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.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Me Made May 16, Week Three Round Up.

Oh these daily photos are more challenging than trying to work out new ways to wear my me made clothes. Here is a quick round up of week three.

Day Fifteen: Sunday

I spent the afternoon in my sewing room, as I often do on a Sunday after completing the most essential housework jobs. I wore a Grainline Studio Scout Tee, with lengthened sleeves, in a tropical printed rayon with Style Arc Elle Pants in navy stretch bengaline.

Day Sixteen: Monday

Starting the working week wearing Style Arc Kate Wrap dress in a printed poly/spandex knit with a Style Arc Nina Cardigan in navy merino knit. I love this cardigan and I need to make a few more in different colours.

Day Seventeen: Tuesday

First wear of my new Style Arc Hazel Dress, finished last night. I made this in a very soft and drapey knit and created a colour blocked effect by using both sides of the fabric. Blog post to come when I can get some decent photos.

Day Eighteen: Wednesday

Another wear of my new Style Arc Barb Pants with boot cut flare in denim stretch bengaline. The top is an old favourite Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress, shortened to tunic length in cream ponte. I do prefer the look of a longer top with my pants.

Day Nineteen: Thursday

Wearing a plain sleeveless dress in light blue ponte, loosely based on Vogue 8904. Still need to iron out a few fitting issues in the shoulder/upper bodice area. The cardigan is rtw. I have realised I need to make a few more cardigans to replace some rtw ones that are becoming quite shabby.

Day Twenty: Friday

I had to resort to another office selfie. Wearing a couple of old favourites: Style Arc Stacie Jean Jacket in a purple stretch denim and a Grainline Studio Archer shirt in white cotton voile. I usually wear this combination with navy pants or jeans, but I tried them with my navy ponte Colette Mabel skirt today and I think it worked well.

Day Twenty One: Saturday

Started Saturday off wearing some old faded black Style Arc Elle pants with rtw T-Shirt to do some photo of that gorgeous ensemble though. I later changed into a Tilly and the Buttons Coco top in navy and cream striped ponte with contrasting red ponte yoke and pocket, and my favourite navy Style Arc Elle pants. These have been worn a few times already during May.

Feeling happy with my progress so far. I wonder how many more outfits I can come up with before I start repeats...still more than a week to go. Keep posting your photos every one as I love seeing how others wear their me made clothes.

Happy Sewing

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Me Made May 16 Week Two Round Up.

If you haven't been following me on Instagram @sewjeanmargaret where I have been posting daily photos of my me made outfits, here is a quick round up.

Day Eight: Sunday

 Sunday was special, as it was Mother's Day. I had my two youngest children home for the weekend and was spoilt by all of my four children. I wore my floral denim Style Arc Stacie Jean Jacket over a Deer and Doe Plantain tee in stone coloured merino knit. The jeans are RTW. 

Day Nine: Monday

Back to work wearing Grainline Studio Morris Blazer in royal blue Monaco double knit from Knitwit, Style Arc Ann T-Top in white cotton/lycra jersey and Style Arc Sara skirt in black stretch bengaline.

Day Ten: Tuesday

Work day again, wearing Vogue 8805 in black ponte and black and white printed scuba knit. This dress is so comfy and easy to wear.

Day Eleven: Wednesday

Catching the last rays of sunshine after work, wearing an old favourite: Style Arc Kristen Dress in charcoal ponte layered over a Grainline Studio Archer Shirt in white cotton voile. Another very comfy outfit.

Day Twelve: Thursday

After wearing sombre colours the last two days I felt like wearing something bright. I pulled this Style Arc Laura Dress in cream ponte and printed scuba knit from the depths of my wardrobe. I haven't worn this dress in ages but it fit the bill. My Style Arc Nina Cardigan in purple jersey matched nicely. I certainly added a little colour to the office today.

Day Thirteen: Friday

Last day at work for the week and still warm enough to wear my latest favourite: the Style Arc Hedy Designer Dress. Another comfy yet stylish dress to take me through the working day and the weekly grocery shopping afterwards.

Day Fourteen: Saturday

A beautiful balmy day...25 degrees in the middle of May...very unusual. We went shopping in the morning and I wore my Style Arc Lulu Tunic in pink linen and Style Arc Elle pants in white stretch bengaline. Spent the afternoon cleaning up the driveway after getting new roof guttering installed on the house. I didn't get around to changing and was quite pleased with myself for managing to keep my white pants clean.

Very pleased with my progress so far: sticking to my pledge of wearing two me made garments per day. The few days where I have worn a dress without another garment, have been balanced out by the days where I have worn three me made garments. It has been lot's of fun seeing what everyone else has been wearing.

Happy sewing

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Me Made May 16, Week One Round Up.

The fun of Me Made May 16 is well under way and I have been posting daily photos on Instagram @sewjeanmargaret. It has been a little overwhelming trying to find the time to look at all the other #mmmay16 outfits every day, but it has been very inspirational too. A quick reminder of my pledge this year:  

'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.

Day One: Sunday

We had a warm start to May which was great as I got to wear a favourite top made during the summer, a Style Arc Esme in a scuba knit. I love the rolled collar on this one. The pants are another Style Arc pattern, the Elle Pants in a stretch bengaline.

Day Two: Monday

Back to work wearing a new skirt for the first time. It's a New Look 6735 six gored skirt in a lovely jersey knit from Style Arc. I love the flippiness of this skirt but am a little unsure how to style it. I wore it with a refashioned rtw black long sleeved Tee and a rtw waterfall cardigan. I really need to make a Style Arc Nina cardigan in black to replace this rtw one as it is getting quite shabby now.

Day Three: Tuesday

Work again, wearing a Colette Mabel Skirt in a printed Italian ponte and a Deer and Doe Plantain Tee in a dragon fruit (pink) merino knit. I have only recently discovered this merino knit from The Fabric Store Online, and I am very impressed. Beautiful quality fabric and excellent service. I will be buying more of this for sure.

Day Four: Wednesday

Off to work again wearing three me made garments: a Style Arc Nina cardigan in navy merino jersey, Style Arc Fay skirt in a scuba knit and a Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee in white cotton lycra jersey.

Day Five: Thursday

Another work day and another three me made garments: a repeat of my Style Arc navy Nina cardigan and the Deer and Doe Plantain Tee in dragon fruit merino jersey. The pants are hot off the sewing machine the night before...Style Arc Barb Pants with boot cut flare added in a denim coloured stretch bengaline. I cringed when I saw this photo and immediately wanted to go and change, but didn't have enough time. The top is just too short to wear with pants and looks so wrong. It was fine with the skirt so I won't wear this with pants again. I need to make some longer Plantains.

Day Six: Friday

Running late to work today and had to resort to an awkward office selfie. Wearing a Style Arc Maddison Top in black ponte and another Colette Mabel skirt in purple ponte. The scarf is rtw and tied the two colours together nicely. I felt good in this outfit and I have been enjoying trying out new combinations instead of just wearing the same old ones over and over.

Day Seven: Saturday

Yay! The weekend...time to catch up on all the domestic chores for the week. Wearing Grainline Archer Shirt in a poly/cotton gingham and Style Arc Elle Pants in navy stretch bengaline. Keeping it makeup and wore my pink slippers all day.

Photos are a wonderful tool for assessing daily outfits. They seem to reveal far more than just looking in the mirror. I really need to work on my poses for next week. This week I have discovered a couple of holes in my wardrobe that need filling, and discovered some new combinations to wear. It has been a lot of fun participating and I have enjoyed the interaction with other sewists. Now off to plan some outfits for next week.

Happy Sewing.