggings, but still provides you with a fitted look. This pair is sewn in jacquard stretch bengaline, with the fabric reversed for the outer leg and inner leg panels. The effect is subtle, but the colouration is slightly different where I’ve used the reverse.

Style Arc April pants in stretch bengaline with Vogue 9275 tunic in textured knit

These were constructed on the overlocker, with topstitching beside each seamline to add some detailing. The waist is a simple ring of elastic overlocked to the top of the pants then turned to the inside and secured with stitching along each seamline. You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you – comfortable and easy to wear.  I sew these in size 10, with legs shortened around one and half inches and the waist elastic cut to the same measurement as the waist opening (it’s that negative ease keeping them up again).

From the Style Arc website: Up to minute stylized knit pull on pant, make it all one fabric, or contrast side panels as seen on the cat walk and in the fashion magazines. FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION Ponte or any stretch knit.

april-pant

I rather like to sew these pants in combinations of fabrics – bengaline and ponte, for example, or a print with a plain.  This pattern leaves quite a bit of room for creativity.

Style Arc April pants in stretch bengaline with Vogue 9275 tunic in textured knit

Both the tunic and the pants will work well with my casual winter wardrobe and my lifestyle.  The Vogue pattern will definitely get another outing.

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Blakley stretch jeans

I’ve mentioned before that I had a minor epiphany when I realised that I was never going to get traditional button-fly jeans that would fit me well, but would generally succeed with pull-on elastic-waisted jeans.  The Style Arc Blakley stretch jeans are another case in point.

Style Arc Blakley jeans in stretch denim from M. Recht?

It’s hard to accurately photograph jeans sewn in dark denim – especially in shots taken from slightly above. The proportions are all off.  Let’s zoom in a bit and hitch up my tee.

Style Arc Blakley jeans in stretch denim from M. Recht?

Style Arc Blakley jeans in stretch denim from M. Recht?

From the Style Arc website: This slim leg easy fit pull-on jean features a wide waistband with inserted elastic for extra comfort. The faux pockets feature a horizontal design line which is top-stitched with a twin needle stitch. The faux fly also has a twin needle top stitch. FABRIC SUGGESTION Stretch denim or any stretch woven with approx. 3% lycra.

blakley-jeans

I sewed these in stretch denim from M. Recht, and chose to do the topstitching with a triple stitch in regular Gutermann polyester thread (in bright orange) rather than twin needling.  I didn’t do the suggested back pocket design because I didn’t have any transfer paper handy, so went with something easier.

Style Arc Blakley jeans in stretch denim from M. Recht?

I shortened the pattern both above and below knee level, probably a total about an inch and a half or so. The waistband has wide elastic inside it, cut to the same length as the pattern piece. This still gives me negative ease around the waist and keeps the jeans up, while fitting snugly around the bum and thighs. My legs are proportionately very skinny in comparison to my mid-section, which carries lots of abdominal fat.

Style Arc Blakley jeans in stretch denim from M. Recht?

Oh, size-wise I sewed size 10, despite my waist measurement being more like a 16. The stretch in the pattern and in the style still allows it to work. Style Arc, you’ve done it again!

Style Arc Blakley jeans in stretch denim from M. Recht?

adult's clothing · sewing

Vogue 8634 top (years later)

Surely I am not the only person who looks back fondly on garments sewn in years past, thinking that ‘gee I really liked that top…maybe I should make it again one day’.  Vogue 8634 is one of those garments for me.  It’s very out of print, but you can find reviews on it here.  It was a Pattern Review best pattern of 2010.

8634

Close-fitting, pullover tops A, B, C, in two lengths, have collar and stitched hems. A: short sleeves. B: three-quarter length sleeves. C: long sleeves.

It’s at times like these that I am thankful for maintaining my blog.  I sewed this pattern three times in 2011.  Here’s the first rendition, which was my favourite and the one that prompts fond memories of the pattern.

Vogue 8634 in soft viscose knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Oh wow, check out blonder, younger, slimmer me! I used to wear this top with a tube skirt and vest made from the same fabric (it was a Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table special). Always felt great in it! So, how did I go at recapturing the magic?

Vogue 8634 in soft viscose knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Not too bad, all things considered.  I sewed view C, as in the past, which is the tunic length version with long sleeves. I left out the front seam, and sewed the same size as last time but with the seam allowance through the body as small as possible.

