Friday, February 5, 2021

StyleArc Kent tunic and Lekala #5099 for Me

Please excuse the ferocious facial expression.
I adored the Style Arc Kent tunic  from first we met and I was determined to sew it for Christmas Day.
Spoiler, it didn't happen.
However, I did sew it pretty soon afterwards.
I used a metallic finished linen that I purchased from Eliza Fabrics before it, sadly, shut its doors.
It is quite hard to capture on film but there is a definite, delicate, silver shimmer. Not too much, nothing to delegate it to Evening wear, just enough to make it very, very special.

And I certainly feel special wearing this lovely piece.
From the website "Tunic featuring a tab front, shaped stand collar and a fashionable elbow length sleeve"
The sleeves are the special, special detail of this pattern.
The outer sleeve is very full but to create that delicious 'puff' there is a less voluminous inner sleeve to pull it into place.
Another clever feature of this pattern is that you can simply use the inner sleeve if you don't want a puffy sleeve.
The shirt has a deep, single back yoke.
I prefer a double yoke, so I cut two and used the 'burrito' method to attach it.

I also added side vents, finishing them with a double fold, the same as the hem.
I absolutely love it!
The front placket fastens with a concealed button and it is a perfect finish for me.
It looks plunging but my boobs are very much contained.
I love the cut, I feel shapely and smart rather than 'swimming in fabric' which can happen when I wear a tunic.

I did wonder if I would FBA any subsequent sews, but the top doesn't not pull or feel uncomfortable when worn, so I won't.
I sewed the 10, which is what my measurements put me in, and I did end up taking in a few cm's from the side seam.
The pattern is cut to nip in under the bust, which is very nice as that is the narrower part of my torso.

My only grumble is the sleeve cuff.
It is meant to fasten with buttons and button holes but there was no way it would do up.
I do have quite chunky upper arms but I also suffer from bursitis which means I cannot bear pressure on my bi-cep.
I unpicked the cuff end and inserted some elastic roulette with a mind to use silk, Chinese knot buttons. I ordered some vintage ones from eBay but when they arrived, I realised they were cuff links.
I think this may actually work in my advantage and give me even more ease, so I intend to unpick the other side of the cuff , insert more roulette and use the cuff links to give my maximum ease.

So for now I just wear it with the buttons undone.
(Goodness, I look so cross, no wonder my children are scared of me)
I also made myself a pair of shorts, to wear under the tunic.
I used Lekala #5099 but shortened the legs to, well, shorts!
I sewed crease lines down the centre front and a wee cigarette spilt at the side seam.
I have used the same pattern previously to sew a navy linen pair that I have worn over and over again.

I use a lapped zipper installation and I like to add belt loops.
In conclusion, I have a mixed relationship with Style Arc and a little trouble getting my correct size. That said, the patterns are stunning, very en-trend and an extremely enjoyable sew.
They are not for the faint hearted and do assume some sewing knowledge but I like them!
The same could be said for Lekala, not a lot of hand holding but if you can figure them out, a great result.

Thank you for reading xx Nicole 


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

OOPStyle 2419 dress for Beatrix

 I made Trixie a very pretty dress for Christmas Day.

Well, on Christmas Day she wore swimmers but anyhoo....

I purchased Style 2419 from an Op Shop and I knew Trixie would LOVE the swishy skirt.

It is a very pretty dress with a self lined yoke, ruffles, neck binding and add on sleeves. Almost Empire line.

The back finishes with a zipper. I used an invisible zip but I omitted the hook and eye at the top as I find they tangle in the girls hair.

In lieu of a label I used a wee silver 'E'.
I used a scrap of green linen to bind the neck, just to mix things up!

The fabric is a rayon/linen mix I snaffled from the remnant bin at Spotlight.

It is very soft and light, swishy and swirly.

Perfect for twirling!

The fabric was a bit of a bear to sew. It frayed, a lot. I ended up running all the pieces through my overlocker before construction as I was concerned my seam allowances would end up uneven.

It also appears to have shrunk a wee bit since sewing (or Trixie has shot up) even though I did pre-wash it on a warm, gentle cycle.

If I purchased rayon/linen again I would pre-wash, twice.

~Trixie's Verdict~
I like the flowers, I like the flowers a lot. I like my socks with the pom-poms and my shiny, shiny shoes.
It (the dress NMK) is soft, so soft. It is swishy. 
That is all I have to say, Bye!
~My Verdict~

I take any pretty dress sewing opportunity that comes my way. I have so many vintage patterns and with Covid, very few occasions  to sew them for.

I enjoyed sewing this frock. There were enough details to make it and interesting make and the fabric (although pain in the backside) drapes and falls beautifully. 

The style is very practical for a busy little person. Lovely and full so it is cool on a warmer day and the long sleeves give good sun protection.

The skirt was swishy but not too much fabric to make play impractical.

Trixie certainly gave it a good work out.

Thank you for reading.... xx Nicole 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Lekala #5585 Dress for Zara's 21st

 Catching up on my Blogging....

I made this snazzy little number in September, last year, for Zara's 21st.
The pattern is Lekala #5585 

Sewing for my older girls is not easy. They are not at home anymore and with the COVID restrictions we do not do that many trips to Town. I like the custom fit nature of Lekala as I can save on fittings. I can make the garment up to 'final fit' stage.

Zara chose the fabric, it is from Spotlight and was around $30/m. I was pleased with how nice and soft it was. I used a nude tricot for lining the skirt and finished the darts separately but then placed the pieces, wrong sides together, and treated as one.

This made it a lot easier to fit the side seams.

The bodice is self lined. I made ties from the same fabric.

Rather than sewing the ties in place, I made small loops so Zara can thread the ties through and then knot them, to allow for the fabric stretching.

~Zara's Verdict~
Mum made me the most gorgeous dress for my 21st birthday. I had planned on going out to a fancy restaurant and wanted something fabulous to wear and mum definitely provided the goods. I felt like a fairy in the most gorgeous sparkly fabric (that I spotted in Spotlight and had my eye on for a while). The cut out at the front was perfect placement for my devils ink (snort NMK) and not to mention how comfortable the dress was. I styled the look with a 2000’s half up hairdo and black knee high 90’s boots.

~My Verdict~

Lekala has saved my skin, more than once, with their custom fit patterns. With a little tweaking, we get a great fit.

I did shorten the dress by quite a bit, Zara would have liked it a little shorter again but then we would have cut of the bottom of the darts and messed with the zipper.

I got Zara to get me 4 metres, to be safe and I had so much left over I was able to make her some pull on pants, for Christmas (to be blogged)

Lekala don't have much in the way of instructions and this pattern was missing quite a few notches, so I did refer to the diagram quite a bit while sewing it.

I used an invisible zipper, I sewed it into the (almost) finished dress and then sort of wrapped the back piece facing around it, right sides together, stitched, flipped and then stitched-in-the-ditched that piece in place.

(Clear as mud, right)?

It made for a very neat finish.

A fun sew and Zara looked super cute!

Thank you for reading xxx Nicole 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

OOP Simplicity 6911Summer Outfit for Matilda

 I just love sewing vintage patterns.

The details are so sweet and they make up nicely. The finishing instructions (although sometimes fiddly) give a beautiful result.

Case in point.

I am so pleased with OOP Simplicity 6911 I have tracked in down in several larger sizes (and made up a Misses version for Zara, for Christmas, shhhh).

The blouse front is self lined and finishes neatly at the side seams. These are hand sewed in place (although you absolutely could 'stitch-in-the-ditch' here). The neck facing is attached the the self limited front so you end up with an origami type project that once trimmed and pressed. finishes beautifully.

The short/skirt combo can be worn together or the shorts alone. I used up a fair whack of the pre-made bias that was lurking in my stash. The hems are finished with pre-made bias and and although a little time consuming, it makes for a very neat look.

Tildy chose a pre-made embroidered blossom (purchased from eBay). These are iron on but I find it is worth top stitching the appliqué in place (that said, the glue acts as excellent 'liquid pins' whilst doing the sewing)
I have used these appliqués a few times now. They actually wear quite well.
I just love how happy she was when she first tried this outfit on.
You could tell how lovely she felt.
I did have to make the darts quite a bit deeper (doubled at the top) and I eased the side seams to fit her hips.
My darling wee pocket rocket.

~Tilly's Verdict~
I like the texture, the puffs in the fabric and I really like the khaki green colour.
I feel really grown up with the cropped, tie up (top).
I love the puffy sleeves, they are the same as my dress (to be blogged)
I love the cherry blossoms on the skirt. I like the floaty-ness of the skirt with security of the shorts underneath.
I like floppy collar.
I like that it works with my other Summer clothes.

~My Verdict~
Another terrific vintage pattern. I love it so much I have tracked it down in larger sizes.
The top fitted perfectly and I loved the finishing on it, so neat!
Trixie has wanted a crop-top for the longest time, she won't be able to wear it anywhere sunny (due to not being sun safe) but it will be lovely for inside 'events'.
The shorts were a wee bit firm but made in a stretch drill, with a little more weight, they would make great school shorts.
Thank you for reading and Happy 2021 to you!