Jungle Inari

A year or two ago I took part in a Jungle January fabric swap.  While I sent some of this gorgeous zebra-striped linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics to Liz, I also bought a length to keep.  You’re not really surprised, are you?

Named Inari dress in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, this is actually the first Named Patterns Inari Dress that I sewed, quite some months ago. I think it was a non-seasonal sew, which made it perfect to take up to FNQ.

Named Inari dress in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I suspect that I sewed the straight size 40. I have heard that others have had difficulties with the armscye drafting of this pattern restricting movement – I haven’t experienced that as an issue at all. Maybe it just depends on your shape!  No concerns at all in wearing – but be aware that when you sit down or bend over that hemline definitely rises!

Named Inari dress in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Those curved side seams and the splits at the bottom really make this dress, in my opinion. I know that the top version has been popular too, but it seems pretty “meh” and standard to me. It’s the dress shaping that really appeals.

Named Inari dress in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was shared between the overlocker and the sewing machine. I finished the neckline with a facing, that I topstitched down, and I also topstitched the hems to secure. I wear this one with the sleeve cuffs folded up (with my ponte Inari I leave them down).

Named Inari dress in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

If you like a sack dress – you all know thatI do! – and for some reason you haven’t sewn this one yet, I do recommend it. Especially in linen – the way that the fabric relaxes and moulds to your body, without clinging in any way, makes for a terrific summer garment.

Named Inari dress in linen from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Nantucket One-Piece swimsuit

One pair of bathers apparently wasn’t enough for our FNQ holiday – Clare needed a one-piece as well!

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

Okay, I have a confession – Clare wasn’t the one pushing the “I need more bathers” barrow – it was me wanting to sew more of the lovely swimwear fabric that was in my stash! This fabric came from Rathdowne Fabrics. Those butterflies and flowers are so pretty! This was such a pretty fabric that it called for a fairly simple pattern. And I found the Peekaboo Patterns Nantucket One-Piece swimsuit pattern in my stash. I think I’d originally bought it as part of a pattern bundle.

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

Of course, the back is the highlight of these bathers. Such a lovely low scoop, highlighted with cross-over straps. The description from the website is as follows:  Get ready for a trip to the seashore with the Nantucket One-Piece Swimsuit! The Nantucket features a gathered front neckline and cross-back straps finished in a darling bow. With excellent bum coverage your little one will be comfortable playing all day long in a suit that’s sure to please. Check the Ultimate Swimsuit Fabric Shopping Guide for help finding the perfect fabric for your project :) Tutorial includes tips for sewing on swimsuit fabric and achieving a professional finish. No serger required. Includes instructions for an optional lining.  Pattern comes with a full tutorial and color photos in an easy to print PDF. Pattern pieces are computer generated and color coded for easy cutting. 

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

This pattern ranges in size from 3 months to size 12.  I used a combination of sizes 10 and 12 for Clare, grading up to the 12 for her hips.  I fully lined the bathers, then zig-zagged the edges together and treating them as one.  The edging was all done with fold-over elastic, so I had to depart from the instructions a little bit there. These were faster to sew than I had anticipated, and once again all the sewing was done on the sewing machine. That zig-zag stitch really earned its place!

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

If anything, the upper chest is a little wide and bags a fraction. The pattern has a casing here, with the ties threaded through it, which would gather it in a little. I could have probably pulled the elastic tighter when applying it to the upper front, which would have had the same effect. However, we’re both happy with these bathers overall.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic

When I bought the Daphne Duo patterns, the Dahlia tunic was one of the free patterns for the month.  I buy Style Arc patterns in pdf format via Etsy or Gumroad, but prefer to buy the hard copy via the Style Arc website – and there is also a free pattern on offer with every purchase.  This one was right up my alley.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic in Indian block printed cotton

From the Style Arc website: DAHLIA TUNIC:  Three different looks in one – Boxy top + Singlet top + Layered Tunic. The trendy boxy top can be worn alone or as a layered piece with the attached singlet, of course the singlet can be made separately as a basic for your wardrobe. So many alternatives, different colours, textures, prints – the choice is yours.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Crepe, Silk, Rayon.

dahlia-tunic

Once again I scrabbled through my stash.  It is a rather deep stash!  I came up with this beautiful soft block printed Indian cotton that was a gift my sister-in-law brought back for me after a holiday.  I love getting fabric gifts!  I thought that it would be perfect for the overlayer.  For the underlayer I dug even further into the stash and found some navy fabric of indistinct origin.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic in Indian block printed cotton

I was able to cut the fabric to take advantage of the border print across the front. I also cut bias strips to use for binding the armholes of the underlayer.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic in Indian block printed cotton

The sleeveless top underneath is sewn to the overlayer at the neckline, but that’s all. You can sort of see it in these photos.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic in Indian block printed cotton

The small darts coming from the armholes provide lovely bust shaping, and fit my C cup quite well. They’d be easy to alter for different sizes.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic in Indian block printed cotton

The overlayer is much larger than the top underneath, and floats quite nicely over it. Style Arc suggest that both pieces could be made independently, and that is definitely the case. I can envisage this top made up with a lace overlayer and a contrasting fabric for the sleeveless top underneath. You could play with fabric combinations quite a lot.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic in Indian block printed cotton

I am rather drawn to patterns that have a looser layer over a more fitted one at the moment, and have identified quite a few that are already in my stash. These include Style Arc Tammy, Style Arc Kylie (already sewn once but as yet unblogged) and Butterick 6048. I can see a bit of experimentation with this silhouette ahead of me.

Style Arc Dahlia tunic in Indian block printed cotton

By the way, the pants are vintage McCalls 8149 and were blogged here.

Style Arc Daphne Duo

I also took the opportunity before our Queensland holiday to sew up a few new garments for myself.  Style Arc don’t appear to stick to any particular season when they release patterns, it seems to me – which makes sense considering they are selling internationally – and the Daphne Duo Tunic and Daphne Duo Pant had been recent purchases.  It was nice to have the opportunity to sew them shortly after release instead of having to wait until the Victorian weather warmed up!

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

So, how about I describe each piece at a time? I’ll start with the Daphne Duo Tunic. This is the description from the Style Arc website:  DAPHNE DUO TUNIC: A tunic pattern that is simple but the interesting hem tucks gives this overtop the new cocoon shape. Oversized but flattering it is perfect with our Daphne Duo Pant. It can be worn casually or add a necklace or scarf for a great special occasion look.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Crepe, linen, any soft woven.

daphne-tunic

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

I’ve had this lovely madras check in stash for some time – I am fairly sure that it came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. It seemed to me to be a perfect match for this pattern. Now, this pattern is as simple as it appears to be. One back pattern piece, one front pattern piece, bias cut bindings for the neckline and the hemline.

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

Despite the simplicity of the pattern, it is given a lovely “cocoon” shape through the use of tucks at the front and back hemline. As always, I take my time when doing these, refer to the instructions and to my own common sense. They were fairly simple to make.

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

I rather like an inside binding as a way to finish neckline, and around hemlines. The bias provides the flexibility to get a nice smooth finish, and sews nicely to curves. The topstitching looks good on this top too. Overall, it’s a win!

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

The check is yarn-dyed, not printed. I much prefer a yarn dyed check – not only does it mean that the pattern goes precisely along the grainline, it gives more opportunities for using both sides of the fabric. I still have some of this left in stash, and think that it’s quite likely to resurface again this summer.

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

The Daphne Duo pants were designed to go along with the tunic. The website description is as follows: DAPHNE DUO PANT: A pant that is a perfect partner to our Daphne Duo Tunic. The side seam ankle tucks gives the legs an interesting shape and sets it apart from a regular elastic waist pull on pant.  Using a stretch woven fabric for the back waistband allows this pant to sit on the waist without bulk across the hip.  You will enjoy wearing this fashionable yet comfortable pant.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Crepe, silk, woven that drapes.  Stretch woven (we used Bengaline with 30% stretch) for the back waistband.

daphne-pant

There is still elastic in the waistband, which provides it with a bit of extra structure and support.  I sewed my pants in a cross-woven linen from Spotlight that has also been sitting in stash for a while.  The threads in one direction are brown, and in the other direction they are black.  The stretch fabric used for the side and back waistband is Style Arc bengaline, found among my scraps.

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

I sewed these as a straight size 12. I should have shortened the leg length a little at around knee height. They are wearable as they are, but the leg tucks would be better positioned that way. I could probably have got away with my usual Style Arc size 10 pants sizing.

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

These pants were terrific to wear, and fast to construct. Once again, there will be repeats of this pattern sewn. The top and pants do work together very nicely, and are comfortable on my thick-middled shape. Another Style Arc win!

Style Arc Daphne Duo tunic and pant

Mountain Ash Designs two-piece

Before we went to Cairns Clare decided that she needed new bathers.  She wanted a two-piece, but one that would be practical.  We searched the stash, then searched online.  We found the Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates #1 pattern.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

The pattern description from the website is as follows: Make your own tankinis and bikinis using this pdf sewing pattern with options for a crop top or singlet top and briefs for swimming. Garments are designed to be made from stretch fabric and can be sewn using an overlocker/ serger or a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. Pattern will fit girls in sizes 2-14 years.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

I have already forgotten what sizes we sewed for Clare, but we pretty much looked at the sizing chart and went by that. It was possibly a 12 for the pants and a 10 for the crop top. The fabric is a swimwear nylon/lycra remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics, and the lining probably came from there as well. I fully lined both the bottoms and the top by cutting the pattern pieces from the lining as well then laying the two together after sewing side seams. Edges were finished with neon orange fold over elastic that was in my stash.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

The straps were criss-crossed at the back, tried on and pinned in place before sewing to ensure that they were the right length. As I had just enough leftover fabric, I also made another wrap bikini top to coordinate.  Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of that one yet! It’s based on the Madalynne Sierra bra, modified to work in swimwear lycra.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

Bathers are surprisingly satisfying to sew.  I think that these were done entirely on the sewing machine, with a straight stitch to join the side seams and a zig-zag stitch to attach the fold over elastic.  You get better at how much tension to put on the elastic the more that you do it.  You can’t see it clearly in the photos, but this fun fabric has a glittery overprint.  There are terrific bathers fabrics around, especially at shops like Rathdowne Fabrics.  I find that no matter what I do, bathers really only last a year, so I’m glad that I enjoy sewing them!  I’m amassing a rather nice stash of women’s bathers patterns to sew as Clare and Stella get older.

yet another circle skirt

Clare's circle skirt in textured knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

It’s a skirt. It’s a circle. It has an elastic waist. And the hem was left raw.

Clare's circle skirt in textured knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

The fabric is a textured knit from Rathdowne Fabrics, and the waistband wide black elastic from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I cut the elastic to her waist measurement, and sewed the ends into a circle. The skirt was “drafted” using one of the online circle skirt calculators that is available online, using Clare’s waist measurement and the desired length. It is a full circle, and fitted onto the fabric without the need for any seams – so I essentially cut out a donut shape.

Clare's circle skirt in textured knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

And yes, it twirls! Even thirteen year old girls like a twirl.

Clare's circle skirt in textured knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

I simply zig-zagged the skirt to the elastic waistband after quarter marking both. So simple. As it turns out, Clare is wearing it with the waistband turned over once to shorten it a little. Just like she does with the winter school uniform skirt….

Clare's circle skirt in textured knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, if you’re looking for some tween/teen sewing for a girl that likes skirts, don’t forget the simple circle skirt, especially in a knit with an elastic waistband. Just choose a fabric that they like, and it will be a winner!

Clare's circle skirt in textured knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

Style Arc Goldie, Style Arc Olive and a Fadanista Sneaky Shrug

Style Arc Goldie skirt and Olive top with Fadanista Sneaky Shrug (all fabrics are remnants)

This is another three-in-one garment post! I’ll start with the top, I think.

Style Arc Olive spliced tee (not spliced) in quilted remnant from The Cloth Shop and wool knit remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is the Style Arc Olive top. The pattern is actually for a spliced top with a little inseam pocket on the front. I decided not to splice it, so simply overlaid the pattern pieces and cut on the fold in order to have a full front and a full back piece.

Style Arc Olive spliced tee (not spliced) in quilted remnant from The Cloth Shop and wool knit remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Style Arc describe this pattern as follows: OLIVE SPLICED TEE: Use your imagination & splice this top using multi colours, print & plain… the choices are endless. This square cut “T” features a cute pocket also has the fashionable extended back hemline and dropped shoulder. Choose your sleeve length, cap or full length.  FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Knit or light woven. The lower back panels can be in a silk or rayon for a bit of a difference.

olive-spliced-top

As you can see, I chose the full length sleeve.  I used a textured knit remnant from The Cloth Shop for the front and back, and the sleeves and neckband were sewn from a wool blend jersey knit remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics.  Yes, this is another remnant garment.  Actually, I think that the entire outfit is sewn from remnants!

Style Arc Olive spliced tee (not spliced) in quilted remnant from The Cloth Shop and wool knit remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I really like the variation in hem length. Being essentially a simple tee, this was a straightforward garment to sew, primarily on the overlocker. I used the twin needle on the machine to secure hems. I suspect that this is an often overlooked Style Arc pattern, but think it is a very good one to have in your sewing arsenal. I’ll be playing around with it more in the future. I like the neckline depth, there are sleeve length options, and the pattern pieces allow for fun combinations of colours, fabrics or textures. You’ll see this one again. I used size 12, and think that there is a nice amount of ease through the body.

Style Arc Olive spliced tee (not spliced) in quilted remnant from The Cloth Shop and wool knit remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics

These photos suggest that a FBA and/or dart could be needed. Hmmm. I expect a fit like this with a boxy style like this, and those folds from bust to armhole are possibly a little fabric dependent as well. It’s not bothering me, but might bother you. So, to the skirt.

Style Arc Goldie skirt in denim remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

It’s the Style Arc Goldie skirt, in the longer length. I have had the double-ended zipper languishing in stash for ages – and it was just the perfect length for this skirt!

Style Arc Olive tee with Style Arc Goldie skirt

The skirt has really interesting side seaming, which allowed me to indulge in my love of topstitching. The pattern description from the Style Arc website is as follows:  GOLDIE WOVEN SKIRT:  Fabulous skirt with a wonderful shape. This skirt has been designed without a side seam, the clever side panels allows this skirt to have a clean smooth line over the hip. Goldie has two lengths – classic knee length we made in fine wool, and the mini we made in denim with lots of top stitch to give a completely different look. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Wool, Cotton, Denim or even a Ponte.

goldie-skirt

As you can see, the “knee length” is more a midi-length on my 158cm frame.  I sewed size 12, but first altered the pattern pieces at the waist edge to add a few inches to accommodate my thick waist.  I referred to my Lekala two seam skirt pattern pieces when altering the Goldie ones, and simply slashed and spread the pattern.

Style Arc Goldie skirt in denim remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

The fabric is a “coated” denim from Rathdowne Fabrics (yes, it was a remnant). From the reverse it looks like a typical indigo denim, but from the front it’s definitely green. I really like it and wish I had more. You can see the difference in each side here.

Style Arc Goldie skirt in denim remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

I chose to do the topstitching in navy blue, mostly to highlight the navy elements of the fabric. As is usually the case, the denim was very easy to work with.

Style Arc Goldie skirt in denim remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

The double ended zip is rather fun as I use the waist tab to get into and out of the skirt and can adjust the hem zip to provide a walking split in the skirt if needed. I think this is a great skirt pattern, and will possibly try the shorter version as well at a later stage.

Style Arc Goldie skirt in denim remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, to the jacket! This is a really fun and surprisingly versatile addition to my wardrobe.

Fadanista Sneaky Shrug in woven wool boucle remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

This is the Fadanista Sneaky Shrug. Sue has a tutorial on how to sew this on her blog. I used a soft woven vintage wool boucle that was a Rathdowne Fabrics remnant. One of the fun things about using this particular fabric is that it is double sided, you get get glimpses of the lighter colour (steaming out that back crease before wearing might have been a good idea).

Fadanista Sneaky Shrug in woven wool boucle remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

Fadanista Sneaky Shrug in woven wool boucle remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

Fadanista Sneaky Shrug in woven wool boucle remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

It can actually be worn inside out – or upside down!

Fadanista Sneaky Shrug in woven wool boucle remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

Fadanista Sneaky Shrug in woven wool boucle remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics

It is a rather origami-like garment, entirely sewn from rectangles, and took a bit of pinning together and diagram studying. I can see more of these in my future. I particularly like the longer “flaps” at the front edges. I suspect that I’m quite a bit shorter and fatter than Sue, but I used the same measurement as she did for her sneaky shrugs and think that it still fits me quite well.

Style Arc Goldie skirt and Olive top with Fadanista Sneaky Shrug (all fabrics are remnants)

This is definitely another outfit combination that is very “me”. I love it. By the way, the silk scarf is also from a fabric remnant!