Monday, 30 March 2015

Refashion using the Scout Tee

I have made another Grainline Studio Scout Tee, this time with a difference. This fabric had a life as a completely different garment before it came into my possession.

My very generous friend gave me a bag of clothing to go through before sending it to the goodwill. I found this tunic/dress made from a beautiful silky viscose with a lovely drape.

Original rtw garment
The armscyes were huge and not bra friendly.
The fabric felt lovely so I decided to make a top out of it. Using the Grainline Studio Scout Tee pattern as a base, I managed to refashion this tunic into a much more wearable garment.

Front and back cut on fold. I reshaped the neckline.
I eeked enough fabric from the black shoulder straps for the neck line binding, but I didn't have enough fabric for the sleeves. Luckily there was another plain black T-Shirt in the bag that provided the perfect fabric for the sleeves.

Unfortunately, there was not enough fabric to pattern match the side seams. I did make sure to centre the black spots on both the centre front and centre back.

I opted to keep the black band around the bottom of the top, as it was in the tunic. This created a neat fit at the hips, allowing the fabric to drape loosely around the body.

This has been a useful addition to my wardrobe and it feels good to breathe new life into an otherwise unwearable garment.

Happy Sewing

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Style Arc Ginger Knit Top and Sara Skirt

Style Arc would have to be my favourite pattern company. Their designs are very fashion forward, they tend to fit my body shape fairly well with minimal alterations required, and they are Australian.

I loved the Ginger Knit Top as soon as I saw Lara's version, but I was quite surprised that there was very little mention of this top around the sewing blogosphere. The loosely fitted shape, the crossover front and deep V neckline appealed to me.

Style Arc Ginger Knit Top

This was fairly simple to sew although, as with all Style Arc patterns, the instructions were brief. They did include several illustrations that were most helpful for the tricky bits. I think I struggled most with sewing the shoulder pleats.

I purchased this lovely Paisley Jersey from Style Arc as well. It really is as lovely as it is described on the website...beautiful quality and amazing drape. I did sew the front neckline approximately 2cm lower than the pattern markings (I usually have issues with necklines looking higher on me) but this is a little low and I may go back and sew that extra bit to raise the depth of the V slightly.

I used a twin needle to sew the sleeve hems and the back hem. The back neckline is finished off with an inside binding.

The one issue I did have with my top was that the wrong side of the fabric was hanging lower at the front hemline from the under layer of the crossover, thus making it visible. This maybe due to me stretching out the diagonal edge of the crossover when I overlocked it. In the photo above of the inside of the front, you can see where I have removed a wedge of fabric from the under layer to fix this problem.

Style Arc Sara Skirt

The Style Arc Sara Skirt is one of their older patterns. It is a very simple straight skirt with 8 waistline darts, centre back zip and kick pleat. The waistline is finished off with a facing and the pattern includes a lining.

I used a Stretch Bengaline in Sailor, also purchased from Style Arc. The pattern was designed for a woven fabric, so I did have to make some fit alterations. I cut a size 14, but this ended up way too big with the stretch of the bengaline. I ended up sewing 2.5cm seam allowances for the side seams. I also took a little fullness out of the side seams at hip level to achieve a better fit. To give the skirt a more flattering shape, the side seams were pegged in at the hemline a further 2.5cm. I was concerned that the waistline might stretch out with wear so I sewed some cotton tape in the seam when I attached the facing to the waistline, to stabilize it. This version is unlined because I didn't have any suitable lining fabric on hand.

This stretch bengaline from Style Arc is good quality. The skirt has retained it's shape really well, despite me sitting in it all day at bagging out in the seat. The hem has been hand stitched for an invisible finish. The Sara Skirt is a great basic skirt pattern that I'm sure I will be using over and over. I already have another one cut out in a Black Stretch Bengaline. These will be ideal basics to add to my work wear wardrobe.

Happy Sewing

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Style Arc Lani Woven Tunic

I was immediately smitten with the recently released Style Arc Lani Woven Tunic.

Style Arc Lani Woven Tunic
The interesting design lines and the flattering shape was the draw card. I made up a straight size 12 (which is my usual Style Arc size) without any alterations.  I am wearing them with my Style Arc Barb's Stretch Pants made in Style Arc's stretch bengaline in midnight, which I have yet to blog.

In reality, this is not the figure flattering shape I was expecting. My tunic turned out a bit boxy, but to be fair, this may be due to my fabric choice. I used a lovely soft 100% cotton shirting, in a super fine check called sage, purchased from my new favourite local fabric shop...Patchwork on the Bay. Style Arc recommend linen, silk or any soft woven. I'm pretty sure the fabric I used would be classed as a soft woven, but it may have been a bit lightweight. I think this pattern would be best suited to a fabric with a bit more weight and drape so that it doesn't stand away from the body.

The interesting design lines can be seen a bit clearer in the photo above. I top stitched all the decorative seams to highlight them. There is a pocket inserted into the angled seam on the right hand side. The asymmetrical hemline at the front is a nice feature. It is a little tricky to get those corners mitred neatly but after taking my time I am happy with how they turned out. 

There is an armhole dart on the left hand side to add some shaping. Although the instructions are very brief there were several diagrams that were of great assistance in working out how all the pieces were to be joined together. I did deviate from the instructions, and sewed the sleeves in flat. They fitted the armscye perfectly without having to use any gathering stitches.

A lot of the decorative seams are cut on the bias so I took extra care not to stretch these edges before sewing. Sorry about the wrinkles, but I took these photos this afternoon after I had worn it to work all day.

The neckline is finished with a facing and it sits beautifully. My only gripe is that it is much higher than the illustration leads you to believe.

There are no closures required on this tunic. It slips on easily over your head.

Although I am a little disappointed in the overall look of my tunic, I am really pleased with the level of finish that I achieved. This pattern is a little challenging and was quite satisfying to sew. I might try this one again in fabric with more drape one day.

Happy Sewing