Thursday, April 21, 2016

Style Arc Olivia

The Style Arc Olivia dress. 
Love this dress, it's perfect to wear with a cardigan and boots.
As always I glanced at the instructions and did it my way. The only alteration I made was to shorten it by about 3 1/2". Next time I might remove the elastic and make a belt that ties so it is more like Butterick 5211. I used rayon from Spotlight which is perfect for this pattern. I'm glad I have more stashed away to make another one.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

McCalls 7120 Tunic

After the success of yesterdays McCall's 7120 apron dress I immediately drafted a tunic pattern to fit fabric 110cm wide so I could use this beautiful piece of Japanese cotton from Tessuti.
The original pattern piece was a slightly different shape, but the great thing about a pattern this shape is that you can sew the shoulder and side seams, try it on and adjust it until it is just right.
Once again the curve out starts right under the bust dart. The bottom side parts are not joined, but are hemmed and then the bottom is hemmed. I used a packet of bias binding for the neck and arms. This was very quick and easy to sew. I probably have enough tunics like this in my wardrobe, but I'm keeping the pattern in my 'to sew' pile in case I suddenly need another one.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

McCalls 7120 Apron Dress

As soon as the weather starts to call down all I want to wear are leggings and tunics. They are so comfortable to wear around the house and decent enough to wear out of it. I've eyed off apron dresses for a while and there are some lovely ones in Japanese sewing books, but unfortunately those patterns  are just not going to fit me so the other day I decided to make one using a basic dress pattern.
                  
I went with McCalls 7120 as it had a neckline I liked and a dart for some shape. 

I made a muslin of the original pattern first and tried it on. I used a sharpie to draw where I thought it should curve out, which was right under the dart on the front. I then laid it out on some cheap non fusible interfacing and drew a curve out. You can see the shape I drew below.
I then redrew the back piece using the front as a guide. I wanted to make the 'wings' long enough so I made them quite long and cut them back to where I wanted it after I tried it on. I hemmed the wings before I hemmed the bottom and I made bias binding for the neck and armholes.
I was originally going to use some beautiful Japanese cotton from Tessuti but it is only 115cm wide and I just couldn't make it work so I used some light denim that was 150cm wide and made a band at the bottom using a few scraps.
                  
I made some ties and added them at the centre of the side hems so it can tie at the front or back.
It's not often an idea in my head translates to real life so I am excited that this worked. It is the exact shape I wanted. McCalls 7120 is one of those great patterns that you can use as a base for altering into different shapes. I can see myself using it for a few more dresses and tunics. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Simplicity 8101

I couldn't resist Simplicity 8101 when I saw it. I knew that Olive needed a couple and when I asked my niece, who was visiting, if she wanted one she she said "Yes please! In pink!".
I used quilting cotton for all of it, including the bias binding. 
I had a quick look at the instructions and then kind of followed them and kind of did things my own way. I cut a size 3 which fit both girls (they are 3 1/2) but I probably should have cut a size 4 so it fits for longer. The arms seemed a little tight so I made them a bit bigger (all I had to do was sew the side seam a bit shorter).
This has gone home with my happy niece and Olive is just choosing some fabric for hers. 
           

                    

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Jalie 2679



My girls are outdoor jacket and jeans girls during winter, but finding jackets they like is becoming harder (and more expensive).  I knew they would love Jalie 2679, but finding the right fabric was going to be tricky. A lot of the jackets in Mountain Designs and Kathmandu are made from soft shell fabric which I could not find anywhere in Australia (please let me know if there is anywhere I can get it!).
Thanks to Google I discovered a place to buy yardage of all sorts of polartec fabric. Rocky Woods also seems to have some interesting fabric. The only problem with these two places is the cost of postage from the US. Then I found soft shell fabrics at UK Fabrics Online. I think I ordered 4m of soft shell fabric and some mesh for the pocket lining and the postage was only 7 1/2 pounds. 
I chose fabric that was blue on one side and black on the other so I chose some black and some blue to be on the outside. I managed to cut all the pieces from 1m of fabric. It was't hard to sew, but you can't press it and it doesn't stay flat so all the seams need to be topstitched. I traced a size O to fit an 11 yr old. There is plenty of room to wear it over a fleecy jumper. I think the arms are too big, but Milly likes them like this.
The only really tricky part of the pattern were the pocket zips, but Jalie patterns have great illustrations and after putting in two I think I've got the hang of it. 
I used mesh I bought from the same place for the pocket lining.
I am really impressed with this pattern, it was really nice to sew and I am so happy to have made a water and wind repellant jacket for a fraction of what it would cost to buy one. 
The other three all want one so I'll definitely be making more and I might have to make one for myself. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bootstrap Fashion Shirt Dress

I can't seem to say no to a shirt dress pattern and when I saw this one on Bootstrap Fashion I ordered it, printed it and found some fabric immediately. I made a quick muslin and I couldn't believe how well it fit. I think the only alteration was to shorten the sleeves a little and take a tiny bit off the waist. I don't really like pockets with flaps so I used the pockets from the Grainline Archer shirt. There were no markings to show where to place the pockets so I had a guess and I think they are ok. 
I only did a muslin of the top of the sleeve, which was a bit of a mistake as the bottom of it and the cuff are quick large. If they are annoying when I wear it I will just roll them up (I added the tabs and buttons to roll them up).
If you are a beginner sewer or have never made a shirt then this pattern is not for you. I glanced through the brief instructions and then did everything my own way.
It has you cut one yoke, but every shirt I made has had two so I cut an extra and attached them with the 'burrito' method. I could not make out the placket instructions or how the pieces work at all so I used the placket from the Negroni shirt I just made Chris. I used the collar tutorial from Four Square Walls.
It looked ok in the mirror, but I can see a few sleeve issues here, but if I made it again I might need to have a look at how the sleeves fit.


I used a cotton chambray from Textile Traders which was a dream to sew. I really like this dress and this pattern. I think it will get a lot of wear in winter. And now I've had success with one pattern from Bootstrap patterns I'll definitely be trying more. I am very tempted to have a go at one of the jeans patterns.
             

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Liberty Negroni Shirt

I bought this Liberty lawn on a whim from Shaukat a few years ago hoping that Chris might wear it. He wasn't convinced when I showed him, so it sat in the stash for a while. After the success of the Storm Trooper Negroni I thought I would make another Negroni with the Liberty. I didn't even bother trying to pattern match, I only had 2m and it was going to be impossible so I just laid out the pieces and cut. 
He has tried it on and it's in the cupboard with his other good shirts so I think that's a win.