adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Eme

The time between Christmas and New Year is one of my favourites.  Expectations have evaporated, there are leftovers in the fridge, most people are on leave, Melbourne has cleared out (which makes it great to be here) and I lose track of what day of the week it is.  I’ve pottered around the house, getting lots of chores done in a relaxed pace according to my own timetable and no-one else’s.  Actually, I’ve barely left the house!  The first few days of last week were baking hot which made me very grateful for air-conditioning; fortunately Melbourne has done what it usually does and the last few days have been delightful with cool nights and days in the mid twenties.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Anyway, this is what I wore on Christmas Day. We hosted lunch for 18 people, it was hot outside, and this dress kept me comfortable throughout. It’s the Style Arc Eme dress.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website: Eme is our new summer cocoon shaped dress that is perfect for the beginner sewer, with no fastenings or trim details required. The loose-fitting shape allows for cool fitting during those hot summer days and the lovely darts at the hem complete the cocoon look. With its simple design lines Eme is the perfect pattern for colour blocking. FABRIC SUGGESTION Linen, rayon, silk, cotton, fine wool.

eme-dress

First things first – that line drawing is VERY deceiving regarding the length of this dress.  I know I’m short at 158cm, but in the illustration the dress ends above the knee.  Mine ends well below it.  Actually, most finished versions that I’ve seen definitely look longer rather than shorter.  You might want to take that into account.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It is a simple dress that is straightforward to sew. If you left out the side seam pockets (I included them) you really could ‘whip it up’ in very little time at all! Like all simple things, it needs to be well drafted in order to look good – and in my opinion, this dress is great. The neckline is a great shape, and finishing it with a wide topstitched facing adds a lovely bit of detail. The sleeves can be left longer, or turned back to form a cuff, which is my preference.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The darts at the hemline – two on the front and two on the back – really do give that lovely cocoon shape. I know that it’s not a silhouette for everyone, but it’s definitely one that I like a great deal. No fit and flare in my wardrobe! The hemline also has a wide facing, which gives it body and a little more detail with topstitching.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The fabric came from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s current stock, and I’m pretty sure that it is linen/viscose blend. The colour is wonderful! It was great to sew with and to wear as it combined the best properties of both fibre types. The Eme is a great alternative to that other Style Arc staple, the Adeline.

Style Arc Eme dress in linen blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing · teen

True Bias Ogden cami – from mini to adult

Last Sewjourn I whipped up a mini Ogden cami for Clare.  (Side note: whenever I type ‘whipped up’ I smile.  What a funny expression to use in a sewing context!  And although the implication that whatever is ‘whipped up’ is done in a frenzy, I didn’t rush my way through this.  It’s just not a complicated garment; there are very few pattern pieces, and no tricky finishing techniques).

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

The fabric is printed woven rayon came from Rathdowne Fabrics and was left over from another project. This is the Mini Ogden cami, sewn in size 10 which was the largest size. I doubted that Clare would be a girls size 10, but the chest measurement looked like it would work, and from past experience I knew that for this pattern I needed to select the size based on circumferential measurements.

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

The first thing that I had to do when she tried it on was re-cut the straps. As designed, the size 10 straps were WAY too short for her height.  I cut out and sewed a new set of straps, adding about four inches to the length, then attached them where they best lined up with her bra straps. I’m old fashioned in that way – I prefer underwear to be covered rather than exposed (unless it’s brightly coloured and worn with an outer garment that suggests it is clearly meant for exposure).

True Bias mini Ogden cami in rayon from Rathdowne Fabrics

Now to me there wasn’t enough boob room in the front of the cami. Yes, it fits, in that it goes around her and isn’t skin tight, but the underarm seams are digging in. Time to pull out the adult version of the pattern and give it another go.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 7.45.22 am

The above diagram is the mini Ogden.  The adult version is a little different, which you can see in it’s line diagram below.

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 7.54.52 am

The adult version has a front and back lining piece (it comes down as far as under the bust) and there is no elastic in the back.  Rather, it has a gently curved V neckline like the front.  After checking out the measurements for the adult version I knew that I’d need to sew a muslin.  Clare really needed a size somewhere between the size 10 girls (designed for a 28.5 inch chest) and the size 0 women’s (designed for a 32 inch chest). I found some fabric in the stash, printed and cut out the size 0, and sewed up a wearable muslin.  Then made just-awake Clare try it on with her pyjama bottoms.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

The fabric is printed cotton from deep stash – maybe originally from Spotlight. It’s not as soft and drapey as the rayon I used for the mini Ogden. I used some plain white fabric I found elsewhere in stash for the partial lining, which was much softer and was possibly rayon.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

Now as you can see, the fit of the women’s cami here is WAY better than the mini Ogden. However, as I’d anticipated, the neckline was much too wide and the shoulder straps were too far apart. Clare felt really exposed in this version and wanted more chest coverage. Interestingly, that’s how I felt in the Ogden cami that I made ages ago. When we pinned out a chunk along the centre front and centre back, everything seemed much better.  I cut out a second version of the cami, this time from rayon, but after having folded out 5/8 inch along the centre ‘on the fold’ edge. Yes, I did remember to do this to the lining pieces as well as the front and back pieces! In total this removed two and a half inches from the total circumference of the pattern, while retaining the side seam shaping and the overall neckline shaping.

True Bias Ogden Cami - size 0 no mods

Apparently this is drafted for a C cup bust – which Clare doesn’t have.  However, I didn’t do a SBA.  Once change at a time!  And as it turns out, I didn’t need to.  This version fitted so much better!

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

This alteration also raised the neckline a bit at both the front and the back. Clare was really pleased with it. Not sure that the fabric colour is the best for Clare – her skin tone blends into it a bit – but she’s already wearing it quite a lot! She chose to wear it for her early 16th birthday party celebrations (January birthdays often mean that friends are all away at party time, so we chose to have a pre-Christmas celebration this year).

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

You can see how much better that armhole fit is. The back is deep, but finishes above her bra. Bra straps are still exposed a little bit, but not dramatically so, and the cami straps are in a comfortable place on her shoulders.

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

We’re really pleased with the fit of this cami now, and have fabric queued to sew more. I might even give this pattern another go for myself with similar alterations (cut a larger size than I did last time, then move the pattern piece across to shift the neckline and strap position). Clare is also keen for me to sew it as a slip dress. I have a feeling that this will be a very useful garment in the teen wardrobe over this Australian summer.

True Bias Ogden Cami size 0 with mods in rayon

adult's clothing · sewing

Cashmerette Cedar Dolman top

I bought this pattern for the workout tank (yeah, self delusional regarding the likelihood of doing a workout) but have sewn the Cedar dolman top!

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

From the Cashmerette website: Step up your game with the Cedar Workout Tank and Dolman Top! View A is a sleek workout tank, featuring princess seams, a v-neck or crew neck, optional decorative straps, and an easy foldover elastic finish.  Afterwards, clean up with View B, a casual, dolman sleeve top suitable for drapey wovens or knits, with a relaxed fit and an optional pretty knotted detail. From yoga to brunch, this duo of patterns has you covered with stylish, sporty design.

CedarTechDraw_550x

As is obvious, I sewed view B, the top, with the front tie.  I sewed size 12 C/D, grading to size 14 through the waist.  The fabric is printed rayon from my stash.  For once I am unsure about its provenance – maybe it was a Darn Cheap Fabrics remnant?

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

These photos were taken at the end of a work day, after taking off a jacket, and the sleeves are pretty crumpled. Please take it from me that when pressed they are quite even in length!

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

I faced the neckline, as per the instructions. Generally I swap out neckline facings for binding, and that would have worked quite well as an alternative, but I quite like the structure of the facing on this soft drapey fabric. I had to use a million pins to secure it when I topstitched it in place – I should have pulled out some double sided tape instead. The hemline and ties are also faced and topstitched in place. The sleeve hems are simply turned to the inside and stitched (I did overlock the edge first).

Cashmerette Cedar dolman in woven rayon

This works really nicely with my wide-legged Fifi pants. This is really a wearable muslin – I don’t know if that print in those colours is really me – but I’ll definitely be sewing this pattern again.

adult's clothing · sewing

Iconic Patterns Yalta

I first sewed the Iconic Patterns Yalta top in 2013.  Once again present me is thankful to past me for keeping a record of what I’ve made and when!

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

My blog also reminds me that this was the first iteration of this top by Iconic Patterns. It is still available on the Iconic Patterns website, now known as Top #1105 and I have a vague memory that it was reworked a little at some stage. My top is from the initial release, so if you purchase it now you may find some slight differences.

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is size 14. I deepened the neck facing a little in order for the drape to sit better. The pattern is cut on the bias, and I really like the way that it sits on my body. I cut strips along the stretch of the knit to bind the back neckband and the armholes, and to use to create a casing for the drawstring that gathers the side front.  The fabric is a crinkled wool blend knit that came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table aeons ago.

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

From the pattern website: This top will be your favourite all summer – a cowl neckline, covered shoulders and a relaxed drape. It is very easy to sew and a pleasure to wear. Sew it in a slinky knit for the best results.

Print

Construction was shared between the sewing machine and the overlocker.  I used a simple zig-zag stitch to secure the hem.  I’m really glad that I’ve sewn this top again.

Iconic Patterns Yalta top in crinkled knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Como cardi, top and pants

I liked every piece in the Como bundle when Style Arc released it, but my initial plan wasn’t necessarily to make a coordinating three piece set.  However, that’s exactly what I did!

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

This outfit actually looks better in real life than it does in these photos. Maybe I should start at the top, with the Como cardigan.

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

From the Style Arc website: This long-line fashionable cardi sewing pattern is a must have addition to your wardrobe. It has a cleverly designed all-in-one dropped shoulder line and a front band that hugs the neckline. This cardigan is finished off with two lovely large patch pockets. FABRIC SUGGESTION Wool jersey, baby wool, sweater knit.

como-knit-cardi

I sewed this in a super soft knit that I picked up from Super Cheap Fabrics.  I have no real idea of the fibre composition, but suspect that there is plenty of synthetic in there.  I bought some green spools of thread from Spotlight to overlock it all together, but later discovered that my Juki overlocker really does not like cheap thread.  I had all sorts of problems with the tension, which has unfortunately made some of the seams too tight and pull a bit.  Once I went back to large cones of thread from Rathdowne Fabrics my overlocker became happy again.  But in the meantime I did have some construction issues, and I think that they affect the look of this cardi, especially the dropped shoulder seams.

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

There aren’t shoulder seams with this cardi, just some shoulder darts for shaping. The fronts extend around to the back and form the back yoke with a vertical seam. This changes the grain and stretch quite a bit across the shoulders and where the sleeves join, which is why my overlocker issues caused some problems. Since then I’ve done my best to pull out the tight sections and restitch them, but the resulting garment is far from perfect.

Style Arc Como knit cardigan in soft knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

I found that the sleeves were very long, and since these photos were taken I’ve shortened them some more. I left off the pockets, doubting that I could attach them nicely in this very soft knit. I sewed size 12.  I’m keen to sew this again, but in a slightly more structured knit and using the threads that my overlocker prefers!

Style Arc Como pants in linen knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, on to the Como pants! From the Style Arc website: This fabulous, on-trend knit pant sewing pattern features the new wide leg; not too wide, just perfect. The flat elastic waist and in-seam pockets look great and make the pant so comfortable to wear. Make them with a full-length leg or crop them to what length you prefer. FABRIC SUGGESTION Wool jersey, baby wool, sweater knit.

como-knit-pant

I sewed these in linen knit.  I know, slightly nuts – but it’s what I had in stash, so I figured it was worth a try.  I think that I originally bought it at Rathdowne Fabrics.  I sewed size 12 in the shorter length, without alteration.  I didn’t include the drawstring.

Style Arc Como pants in linen knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

The fabric has a wonderful slubby texture, and these actually feel really good to wear! I used wide elastic in the waistband, trying the pants on before I determined the final elastic length. The legs have a wide hem, and I included the side inseam pockets. We’ll see how well linen jersey works in pants over time, I suppose.

Style Arc Como pants in linen knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, we finally get to the Como top!

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

I picked up this patterned stretch mesh from Lincraft for $2 per metre. I figured that I couldn’t really go wrong. It was perfect for this pattern, because the front is double. I doubled the back as well for consistency.

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

And there we have my usual short back waist issue, which I once again have failed to rectify. Oh well, I can’t see it when I’m wearing it.

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

From the Style Arc website: You will love this versatile knit top sewing pattern. The flattering “V” neckline hugs the neck and is designed to stand at the back. The pattern was designed to have some shape over the body, but not too much, and the shoulder line is extended to cover the shoulders. FABRIC SUGGESTION Baby wool, jersey

como-knit-top

This is a terrific,super simple pattern!  I had to alter the construction a little because I had two back pieces, but that wasn’t difficult.  The front V-neckline is essentially self faced because there are two front pieces.  Style Arc have a YouTube tutorial for this too.  It’s always worth remembering that there are lots of links to tutorials on their website and on their YouTube channel.

Style Arc Como top in stretch mesh from Lincraft

All three of these patterns will get another whirl at a later stage – maybe even in the recommended fabrics!

sewing · teen · tween

New Look 6487

If I keep posting once each day, I might actually get my 2018 sewing up to date before the end of 2018!  That’s incentive!  This dress was sewn for Clare back in September.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

There’s every chance that there will be way too many photos in this blog post, because I love this dress so much!

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

The pattern is New Look 6487, one of their ‘sized for tweens’ patterns.  From their website: Girls’ shirt dresses are adorable in chambray and shirting fabrics. Pattern features collarless dress with long sleeves and shirttail hem, or gathered skirt with appliques. Collared sleeveless dress can have shirttail hem with belt or gathered skirt.

newlook-girls-pattern-6487-envelope-front

I picked up the fabric at Spotlight.  I called in to one of their larger stores one day after dropping the girls off at a Guide camp.  This embroidered chambray jumped out at me, with one of my girls in mind.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

Because the embroidery ran along one selvedge, I had to do most of the cutting out on the cross grain. As with most sewing, getting the cutting out right is vital! I did my best to get the motifs centred and matching, within the limitations of the design. We decided to keep the yoke, pockets, collar and cuffs plain, and focus the embroidery sections along the bottom of the dress and the sleeves.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

You’ve probably already guessed that this was a fairly slow sew. There are lots of components. Cutting out took a while, and so did assembly. Most construction was done on the sewing machine. I only used the overlocker to finish edges.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

When I look at the photos of Clare wearing this I wish that I’d placed the buttons and buttonholes differently. The one above the bust point creates awkward ‘pulls’, which aren’t due to the dress being too small.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

Size wise….what size did we decide on? I’d need to pull out the pattern pieces to check. I have a feeling it was size 12 girls with size 14 length. The sleeves are a fraction long, but she’ll often wear them rolled up.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

The sleeve cuffs are simply constructed, without a tower placket or similar. The sleeve edge is straight, then the shorter cuff is attached to it with a ‘gap’ that forms a pleat when the cuff is buttoned up. It’s actually quite straightforward.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

I found the buttons at The Cloth Shop.  I had plenty of white buttons in stash, but wanted something that would blend in, with more of a ‘jeans’ vibe to tone with the embroidered chambray.  And a shout out to those embroidered platform sandals – they’re from Django & Juliette, via my fave eBay seller.  Like me, Clare (and now Stella) are sample size.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

There are actually a number of options included in this pattern. You can see that Clare chose the classic straight shirt-dress option, with the added tie belt.  This choice did mean that the straight embroidery had to be incorporated into a curved hem.  It’s worked okay.

newlook-girls-pattern-6487-front-back-view

The other options are cute too.  I wonder if Clare or Stella would like view C for summer – maybe with the mandarin collar?  This pattern definitely allows for mixing and matching the details.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

This is probably one of the stand-out garments that I’ve made this year. It has only been worn a couple of times so far, however. The items that are worn the most are the simple Hey June t-shirts that I’ve churned out in multiple (and possibly haven’t even blogged).  I’m confident though that this will stay in the wardrobe and be worn trans-seasonally, as it can also be worn with tights and boots.  A definite success.

New Look 6487 in embroidered chambray from Spotlight

adult's clothing · sewing

Boho Banjo Aurana top

I have admired Pearl Red Moon‘s patterns for some time now.  She is an Australian textile and mixed media artist and in addition to selling jewellery, fabric (via Spoonflower) and finished garments, she has a line of patterns that encourage the maker and wearer to explore their creative side.  Pearl sells via her Etsy shop Boho Banjo art to wear.

Boho Banjo Aurana top in linen scraps

I bought the Aurana top pattern a year or so ago. I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand why I sew some patterns immediately after purchase, but sit on others for a while! I pulled it out back in October when I was strongly feeling the need to ‘play’ a bit with fabric in a creative way. The Aurana top is perfect for mixing and matching.  From the pattern page: A boxy loose fitting womens top. Pulls on over head and has short sleeves. Round neckline with facing. The front of the top features patchworked sections. The back is plain. There are multiple ways the design could be interpreted and here are some of the designers suggestions:
1) make as a “bojagi” type patchwork, with the garment made in a sheer fabric like silk or organza and with either flat felled seams or french seams on the outside of the garment.
2) patchwork made in 2, 3 or more solid colours.
3) patchwork made in a combination of stripes in varying directions. Stripe fabrics of varying widths could be used and even different colours.
4) patchwork made in a combination of solid colours and prints.
5) Make the centre front V section in a sheer or lacy fabric and the remainder in solid.
6) To make the black and red version with textile art embellishment as shown on the Aurana Top cover page visit my blog at http://www.pearlredmoon.com and download the link given to the FREE TUTORIAL in the right side bar.  The tutorial is for a fabric embellishment technique that can be used as a surface applique on clothing. In it I outline how to apply the piece that is made to the Aurana Top. However, experienced sewists could easily use the technique to apply to any other item of clothing. The tutorial is available to anyone for free, without any obligation or need to purchase the Aurana Top PDF sewing pattern.

il_fullxfull-1251263328_bnc4

I love that Pearl gives many suggestions to spark the maker’s creativity and shows each pattern made up in a variety of ways.  For me making this top involved pulling out my many linen scraps, then getting to work with the scraps on the pattern pieces to figure out how they’d best work together. I pulled out a selection of colours then moved them around to get a sense of the most pleasing colour combinations and proportions.

Boho Banjo Aurana top in linen scraps

Once I’d figured out which fabrics would go where I pinned the pattern pieces on and cut them all out, then carefully assembled them in the order of the pattern instructions. I decided to use different colours for the sleeves and to simply piece the back as well.

Boho Banjo Aurana top in linen scraps

Rather than using the supplied facing pieces to finish the neckline, I cut bias strips from other scraps of linen and ran them through one of my handy Clover bias binding makers. The binding was then sewn to the right side of the top before being turned to the inside and machine stitched in place. The nice wide hems were overlocked then turned to the inside and machine stitched as well.

Boho Banjo Aurana top in linen scraps

I’m very happy with the way that this top fits me. I sewed size Small, which is for bust sizes between 100-109 cm (39-43 inches). Side note – despite being Australian, and brought up entirely using the metric system, I tend to talk about sewing in a mixture of imperial and metric systems. I blame this on learning to sew from American patterns. I’ve been forced to think in both systems for body measurements and seam allowances!

Boho Banjo Aurana top in linen scraps

The pdf printed and assembled well. I used the print at home version, but it also comes with a copy shop file. Instructions were thorough and comprehensive. I’ve recently bought the Zambeesie jacket pattern, which I also plan to sew from scraps, and I also own the End Point dress pattern. I rather fancy the Marama coat and the Pheenie dress. The pattern sizing starts with the Small that I made, and goes to Extra Large with a 49 to 52 inch bust. They’re designed to be roomy.

Boho Banjo Aurana top in linen scraps

If you like ‘art-teacher chic’ (which I do) and want some encouragement to get a bit more creative and find patterns with unusual design lines I really encourage you to check out Boho Banjo art to wear.  They’re the type of designs that could look completely different sewn in a single fabric versus in a combination of fabrics.  You can sew them in ways that are really ‘out there’, and are truly pieces of art to wear, or you can sew them in ways that are more subtle and low key. It’s really just up to your own style and your imagination!  No-one has asked me to promote these patterns, by the way – I just reckon that they’re great.

Boho Banjo Aurana top in linen scraps