Vogue 8634 in soft viscose knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Yes, it clings to the rolls. Que sera, sera. The fabric is a very soft rayon knit with a blotchy print. I reckon that I bought it from Darn Cheap Fabrics a little while ago. It feels absolutely scrumptious next to the skin.

Vogue 8634 in soft viscose knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I really like that the cowl neckline on this top is attached to a scooped neckline. It keeps it warm and cosy at the back without any chance of strangulation at the front. And of course it’s very easy to sew. Actually, this top can easily be sewn in an hour. All on the overlocker, other than twin needling the hems. Sorted.

Vogue 8634 in soft viscose knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The choice of fabric makes a significant difference in how this top fits, from memory. I’ll have another go at this in something that skims a little more, and will take a deeper hem. But in the meantime I know that I’ll happily wear this top layered under jackets or cardigans. I’m glad that I dug the pattern out of my personal archives!

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Josie hoodie for me

I really, really, really love Clare’s Style Arc Josie hoodie.  So much that I made one for myself.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

I generally don’t wear hoodies. Actually, this might be my first in recent memory! I do have a hooded cardigan, but not a ‘hoodie’ as such.  And actually, although this pattern is described as a hoodie, I feel that my choice of fabric changes the vibe of it a little.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

The fabric is a jumper/sweater knit from the remnants bin at The Cloth Shop. Definitely my colours! It was surprisingly easy to work with. I was nervous when cutting because of the potential for the knit to fray or unravel, but with gentle handling it was absolutely fine.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

I sewed size 12 for myself (I sewed size 4 for Clare).  I used a solid brown jersey for the hem facings and to line the hood.  To line the hood, I cut the hood piece from the solid, sewed the centre back hood seams of both the hood and the lining separately, then sewed around the face opening with the hood and hood lining right sides together.  Then I turned the hood so that the right sides were out, then treated the hood piece as one.  I hope that you can visualise that!

Style Arc Josie hoodie in knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

Construction was mostly on the overlocker, and I used a zig-zag stitch to secure the facings and sleeve hems. I also used a zig-zag to stitch the seam allowance where the hood joined the body of the hoodie.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

From the Style Arc website: This designer raglan sleeve hoody with its shaped corded hemline, along with the beautifulfunnel neck hood, is a perfect trans seasonal top. FABRIC SUGGESTION Baby Wool, Sweater Knit, Fleecy.

josie-hoody

Obviously I left out the drawcord at the bottom.  No buttonholes were going to be made in that fabric for something I would never use!  So overall, great pattern, even for a non-hoodie wearer.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in knit from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

a second Girl on the Go dress

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

Stella really likes the Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress that I made her a few weeks ago, so I’ve sewn her another! And yes, it’s from scraps again. Woo hoo for scrap busting!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

This time the scraps are left over from a summer dress I sewed for Clare, that’s had quite a bit of wear since I first made it and is definitely due to be passed on to Stella. The fabric is a soft printed ponte from Spotlight. I faced the ties with a solid knit from stash, partly as a design choice, but mostly because I didn’t have enough of the print to face them with!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

This is a really easy pattern to sew. Construction is on the overlocker other than attaching the neckline facing, which I do on the machine. I use a twin needle in the machine to secure the neckline facing, sleeve and skirt hems.

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Once again, I sewed view A but with the sleeves from view B.  I reckon that this pattern will be sewn up as straight view A when it gets to next summer.  I bought the pdf pattern, so it will easy enough to print out a larger size if necessary.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

You can’t see it in these photos, but I actually used two different colours in the twin needle – each matching one of the blue/greens in the print. Partly as a design feature, partly because it was easier to grab two different spools of thread than to hunt down two that matched exactly or to wind some of one spool on to a bobbin.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

Stella’s dress is size 10, but the Girl on the Go pattern actually goes up to girls size 18. So if you are a slender adult, I reckon that this would fit you fine! Other option for someone wanting to make a grown-up version would be the Liesl + Co Maritime top, lengthened to a dress with ties sewn into the side seams.  It’s such a straightforward dress, but comfortable and easy to wear with a little style thrown in. And isn’t that what most of us want?

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight