children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

a second Girl on the Go dress

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

Stella really likes the Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress that I made her a few weeks ago, so I’ve sewn her another! And yes, it’s from scraps again. Woo hoo for scrap busting!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

This time the scraps are left over from a summer dress I sewed for Clare, that’s had quite a bit of wear since I first made it and is definitely due to be passed on to Stella. The fabric is a soft printed ponte from Spotlight. I faced the ties with a solid knit from stash, partly as a design choice, but mostly because I didn’t have enough of the print to face them with!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

This is a really easy pattern to sew. Construction is on the overlocker other than attaching the neckline facing, which I do on the machine. I use a twin needle in the machine to secure the neckline facing, sleeve and skirt hems.

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Once again, I sewed view A but with the sleeves from view B.  I reckon that this pattern will be sewn up as straight view A when it gets to next summer.  I bought the pdf pattern, so it will easy enough to print out a larger size if necessary.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

You can’t see it in these photos, but I actually used two different colours in the twin needle – each matching one of the blue/greens in the print. Partly as a design feature, partly because it was easier to grab two different spools of thread than to hunt down two that matched exactly or to wind some of one spool on to a bobbin.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

Stella’s dress is size 10, but the Girl on the Go pattern actually goes up to girls size 18. So if you are a slender adult, I reckon that this would fit you fine! Other option for someone wanting to make a grown-up version would be the Liesl + Co Maritime top, lengthened to a dress with ties sewn into the side seams.  It’s such a straightforward dress, but comfortable and easy to wear with a little style thrown in. And isn’t that what most of us want?

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

adult's clothing · sewing

New Look 6397 jacket

It seems that when I get on a roll, I really go for it.  My current roll is to use up large scraps leftover from other projects.  Ones that generally aren’t quite large enough to make a garment on their own, but are definitely large enough to allow for cutting entire pattern pieces.

New Look 6397 in wool jacquard and ponte

This jacket was sewn from a combination of a wool jacquard double knit (thanks Anna!) and ponte. I had no scraps left of either once I’d finished making this, which is always satisfying. I deliberated about whether to use the birds for the body or for the collar and sleeves, and as you can see I decided to use them for the body. It’s worked out well – the ponte is soft and not itchy around my neck.

New Look 6397 in wool jacquard and ponte

This is a super simple, easy to sew, relaxed jacket. The pattern is New Look 6397 (the one that has two different covers and numbers, but exactly the same line drawings). I’ve used it before for a vest.

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Misses’ cozy jacket with patch pockets can have a straight or handkerchief hemline. Vest can have a straight hem with patch pockets or a high-low without pockets.  Fabric suggestions: Lightweight to medium woven or knit fabrics with drape such as: Linen and wool types, double knits, fleece, interlock, jersey, ponte, stretch velvet.

New Look 6397 in wool jacquard and ponte

This jacket is SUPER roomy. I think that I sewed the Small, but it could have been the Medium. Construction was mostly on the machine, with the overlocker used to finish edges. I also overlocked the collar band to the body of the jacket in one pass, then pressed the seam allowance toward the body and topstitched it down.

New Look 6397 in wool jacquard and ponte

This is essentially view D, but with sleeves. I liked the concave curve at the front of D, and didn’t really want pockets. It’s a warm snuggly overlayer, great for casual wear. The dropped shoulders make it easy to fit and wear, and I was surprised at how well the roll at the back of the collar sat against my neck considering that this jacket is sewn from very simple shapes. This is a pattern worth having.

New Look 6397 in wool jacquard and ponte

sewing

Savvy Seamstress winner

Hello all,

Thank you so much for entering to win a copy of The Savvy Seamstress!  There were 45 entries, and in the end I had my youngest daughter draw a winner out of a hat (well, it was actually a basket).

And the winner is….Cindy G!

Cindy, I’ve sent you an email, so please get back in touch with your contact details.

And to everyone else – once again, thank you so much for commenting.  It was really interesting to see where you’d go with the information in the book.  And a special mention does go to Joyce, who responded in verse!

sewing

The Savvy Seamstress

Many of you know that I am fortunate to have a highly talented friend, Nicole Mallalieu, who teaches sewing and fashion design and who also writes books.  Her latest book is The Savvy Seamstress, and I’m pleased to be part of the book tour promoting it!

Savvy Seamstress

Nikki is a highly experienced fashion designer, pattern maker and teacher, who has been working in the industry all her life. She really knows her stuff. I actually took part in testing the instructions in the book while Nikki was in the process of writing it. Nikki’s previous two books have contained instructions for specific projects. This book is a little different. Actually, I think that it really fills a gap in the sewing book market. It give you the skills to change patterns – to add pockets, to alter openings, to draft and change collars, and so on. It’s not a fitting book, or a project book, or a pattern book, but a book that opens up your sewing skills so that you can really customise your patterns to be what you want them to be.

Savvy Seamstress

I used Nikki’s instructions to change the convertible collar of the Colette Negroni pattern to a classic shirt collar and stand. The book contains loads of photos and diagrams and really steps you through the process.

Savvy Seamstress

I took my time, and ended up with what I think was a terrific result. As I was testing the instructions I used calico and contrasting thread. Any error would be glaring – but there were none! Everything fitted together perfectly.  And now I have a pattern all drafted for the next time I want to sew my husband a classic shirt.

Savvy Seamstress collar and stand

I invite you to take a look at what the other blog tour participants have sewn using the information in The Savvy Seamstress, either on Instagram or on their blogs.

I use many of the tips and techniques that I’ve learned from Nikki’s books, patterns and classes in my sewing projects.   They really do help in lifting my sewing to a more professional level.  I also like that they encourage me to do my own thing and to successfully adapt and modify the patterns that I already own to better meet my needs.

Savvy Seamstress

Now, it wouldn’t be a blog tour without a giveaway! One of my blog readers will win their own copy of The Savvy Seamstress. Just leave a comment on this blog post, letting me know what you’re most likely to use this book for. I’ll draw a winner at the end of the week (please make sure that your comment has a way of contacting you).  Good luck!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED – NO MORE ENTRY COMMENTS PLEASE

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adult's clothing · sewing

Style Arc Abigail

I’m on a ‘use up the scraps/remnants’ kick at the moment.  One of the side effects of sewing from stash is that there is often fabric left over, because the fabric used for a garment wasn’t bought specifically for it.  Often these leftovers will work for the girls, but at other times they work for me in combination with other fabrics in the stash.

Style Arc Abigail top in printed ponte and wool jersey

This printed lightweight ponte came from The Cloth Shop. It’s soft and stretchy, super comfortable to wear, and with some judicious placement of the pattern pieces there was just enough to cut the fronts and sleeves of the Style Arc Abigail knit top.

From the Style Arc website: This fashionable top can be made with or without the choker neck band. The swing silhouette makes this top stylish but easy to wear. The neck band is a current fashion trend but if you prefer a “V” neck top just leave out the neck band. Long or short sleeves? It’s your choice on this style. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit jersey or baby wool.

abigail-top

I left off the neck band, and sewed size 12. This is easy to make. Shoulder seams sewn together, finish the neckline by sewing a strip of fabric along it then turning to the inside and stitching down, sew up the centre front seam (such as easy way to get a lovely V neckline), sew on sleeves, sew up side and sleeve seams. Then finish the hems and voila!

Style Arc Abigail top in printed ponte and wool jersey

The back is in coordinating green wool jersey from stash. It’s a slightly lighter weight than the ponte, but seemed to work well in wear. These photos were taken at the end of a work day. The body of the top has a nice amount of flare without being too voluminous.

Style Arc Abigail top in printed ponte and wool jersey

That print really is a great one! No more of it left in my stash now unfortunately, although really I don’t need more than one long sleeved crochet print top.

Style Arc Abigail top in printed ponte and wool jersey

Autumn/winter sewing and planning for sewing is well under way now. I am lucky enough to have two Sewjourn trips coming up in the space of a few weeks, so am hopefully well on my way toward a coordinated cool weather wardrobe.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Scrap busting with the Camden raglan

Raglan tops really lend themselves to colour/pattern blocking, in my opinion.  The perfect solution for what to do with those scraps that are too big to toss but are too small for an entire garment.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

I’ve sewn the Hey June Patterns Camden raglan a few times now, but all for Clare. It was time for Stella to get a look in! I used Crafty Mamas Fabrics printed french terry left over from Clare’s hoodie for the front and back, and cotton/spandex knit (probably also from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) for the sleeves and neckband.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Because I was working with scraps I wasn’t able to centre the print nicely on the back of the tee. I thought it was more important to get it centred on the front. It’s important to put thought into your cutting out whenever you can. Centring prints wherever possible, keeping the print balanced, lining up stripes. A bit of time spent pondering at the cutting table usually results in a much better finished garment. But sometimes you will be constrained by fabric quantities. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Stella’s top is a straight size 10. This is designed to be a fairly fitted tee. From the pattern website: The Camden Raglan is a casual fitted tee for junior girls in sizes 6 – 16.  Its versatility will make it a great wardrobe builder in your pattern stash.  Support your favorite sports team by colorblocking with the sleeve stripes, or use the front of the shirt as a blank slate for iron-on decals or stenciling.  View A features a trendy curved hem and view B has an easy-to-sew banded hem.  Both views A and B have options for sleeve stripes, a hood, 3 sleeve lengths, wristbands, and a kangaroo pocket.

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Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to secure the hems and neckband into place with a simple zig-zag after securing the hems with double-sided tape. Fast and satisfying – and already into wardrobe rotation.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Girl on the Go

When Oliver + S released a tween/teen pattern I got a little excited.  My girls are almost sized out of Oliver + S patterns now.  Well, Stella would still fit into a few of them (I do have some as yet unsewn, sob) but Clare definitely not.  The other bonus of the Girl on the Go pattern is that it is for knits.  Comfort, here we come!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I bought this brushed back sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics last year. Unicorns! Pink glittery unicorns! On grey marle! How could I resist. It was just perfect for this pattern. I combined it with some toning cotton/spandex (also from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) to back the ties and for the neckline facings.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I sewed size 10 for Stella, and am pretty happy with the fit. Loose, but not too oversized. Construction was mostly on the overlocker. Hems were secured with double sided tape, then twin needled on the machine in pink thread. I also twin needled the facing down in pink thread. Love the contrast!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

If I had been a little more skilled I would have realised that with a directional fabric I’d need to cut the ties differently. One of the ties has upside down unicorns. You may not have noticed if I hadn’t mentioned it – but hey, I’m a sewing blogger, we have a tendency toward pointing out our errors. Because they hang sideways you can’t really tell – but I know!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

From the Oliver + S 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. Suggested Fabrics: Suitable for knits of all sorts. Stable knits are especially good for this style. Suggested fabrics include jersey, double knit, thermal knit, interlock, sweatshirt fleece, and French terry.

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As you can see, I mixed up the pattern views to sew view A with view B sleeves.  This is a very easy dress to sew.  There is a sew-along on the Oliver + S blog, and I note that a few bloggers have used this pattern to teach their children to sew.  I did suggest to Stella that she could sew it and I could help her, but she preferred the option of me doing it and presenting her with a finished garment.  Took the easy route!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Although I took what felt like a myriad of photos of Stella in this dress (she’s such an expressive kidlet) I don’t have any of the back! There’s not much to tell though – it’s pretty plain. The line drawing tells the story. I actually already have another one of these dresses cut out for Stella in floral ponte scraps from another project. I’m doing some scrap-busting at the moment. I have a feeling that this pattern is going to get a real workout.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This dress has already gone into high rotation – it’s great for autumn weather and she will be able to layer it nicely for winter. As with all Oliver + S patterns, the instructions are excellent and the pdf pattern is extremely well laid out. They’re the easiest patterns to assemble – not just one huge sheet divided into A4 sheets, but A4 sheets with the pattern pieces arranged so that they are able to be assembled with a minimum of paper waste and a minimum amount of space needed. I haven’t seen any other pattern companies do this even half as well, if at all. Oliver + S do also give you the option of printing one huge sheet as well – the last page of the pdf pattern file is the copy shop option, and this has always been the case with their patterns. Pdf done extremely well.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics