Yet another Tessuti Fave top

If you’re after a fast, effective sew then I highly recommend the Tessuti Fave top (free pattern).

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is another “one size fits most” pattern, so keep that in mind when you sew it up.  Because of the style it is fairly flexible.  I have sewn it without any body width or length alterations, but have lengthened the sleeves to full length.  This was done via the technical method of just keeping on cutting until I thought the length looked about right.

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This gives you an idea of the shape of this top. One pattern piece for the front, one pattern piece for the back. The sleeves are meant to be fitted, and indeed I think that if they weren’t the volume of the tee body would just swamp you. If you wanted to make this pattern smaller or larger it would be pretty easy to either slash and spread or to fold in to make it smaller. For reference, I’m 158cm tall, and wear roughly an Australian size 12 top in RTW.

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Fabric really is the key to making this top work. It needs to have loads and loads of drape. This poly/spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics works perfectly. Lots of four-way stretch, which makes the fitted sleeves comfortable, and lots of drape so that it hangs down nicely. You really do need to choose something that flows. As you can see, I took advantage of the leftovers to make a coordinating infinity scarf. It’s rather long, so I can wear it hanging down as above, or double loop it to make it shorter as in the first photo.  I don’t use a pattern for these scarves/cowls – there are plenty of tutorials out there if you need one though.  I basically just sew the leftovers into a tube by stitching the long edges together, then joining the short ends together.  Easy peasy!

Tessuti Fave top in poly spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was on the overlocker (only four seams – one shoulder/arm, the other shoulder/arm, one side/underarm, the other side/underarm; it really is straightforward) and hems were stabilised with Vilesofix tape then twin needled. The neckline had the same treatment – turned to the inside and secured then twin needled. You could add a band or finish the neckline however you like.  This pattern has been around for ages, and you can see my other versions of it here.

Style Arc Pearl top

I am SO behind with blogging garments that I have sewn.  Every now and then I think I’ll just not bother, but then I remember that I really do like to document what I’ve made for future reference.  And I know that others appreciate seeing patterns on “real” people.  So I will catch up at some stage, with blog posts out of order, sometimes months after the garment is sewn.  So please bear with me!

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

This is the Style Arc Pearl top. Details from the Style Arc website are as follows:

PEARL KNIT TOP: The gorgeous draped side panel cleverly creates an interesting pocket detail.  The asymmetrical hemline adds a stylish effect to this on trend top.  Mix it up by using different textures or colours.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Jersey knit, any soft drapery knit, t-shirt knit

pearl-top

I sewed it in size 12, in a viscose/lycra knit from Tessuti (a Christmas gift to myself – does anyone else do that?  I bought it and wrapped it and put it under the Christmas tree…) The colours are absolutely me – especially when my hair is freshly dyed.  The neckline is higher than I would prefer, and to me it looks a little higher than in the illustration.  However, I do have a forward head and rounded upper back, so on my shape necklines can often look and feel higher than illustrated.  That is something that I need to keep in mind as I get older and spend most of my time looking forward (either on the computer for work or pleasure or sewing or reading or crocheting or texting).  Scoop that front neckline lower, and consider other appropriate adjustments!

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

This top is not terribly fitted, which suits me fine, especially at the moment where I am experiencing some cognitive dissonance with my weight gain and consequent increased belly deposits. I don’t intend to change my diet or exercise regime, so my weight isn’t going to drop. I enjoy food and a glass of wine, and have found that every time I have dieted in the past I just end up fatter six months later. Intellectually I am fine with my weight and shape, especially since all my other health indicators are well within range, but sometimes how I look in the mirror doesn’t match up to the picture of myself that I have in my head! So tops that skim my midsection work very well for me.

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

The main appeal of this top is of course the little draped pocket. It’s actually very easy to sew, being incorporated into a few seamlines, and adds an extra touch to what would otherwise be a fairly basic tunic length tee. I really like the slim sleeves, especially in this fabric, and feel that they balance out the less fitted body of the top.

Style Arc Pearl top in viscose lycra knit from Tessuti

I think I’ll use this pattern again, and do recommend it. Just make sure that you choose a knit with nice drape so that the pocket can hang well.

Style Arc Hazel dress

I came across this bright digitally printed scuba knit at Spotlight a few months ago, on sale.  I don’t actually go in to Spotlight for fabric as a general rule (I have many other sources that I think provide better quality for the price) but do go in to take advantage of their pattern sales.  Sometimes I can’t resist a browse among the bolts, and that is when I spotted this.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

I love the colours – so bright! – and I love the abstract nature of the print. Those touches of yellow throughout are perfect for me too. The pattern is the Style Arc Hazel.

hazel-combo

HAZEL COMBO: This cocoon-type dress is Style Arc’s take on the exciting new oversized shape of this season. We’ve provided so many options for you with this pattern. Make it with or without sleeves. Make it with or without hidden pockets. You can even choose to make it as a top! 

FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Soft Ponte, Wool boucle, Stable jersey knit with drape or any fabric with a slight stretch and drape

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

Scuba fabrics are very easy to sew. I’ve made a few garments from scuba now, and have found that the fabric does vary a bit in thickness and drape. They’re all 100% polyester double knit, and have a cool feel to the skin and lots of body. Not having to finish edges makes them a quick sew too. But for me the main appeal is the variety of prints and the intensity of the colours that are used on them.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

This one really shows the shape of the dress. It can be made without the 3/4 sleeves, and can be shortened to a top. I don’t think that I’ve finished with this pattern yet, actually. I’d like to try it in some softer knits than scuba, and the seaming really lends itself to colour blocking if that is what you are in to. There are little pockets hidden in the front seam between the bodice and the skirt, which are rather cute and just big enough for a mobile phone or work ID card.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

Construction was shared between the overlocker and the sewing machine. I can’t remember encountering any issues, but I did sew this a couple of months ago. Construction was fairly logical, and I assume that the Style Arc instructions – that I think included a diagram or two – were quite adequate.  I did a fair bit of twin needle topstitching to highlight seam lines and to secure hems and facings.

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

I sewed straight size 12, choosing according to hip measurement as the rest of the garment is oversized enough to accommodate bust and protruding tummy. I have discovered that batwing sleeves like this are difficult to wear under other things. I need to consider what jackets or coats I have before I sew too many more of them – that dropped armhole and all that fabric in the sleeve area doesn’t fit easily under more fitted garments. Something to keep in mind!

Style Arc Hazel dress in printed scuba from Spotlight

Tween winter raglan dress

Clare spotted this fabric at Darn Cheap Fabrics when I was on a stash enhancement visit one day.  The printed side is smooth, and the reverse soft and fleecy.  She wanted an easy warm winter dress.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s really just a long raglan windcheater. We based the dress on the BurdaStyle Sweater Dress 10/2014 #144, which I’d sewn for Clare last year.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I reprinted the pattern and taped pieces together to eliminate the contrasting sections.  Then I was left with a very straightforward front pattern piece, back pattern piece and sleeve pattern piece.  I cut size 146 and added some length- I remembered that last year’s dress was very short!  I cut full length sleeves, narrowing them toward the wrist, and eliminated the back zipper completely.  So really, imagine the line drawing of the original pattern simplified to the absolute basics!

144-102014-m_large

Because there was a definite “stripe” to the print, once again I had to pay attention to print matching.  I tend to match from the armholes down, and from the bottom of the armscye up for raglan sleeves.  In this case I cut the front piece first, then lined it up beside the back piece to ensure that the print would run across it properly.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I cut a neckband from black viscose spandex and cut it to length and applied it according to Gillian’s tutorial. Way easier than attempting a neckband in the self fabric, and I think a better finish than using a facing around the neckline. The black contrast just somehow finishes the otherwise super simple dress quite nicely.

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was all on the overlocker, but I did use the sewing machine with a twin needle to finish around the neckline and to hem the sleeves and the bottom of the dress. This was SO fast to sew. I think including printing the pattern and cutting out the dress it took around an hour. Maybe an hour and a half. And most importantly – it was exactly what Clare had envisaged. The sewing mum wins again!

BurdaStyle dress 144 10/2014 in fleecy backed sweatshirt knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Speaking of sewing mums winning, if you don’t already follow the blog Five and Counting, you definitely should.  Nicole sews the most divine clothing for her entire family, including herself, her husband, and her six children who range in age from toddler to young adult.  She does beautiful work, always incorporating the wishes of her kids into what she sews.  Her blog is a must read.

Another Maddison

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. If you buy the pdf patterns via my Gumroad links, I make a little bit of money that is likely to go toward buying myself yet more Style Arc patterns…

Yes, another pattern repeat. This one is the Style Arc Maddison for a second time. There may yet be a third.  I’d be interested to see this sewn in a woven.

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

The striped knit that I used this time is from Rathdowne Fabrics. It feels like a cotton spandex but there might be some viscose in there as well. I could not resist the colours.

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, once again we have stripes, which once again entails stripe matching. The only place that gave me pause for thought was the sleeves. The stripe is an uneven stripe. I decided to keep the focus on the most strongly coloured stripe – the black – and keep the pattern symmetrical rather than matching exactly. The result is that one sleeve is green on the front whereas the other is grey. I think that with a little more thought I might have been able to make the sleeves complete mirror images of one another, but will have to play with the scraps of the fabric to check it that really is possible or if I am deluding myself with this uneven stripe. I did manage to cut the sleeve cuffs so that they lined up perfectly with the same colours on the body.   I did similar with the neckband, to continue on the striping of the colours in the same order.  Win to me!

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

MADDISON TOP: A great everyday raglan sleeved top with a slight trapeze the body, the wide hem allows this top to fall beautifully. Make this in a stripe to show off all the design lines. This top can be made in a knit or a stretch woven fabric.

FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit, Ponte, Crepe with a natural stretch or Silk

madison-top

I sewed size 12, the same as the first time, and construction was primarily on the overlocker.  The lower hem and neckband topstitching were with the twin needle on the sewing machine.

Style Arc Maddison top in striped knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

Both this Maddison and the first one I made are already favourites in my casual wardrobe. I think they’re especially good for in-between weather.  Style Arc have the paper pattern available from their website, and the pdf is available from their Gumroad store or via Etsy.

Another Crafty Mamas Triangle dress

Sometimes I get so excited by the result of a new pattern that I sew it up again almost straight away.  That is what happened with the Crafty Mamas Triangle dress.  After sewing my first one, I quickly pulled more fabric out of stash and launched into another.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

This time I overlaid the front yoke pattern piece onto the front dress pattern piece before cutting out in order to eliminate the yoke seam completely. Much easier when I was sewing the dress entirely in stripes! I also scooped the front neckline an inch or so lower than the pattern.  I stayed with the size Large as I was so pleased with the fit of my first dress.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I still have some things to address with fit through the back waist of patterns.  I think that there is just too much length there.  I am fairly short-waisted, but in the front the extra fabric length is used up by my boobs and my gut.  Those things aren’t in the back, and I really do need to remember to alter patterns BEFORE I cut them out, rather than when I look at the photos taken afterward.  Of course, I can’t see how the back looks in the mirror, so it’s easy to forget.  I folded up the sleeve pattern piece a little to both narrow the sleeve toward the wrist and shorten it before cutting out, as I’d made that alteration after the fact the first time that I sewed it.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I also decided to sew a matching cowl from the scraps left over after cutting out the dress. I had to piece the scraps together, so there are some weirdly angled seams in the cowl, and the length and width was determined entirely by the size of the scraps. I like wearing scarves in winter, and a separate cowl like this is handy because there is no risk of it slipping around or falling off.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It - neckband detail

The fabric is french terry, from Clear It. I wonder if they still have some left – there were bolts and bolts when I bought it last year. You can see in this photo that it has a smooth face with a looped pile on the back. Construction was all on the overlocker, with hems twin needled on the machine after securing with Vliesofix tape. I also twin needled alongside the raglan seams as a design detail.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I am very happy with the way this fits at the upper back and shoulders. It’s a super snug dress, and a perfect garment to layer with tights and boots and a jacket for winter.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

The hem was cut at the pattern length for the dress, and on me the front curve falls just above the knee. I’m 158cm tall, for reference. You can see in this photo that I did made the effort to match my stripes, rather successfully. I do prefer them to all line up properly! Successful stripe matching starts at the cutting stage – you have to pay attention with the pattern placement on the fabric before you even cut into it, then I use plenty of pins to match the stripes before sewing.

Crafty Mamas Triangle dress in french terry from Clear It.  Cowl from scraps.

I will probably put this pattern aside for now, but I’m pretty sure that you haven’t seen the last of it yet. And I have a new Crafty Mamas pattern to move on to – I’m planning a long sleeved winter dress using the Queen Bee pattern.

Style Arc Esme again

I have a few repeat patterns to show you.  First up is the Style Arc Esme top.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

You can see my first go at this pattern here. Style Arc describe the pattern as follows: ESME DESIGNER KNIT TOP: “The Wanted” garment of the season. This knit top has a fabulous bias cut collar that can stand fashionably high or turned over. Make it sleeveless or with sleeves for the cooler months.FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Ponte, Scuba or any fabric with a stretch component.

esme-top

This time around I sewed the top in scuba from Spotlight.  The large abstract pattern really appealed to me in the shop – as did the sale price at the time.  Scuba is very easy to sew, and has plenty of body, but this one was a little softer than others I have used.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

This time around I had enough fabric to cut the collar on the bias, which is really does need. In combination with the slight softness of this scuba, it has resulted in a collar that rolls beautifully, just as it is meant to.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

I really like the deep hems on this top in combination with the longer back and the side splits. This is so easy to do, but adds a point of difference in comparison to a regular straight around hem.

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight

I sewed straight size 12, with no alterations. Construction was shared between the overlocker and the sewing machine, with the twin needle being used to finish the hems. The pants that I am wearing with it are Style Arc Barb pants, in Style Arc bengaline. I don’t think that I have finished with this pattern yet – I’d like to try both the collarless version and the extended shoulder version, probably in soft ponte. Watch this space!

Style Arc Esme top in scuba from Spotlight