adult's clothing · sewing · tween

Another Style Arc Lacey

The Style Arc designers are clever women.  The Lacey dress is great for me – and it’s great for my teenage daughter!

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

I sewed Clare a Lacey dress on the same weekend I sewed mine, and I have to say that I absolutely love it! Clare’s is sewn in a Girl Charlee knit that came to me via Restash. I had to tetris the pieces extra hard to get this dress out of the fabric that I had available, and as a result a couple of them are cut slightly off grain. Fortunately it doesn’t appear to have affected the fit or the hang of the finished dress.

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

Clare’s dress is size 4 (mine is size 12). I didn’t make any alterations, and think that it fits her beautifully. I included the side seam pockets in her version – all the better for a teen to keep her mobile phone in.

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

Did you notice the necklace Clare is wearing? She made it herself, and it coordinates perfectly with this print!

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

This dress has lovely wide facings around the neckline. I used a cream woven rather than the same fabric for a couple of reasons – firstly, there absolutely wasn’t enough of the print for the facings, and secondly I wanted to use something that wouldn’t show through. This dress has positive ease, as you can tell, and it’s designed to be sewn in a woven or stable knit. The woven facing allowed for very neat topstitching, which is mirrored by the topstitched wide sleeve hems and skirt hem.  I also topstitched the vertical bodice seams.  Most construction was done on the overlocker.

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

From the Style Arc website: Slip into the fabulous Lacey Knit Dress. It’s easy to make and easy to wear. Lacey will work with either knit or woven fabrics. Sitting on the waist, Lacey has a slightly gathered skirt with side pockets. The interesting bodice has an extended shoulder line that creates a short sleeve that can be worn straight or rolled. The bodice has clever design lines that allow directional stripes or mixed textures. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit, jersey, rayon or silk.

lacey-dress-product

I think this could be a strong contender for perfect hot summer dress pattern!  Clare wore this on a 41 degree day and it was cool and comfortable.  And, according to many, this dress looks ‘very Gorman‘.  It’s a winner.

 Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Woodstock tee

I’m a bit of a sucker for a novelty fabric, especially when it’s on sale.  I like the idea of fabrics and clothes being fun!  So when this fluoro stretch lace was on the $2 table at Darn Cheap Fabrics I picked up a couple of metres.  I bought a couple of metres of the yellow/green colourway as well, but that it still in stash.  The pink however has been transformed into tees – one for Stella and one for Clare!

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, this is Stella’s tee. It is lace, so it does need something underneath it. Stella has chosen to wear a bright orange and pink crop top under her tee – the colours go exceptionally well! The pattern is the Hey June Patterns Woodstock Swing tee, which is a free pattern I have blogged about before. Once again this is size 12.

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Because I was dealing with lace I needed to think carefully about the finishes I would use and how I would construct the tee. I was able to buy matching fluoro thread from Rathdowne Fabrics, and ended up constructing the tee on the overlocker. I used the overlocker to do a rolled hem on the bottom of the tee, and I added strips of the fancy shaped lace edging onto the sleeve edges to act as a hem. I used matching elastic to bind the neckline, in the same way you would use fold over elastic. It wasn’t actually fold over elastic, but was wide enough to achieve a similar result with a bit of persuasion. It would have looked better if I’d pulled it a little tighter during application – but I didn’t, and re-doing it wasn’t really an option.

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Garments like this are fun to make. It’s far from perfect, but Stella has worn this one a few times already, so it’s clearly a welcomed addition to her wardrobe. Nothing like a bit of colour!

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Woodstock swing tee

As regular readers of my blog know, I’ve had a lot of success with Hey June patterns for tees for the girls.  When the free Woodstock swing tee pattern because available I thought that I’d give it a go as well!  I printed out the pattern, taped it together, then quickly cut out and sewed up a tee for Clare in size 12, the size I’ve used for her in the past.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Um, no! She could get it on, but it was very fitted through the chest and shoulders and the armpits were uncomfortably high. Fortunately, we have a smaller model available.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Now, that’s better! Stella was the very happy recipient of this tee. The fabric is cotton/spandex, soft and stretchy, originally from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It was left over from a previous project – my husband has a tee in the same fabric.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This tee has a lovely shape, with gentle swing through the body and a high-low hem with what I consider to be just the right amount of curve. There are a minimal number of pattern pieces – front, back, cap sleeve, neckband. And it’s all sewn on the overlocker. Hems were topstitched on the sewing machine.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

By this stage I was really wondering what was going on with sizing. I printed off another copy of the pattern and this time I cut out a size 16.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 16 in cotton knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So much better! This time the fabric is a cotton jersey (no spandex/lycra in this one), also from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s the leftovers from one of my tee shirts!

