Thursday, 21 July 2016

Getting my active on - McCalls 7026 jacket and Vogue 1378 leggings


I am not what you would describe as sporty. In fact, the only time I run is away from anything sport related. I am quite active though. I walk every day and can be found hip hop dancing at the local school hall once a week.

I decided I needed some new, fancy activewear for the abovementioned activities.

In the interests of looking the part for these pictures, I grabbed this stick thing that was lying in the garden. I use it to poke the shade sail so the water doesn't pool in it when it rains. How do you hit a ball with this thing anyway?


Let's ditch the stick, move into more interesting territory and talk sewing. I have had this McCalls 7026 jacket pattern for quite a while. Ever since I saw a gorgeous version by JStarr4250 on Pattern Review. After reading all the reviews of this pattern, it seemed that the jacket was quite short and that the side seam pockets were awkward. I decided to alter my pattern to change these aspects.


I used the longer back length of View C and lengthened the jacket pieces all the way around so the hem was just slightly (maybe 5cm) higher at the front that the back. For the pockets I traced the bottom section of my lengthened side front piece and drew a curve for the top of the pocket. Once cut out I edged it with ribbing and sewed it as one with the side front piece. I was really pleased with these pockets.


You've probably noticed by now that there are several fabrics used in this jacket. I started off with the thick, plain, black lycra (left over from the leggings) and a remnant of mesh with a velvet pattern from a Potter Textiles remnant bag. These two fabrics turned out not to be enough for the jacket, so I searched around and found a textured stretch woven fabric for the pockets, cuffs and upper back and some other black fabric for the sleeves and to use as backing for the mesh.



I used the mesh for the front and back jacket panels and got a bit fancy with some Quilt Basting Spray to hold it to the backing fabric. I then got even more fancy with some Washaway Wonder Tape to get the pattern matching as best as I could at the back seam and front zip.


I am over the moon with this jacket. I love all the different fabrics that give some subtle interest. Next time I might make it a smidge longer at the back. Here I am wearing it all zipped up with the cuffs folded down.


The leggings are made with Vogue 1378. I have made this pattern three times now but never blogged it. The pattern has several panels that are overlapped at the edges and sewn to leave a raw edge. This time I decided to branch out and experiment with my coverstitch machine to see if I could get a ready-to-wear (RTW) seam finish.


For the overlapping seams I first sewed them on the right side with a wide zig zag in white thread, as a guide to be removed later. Then I could turn the fabric over and see where to coverstitch to get the stitches right over the raw edge. This probably makes no sense, so just ignore it. Anyway, I did get kind of the effect I wanted. I ended up doing two passes of coverstitching so it was more obvious. For the detailing near the hems, I used the other side of the coverstitch to get some straight stitched lines.


I bought the wrong size of this pattern and could really do with going a size smaller. Other than that, it's a practical and interesting pattern that could be made with different seam finishes, as I've done, or with colour blocked fabrics. I'd like to try a contrasting thread colour next time.


I love those cosy glove-cuffs!



Thursday, 16 June 2016

StyleArc Elle pants and Amber top

 

I have made so many pairs of these pants, but have never blogged them! They are a sleek and simple design, made with very stretchy, woven fabric. Make sure your fabric is very, very stretchy, or you won't get them on. Ask me how I know this!

Note: discount code for this pattern at end of post.

StyleArc Elle Pants
At first, I made them from bengaline, as recommended by StyleArc, and they were fabulous. I have a picture of some black bengaline ones from an old post about my Splattered Jacket.


More recently I have been hacking them to look like jeans. I have made three pairs like this, but only photographed the white pair so far. I am really pleased with these. They look like jeans, but are soooo stretchy and comfortable they feel like leggings.


Don't tell anyone they are almost jeggings!


I took a few photos while I was making these to show how I made them look like jeans.

To start with, I added a mock fly front, by adding some fabric to the front crotch curve at the cutting out stage. I used my Jamie jeans pattern for the fly curve, but you could just draw it freehand.


I marked the original front edge line on the fabric and stitched 1cm away from it, to account for the seam allowance.


The right side was then topstitched to look like a jeans fly.


Next I made back pockets, also from my Jamie jeans pattern. It would be simple to copy some from existing jeans. I did the inner line of topstitching before I sewed them in place.


I sewed them on according to the pocket placement markings on my Jamie jeans.


That's it.





The top I'm wearing is also StyleArc. This is the Amber top, which I have previously made from Japanese cotton. For this one I used woven cotton for the front and back and cotton knit for the sleeves and detailing. To make it I sewed the side seams together first, then folded it shibori-style and dyed it in natural indigo. I also dyed the sleeves, yoke and front stripe. Once everything was dry, I sewed the rest of the top together.


This technique ensures perfect pattern matching at the sides!


A perfectly, secretly, comfy outfit!

To get this pattern for 20% off, visit the StyleArc Gumroad shop and enter the code meggipeg20. I will receive a small percentage of any sales made.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

StyleArc Estelle Jacket, Lola pants and Toni top


I seem to have been wearing a lot of StyleArc lately. I just can't help but reach for these easy and comfortable pieces that make it look like I've actually thought about what I'm wearing! This combo is made up of Lola pants, of which I've made many, the Toni dress pattern cut off into a top (my dress is here) and the Estelle ponte jacket.


I've talked about the Lola pants and Toni dress before, so let's start with the Estelle jacket. I love this pattern. It's super easy to make, but looks really stylish. Sorry about the dark photos, I've lightened some of them to make the details easier to see.


The jacket uses ponte, mine is from Textile Traders, so the front edges, neckline, hem and cuffs are all left raw. That means that all you need to sew are the back, shoulders, sleeves, sides and collar. Oh, and the pockets. So quick and easy!


The cut of the front means that it drapes perfectly with no effort or fussing to get it into place.


The back is cut at mid thigh and the front dips slightly lower.


The simple design makes it easy to change the length and shape of the jacket. I have just made another one of these that is shorter due to fabric limitations. It looks great.


Next the top. This is from the Toni dress pattern (you might remember me wearing the giant flower). I wanted to try it cut off into a top, so I used this cheap fabric to try it out. I really love the result and need to make it again in a better fabric.


The pants are Lola pants and I just love these. I've made them numerous times, including a couple of pairs changed to have patch pockets and elasticated cuffs.

 

I am so pleased with this outfit. It couldn't be more comfortable and it was all easy to make. Isn't sewing just the best thing ever?

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Brief thoughts on Me Made May 2016

StyleArc Toni dress made as a top with StyleArc Elle pants / Named Jamie Jeans with Burdastyle 06/2014#114 jumper / Vogue 1378 pants with Megan Nielsen Briar tee made as a jumper / StyleArc Lola pants with Deer and Doe Plantain tee and Paprika Patterns Opal cardi / StyleArc Mara Shirtdress / Pauline Alice Xeria dress with Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings / Vogue 1378 pants with Burdastyle 11/2012#128 top / Refashioned dress from jeans
Like me, you are probably ready to forget Me Made May for another year. However, I thought I'd just have a quick look through the handmade clothes I wore in May 2016 and see what was popular in my wardrobe.

May 2016 in Perth was, weatherwise, pretty similar throughout. Most days were in the low to mid 20s with a couple of rainy days. This meant that hardly any of my warm and cold weather gear was seen at all, which was a bit of a shame.

Patrones army jacket with StyleArc Elle pants and Named Wenona shirt / Patrones jacket in black with khaki StyleArc Lola pants / Deer and Doe Plantain tee with black StyleArc Lola pants / Named Jamie jeans with Paprika Patterns Jasper sweater / Named Jamie jeans with StyleArc Amber top / Vogue 1313 dress with Closet Case Files Nettie bodysuit / StyleArc Estelle jacket, Paprika Patterns Jade Skirt and SavageCoco Patterns Presto top / Named Inari Tee dress / StyleArc Estelle jacket, Patrones blouse and silk StyleArc Lola pants.

MY MOST POPULAR PATTERNS IN MAY 2016

Pants: StyleArc Elle and Lola pants (some of the Lola pants were altered to have an elasticated cuff and front and back patch pockets) and Named Jamie jeans.

Tops: Burdastyle jumpers and Deer and Doe Plantain tees.

Jackets: Patrones jackets in black and khaki, StyleArc Estelle jacket.

Dresses and skirts: my refashioned denim dress from jeans was the only dress or skirt I wore more than once. I always wore my Megan Nielsen leggings to stay warm. I love all the dresses and skirts I wore in May.

The pattern companies I wore most things from were StyleArc, Paprika Patterns and Named Clothing. I think I use mostly patterns from these companies year round actually.
StyleArc Estelle Jacket almost finished! / Named Wyome jeans, Paprika Patterns Zircon sweater / Named Wenona shirtdress / Victory Patterns Hannah dress, Closet Case Files Nettie bodysuit / Burdastyle jumper and StyleArc Elle pants / Refashioned dress from jeans / Patrones jacket, StyleArc Lola pants, indigo dyed Plantain tee / Vintage pattern jumper with Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings in ponte / Burdastyle jumper, Named Jamie jeans
So there we are. Thank you to all who followed my progress on Instagram and made lovely comments. I loved seeing what everyone else was wearing day to day too.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Amber trousers - Paprika Patterns



A little bit slouchy, a little bit chic! That's how I would sum up the new Amber trousers pattern from Paprika patterns. 

Amber trousers line drawing

These super-comfortable pants fall softly from a fitted and flattering yoke. Inverted front pleats give a nice draped effect and lots of room to move. They can be made with a wide or tapered leg. I chose the tapered style, View A.


I was given this pattern for no charge in exchange for an honest review. I made size 4 based on my hip size and tapered the yoke to a size 5 at the top to fit my waist measurement. This was perfect for me and the pants required no further adjustments. The only thing I would say is that the legs were a bit short on me - more like 7/8 length instead of full length. I am about 5'9. I didn't mind the shorter length and have rolled them up a couple of times in these photos to make them even shorter for warm weather.



The fabric I used was a printed polyester that I have had in my stash for some time. It is very drapey, so perfect for these pants. I would love to make them again in silk.


The pants are fastened on one side with an invisible zip. This would be the trickiest part of making the pants. I followed the instructions, but used Washaway Wonder Tape to hold the zip in place before stitching, rather than pins or glue. I was put on to this brilliant product by Savage Coco Patterns (she knows her notions, that girl) and it is the best thing ever for invisible zip success.



The yoke is interfaced to hold its shape. I used lightweight interfacing here, which was just enough to be supportive but not too stiff. The yoke is comfortable and flattering.




The pants have side pockets, which are deep and just right.

I have made most of the Paprika Patterns range, often several times over. All the patterns are well thought out and have really clear instructions. The online tutorials are also great to supplement the written instructions if anything needs further explanation. This pattern is no exception. I didn't use the online tutorials as the pattern instructions and diagrams were very detailed. The Amber trousers are not difficult to sew and could be tackled by a confident beginner.


 I like this pattern. It's easy to sew and easy to wear. You can get it at a discount for the next few days of May 2016 here. I'm wearing the pants with a Scout Tee made with remnants.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Hannah Dress - Victory Patterns


As soon as the Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns veered onto my radar I knew I had to make it. I love the deceptively simple shape that, on closer inspection, reveals spectacular and unusual details. Check out those slanted side seams ending in deep pockets, the foldover back pieces, the hemline, the covered button placket. Oooh I'm getting dizzy again with the excitement of it all!
Victory Patterns Hannah dress
The Victory Patterns website features a Hannah dress in pale grey wool. When I spotted this dark grey flannel (wool/rayon/poly) in the Textile Traders 50% off sale, I decided to go for it for my first Hannah (and yes, there will be more). The pattern says you need 3.1m of 137cm wide fabric. I bought 2.5m of 150cm wide fabric and had almost 50cm left over. I made size 8.


This is quite an involved pattern to make and I enjoyed every minute! I have no idea how Kristiann drafted this and worked out the instructions. It's really clever. I was surprised many times at the way it came together. It was also impossible to try on until quite late in the construction process and I kept draping myself in pockets and plackets desperately trying to imagine the finished dress!



My first ever covered button placket. Phew, that gets your brain working! Great instructions though.



The back of the dress is perhaps the most unusual feature with folded pieces draping from each shoulder. This results in five layers of fabric at the back neckline that are then bound with bias binding. Here is my back neckline with the bias binding attached, but not folded over. Six layers with one to go! Surprisingly this worked out fine and not too bulky, even in my wool fabric.



The fit is pretty good on this. The darts need to be moved slightly and I could do with a sway back adjustment. I may also need a FBA (full bust adjustment). I might also lower the armholes slightly next time. These are all minor changes and I'm quite happy with the dress as it is.
Update: there is a tutorial for bust adjustments on the Victory Patterns Website.


Those deep pockets are fab.


The blue tights are my first attempt at a self-drafted pair of tights from a leggings pattern. Let's just say it's just as well I'm wearing boots!


This is a warm and comfortable dress that will be so lovely to wear in the colder weather. I will definitely make another one of these for cooler weather and then get started on a summer one! I'm so happy to have discovered this lovely pattern.


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