adult's clothing · sewing

Vogue 8499 skirt

Vogue 8499 is another Marcy Tilton pattern.  This one has been in the catalogue for quite some time, and it’s actually been in my stash for quite a while too.  During one of last year’s Sewjourn visits there were a couple of people sewing skirts and pants from the pattern, which prompted me to finally have a go at it myself.

Vogue 8499 skirt in stretch bengaline

I started with the skirt. The fabric is a very stretchy jacquard woven (like bengaline) – I had plenty in stash, and you’ll be seeing more of it soon as I also have a pair of pants and a jacket cut out! I sewed size 12, and shortened the skirt about an inch and a half at the shorten/lengthen line.

Vogue 8499 skirt in stretch bengaline

From the pattern website: Very loose-fitting through hipline skirt with elasticized waist casing, back zipper closing, side-front deep pockets with zipper closing, above ankle length. Pull-up pants, above-ankle length, have side-front pockets and topstitch trim.

v8499

Tilton skirt

I decided that I didn’t need to include the back zip, so sewed the centre back seam up entirely.  Elastic was threaded through the casing at the waistline.  I was pretty confident that my comparatively small hips and the stretch of the fabric would mean that the zip would be redundant.  I’ve heard from others with a greater hip to waist ratio than mine that skipping the zip is NOT a good idea for them!

Vogue 8499 skirt in stretch bengaline

I also didn’t include the zips at the top of the pockets, mostly because I didn’t have any that were the right length or colour. This is actually not an easy colour to match, either with zips and thread or with other clothes. It looks like a neutral, but doesn’t seem to tone all that well with most of my wardrobe. The top I am wearing with it in these photos is the Style Arc Ethel top.

Vogue 8499 skirt in stretch bengaline

As with all Marcy Tilton patterns, pay attention to the markings and read the instructions carefully. The way that the pockets attach is rather interesting!
Speaking of pockets, these capacious pockets do go a long way down, almost to the hemline. Which caused a little hilarity when I posted a short video on Instagram that included the following…

Vogue 8499 skirt

Vogue 8499 skirt

Vogue 8499 skirt

#winepockets!

adult's clothing · sewing

Simplicity 8058 jacket

Some patterns sit in the catalogues for years.  Others vanish fairly quickly.  Simplicity 8058 is a Cynthia Rowley pattern that came out in early 2016 – but I can’t find it in the current online catalogue!  You’ll have to make do with my version.

Simplicity 8058 jacket in stretch denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is one of those garments that made me smile during pretty much every stage of the making process. I cut and sewed size 12, and shortened the jacket through the body at the shorten/lengthen line around three centimetres, and the sleeves around a centimetre. I always dither about shortening sleeves. Sleeve length really varies between patterns – sometimes I need to shorten them, sometimes I don’t. It paid off with this one though.

Simplicity 8058 jacket in stretch denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I bought the fabric – a jacquard stretch denim – from Darn Cheap Fabrics a year or two ago. It was lovely to work with, and the resulting garment is very comfortable to wear. Actually, these photos were taken after a full day of wear and sitting in meetings – I think that it’s held up pretty well.

Simplicity 8058 jacket in stretch denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

As the jacket is unlined, I decided to finish some of the facing edges with bias binding. I had some leftovers in my stash (I rather like making my own bias binding, and often make more than I need for the project at hand. It’s nice to then build up the stash in the drawer – and this is when it comes in handy). I used printed linen bias to finish the centre back seam allowances, and orange silk along the facing edges instead of simply overlocking them.

Simplicity 8058 jacket details

The pattern is designed for fabrics such as scuba or ponte, but has also worked well in this stretch denim. It also includes a skirt and pants pattern. When I bought the pattern I thought that maybe my daughters would eventually be interested in the skirt or pants – but for me this purchase was always about the jacket.

Simplicity 8058 jacket details

8058line

The collar really does sit beautifully.  The right lapel is larger than the left, and the left has some really nice seaming.  I also topstitched around the outer edge of the jacket.  I hand-sewed the neck seam of the outer to the neck seam of the facing with teensy stab stitches to keep it all nicely in place and to keep the collar standing up well.  I used good quality Freudenberg interfacing on the collar and facing pieces.  Good interfacing is so important!

