adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Alissa knit dress

I am trying really hard to catch up with blogging.  Although there are still quite a few things left to blog from last year, I’ve decided to try to get this year’s garments up here in preference.  If I can keep this rate of blogging up I might be up to date by the end of the year. The photos of this dress were taken back in February!

Style Arc Alissa knit dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is the Style Arc Alissa knit dress, in printed poly/spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I just couldn’t resist all the colours in the print!

Style Arc Alissa knit dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I sewed size 12, no alterations. The round neckline has a binding that is applied to the right side then turned to the inside and stitched in place. This gives a very neat finish.

Style Arc Alissa knit dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I really like the overall silhouette – on the straight side, but not fitted. This was easy to sew. The only slightly tricky bit is the pocket – but honestly, it’s not hard, just read the instructions and diagram and you’ll be fine. It’s just not what most of us are used to doing (unless you sew a lot of patterns by Marcy Tilton or the ilk).

Style Arc Alissa knit dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Style Arc describe this pattern as follows: Achieve a designer look with this simple dress. The asymmetrical drape pocket that is cleverly designed makes this style look complex but is an easy sew. The ¾ sleeves make this style versatile and suitable for any season. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit jersey or any knit fabric with drape.

alissa-dress

This is an effective pattern that looks much more challenging to sew than it actually is.  It was quick to make (much of it on the overlocker) and it is comfortable to wear.  Recommended!

Style Arc Alissa knit dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

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!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Another Mini Ogden and a patternless skirt

A few months ago I sewed Clare a True Bias Mini Ogden cami and a patternless skirt.  So here they are!

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

The cami was sewn from gold foiled linen and that stuff creases like all hell and shows every single fold line. This had been ironed, but then folded and put away in her drawer – and check those fold marks! Not a practical fabric. As a general thing I am an ironer – I think that most clothes look better ironed – but honestly, the requirements of that linen are ridiculous.

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

I’ve reviewed this pattern before  and still like it.  In my opinion it would be better with a full front lining instead of the partial one included in the pattern – I’ll remember to do that the next time I sew it.

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

I attached the straps where Clare found them the most comfortable, but think that they look a bit close to the centre in this photo. This is a garment that looks better in real life than it does in the photos – and I think it also looks better untucked. But if it was untucked you wouldn’t be able to see the waistband and pleats of the skirt!

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

The skirt is scuba, and sewn without a pattern. I cut a waistband the length of Clare’s waist measurement, double the finished width plus seam allowances, and encased elastic the same waist measurement inside. The skirt is the full width of the fabric cut to the length that Clare specified. It was sewed into a tube and quarter marked. I quarter marked the waistband as well, pinned it to the skirt, then played around with pleats until everything was pleated together and looked okay. It’s a little fiddly but appears to turn out okay. Because it’s a stretch fabric it’s easy for her to get on and off, and it sits very comfortably around her waist. Because it is scuba there is plenty of volume. And no hem required.

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

Pretty easy really!

adult's clothing · sewing

Vogue 1401 (copyright 1994)

Every now and then I chance upon a sewing pattern from the 1990s that makes me think “ooooh, that could work really well now”!  Sometimes these patterns have been in my stash since the 1990s – other times I spot them on Etsy or Ebay.  Case in point – Vogue 1401, published in 1994, located on Etsy.

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Who else remembers the Vogue Attitudes line of patterns?  They were terrific, in my opinion.  So were the McCalls NYNY ones – they were a little more individual, and many of them are garments that I think could be worn at any time.  To me, timeless doesn’t mean a little black dress and french jacket!

Vogue 1401 circa 1994 line drawing

I had decided to make view B, the dress, in a cream and beige woven check from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. I figured that this might or might not work out, so I didn’t want to spend a lot on it. The next decision was what size to make. This was definitely a situation where the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern pieces were vital. This was designed to be VERY oversized. After some deliberation, I chose size 10 (my actual measurements put me in a mix of sizes 14, 16 and 18). This would still leave the garment looking oversized as designed but not completely huge. I shortened the pattern pieces at the lengthen/shorten here lines, hoping to keep the dress at about the same length on me as the presumably tall model on the pattern cover. Then I went for it!

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The painted wooden buttons are from Chiang Mai. They work beautifully with this fabric! I don’t often wear traditional collars, and this one was straight from the 1990s. It definitely looks best worn standing up at the back. And there is HEAPS of fabric in those front overlay ties! So, how was it on me?

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Definitely more tunic length than comfortable dress length – hence the skinny pants underneath! But overall, I like it! It’s definitely a different silhouette – those sleeves are HUGE – and I left out the shoulder pads. It may actually have benefitted from a small one – I am sure that there are a variety still in my drawers somewhere, so I may dig a pair out.

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was mostly on the sewing machine, with the overlocker just being used to finish off some seam allowances. I really enjoyed sewing this. It’s fun sometimes to sew something experimental, or that forces me to revisit sewing techniques that I don’t use as often nowadays.

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Wow, those ties are long! They are narrow hemmed, and cut on the bias. My friend Megan remembers making the shirt version in cheesecloth back when the pattern was first released. Fabric choice is really important in this pattern – you need something that looks the same on both sides, and that is lightweight enough so that the knot isn’t too bulky. I actually think that this fabric was okay, especially when I compare how this turned out to the ones on the pattern cover.

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I have only worn this once, as the weather has become too cold since then, but I think that it will stay in my wardrobe! It’s certainly not a typical 2017 garment, but I think it is fine if worn with confidence and it’s definitely individual. Will I sew it again though, in a fabric that is more my colour? Not sure yet. Maybe I’ll just dye this one!

Vintage Vogue 1401 in check from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Oh, the pants – they are Style Arc Elle pants, in olive bengaline also from Style Arc. These are my go-to skinny pants pattern. They’re great.

adult's clothing · DCF Challenge · sewing

Style Arc Sadie – DCF Autumn Challenge

Ta-da!  I actually bought the fabric, sewed and photographed my DCF Autumn Challenge* garment during Autumn!  Pity it didn’t get onto the blog until Winter had started.

Style Arc Sadie tunic in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Oh linen, you do wrinkle so! The fish printed linen comes from Darn Cheap Fabrics. What a fabulous design! I enjoy something a little bit quirky, and when Emma and I spotted this fabric (thanks Shelley for bringing it to our attention) we were unanimous in selecting it for our Autumn challenge. I bought the fabric, pre-washed it, and took it on our trip to Sewjourn at the end of April.

Style Arc Sadie tunic in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The real drawcard with the Style Arc Sadie tunic is the sleeves. Only one pattern piece produces this fabulous sleeve with an angled seam and a twist at the bottom. These women are so clever!

Style Arc Sadie tunic in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website:  SADIE TUNIC:  This cleverly engineered twist sleeve gives this tunic a fashionable edge. The shirt tail hem line with its wide stitched facings makes this a perfect stylish tunic. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Crepe, Linen, Silk.

sadie-tunic

I sewed size 12, without alteration (other than cutting the back and back facing pieces on the fold to eliminate the seams – pin head, remember!).  Despite the rating of medium to challenging, this isn’t really difficult to sew.  Darts, shaped facings, and the sleeve.  The only challenging part is taking it slowly when you do the twist in the sleeve.  I strongly suggest that you do both sleeves at the same time so that you can be certain that you are twisting them both in the same direction.  Don’t rush, and it will be fine!  There are also diagrams to help.

Style Arc Sadie tunic in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I’d like to sew this again in something super swishy and drapey. I’ve seen some really lovely versions on Instagram. It would also be great lengthened to a dress. The bust darts are in just the right place for me, and it would be quite straightforward to make it longer. The sleeves might be good grafted on to the Style Arc Marilyn dress too (I like V necklines)…ah, so many possibilities!

Style Arc Sadie tunic in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, what did Emma sew? I already know, but you can pop over here to find out!

Style Arc Sadie tunic in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

* 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).

Edited to add: For those of you who wonder what I do with all those clothes I sew, pop over here to Anne Whalley’s website to read an interview with me!

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Blaire dress

I was keen on the pattern for the Style Arc Blaire dress as soon as I saw it.  It quickly became apparent that I wasn’t the only one, as there are heaps of them around the sewing blogosphere now.

Style Arc Blaire dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Unfortunately most of my photos were taken after I’d been sitting in a car for an hour and half, so please try to imagine this dress without the sitting and seatbelt wrinkles and crinkles!

Style Arc Blaire dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I sewed this in size 12 without alteration, in a striped orange/grey mystery woven fabric from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table (they still have a couple of bolts). I am rather thrilled with how this dress turned out. The straight silhouette is right up my alley, and there are numerous details that make it fun to sew and to wear.

Style Arc Blaire dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I used snaps instead of buttons as a closure (thanks to Karen for the use of her snap machine). Most construction was done on the sewing machine. I enjoyed playing with the stripe direction, running my stripes the opposite way to those in Style Arc’s illustration.

Style Arc Blaire dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From their website: BLAIRE SHIRT & DRESS: This is a two in one pattern; they both share the same bodice with a gorgeous small shirt collar and cute turn back cuffs. The Blair shirt has an interesting overlay which falls from the bodice. The Blaire dress has lovely shirt tails with a very clever in seam pocket which becomes a modesty underlay so as when the sides of the shirt tails open the leg is hidden. You will love it! FABRIC SUGGESTION: Washed Linen, Crepe, Chambray, Voile or any soft woven fabric.

blair-shirt-dress

Hmm, reading the descriptions those cuffs are meant to be turned back! Next time I wear it, maybe. I really like the curved hemline and the side in seam pocket. Very clever design.

Style Arc Blaire dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, the final verdict – great pattern and a dress that I know I’ll get heaps of wear out once we’re out of winter. Which will be a while away, given that winter has only just started. Oh well, that gives me plenty of time to decide on another fabric to re-make it in!

Style Arc Blaire dress in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

Itch to Stitch Newport top

How many t-shirt patterns does one person need?  No, don’t answer that, it was a rhetorical question!  Apparently it only takes a slightly different detail in combination with a sale price for me to press the “buy it now” button.

Itch to Stitch Newport top

This is the Itch to Stitch Newport top, in the 3/4 fluted sleeve option. From the website: Snuggle-worthy yet effortlessly elegant, the Newport Top is one garment that you won’t regret making. The Newport’s details are understated, but you surely will not go unnoticed. Use a soft sweater knit for an instant sweater, or use a fluid jersey for a casual tee. Oh, you also get to choose between regular long sleeves and 3/4 flute sleeves. Of course you can always make two tops and try both styles of sleeves.

Newport Top Features:

  • Boxy silhouette with a relaxed fit
  • Wide boat neckline
  • “Envelope fold” shoulders
  • High-low hem
  • Two sleeve options: 3/4 flute  and regular long
  • Layers feature (print only the sizes you need)

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 6.29.50 pm

I also attempted to do some stash-busting and combined a cotton/spandex knit for the body with some fabulous Alice in Wonderland printed knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics for the sleeves.  I also used the print for the front and back neckline facings.

Itch to Stitch Newport top

I can’t actually remember what size I sewed, but in retrospect it was probably one size too large. As always, check the finished garment measurements and choose your size according to your ease preferences!

Itch to Stitch Newport top

This was particularly apparent when I sewed the long sleeved version of the pattern. The sleeves were much too wide. I don’t have any photos on me, but since taking this one on Ada I have taken quite a bit of width from the sleeves, narrowing them considerably toward the wrist and I think giving the top a better silhouette on me.

Itch to Stitch Newport top

These are also Crafty Mamas Fabrics. I’m always thrilled with the quality of the fabrics that I get from Lisa, and they come in some terrific prints. This t-shirt pattern does have nice details. The envelope neckline is particularly nice (once you get over the comparison to the the neckline on baby garments), and I always like a high-low hemline.

Itch to Stitch Newport top

My advice on this pattern is to be careful with sizing – make sure you measure yourself and check the pattern measurements too. But shouldn’t you (we) do that for every pattern anyway?

Itch to Stitch Newport top

(with Style Arc Misty jeans, as per usual)