New Look 6297 – the maxi

There are a few different views in New Look 6297.  As well as view C, that I have already blogged, there is a sleeveless maxi.  New Look offer it with a subtle high-low hemline or with a hemline that has applied ruffles.  I chose to sew it with a plain level hemline.

New Look 6297 maxi in polyester knit from Spotlight

Once again I sewed size 10 for Clare. The fabric is a poly/spandex knit from Spotlight. Because it is a border print I cut it on the cross-grain. Although you would generally cut a knit with the greatest degree of stretch going around the body rather than running lengthwise, there is plenty of spandex in this knit and it stretches very well both ways.

New Look 6297 maxi in polyester knit from Spotlight

This was super simple. Front, back, long strips to finish the neckline and armholes. The long strips were cut across the width of the fabric as they usually would be, from areas of the fabric where the colour was more dense. This was to contrast more with the paler areas of the border print that were concentrated at the top of the dress.

New Look 6297 maxi in polyester knit from Spotlight

All construction was on the overlocker. The bands were folded in half then applied to the right side around the armholes and neckline, with the seam allowances secured via a zig zag stitch from the right side on the machine. The pattern also suggested a tie for the back to add more detail and bring in the armholes a little more. It’s just a rectangle of fabric sewn into a tube.

New Look 6297 maxi in polyester knit from Spotlight

There is minimal strap exposure for a racer-back crop top, which kept me happy. The kids don’t care about straps, especially if they are brightly coloured and contrasting, and while part of me understands that aesthetic there is a stronger part that prefers straps and other elements of underpinnings to be hidden!

New Look 6297 maxi in polyester knit from Spotlight

I suspect that the armholes are a little lower in this fabric because of cutting it on the cross than they would have been otherwise. Having the greater strength running downwards in what is also a slightly heavy fabric is possibly dragging them down a little. I’d like to see this made in a cotton/spandex or viscose/spandex. But I couldn’t resist that border print!

New Look 6297 maxi in polyester knit from Spotlight

Vogue 9067 top and Style Arc Brooke skirt

Sewing Vogue 9067 was an interesting experience.  It’s a Vogue pattern that I’ve seen pop up on quite a few blogs now.  At first I saw more about view A, the sleeveless top.  Then attention seemed to switch to view C.  As it happens, view C was the one that I bought the pattern for.

v9067

Vogue describe this pattern as follows: MISSES’ TOP AND PANTS: Very loose-fitting, pullover top has back neck slit, button/loop, and seam detail variations. A and B: back extends to side front, no side seams. C: bias neck binding and sleeve and hemline flounce. Semi-fitted pants. D: straight-legged, partial elasticized waistband and stitched hems. E: tapered, elasticized waist and side pockets. A, B, C and E: narrow hem.
FABRICS: Silk Crepe, Lightweight Broadcloth, Jersey, Challis.

Vogue 9067 top with Style Arc Brooke skirt

Okay, on to my top. Did you note that bit about the top being described as “very loose-fitting”? Here are details from the back of the pattern envelope and the finished measurements on the pattern piece itself.

2015-10-31 21.59.17

My bust measurement is currently around 40″.  According to the back of the Vogue envelope, that would put me in size 18, which is the Large in this pattern.  I had bought the smaller size combination, knowing from experience that I am much more likely to sew somewhere around size 12.  So I checked the finished bust measurement, printed on the pattern tissue.  For the XS it was 44″.  That would give me around four inches of ease, which would still be plenty and result in a loose top.  CHECK THE FINISHED GARMENT MEASUREMENTS BEFORE YOU CUT! Only the bust measurement was important for this top, since it flares out even more through the waist and I didn’t have to worry about the ease there.

Vogue 9067 top with Style Arc Brooke skirt

As well as cutting the XS, I did a little bit of petite-ing and took some length out through the body. The fabric is a voile that had been in my stash a little while. You can probably see in the photos that I took a considerable amount of care when cutting to keep the motif placement pleasing. The sleeve ruffles were cut as a single layer and narrow hemmed rather than being self-lined, and I left the back neck opening out completely.  I chose to bind the neckline with bias binding made from the same fabric.

Vogue 9067 top with Style Arc Brooke skirt

This is a very pretty print, in colours that I really like individually, but it wasn’t the right choice for this top for me. Other than the creasing in the above photo, it just feels too “delicate” and I think that from a distance it reads rather pale. However I do like the overall silhouette and would like to sew this again in a more drapey fabric. The voile is just a little too airy. I’d rather something that stayed a little closer to the body. So, on to the skirt.

Vogue 9067 top with Style Arc Brooke skirt

This is the Style Arc Brooke skirt, in the shorter length.  From their website: This on trend asymmetrical skirt has a full wrap that will allow you to wear this skirt with confidence that it will not fall We have given you two full patterns in two different lengths that gives you the choice of the mini skirt or the more sophisticated knee length. You will feel fabulous in either!  FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Linen, cotton twill, wool gabardine.

brooke-skirt

I constructed this as per the instructions, except I left the front darts off completely to allow more stomach room.  This resulted in quite a comfortable fit.  I think I sewed size 12.  Mini length on me is above the knee, but only just.  That’s what happens when you are 158cm tall!

Vogue 9067 top with Style Arc Brooke skirt

The fabric is orange rigid denim from Crafty Mamas that had been in stash for a little while. It has a bit of a slub running through it and was easy to sew, as denim generally is. Although this skirt fits well, I have only worn it once so far. It needs a bit more “playing with” to work out what tops go with it best. I’ve realised that I tend to reach for skirts with stretch in them before those sewn in rigid wovens. Back to that central theme of comfort, I suppose!

Vogue 9067 top with Style Arc Brooke skirt

So overall? If you make this top, beware of the pattern sizing! I like the overall silhouette of the pattern, but will make it again for myself in a different fabric and pass this one on. It just doesn’t feel like “me”. The skirt will get more tries – it’s a matter of how to incorporate it into my wardrobe. I like the hemline at the front and it’s a good fit, and the colour definitely fits into my wardrobe.

Lekala 7080

This one was an impulse sew.  After the success of the Lekala dress, I had another trawl through the Lekala website and happened upon a pattern for a skort, Lekala 7080.

Lekala 7080 skort in pinwale corduroy from stash

I figured that it wouldn’t take long to tape together such a simple pattern, and it didn’t.  The pattern appeared in my email in-box within minutes or ordering.  Because it’s a girls’ pattern I only needed to enter height, waist and hip measurements.

Lekala 7080 skort in pinwale corduroy from stash

You all know what a skort is, don’t you?  Wordpress obviously doesn’t, because it keeps on trying to autocorrect the word to skirt.  It is a pair of shorts that has an overlay on the front so that from the back you see shorts, but from the front you see a short skirt.  Therefore, skort.

Lekala 7080 skort in pinwale corduroy from stash

The fabric is a printed pinwale corduroy from stash.  I have a feeling that it was given to me by someone having a clean out of an older friend or relative’s cupboards.  I love the muted sage greens and greys on black, but Clare hasn’t found it terribly easy to coordinate with her tops.  Oh well, I’ll just have to sew some more!

Lekala 7080 skort in pinwale corduroy from stash

Construction wise things were fairly straightforward.  I actually followed the instructions, which were quite logical and assisted in a highly satisfactory finished garment.  There are four pattern pieces.  Shorts front and back, front overlay, and waistband.  The waistband is interfaced and has elastic in the back only.  The line drawing suggests that there are darts in the back of the shorts, but there were no sign of these in the pattern thatI received for Clare’s measurements.

Lekala 7080 skort in pinwale corduroy from stash

The front overlay is supposed to be secured with a square of velcro, but I didn’t see the point and just stitched it down to the waistband.  All the stretch for getting the skort on and off is in the back waistband, not the front.  Overall this was quite a satisfying garment to sew, and it has turned out to be a highly wearable muslin.  Clare intends to choose another fabric from my stash for a second pair.

