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!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami

There seems to be an explosion of Ogden and Mini Ogden Camis on instagram and blogs at the moment.  The patterns have been around for a little while now; I suspect that it’s the advent of Australian summer that has made them more obvious to me.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

I am usually a bit hesitant about camisole style tops because of all that skin exposure. I have sun paranoia! Think of the sunscreen! But this was a cute style, we don’t spend masses of time in the sun anyway, and I caved into sewing it for Stella.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

Okay, it’s a bit hard to see the back when there is long hair covering it…I’ll find some better photos. Originally I also hesitated to sew this pattern because I thought that paying for such a simple pattern when I probably had very similar already in stash was silly. Well, it probably was, but after sewing it I do have new respect for this pattern. It is beautifully drafted, the instructions are very good, and it fits nicely.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

The front has a partial lining, and the gentle V neckline is beautifully shaped. The back piece is straight across and has elastic in a casing along the top.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

The pattern is described as follows on the True Bias website: The Mini Ogden Cami is a simple top that can either be worn on its own or as a layering piece. It has a soft V neck at center front and spaghetti straps over each shoulder. The front neckline and armholes are finished with a partial lining and the back is finished with an elastic casing for easy dressing. Suggested Fabrics: Light weight woven fabrics such as cotton voile, cotton lawn, lightweight linen, or double gauze.

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The fabric is buttery soft Anna Maria Horner voile, from stash.  I really wish that I had more of this fabric range.  The voiles are absolutely delicious to work with and to wear.  I sewed the camisole in size 5 for Stella, as per her chest measurement, but with the length of size 8.  This is the second time I’ve used the pattern for Stella, and I’ll fill you in on how I learned about the sizing when I write the blog post about the first time! This pattern takes very little fabric, and if you were trying to squeeze it out of scraps you could always use a contrast fabric for the front partial lining.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

This little top must be ticking all the right boxes for Stella because when she’s not wearing the Oliver + S Butterfly blouse I showed you a few blog posts back, she’s wearing this top! Once again, it pairs well with shorts.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

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

children's clothing · sewing

Oliver + S Butterfly Blouse

I am going to be quite sad when my daughters no longer fit into Oliver + S patterns.  Clare is almost out of them now, and Stella is wearing size 8.  I have liked every single one of them I’ve sewn (although sometimes my daughters haven’t been quite as enthusiastic) and this top is no exception.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

The pattern is the Oliver + S Butterfly Blouse. I have also made a coordinating skirt from the same pattern, but Stella hasn’t chosen to wear the skirt at all yet. She is however reaching for the blouse on a regular basis to pair it with shorts.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

As with all Oliver + S patterns, the instructions are excellent. I bought the pdf version of this pattern, which is something that I often do with children’s patterns as it makes it easy to reprint when I want to remake it in a different size. I’m not a tracer of paper patterns – I just cut into them – so a pdf works quite well for potential repeats in different sizes.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

Oliver + S describe this pattern as follows: Sew this blouse with either a ruffled sleeve or a cap sleeve. The blouse features a back keyhole opening with button closure and a subtle peplum with gathers at the front. The skirt is a simple pull-on A-line skirt with front pleats and an elasticized back waist.  Stella preferred the ruffled sleeve to the cap.  I chose to make the back button loop from a matching hair elastic, and Stella chose the vintage button closure from stash.  The fabric is a Spotlight lawn that came to my stash from Anna’s.  Thanks Anna!

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There is a sweet gathered detail in the centre front, while the back stays flat.  I sewed straight size 8.  Although Stella’s chest size indicated a smaller size, her height did not.  It’s a bit of a juggle choosing the most appropriate size sometimes, and how to best blend them!  I vacillate between cutting the smaller size and adding length, versus cutting the larger size but making it smaller through the circumference.  It also depends on the style ease of the pattern.  This one has worked well.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

She wore this outfit Christmas day, and it’s been worn a bit since then. That makes it a success! Fabric choice is always key for Stella, particularly the feel of the fabric. She is quite tactile, and particularly likes soft, smooth fabrics like this one. Nothing scratchy for her!

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

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.

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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.