children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Girl on the Go dress – the summer version

I’ve said before that Stella is quite particular about the way that her clothes feel (as well as fit).  She likes soft, comfortable fabrics.  Actually, who doesn’t!  I’ve sewn the Oliver & S Girl on the Go dress twice already, both times with sleeves, and she’s worn them quite a bit.  Time for a summer version!

Oliver and S Girl on the Go dress in knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

The fabric is from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. It’s a European knit in cotton/spandex, it’s super soft and extremely good quality. I had just enough to eke out the dress by cutting one pair of the ties on the wrong grain. I figured that it wouldn’t matter to much, especially if I then paired one from the cross grain with one on the lengthwise grain. It’s a directional print but I doubt that you’d notice that it’s going different ways on the ties.

Oliver and S Girl on the Go dress in knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I always rave about Oliver & S patterns, and others from the same stable. They are always beautifully drafted, have great instructions, are fairly timeless in design, and the A4 pdf is arranged to minimise paper waste. They’ve always designed their pdf patterns like that actually – it’s something that lots of other designers could really learn from! None of this ‘just split the single sheet up into lots of A4 sheets no matter where the dividing lines go’ – with Oliver & S each pattern piece is thoughtfully laid out on the A4 to fit together nicely. They do also provide wide format if you want to take it to a printer – it’s always the last page of their pdf.

Oliver and S Girl on the Go dress in knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Stella does up the ties really tight at the front, so they pull the dress in at the back. There is actually plenty of room in it. I sewed size 10 – Stella is quite tall for her age now (eleven and a half), but she’s still skinny.

Oliver and S Girl on the Go dress in knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This pattern really is simple done well. The shoulder seams are slightly forward, everything is beautifully shaped to sit properly on the body. People are three dimensional, and the pattern takes that into account. From the pattern website: This simple pull-on dress and top is designed for knit fabrics with a little stretch. The View A dress features a fun front tie detail and short sleeves, while View B makes a classic top with 3/4-length sleeves. Both styles include a neck facing with topstitching detail and a forward shoulder for a comfortable fit. You’ll love the look, feel, and versatility of this dress and top which make great wardrobe basics for every girl on the go.

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This pattern goes up to a girls size 18 (so those smaller adults that fancy it, I reckon it would fit!) so I suspect that it will get more use in years to come.  Highly recommended.

Oliver and S Girl on the Go dress in knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

Maria Denmark Olivia tee

You don’t really know if a pattern works for you until it’s been in your wardrobe for a while and you know how often you wear it.  The Maria Denmark Olivia tees I’ve made previously have been worn quite a lot, and have recently exited the wardrobe.  Time to get the pattern out and sew it up again!

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee in DBP from Lincraft

No, there’s not much to it – front, back, band on the bottom, bands on the sleeves, neckband. I use a mishmash of sizes that removes the waist shaping completely.  The fabric is a double brushed poly that I picked up at Lincraft.  It was the last of a roll – I already have a dress in the same fabric and love both the print and the way that the fabric feels against my skin.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee in DBP from Lincraft

The bands are cut to length rather than being pattern pieces. I could have made the hip band a little shorter, I think. The neckband is always the trickiest part to get right in this pattern. The curve at the bottom of the neckline is quite pronounced and unless you pull the band tight enough and that point it has a tendency to stick out away from the body rather than lie flat against it. This one worked out okay, just – steam from the iron and topstitching down the seam allowances have definitely helped.

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From the pattern website: Olivia is super trendy, super relaxed, super easy to sew and super easy to fit! Pick out any of your favourite wool, rayon or bamboo jerseys and in about an hour, you’ll have a great top to wear with skinny jeans, tight slacks or tights! Make it in a stripe to wear with a blazer jacket for work, in a fun print for everyday joy, or in a plain fabric that goes with everything! This jersey tee has a lot of ease, but still shaping enough to not look sloppy. The t-shirt has short or 3/4 length sleeves, finished with ribbing (or you could just hem the sleeves) and has a hem ribbing band as well, which really adds something to the shape of the tee.

Construction is as expected – pretty much all on the overlocker, but with the machine used judiciously to improve the finish and to do any topstitching.  I reckon that this pattern will continue to get use for years to come.

Maria Denmark Olivia Oversized Tee in DBP from Lincraft

sewing · tween

Burda 9489 skirt

Clare asked for some summer skirts to bulk out her wardrobe.  I’ve had Burda 9489 in stash for what seems forever, and fortunately she fancied it.

Burda 9489 in cotton linen from Spotlight

The fabric has also been in stash for what seems forever! If my memory is correct it’s a cotton/linen blend from Spotlight, part of the Denyse Schmidt range that was extremely popular some years back.

Burda 9489 in cotton linen from Spotlight

Clare has loads of Hey June Morrison tees in a range of colours, many of which coordinate nicely with this skirt. I think that the Burda pattern is possibly out of print.

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Burda describe this as follows: Gathered skirt with broad waistband and intriguing banded hip yoke pockets. Dress: same seam lines and jersey bodice attached at the waist.

We sewed girls size 12 for Clare – her waist measurement is only around 24 inches, and the gathering in the skirt would accommodate her hips and bum.  We left off the belt and belt carriers, and I also eliminated the bands around the pockets, instead choosing to topstitch them in contrasting thread.

Burda 9489 in cotton linen from Spotlight

I used an invisible zip in the centre back seam rather than an exposed zipper.

Burda 9489 in cotton linen from Spotlight

I’m pretty sure that this is pattern length. Like most teens, she likes her skirts shorter rather than longer!

Burda 9489 in cotton linen from Spotlight

I can generally tell if a garment has been a success by how quickly it enters regular wardrobe rotation. This one is a success (like her myriad of Hey June Morrison tees). Clare can style it a few different ways, and I anticipate that we’ll see it quite a bit over the next few months.

Burda 9489 in cotton linen from Spotlight

adult's clothing · sewing

Vogue 8620 jacket

Yes, it’s another Marcy Tilton pattern success!  May I present my version of Vogue 8620.

Vogue 8620 jacket in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

This is a jacket that’s been quite a while in the making. I don’t think that the pattern is in print any more – if you want to sew it, track it down fast on eBay or etsy or similar! The oldest review of this pattern on Pattern Review is from 2009, so I figure that’s when it was published.

Vogue 8620 jacket in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

I haven’t had the pattern in my stash for quite that long, but it’s still taken me a while to sew it up. I think that I was waiting for the right fabric. This textured stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics pretty much sang to me, wanting to become this jacket. And yes, it’s the same fabric that I made Misty jeans from a couple of blog posts ago!

Vogue 8620 jacket in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

I don’t really plan to wear these two pieces together, but hey, I suppose that I could! So, back to the jacket. There are lots of pieces in this jacket; it’s not a quick sew. This year I’ve slowed down quite a lot in my sewing anyway, particularly enjoying something that I can take my time on. It’s unlined, and I finished many of the interior seam allowances with bias cut binding.

Vogue 8620 jacket detail

One of the challenges in making this jacket in this fabric was sourcing a matching zip. I really didn’t want to contrast – this colour is dramatic enough without adding extra details like a contrasting zip! Someone put me on to Australian Zipper Industries P/L just a couple of suburbs away. I took in my fabric, told them what type of zip I was after, and the helpful saleswoman found just the right chunky open-ended zipper for me! Although they are wholesalers they were happy to sell me one zip – for only $3. That’s service!

Vogue 8620 jacket detail

I alternated orange and red threads in the overlocker needles and loopers to give a colour that approximated the rust/orange/brown/red fabric. I was able to find a good Gutermann thread match for the construction and topstitching, fortunately.  I’ve taken these photos outside in natural light to try and get the colour as accurate as possible.

Vogue 8620 jacket in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

The pattern envelope describes this jacket as follows: Semi-fitted jackets A, B have pockets, underarm gussets and front zipper closure. B: silk-screened embellishments. Package includes Marcy Tilton’s instructions for silk-screening.

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Size-wise, I think that I sewed size 14.  Marcy Tilton patterns often have generous ease, but I was fortunate to have read plenty of reviews, so knew that this one was actually a bit more fitted.  I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern.  Looking at the pattern cover and line drawings I am probably not meant to have the cuffs turned back quite so much, but they work for me as worn.

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As I said earlier, I took my time sewing this.  I followed the instructions, thought about them, and generally enjoyed the process.  I’m highly satisfied with the results. This is a garment that feels very much like me.

Vogue 8620 jacket in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · sewing

Fifi and Vicki

Style Arc Fifi and Style Arc Vicki are both patterns that I’ve sewn before.  It’s always a good sign when I use a pattern more than once!

Style Arc Vicki top in cotton pique remnant from The Cloth Shop

Maybe I’ll start with the Fifi pants! It’s not long since I sewed my first pair. I learned from that experience and cut off the pattern at the ‘cropped’ length. Which you can tell isn’t all that cropped on me.

Style Arc Fifi pants in linen

The front waistband is flat, and the pocket curve aligns with the waistband seamlines.

Style Arc Fifi pants in linen - detail

At the back there is wide elastic stitched to the inside of the waistband using a zig-zag stitch. I used pretty wide elastic – maybe a couple of inches? – and because I don’t have much difference between my hip and waist measurements, this means that the pants fit me without much bulky gathering at the back. The darts at the back also provide nice shaping.

Style Arc Fifi pants in linen

I sewed these in linen, primarily on the sewing machine with the overlocker being used to finish seam allowances. I think that this is a wonderful wide leg pant pattern for me. By the way, this is size 12. So, on to the Vicki top.

Style Arc Vicki top in cotton pique remnant from The Cloth Shop

I have sewn this in linen in size 12, and found it just a fraction too tight across the bust. This time I reprinted and cut size 14, and I reckon that the fit is just right.

Style Arc Vicki top in cotton pique remnant from The Cloth Shop

 

The fabric is a textured cotton pique remnant that I picked up from The Cloth Shop. There was just enough of it for me to eke out the top, with a little bit of off-grain cutting. One of the things that I really like about this pattern is that the front pieces wrap across the shoulders to join the back with a nice angled yoke detail.

Style Arc Vicki top - detail

I chose to topstitch the angled seams to stabilise them a bit and to add detail. It’s easy to get a nice crisp front V neckline with this pattern too as the neckline is bound and finished before the centre front seam is sewn.

Style Arc Vicki top - detail

This is a pretty short top – I’m very short-waisted and it’s still not all that long on me. I think that this length works nicely with wide leg pants; it keeps the proportions more visually pleasing. In real life it looks better than it does in these slightly foreshortened photos. If you’re tall you might want to add some length. I’ve often considering lengthening this top into a summer dress too.

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Style Arc Fifi woven pantPull-on pant sewing pattern with a smooth front yoke, elastic back and side pockets. This new wide leg pant pattern gives you the option of 7/8th or full length. The Fifi Woven Pant is a simple pant to sew that will give you a sophisticated look. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Pull-on wide leg pant sewing pattern for woven fabrics.

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Style Arc Vicki topThis fashionable swing top looks great worn with your crop pants. The “V” neck and Interesting back yoke treatment adds interest and sets this apart from a basic top. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Crepe, Silk, Cotton or Scuba.

adult's clothing · sewing

Feeling Misty

Oh Style Arc Misty, you are most definitely my favourite stretch jeans pattern.  I’ve tried others that I quite like, but I always return to you.

Style Arc Misty jeans in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

This time around I’ve sewn the Misty jeans in a textured stretch jacquard woven that I found at Super Cheap Fabrics. I bought all that was on the roll. It’s substantial, yet has loads of stretch.

Style Arc Misty jeans in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

I’m pretty sure that these are size 10, which works for my hip measurement and comparatively small thighs. My waist is about size 16, but the stretch in the fabric and the elastic waist takes care of that. Speaking of the elastic waist, as designed the pattern has wide exposed elastic around the waist. I always enclose it in a tube of the same fabric instead. If my fabric had less stretch I’d need to go up a size in this pattern (as learned the hard way in the past).

Style Arc Misty jeans in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

Because the fabric is textured I dispensed with fancy topstitching on the back pockets. I also leave off the fake front pockets, although I do sew the faux front fly. Style Arc describe this pattern as follows: Want the look of a slim jean and comfort as well? Then this is the pant for you, this style has all the features of a jean, slim cut leg, mock fly, front pockets, back yoke and jean back pockets. The treatment of the elastic waistband makes this a fantastic pant to have in your wardrobe. FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION Stretch denim or any stretch woven fabric with 3% spandex is suitable.

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There’s not much more to say about this pattern! I mostly use the overlocker for construction, swapping to the machine where necessary and using a twin needle to secure the leg hems. I have shortened the pattern pieces by taking a small fold out both above and below the knee, which keeps the proportions pretty much right for me.

Style Arc Misty jeans in jacquard stretch woven from Super Cheap Fabrics

adult's clothing · Lekala · sewing

Lekala 4517

I don’t fully know why I don’t use Lekala patterns more often.  I gave this dress – Lekala 4517 – a try as an experiment.

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Actually, when I stop and think about it a little bit more, I don’t use them more often because I’m never completely confident about the ease that’s included in their patterns.  Like Hot Patterns, there aren’t many photos available of the finished garments on people.  I do love a line drawing to get an idea of seam placement and details, but they don’t always indicate ease very well.  With patterns from companies like Style Arc I know what their ease is and therefore what size I prefer.  Lekala patterns are produced to your own measurements – so although they’re almost always guaranteed to fit, they’re not always guaranteed to fit in a way that I find pleasing to my eye.

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Lekala do have these little tags on each pattern nowadays, and this one does say ‘loose fitting’.  So let’s see how the finished dress is on me!

Lekala 4517 in teal cotton drill from Rathdowne Fabrics

You know what? That’s pretty good! This really was sewn as a muslin. The fabric is teal drill (a remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics) and I used some Liberty scraps as a contrast at the neckline. I decided not to bother with the patch pockets on the front.

Lekala 4517 in teal cotton drill from Rathdowne Fabrics

I inserted a standard zip into the centre back seam. An invisible zip would have been less obvious, because this tightly woven drill looks a bit puckery along the topstiched lines that attach the zip, but as this was a muslin I used what I had in stash.  It looks too wide from shoulder to shoulder at the upper back too.  Photos are so helpful for figuring these things out!

Lekala 4517 in teal cotton drill from Rathdowne Fabrics

 

The Liberty is a pretty contrast, but the neckline overall is higher than I’d anticipated from the line drawings.

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I also think that the bust darts are a little higher than I’d anticipated or than required.  Or maybe it’s just a consequence of my fifty year old boobs being lower than I’d anticipated!  However, overall this fits me pretty well.

Lekala 4517 in teal cotton drill from Rathdowne Fabrics

So, overall verdict?  I think it’s worth giving this pattern another try, actually.  I suspect that the same size, in a much softer fabric such as a linen, rayon or a more loosely woven cotton, would work very well on me.  But as is often the case, I suspect that my eye will be attracted to one of the as yet unmade patterns in my stash before I pick this one up again.  And this muslin will be entering the wardrobe in the spare room.