Simplicity 8058 jacket in stretch denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I actually think that this jacket would benefit from some teensy shoulder pads. After living through the 80s and early 90s – where I would often discover that I was wearing a shoulder pad in my coat on top of a shoulder pad in my jacket on top of a shoulder pad in my blouse – it’s sometimes hard for me to remember the benefits of a shoulder pad. A small one really does provide support and give a nice line to the shoulders of a jacket. I might sew in some loop tape and try it on with some of the shoulder pads (that already have hook tape attached) that I still have in the back of my drawer.

Simplicity 8058 jacket in stretch denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I found the single button in my ‘single button jar’ – don’t you all have one of those? – and it’s just right for this fabric. There is a bound buttonhole on the other jacket front. I didn’t sew the button in the designated place (it wouldn’t have done up on me if I’d put it there) but tried it on and worked out where it would look best. I’m not likely to actually do this jacket up anyway.

Simplicity 8058 jacket in stretch denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Given that the Simplicity website currently only shows ten Cynthia Rowley patterns, I’d say that if you see one you like, buy it, as you never know when it will go out of print! I also wonder what effect the ‘Big Four’ pattern companies all now really being the Big One (in terms of company ownership) will have on the availability and accessibility of printed patterns. There is actually quite a lot going on in the world of home sewing.

Simplicity 8058 jacket in stretch denim from Darn Cheap Fabrics

sewing · tween

Windcheater for the teen

Thanks so much to all those who left comments on yesterday’s post.  I suspect that those of us who sew for ourselves are generally interested in exploring style.  It’s also interesting to me to watch my daughters exploring their own style.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

Clare attends an all-girls school. Although they wear uniform to school, I always like seeing what they wear on their rare out-of-uniform days, or what they wear when they get together on the weekends. Clare’s group of friends seem to have some variety in their clothing style. Other groups seem to be dressed pretty much identically, with maybe some variation in the colour of their tops. Fifteen is an interesting age. Wanting to fit in, wanting to be yourself, figuring out who you are!

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

It seems that hoodies are always in fashion. The pattern that I used for this one is from the 80s, I suspect, found at an op shop. I sewed the kids size 14 I think, the largest size in the pattern. It’s very roomy, as expected from that time period.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

Clare has input into the clothes that I sew for her (as does Stella). Nothing more frustrating that putting time into sewing something for someone to have them never wear it! She really liked this printed french terry from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. We decided to pair it with a solid yoke to break it up a little. The solid (also french terry) was a remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics I think (could have been from GJs). I used it for the yoke, lined the hood with it, and used it for the bands.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

We decided not to include the drawstring in the hood – as Clare said, it’s never used and just gets in the way! I topstitched the yoke and the hood seam allowance for stability. Otherwise most of the construction was on the overlocker.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

So this hoodie fits in to current casual fashions, but the print definitely keeps it individual! Clare isn’t particularly interested in ‘branded’ clothing. Most of her friends know that I sew for her, and it seems to be a point of interest in the group. I’m really glad that Clare has found her tribe.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

adult's clothing · sewing

Vogue 9161 – Marcy Tilton top and skirt

I have clear memories of flicking through pattern books in my younger days, looking at some of the ‘art-teacher chic’ patterns and thinking ‘who would ever want to wear those’?  A few years pass by, then a few more, and now I have the answer.  I want to wear those!

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

Our styles do change and evolve over the years. Partly this is in response to body changes, partly it’s to do with what we see around us, and I think that very much it’s to do with our state of mind. The human race is so diverse – isn’t it a wonderful thing that there are many styles of clothes that we can choose from?

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

I turn fifty years old in a couple of months time. Turning fifty feels like a highly pivotal point for me. It’s given me focus. I’m pretty much half way through my life. How do I feel about my life? What it has been, what I hope it will become? How do I feel about myself, especially at this stage of my life? How do I feel about my looks and my style, and how I present myself?

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

I’ve always been interested in clothes and style. I remember poring through the pages of weekly and monthly magazines that made their way into the house as a child and teenager. I’ve read all those books about dressing to ‘flatter’ and have had my colours ‘done’ (twice, with different results each time). Sewing really gives me the freedom to experiment with style in a way that I don’t think I could do if I bought my clothes.

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

So, as I rapidly approach fifty, what do I think about style? Actually, nothing that I think about style is necessarily set in stone. When it comes to choosing my own clothes, the first thing that I think of is comfort. I have absolutely no interest in wearing clothes that pinch or dig in or restrict my movement (although I sometimes will wear heels in situations where I don’t have to walk much – I love the look of them). And I need to feel like myself in my clothes. I need to put them on and be Lara, not someone else’s idea of me, not what Trinny and Susannah would say is me. My clothes need to feel good to me both physically and psychologically. I like colour, I like variety, I like to mix up shapes and silhouettes. I am not interested in trying to look taller or slimmer or to pretend that I have a waist that I know I don’t actually have. That said, the prevailing culture that I have grown up in and live in assumes that I do want to do those things, and I acknowledge that I am most likely conditioned to aim for that to a certain degree. I suppose that I don’t dress to look larger – but if that’s what happens, too bad!

