Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Paprika Patterns Jade Skirt and another Style Arc Estelle Jacket

Continuing on with my love affair with Style Arc ponte, I have created this ensemble using the Paprika Patterns Jade Skirt and the Style Arc Estelle Ponte Jacket. Fabric is a taupe ponte purchased from Style Arc, which is currently unavailable.

This is the second time I have made the Estelle jacket and I don't really have anything more to add about this pattern, except that I love it and it has been getting a lot of wear. You can read about my first one here.

I still couldn't leave the edges raw. This time I turned a 1cm hem twice and machine stitched close to the edge.

The Jade Skirt is a "curve-hugging skirt that you'll feel comfortable in" according to the website description. The unusual folds on the front are what make this skirt stand out from the usual fitted knit skirt patterns available.

These required precise accuracy at the construction stage, which was not that difficult...just a bit fiddly. The instructions were excellent and there is also a short video on the website, which I found very helpful. I lined the skirt with Vanity Fair Lingerie Tricot purchased from Knitwit. Each fold is sewn to the lining to keep it in place.

The skirt is very figure hugging, and I would only feel comfortable wearing it with a long jacket . I like the shape of the skirt paired with the shape of the jacket. The jacket also works well with pants and in the photo below I am wearing it with Style Arc Elle Pants on our recent holiday to Western Australia. The photo is taken in front of the Busselton Jetty.

Both these garments have been great additions to my wardrobe and have been worn a lot, both together and individually.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Style Arc Esme and Elle

Style Arc continue to be my go - to pattern company. I find most of their designs suit my lifestyle and taste. The Esme Designer Knit Top and the Elle Pants are patterns I have made numerous times and are firm favourites.

This is the first time I have made the Esme with sleeves. The only pattern alteration I made was to lengthen the body by 5cm, the same as my previous versions, see blog post here and here. This length is much more flattering on my figure.

I like the bottom coverage at the back. The fabric is a deluxe ponte from Spotlight in a lovely fushia pink. I am continually tweaking the Elle pants pattern trying to achieve that elusive perfect fit. I still seem to have far too many wrinkles, but maybe this is the nature of slim pants? Fabric used was denim blue stretch bengaline from Style Arc. They have the best bengaline...great quality.

As instructed, I pressed the seams open and top stitched them down. I like the subtle interest this gives the top. The collar is my favourite feature and it turns out so beautifully, especially when cut on the bias.

This pattern is drafted very well, and everything turns out so neat. I must say I prefer the sleeveless version. I think it works better. The addition of the sleeves creates extra fabric folds at the underarm/bust area which just don't look quite right. Despite this, I have worn this top many times since completion back in May (you may have seen a sneak peak during Me Made May) and it works equally well with long pants or a slim skirt.

The top stitching down the side seams continues down the side split and across the deep hem and back up the other side.

Even though I love the collar on this top, I would like to make the collar less version so I can accessorise with a scarf or long beads. The collar limits how you can accessorise.

Two garments that have already seen a lot of wear in my wardrobe already.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Jasper Sweater Dress from Paprika Patterns

I have been a very lazy blogger lately. This always seems to happen over winter...the days are's difficult to take decent blog photos and I fall out of the habit of documenting everything I sew. The good news is that I haven't stopped sewing or reading all your wonderful sewing blogs.

Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater Dress

After admiring the Paprika Patterns Jasper Sweater Dress for quite a while, I have now made up my own version. Fabric used is a Velour Polar Fleece from Knitwit in burgundy. This fabric was ideal for this pattern, having enough body to support the collar and has resulted in a very cosy and comfortable dress.

Paprika Patterns Sweater/dress

I love all the design details that make this sweater/dress a little different from the usual boxy styles. The princess seams give a lovely shape to the dress and the stand up collar with tab, and the welt pockets are great details.

Stand up collar and buttoned tab

I had to add a seam to the top edge of the collar (this should have been a folded edge) due to a shortage of fabric. This actually added some extra body to the collar and helps give it the required structure to stand nicely without collapsing. Sort of a happy accident really.

Welt pocket detail

This was my first attempt at welt pockets ever, and it was a little daunting in the bulky polar fleece. They are not perfect but I was quite happy with how they turned out. Definitely something I will try again one day.

I cut a size 6 based on the measurement chart and I made it up without any alterations. It is quite short and I wouldn't wear this without tights or leggings...I am 5' 7" tall.

This has been a fun casual dress which was perfect to take on our recent holiday to Western Australia. All the photos were taken in the grounds of the Leeuwin Estate Winery in the Margaret River Region, after we had lunch in their lovely restaurant and sampled some fabulous wines.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Style Arc Andrea Woven Vest

I am on a quest to make some warm clothes this winter, to keep me from freezing and the Andrea Woven Vest from Style Arc looked like a great layering piece to try. It was Sue's Post that convinced me to buy this pattern.

From the Style Arc website: "This forward trend of a long line vest will become a great addition to your wardrobe as it can be worn at anytime of the year as a layering piece. The vest is unlined. The pockets can have fashionable metal exposed zips if desired or just left as in seam pockets."

Style Arc Andrea Woven Vest
I have been a bit of a rebel and chosen fabrics not mentioned in the list of suggested fabrics: linen, crepe or any light suiting. I chose a multicoloured twisted wool blend from Spotlight. I saw this fabric in the catalogue back in March and I managed to buy the end of the bolt during my last visit to Spotlight in April. Unfortunately, there was not enough to make this vest...believe me, I tried every possible pattern layout. After some careful thought, I decided to cut the facings from some black ponte, as a contrast. The wool blend had a similar amount of stretch as the ponte so I thought they would work together.

My concerns with the fabric being too thick for this pattern were unfounded. It went together very well. The pattern is drafted beautifully with everything matching up perfectly. I cut my usual size 12.

I interfaced the ponte with a knit fusible interfacing which gave it the required stability. I'm wearing it here with a Style Arc Sara Skirt and a Deer and Doe Plantain Tee. It also works well with my Style Arc Barb Pants.

Sorry about the creases in the back view. The photo taken in the morning was totally out of focus, so this was taken late at night after I had been lounging in front of the TV, hence the wrinkles. My photographer didn't bother to point them out at the time.

The shawl collar rolls beautifully and now I have made it with the black contrast, I think this has turned out better than if I had used the wool blend for the entire garment. Happy accident!

I also cut the pockets from the black ponte and I chose not to add the zips. (Actually, the thought of adding zips just terrified me).

The button holes are not my best work so we will just focus on these cute buttons. I had these in my button stash from my Colette Beignet Skirt.

And here are some inside shots showing the facings. I finished off the raw edges of the fabric on the overlocker prior the stitching the seams on the sewing machine. This allowed me to press the seams open which I thought would work the best in this bulky wool blend.

The only really tricky bit was sewing the facing to the armholes. I had to reread the instructions several times before I figured out how to do it, and it was quite fiddly but came together quite well in the end.

This is one of those patterns that you don't see much on the internet, and I really can't understand why. I am very happy with mine and I will probably make more.

Happy Sewing

Monday, 20 June 2016

Style Arc Estelle Ponte Jacket

This is a fabulous jacket that I have been itching to make for a while now. Megan and Sue have both recently made this jacket and after a long wait the pattern finally arrived from Style Arc and I couldn't wait to get started. (This delay seems to be an Australia Post issue.)

As described on the Style Arc website "This fabulous jacket is not just easy to wear but it is very easy to make. The knee length and the gorgeous waterfall collar makes this jacket a great trans seasonal addition to your wardrobe. A project you can complete in an afternoon."

Style Arc Estelle Ponte Jacket

I had this gorgeous indigo renewal wool ponte purchased from Knitwit with intentions of making some sort of warm jacket. I work in a chilly office and I am determined to make some warmer things to keep me from freezing this winter. At $49.95 a metre I was nervous of making a wadder, but after doing lots of research and knowing that Style Arc patterns generally fit my body shape quite well, and that this was a loose fit style, I went ahead and cut a size 12.

And I am very happy with the result. These photos were taken in a rush this morning just before I left for work. I am wearing it with a Colette Mabel Skirt and a Deer and Doe Plantain Tee. I can see it working with lots of other things in my wardrobe too, and after wearing it today I am happy to say it was warm and comfortable...just what I needed.

This is a photo I posted on IG on Saturday night, with all the edges left raw. The general consensus was to leave the edges raw, which both Megan and Sue have done. I left it overnight but Sunday morning I decided to finish off those raw edges. It just didn't look right or feel right to me, left like this. Even though I had used a rotary cutter and the edges were quite neat, they were not perfect.

The instructions say to sew the seams as "flat seams". This means sew the seam, then trim away the left seam allowance, then turn the right seam allowance over the cut away left seam and stitch the seam allowance down. This creates a nice flat seam, similar to a flat felled seam, without tucking the raw edge under. Can you spot the huge mistake I made in the photo above? Yes, I sewed the back collar seam inside out so that the raw edge is visible when the collar is folded down. I was too far into the construction before I realised my error...but I think I can live with it.

I deliberated long and hard about how to finish off the raw edges. The ponte is quite bulky and I could see it would be difficult to do a neat job of turning a 1cm hem twice and stitching. I quite like the look of the flat seams on the inside so I embraced this look and simply turned a 12mm hem in a single fold and stitched very close to the raw edge. Although this is quite a simple technique, it took me ages to accurately measure, press and pin the entire edge of this jacket. I knew this finish would only work if it was done very neatly and I am very happy with the result.

With the waterfall front on this jacket the wrong side shows below the turn of the lapels. If I continued to turn the hem the same way around the bottom edge of the jacket, the wrong side would be showing, so I decided to switch directions at the bottom front corners. You can see this corner in the photo above. I trimmed a square from the corner to remove some bulk and I used some Vliesofix-bondaweb-tape to help hold them securely. This resulted in a nice neat corner.

I finished the sleeve hems exactly the same way, which meant I didn't lose too much length, and they visually match the rest of the jacket.

Above is a shot of the inside showing the flat seams at the shoulder and armhole and also the wrong side of the lapel edge finish.

And another inside shot showing the in seam pocket. I finished off the side seams with the overlocker because it was late and I was getting tired and I couldn't think how to do flat seams with the pockets.

This jacket took me much longer than an afternoon to construct, but if you leave the edges raw it is an easy and quick sew. I am so glad I spent the extra time finishing the me it was well worth it.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Me Made May 16, Last Days and My Thoughts...

Me Made May 16 has been and gone for another year. This has been my third year participating and I have enjoyed it this time just as much as I have in the previous two years. Here is a quick recap on the final days...

Day Twenty Nine: Sunday

Another day at home pottering and a little sewing. Wearing a black and white striped ponte dress based on Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress, and a Style Arc Nina cardigan in red jersey.

Day Thirty: Monday

Cooking dinner after work wearing a Style Arc Esme Top in pink ponte over a Deer and Doe Plantain Tee in merino knit and Style Arc Barb Pants in denim stretch bengaline.

Day Thirty One: Tuesday

We are finally at the end of May. Wearing a favourite winter dress from last year based on the Style Arc Kristen Dress with a Sewaholic Renfrew Cowl neckline. The fabric is left over from other projects...cream and navy ponte and mosaic print scuba knit. I also wore a Deer and Doe Plantain Tee in merino for warmth underneath.

My challenge was to wear at least two me made garments per day, and to try some new combinations. I just did a quick tally and I wore a total of 66 garments over 31 days (average 2.129 garments per day), with some garments repeated but never the same combination repeated. There were four days when I only wore one me made garment, but these were dresses, and the days when I wore three me made garments kept my average up over the two garments per day that I set as my challenge.

I surprised myself with how many me made garments I actually have. At the start of May I didn't think I would be able to go the whole month without repeating an outfit. Although I did wear some garments more than once, I never repeated the same combination of garments. It was quite challenging to come up with new combinations but I feel I am getting more out of my me made wardrobe now.

I have identified a few holes in my wardrobe that need filling...some more warm cardigans and a warm coat would be handy. Also, some warm casual tops for the weekend are needed. I have ordered some fabric and have a few patterns picked out so there will be plenty of sewing coming up.

On reflection, I feel as though I have worked out my style and what works for my body shape and colouring. I love to sew with knits as they are comfortable and easy care and suit my lifestyle perfectly.

Thanks to everyone who participated this year and to Zoe for organising the whole event. Also a big thank you to all who left comments on my instagram posts as well as my weekly blog posts. They are all so encouraging and very much appreciated.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Me Made May 16, Week Four Round Up.

If you haven't been following my daily photo's on Instagram @sewjeanmargaret, here is is quick recap of week four:

Day Twenty Two: Sunday

Spent the afternoon in my sewing room wearing Style Arc Adele Top with V-neck modification, and Style Arc navy Elle pants.

Day Twenty Three: Monday

Off to work wearing Vogue 1250 in a printed jersey with a Style Arc Nina Cardigan in red jersey.

Day Twenty Four: Tuesday

Wearing Style Arc Terry Tie Cardigan in grey ponte over a Grainline Studio Archer Shirt in white cotton voile, and a Style Arc Fay Skirt in a printed scuba knit. I tried to tie the navy, grey and white colour scheme together with the necklace. I don't think I will wear this combination again as the grey just doesn't quite work. I do like the shape of the outfit though...need to make another Terry Tie Cardigan in a more complementary colour. 

Day Twenty Five: Wednesday

Wearing a mashup of Tilly and the Buttons Coco tunic with a Sewaholic Renfrew cowl neckline, in an acrylic knit over a merino Plantain Tee for warmth. The pants are Style Arc Barb pants with boot cut flare in navy stretch bengaline.

Day Twenty Six: Thursday

Wearing Style Arc Terry Tie Cardigan in grey ponte and a Colette Mabel Skirt in purple ponte with a colourful rtw scarf to brighten up this miserable wet day.

Day Twenty Seven: Friday

Last day of the working week. Wearing Style Arc Andrea Vest in a multicoloured wool blend, a Deer and Doe Plantain Tee in dragonfruit merino knit and Style Arc Barb pants in black stretch bengaline.

Day Twenty Eight: Saturday

Housework this morning and sewing this afternoon. Wearing Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee in white cotton lycra and Style Arc Elle pants in teal stretch bengaline. Cardigan and scarf are rtw.

Only a few days left now till the end of May. I will report back next week with my thoughts on Me Made May 16.

Happy Sewing.