adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Tessuti Monroe top

Turtlenecks.  Or as I know them best, skivvies.  No matter what you call them, the jury is out as to whether I like them.

Tessuti Monroe top in viscose spandex striped knit

Tessuti released the Monroe top recently as a free pattern. It’s essentially their Mandy boat tee in terms of body shape and sleeves, but with a reshaped neckline and added turtleneck.   From their website: This boxy top features drop shoulders, a turtleneck collar and optional three quarter or full length fitted sleeves. Relaxed and easy to wear, Monroe is a quick sewing project and a classic autumn/winter wardrobe staple. Sizes included (AUS sizing): Size 1 (XXS-XS-S) Size 2 (S-M-L), Size 3 (L-XL-XXL) 

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I wear my Mandy tops rather a lot – they’re perfect for inbetween weather, and for winter layering.  I chose to sew size 2 in the Monroe.

Tessuti Monroe top in viscose spandex striped knit

This is super easy to make – all construction on the overlocker, hems twin needled after securing with double-sided tape. I think that it almost took longer for me to cut it out ensuring stripe matching than it did for me to sew it. The fabric is a viscose/spandex blend. You need to make sure that you choose fabric that has four way stretch, preferably including spandex, for this top. Otherwise the sleeves will be too tight and you’ll have difficulty getting it over your head. This fabric had JUST enough stretch in it. Do be careful with your fabric selection!

Tessuti Monroe top in viscose spandex striped knit

Lisa looks much groovier on the Tessuti pattern page modelling her version of this top than I do, but I still think that I’ll get plenty of wear from this.  I don’t think that turtlenecks are ‘flattering’ on most people, but they’re definitely warm and cosy and perfect for winter layering. I did a forward shoulder and high rounded upper back alteration on the pattern to reduce the potential for that choking feeling a little bit, but this neckline is still snug. It wouldn’t be difficult to cut  the neckline a little larger and turtleneck piece a little longer in order to make the neckline a little looser.  I actually think that I saw instructions for how to do exactly that somewhere, but can’t locate a link at the moment.

So overall verdict?  This is a very useful free pattern.  Just choose a fabric with PLENTY of stretch for maximum cosy wearing comfort!

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Tessuti Lois in linen

By now most of my regular readers know what style elements tend to attract me to a pattern.  A V neckline is a good thing.  No defined waist – or if there is a waistline seam, one that is nowhere near my natural waist.  And in woven fabrics, nothing tight.

Style Arc Lois dress in embroidered linen from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, here we have the Tessuti Lois dress! From their website: Vintage-inspired,the Lois Dress features a v-neck bodice and a floaty, A-line skirt that falls to a flattering midi length. Finishing features include cuffed arm bands, a top-stitch detail around the neckline and waist, and an invisible side zipper. Recommended fabrics: silk satin or crepe de chine, viscose and rayon. See this post about making the Lois Dress in linen.

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So, there are a few things to note if you want to sew this dress.  See those fabric recommendations?  They’re all for something soft, drapey and flowing.  Linen doesn’t really fit that description, especially a medium weight embroidered linen.  But I used it anyway.  This linen came from Rathdowne Fabrics, and it’s been in my stash for a year or two.  I strongly suspect that it was a remnant.

Style Arc Lois dress in embroidered linen from Rathdowne Fabrics

I really dithered about what size to sew. In the end I chose to sew size 14, but I really could have gone down a size in the bodice depth. I am short waisted, the pattern isn’t. That seam between the bodice and skirt could be a little higher for improved fit. The other thing to take note of if you want to sew this dress is the neckline.

Style Arc Lois dress in embroidered linen from Rathdowne Fabrics

Oh yes. It’s low. I had to ferret around in my undies drawer to find a bra that had a low enough bridge that wouldn’t show during wear. I don’t mind exposing a bit of cleavage, but note that there is no way that this would be work appropriate as it is. A camisole underneath would solve that though. The neckline could be raised, but I actually think that the depth works nicely with the rest of the style.

