A diary of all my mad projects.

I am glad that you stopped by - welcome to my world. Its a little mad and hectic as I sew, knit, embroider and generally craft my way through life. My newest resolution is to spend more time sewing - less time dreaming about it. I love to read comments so I am looking forward to hearing from you all.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Style Arc Trio

Image from www.stylearc.com.au

The Style Arc Anne Tshirt has become the most used of all my patterns, a TNT.  A basic ingredient in most wardrobe, a well fitting Tshirt is a pleasure to wear.  I have adapted it and removed the gathering as I never was able to successfully sew them, and I much prefer it without the accent on the lack of waist definition. I am not a fast sewer but can cut and sew this within a few hours. My latest rendition was started at the NISM2015 but finally finished this week.

A few years ago I bought some sequined mesh to make a top that were all the rage but it entered the stash and I did not have any suitable knit to match with it.  Fast forward to a trip to the local Hospice Shop and this knit with a lace pattern across it was $1.00 for 3metres.

The band was folded over leaving a few millimeters of fabric to stop the sequins scratching along the neckline.
 The sequins are a bronze plastic on polyester mesh and sewn in a cluster pattern. I cut a front only out and laid it over the knit front, treating the two as one.  The sequins were not difficult to sew over as they were only plastic but the Baby Lock cover stitch did not like it and it was a beast skipping and cutting the thread but it worked eventually it all worked.


Next up was another Anne in a beautiful rayon/lycra knit that has been in the stash a few years.  I have teamed it up with Style Arc Margo skirt and an embroidered mesh that has aged for 20 years in the stash - about time it got used don't you think? I have some reservations about the age appropriateness of this outfit but I do like it on the model.

The Margo is an easy make and I have made it before for the eldest in a leather look poly which looked great.  This time I used the mesh and doubled it - entirely by chance the motifs matched up in all pieces.  I couldn't have planned it better if I tried.  The lining is a beautiful stretch silk piece from The Fabric Store bargain bin and is a delicate blush colour,

 Still in the works is a short cardigan similar to Muse Jenna style but I have adapted a Style Arc pattern to give a similar look.  Pattern buying is off the list at present but necessity is the mother of invention so they say. One of the best things about this is that they were sewn 20 minutes a day, as it has been the busiest time of the year for relief teaching.  Pictures of me wearing these to follow when I can get the photographer to take them.  She is on holiday next week so soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A new pattern makes all the difference or Ottobre to the rescue.

Following on from the previous post my desire for a quick project mushroomed into a 3 pattern monster but with a great ending.  After trying the Style Arc Billie top and finding it unsuitable for my figure (plus sized apple) I remembered an Ottobre top that I had previously made for DD#1 which featured the drape effect that I liked but in a more fitted style.

The pattern is Lemon Juice No 13 in the Ottobre Spring/Summer 2/2013.  I traced a 50/52 then laid it over the previously cut fabric and cut it out.  Luckily I had another metre for the sleeves.

Lemon Juice laid over the Size 20 Billie top - the back piece is only half and needs to be folded over and the other side cut out.
Making this up is quick and easy, with the only  departures from the pattern were gathering the neckline back and front rather than using the clear elastic to gather.  I do not seem to have mastered this technique and it always ends in tears, fabric and liquid.  So I did not even attempt it and I am pleased with the result. I lengthened the sleeves slightly for a more flattering look.  As you can see I am very happy with the new top!

The left side showing the short seam and then the pleat effect.

Right side which is plain with no drape.
A much better amount of fabric but still with the desired drape effect.

 To conclude this is a great top which has sleeves! A very important addition in my mind.  Although not shown in the photos this top has a high low hem but from side to side.  It is snug about the hips which allows it to gather and blouson a little, but can be pulled down for a longer tunic look.

I'm off to teach art this week so now have the perfect outfit to wear in the artroom!  Art Teacher chic indeed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Style Arc Billie Top

I was looking for something simple and quick to make and it seemed that this top ticked all the boxes. One pattern piece quickly sewn together and Voila! a chic top to bridge the change of seasons.  A teacher friend at a school I work in wears lots of this sort of thing and looks sensational and I forgot for a moment that sometimes this does not translate well.

I have a few pieces of statement fabric that would look better if the pattern was not broken up by seams and so I made up a trial in a heavy but nice feeling rayon knit from Bernina Tauranga's remnant bin.  

First I checked around the net to see what the verdict was on this pattern and other than the facings which seemed to get the thumbs down there was not much else said.  I wanted my top to be more a tunic and the ones on the net looked shorter than I wanted so I began by going down a size (to a 20) and adding 220mm to the length. The result was at first a disaster!  The neckline dragged down to my belly button - the armholes gaped and I looked a little like a young girl trying on her mothers dresses.  Not the look I was going for!

So firstly I stabilised the neckline and put a Tshirt Neckband on it which has solved that problem, however to pull it in has resulted in a slight gathered look which IMHO does not look tooo bad? The same treatment was applied to the left armhole which has made it a little better on the matter of gaping. Now it looks more like a lagenlook dress perhaps or maybe art teacher chic?

Anyone for a toga party??
 My next thought was to download and printout the Size 18 to see if that would look better in this knit.  And a night was spent assembling with the cat helping by anchoring the next piece each time!

The thought was to pull it apart and recut to the smaller size but now I am not so sure, time to sew is in short supply at present and when I folded it up to a tunic hem length suddenly it did not look so bad ... well may not so bad. It still looks larger than the pattern drawing but I do like the look of the fabric pattern at this length.

It is still too long off the shoulders and perhaps stablising the shoulder seams for this weight knit would have been a good idea.  In addition the pleat does not fall accross the body as it looks like it does on the pattern - rather it slips off the bust and disappears under the armhole.

I am still reconsidering recutting it a size smaller what do you think?