Monday, April 28, 2014

Style Arc Alisha - Toile 2

I didn't get any tips about fitting in the post about the 1st toile so I just dived in and had a go. Good sway back adjustment this was about 2cm. I kept the side seam as before (hanging straight - I'm pleased with that). As the back centre seam isn't straight I added some extra there as well and it makes a nice skirt now. I made a petite adjustment on the bodice (about 5cm) but now it looks bigger width wise. Maybe it's the cotton/linen like fabric doing this?

I will take some off the shoulder but I need to work out how to not mess up the collar part which is cut on the front bodice but you pivot and sew it to the back bodice. I need to take some off the back neckline too. I have to work out how to finish it too as my lace isn't a scalloped edge. The shoulder is too wide too and I don't think I will make the sleeve.

I have to wear this on Saturday! Arrgh! Well at least the skirt part is ok. Maybe I'll go back to the original bodice. Interestingly it takes only about 30 minutes to sew the dress seams together to this stage so that's not bad and gee it goes together so well. Any ideas for the bodice?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Style Arc Rosie Top

This is the Rosie Top. I love this top. It is drafted so well. The sloping shoulders, the curved princess seams the pleat in the back - everything. Plus it is SO easy to sew - you don't even have to have the button opening on the back (I didn't).  This took me maybe 2 hours to layout, cut fabric and sew. Very easy and really lovely.

I got the fabric at the Brisbane meet up recently and it's a great cotton - about the same weave and weight as quilting cotton. It looks like it was a special print. The purple/grey leaves look like it was an earring as it has the hook on the end and the blobs are just blobs I think. I used this as a test garment. I need to do a sway back adjustment but otherwise it fits really well. I have some cotton lace that I will make it up with and hopefully some black straight pants. I have to work on the dress for the wedding next... sewing the Rosie top was probably me procrastinating.

I really love the Style Arc patterns. They just go together beautifully. They just work.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Style Arc Alisha toile

I have made a toile of the Alisha dress. It's a terrible fabric... actually the fabric looks gorgeous but is so thin and moves around a lot and FRAYS like nobody's business but I used it because the butter yellow is not my colour. Plus there is about 6 metres of it as it is a sari made from synthetic fabric. I got it at the meet up last month and decided it was good to use to see how the borders would work like the lace scallops (but my lace doesn't have nice scallops!).

Firstly I have to say how everything went together very smoothly.  This is rated 'Challenging' by Style Arc but other than the pivot (at the neck where the front goes around to the back and joins the  and the zip there isn't too much that is challenging.  The front edge goes around and joins the back neckline to make a kind of mandarin collar. That's the pivot point below and the following photo is  how it looks. It was easy to do and with the industry sized seam allowances made it very easy. I didn't take a lot of care but it still worked out very nicely. 

I inserted a zip but not an invisible zip as I'm not good with those but I just wanted a quick job... I can actually pull this over my head with the top pinned up as well so no need really to put a zip in for me. I am wearing the slip underneath this too. I think it's a little short and someone suggested in the comments that I could put lace on the bottom to lengthen it - brilliant idea! I thought I'd look for lace but maybe I'll put some from the selvage of the lace I'm using for the dress as it has no sequins on it.

The actual construction of the dress did not take long it is pretty easy and only took about 45 minutes - I did spend 30 minutes trying to put the zip foot on the machine (just wouldn't click in), took the zip foot from two other machines to try and then realised it's the wrong one! I thought they all were the same but the one for the most recent machine is different, although all the other feet are the same.. go figure. (on a side note, as I was cleaning the machine I noticed the warranty label and the date I purchased the machine... 2008!! I was surprised because if you'd asked me, I would have said just a few years ago but that is 6!)

So... obviously the sausage look isn't going to work... I added 2 cm to the size 12 hip line but obviously I need more. In the instructions it says the darts are optional but I don't think letting them out is going to help much. I don't know if you can see in the full length photos but my right shoulder drops about 1.5cm (from an accident about 20 years ago and then exacerbated by another one a few years ago). This doesn't help my fitting issues as I also have downward sloping shoulders naturally too (this I learned when we made our own sloper toile when I was doing the Fashion Design course - it all made sense why shoulder bags never stay on!).

So I've worked out a round-a-bout way to mark my photos so excuse the poor quality of this effort. The black marks show where the fabric frayed so much it separated! The red lines show where I need to reduce depth (does anyone know what this adjustment is called?) The yellow is the shoulder drop.
Adjustments needed:

- sway back adjustment
- depth adjustment front and back
- shoulder sloping
- either loose 7 kg in 3 weeks or add about 5cm to the hip area.

I'm thinking maybe I should make the skirt more A line or use the dart markings and make it a gored skirt. Any ideas or suggestions.  Any help gratefully received!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Strawberry dress done.

The strawberry dress is finally done.

 I started in November (I can't believe it took me this long to finish it). I stalled as I firstly needed to put in the casing for the elastic - I made a bias strip, ironed it and sewed it into the inside, threaded the elastic, added another 8cm band on the bottom as I wasn't happy with the length and only had to put the snaps on. Today I sewed the elastic down and put the snaps in. I decided against buttons as the automatic button holer on my machine is temperamental and I didn't want to make 10 button holes with the thought that only some would work out.

I had an issue with the fitting around the bust/arm area and I had some tips in the comments and I used these and the fit is much better. (if you check the link at the beginning of the post, you will see the issue and the comments).  Oh I just remembered the reason why I stalled.... I had a problem with getting the collar on well. I used Sherry's tutorial the second time round and is a lot better but not perfect (the tutorial was perfect however, sorry for not having the time to get the link).

Sorry for not posting photos of me in it, but it is still 28 degrees here and with my 'time of life' issue, I am just too hot to wear it. It fits well but for some reason, despite being covered in happy strawberries, it screams uniform to me! I also don't like the collar as I think it overwhelmes me (or that's how I feel) and sits funny (imo) so I may cut it off and change that part somehow. I do like it though and think it will be a good autumn dress. I'll try and comb my hair and take a photo with it on. I am off to pick up my son from "knight school" and then we are off to the Flipside Circus at the Judith Wright Centre! (

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sausage Dress

 See what I mean?

On the morning of the Brisbane meet up I decided I wanted to make a dress. I pulled out Vogue 1250, the Donna Karan knit dress that everybody but me had made. I pulled out some knit fabric I bought at Spotlight a couple of years ago and cut it out. I read a review that morning that said the shorter, squared off cowl kept popping out so I took the Kwik Sew cowl pattern that was conveniently still on the couch and cut a more traditional shaped and longer cowl. I think this was squared off because
the cowl is quite deep and making this change put a lot of fabric in the middle there but it does sit well (at least for the 5 minutes I wore it for the photos). Oh and that is the dirty mirror not stains on the dress.

I love the fabric although when I was sewing up the back skirt it was obvious that it wasn't printed on grain - I could have matched it up but it would have made the skirt about 2cm short and I didn't think I could sacrifice the length.  As many review have noted, this is a simple and really well drafted pattern and although I don't like how the extended shoulders look good on the envelope, I think it feels really good on. I made the 8 at the top, 12 at the bust and 14 from the bust down. Obviously I won't be wearing this out until I loose 10 kg! I do love it though so there is incentive. It was quite cheap fabric but feels lovely on and sewed up really well. I just used a zig zag stitch on the sewing machine (too lazy to change the black thread in the overlocker!) and left the hem unfinished.

I should have taken a photo on the hanger as it looks really good. Maybe it'll show up in a few months looking more Vogue 1250 and less sausage!