Saturday, 30 April 2016

Deer and Doe Plantain Tee and Style Arc Wallis Pants

Why have I waited so long to try this wonderful pattern?

The Plantain T-Shirt is a free downloadable pattern from Deer and Doe, that has been around for quite a while, yet I have waited until now to give it a try. I was after a top to wear out to a work dinner, that would be suitable to wear with my black Style Arc Wallis Pants. It needed to be evening appropriate and a quick sew as my time was limited. The Plantain T-Shirt was the perfect candidate.

Deer and Doe Plantain T-Shirt

I had this black and silver sparkly knit in my stash which had been bought ages ago from Spotlight for a completely different project that never eventuated. This fabric also met the criteria for this top.

I cut a size 44 and added 8cm to the length to make it more tunic length. In hindsight I should have added a little more to the length as I could only turn up a 1cm hem without making it too short. I love the shape of the neckline on this top, and the general shape of the T-Shirt is quite flattering...being fitted in the shoulders and across the bust, yet skimming loosely over the tummy and hips.

Although I am very happy with the fit of the front, the back needs a little more room to skim over my backside without getting caught up. This will be easily fixed for the next one.

There are generous 5/8th" seam allowances thank heavens, as I could see that this top was going to be too tight on me when I tried it on Vera during construction. The fabric has only a small amount of stretch and I should have allowed for this by cutting a larger size. I was able to save it by sewing 3/8th" seam allowances at the side seams.

The Style Arc Wallis Pants were sewn last year, but I never got around to blogging them. They are made from a lovely black ponte purchased from Style Arc. It has an excellent recovery so they don't bag out at all.

Style Arc Wallis Pants
I cut a size 12 and added a large calf adjustment to cater for my extended calves. The line drawing is incorrect. The curved side seam begins at the usual position for a side seam and curves toward the front at around hip level. It does not start from the back as the line drawing suggests. I am quite happy with the fit of these pants and they have been a really useful wardrobe staple.

Stay tuned for more Plantain Tees.

Happy Sewing

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Me Made May 2016

 'I, Jean of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least two me made garments each day for the duration of May 2016, and to find new ways of mixing and matching my me made garments to create new outfits.' I will endeavour to post daily photos on IG @sewjeanmargaret and do a weekly roundup on the blog.

I have participated in Me Made May for the past two years and it has been a great experience. Looking forward to this year...meeting new sewing friends and joining in the fun.

Hope to see you there too.

Happy sewing

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Style Arc Hedy Designer Dress

The Style Arc Hedy Designer Dress caught my eye the minute it was released, but it wasn't until I saw Lara's version that I was prompted to purchase the pattern. Soon after, I had an unexpected trip to Spotlight during a work trip and purchased this gorgeous Geo Space Dye Jersey in this lovely colour called Rasberry. It's a 50% cotton, 47% polyester and 3% spandex blend and is quite a beefy weight for a jersey. 

Style Arc Hedy Designer Dress

From the Style Arc website: "Hedy is a simple, unstructured shaped dress that has cleverly constructed design lines. The asymmetrical neck pleat drapes to the side seam and creates the hidden pockets and the fabulous cocoon shape. 
The Hedy pattern comes in 2 lengths - a knee-length dress & mid-calf length dress with side splits."

I cut the knee length version in a size 12 without any alteration. I was concerned that the neckline may have been too high at the front but I needn't have worried as it turned out just right.

The pockets are awesome and are cleverly hidden in the seam lines of the dress. I did have to do a bit of unpicking here as I sewed them in back to front on my first attempt. The instructions include several diagrams that are very helpful in the construction of the dress...if you study them properly the first time. Fusible interfacing is added to the pocket edges and provides the necessary stability in this area, essential in a knit fabric. 

I love the cocoon shape of the dress. Not only is it right on trend at the moment, it is also super comfortable and leaves plenty of room for a big lunch.

Most of the construction was done on the overlocker. I chose to finish the neckline off with a facing as it was quite bulky with the neckline pleats and I thought it would be easier than attempting a binding. I am happy with the result and to stop the facing from flipping out I hand stitched it to the various seam allowances around the neckline.

Here's a closer shot of the neckline facing that also shows the fabric in more detail. The fabric was the same on the right and wrong sides, so I had to be super careful that I didn't get them mixed up.

The neckline pleats are an interesting feature, with the seam lines continuing down to the side seams. Creating the pleats was a bit of a head scratching moment for me. I had to read and reread the instructions several times, as well as studying the diagrams and trying several different ways of folding the fabric. Then I had a "light bulb moment" and it became clear. I think I was trying to make it harder than it was.

Here is a better shot of the dress without the accessories. Notice the shoulder seams are towards the front and not directly on the shoulder line...another interesting feature.

With arms outstretched you can see the shape of the dress. As you have probably gathered with this picture heavy post, that I love my new dress. I sewed it up over two week night evenings, finishing it just in time to wear to my sister's surprise 50th Birthday lunch. On completion, I tried it on and asked my hubby's opinion. He's not a fan of "sack dresses" and this one fell into that category. On the morning of my sister's birthday I decided to wear my new dress despite my husband's misgivings. His comment was "you're not wearing that, are you".

I'm so glad I did wear it, as it was comfortable in the car for our three hour drive, it allowed plenty of room for a delicious lunch, and I received several lovely compliments.

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Style Arc Maddison Top

The Style Arc Maddison Top has become quite popular of late, and I have been persuaded to try it after seeing all the great versions out there, already created. 

Of course, this pattern looks great in stripes, but I used a solid black ponte from my stash to try it out first. I made a few pattern alterations before cutting out. The front neckline was lowered by 2cm at centre front, tapering back to the original neckline at the shoulder darts. I always try to avoid crew necklines as they are never flattering on me. I added 5cm to the length of the front and back pieces to account for my long body shape. This was added in by cutting and spreading the pattern at around the waistline level, and the last alteration was to drop the bust dart point down about 2.5cm to compensate for the effect of gravity. Not all of these alterations were successful.

Style Arc Maddison Top
The description from the Style Arc website: "A great everyday raglan sleeved top with a slight trapeze the body, the wide hem allows this top to fall beautifully. Make this in a stripe to show off all the design lines. This top can be made in a knit or a stretch woven fabric."

As you can see from the side view, the top is not hanging in the most flattering way. I think it may need a full bust adjustment to add some width and length to the front pattern piece, so that it hangs better. (I'm open to suggestions here.) I cut my usual size 12 for this top. 

Altered bust dart point failure.

I always learn so much when scrutinizing the photos of the garment on me. So much more helpful than just looking in the mirror. Lowering the bust dart point was a complete failure. This alteration was completely unnecessary and I will keep it at the original position for next time. The ponte fabric is quite heavy and this may have dragged the position of the bust dart down. This could have a completely different outcome if a woven fabric was used. 

It looks better from the back. I love the raglan sleeves and the deep hem. The neckline was finished off with a simple wrap around self fabric binding. The skirt is another Colette Mabel, made in a lovely printed Italian Ponte from Knitwit. I have improved the fit of this version by doing a full tummy adjustment. This was easy to do and made a real difference to the fit and hang of the skirt at the front. I will be using this adjustment for any future makes, for sure.

This has been a great outfit for the cooler weather that has finally arrived, despite my fitting issues. I'm sure I will iron them out in the next version.

Happy Sewing