Style Arc Lois dress in embroidered linen from Rathdowne Fabrics

I went my own way a little with the neckline finish. I cut a strip of matching pink stretch woven, pressed it in half lengthwise, then attached it to the right side of the fabric with the raw edges together. This was understitched, turned to the inside, then topstitched in place. I wanted to be certain of the stability of the neckline – at that depth I wanted to know that it wouldn’t flare out but would sit close to the body.

Style Arc Lois dress in embroidered linen from Rathdowne Fabrics

As is often the case (clearly I will never learn) this dress would have benefitted from a short back-waist length alteration (similar to sway back alteration). Check out that puddling! One of the benefits of sewing the size 14 was that I omitted the side seam zipper. I can wriggle in to this dress without much difficulty. The centre back skirt seam isn’t in the pattern – it was due to fabric restrictions.

Style Arc Lois dress in embroidered linen from Rathdowne Fabrics

I wore this to the Melbourne sewing community Garden Party a few weeks ago. It was perfect for the weather and was actually quite comfortable to wear. I was aware of the neckline depth, but nothing got too exposed! I possibly won’t sew up this pattern again, but do rather like this dress on me.

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Eva in orange

I’ve sewn up the Tessuti Eva dress a few times now.  Mostly I sew the sleeveless version, but I felt it was time for another with short sleeves.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

I find this an extremely easy style to wear. It’s also rather straightforward to sew, especially when sewing the short sleeved version and eliminating the side seam pockets.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

From the Tessuti website:  This loose dress features a bodice that sits at high waist and a panelled, lantern-shaped skirt with side pockets. It can be made up in either a short-sleeved (A) or sleeveless (B) version. The Eva Dress is designed to be simple and stylish garment and makes for a comfortable and cool addition to your summer wardrobe. It’s best made up in medium weight crinkle and plain linens, textured cottons and cotton blends. For layering in the cooler months, Eva can also be made up in a wool crepe.

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This pattern is one of Tessuti’s earlier patterns, and has recently been redrafted and re-released, including in a larger size range (up to size 22).  My pattern is the original, and I think that I sewed this in size Medium (roughly an Australian size 12).  My measurements are closer to the Large.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

The fabric is hand-woven silk that I bought in Chiang Mai. I turned the neckline binding to the outside for added interest, and did the same to finish the sleeve hems and the skirt hemline. The hemline is quite curved, so bias works well there.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

I chose to sew this dress on the sewing machine then finish all the seams together on the overlocker. I thought that this would be the strongest finish for this fabric, which looks as though it could have a tendency to shred a little under stress. That’s one of the reasons why I left out the pockets – I didn’t want to risk heavy objects pulling down against the seams.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

I’m very pleased with this dress and know that I am likely to get years of wear from it. The colour is quite iridescent in the sunlight, which isn’t really picked up in these photos. I feel great in it, it’s comfortable, and it holds great memories. What more could you want!

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Yet another Mandy

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

 Oh Mandy, you came and you gave without taking….

Okay, I’ve lost count now of how many times I’ve sewn this free pattern from Tessuti.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

The striped front and back are a piece of rugby knit that Nicole kindly sent me. And in among my ponte scrap tub was some left over pink double knit (bought ages ago from Clear It) that was the perfect colour and perfect weight for the sleeves. Despite its substance, it had plenty of stretch – always important for the sleeves of this pattern.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

There’s not much more to say. Neckline turned under, secured with Vliesofix tape then twin needled. Other hems twin needled. Other construction on the overlocker.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in striped rugby knit with ponte sleeves

And that’s it styled with the Style Arc Simone cardigan made from the fabric that I used for the sleeves, along with a pair of Style Arc Elle pants in ponte. I know, the total look reminds you of something, doesn’t it….

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adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Mandy the…I’ve lost count

So many Tessuti Mandy boat tees.  SO many.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

Tessuti describe this pattern as follows:  This oversized, boxy top has a boat neckline and three quarter fitted sleeves with drop shoulders. This top is perfect for all seasons and is best made up in cotton, wool, viscose, linen knits.  

