Sunday, 20 August 2017

Style Arc Alissa Knit Dress for "Artwear August"

Style Arc Alissa Knit Dress
This was my August MAGAM (make a garment a month) which is a sewing challenge over on Instagram, hosted by @sarahlizsewstyle. This month's theme was "Artwear August". I procrastinated for over a week trying to come up with something arty, but then I realised the Style Arc Alissa Knit Dress had a bit of an "arty" vibe with that unusual draped pocket, and I had purchased the pattern in their recent sale and had the perfect fabric in my stash.

My sewing plan posted on Instagram.
The fabric is a double knit purchased from Spotlight recently in an olive and cream polka dot pattern. I love that the polka dots are a little bit random in size and placement, also adding to the "arty" vibe.

Despite looking a little difficult, this was actually quite an easy garment to construct. Style Arc include an excellent diagram in the instructions which really was very helpful. I don't think I had any head scratching moments during the construction of this dress.

The back of the dress dips down slightly, as you can see in the photo above. I constructed most of this dress on the overlocker. Only using my sewing machine for the neckline binding and the front seam that joins the bodice to the draped skirt (as this was a most unusual shape, incorporating the clever pocket design). I sewed the sleeves in flat and they went in so easing required at all.

The back is very simple, with just a centre back seam with some shaping. There are no closures required as this dress slips easily over your head. I made my usual size 12 with no alterations. All the hems were sewn with my coverstitch.

The pocket drape construction is so clever and so easy to achieve. The only change I made was to tack the pocket drape to the seam allowance before sewing the side seams. It was then securely caught in the side seam. The instructions say to "sew a small stitch to connect the folded edge of the pocket to the right side seam" after the side seam is sewn.

This was an easy dress to sew and it is an easy dress to wear. The fabric is easy care and it will fit into my wardrobe beautifully. Love it!

Happy Sewing


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Sewaholic Hollyburn...a departure from my usual style.

Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt
The Hollyburn Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns has been around for several years, and it has taken me forever to jump on the bandwagon. I have only purchased the pattern recently and I am kicking myself for putting it off for so long. 

The skirt comes with three length variations and the choice of belt loops or button tabs. All views have pockets too. I chose view A, which finishes below the knee, and I added the button tabs to the waistband. I am wearing it here with my Style Arc Elsie Woven Overshirt.

The fabric is a 100% wool suiting in navy with a subtle stripe. This fabric was a recent gift from my mother and it originally came from my grandmother's fabric stash. I have no idea how old it would be, but she passed away in 1988 at the age of 80 so it would have been purchased a number of years prior to that. It was a large piece approximately 3 metres long and 1.5 metres wide but a big section of it was riddled with moth holes. I had to carefully mark all the moth holes with chalk before laying out the pattern pieces in order to avoid them. There was plenty of undamaged fabric available for the skirt, and there is still a large piece left over for something else.

I cut a size 12 based on my waist measurement as this is the most fitted area of the skirt. My hip measurement put me at size 8, but I decided to make a straight size 12 as I liked the idea of a nice full skirt. I am really happy with the fit of the skirt so I'm glad I didn't try to blend sizes. If your hip measurement is proportionally larger than your waist measurement then you would need to grade between sizes.

I love the roomy pockets and how neat they turned out. The instructions with the pattern are very thorough and easy to understand. In fact I was amazed at how easy this skirt was to construct and how beautifully it went together. This would be an ideal pattern for a beginner sewist. I just love the shape of the skirt and it feels so elegant to wear.

Here is a closer view of the button tab and the pocket. I cut the pocket with the stripes running the opposite way so I didn't have to worry about matching the stripes. The waistband is quite wide and sits high on my waist. I really like this and the way it gives the illusion of me actually having a waist. I did attempt to match the stripes on the centre front and centre back, creating a chevron effect, but this didn't work out perfectly. In fact this pattern is not recommended for striped fabric.  

 I used an invisible zipper in the centre back seam. The instructions recommend a regular zip so I hope this one holds up ok. I'm pretty happy with my zip insertion and getting the waistband lining up on each side. This did take a couple of attempts before I got it right.

I got carried away when constructing my skirt, and forgot to add the lining at the appropriate step. So silly, but it would have meant too much unpicking to go back and add it, so I decided to just hand stitch it in after the skirt was constructed. I'm so glad I added the lining, as it makes the skirt feel so luxurious when wearing it.

Here is a shot of the insides. I used french seams on the lining. The centre front and centre back seams were sewn on the machine, pressed open and raw edges overlocked. The side seams were overlocked together and pressed towards the back. I wanted to retain as much length as possible so I finished the hem off with some satin bias tape from my stash which was hand stitched to remain invisible on the right side.

As you might have guessed, I absolutely love my new skirt, even though it is quite a departure from my usual style. I really enjoyed sewing this wool suiting (quite a change from my usual ponte knits) and I think my Grandmother would have approved. 

Happy Sewing