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Easy peasy - StyleArc Elle

Friday, October 3, 2014

The majority of the pants and jeans in my wardrobe are either wide leg or have a bootcut and I am thoroughly sick of the silhouette.  Enter the Elle pants from StyleArc.


These are basically instant gratification sewing, three patterns pieces and an elastic waist which sits flat when worn.  These are a straight size 14, I added extra length but ended up removing it.


I ordered bengaline from StyleArc to make these up but had to throw it in the bin.  I didn't check the fabric properly and I cut them with the stretch going the wrong way - in my defense the stretch on bengaline is parallel to the selvedge which is the opposite to almost every other stretch fabric.


  When I first put these on I wasn't sure I liked them, but they're actually getting a lot of wear.  Another project off my sewing table and into my wardrobe.


So my plan to clear the decks in September has worked really well.  I've finished all the projects I had in various stages of constructions - the link seems to be that they're all really basic and I think I just lost interest in them.  I have a couple more to show you and then it's on to my plans for October.  I also got a bit click happy on the StyleArc website last night and I can't wait for my new patterns to arrive.

Classic - New Look 6230

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm still finishing up WIPs.  I have no idea why it took me so long to finish this top, all I needed to do was add the neckband and hem it.


This is New Look 6230 in a white ponte knit and black textured poly jacquard.

I cut a size 14, added an extra 1.5 inches inches length through the waist and an extra inch to the sleeve length and at the hem.  I also ended up letting out the side seams slightly from just below the bust to the hem, I seem to have accumulated an extra layer of winter padding!


I had to put dart at the top of the shoulders so that the neckline would sit flush against my skin.  I think that is a result of the bulky fabric I used, not necessarily the pattern.  I also had issues with the raglan sleeves not matching up properly at the neckline, the back sleeve was about half an inch longer.  


For me the neckline is also too wide, which is not something I usually need to adjust for and certainly not something that is reflected in the photo on the pattern envelope.  The fit would also have benefited from a sway back adjustment, maybe next time!


Overall it's a nice top and I may use the pattern again in a more fluid fabric.

The Matrix Dress - Simplicity 1873

Friday, September 19, 2014

Operation 'Clear the decks in September' is off to a great start.  I had a bit of sewing time last weekend and managed to complete three items and I'm feeling pretty good about them too!  Excuse the wrinkles in the photos - I'd just finished work.


This dress is Simplicity 1873, previously made here.  I loved this dress and knew that I'd be making it again.  I fixed the back issues I had last time but looking at these photos, particularly the one below, I think that the back also needs a little bit of length taken out.  It's probably also a smidgen tight, but how good is that invisible zipper!


I know I'm often pretty down on Spotlight fabrics but I really like their printed cotton sateens. This one was labelled Matrix green and it kind of stuck in my head, hence the Matrix dress.

When I went to cut this out I realised that it had light and dark stripes running through the pattern.  So while I didn't worry about pattern matching, I did make sure that I kept the light and dark stripes consistent.


When I purchased the fabric I forgot what a fabric hog this skirt is.  Like last time I ended up folding out several of the pleats just so that I could fit all the pattern pieces on.  I've still got a lovely full skirt, but I've removed the pleats which would have sat on my hips.  I should have added a couple inches to the skirt length, but completely forgot.  It's a little shorter than I usually prefer to wear to work, but I think I can get away with it.  


I love my Matrix dress and I received several compliments from people who don't usually comment on my clothes, which just made my day.  I had planned to wear this with a Nettie bodysuit underneath - I have the pattern and the fabric but decided against starting another new project :)  I'm really glad this dress is finished and in my wardrobe.

Dance leotard...just because.

Monday, September 8, 2014

No plans for September sewing - I really need to clear off the WIPs first.  Too many things on the go has me feeling really unsettled.  So, I'm hoping that I can clear the sewing decks in September.

I made these leotards a few weeks ago.  Just because Paige asked.  And asked.  And asked.  You get the picture.  Paige tells me she has been asking for over three years so I guess it was time I came to the party.


Paige doesn't take dance lessons, or calisthenics, or gymnastics.  But she loves to do hand stands and cart wheels and walk overs with the best of them.  She'll spend hours flipping on the carpet in the lounge room.


In the last 40% off sale at Spotlight I picked up this beautiful blue, four way stretch velour.   I went through my Ottobre magazines and picked out design #30 from spring 2007 (1/2007).  Paige wanted long sleeves and no ruffles or frills.


I ended up making a size 122 and adding an extra 1 1/4 inches of length through the body and I think I added about 3 inches extra length to the sleeves which I ended up leaving unfinished or they would have been too short.


This was so much fun to make.  Super quick - all done on the sewing machine and it fits pretty well.

Then I made another one in some loud orange and silver lycra I picked up on the Spotlight discount table.  I added another inch to the length through the body this time as the blue one tends to creep up when she's flipping.  You can see the difference the extra length makes in the photos below.


These are so much fun to make - really quick and easy!

I managed to do a little sewing Sunday afternoon so one of my WIPs is almost finished - hopefully I can show you later this week.

Tropical birds or silk scout number #2

Friday, August 29, 2014

I actually made this top several weeks ago and haven't had a chance to blog it.  I completed a silk scout top not that long ago and wasn't planning another, but somehow this got pushed to the front of the queue.


It's a silk crepe de chine from the depths of my stash and it was popular blogger choice a couple of years ago.  I'm a little behind the times so I'm just making it up now.  There are no changes from last time I sewed the scout - french seams through out and lined body.


Spring is definitely in the air in Melbourne, but it's not quite warm enough to wear a silk t-shirt, so this top is getting layered with a cardi and tank top for work.  It's actually had quite a bit of wear, the colours in the birds give you lots of options for coordinating.  I, of course, chose to wear black :)
 

I thought I'd write a list of a few things that I wanted to sew in September - I was thinking maybe three or four items to help overcome my exceptional procrastination skills.  I ended up with a massive list, so it's back to the drawing board.  Time to prioritise and be logical (boring but necessary).

Repeat offender: Vogue 8742

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I needed a dose of colour to chase off the winter blues and a project that would free up some room in the cupboard.  Enter Vogue 8742 and a ponte in a colour that falls somewhere between grape and fuchsia.


Having made this before here and here I don't have a lot to add.


I did my first ever sway back adjustment following this tutorial and I chopped an inch off the neckline. Looking at these photos I think I'll probably go back and chop a couple of inches off the length (if it doesn't shrink in the wash!).  I bought this fabric about 18 months ago at Spotlight.  I was so excited to see some bright colours that I bought three lots but unfortunately I'm regretting that decision now.  The ponte pills really quickly and it doesn't play nicely with a twin needle.  I tried ball point, jersey, universal and sharp, I adjusted the stitch length, tension and changed the thread but nothing worked.  It kept skipping stitches and stripping the thread.  I've never had this happen on any other fabric so I can only assume that something in this ponte really disagrees with my machine.


It's a fun dress and if it only lasts for one winter, I'm OK with that.

Re-igniting the mojo

Monday, August 4, 2014

All I have to show you today is my new infinity scarf - a glorified loop and the most basic of beginner projects - but it feels so good to be sewing again.  There has been a constant drip of nastiness at work, just enough to take the enjoyment out of the day and steal away any energy I had for sewing once I got home from work.


With Thursday and Friday out of the office I was able to get my head in a more positive place and spent some quality time in my sewing room.


This scarf is made from some lovely 100% wool jersey from Tessuti and it had been playing on my mind.  I had a specific project in mind when I bought it, but when it arrived I felt like it was too light weight.  It's quite sheer.  Now, it's entirely my fault, but Tessuti isn't cheap and the cost of adding two meters to the stash when I couldn't envisage a project was adding to the negativity I had going on.


When I hit on the idea of the infinity scarf it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I whipped up the scarf (perfect for the extra chill in Melbourne at the moment), cut and sewed a dress and traced off two new patterns.  Mojo restored and I felt so much better heading back to work today.


Such a long post for such a small project, but sometimes sewing really is the best therapy :)