Lekala 7080 skort in pinwale corduroy from stash

Simplicity 1733 #2 – the maxi version

Shortly after sewing my first Simplicity 1733 I decided that I “needed” another.  But this time, I needed a maxi!

Simplicity 1733 maxi in poly lycra from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I really wanted a striped fabric for this one, because I knew that the stripes would do interesting things across the twisty front. I found this poly/spandex knit at Darn Cheap Fabrics.

Simplicity 1733 maxi in poly lycra from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Construction was pretty much the same as last time, except that I chose to have short sleeves as per the pattern instead of leaving the dress sleeveless. Once again I used a zig-zag stitch on all hems after they had been secured with vliesofix tape.

Simplicity 1733 maxi in poly lycra from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I did endeavour to match or at least balance the stripes throughout. They match along the side seams and sleeve seams, but are out along the armhole and bodice. Bummer. Looking at this photo I need to do a few more hand stitches to secure the centre front gathers higher behind the twisty knot – it looks to be drooping a little.

Simplicity 1733 maxi in poly lycra from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Once again the back is nicely supported by the elastic through the seam allowances were the back bodice and back skirt join. This allows it to then nicely flow over back rolls. This fabric worked extremely well with this pattern. I wore this dress to my husband’s family Christmas/Thanksgiving celebration on a hot day in early December. It was ideal!

Simplicity 1733 maxi in poly lycra from Darn Cheap Fabrics

McCalls 7079

Another addition to Clare’s summer wardrobe – McCalls 7079.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Spotlight

McCalls describe this as follows: GIRLS’/GIRLS’ PLUS DRESSES: Pullover dresses have back bodice and skirt variations and raised waist. B and D: back bands. A, B and E: narrow hem. C, D and F: gathered skirt and stitched hems.
Designed for medium-weight moderate stretch knits.
FABRICS: Cotton Knits, Interlock, Jerseys, Novelty Knits.

m7079

We chose to sew view E, with the flared skirt, short sleeves and back cutout.  The fabric is a beautiful soft printed ponte that we chanced upon at Spotlight one day.  Just perfect for this dress!

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Spotlight

Once again we sewed size 10 for Clare. The bodice looked quite loose at first after the skirt was attached and the weight stretched it out a bit. Some elastic threaded through a casing between the bodice and the skirt fixed that. We had a few goes to get the length of the elastic just right – it needed to be enough to support the dress and draw the bodice in a bit without actually gathering it.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Spotlight

The skirt was shortened a couple of inches after trying the finished dress on, which improved proportion and appealed more to Clare’s sense of style. Because I was working with a ponte I decided to twin needle the hems and neckline rather than the zig-zag I’d been using a lot on knits. Ponte is that bit more stable and tends to sit flatter anyway, and the twin needle gave a more “ready to wear” appearance.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Spotlight

The back cutout is faced, and topstitched down. I made sure to start at the bottom of the cutout with the twin needle in order to more easily get around the curves and have the stitching line up neatly. This cutout allows for a crop top underneath without straps showing, which is my preference. Dress construction was primarily on the overlocker.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Spotlight

It’s always good to have a skirt that twirls!

Appleton the second

This will mostly be a photo post, because all of the details about this pattern are just a few blog posts back.  It’s my second Cashmerette Appleton dress, made only a few weeks after the first.

Cashmerette Appleton dress in viscose/lycra from The Cloth Shop

Now to me this is an interesting study in how fabric choice affects fit and appearance. This fabric is a wonderful viscose/lycra knit from The Cloth Shop – extremely similar in weight and drape to the fabric I used for my first dress. I adore the print. The colours are very me, and I think that it has a hint of crocodile. Does that make it a candidate for Jungle January since I am blogging it now, even though it was sewn in November?

Cashmerette Appleton dress in viscose/lycra from The Cloth Shop

I did pay attention to pattern placement once I laid the fabric out and realised that it was sort of directional. This was the best I could come up with, and the pieces are definitely symmetrical and balanced. It does however highlight both boobs and stomach.