This is a free pattern, and it’s “one-size-fits-all” (yeah, right). The way it fits you will depend on your size and shape, and the amount of ease that you like in your clothes. I lengthened the sleeves to full length, but otherwise this is exactly as per the pattern.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

Be aware that the neckline is fairly high and wide – it is a boat neckline after all. I use fusible double sided tape (Vliesofix) to stabilise and secure the neckline before twin-needle stitching it in place. I do the same for the body and sleeve hems. The rest of the construction is on the overlocker.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

The fabrics were scraps – the body a medium weight wool blend knit that was a gift from a delightful fellow blogger some years ago, and the sleeves in a soft and stretchy poly/spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I used the remaining chevron print to sew up a simple tubular cowl.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

This loose casual style works well for me. I don’t generally like high necklines, but I think that in this case it is counterbalanced by the neckline width and I don’t feel too strangled. Some of my friends take width out of the neckline, or the entire body. Some cut it shorter, or longer. Others alter the sleeves to add width: they are very fitted as they are. I think that the fitted sleeves counterbalance the generous body nicely. I have another friend who narrows the body in a bit toward the hips. It’s an easy pattern to play with.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee in remnants

I have a suspicion that the number of Mandy’s I’ve made over the years could be in double figures by now…

adult's clothing · DCF Challenge · tessuti patterns

Simplicity 1318 – DCF Spring Challenge

I am rather excited.  Firstly, because I finished my Spring DCF Challenge* garment with a month and a half few weeks to spare (it seems that when I wrote this post I forgot that Summer starts in December!).  Secondly, because I sewed a top and a skirt to go with it – both from remnants.  And thirdly, because I am SO happy with the finished outfit!

Simplicity 1318 jacket with Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

It took Emma and I a little while to choose our Spring Challenge fabric this time around. Photos and web page links went back and forth, but when this woven viscose appeared on the Darn Cheap Fabrics Instagram feed, we both quickly said yes! When  I felt the fabric in person I was very pleased with our choice – it has a lovely handle with a slight slub throughout, and drapes beautifully.  And the colours – all those colours!

Simplicity 1318 jacket with Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

Simplicity 1318 is a kimono-style jacket pattern that has been around for quite a while. There are loads of reviews on Pattern Review, and a quick google image search brought up lots of lovely examples. This is a case where reading the reviews before cutting was extra helpful – despite my measurements fitting in the size Medium for this pattern, I cut size Small and am pleased with the resulting amount of ease.  I sewed view C, using one fabric as per the envelope cover photo.

simplicity-jackets-coats-pattern-1318-envelope-front

This is a very easy pattern to sew, as there is not a great deal of fitting adjustment to make.  It’s worth considering how long you want the finished jacket to be – I was happy to go with the pattern length as drafted – as you would need to fold this out of the front, back and band pattern pieces before cutting.

Simplicity 1318 jacket with Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

Rather than hand-sewing down the sleeve bands or the neckband facing, I chose to topstitch in coordinating thread. The lazy way out, yet adding another nice detail. This was a relatively fast sew. The only thing that took a little time was attaching the neck and front bands and facings. The band is interfaced, and sits nice and close at the back neck. The shaping and the support of the interfacing means that the jacket sits nicely and doesn’t feel as though it is slipping around on my relatively sloped shoulders.

Simplicity 1318 jacket with Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

The fabric pressed and sewed beautifully, and has just the right amount of drape. It doesn’t billow and float too much, but swishes instead.

Simplicity 1318 jacket with Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

While I was at Darn Cheap I spotted a couple of remnants in the remnant bin. I always find it hard to resist a remnant – both from a cost and a challenge perspective. And the two remnants that I picked up coordinated perfectly with the challenge fabric! So much so that even Helen who was helping me exert no-unnecessary-fabric-buying-willpower permitted me to buy them.

Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

The skirt pattern is the Colette Mabel skirt. This is the longer version of the pattern with side front panels and a kick pleat sewn into the centre back seam. This is such a straightforward, fast sew. The fabric is a very soft and stretchy yet substantial double-knit, very like a ponte yet feeling much nicer. I used every scrap.

Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

I did topstitch down the side front panel and the centre back seams, but you really can’t see that stitching in these photos. And I simply fused the hem with one inch wide Vliesofix tape.

Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

The top is the Tessuti Kate top. This is the third time I’ve sewn it. This is view A, but I bound the armholes and neckline with wide self-made bias, rather than turning the bias to the inside like a facing as per the instructions. This kept the armholes and neckline the same size as originally cut out. The last time that I sewed view A I felt that the armholes were a little too deep and the neckline a little too scooped. This time they were perfect.

Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

I sewed the size Large, and think that the fit is pretty spot on for me. Someone taller might want to consider lengthening this pattern a little, depending on where you want the top hemline to finish. I really like those mitred facing edges and the side splits.

Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

I applied the binding to the wrong side of the fabric first, then folding it over the seam allowances to the right side and topstitching close to the edge. This gives a nice even row of stitching and ensures that the binding is all attached nicely. I don’t like doing it the other way around then stitching in the ditch. Either the stitches wander a little on the right side, or part of the binding doesn’t get caught and stitched down on the wrong side. When I want to sew the binding to the right side first I have already made the decision that I will hand-sew it down on the inside.

Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

The top fabric is viscose crepe, in that colour that I see as rich purple but others will see as cobalt blue. There is the teensiest hole in the front near the neckline, but I hope that it isn’t obvious to others. The perils of bargain remnants. I think I pulled the bias binding a fraction tight at the upper back neck, as in these photos there appears to be some teensy wrinkles. Otherwise, I think this top is a great fit.

Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

When I put this outfit on I had one of those YES! moments. It was comfortable, everything fitted, and I felt great. And fortunately, I had the perfect shoes to go with it (thanks again eBay Django & Juliette sample size seller).

Simplicity 1318 jacket with Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

Fortunately I still have some of the fabric left over; not enough for a dress but possibly for a top. I’ll go pattern stash diving. I’ll definitely be using this jacket pattern again as well. It’s a perfect topper for in between weather and for when you need an extra light layer.

Simplicity 1318 jacket

So, I wonder what Emma sewed? Actually, I think that I already know! I’m going to run over to her blog and take a look.

Simplicity 1318 jacket with Tessuti Kate top and Colette Mabel skirt

* 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 · tessuti patterns

Yet another Tessuti Fave top

If you’re after a fast, effective sew then I highly recommend the Tessuti Fave top (free pattern).

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is another “one size fits most” pattern, so keep that in mind when you sew it up.  Because of the style it is fairly flexible.  I have sewn it without any body width or length alterations, but have lengthened the sleeves to full length.  This was done via the technical method of just keeping on cutting until I thought the length looked about right.

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This gives you an idea of the shape of this top. One pattern piece for the front, one pattern piece for the back. The sleeves are meant to be fitted, and indeed I think that if they weren’t the volume of the tee body would just swamp you. If you wanted to make this pattern smaller or larger it would be pretty easy to either slash and spread or to fold in to make it smaller. For reference, I’m 158cm tall, and wear roughly an Australian size 12 top in RTW.

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Fabric really is the key to making this top work. It needs to have loads and loads of drape. This poly/spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics works perfectly. Lots of four-way stretch, which makes the fitted sleeves comfortable, and lots of drape so that it hangs down nicely. You really do need to choose something that flows. As you can see, I took advantage of the leftovers to make a coordinating infinity scarf. It’s rather long, so I can wear it hanging down as above, or double loop it to make it shorter as in the first photo.  I don’t use a pattern for these scarves/cowls – there are plenty of tutorials out there if you need one though.  I basically just sew the leftovers into a tube by stitching the long edges together, then joining the short ends together.  Easy peasy!

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was on the overlocker (only four seams – one shoulder/arm, the other shoulder/arm, one side/underarm, the other side/underarm; it really is straightforward) and hems were stabilised with Vilesofix tape then twin needled. The neckline had the same treatment – turned to the inside and secured then twin needled. You could add a band or finish the neckline however you like.  This pattern has been around for ages, and you can see my other versions of it here.