adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Demi pants in rayon

Earlier this year I sewed the Tessuti Demi pants in a fairly rigid denim, which was not the recommended type of fabric, but has been fun to wear nonetheless!  Recently I sewed the pattern again, this time in a woven rayon.  Just the type of fabric this pattern was designed for!

Tessuti Demi pants in Spotlight Rayon

The fabric came from Spotlight. They have some marvellous rayon prints this year! There’s a really nice combination of colours in this print – the smaller darker spots are really more of a blue than a black. I sewed the same size as last time, and the pattern pieces were already shortened to take my height into consideration.

Tessuti Demi pants in Spotlight Rayon

I used very wide elastic in the waistband, which is very comfortable to wear. You can’t really see the pockets because of the print. They are in the side seams, and are topstitched to the front of the pants.

Tessuti Demi pants in Spotlight Rayon

The tucks at the hemline give the pants their interesting balloon shape. There’s a deep tuck on both the front and the back leg pieces near the outer leg seam. The hems are bias bound.

Tessuti Demi pants in Spotlight Rayon

From the pattern website: This pull-on, cropped pant pattern features an elasticised waist and full leg with side stitched down pockets. A clever pleat detail at the front and back hemline is finished with a bias bind band at hem. Comfortable and stylish, the pattern is quick and easy to make and suitable for day or night. Ideal for woven fabrics including linen, lightweight wool, cottons, viscose and crepe. Not suitable for knits or stretch wovens.

Demi pants line drawing

I think that these will get lots of wear when we head to Borneo after Christmas. Length to keep off the sun and the bugs, although I’ll still need plenty of DEET on my ankles. Insects (especially mosquitoes) love me.

Tessuti Demi pants in Spotlight Rayon

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Tessuti Hilary top

When I bought the Tessuti Hilary top pattern I was thinking of my teenager.  After all, I’m not likely to wear a peplum top.  But she wasn’t keen on it.  Then I spotted a version sewn without elastic in the waist, and a light bulb went off in my head. Just lengthen the body and leave off the peplum and waist elastic!

Tessuti Hilary top

I cannot say just how much I LOVE this top.  It’s just what I envisaged!  It has the fun shoulder and sleeve hem treatment, and my preferred silhouette. This version isn’t perfect – but I’m not going to point out the imperfections at this stage!

Tessuti Hilary top

Tessuti describe the pattern as follows: this pretty, peasant style top features a bloused bodice, pleated peplum, boat neckline, gathered waist and sleeves with gathered wrists. The perfect item to up, it can be worn with pants, shorts or skirts. Recommended fabrics: Suitable for woven fabrics such as lightweight linen, cotton poplin, cotton voile, cotton eyelet, silk crepe de chine and viscose.

Tessuti Hilary top line drawing

I made life ever so slightly more difficult for myself by choosing to sew it in silk.  Yes, that scrumptiously beautiful fabric is silk, and it’s as delightful to wear as it looks.  All my colours, and the type of bold print that I prefer.  So many thanks to the generous friend who knew that I would adore it!  There was just enough fabric to squeeze out the top – the finished body length was entirely dictated by the amout of fabric available.  As well as lengthening the body I widened it into a slight A-line shape (also entirely dictated by the available amount of fabric).

Tessuti Hilary top

There really wasn’t much to the construction! Front, back, raglan sleeves, front and back neckline facings. The elastic at the top of the shoulder was easy to insert and gives lovely gathers. I used french seams for the body and sleeve seams. The sleeve hems are finished with a casing for elastic. Easy peasy! The only thing that I would do differently next time is to lower the front neckline a couple of inches. It feels a fraction too high during wear.

Tessuti Hilary top

I may also consider sewing a size smaller next time. I have a feeling that I sewed size Large, but the Medium would have been okay. Maybe. The hem was secured by machine with a narrow double fold. Given that this is a special fabric, I could have considered a hand-rolled hem. Maybe I would if I were sewing it from a similarly luxurious fabric in future.

Tessuti Hilary top

It’s worth doing a trawl of the Instagram tag for this pattern or of the internet in general to see the different versions that are popping up. It’s lovely as designed, and is also easy to sew with variations to the body – like mine – or with altered sleeve length. I do rather fancy trying a linen or a voile version with a shorter sleeve for summer.

Tessuti Hilary top

This top is definitely on my top ten – maybe my top five – list of finished garments for this year.  I feel absolutely fabulous every time that I wear it.

Tessuti Hilary top

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Tessuti Mandy boat tee – as dress!

I really cannot quite believe that I took so long to do this.  The Tessuti Mandy boat tee, lengthened to a dress!  I was feeling rather desperate for some comfy winter dresses, and had just enough fabric left over from my Loren jacket to cut out the body of the dress.

Tessuti Mandy boat tee as dress

It’s the updated version of the free Mandy boat tee pattern. I can’t remember what size I used (I sewed this at the beginning of winter) but have a feeling that I did do a forward shoulder adjustment. The sleeves are in a navy/coral striped viscose knit that has been marinating in stash for a little while. I made a separate infinity scarf/cowl for a little added warmth – and because I love an accessory!

Tessuti Mandy boat tee as dress

I probably lengthened it a fraction too much for ‘flattery’ purposes, but it’s definitely a great length for snuggly purposes. I’ll definitely be sewing more Mandy dresses in the future!

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

So many Athinas

Tessuti Athina Top

My goodness, this is the fourth time that I’ve sewn the Tessuti Athina top, and all were sewn within a six month period! To refresh, this boxy style top features an extended shoulder and dropped sleeve. There are two length options available. Sizes range from XS (86 cm bust) to XL (106 cm bust).  And did I mention that the pattern is free?

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I need to pull out the pattern to see what size I sewed – it was possibly the L.  Thisis the shorter length.  I have now done a forward shoulder alteration to this pattern, which works beautifully to stop the neckline from pulling back and choking me.  I really should consider this alteration as standard for me.  The older I get and the more time I spend on a computer screen (or sewing!) the more rounded my upper back and shoulders become.

Tessuti Athina Top

So, to this fabric. It is vintage – very vintage, coming from June’s stash (June is the mother of one of my friends, who is now in a retirement village and generously passed much of her stash on to me when she moved). It is quite lightweight yet warm. After discussion with Kim from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe we think that it is possibly wool challis. It’s ever so slightly scratchy, but that isn’t a problem when wearing it. And there’s definitely that wool smell when the fabric is pressed.

Tessuti Athina Top

I don’t normally choose such small scale, delicate prints, but surprisingly I have worn this quite a bit. It is easily accessorised, and I feel good in it. And isn’t that what it’s all about!

Tessuti Athina Top

How many Athina tops is too many? I don’t think I’ve yet reached peak Athina. Depending on the fabric choice it is a top that can be worn for much of the year. I reckon that a couple in something very lightweight would be good for sun protection in summer (although proper sun protection also requires a collar). Speaking of sun protection, I recently had my annual skin check, and for the second year in a row I didn’t need any lesions removed! I’m so pleased. Keep using that sunscreen, everyone!

Tessuti Athina Top

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Tessuti Coni dress

Tessuti patterns seem to work really well for me.  Generally they’re simple shapes that are fairly timeless and seem to suit a broad range of ages and styles.

Tessuti Coni dress

Tessuti describe the Coni dress/tunic as follows: relaxed tunic-style dress features a wide neckline, dropped armhole with sleeve bands (optional wide or narrow width), stitched down side seam pockets and side splits. This tunic can be worn on its own or over pants and makes a great beach cover-up. The perfect addition to your summer holiday wardrobe. Note: The Coni Tunic can also be modified into a top. fabrics: linen, linen blends, silk crepe de chine, viscose, rayon, cotton cheesecloth or gauze.

Coni Tunic line drawing

I chose to use an embroidered cotton that I’d picked up at a Restash event.  I wasn’t able to pattern match properly due to fabric restrictions, but did at least ake the effot to centre the dominant embroidered lines.

Tessuti Coni dress

This is a super simple style, so it’s fast and easy to sew. The pockets are stitched to the front of the dress, but are still entered from the side seams. Make sure that you read the instructions properly and follow them closely for this part!

Tessuti Coni dress

I can’t remember what size I sewed; I do jump around a little with sizing for Tessuti patterns depending on what parts of me require the most accommodation. You may have already noticed the wide neckline. Although a wide neckline is part of the pattern, this one is TOO wide, and I take complete responsibility. I skipped stabilising the neckline before I bound it – bad move. It’s definitely stretched out during construction. Stabilise those necklines, people! Don’t do what I did!

Tessuti Coni dress

My first thought was that I needed to add strap keepers so that I could at least secure this to my bra straps in order to keep it on my shoulders. Then the weather turned cool, and I wasn’t wearing it anyway. Recently while doing a wardrobe purge I had an epiphany – I still had some scraps of the fabric; surely I could somehow bring in the neckline and pretend that it was a design feature?

Tessuti Coni dress

Yes, I could! I cut out two double layered semi-circular pieces of fabric with a fold along one edge, and used that to fill each side of the neckline by topstitchng it in place along the previous stitching lines. It was really helpful to have Ada handy to get the amount of coverage centred and the stripes aligned in a visually balanced way. I just fiddled and pinned until it looked right.

Tessuti Coni dress

I hope that this dress will now get a lot of wear when the weather warms up again. I don’t like to have to fiddle with my clothes and constantly be pulled necklines into place. Fingers crossed that this is the perfect fix!

Tessuti Coni dress

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Athina the Third

Athina the first and second were both such a success that I knew there would have to be a third!

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

When I saw this crinkle large yarn-dyed check at The Cloth Shop my mind instantly paired it with the free Tessuti Athina top pattern. Except I left my run a little too late and when I popped in to buy the fabric, they were out of stock! I was left champing at the bit while I waited for another roll to appear. Then I was back in the shop quick smart!

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

This top ticks so many boxes for me. It’s simple. It’s a yarn dyed check. It’s linen. And the green! What a fabulous green! I sewed size Medium again, with the sleeves at pattern length so that I could roll up a decent width cuff. I did remember to do a half inch forward shoulder alteration to the pattern pieces before I did any cutting out – something that I need to remember to do more often.

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

This is very easy to sew and to wear. Of course, it crinkles – it’s linen! But I know that I will wear this for years and years and years to come.

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

The neckline is finished with a bias cut strip, attached and secured like a facing. I tucked in a label too for fast identification of the back. Have I mentioned that I love this top?

Tessuti Athina top in checked linen from The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

Anna loves this fabric too – you can see a terrific dress that she sewed from it recently on her blog.

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) 

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 10.05.30 am

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!