bags · sewing · Uncategorized

More Genoa totes

I now feel that most sewers I know have made at least one Genoa tote.  It’s no wonder – such a satisfying pattern, with such a practical and pleasing result!

Genoa Tote

The pattern description says: Designed with denim in mind, the Genoa Tote borrows it’s name from the Italian city, where the first denim trousers were made. The Genoa Tote is fully-lined, features a zipped pouch and a clip for keys. The leather straps can be made in two lengths and two widths, and are attached with double capped rivets, creating beauty, strength and longevity.

Genoa Tote

I have tended to do as the description says, and have sewn my Genoa totes from denim. This one is lined in printed drill, and was a birthday gift for my delightful sister-in-law Donna.

Genoa Tote

I really do love those leather handles! Donna’s was the Medium size, which is probably my favourite. However, I recently gave the Small size a go too.

Genoa Tote

It’s really a bit hard to tell the size without something else in the photo for scale! As you can see, this one was also from denim. I cut the straps from some leather scraps that I had in stash. They are fairly soft, so don’t stand up well on their own, but the colour goes nicely with the lining.

Genoa Tote

The crochet print lining was designed by Cam and has been in stash for a few years. I’m really happy to have finally used it in something special! The pocket fabric is a Denyse Schmidt quilting cotton also from deep stash.

Genoa Tote

I’ve seen some beautiful versions of this bag sewn from leather. I’ll add that idea to my to-sew list!

adult's clothing · sewing · Uncategorized

Vogue 8909

I suspect that Vogue 8909 has been around for a little while.  Kim from The Cloth Shop recommended the pattern to me, and I’m glad that she did.

Vogue 8909 pants in navy tencel from Clear It

The Vogue website describes the pattern as follows:  Fitted (below waist) pants have elastic waistband and purchased ribbon drawstring, yoke back, side-front seams, no side seams, and side-front pockets. A, B: Elasticized leg bands. B, C:Stitched hems.

v8909_a

v8909

I sewed view B, with the elasticised cuffs.  The fabric is navy tencel from Clear It.  I’m quite pleased that tencel is around again.  I used to have a pair of orange tencel jeans back in the 1990s…and actually I wish that I still had them!  Ah, the memories.

Vogue 8909 pants in navy tencel from Clear It

I shortened these quite a bit by taking folds out of the pattern pieces before cutting, one above the knee and one below. I think I took out about three inches in total. I thought that I’d actually taken out too much length at first, but when I look at photos of these pants on a model on the Vogue website they are meant to be a little above the ankle.

Vogue 8909 pants in navy tencel from Clear It

It took quite a bit of fiddling to get the ankle elastic just right. My first attempt was way too tight and the pants rode up and sat on mid-calf. After loosening them a bit, and trying them on sitting and standing, I managed to find the sweet spot.

Vogue 8909 pants in navy tencel from Clear It

Rather than sewing three channels of elastic for the cuffs and for the waistband I chose to just use one channel with wider elastic for both. There is a fake fly at the front. I’m not completely certain why I both with these sorts of details sometimes, as they are only seen here on the blog, but at least I know that they are there.

Vogue 8909 pants in navy tencel from Clear It

I eliminated the drawstring completely. Overall I really like the fit of these pants. It was difficult to get good photos of them – I find pants difficult to photograph well in general, and my phone camera does some weird things to the proportions and makes my legs look super short (they’re actually quite long in comparison to my torso) – but I think that you can see that they while having a relaxed fit they are not sloppy. There are pockets in the slightly forward sides seams, which could be eliminated if you wanted a super fast sew, but are quite handy to have otherwise.

Vogue 8909 pants in navy tencel from Clear It

The top I’m wearing with them in these photos is the Tessuti Kate top, blogged here.  I suspect that this pattern could get another outing at some stage. It ticks many of my boxes (especially that one for an elastic waist) and I’m very pleased that Kim suggested it! Worth adding to your stash.

Vogue 8909 pants in navy tencel from Clear It

adult's clothing · sewing · Uncategorized

Jalie 2918 in Spoonflower knit

I have sewn Jalie 2918 for my husband so many times that the earlier versions are the first images that come up on a Google image search.

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

This was one of his Christmas presents.  The fabric makes it special.  It’s from Spoonflower; their cotton/spandex knit substrate.  It’s nicely stretchy and comfortable to wear, but the best thing about it is the print.  A friend of mine, Lisa Christensen, is a graphic designer, and has a number of interesting designs available on Spoonflower at Three Branches Design.  Last time there was a free international shipping offer I snapped up a few.

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

The tee itself is a basic men’s tee.  Short sleeved, long sleeved or layered sleeve options, with either a round or a vee neckline.  I sew these on the overlocker, and twin needle the hems and neckband on my sewing machine.

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

So far the fabric is washing and wearing quite well.  There isn’t much more to say about this!

Jalie 2918 tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex with print by Three Branches Design

adult's clothing · Uncategorized

Style Arc Adeline dress

I liked this dress so much that I made two!

Style Arc Adeline dress in floral cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Style Arc Adeline dress in Merchant and Mills Linen

Style Arc describe this dress as follows:  ADELINE DRESS:  Great designer style dress which is easy to sew and wear. The slight cocoon shape and its roll up sleeve makes give this style a casual but trendy look.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Linen, Silk, Crepe.

(Picture currently not uploading!)

First off I sewed size 12 without alterations in a floral cotton that I’d picked up from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table at some stage.  It was straightforward to sew.  I love the deep facings around the hemline and the neckline.

Style Arc Adeline dress in floral cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

On the floral dress I chose to do the topstitching in bright green as a contrast. (Actually, I chose to do it because that was the thread colour already in the machine and I figured it would work).

Style Arc Adeline dress in floral cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I’m pleased with the way that this dress fits me at the back neck. There is a centre back seam, so it would be easy to tweak this to fit individual body shapes if you needed more or less curve.

Style Arc Adeline dress in floral cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The back facing curves downwards, which is nice stylistic touch. The sleeve hems are quite deep, which makes them turn back and sit well.

Style Arc Adeline dress in floral cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Lengthwise, this is a little longer than I prefer my hemlines. The hem has a definite curve up at the centre front and down at the centre back, which is why a hemline facing is an obvious choice. I am only 158cm tall, so that needs to be taken into account if you are sewing this dress.

Style Arc Adeline dress in Merchant and Mills Linen

There is a handy shorten/lengthen line printed on the pattern if you want to alter the length. I shortened it two inches the second time that I made it, and think it is a better length on me. This time around I sewed it in Merchant & Mills linen in a lovely smoky warm grey.

Style Arc Adeline dress in Merchant and Mills Linen

Now, grey is a bit too neutral for me, so I chose to use some teal topstitching along the pocket tops and to secure both the neckline and hem facings. I also used the selvedge to add a bit of interest along the top of the pockets. I now wish that I’d used selvedge down the centre back seam as well. Oh hindsight….

Style Arc Adeline dress in Merchant and Mills Linen

All the topstitching was done with a triple stitch. In addition to the teal topstitching, I used grey to topstitch along the centre back seam and shoulder seams. Just for that tiny bit more detail that no-one else will notice, but I will know is there!

Style Arc Adeline dress in Merchant and Mills Linen

This is a terrific style for those of us who prefer to avoid waist definition. I love both versions and know they will get loads of wear this summer!

Style Arc Adeline dress in floral cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Style Arc Adeline dress in Merchant and Mills Linen

adult's clothing · Bootstrap Fashion · sewing · Uncategorized

A three-fer: Riley, Henrietta Maria and Vado.

This will be an epic blog post.  Three garments.  I am exhausted just thinking about writing it, let alone thinking about you reading it.  Be warned!

Style Arc Riley coat in wool from Clear It

Okay, I’ll start with the coat. This is the Style Arc Riley Coat. From their website:  RILEY COAT: This cleverly designed and patterned coat fits all the boxes. Suitable for every season, Riley has a very “on-trend” shape with its deep panelled raglan sleeve and free flowing front. This coat is unlined and so easy to construct. FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Wool, Wool Cashmere, any Suiting, Linen or Ponte

riley-coat

I chose to use a wool blend coating fabric from Clear It to sew my jacket.  I didn’t purchase quite enough, but by judiciously piecing the facings I was able to cut out the entire jacket from my fabric.  The fabric restrictions did limit the amount of check matching that I was able to do.  I focused on keeping the checks balanced more than matched.

Style Arc Riley coat in wool from Clear It

I eliminated the centre back seam in an effort to save fabric, but otherwise this is sewn pretty much as per the pattern. I did add topstitching beside certain seemliness, as the mood took me.  The description is correct – it is easy to construct.

Style Arc Riley coat in wool from Clear It

There is no closure on my coat. It can be worn with the collar folded across and pinned in place, but I’m not likely to wear it that way. I sewed size 12, which is my usual Style Arc top/dress/jacket size, but could have gone down to a 10 in this jacket.

Style Arc Riley coat in wool from Clear It

I really enjoyed working with this coating fabric. It has great texture, was easy to sew and press, and the hand-stitches securing the facings are invisible. Hooray!

Style Arc Riley coat in wool from Clear It

If you have long arms, you might want to consider lengthening the sleeves. It wouldn’t be too difficult to draft a lining either, if you prefer one. There are inseam pockets in the front seams, and I really like the angles at the centre front hemline. I am not certain that lapels at the front like this, with nothing at the back neck, is the best look for me. To me it looks very “front-heavy” which I am anyway. I think I prefer a jacket with no collar at all or one that has a roll collar at the back. Will ponder on that further. But I do recommend this pattern.

Style Arc Riley coat in wool from Clear It

So, to the top. This is the Henrietta Maria top by Scroop Patterns.

Scroop Patterns Henrietta Maria top in wool crepe from Rathdowne Fabrics

I have been reading the designer Leimomi’s blog for some time, and have always been impressed with her sewing knowledge and the thought that she puts into garments. She is a trained pattern maker and is a fashion and textile historian. This is her first pattern, and I was very impressed with both the quality of the drafting and the quality of the instructions.

Scroop Patterns Henrietta Maria top in wool crepe from Rathdowne Fabrics

I sewed this in a wool crepe remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics. It was a great choice for this top. Wool crepe is such a divine fabric to work with! It presses beautifully, and has wonderful drape. Now check out all those cartridge pleats. Just sewing the pleats took around two hours. Crikey.

Scroop Patterns Henrietta Maria top in wool crepe from Rathdowne Fabrics

I finished the inside edge of the neckline self-facing with lace, and the lower hemline with a narrow double-turned machine stitched hem. This is actually quite simple to sew, you just have to be patient because of ALL THOSE PLEATS. Have I mentioned that there are a lot of pleats?

Scroop Patterns Henrietta Maria top in wool crepe from Rathdowne Fabrics

The website describes this pattern as follows: The Henrietta Maria is a versatile, wear-anywhere trans-seasonal shift dress or top, with full raglan sleeves and cunning pleats that shape the neckline and sleeve hems. The top can be made with a straight or shaped hemline. The dress has set-in side pockets.

Dress it up for evening in chiffon and satin, make it as your go-to summer wear in cottons or viscose (rayon), or effortless winter office wear in wool crepe. Worn loose, the top and dress are great on straight figures. Belted or tucked in, they flatter the most bodacious of curves.

Recommended Fabrics:
The Henrietta Maria works best in fabrics with good draping qualities, such as lightweight wool crepes; viscose crepes; silk & synthetic crepe de chine; lightweight draping cottons such as cotton voile; and wool, viscose & cotton challis. Silk or synthetic charmeuse satins, chiffons and georgettes also work well, but are trickier to work with.

henrietta_maria_hero_image_1024x1024_a4d49077-65bf-43a9-8ab0-68a36e755ea4_1024x1024

I sewed view B, with the curved hemline.  I think that I sewed size 40, as per my measurements (it is about three haircuts ago since I sewed and photographed this, so my recollection of some details is a little hazy).  I’d rather like to sew the dress version for summer in a cool drapey fabric – but ALL THOSE PLEATS.  I might need to sew some other summer garments first.  This is a great pattern – highly recommended if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Scroop Patterns Henrietta Maria top in wool crepe from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, now to the jeans. These are the next step along my quest for non-stretch denim jeans that fit my decidedly non-standard shape. I used the Bootstrap Fashion Vado Designs boyfriend jeans. The rigid denim is from M. Recht.  From the Bootstrap website: The best-fitting jeans custom-sized sewing patterns are here. These ‘boyfriend’ style jeans have plenty of design ease around thighs and hips and require minimum measurements.They are extra long and designed to be worn rolled up. Ease: 4 3/8″ (11 cm) at hips and thigh.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado design your own flare jeans in rigid denim from Rathdowne Fabrics These are the jeans on the right in the picture above. I’ve sewn the flared version in the centre photo before, and you can read that review here. So, the jeans on me.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

So, right to it. I don’t love the way that these look on me from the side or the back at all. So much fabric around the upper thigh! Yes, the pattern description does say that there is plenty of ease there, and on a more typical shape it probably works well. But my legs are so thin in comparison to my torso that it’s hard to eliminate that excess while still having the non-stretch denim fit the rest of me and me still being able to move.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

I do need to emphasise however that the fit is actually GREAT from the perspective of the waist and tummy and hips fitting me – that normally NEVER happens – and the length, which is spot on.  These are also incredibly comfortable for a non-stretch pair of jeans! I do need the belt to keep them in the most comfortable position, despite me being very accurate with my measurements, but that is because without that extra bit of cinching (and consequent muffin-top) all my pants fall down. It’s why I usually go for an elastic waist. With a waist-hip differential that is so small – plus most of the measurement being on my front – most skirts or pants fall down on me.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

I was very happy with the construction of these jeans. Bootstrap Patterns have lots of detail and photos in their instructions now, and everything went together nicely. I also got some rivets for the back pockets, and in combination with the red topstitching am very happy with the final look of these jeans. I did place the pockets much closer to the centre than the pattern suggested, based on some of my existing pairs of jeans.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

Pockets were sewn from quilting cotton. I chose not to flat-fell any of the seams, as I feel that I get a similar effect with the seams overlocked then topstitched. I know it’s not as “authentic” a jeans technique, but I’m just as happy with the finished result.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

I often wonder why I put so much effort into waistband and upper pants details that will never been seen other than on this blog. I never, ever tuck anything in.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

So, my final verdict? I think that Bootstrap Fashion (and Lekala) patterns are GREAT. I love the made-to-measure aspect and the price, and the ability to customise things like tummy and buttock protrusion. If you haven’t tried them, I really do think that you should! It does require ACCURATE measurements, and lots of them, and tweaking to find out what the fit adjustments really do. But once you’ve got it sorted, it’s wonderful – especially if you are not a “standard” shape.

Bootstrap Fashion Vado Boyfriend jeans in denim from M. Recht.

As for me and my non-stretch jeans quest? Basically, it’s over. My shape really is best in elastic waists and stretch denim. These jeans aren’t likely to get much wear at all.  In the future I’ll keep sewing my tried and true Style Arc jeans from stretch fabrics. But don’t let that put you off giving Vado jeans a go – I honestly do think that they work beautifully for lots of people, and have seen quite a few of them on blogs that look fabulous.  There is no questioning the fit.

Style Arc Riley coat in wool from Clear It

miscellaneous · musings · Uncategorized

random links and ramblings

When I am not sewing much – and I do realise that is a relative term, for me “not sewing much” means that I haven’t sewn for three or four days – it does allow me a little more head space to think about my sewing and to reflect on other things that I notice around the sewing blogs.  Some things that have drawn my attention lately include the following:

Free t-shirt patterns that I have tried or want to try:

These posts on the Already Pretty blog (a style blog that often makes me think about how those of us that sew approach issues like fit and flattery)

New patterns that I fancy

  • Anna dress (yes I bought it) – but WHY does this pattern company not provide a line drawing of their patterns?  I need to see the shape!  I need to see the seamlines!  Not only photos of finished garments on models with figures very unlike mine!
  • Saltspring dress (not for me, as it has a defined waist and spaghetti straps but it’s so cute!)
  • Grainline Lakeside Pajamas

Craftsy classes that I am enrolled in but have barely started

And some Craftsy courses that I am considering taking BUT I have to finish the above classes first

I’ve been laughing at the Camp Gyno advertisement (the funniest ad for “feminine hygiene” products that I have ever seen)

Reading this excellent post on choosing linings

Admiring other people’s finished garments:

Enjoying reading Carolyn’s adventure with sewing Burda 08-2012-142 (I think I want to make this dress)

Being amazed by Cathrin’s review of Medieval Week (the level of detail that goes into their outfits is amazing)

Discovering that there are yet more independent pattern lines being released

Listening to Thread Cult podcasts (thanks to Leith for alerting me to these)

Missing many of my old favourite bloggers who have hung up their blogging hats

Accepting that many of the patterns favoured around the sewing blogosphere – moreso by younger bloggers who have a waist – are never going to suit me and will never be made by me

Realising that I am really starting to look my age.  I am so blessed to be my age and where I am in life.  It still surprises me though when I look at photos and see a middle-aged woman who is me!