adult's clothing · sewing · tween

Vernazza Two Piece

I quite like sewing bathers.  Moreso for my daughters than for myself.  Smallish pieces of fabric, great prints and colours, and mostly pleasing results.  My bathers pattern stash is growing, I must admit, especially with old patterns – often by Kwik Sew – that I pick up at op shops.

Vernazza two-piece in swimwear fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

This is not one of those op shop patterns! This is the Vernazza Two Piece, a pdf pattern from Friday Pattern Company. It started appearing on Instagram, I showed it to Clare, and she gave it the go-ahead.

Vernazza two-piece in swimwear fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

From the pattern website:  Whether you’re frolicking along the coastline of northern Italy or sunbathing in your backyard, the Vernazza Two Piece will have you feeling glamorous and comfortable. It features tank straps, an adjustable tie front, and a soft waistband. The bottoms hit at about your belly button and can easily be adjusted for a higher or lower rise. This is a simple swimsuit with a lot of style. It is fun to sew and is perfect for the very confident beginner or intermediate sewist. 

untitled-1

While writing this blog post I notice that there is also an instructional video for making these bathers!  I wish that I’d actually watched it before sewing them.  Even though I’ve sewn quite a few pairs of bathers, I’m never entirely confident and always keen to get extra tips and hints.  That said, these weren’t really difficult to make.

Vernazza two-piece in swimwear fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

Clare prefers high waisted bathers bottoms with low cut legs. Show her any of those high-cut ’80s leglines and she recoils in horror! I sewed the XS bathers bottoms, and she is super happy with the fit. I fully lined the bathers with a beige swimwear lining from stash. The print is from Rathdowne Fabrics. I chose not to put elastic inside the waistband, and it seems to fit well (although only wearing in the water will really tell). I used the suggested elastic measurements for the leg openings. I felt as though I was over stretching the elastic when I sewed it on, but once it was all turned to the inside and zig zagged again it seemed okay.

Vernazza two-piece in swimwear fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

The top is also size XS, and it’s really a size too big for Clare. I put it in the category of wearable muslin. Like the pants, it is fully lined, although I used the print to self-line the front because it shows at the front tie.

Vernazza two-piece in swimwear fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

Once again I used the suggested elastic lengths, and I do think that they just were too short. The top looks pretty bunchy, as I had to stretch the elastic quite a bit in order to make it fit. After trying the outer shell on Clare I shortened the shoulder straps about half an inch at the shoulder seam, and scooped that half inch out of the underarm to compensate. It put the top in a better place on her body.

Vernazza two-piece in swimwear fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

The instructions have you sew the neckline elastic to the lining, not through both the inner and outer. This means that you need to sew it exactly next to the seam allowance. I learned this the hard way as I sewed it too far in and had to unpick it all and reattach it. I actually found it easier to get it in a better position by sewing it after the lining and outer had been sewn together. That way I could butt the edge of the elastic right along the seamline. It still has a tendency to roll out a bit, but that could be because the top is a size too big. You can see the lining at the back in the photo of them on Clare.  If the top was more stretched out on the body it could be fine.  Either way, I need to refine my elastic application the next time that I sew these.

Vernazza two-piece in swimwear fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics

Clare is happy enough with the wearable muslin. I still have plenty of the fabric, so will actually make another top from a pattern that I know fits her, then she can mix and match a bit. Give her another year of growth and this might fit better. Physically, Clare is very similar to me at the same age.  I kept growing until I was around 18 or so, and like her was still very slight at age 15.  I am so pleased that she still likes me to sew for her!

adult's clothing · sewing · tween

More Elle pants

Not only do I like Style Arc Elle pants for me, but Clare likes them for her!  She did work experience in an engineering firm a couple of months ago, and needed some pants that she could wear to work.  Elle pants to the rescue!

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

This pair is in black bengaline, so it’s hard to see them clearly in the photos, but I also sewed her a pair in an eggplant colour and in a neutral beige/brown. They’re SO quick to make!  She’s also got a navy pair that is terrific for Guides.

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

I’m pretty sure that these are size 6. I shorten them by taking a fold out of the pattern pieces between the knee and the hem. Construction is all on the overlocker, with the machine just used to twin needle the hems (and to join the ends of the waist elastic together.

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

From the Style Arc website: This is the pant of the moment, slim line from ankle to waistline. Elastic waist 35mm or 1 ¼ inch wide. These pants sit so beautifully without any bulk, wear them with your high heels out for the night or with your sneakers for brunch…..a must have piece in your wardrobe! FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION Stretch Bengaline is perfect! You can buy Bengaline at our store.

elle-pant

These have the comfort of leggings but the fit of a slim pant, and the fabric elevates them above a ponte pant.  Will skinny pants ever completely go out of fashion?  I doubt it.  I’ll probably be sewing this pattern for the rest of my life.

Style Arc Elle pants in Style Arc Bengaline size 6

By the way, I sewed the jacket a couple of years ago.  The shirt is purchased.

adult's clothing · sewing · tween

Style Arc Tallulah

Another garment that was sewn a while ago – this one at Sewjourn in April.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

It’s fun sewing for the kids! This is the Style Arc Tallulah knit dress, in size 4. The fabric is a super soft viscose/spandex knit from Super Cheap Fabrics. Clare is pretty fussy about what fabrics she wears next to her skin, and this one ticks all of the boxes.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website: You will love this easy to wear pull-on knit dress sewing pattern. With its long sleeves, the side gathers elevate this style from a simple shift dress to a super fashionable garment. This is a very easy sewing project – you could have a new dress in an afternoon. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Jersey or double knit.

talulah-knit-dress

Style Arc are right – this is an easy dress to sew, and if I hadn’t decided to sew it from striped fabric it would have been very fast.  Because I did use stripes, I spent quite a lot of time getting them all lined up when I cut it out, and pinned every single stripe together before I sewed each seam.  Worth it though!

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Clare is around my height now – 158cm tall – and this is pattern length. She prefers it styled with a belt, as she finds the drop waist a bit too late 80s/early 90s and the side gathers hit at a more pleasing location when the skirt is moved up and bodice bloused over the belt.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

As is always the case with Style Arc, the pattern is beautifully drafted and there is just the right amount of fullness created by the gathers. I used both the sewing machine and the overlocker in construction, and hems were twin needled after securing with vliesofix.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

I have to admit that I do get a great deal of pleasure out of seeing my teen in clothes that are all made by me – in this case dress, cardi and scarf! She does have bought clothes in her wardrobe too, but definitely is more than happy to wear what I make – as long as she has a say in what it is! Very satisfying.

Style Arc Tallulah dress in soft viscose knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June City Park tee

Clare came to me with a dress that no longer fitted, in that it was way too short.  This was a ponte Groove dress that I’d sewed a couple of years prior.  See, my kids do actually grow and get taller!  The before photo from 2016:

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

It was pretty straightforward for me to grab a copy of the Hey June Patterns City Park tee and use it as a guide to straighten out the side seams and curve the bottom hem.  Hey presto, too short flared dress becomes a fitted tee!

Hey June patterns City Park tee

The neckline was a bit too open and scooped when I first sewed this – but now it’s perfect! While the pattern was out I also sewed up a long-sleeved tee in white stretch panne velvet from stash for Clare to wear to a fairy themed party. I know, she’s a teenager, it’s a fairy party, some things you never grow out of!

Hey June patterns City Park tee

Just a quick snap to show you the fit. This is a nice basic fitted tee with set in sleeves. I think that I sewed the girls size 14. The panne velvet was appalling stuff to sew. My overlocker handled it okay but it left terrible little pieces of sparkly plasticky fluff absolutely everywhere. Ugh. I’m avoiding that fabric in the future. It did however fit the bill nicely and Clare looked lovely (and warm) when she headed off to the party – with the addition of wings and a wand, of course!

2018-06-16 17.44.44-2

The cardi is purchased, and the patternless skirt sewn from scuba a couple of years ago.

I have found Hey June patterns to be excellent basics for my daughters.  I have three that I use regularly – the City Park tee (set in sleeves, fairly fitted), Camden Raglan (raglan sleeves, fairly fitted) and the Morrison tee (drop shoulder, loose body, fitted sleeve).  And as they grow I just reprint and cut out the size that I want.  Very worthwhile.

 

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 9.09.19 am

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

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Scrap busting with the Camden raglan

Raglan tops really lend themselves to colour/pattern blocking, in my opinion.  The perfect solution for what to do with those scraps that are too big to toss but are too small for an entire garment.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

I’ve sewn the Hey June Patterns Camden raglan a few times now, but all for Clare. It was time for Stella to get a look in! I used Crafty Mamas Fabrics printed french terry left over from Clare’s hoodie for the front and back, and cotton/spandex knit (probably also from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) for the sleeves and neckband.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Because I was working with scraps I wasn’t able to centre the print nicely on the back of the tee. I thought it was more important to get it centred on the front. It’s important to put thought into your cutting out whenever you can. Centring prints wherever possible, keeping the print balanced, lining up stripes. A bit of time spent pondering at the cutting table usually results in a much better finished garment. But sometimes you will be constrained by fabric quantities. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Stella’s top is a straight size 10. This is designed to be a fairly fitted tee. From the pattern website: The Camden Raglan is a casual fitted tee for junior girls in sizes 6 – 16.  Its versatility will make it a great wardrobe builder in your pattern stash.  Support your favorite sports team by colorblocking with the sleeve stripes, or use the front of the shirt as a blank slate for iron-on decals or stenciling.  View A features a trendy curved hem and view B has an easy-to-sew banded hem.  Both views A and B have options for sleeve stripes, a hood, 3 sleeve lengths, wristbands, and a kangaroo pocket.

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 9.49.34 am

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to secure the hems and neckband into place with a simple zig-zag after securing the hems with double-sided tape. Fast and satisfying – and already into wardrobe rotation.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Girl on the Go

When Oliver + S released a tween/teen pattern I got a little excited.  My girls are almost sized out of Oliver + S patterns now.  Well, Stella would still fit into a few of them (I do have some as yet unsewn, sob) but Clare definitely not.  The other bonus of the Girl on the Go pattern is that it is for knits.  Comfort, here we come!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I bought this brushed back sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics last year. Unicorns! Pink glittery unicorns! On grey marle! How could I resist. It was just perfect for this pattern. I combined it with some toning cotton/spandex (also from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) to back the ties and for the neckline facings.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I sewed size 10 for Stella, and am pretty happy with the fit. Loose, but not too oversized. Construction was mostly on the overlocker. Hems were secured with double sided tape, then twin needled on the machine in pink thread. I also twin needled the facing down in pink thread. Love the contrast!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

If I had been a little more skilled I would have realised that with a directional fabric I’d need to cut the ties differently. One of the ties has upside down unicorns. You may not have noticed if I hadn’t mentioned it – but hey, I’m a sewing blogger, we have a tendency toward pointing out our errors. Because they hang sideways you can’t really tell – but I know!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

From the Oliver + S website: This simple pull-on dress and top is designed for knit fabrics with a little stretch. The View A dress features a fun front tie detail and short sleeves, while View B makes a classic top with 3/4-length sleeves. Both styles include a neck facing with topstitching detail and a forward shoulder for a comfortable fit. You’ll love the look, feel, and versatility of this dress and top which make great wardrobe basics for every girl on the go. Suggested Fabrics: Suitable for knits of all sorts. Stable knits are especially good for this style. Suggested fabrics include jersey, double knit, thermal knit, interlock, sweatshirt fleece, and French terry.

olv-os055gg2_prod_full

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 9.09.19 am

As you can see, I mixed up the pattern views to sew view A with view B sleeves.  This is a very easy dress to sew.  There is a sew-along on the Oliver + S blog, and I note that a few bloggers have used this pattern to teach their children to sew.  I did suggest to Stella that she could sew it and I could help her, but she preferred the option of me doing it and presenting her with a finished garment.  Took the easy route!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Although I took what felt like a myriad of photos of Stella in this dress (she’s such an expressive kidlet) I don’t have any of the back! There’s not much to tell though – it’s pretty plain. The line drawing tells the story. I actually already have another one of these dresses cut out for Stella in floral ponte scraps from another project. I’m doing some scrap-busting at the moment. I have a feeling that this pattern is going to get a real workout.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This dress has already gone into high rotation – it’s great for autumn weather and she will be able to layer it nicely for winter. As with all Oliver + S patterns, the instructions are excellent and the pdf pattern is extremely well laid out. They’re the easiest patterns to assemble – not just one huge sheet divided into A4 sheets, but A4 sheets with the pattern pieces arranged so that they are able to be assembled with a minimum of paper waste and a minimum amount of space needed. I haven’t seen any other pattern companies do this even half as well, if at all. Oliver + S do also give you the option of printing one huge sheet as well – the last page of the pdf pattern file is the copy shop option, and this has always been the case with their patterns. Pdf done extremely well.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics