adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Ginger (the third)

Style Arc Ginger top in knit from Clear It

Another pattern repeat! This one is the Style Arc Ginger knit top. Photos taken after a day of work – and I notice that the sleeve hems are crumpled from the jacket I’ve just taken off.

Style Arc Ginger top in knit from Clear It

This ticks all the boxes for a work top for me. I prefer V necklines, and it isn’t too low. There are short sleeves, it’s sewn in a knit, and there is plenty of room there for my middle. The fabric came from Clear It – I suspect it’s a viscose knit. It’s quite a decent weight, and was easy to sew and is just as easy to wear.

Style Arc Ginger top in knit from Clear It

From the Style Arc website: This is the top of the season made simple. Clever drafting makes this top easy to sew without losing the look. All in one sleeve, full front wrap with shoulder tucks falling into a draped bodice.

ginger-top

I notice that I first sewed this top in 2014.  What is great about this top is that unlike many with a drapey front hem, this one can easily be made in prints as well as solids (many similar fabric show the reverse side on half of the front).  It’s fast to sew too.

Style Arc Ginger top in knit from Clear It

And there’s the aforementioned jacket that crumpled up the sleeve hems – it’s a Style Arc Harper jacket. The pants are Style Arc Barb. This is a pretty typical work outfit for me.

Style Arc Ginger top in knit from Clear It

Previous versions of this top are here and here.

adult's clothing · sewing

another Olivia

I think that at some stage I should make a list of my most-used patterns.  And double check that they are also some of my most-worn garments.  This one would end up on both lists.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversize Tee in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

This is the Olivia Oversize Tee, by Maria Denmark. This is the fourth time I’ve sewn this pattern. The first two are at the stage of being so well worn that they are beginning to pill and stretch out in parts. The third one was only worn once or twice because the fabric couldn’t hold up to simple things like wearing a seat belt without marking and damaging. I have high hopes for this fourth version!

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversize Tee in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

Yes, usual issue with fabric pooling at lower back. Anyway, this is a terrific tee. The banded sleeves and hem make it very straightforward to sew, and I like the fit I get with the lower band. The neckline is quite scooped – almost a curved V neckline really – and a shape and depth I really like to wear. You do need to be very carefully to give the neckband plenty of stretch when applying it to that centre front curve in order for it to lay flat when wearing.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversize Tee in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

The fabric is a printed viscose/spandex knit from The Cloth Shop – I think it may have been a remnant. It has fabulous colours in it! I sew this top in a mixture of sizes. I cut it to the shortest length, and remove all the waist shaping completely so that there’s plenty of ease around my middle. From the pattern website:  Olivia is super trendy, super relaxed, super easy to sew and super easy to fit! Pick out any of your favourite wool, rayon or bamboo jerseys and in about an hour, you’ll have a great top to wear with skinny jeans, tight slacks or tights! Make it in a stripe to wear with a blazer jacket for work, in a fun print for everyday joy, or in a plain fabric that goes with everything!

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Finally getting this version blogged has reminded me that I need to replace my two longer sleeved striped versions!  And yes, this was sewn and photographed last year.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversize Tee in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

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children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · Uncategorized

summer pyjamas for Clare

It is SO cold today!  Winter is well and truly chilly this year (by Melbourne standards).  We are all wearing our cosiest winter pyjamas and dressing gowns and slippers and there are flannelette sheets on the beds.  But these are the pyjamas that I sewed for Clare last summer.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

I used two Oliver + S patterns to sew this set. The shorts is the free Sunny Day shorts pattern. The top is the Lunch Box Tee.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

Both pieces were sewn in knits; the shorts in a cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics, and I found the printed cotton jersey in given-to-me stash – maybe it used to belong to Rachel? I sewed the shorts in size 12, the largest size.  Clare has decided that they’re most comfortable on her with the legs rolled up a little.

From the Sunny Day Shorts pattern page: Every kid needs a good pair of shorts to wear outside on a sunny day, and this free sewing pattern will help you make just that pair. These quick and easy-to-sew shorts are sure to become a staple in any summer wardrobe. Suitable for both boys and girls, this pattern can be made from a variety of light- to medium-weight woven fabrics like quilting cotton, denim, canvas, chambray, and linen. The Sunny Day Shorts free sewing pattern is also perfect for customizing. Try adding pockets, applique, ribbon, embroidery, or color-blocking. Make these shorts as unique as the kid who will wear them!

This is a nicely drafted kids shorts pattern, and there is also a photo tutorial on the Oliver + S blog.  I highly recommend it if you’re learning to sew and want a simple pattern to use, as it’s so well drafted.  Simple patterns need to be shaped properly!  You’ll get a good result with this one.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

The Lunch Box Tee is another terrific pattern.  It can be worn with the sleeves folded up or left down – these are genuine freshly out of bed photos and it looks like we have one of each in the photo above!  I used the same cotton/lycra for the neckband as for the shorts, which had the right amount of recovery to get a flat neckband.  The print for the top is a bit off grain (possibly from Spotlight originally?) and although it’s a lovely cool summer fabric to wear, it doesn’t have all that much stretch.  Most construction was on the overlocker, with twin needling in a contrasting thread colour to secure the neckband and the bottom hem.  I probably sewed size 12 for Clare.

From the Lunch Box Tee pattern page: Girl’s split skirt and knit top pattern. This pattern features wide, pleated culottes that look like a full skirt but are more versatile. They can be worn for a wide range of activities from biking to turning flips on the monkey bars. Pull-on styling includes front and back inverted box pleats, back elastic, and hidden side pockets. The boxy knit top can be made up as a sweatshirt with pockets that are perfect for storing all kinds of tiny treasures, or it can be sewn up as a T-shirt with cute cuffed sleeves.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

adult's clothing · sewing

and yet another Aeolian tee

Whoops, I fell off the radar a bit there!  The last ten days or so have been full on  – my husband is in the midst of an attack of kidney stones (he’s had them twice before, so we know the drill), I’ve been to a good friend’s 50th birthday party, the kids have had a Girl Guides sleepover at Kryal Castle, there’s been work to go to as well – and once again my blogging lapses.  This is another of last year’s garments.  I reckon I’ll get all of 2016 up on the blog before 2018…

Pattern Fantastique Aeolian tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

Yet another Aeolian tee. This pattern is one that keeps on giving for me. The fabric is a Spoonflower cotton/spandex, with the print designed by my friend Lisa Christensen.

Pattern Fantastique Aeolian tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

I got the twin needle out and threaded it with contrasting colours to highlight the raglan sleeve seams and to secure the neckband and hems.

Pattern Fantastique Aeolian tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

I possibly sewed the size Medium.  This tee has seen quite a bit of wear since I sewed it.  The print has stood up fairly well, but with a degree of fade.  I wash my clothes in gentle detergents and line dry, which helps the longevity of my garments.

From the pattern website: The Aeolian is the perfect boxy cotton tee, as tall as it is wide. It has a square shaped sleeve, strategically inserted to the armhole for maximum 3D body. Sized down, it makes a perfect sheath. Neat, but not tight. Excellent in a glamour knit for a super clean, mini, cocktail dress. Sized up it responds with mega drapes and kaftan-esque volume.

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I know that this pattern will get more outings.  I tend to sew it in knits, by I know that Anna has sewn it numerous times in wovens.  I have also seen a superb sleeve alteration that introduces major volume, gathered into a cuff.  Must get onto that at some stage!  In the meantime, it’s all about the basic knit.

Pattern Fantastique Aeolian tee in Spoonflower cotton spandex print by Three Branches Design

adult's clothing · sewing

Designer Stitch Georgia top

This is another blog post that is very, very late.  I sewed this Designer Stitch Georgia top last year – possibly around 8 to 10 months ago.

Designer Stitch Georgia top in linen and viscose jacquard

Ann Grose of Designer Stitch has developed patterns for Australian clothing companies for many years, and also teaches dressmaking. She began her own line of pdf patterns last year, and is steadily adding to the lineup.

Designer Stitch Georgia top in linen and viscose jacquard

This pattern can be made as a dress or shortened to a top. As is obvious from these photos, I chose the top. From the website: Georgia offers a mix of fabrics and choices with its contrast yoke and sleeve design. The front yoke can be made in mesh and/or lace – the sleeves in linen, cotton or pleather. With an alternate back panel consisting of a back yoke and an optional centre back pleat the Georgia offers many possibilities as either a Dress and/or Top.

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I chose to sew the version with the centre back pleat, and after some deliberation I think I decided to sew pattern size 4 (Australian size 12) although it could have been one size smaller. This style has plenty of ease.

Designer Stitch Georgia top in linen and viscose jacquard

I used the last scraps of my Merchant and Mills mustard linen for the yokes, and some lovely jacquard mystery fabric that was in stash (possibly came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table at some stage) that feels like a viscose and toned very well with the linen. I adore the two fabrics together.

Designer Stitch Georgia top in linen and viscose jacquard

I made fairly wide bias for the neckline binding. It’s worth taking a look at the samples made up on the Designer Stitch website and others on the Facebook page – I’ve seen such terrific versions of this pattern, both very casual and highly formal. It’s a great canvas for a variety of fabric types and prints.

Designer Stitch Georgia top in linen and viscose jacquard

I’ll definitely use this pattern again. It’s ideal for when you want a quick sewing fix, or when you want to have a bit of fun playing with fabric combinations.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 7428

McCalls 7428 includes patterns for a girls’ top, dress, tunic, skirt and leggings.  I have to admit, that is the FABULOUS thing about non-indie patterns – you get so much bang for your buck, especially when patterns are on sale.

7428

7428line

Pullover tops and dress have neckband. A: Contrast back yoke. B: High-low hem, wrong side of fabric will show. C: Cold shoulder detail, purchased rhinestones, pearls and beads. Skirt and leggings have elasticized waist. Moderate stretch gauge needed.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

We chose to sew view A, the top with back interest. The fabrics are a spotted crinkled knit that was a gift from a generous friend, combined with the leftovers of a quality Crafty Mamas cotton/spandex knit I’d used for another top. The shade of blue matched perfectly!

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

This pattern appealed both for the back yoke and the split shaped hemline at centre back. It wasn’t difficult to sew. I used the sewing machine for all elements of the back, as then I could pivot the needle to turn direction at the points easily, but other construction of the top was on the overlocker.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

Size wise, I probably sewed a 12 (this was months ago, and I’d need to pull out the pattern to check) with size 14 sleeve and body length. It fits nicely.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

I also pulled out the pattern to sew the pants/leggings from some bengaline remnants.

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

There were sewn in size 12 with size 14 length. I pieced the back leg pieces to get the maximum amount of fabric from my scraps. Let’s call it a design feature!

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

Because they’re bengaline they’re more pants than leggings, and they’re very comfy and easy to wear. There is an elastic waist, overlocked to the inside then turned again to the inside and secured in place.

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

The pants were really an experimental project in scraps/remnants, to test out how well the pattern fitted. She’s worn them, so it must be okay!

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this pattern. I rather like the dress version too.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Halle stretch skirt

Over the years I have worked out my preferred skirt styles.  A quick glance in my wardrobe shows a predominance of straight skirts in stretch fabric.  There is the odd A-line skirt in there, a maxi or two, and a few straight skirts in woven fabrics, but you won’t find anything with a gathered waist or a great deal of fullness.  My thick middle/pot belly combination makes a straight stretch skirt the most comfortable one for me – remember, they always have that magic elastic in the waist!

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I saw the Style Arc Halle Stretch Skirt as a great way to add a little variety to my straight stretch skirt wardrobe. Style Arc describe it as follows:  Fabulous slim line skirt with a cross over front; featuring an asymmetric hemline. A must have skirt in your wardrobe. The elastic waist makes it easy to make and wear. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Ponte, Knit.

halle-skirt

I was fairly certain when looking at the pattern pieces that this skirt would probably be too long on me if I sewed it up without alteration – I’m 158cm tall.  I folded a chunk out of each pattern piece (maybe about four inches?) about half way between waist and hem, and straightened the diagonal edges to remove the resulting jog.  Then it was cut it out and sew it up!

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

(End of the day photos – hence the multiplicity of sitting wrinkles).

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

If you’re sewing this you need to pay attention to the instructions in regard to what to hem when. Much of the hemming is done before the side seams are sewn, and you do need to get that part right! It’s easy to sew (yes, mostly on the overlocker) and results in what I think is a nice variation on the basic straight stretch skirt. I sewed this one in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics – it matches the Nina cardigan I’ve blogged before.

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Here’s a good example of getting proportion WRONG – this cardigan, despite being the same fabric, does NOT work with this skirt and top at all in my view. The jacket drapes and ends at the wrong places of the skirt hem and overlap and it all gets visually messy. I will definitely not be wearing this combination out the door ever again (my excuse is that I got dressed in the dark as per usual in winter and didn’t look in a full length mirror before I headed off to work).

Style Arc Halle skirt in bengaline

I’ve also sewn this skirt in this olive bengaline from Style Arc, but haven’t worn or photographed that one on me yet. Bengaline is a magic fabric for me – it works so well to fit around my shape, especially in pants. And the comfort level is high.

Style Arc Halle skirt in ponte from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So this pattern has had two outings already. Definitely a positive contribution to the straight stretch skirt stable.