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

Some people find their style when they’re young, and stick to it. Many of us even have friends who haven’t changed their hairstyle much over the course of their lives! Others play with their style, changing it all the time. I like to think that mine evolves. I have changed as a person over the past almost fifty years – so it is logical to me that the way I present myself changes too. I imagine that this process will continue.

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

Oh my, that got a bit philosophical all of a sudden! I’d better get back to the clothes – after all, this is a sewing blog. The pattern is Vogue 9161, a Marcy Tilton top and skirt combination. From the website: Very loose-fitting, pullover top has neck band, raglan sleeves and stitched hem. Skirt (cut on crosswise grain) has elasticized waistband, right side pocket with casing and tie, tucks/pleats, yoke back, shaped hemline, bias hem facing, and invisible side zipper. Note: Top and skirt, no provisions provided for adjustments.

v9161

You really do need the line drawings to appreciate the details of these items.

v9161

I sewed the top in linen knit from Rathdowne fabrics, and the skirt in a checked cotton that came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table ages ago.  The top was a terrific match for a linen knit.  Loads of drape, little to no recovery needed (those linen knits are delightful to wear but they’re really not suited to lots of knit patterns).  The only part that really needed to fit me was the shoulders and bust.  As you can see there is loads of ease in this pattern!  I chose to sew the Medium, which is size 12-14.  A note on sizing – according to the pattern envelopes I measure around size 18 (larger for my waist).  That would be a ridiculous amount of ease for my shoulders and chest and hips.  I choose the size that I sew according to a few things – the pattern size measurements, the finished garment measurements (sometimes you have to actually measure these on the pattern pieces; they’re not always printed) and the style of the garment.  I look to see what parts are close fitting, and ensure that they will fit my body.  The rest will be accommodated by the ease.

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

There are gussets inserted into the side seams to give this top loads of swing. I chose to twin needle topstitch along the front angled shoulder seams to give them more strength, and also used the twin needle to secure the neckband and the hems. Double sided fusible tape really was my friend when it came to hemming. These linen knits can stretch out so terribly easily! The top was actually pretty straightforward to sew. If you are planning on making this, do note that it’s pretty short. This is to keep the proportions of the top and skirt in combination looking good, and I think that it works really well, but it won’t be to everyone’s taste. I’m also rather short-waisted – my height is in my legs more than my torso – so take that into account too. I also want to point out my gorgeous necklace – a hand-made gift from a highly talented friend. Thanks so much Kathryn!

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

The skirt took a while to sew. Lots of pattern pieces to be cut out single layer, with lots of tucks and folds and darts etc to be marked onto each piece. And you need to make those markings in order to get everything to work out as it should! I rather love the gathered pocket top. I sewed the skirt in size Medium, and included the invisible zip at the waist only to discover that I can pull it on over my comparatively small hips without having to undo the zip. Yay for elastic! It was interesting to sew, and I love the finished effect.  Unsurprisingly, it’s much longer on me than it is on the model.

Vogue 9161 top in linen knit from Rathdowne and skirt in check cotton from Darn Cheap

So there you go – some musings tossed in with some garment sewing information. Every time I put this combination on I feel like ‘me’ – that makes it a definite style winner in my book!

 

adult's clothing · sewing · tessuti patterns

Eva in orange

I’ve sewn up the Tessuti Eva dress a few times now.  Mostly I sew the sleeveless version, but I felt it was time for another with short sleeves.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

I find this an extremely easy style to wear. It’s also rather straightforward to sew, especially when sewing the short sleeved version and eliminating the side seam pockets.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

From the Tessuti website:  This loose dress features a bodice that sits at high waist and a panelled, lantern-shaped skirt with side pockets. It can be made up in either a short-sleeved (A) or sleeveless (B) version. The Eva Dress is designed to be simple and stylish garment and makes for a comfortable and cool addition to your summer wardrobe. It’s best made up in medium weight crinkle and plain linens, textured cottons and cotton blends. For layering in the cooler months, Eva can also be made up in a wool crepe.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 12.38.16 pm

This pattern is one of Tessuti’s earlier patterns, and has recently been redrafted and re-released, including in a larger size range (up to size 22).  My pattern is the original, and I think that I sewed this in size Medium (roughly an Australian size 12).  My measurements are closer to the Large.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

The fabric is hand-woven silk that I bought in Chiang Mai. I turned the neckline binding to the outside for added interest, and did the same to finish the sleeve hems and the skirt hemline. The hemline is quite curved, so bias works well there.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

I chose to sew this dress on the sewing machine then finish all the seams together on the overlocker. I thought that this would be the strongest finish for this fabric, which looks as though it could have a tendency to shred a little under stress. That’s one of the reasons why I left out the pockets – I didn’t want to risk heavy objects pulling down against the seams.

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

I’m very pleased with this dress and know that I am likely to get years of wear from it. The colour is quite iridescent in the sunlight, which isn’t really picked up in these photos. I feel great in it, it’s comfortable, and it holds great memories. What more could you want!

Tessuti Eva dress in hand woven silk from Chiang Mai

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Maude tunic

The Style Arc Maude tunic pattern as a freebie some months ago.  It’s probably not a pattern that I would have bought.  I generally don’t sew or wear collared shirts much.  But as it turns out I really like this one!

Style Arc Maude tunic in synthetic something

The fabric came from the ‘donations’ bin at Sewjourn. There’s a big cardboard box there that has evolved into a collection of fabric that people are willing to share with others. It really comes in handy – quite often it will have the perfect scrap to cut out a facing or pockets or similar when you’ve forgotten to do it before leaving home. And other times it contains full lengths of fabric that someone else no longer wants. That’s where this came from, thank you to the donor!

Style Arc Maude tunic in synthetic something

I love the print, but as you can see the fabric is clearly very synthetic and has developed static and is sticking to me quite a bit. It was a good choice in terms of print and drape, but was also difficult to cut exactly on grain. That centre back seam is twisting a bit – it’s on the bias, but doesn’t look to be correctly on the bias.

Style Arc Maude tunic in synthetic something

There are actually only three pattern pieces for this tunic. The front and back are cut in one without shoulder seams, just that centre back seam. There is a collar stand and collar piece, and that’s it. The centre fronts have self faced button bands, and there is stitching to form armholes. From the Style Arc website: For a new season update to your wardrobe you can’t go past this gorgeous tunic. This cleverly drafted pattern has no shoulder seams and the outside top-stitched side seams allow this tunic to flow with ease. FABRIC SUGGESTION Silk, crepe, rayon or any soft woven fabric with drape.

maude-tunic

I just realised that the centre back seam is missing from the line drawing!  Depending on fabric width you could cut this top with the back ‘seam’ on the fold, which would eliminate the seam, but then you’d be left with the front facings on the bias.  Turning them neatly would then be super tricky!  I strongly suggest keeping the centre front on the straight grain.

Style Arc Maude tunic in synthetic something

I like this much more than anticipated, and would give it another go in a less staticy (I know, that’s not a word) fabric and pay more attention when cutting. This is size 12, no alterations. I was surprised to get a request for the same style from the teen, so it must be okay!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Burda 9839

This little dress is all thanks to Restash.  That’s where I picked up Burda 9839, and the fabric!

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

This little Burda pattern appears to be out of print. It includes some singlet style tops, both regular length and cropped, and a one shouldered dress or cropped top. As is obvious, Stella chose the dress.

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

The pattern included the ruffled neckline option, which Stella was very keen on, so I scrabbled through my stash and found a soft lightweight knit in a coordinating colour. The pattern suggested organza for the ruffle, and using the knit did create some problems in supporting the neckline. Hence the addition of a shoulder strap!

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

There was no way that the dress was going to stay up comfortably without the strap. Actually, I think that even without the weight of the ruffle, a single shouldered dress is not going to sit in the right place on a pre-pubescent body. We also brought in the bodice side seams quite a bit in an attempt to improve the fit there.

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

Anyway, this dress was really made just as a bit of fun. The main fabric is fabulous – cotton/spandex knit with a cactus print! Hooray! There was just enough to sew the dress. It was very straightforward, as you’d expect from looking at it. Front and back and shoulder seam joined on overlocker, turn and stitch hems, add the ruffle. Then the additional shoulder strap. Sorted.

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

It’s rather fun taking blog photos of Stella. She puts on all sorts of poses! Anyway, with the weather cooling down now she’s not likely to get much more wear from this dress until the end of the year. I wonder if it will still fit her!

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra