Thursday, April 20, 2017

Style Arc Rosie top

I have had this pattern in the stash for a while, and finally got around to making it up just in time for the end of summer! Oh well, sitting in the cupboard won't hurt it for a couple of months!

There are lots of things that I like abut Style Arc, their sizing is pretty consistent and their technical drawings are usually pretty accurate to the finished product. I usually buy their patterns when they are on sale from their Etsy site so the cost is pretty good too. And they are an Australian company as well!

Size and fitting notes: I made the size 10 without any alterations. Overall the fit for me is quite good, although I generally like my clothes to be a little bit roomy rather than tight. The fit across the bust is a tad big though. This could be because my fabric 'grew' during handling or I may need to take the princess seam in a tad over the bust point.I'll reserve my judgement on that when I make it up in a firmer weave fabric.

Fabric: A really lovely cotton boucle from The Remnant Warehouse. This is a really hard fabric to describe! It is white with a bobbly type black stripe weave. It is actually quite heavy so the top drapes really nicely.

Verdict: I think that this will be a great top for our hot summers. I think it will work with jeans and chinos as well as a more tailored pant. Its a nice quick sew, and as the pattern pieces are all quite small it is a great pattern for using up strange shaped remnants!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Blog resurrection.....and McCalls 6991

Two years between posts certainly is a long break, and I have been umming and ahing about whether I would come back to this blog pretty much that whole time!

But here I am, and here is my latest project, a wrap top made from McCalls 6991.

Sewing notes

Pattern: McCalls 6991
I cut View A in a size 10 but it was way too big and I ended up needing to take in the side seams and taking up the shoulder seams. Next time I will cut the size 8 and see if that works out as a better fit.
I also had to add a CB seam to the lower bodice piece as I was a tad short on fabric.

Fabric: a lovely khaki green viscose crepe from The Remnant Warehouse's online store.

Verdict: I am really happy with this top. I think it works well dressed down with jeans and also will be a good work top with a dressier pair of pants. I think I might need more in a range of colours! The pattern itself is pretty quick to sew, although I did have a bit of a headscratching moment when trying to figure out how the drape front worked!

And now that all of my girls are in full time school, having time during the day to sew seems to be quite a luxury, although it is very quiet not having small people to chat to!

This also means that my clothing needs are changing, hopefully I can break out of the jeans and t-shirt habit and take on some more challenging sewing projects than kids leggings!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Look away.....its another Elsa dress!

I was beginning to think that I was the only Mother of Daughters Who Sews that hadn't made an Elsa dress!

But Miss C has decided that she wants to sing Let it Go at her end of year school Talent Quest which explains why I am currently knee deep in blue satin and glitter tulle.

And I have to admit, 7 year old me would have chopped off my waist length hair in exchange for an Ice Princess gown!

So I am more than happy to jump on the Frozen bandwagon, although I wasn't too happy about having to pay (gasp) full price for the fabric. While I had some vintage patterns that I was able to mash together to get the general feel of the dress, aqua blue polyester satin and sequins are not usually found in my stash. Still, the popularity of Elsa meant that the fabric was pretty easy to source online at a reasonable price, so all up the dress should come in just under $30.

I am using the bodice from the ballerina dress, and the skirt from the cheesy 1970's flower girl dress to make the dress. The ballerina skirt was just a gathered rectangle, whereas the 70's dress has a flared and gathered skirt which I think will give a nicer silhouette and provide a bit more leg room if Miss C decides to incorporate some Queen Elsa moves into her performance! (As an aside, I think that my only beef with the movie is that Elsa's dress errs a bit too much toward Jessica Rabbit for my liking. I did have to explain at quite some length as to why Miss C's dress would not be 'off the shoulder" like Elsa's!)

I just know what is going to happen when the twins cop an eyeful of Miss C in her Elsa glory though, so I bought a bit extra of all the fabrics to make 3 year old versions as well!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vogue 1300 dress as a top

There is really not much to say about this make, except for the basics....and some pics!

Vogue1300  DKNY dress
I made the size 10, grading out to a 12 at the hip. If I make this again I will just cut a straight size 10 as there is plenty of room in the hips.
V1300, Misses' Dress and Slip
A bottle green rayon which is not usually a colour I wear, and looks dreadful with denim,but teams pretty well with a lighter bottom like a biege chino.

Sewing details
This really was a super simple pattern to make. I shortened the length of the dress and the drapey bit to just below hip length. Left off the back opening as it goes easily over my head. I also left the drape edge raw. I did initially hem the edge as per the pattern instructions, but this looked pretty horrible so I just cut it off. I will need to 'maintain' the edge by trimming the hairy bits every now and then, but the fabric drapes a lot better without a hemmed edge.
I also left out the pockets.

I really like how this turned out. It won't be an everyday top in this fabric, but I can see a lot of possible variations. I would like to try how this works in a stripe jersey next, but as I have now pretty much decided that my knees are no longer suitable for public viewing, I don't think I will be trying a dress version!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Some DKNY indulgence

It’s been a while since I made anything for myself, and its been a long while since I made anything fancy!

And as all three of my girls are pretty well sorted for summer clothes, I think that I can spend a bit of time doing some self indulgent sewing before I have to get on top of the Christmas sewing jobs.
                          V1308, Misses' Jumpsuit

                     V1300, Misses' Dress and Slip

I have had these two Vogue DKNY patterns in the stash for a while, they should be pretty easy to sew up and I just happen to have the right fabrics in the stash for both of them, so I am going to ignore the fact that I don’t actually need any clothes like this and just have some sewing fun.

I have an emerald green rayon that I will use for the dress, but will shorten to top length, and I have some black linen/rayon blend fabric for the jumpsuit.

It’s school holidays here at the moment, so if I can park the kids in front of a movie on a day or two I might get these sewn up pretty quickly!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

By bye Burda..........hello Pochee!

This is the year that I have finally said goodbye to my Burda subscription. I have been a subscriber since 2008, and realised that I now have a pretty good library of just about every skirt, pant, jacket and top pattern that I am ever likely to get from Burda.

I realised that I usually make only one or two patterns from each issue, and sometimes none at all, so in terms of my pattern budget it does end up being a bit of a luxury.

And now that Burda is releasing their new styles as individual downloads at Burdastyle, then I figure that if there is a pattern that is totally different to what I already have, I can download it when required. While I am a bit sad that I won’t be getting the glossy pattern goodness in my mailbox each month, I am happy that I have amassed a pretty great library of wearable patterns.

So what did I do now that I no longer subscribe? Go out and spend my money on more pattern books!

I noticed that Burda tends to have a fairly slim fitting style (think pencil skirts and narrow trousers) and I felt that I needed some basic, looser fitting styles, especially for summer.

So I ordered these three issues of Sewing Pochee magazine. Click on the links for more info as to what is inside.

I have to say though, that getting three at once has been a bit much, as there are a lot of patterns in each one and it is going to take a bit of time to digest what is inside.

But at first glance, the thing I am most impressed with is this handy little graphic, a key that shows you where each pattern piece for a particular style is on the pattern sheet, Burda please take note!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jacket with the works

Its got quilting, a hood, snaps, vintage hot pink velvet ribbon and it’s made from shiny silver leopard print taffeta……… ack!

What a pity it’s not my size!

Looks good on Miss C though.

Miss C has had a recent growth spurt which just happen to coincide with a bitterly cold gust of winter, so my plans of squeezing her into last years jacket went out the window faster than Jack Frost came in.

While we are not a particularly outdoorsy family, no camping, hiking or fishing happens much ‘round here, we do walk pretty much everyday, so a warm jacket is pretty vital to our winter wardrobe.

So while I had no intentions to do any seriously hard concentrating type of sewing this season, I realised that I did need to get something together for her. Or buy something, which didn’t seem nearly as appealing.

Here are the deets


Vintage McCalls pattern, dated 1977. Size 8.
I have had this one in the stash for quite some time.
It is described as an unlined jacket with raglan sleeves, hood and front button fastening.
I did have to do quite a bit of work to turn this into a warm jacket but it was a great shell to start from.

Outer layer: nylon leopard print taffeta (bought for $2 m from Spotlight)
Inner layer: premium, thick polar fleece, in baby pink of course
Lining: mystery shiny stuff from the stash, again in pink.
Hood lining: silver mesh, long time stash resident, circa late last century.
Cuffs: mystery rib knit from the stash.
Trim: vintage hot pink nylon velvet ribbon for the hood and hem and silver snaps for closures.

Sewing Notes

I think I have trumped myself on last year’s jacket, which only got a couple of outings. This took quite a while of thinking and deliberating and while not necessarily hard to sew, everything needed to be done accurately and in the right order. I tossed around different fastening and pocket ideas but in the end went easy on myself and chose the simplest options to sew.

I cut the body, sleeves and hood from the taffeta and polar fleece fabrics and quilted these together and then treated this as a single piece of fabric.

I cut the lining from the same pattern pieces, sewed these together and then used this to underline the jacket, so it is not really a true lining but does the job of hiding all those messy seams.

I needed to draft a back facing for the neck, the pattern had a different finish as it was not originally lined, and I cut a third layer, the mesh fabric, for the hood lining.

The velvet ribbon was used to trim the hood and jacket hem and I made some pocket flaps to add to the patch pockets.

I used metal snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes and used some grey ribbing to finish the sleeves instead of the original elastic casing.

While it does seem a bit of a hodge podge of fabrics and textures, some bits are new, some bits are old, I think it has come together quite nicely. All up, and not considering the value of my time, this jacket cost just under $30 to make. Which I think would be about half the price of something similar in RTW so I will count that as a win!

And I got this finished just in the nick of time for Pattern Review’s outerwear contest. Yay me!

While I did enjoy making this, the project has sucked all of my sewing mojo out of me, so I expect I will be floundering a bit sewing wise for a while. I don’t have anything that NEEDS to be made right now so things could be quite for a while!