Saturday, 31 May 2014

Me Made May'14 Final Roundup

Phew!! I made it to the end of Me Made May'14 staying true to my pledge of wearing at least one "me made" garment per day for the month of May.

Day Twentysix
Monday 26/5/14

Day 26
Back to work today wearing my Style Arc Terry Tie Cardi in marle grey ponte. Ollie just had to be in the photo too.

Day Twentyseven
Tuesday 27/5/14

Day 27
I am wearing three "me made" garments today. My red Style Arc Nina Cardi made pre blog, my zebra print New Look 6470 Cowl Top and hot off the sewing machine (made last night) my new Style Arc Barb Pants (not yet blogged).

Day Twentyeight
Wednesday 28/5/14

Day 28
Two "me Made" garments today...McCalls 6844 cardigan and my new Style Arc Barb Pants this time worn tucked into my long boots.

Day Twentynine
Thursday 29/5/14

Day 29

Another repeat of my Style Arc Kristen Dress. Tried to change the look by wearing some patterned tights and my new Mary Janes. Ollie just loves joining in.

Day Thirty
Friday 30/5/14

Day 30
The end of another working week and I'm wearing New Look 6071 in purple ponte. I called in to visit Mum on the way home from work and took full advantage of her beautiful pink climbing roses still flowering so close to winter.

Day Thirtyone
Saturday 31/5/14

Day 31

A day spent at home doing domestic chores. I am wearing my Style Arc Elle Pants and my Cation Designs Dolman Sleeved top. We went down to the local Chinese Restaurant for dinner tonight and I changed into my Style Arc Issy Top.

Day 31 Evening

Well here I am at the end of Me Made May'14, a little sad that it's over, but glad that I don't have to do the daily photos any more. It has been a fun experience, exploring new ways to wear my "me mades" and identifying gaps in my wardrobe. This has resulted in a huge surge in my sewing mojo and I have probably completed more garments this month than ever before. Let's hope it continues. 

I have decided not to go back to wearing my work uniform, even though it is easier, I have quite enjoyed the challenge of working out outfits to wear to work. It just means I need to be organised the night before. 

Me made garments worn during May totalled 52 (with quite a few repeats included). This far exceeded my pledge of wearing 31 (one garment per day). I have surprised myself with these results and I will have to set my challenge much higher for next year. Thanks to all the participants of Me Made May'14 for sharing their progress and a big thanks to Zoe for organising the event.

Me Made May'14 Week One

Me Made May'14 Week Two

Me Made May'14 Week Three

Me Made May'14 Week Four

Happy Sewing

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Terry Tie Cardi from Style Arc

I have been sewing quite a few practical garments lately, which have been filling a gap in my wardrobe. My latest effort is the Terry Tie Cardi from Style Arc.

Style Arc Terry Tie Cardi
A stylish and comfortable cardi with shoulder tucks and front tie detail.This is one of their older patterns and it gives a nice flattering silhouette.

Style Arc Terry Tie Cardi Line Drawing.
I used a marle grey ponte de roma purchased from Lincraft. This was probably a bit heavier than the fabric they recommend, but it gave the result I was after. This is a nice warm cardi but it still has enough drape to work as designed. I cut a straight size 12 with no alterations.

The ties are sewn into the front darts. When tied together they pull the fronts together creating draping folds of fabric at the front, and nipping in the waist line. The centre fronts also hang lower and this also adds to the flattering effect.

I had terrible trouble trying to work out the pleats at the shoulders. The instructions for this are very sparse, and you are really only given a series of notches across the front shoulder. I ended up making 5 small pleats about 6mm wide which worked out ok and the front shoulder length matched the back shoulder length. I did quite a bit of unpicking before I figured this out. The rest of the construction was easy and came together without any problems.

Back view
Even though the back has no darts it still has some shape. The length was fine on me. I did end up with a bit of a bubble effect at the back neck. The back neckline is finished off with some binding. There is a pattern piece for a vilene stay which I didn't use. I was concerned that the neckline might stretch out without this, but it seems to be a little tight rather than stretched.

Hem line
The hems were all finished off with a twin needle which sewed beautifully on the ponte. My only real disappointment with this pattern is the front opening edges. The raw edge is folded back 1.5cm and secured at the top in the shoulder seam, and at the bottom in the hemline. This means it is unsecured all the way down the front. In the photo above you can see where it has flopped forward, revealing the raw edge. I do plan to fix this by securing it with some Steam-a-seam lite when I can buy some. All my local stockists are having trouble getting any in at the moment.

This has been a great practical addition to my wardrobe and I am sure I will get a lot of wear out of it.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 25 May 2014

MMM'14 Week Four Roundup

We are nearing the end of Me Made May'14 now. Only one more week to go. Here is my roundup of the past week.

Day Nineteen
Monday 19/5/14

Day 19
Back to work for the start of another week. I am wearing Style Arc Wendy Pants (modified) with a Style Arc Terry Tie Cardigan, yet to be blogged.

Day Twenty
Tuesday 20/5/14

Day 20
Today I'm wearing McCalls 6163 with the collar. It is a little snug at the moment but I thought it looked OK with my Style Arc Nina Cardigan belted over the top.

Day Twentyone
Wednesday 21/5/14

Day 21
Home late tonight after work and grocery shopping. Just a quick photo before I unpack the groceries. Wearing my Style Arc Kristen Dress.

Day Twentytwo
Thursday 22/5/14

Day 22
I must have been in a rush this morning before work...after looking at this photo, I'm wondering what I was thinking. This cardigan looks terrible belted (and I must stitch that front band down so that it sits properly). Wearing McCalls 6844 cardigan and Style Arc Sammi Pants.

Day Twentythree
Friday 23/5/14

Day 23
Back to my favourite Sewaholic Renfrew Top paired with a repeat of my Style Arc Sammi Pants. I tried to change the look by wearing a different necklace.

Day Twentyfour
Saturday 24/5/14

Day 24
A day at home doing washing and vacuuming and other mundane domestic chores...but I did sneak in a little sewing this afternoon. Wearing another Sewaholic Renfrew. I'm working on another McCalls 6844 cardigan (View C this time) which I have been working on a couple of evenings this week, and I got to finish it. Here's a sneak peek on our way out to dinner:

Evening of Day 24

Greg is also wearing his favourite "me made" shirt McCalls 6044 so that makes him eligible for the photo too.

Day Twentyfive
Sunday 25/5/14

Day 25
I spent an hour or so this morning removing twelve black buttons from my Colette Beignet Skirt and sewing on twelve cream buttons to replace them. Sharon from Petite and Sewing suggested that it might look better with less black and I think she is right. Thanks Sharon. I'm wearing it today with my Grainline Studio Scout Tee and my Style Arc Stacie Jean Jacket

It has been an interesting week, spending time searching through my wardrobe looking for "me mades" and trying to come up with new combinations and ways of wearing them.
One more week to go...can I keep it up???

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

New Look 6071 Revisited

New Look 6071...number4

This is the fourth time I have made New Look 6071. It is just such a flattering style and I don't think I have finished with this pattern yet. Unfortunately I think it has just become OOP, so if you want to give it a try you had better get in quick.

The first three versions I made were all pre blog, but I still wear them a lot.

First version

The first version I made was sleeveless and I used a size 14. This was a little big and the back neck gaped.

Second version

For the second version I went down to a size 12 and added short sleeves. I also cut the neck binding a couple of sizes smaller than the pattern. This eliminated the back neck gape.

Third version

For the third version I stuck with the size 12 with shortened neck binding, but used the long sleeves.

Fourth version

For my most recent version I used a size 14 because I made it with a ponte which was a lot thicker and less stretchy than the previous fabrics used. This paid off and the fit is pretty good. I also lengthened it by 8cm. Sorry about these dreadful photos. I really should have worn my sunglasses to avoid that awful squinty look, but your only supposed to be looking at the dress...right?

Side View

Back view

I just love the clever cross over front. It is really flattering and even though it is quite a plunging neckline, it hugs the curves and doesn't gape at all.

Bodice detail

Back neckline finished with self fabric binding.

By shortening the length of the neckline binding by two sizes and stretching to fit, has eliminated any gaping. The neckline now sits nice and close to the body.

Hems sewn with a twin needle.

I turned the hem up 3cm and stitched with a twin needle. This ponte is lovely and stable and the hem turned out nice and neat, without any skipped stitches. I sewed the majority of seams on the overlocker and I set the sleeves in flat, as I do with all knits.

I am really pleased with how this dress turned out and I think it will be a real workhorse in my work wardrobe. You have already had a sneak peak in my Me Made May round up from last week when I wore it for the first time, hot off the sewing machine.

Happy Sewing

Monday, 19 May 2014

MMM'14 Week Three Roundup

I have made it to the end of week three for Me Made May'14 and I have managed to stick to my pledge of wearing at least one "me made" garment per day. In fact, I have managed to wear more than one "me made" garment on a few days. Maybe I should make my pledge a bit more challenging next year.

Day Twelve
Monday 12/5/14

Day 12
Monday and back to work. I thought my bright red Style Arc Nina Cardigan would cheer up my Mondayitis, paired with my Zebra print Cowl top New Look 6470

Day Thirteen
Tuesday 13/5/14

Day 13
Today I am wearing my Colette Beignet Skirt. I really enjoyed the process of sewing this skirt but I'm not sure I like it on me. Maybe I need to try it in a nicer fabric...but there are so many buttons and buttonholes to be made :-(

Day Fourteen
Wednesday 14/5/14

Day 14
I look exhausted after a day at work and then the dreaded weekly grocery shopping, but I have excelled myself, wearing three "me made" garments today. Style Arc Sammi Pants paired with another New Look 6470 cowl top and my Purple Style Arc Nina Cardigan. I have been having fun working out different ways to wear my "me made" garments.

Day Fifteen
Thursday 15/5/14

Day 15
Sorry, but here is another repeat of my Lavender Cowl Sewaholic Renfrew. This is becoming a firm favourite. The fabric is great quality and it is so easy to care for...straight in the washing machine, hung on the line to dry, hang in the wardrobe and it's ready to wear (no ironing required).

Day Sixteen
Friday 16/5/14

Day 16
I was in a real sewing mood on Thursday night so I made a new dress (New Look 6071). I had already cut it out the previous weekend so I just had to sew it up. I was so pleased with the result that I had to wear it to work on Friday. I added the scarf to make it more work appropriate as it has quite a plunging neckline. Blog post to come soon.

Day Seventeen
Saturday 17/5/14

Day 17
Yay!!! The weekend has arrived. I am wearing my Grainline Studio Archer Shirt paired with my Style Arc Stacie Jean Jacket, ready to go and check out the Moruya Country Markets. This is the first time I have worn these two garments together and I am really pleased with the result. The sleeves on the shirt are too big and the sleeves on the jacket are a little short...but when worn together you would never know.

Day Eighteen
Sunday 18/5/14

Day 18
I love my weekends and Sundays are often sewing days for me. I chose a nice comfy outfit for today...another Sewaholic Renfrew top and my Style Arc Elle Pants. Just kicked off my slippers for the photo. Spent the afternoon and evening in my sewing room and produced another Style Arc garment. Blog post to come soon.

Happy Sewing

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Style Arc Issy Top

I received the Style Arc Issy Knit Top as the free pattern with a recent order I placed. It looked interesting and I had some suitable fabric in the stash so I thought I would try it out.

This fabric was left over from my Style Arc Fay Skirt. I could even wear this top with the skirt to create the illusion of a dress.

Style Arc Issy Knit Top

This is a very intriguing design that creates a clever cross-over draped neckline. There is ruching at the side seams and an asymmetrical hemline. The instructions were fairly brief but they did provide a few diagrams illustrating how it goes together. I must say that I did a lot of reading and re-reading the instructions and a bit of head scratching before it became clear...but the result was worth the extra brain strain.

A closer view

Back View (notice the neck band)

The snug neckband makes this a great design for the cooler months. This may be a little too warm for a summer top, even with short sleeves.

Side seam ruching

Less ruching on the shorter side.
The side seam ruching is great for hiding a few lumps and bumps around the tummy region. Very figure flattering. 
The fabric was a fairly light weight silky jersey. My sewing machine didn't like it very much, which resulted in a few skipped stitches despite using my walking foot and a jersey No. 70 needle. I used a twin needle to finish off the hems and I also used steam a seam lite which does help.

Asymmetrical neckline with draping.

I made the size 12 with no alterations. This was a smidge too tight across the bust which interfered with the drape a little.

Side view of neckline drape.

I was very mindful of the floral pattern on the fabric and I spent quite a bit of time laying out the pattern, making sure that I didn't position a flower directly over a boob. I'm quite pleased with the result. The neckline is quite high and very modest on this top. This could be easily tweaked to be made a little lower, if desired.

This top has been a great addition to my wardrobe and can be worn dressed up or dressed down which makes it very versatile.

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Style Arc Wendy Pants (modified)

I was intrigued when I first saw the Style Arc Wendy Pants and I ordered the pattern way back in January last year.

Style Arc Wendy Pants
I loved that they were just a pull on pant yet they had a nice curved waistband. There was no complicated fly to sew...just a strip of Velcro. But I was after a slimmer leg shape which flared out to a bootcut at the hemline. So I proceeded to alter the Wendy Pants to closer match the shape of a RTW pair of pants that I already had. I never blogged the first pair I made because I was never entirely happy with them. I did wear them to work a few times but I found the Velcro closure dug into my stomach when sitting and I work in an office and therefore, do a lot of sitting.

I then made a second pair from a stretch woven (which did not quite have enough stretch) and I replaced the Velcro with three buttons and buttonholes. They looked great...just the shape I was after (but when I got them on I couldn't move). I loved the look of the buttons too.

Here is my third attempt:

Style Arc Wendy Pants with leg shaping
I used a burgundy stretch bengaline purchased from The Remnant Warehouse. These are a size 10, graded up to side 12 at the waist. 

Back View

Legs shaped to bootcut.
Button closure instead of Velcro.
I am really happy with the button closure. They look good, they are comfortable and don't dig in like the Velcro does when sitting and they are perfectly functional.

Fit in the back.
I am pretty happy with the fit. There are a few leg wrinkles but I think I can live with them and they are nice and comfortable as there is quite a bit of stretch in the bengaline. 

They match beautifully with my SA Stacie Jean Jacket.

I love the wide waistband which fits my shape perfectly. The crotch is a little weird (I think I mucked it up while changing the shape of the legs). I am going to try this pattern again, without my modifications just to see what they should be like, (which is what I should have done in the first place). This is not the last you will see of this pattern.

Happy Sewing