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 16 in cotton knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So by now I was in a huge quandary about what had happened with the sizing. It’s a pattern range I’ve used before and found to be consistent. I checked that the pattern had printed at the right size by measuring the one inch printed square, and it had. And then I emailed the designer! She was lovely and responded quickly – she hadn’t found the sizing to be inconsistent at all in the tees that she had sewn for her kids. Now, remember that this IS a free pattern, and it’s well drafted, and all the pattern pieces fit together nicely. I am putting it down to fabric choice. Let’s go back and read the pattern description.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.19.36 pm

See that bit where it says “at least 30% stretch”?  I don’t think that my fabric choices met that requirement.  The cotton spandex black and white eyes print has a nice amount of stretch, but not the amount that a rayon spandex for example would have.  And the cotton jersey pineapple print has relatively minimal stretch.  This pattern is designed to be quite fitted around the shoulders and chest.  There probably just wasn’t enough stretch in the size 12 for Clare! The pineapples definitely needed the size 16.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 16 in cotton knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s always fascinating to see the ways that fabric/fibre choice affect the size and drape of finished garments (and I’ve actually got another example of that coming up soon with another couple of summer tees for Clare). I’ve been sewing for years and years and I’m still learning!

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I really need to get a photo with father/younger daughter and mother/older daughter matching tee-shirts. Isn’t it our job to embarrass our kids?

adult's clothing · Lekala · sewing · tween

Tangled

This is a way overdue post – I sewed this dress/costume for Clare some months ago, for a Girl Guides event.  The theme was Disney; Clare wanted to go as Rapunzel – specifically, the “version” from Tangled. For reference:

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sewing costumes. They are often a great deal of work, and often a fair bit of expense in fabric cost. But once the girls are all dressed up in their costumes and grinning from ear to ear, it is SO satisfying! The costumes I’ve made in the past have all been worn until they’ve no longer fitted (and any that I make for Clare are then worn by Stella) so when I weigh it up they are actually a worthwhile garment to make. There may be some Cosplay sewing in my future, I suspect.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume McCalls 6420

So, on to costume details. We figured out the key elements of the costume, and looked for a pattern that contained most of them. McCalls 6420 included patterns for both Women and Girls, but nothing for tween/teen sizes. However, it did provided us with a basis to adapt.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume McCalls 6420

I took a look at the smallest Women’s pattern pieces, and knew that there was absolutely no way that the bodice was going to work on Clare. I could adapt the sleeve and skirt patterns without much hassle, but not that bodice. Over to Lekala I went! Rapunzel/Tangled costume Lekala 5017

Lekala 5017 provided the basis for the dress bodice and vest. We’d decided to sew the dress all in one with the skirt and sleeves attached to it, then the corset-style vest over it. I figured that I could use the same pattern pieces for both. I altered the neckline of the Lekala pattern pieces and redrew the hemline into a point to match the illustrations and the skirt piece on the pattern pieces, then cut into some quilting cotton to sew the vest.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Lekala is really wonderful for the non-standard shape. I could tell straight away that this was going to work without too much drama and alteration.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The front of the vest is quilting cotton, and the back is cotton drill. The vest is fully lined – I used the same quilting cotton as the central skirt panel. This costume was constructed in bits and pieces over a couple of weeks. The sleeves were fun to make. I used the McCalls pattern pieces as a base.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The purple stripes on the upper puffed sleeve are strips of ribbon sewn to the base fabric. The lower sleeve is pale pink stretch mesh. You can see how much I had to pin out of it to make it fitted to Clare’s arm.  I completed both sleeves, ready to be attached to the bodice, then laid them aside and moved on to the skirt.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

I used poly satin from Spotlight for the skirt. There is a hell of a lot of fabric in that skirt, and consequently a hell of a lot of gathering! The centre front skirt panel is quilting cotton. The stretch lace trim used throughout came from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The bodice fabric was also a poly satin from Spotlight, but was definitely much nicer quality (and was also more expensive) than the fabric used for the skirt. I used the same pattern pieces for the bodice as for the vest, except I placed the centre front line on the fold. It is self-lined, with a zip down the back. I have to say that sewing the zip into place in poly satin was NO fun at all. It is covered by the vest when she has the entire costume on, but I still wanted it to be fairly well inserted!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Then it was back to the vest!  Time to learn how to insert eyelets.  After a few experiments with the setting tool that came with the pack of eyelets (which involved a hammer and breadboard) I suddenly remembered that somewhere in my stash of handy sewing equipment I owned a setting tool that squeezed the parts together – it’s the one with the orange handles in the photo below.  The other very handy tool was the one that cut the holes for the eyelets – the one with the red handles.  I think that I bought it at Bunnings a while ago.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The eyelets set in much more nicely than I’d anticipated – the practice ones on scrap fabric were definitely worthwhile.  We found some purple ribbon to lace through them, and then the costume was almost complete!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

That laces up quite nicely!  Clare had ordered cheap hair extensions from eBay, and attached them to the bottom of her plait to add extra length.  The flowers were a couple of bunches from a $2 shop that we cut up and stuck into her hair at intervals.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

So, there you go!  I present to you all, Rapunzel!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

She was VERY pleased with her finished costume, and I think she makes a highly convincing Rapunzel!  It looks as though this costume is going to get another outing again at Guides soon in a Halloween-related activity.  Stella’s pretty pleased with it in anticipation as well.  I’m now starting to wonder what might be a fun costume to sew next…

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

 

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Lekala T4001 dress

Oh Lekala.  When it comes to fitting non-standard shapes, you really are the bomb!

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I generally consult with my daughters before I sew them something. I prefer to put my time into sewing things that will actually get worn, unsurprisingly! They usually have input into both style and fabric. I always have the final say or what I will or won’t sew though – generally if I hate it, I won’t sew it! However, this dress was mostly from me. I’d seen Lekala T4001 on their website, and thought it would be fabulous on Clare sewn in denim. So I sewed it for her, pretty much without her consent.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

The denim is a rigid dark remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics – I think that I paid $9 for it. I decided that all those lovely seamlines would benefit from being highlighted with topstitching, and chose a colour that toned beautifully with Clare’s glasses frames.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I used regular thread to do the topstitching, but did a triple stitch. The hardest thing was finding a zip that would work! I have a fairly extensive zip stash thanks to a bulk auction buy a couple of years ago, and luckily for me there was a chunky plastic zip in there that toned quite nicely.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

The zip is actually green, not teal like the stitching, but it still seems to work. The neckline and armholes are faced, so I used a quilting cotton rather than the denim to reduce bulk. You can get a little peek of it at the armholes.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

For girls’ patterns Lekala require height, bust, waist and full hip measurements. I reckon that this has worked really nicely for Clare. The shoulders are possibly a little broad, but overall the fit is rather good.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

Lekala don’t provide descriptions of their patterns, but do provide illustrations and line drawings.

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 12.35.08 pm

You can tell now where the inspiration came from for Clare’s dress, can’t you!  This was an enjoyable garment to sew, and fortunately Clare seems to really like it!  It can be worn in summer or styled for winter with tights and boots (the ones she is wearing are from Django & Juliette) and a jacket. Phew.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Handmade City Park Tee

You’ve seen a few of the Hey June Handmade juniors patterns on my blog before.  Here’s another one!  This time the City Park Tee.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

These were sewn back in March when the weather turned cool. They’re both size 12, and Clare has been wearing them all winter. They should definitely see her through to summer! The pattern description and line drawing from the website are as follows:  The City Park Tee is a casual tee for juniors in sizes 6 – 16.  It comes with the option for a v-neck or scoop neck, shirt length or tunic length, and has four sleeve lengths included – short, elbow, 3/4, and long. The City Park Tee is incredibly versatile depending on what options you choose, your fabric, and any embellishments you choose to add.  Embroider, applique, screen print, stencil, dye, sequin – this tee is a perfect blank slate for anything you can dream up. This pattern works nicely with jerseys, both cotton and cotton blends, but you can also use rib knit, interlock, waffle knit, lycra spandex, or even stretch lace!  Anything with a stretch of at least 30% will work, but 50 – 100% stretch is best.  Just remember – the smaller the stretch percentage, the more fitted the shirt will be.