Cashmerette Appleton dress in viscose/lycra from The Cloth Shop

In these photos I have wrapped the tie right around the front – bad move. I should have done the same as last time and only had it around the back. I feel that my stomach is definitely emphasised in this version of the dress with the tie crossing just above it.  (As an aside, it would be a good pattern for the first few months of pregnancy, if you are looking for one).  That said, I do remember feeling and looking extremely bloated the day these photos were taken. I wonder if it will be the same next time I wear it? It may have been better with the bluer parts of the print down the centre instead of the green. Will never know.

Cashmerette Appleton dress in viscose/lycra from The Cloth Shop

This is a lovely fabric to wear. Because I’d already made the dress once before, this one was even faster to assemble. I topstitched with a zig-zag stitch, the same as last time, but the stitching pretty much disappears into the print.

Cashmerette Appleton dress in viscose/lycra from The Cloth Shop

So overall, despite loving the fabric and the style, I don’t love the way that this version of the dress looks on me as much as the first one. I just feel much more self-conscious of my back and waist rolls and stomach in this one, which is interesting. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like it or won’t wear it – because I do like it and it will definitely be worn quite a bit – but I might make sure that in future I have a camisole or slip underneath to smooth things out a little. I am what I am in regards to my body shape and weight, and don’t like shape wear at all.  On the rare occasions when I buy any I always buy at least two sizes bigger than my usual dress size – no point squishing fat in one place only to have it escape out in another or have elastic digging in or rolling on movement, I just want a smoother line.  But like most people want to feel good in what I am wearing.

Cashmerette Appleton dress in viscose/lycra from The Cloth Shop

Lekala 7058

I don’t think that I have EVER written as many blog posts in one day as I have today.  I’m not sure whether to apologise for the deluge or to just celebrate it!  The backlog of blog posts is still considerable but at least I feel as though I am making some inroads.

So, on to Lekala 7058!  This is a girls pattern, so the measurements required were just height, chest, waist and hip.  Nothing else fancy and no adjustments.

Lekala 7058 in textured Japanese cotton from The Cloth Shop

As far as I am concerned – and fortunately, Clare agrees – this dress is an unqualified success. It is a garment that appeared super quickly. One day I was at The Cloth Shop buying this printed Japanese cotton (which has a bit of texture to it, as many of the Japanese cottons do), then before I knew it I was downloading the pattern and sewing it up! I think that it was finished the next day.

Lekala 7058 in textured Japanese cotton from The Cloth Shop

This is such a simple dress, so is ideal for such a beautiful fabric. I pretty much ignored the instructions, and used my common sense for construction. The bodice is self-lined, so I used the “burrito method” to line it. That works beautifully in a sleeveless garment. The centre back seams were sewn, with a centre back slit at the top and an elastic loop on one side, and the shoulder seams of both the dress and the self lining/facing. The dress and facing are sewn together firstly around the neckline, with the facing under stitched so that it won’t roll to the outside. I actually remembered to try it on Clare before under stitching, and we decided that the neckline was too high as it was so scooped it out another inch or so at centre front. The next step is to “burrito” one armhole, then the other. After that the side seams of both the main dress and the lining/facing can be sewn. Got that?

Lekala 7058 in textured Japanese cotton from The Cloth Shop

The centre front pleat is actually the first part of the garment construction. I made sure to secure it with a V shaped row of stitching at the top. It was all pretty straightforward from there on. The hem was sewn by machine with a blind hem stitch that sunk into the fabric quite nicely.

Lekala 7058 in textured Japanese cotton from The Cloth Shop

The back has a vintage button from stash as a closure in combination with an elastic loop (stolen from the girls’ hair tie collection). As is often the case, the dress slips on over Clare’s head without needing to be undone. I suspect that we are a small-headed family!

Lekala 7058 in textured Japanese cotton from The Cloth Shop

I have a feeling that this is one of my favourite garments for the summer. Pretty, yet a little sophisticated. Young, yet not childish. And the colour is one of her favourites. I think that it is perfect.

Lekala 7058 in textured Japanese cotton from The Cloth Shop