sewing

Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt

There is so much going on in real (i.e. non online) life at the moment – but the most exciting thing is that my husband has a job!  After 15 months of retrenchment (and consequently me working full-time) we are now adjusting to having him back at work while I am also working full-time (I will drop back to three to four days per week at some stage in the next few months though), all while figuring out how we now manage the children’s commitments and run a household.  I know that it’s all ordinary and common and everyday stuff, but it’s been taking up a massive amount of our headspace!

So this is going to be a short and sweet blog post.  As usual I am still way behind with blogging completed garments, but I think we’re all sick of me saying that.  I certainly am.  I’ll get there in the end.  Hopefully before November Sewjourn….

Oliver + S school bus tee shirt in knit from Clear It

This little tee was sewn at Sewjourn back in May. It’s a straightforward children’s t-shirt. Not much to say about it really, other than it’s an Oliver + S pattern, so is well drafted and nicely shaped, and the instructions (if you need them) are good.

Oliver + S school bus tee shirt in knit from Clear It

The fabric is a quality cotton/lycra from Clear It. I’ve used it before, both in this colourway and in a blue colourway, and I noticed during my last visit that they still seem to have bolts of it in stock. The crocheted bobble trim around the bottom hemline came from Tessuti. I bought it with no specific purpose one day and it had been languishing in stash. Time to use more of those pretty things! I simply zig-zagged it in place just above the hemline to allow it to hang freely beneath.

Oliver + S school bus tee shirt in knit from Clear It

This is the long-sleeved version (well duh you can see that) in size 7. Stella is now 8 years old and 124 cm tall, which puts her right on the border of size 6 and size 7. However she’s skinny, and her body measurements put her at smaller than the size 5. In my experience Oliver + S patterns are a slim fit, so I tried this as a straight size 7, hoping that would ensure that the sleeve and body length and armhole depth would be okay, even if the width fitted more loosely. As it is she is very happy with the way that her top fits; it’s definitely loose but is not overly baggy.

Oliver + S school bus tee shirt in knit from Clear It

This will possibly be my go-to pattern for her basic tee shirts in the future, especially as I have the pdf version of the pattern and can easily reprint it as she grows. I’m currently thinking about adding a skirt to make a comfy drop waist dress for spring.

Oh Ricki, you’re so fine…

What year WAS that song written?*  Why does it feel part of my era?  Whenever I hear the name Ricki it’s the first thing that I think of.  Now I can think of the Style Arc Ricki top instead.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

This is my “wearable muslin”. It is so wearable that I am wearing it right now as I type this blog post.l I made straight size 12, no alteration. It’s roomy, which I think suits the style.  At first glance the primary appeal of this pattern was the back.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

The two back pieces wrap over one another beautifully, and don’t actually seem to gape open during wear (although I think that your fabric choice would influence that). They do however create more weight at the back of the top than at the front and tend to pull the neckline toward the back, which can make it a little high at the front. The sleeves are slightly bell shaped. I was concerned that the wider hemline could be annoying during wear, but that hasn’t worked out to be the case.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

The pattern drawing and description from the Style Arc website are as follows:

RICKI TOP: This back wrap top is perfect for a weekend project! The back is fully wrapped and is designed to cover the back but retaining the look that is so popular at the moment. The long sleeve is slightly belled or make it with the new longer short sleeve. This top is perfect for the new Scuba fabric but can be made in almost any fabric be it woven or knit.

FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit jersey, Crepe, Ponte, Scuba, Linen

This version was sewn in striped french terry from Clear It.  It was very easy fabric to work with.  Construction was on the overlocker as per usual, with hems secured with Vliesofix tape then twin needled.  I did pay attention when cutting to match the stripes as well as possible – and think that I did a pretty good job!  I’d like to try this again in linen for summer with a short sleeve.  I think it would be lovely and cool to wear, with the added interest of the back wrap.

Style Arc Ricki top in french terry stripes from Clear It

* yes I googled it – and was reminded that the song I was thinking of – released in 1982 when I was at high school – was Mickey.  Ricky was the “Weird Al” Yankovic parody.  It’s a bit worrying that I remember the parody as well as the original…

Style Arc Esme

Sometimes a pattern sits on my wishlist for ages.  Other times it doesn’t even make it to my wishlist – because as soon as I see it, my finger hits the buy button.  That is pretty much what happened with the Style Arc Esme Designer top.  Except because I wanted it NOW, I restrained myself for the couple of days it took between the release of the paper pattern and the release of the pdf pattern on the Etsy site.  The printed patterns can sometimes take a few days to be printed to order then sent out – whereas those pdf patterns are dangerously instant.  Even if they do take trimming and taping.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

I was almost as fast to buy the fabric as I was to buy the pattern. The printed knit is pre-quilted, and came from The Cloth Shop. I bought the very last of the roll, and had to do some pattern tetris to eke the top out of the small amount of fabric that I had – all while trying to centre the design and match it at the seams at the same time. Unbelievably, I was successful. Clearly it was meant to be.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

I cut this as size 12 with no alterations. The collar did have to be cut on the straight grain rather than on the bias. I figured that with a fabric like this one it would be fine on the straight grain.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

Because the fabric is quilted it has substantial body. I needed to finish all the cut edges, as there was a layer of “fluff” between two layers of thinner fabric all quilted together, and when it was cut those layers all separated a little. You can see that more clearly in the next photo.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

This was a very easy sew. I used a zig-zag stitch on the machine to secure hems, and used the overlocker for all the rest of the construction. The front hemline is shorter than the back, and there are slide slits. Those are all details that I really enjoy in a top. The pattern illustration shows the collar worn up, but in this fabric that just felt (and looked) weird, so I’ll always wear it folded over.

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

The pattern drawing and description from the Style Arc website is 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

Style Arc Esme top in quilted knit from The Cloth Shop

I’ll definitely be using this pattern again!

Vogue 1410

So many patterns, so little time!  I pounced on Vogue 1410 pretty quickly when it was released.  Because I wasn’t sure about how the length would work on me, I decided to make a muslin (gasp!) – but one that I hoped would be wearable.  I shortened the pattern pieces at the shorten/lengthen lines – all two pattern pieces; fastest cutting out ever – and cut it out in some digitally printed cotton twill from Spotlight that had been lurking in stash for a year or two.  And this is what I ended up with!

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

It’s certainly out of the ordinary and is definitely a statement piece! This is the line drawing and pattern description from Vogue’s website.

MISSES’ DRESS: Very loose-fitting, pullover dress has very narrow hem finish on neckline and armholes, front and back pleats, inside button/buttonholes forming drape and three adjustable lengths, French seams, and narrow hem. Purchased cord stopper and elastic cord form front drape. FABRICS: Stretch Poplin, Seersucker, Silk Dupioni, Lt.Wt. Wool Crepe. Unsuitable for obvious diagonals.

Now, did you notice that bit about adjustable lengths?

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to shorter length

They weren’t kidding! There are buttons at different levels on the inside of the side seams and it is simple to button up the hem to any of the levels. As well as altering the length it adjusts the shape; the shorter the dress, the more bubbled the hemline.

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to shorter length

There are pleats/tucks that provide shaping in the back and pleats/tucks in the front that have buttonholes in them to provide shaping in the front with the use of a drawstring to alter how tightly the dress is pulled in.

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

The neckline, hem and armholes are finished with narrow hems before the side seams are joined together with french seams. This is actually very fast to sew, and the instructions were very clear. I had no issues. I think that I sewed size 14 but would need to double check that – it is a couple of months already since I made it. My blogging is very behind!

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

So far I’ve only worn this at full length. I’d like to make it again in a different fabric – possible a solid or a more subtle print – and wear it alone as a summer dress. This is a pattern that will definitely get another outing at some stage. But in the meantime my wearable muslin is lots of fun!

Vogue 1410 in digitally printed drill from Spotlight - adjusted to longer length

Lekala 4393

So, another experiment – this time Lekala 4393, described simply as “knit dress”.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

Lekala patterns are so cheap that I really don’t mind experimenting with them. They are a great way to try out different styles, since I know that they will basically fit me (depending on what measurements I plug in) and consequently my opinion on the final garment will be more about whether I like the style on me than about whether it fits me or not.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

Because this was such an experimental garment, I made it in scraps left from an earlier project. The fabric is a knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and I think it is still available on their website. I used both sides of the fabric, with the more solid side as a contrast.

Lekala 4393 knit dress 1721_technical_drawing_11381

I think that the line drawing looks more fitted than the finished dress, although the fashion drawing on the Lekala website is on the loose side as well. When I ordered this pattern I asked for “reduced” shoulder width. It turned out to be much more reduced than I needed – my shoulders aren’t broad, but they’re clearly not as narrow as I thought either. Subsequent Lekala orders have left the shoulder width alone as “regular”. The shoulders on this dress look okay in these photos, but in wearing are a bit weird.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

Did you notice those pockets in the princess seams? I love that! If I made this dress again I would lengthen the sleeves to full length, as a winter knit dress is a little useless with elbow length sleeves. They’re also a bit tight around the hem.  The collar needs a brooch, pin or button to hold it in place.

Lekala 4393 knit dress

When I first made this and tried it on I put it straight into the op shop pile. But by the time I put it on again for these photos I decided that I actually didn’t mind it and gave it a reprieve. I still haven’t worn it though, so if it doesn’t get an outing soon it is unlikely to survive my next wardrobe purge. Still, it was an enjoyable experiment, and I may well order this pattern again at some stage – without a reduced shoulder width adjustment!

Lekala 4393 knit dress

Sutton and Wendy

Another non-seasonal garment; another True Bias Sutton blouse!  This is my third go at this pattern.  The first was for my Mum, and the second was intended as a wearable muslin for me.  I only wore it once then passed it on to a relative as I found that the fabric I’d made it from stuck to me too much.  This time I sewed it in a reptilian-like print from Tessuti.  It’s a silk remnant, and feels lovely against my skin.

True Bias Sutton blouse in silk remnant from Tessuti with Style Arc Wendy pants in Style Arc bengaline

Once again I sewed size 6, and I’m happy with the fit. I took my time in construction, following every step of the instructions instead of my usual “glance then toss them aside” approach. It was rather enjoyable to basically let someone else tell me what to do. I sewed it exactly as I’d been told, french seams and all. The only slight deviation was to stabilise the neckline with fusible tape rather than with stay stitching.

True Bias Sutton blouse in silk remnant from Tessuti with Style Arc Wendy pants in Style Arc bengaline

I had pre-washed the silk in the machine, figuring that I should start as I intended to continue, and found it surprisingly easy to sew. The fabric has a slightly textured feel to it, rather than being slippery, and although it is light and luscious against the skin it pinned easily and was straightforward to cut out and to stitch.

True Bias Sutton blouse in silk remnant from Tessuti with Style Arc Wendy pants in Style Arc bengaline

The pants are the Style Arc Wendy pant, sewn in stretch bengaline also from Style Arc. I bought the pants and pattern together in a kit; they run special offers like that from time to time. I sewed size 10, making my usual length alterations.

True Bias Sutton blouse in silk remnant from Tessuti with Style Arc Wendy pants in Style Arc bengaline

You really can’t tell much about how pants fit when they are sewn in black, can you! Here is the pattern drawing and description from Style Arc’s website.

A great pull-on pant featuring a wide waist band with false opening, these full length pants are a must have wardrobe staple piece

These are a nice option if you want to avoid an elasticised waist.  I’m not sure that they would be easy to get on and off if you have a large waist/hip measurement discrepancy.  My hip and waist measurements are pretty close to one another, and I still had to do a little wriggling in and out.  There is no fly; rather the wide waistband undoes and does up with velcro.  I’ll probably stick with my usual Linda or Barb pants for work, but these would be a great alternative for lots of people.

True Bias Sutton blouse in silk remnant from Tessuti with Style Arc Wendy pants in Style Arc bengaline

Unfortunately my photographer didn’t spot that the hem of one leg was caught up on my shoe – and neither did I! I suspect that this isn’t the last time I’ll use the Sutton blouse pattern – although I do have the very similar Hot Patterns Trilogy pattern waiting to be sewn dress length for Bali first.

Winter Playhouse Dress

The first things that I sewed when I was at Sewjourn way back in May were for my daughters.  This dress was intended to be Stella’s birthday dress.

Playhouse dress in stretch velour from Darn Cheap Fabrics

As is often the case, she decided to wear a different dress on her actual birthday. Oh well. That’s how it goes! Fortunately, since then she has decided to wear this one as well – and still refers to it as her birthday dress.

Playhouse dress in stretch velour from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The pattern is the Playhouse Dress by Fishsticks. I’ve sewn it before, in a short sleeved summer version. Stella loves the twirly-ness of the skirt. I love the ease of construction.

Playhouse dress in stretch velour from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is pretty much all sewn on the overlocker. I did use the machine to baste the purple stretch elastic used as piping to the front and back bodice seams and zig-zag it in place to secure it, and I zig-zagged around the neckband to secure it too, but that was about it. The cuffs are stretched to fit, and provide a nice belled shape to the sleeve.

Playhouse dress in stretch velour from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The fabric is stretch velour from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I was pretty sure that Stella would love the variety of colour. And she does!  It is also highly stroke-able, which suits my tactile girl right down to the ground.