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 10.18.42 am

As you can see, we chose to sew the scoop neck, long sleeve, tunic length version of the tee.  The striped fabric is a cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics.  The other tee was sewn from a combination of viscose/lycra for the body (so super soft and drapey) but printed cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics for the sleeves and neckband.  I was trying to use up more of my quality knit leftovers!

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Both tees were sewn on the overlocker, with the twin needle on the sewing machine used to secure the hems and neckband. I chose the neckband length according to this tutorial, as usual. I also altered the width of the neckband for the purple and white striped tee to take advantage of the purple stripes.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Over the course of the school holidays (now sadly almost at an end) I went through the girls’ wardrobes and removed everything that was too small. Now I’m on to sewing Clare a pile of short sleeved tees for summer!

sewing · tween

Style Arc Bobbi bomber

It’s rather handy that Clare now fits into some Style Arc size 4 patterns.  She wanted a bomber jacket – and a pdf download quickly provided one!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I say quickly, but that was just getting the pattern. This jacket actually took quite a bit of time for me to sew up. It’s the Style Arc Bobbi bomber. From their website: The Bomber Jacket is the ultimate addition to your weekend wardrobe; this trend right style has become a popular alternative to the Moto Jacket. Its exposed front zip along with the stitched zip guard and rib trim makes our bomber jacket the real thing. Wear it confidently with anything. FABRIC SUGGESTION Drill, Wool, Velvet, or any suitable woven fabric. Contrast rib bands and lining.

bobbi-bomber

Clare chose floral printed sweatshirt knit (a remnant from Spotlight) for her jacket.  It’s brushed on the inside, so cosy.  This is a lined jacket, and I used a purple cotton/spandex knit from stash for the lining,  The plush ribbed trim is a velvety rib knit from Lincraft.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The first step in sewing this jacket is constructing the welt pockets. I had to take this really slowly, and refer to other references in addition to the instructions that came with the pattern. I could have done with a tutorial on the Style Arc website that was specifically for these single welt pockets, where the pocket bags from different fabrics and attached after the welts have been attached. In the end patience and common sense produced a fairly satisfactory result. It’s important to refer to the markings on the pattern pieces for this one!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The shoulder panels are a lovely feature of this raglan sleeved bomber jacket. You could definitely go to town with contrasting fabrics here. We elected to keep things simple and just use the same fabric. I did add some topstitching alongside the panel seams to highlight them a little bit.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The front zipper was another stage I needed to take slowly – mostly in order to select a zipper of the right length. I have a number of zips in stash, including a whole lot of chunky zips, so this green one was selected because the length was just right and the colour coordinated fairly well. Style Arc have you make zipper guards – I think they look great and really improve the overall finish of this jacket.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

Each side of zipper tape is covered in the fashion fabric, and the guard underneath is made from the fashion fabric as well. I was very pleased at how this part came together, and the collar edges all lined up perfectly too. The rib fabric used for the collar was super soft and stretchy, which was an excellent choice for this jacket.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I got Clare to try on the jacket before I added the sleeve cuffs, and we chopped about one and a quarter inches from the sleeve length as a result. Once the cuffs were on the sleeves were the perfect length for her.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I mostly bagged the lining, but decided to hand stitch any tricky corner bits from the right side so that I knew they would be as perfect as I could get them. That was a good decision, especially at the front collar/zip intersections and the bottom band intersections. Clare has worn this jacket a LOT since I sewed it. Because it was all constructed in stable knits it is comfortable, and she likes the colour and pattern. It’s a definite win. I’d like to try this pattern again for her next year in a woven. This is when I’m glad that I bought the pdf version of this pattern – because I also have the next couple of sizes up!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit