children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Handmade City Park Tee

You’ve seen a few of the Hey June Handmade juniors patterns on my blog before.  Here’s another one!  This time the City Park Tee.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

These were sewn back in March when the weather turned cool. They’re both size 12, and Clare has been wearing them all winter. They should definitely see her through to summer! The pattern description and line drawing from the website are as follows:  The City Park Tee is a casual tee for juniors in sizes 6 – 16.  It comes with the option for a v-neck or scoop neck, shirt length or tunic length, and has four sleeve lengths included – short, elbow, 3/4, and long. The City Park Tee is incredibly versatile depending on what options you choose, your fabric, and any embellishments you choose to add.  Embroider, applique, screen print, stencil, dye, sequin – this tee is a perfect blank slate for anything you can dream up. This pattern works nicely with jerseys, both cotton and cotton blends, but you can also use rib knit, interlock, waffle knit, lycra spandex, or even stretch lace!  Anything with a stretch of at least 30% will work, but 50 – 100% stretch is best.  Just remember – the smaller the stretch percentage, the more fitted the shirt will be.

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 10.18.42 am

As you can see, we chose to sew the scoop neck, long sleeve, tunic length version of the tee.  The striped fabric is a cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics.  The other tee was sewn from a combination of viscose/lycra for the body (so super soft and drapey) but printed cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics for the sleeves and neckband.  I was trying to use up more of my quality knit leftovers!

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Both tees were sewn on the overlocker, with the twin needle on the sewing machine used to secure the hems and neckband. I chose the neckband length according to this tutorial, as usual. I also altered the width of the neckband for the purple and white striped tee to take advantage of the purple stripes.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Over the course of the school holidays (now sadly almost at an end) I went through the girls’ wardrobes and removed everything that was too small. Now I’m on to sewing Clare a pile of short sleeved tees for summer!

adult's clothing · sewing

Dressmaker’s Dinner outfit

A month or so ago I attended the Dressmaker’s Dinner, a social event for Melbourne sewers.  It was a delicious meal at a restaurant, with a small group in attendance – my idea of a perfect evening, as I had plenty of light to examine everyone’s outfits and plenty of time to chat to them about sewing and many other things!  I decided that instead of sewing a new dress, I’d sew an outfit – pants, top and jacket.

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

Really, this outfit was planned around the jacket. The sequinned fabric was a gift from a delightful sewing friend. The sequins were embroidered on a stretch mesh, and I used plain black stretch lining to underline it.

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

It took me a little time to decide which pattern I’d use, and I settled on Butterick 6464. This is a Lisette pattern, designed by Liesl Gibson, and I always have faith in her designs (although I believe that she provides the design concept and sketches for Lisette patterns but Butterick do all the actual pattern making, grading and instruction writing).

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

There are three pieces included in this Butterick pattern, and they are described as follows: Very loose-fitting jacket has dropped shoulders and contrast bands. Fitted pullover halter top has back button loop closure and contrast neckband. Close-fitting pull-on skirt has elastic in wide waistband.

b6464_01

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 9.51.09 am

As you can see from the line drawing, this is a straightforward style.  There aren’t many pattern pieces, which makes it a good choice for the sequinned fabric.  I laid the sequinned fabric over the underlining, and cut them out as one.  Something I paid a lot of attention to was centring the design so that it was balanced on the front and the back of the jacket. I probably cut this out as size 12.

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

Once the pieces were cut out I overlocked all the edges of the sequinned mesh and the underlining together so that I could handle each piece as one and it wouldn’t fall apart. It was also a good way to enclose the sequins along the edges. Most things that you read will tell you to remove all the sequins from the seam allowances. I took the lazy route and left them there, after determining that they were small and not too dense, and would easily be sewn through. I had a good feel along the seam allowances once the jacket was sewn, and removed all the sequins that were caught in the stitching and were sticking out so had scratch potential. I left the rest. I also hand-stitched the seam allowances to the underlining to keep them looking flat.

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

The contrast fabric that I used for the collar and cuffs was in stash – it originally came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 per metre table, and the colour and sheen worked beautifully with the colours of some of the sequins in the main fabric. I also used it to hem the jacket by sewing a folded strip to the hemline right sides together, then turning it to the inside, understitching near the fold, then finally hand-sewing it in place. I really wanted to keep as many sequins as possible off whatever I was wearing under the jacket!

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse in wool lurex knit from Clear It

So, to what I was wearing under the jacket. I sewed myself a pair of leather-look bengaline pants that were a hybrid of the Style Arc Misty and Georgie pants pattern (mostly the Misty).

Style Arc Misty Georgie jeans in leather look bengaline

Since this was a pattern I’d used before it came together very easily. This fabric is a bit slippery to work with, so does need adequate pinning, but goes through the sewing machine and overlocker with ease. I’d been lucky enough to get the last of it from Style Arc after my first go at a pair of Georgie pants in this fabric resulted in beautifully sewn pants that had been cut out with the stretch going up and down the body instead of around it. They ended up in the bin. Take it from me – check, double check, then triple check that you are cutting out your bengaline with the stretch going AROUND the body. You won’t be able to get your pants on otherwise! (I still can’t believe that I’d sewn up the entire pair of Georgie pants before I realised what I’d done….)

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

I used the pockets, complete with topstitching, even though it’s unlikely that anyone will ever get to see them! I know that they’re there. The same thing applies to the fake fly stitching. The waistband has elastic inside it; these are pull-on jeans (my favourite kind).

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

So, on to the top. It’s a pattern I have used before, and always like on me. It’s the Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse.

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse in wool lurex knit from Clear It

The pattern description says: Do the twist! This top is simple but packs a fun surprise. The dolman sleeved blouse is a flattering top meant for light weight drapey knits that are the same on front and back. The neckline features a gradual v-neck that is a breeze to sew. The back of the blouse can feature a special fabric such as stretch lace or a really cool scrap of knit you’ve been hoarding for years. The surprise in this blouse is the twist at the front. The shirt-tail hem really makes this top a great choice for just about any pants or skirt style. Fabric recommendations: Lightweight and drapey knits that are the same on both sides such as cotton/rayon, jersey, modal, activewear, dancewear, jersey/rayon. Knits that are the same on both sides are usually solids and stripes. If you have a print you’d like to use that is not the same on both side you may piece the front.

ladiescover

I used a wool/lurex knit from Clear It for the top.  It was slightly sheer, and different colours on each side, so I decided to cut it double for the top.  This eliminated the problem of the wrong side showing on half of the front.

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

I spent ages trying to come up with a way of constructing this top so that I could have most of the seams encased between the two layers of fabric, but in the end I just overlocked the edges of the two layers together for each piece then treated them as one.

Love Notions Lotus Blossom Blouse in wool lurex knit from Clear It

Because I’d already overlocked the edges – and to reduce bulk by pressing seams open – I constructed the top on the regular sewing machine. I used a narrow twin needle (in conjunction with double sided fusible tape) to finish the neckline, sleeves, and hem.

Dressmaker's Dinner outfit in progress

Overall, I felt great in my outfit. I really enjoyed the shine and sheen and contrast of textures. It was lots of fun – and I generally enjoy some fun in my clothing!

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

I accessorised with Django and Juliette shoes, long earrings, and my mum’s Glomesh purse. Not everything matched perfectly but the different pieces worked together in my eyes. All the sparkle!

Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

One of the benefits of sewing an outfit like this is that I can hopefully mix and match the pieces in different ways with other items from my wardrobe. Not that I’ve actually done that yet, but over time, I think that I will! They’re also pieces that can accommodate weight and shape fluctuations, so they’ll hopefully stand the test of time and become “classics” in my wardrobe.

 Butterick 6464 in sequinned mesh over knit lining

sewing · tween

Style Arc Bobbi bomber

It’s rather handy that Clare now fits into some Style Arc size 4 patterns.  She wanted a bomber jacket – and a pdf download quickly provided one!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I say quickly, but that was just getting the pattern. This jacket actually took quite a bit of time for me to sew up. It’s the Style Arc Bobbi bomber. From their website: The Bomber Jacket is the ultimate addition to your weekend wardrobe; this trend right style has become a popular alternative to the Moto Jacket. Its exposed front zip along with the stitched zip guard and rib trim makes our bomber jacket the real thing. Wear it confidently with anything. FABRIC SUGGESTION Drill, Wool, Velvet, or any suitable woven fabric. Contrast rib bands and lining.

bobbi-bomber

Clare chose floral printed sweatshirt knit (a remnant from Spotlight) for her jacket.  It’s brushed on the inside, so cosy.  This is a lined jacket, and I used a purple cotton/spandex knit from stash for the lining,  The plush ribbed trim is a velvety rib knit from Lincraft.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The first step in sewing this jacket is constructing the welt pockets. I had to take this really slowly, and refer to other references in addition to the instructions that came with the pattern. I could have done with a tutorial on the Style Arc website that was specifically for these single welt pockets, where the pocket bags from different fabrics and attached after the welts have been attached. In the end patience and common sense produced a fairly satisfactory result. It’s important to refer to the markings on the pattern pieces for this one!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The shoulder panels are a lovely feature of this raglan sleeved bomber jacket. You could definitely go to town with contrasting fabrics here. We elected to keep things simple and just use the same fabric. I did add some topstitching alongside the panel seams to highlight them a little bit.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The front zipper was another stage I needed to take slowly – mostly in order to select a zipper of the right length. I have a number of zips in stash, including a whole lot of chunky zips, so this green one was selected because the length was just right and the colour coordinated fairly well. Style Arc have you make zipper guards – I think they look great and really improve the overall finish of this jacket.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

Each side of zipper tape is covered in the fashion fabric, and the guard underneath is made from the fashion fabric as well. I was very pleased at how this part came together, and the collar edges all lined up perfectly too. The rib fabric used for the collar was super soft and stretchy, which was an excellent choice for this jacket.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I got Clare to try on the jacket before I added the sleeve cuffs, and we chopped about one and a quarter inches from the sleeve length as a result. Once the cuffs were on the sleeves were the perfect length for her.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I mostly bagged the lining, but decided to hand stitch any tricky corner bits from the right side so that I knew they would be as perfect as I could get them. That was a good decision, especially at the front collar/zip intersections and the bottom band intersections. Clare has worn this jacket a LOT since I sewed it. Because it was all constructed in stable knits it is comfortable, and she likes the colour and pattern. It’s a definite win. I’d like to try this pattern again for her next year in a woven. This is when I’m glad that I bought the pdf version of this pattern – because I also have the next couple of sizes up!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Lillian, Lucinda and Evie

Thanks to those who encouraged me to pass on the blue top I blogged yesterday – it’s out of my wardrobe!  I’ll make another Presto Popover another day, in another size and a drapier fabric.  I always like to show the things that don’t work on my blog as well as the things that do!  This next outfit is one that I think does work.

Style Arc Lucinda knit jacket in cotton/spandex

Yes, it’s another Style Arc combination, and I bought all three patterns together in a bundle. It’s the Lillian jacket, Lucinda pants, and Evie tank top.

Style Arc Lucinda knit pants in cotton/spandex knit

I’ll start with the Lucinda knit pants. From the website: This pull on knit pant is the most comfortable and flattering pant you will own. The straight leg is easy to wear and the new crotch shape is great for all body shapes. The front tucks gives the pant a great easy look without causing bulk over at the centre front. FABRIC SUGGESTION Jersey knit, slinky.

lucinda-pant

I sewed these in knit jersey, not too sure about the composition but I reckon it could be a cotton and/or viscose blend, definitely with spandex in it.  I shortened the pattern pieces by taking a 5/8″ fold out of the legs both above and below the knee (I do this routinely with Style Arc pants).  Once again it’s a nice wide waistband with elastic inside it, and as usual I cut the elastic to the same length as the waistband.

Style Arc Lucinda knit pants in cotton/spandex knit

On me those lovely little front pleats – so elegant on the line drawing – open straight up to give more belly room. That’s fine, I need it! It makes them even more comfortable.

Style Arc Lucinda knit pants in cotton/spandex knit

The back view is pretty good too.  Fitted through the bum (which I prefer) but in a comfy roomy style through the leg, not too wide, not too narrow.  Despite shortening the pattern pieces, these are still a bit on the long side and may benefit from re-hemming an inch shorter.

Style Arc Evie knit top in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

So, on to the Evie knit top!  The website says:  This staple piece is given a point of difference with a curved hem line. It will become the most useful garment in your wardrobe. Wear it under your favourite jacket to the office or casually with jeans. Have fun with the knit you choose, try a lurex knit or a fashionable print. FABRIC SUGGESTION Jersey knit, slinky.

evie-top

This is a deceptively simple pattern that produces a really good result, especially on my shape.  I used a viscose/spandex knit, originally from The Cloth Shop.  It was the perfect weight for this top.

Style Arc Evie knit top in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

I sewed size 12, exactly as per the pattern. It skims nicely over my mid-section, and the neckline and armholes are just the right size and shape. Both are finished with narrow bands – you do need to be comfortable with this type of finish to sew this well, but it isn’t difficult. Just one of those things that benefits from practice! I must have sewn hundred of neckbands and armbands in knits by now, so I don’t have any qualms. Actually, I like that it avoids hemming! Sew on the band, press, and generally I also topstitch (often with a twin needle) to secure.

Style Arc Evie knit top in viscose knit from The Cloth Shop

Lastly, to the jacket.

Style Arc Lucinda knit jacket in cotton/spandex

This is the Lillian knit jacket. From the website: The engineered sleeve gives this gorgeous knit jacket a slim and interesting look. The collar hugs the neck and falls softly to the front. Try making it with contrast facings or contrast side panels. This will become a go to jacket, right for all occasions. FABRIC SUGGESTION Jersey knit, slinky.

lillian-jacket

I sewed size 12 in the same cotton and/or viscose spandex knit that I used for the pants.  I didn’t make any alterations to the jacket, but it probably would have benefitted from being shortened through the body for my 158cm height. It’s very long at the back!

Style Arc Lucinda knit jacket in cotton/spandex

A fair bit of the construction was on the sewing machine, especially in order to sew those pivoted underarm seams. Otherwise I used the overlocker. After wearing this I have gone back and topstitched the front facings down – they were flapping to the outside, which is a look that I never like.

Style Arc Lucinda knit jacket in cotton/spandex

This is a relaxed jacket in this fabric, which provides a great deal of comfort and include handy inseam pockets. The narrow shawl collar rolls back nicely, and overall it has some really lovely design lines. I’d like to sew this again in a jersey that doesn’t cling to itself quite as much. Wearing this outfit really is as comfortable as being in your pyjamas!

adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Sage pants and Naughty Bobbin Presto Popover top

This combination is an example of nearly right but not quite.  These two garments weren’t sewn to be worn together; they were just paired for the photos.  And in reality, I haven’t worn them with one another.

Naughtybobbin Patterns Presto Popover top one size too small

I might start with the top. It’s the Naughty Bobbin Patterns Presto Popover top. And I have sewn it one size too small.  I sewed the Medium – should have chosen the Large.

Naughtybobbin Patterns Presto Popover top one size too small

From the website: The Presto! Popover Top is designed specifically for knits for the wash and wearability your daily life needs.  Knits with 5% or more stretch, especially ITY knits and rayon/elastane come in all colors and patterns, so make more than one and get on with your life.  Good bye washday blues!  With it’s clever double-front V-neck collar construction and the always comfy 3/4 sleeve the Presto! sews up quickly on the serger, but can be made on a zig-zag machine, too.  Can be made in heavier knits for winter, lighter knits for summer. Excellent choice for sheerer knits. For its ease, comfort and a fast sewing project, you’re gonna love the Presto!

Naughtybobbin Patterns Presto Popover top one size too small

The fabric is cotton/spandex (possibly from Crafty Mamas Fabrics, but could have been from somewhere else). It’s got great recovery, but definitely clings to those central rolls.  The construction of this top is really interesting – the front is cut twice, so is self-lined with the shoulder and back yoke integrated into the front pieces.  The depth of the V-neckline depends on how far up you sew the centre front seam.  It’s worth sewing just to check out the construction – which isn’t actually difficult, by the way.

Naughtybobbin Patterns Presto Pullover top detail

On me, in this fabric, the neckline folds back to form a shawl collar. I’d really like to see this top in something very soft that just pooled at the back, and left the front as a V-neckline. I haven’t finished with this pattern. I’ll reprint and do some more size grading through the body to improve the fit on me. I can possibly leave the shoulders alone.

Naughtybobbin Patterns Presto Popover top one size too small

I have actually worn the top, but with less fitted pants, and a jacket over it. I’m still in two minds about whether to pass this one on or to keep it. I really like the colour on me, but it’s that bit too small in the body. One voice in my ear says that it will be fine if I lose a bit of weight; the voice in the other ear says get rid of what doesn’t fit and sew something that does.

Style Arc Sage stretch pants in bengaline

So, to the pants. These are the Style Arc Sage stretch woven pants, in Style Arc bengaline. From their website:  Designed to sit on the waist this is our new Bengaline pant block. Shaped front yoke and side panels along with its fashionable slim leg is ideal for all shapes and sizes. FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Stretch Bengaline is perfect! You can buy Bengaline at our store – click here . Or any stretch woven with approx. 5% spandex.

sage-pant

Style Arc does a brilliant job of stretch woven pants.  I like to have fitted pants in my wardrobe – I feel that they work well with the looser tops that I prefer to wear.  I cut the front upper yoke panel double to provide my belly with a fraction more support.  I really like the waistband with that flat elastic inside it.  Generally I cut the waist elastic to the same length as the waistband piece – for me that seems to work best.

Style Arc Sage stretch pants in bengaline

There are subtle differences between the different stretch woven pants patterns that Style Arc produce. This one seems to have a slightly higher rise and wider waistband, which works nicely on my current shape/size/weight distribution. I find that the pair I prefer to wear is a combination of which fabric it’s in and how it fits me currently. If your size and shape is very consistent you could probably easily identify a favourite – I still like to experiment a bit.

Style Arc Sage stretch pants in bengaline

These are a nice neutral for me, and easy to wear. The Sage pattern will probably get another outing or two at some stage!

Style Arc Sage stretch pants in bengaline

adult's clothing · sewing

Simplicity 1059

This is one of the patterns that I bought the last time that Spotlight had a three-for-not-a-lot-of-money sales on Simplicity patterns.  It’s super simple!

Simplicity 1059 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

Simplicity 1059 is from  Simplicity’s Jiffy range.  It’s a reprint of a 1969 pattern (so not quite as old as me, but nearly).  As per their website: Features 2 or 3 main pattern pieces. Pattern includes V-neck dress with long sleeves, or sleeveless and optional sash or scarf.

simplicity-dresses-pattern-1059-av1

Oh, I do love that cover art!  I chose view A, the long sleeved option, which meant I was dealing with three pattern pieces – front, back, sleeve.  And at the last minute I decided to cut out the sash as well.

Simplicity 1059 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

simplicity-dresses-pattern-1059-front-back-view

As you can see there is no zip in the centre back of my dress.  I eliminated it as I chose to use a poly knit that was in stash (yes, originally from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table). I wanted something that had a bit of drape to it.  The pattern envelope suggests batik, challis, cotton types, crepe, crepe back satin, linen types, sateen, satin.  All wovens.  Ah well, good thing that I like to break the rules every now and then.

Simplicity 1059 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

Now, that neckline. As drafted, it’s low. VERY low. It opened up to the top of that blue/white stripe. Although I don’t mind a bit of cleavage, it was definitely nowhere near work appropriate as it was, so I hand-sewed it higher once the dress was finished. Keep that in mind if you decide to sew up this pattern!

Simplicity 1059 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

Construction was mostly on the overlocker, and it was very quick to sew. The back shoulder darts provide a nice fit, as do the front shoulder pleats. From memory this was a size 14. I chopped heaps from the hemline – it was very long on me as drafted. Overall I think that this pattern really shows that a few pattern pieces can go a long way if they are drafted well and include details and shaping.

Simplicity 1059 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Simplicity 8105

Simplicity and New Look produce quite a few trendy patterns for kids.  Stella and Clare both fancied Simplicity 8105 and Stella was the recipient of the first garment made from it.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

This is one of last school holidays garments, so I am really having to trawl the dim dark recesses of my memory for details! I am guessing that I sewed size 10 for Stella – despite her being very slim, she needs the body lengths of the 10, as she’s a fairly average height for her age. I also figured that this was intended to be a roomy style anyway, so as long as the shoulder width was right – along with armhole depth and sleeve length – it should be pretty right. Sizing children’s clothing is an ever moving feast.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

There are a number of nice details on this top. From the pattern website: Easy-to-Sew knit tunics and leggings sized for child and girl are must have essentials. Make tunic and leggings in a multitude of colors and prints. Mix and match for endless wardrobe options.   Hmm, that doesn’t really tell you much!  The line drawing might be more helpful.

simplicity-girls-pattern-8105-front-back-view

Stella’s tunic is view B, with the gathers at the front shoulder yokes and at the back yoke seam.  Actually, the back and shoulder yokes are integrated.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

Sewing this tunic is not terribly different to sewing a typical plain tee. The gathers add a little extra time, but otherwise it’s a quick garment to sew. I topstitched the yoke seams to add an extra details and to stabilise the gathers, and topstitched the neckband to secure it as well. Otherwise most construction was on the overlocker.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

The fabric is from Spotlight, and is a cotton knit that I think was from the Lisette range? I really do prefer sewing knits that have better recovery than these cotton jerseys – that little bit of spandex/lycra makes all the difference in ease of sewing and I think also in ease of wear.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

This tunic is a great length to wear with leggings – because as we all know, leggings are not pants – and as it turns out it must have been a winner because Stella has actually worn it quite a bit! I can never predict which clothes she will be most drawn to. Often she’ll like a garment when it comes off the sewing machine (or out of a shop) but then I never see it on her. Other times it enters regular rotation. I love these colours on Stella, and agree with her assessment of this top as “pretty”!

2017-07-23 09.46.42

Clare has her eye on view D, with the lace inserts. Time to set her loose on my stash!