Sunday, December 7, 2014

StyleArc Tops...

For those of you who've read my blog for some time, you know that I love StyleArc patterns! So of course when I needed office sweaters for the cooler winter temperatures here in Florida, why wouldn't I reach for my favorite patterns?  The two I selected, have been in my stash for a while and sorely waiting to be added to the sewing que.  Well they have to wait no longer and I'm sorry that I waited long as I did!  First pattern I selected, was the Kelie dress/top ( I made the top version)...

I decided to make a muslin first, because after reading through the instructions, it appeared that I may have a problem with the twist in front. As it turned out, the instructions were a little different without illustrations to comprehend, but I made it through without any issues!  However because of the different terminology used, I had to really focus on what they were trying to say to the end-user.  My muslin fabric is left over from a drape top I made a while back, which you can see here.  I decided to use a true fashion fabric rather than muslin, because I was hoping it would be a wearable muslin...and wow is it ever!

  

                  

I purchased this pattern size 10, which is my usual four knits.  The pattern went together very easily and quickly after you get through the twist. As usual with StyleArc patterns, there are very little, if any, illustrations so you really have to pay attention to the instructions.  I put this top together in an afternoon and feel it would've been only a couple of hours had I understood the instructions as clearly as I do now. My next top will probably be made in two hours or less.  Yep, there will be another one!  I didn't have to make any alterations to this pattern! However on my next one I may make the opening of the neckline more of a jewel style, which is just a preference of mine.  All in all I give this pattern "three thumbs up"!

The second pattern I selected was the StyleArc Lolita.  I only saw a couple of reviews on this top and I believe, One of the reviews made reference to an error in the instructions; but I didn't find there to be any errors when I went through it.  

Again I had to pay special attention the instructions, especially when attaching the collar with the tucks to the neckline. After that, everything was complete in about an hour, it's just that fast!  I didn't have to make any alterations to the pattern. The fabric is a Hunter Green Cotton Rayon blend I purchased from JoAnn fabrics and the pattern was also purchased in a size 10 as well. When I make my next one, I will make it longer because this one was about 3 inches shorter than I would like, but still at a comfortable, wearable length.  There definitely will be another one of these tops!  As I stated before I really love StyleArc patterns and I'm so happy you can now purchase them on Etsy, download and print them at home as well! That will save a lot on the shipping costs from Australia!  So enough chatter from me, here's the photo...

  

If you like the style of either of these tops, I highly recommend the patterns! They are both very comfortable and stylish tops to wear!  You definitely can't go wrong with any of these styles!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Three Brief Reviews...

I've really been busy sewing, not a lot of really exciting items, but still a few pieces that I wanted to add to my wardrobe. So I'm going to give you a brief snapshot of three of those pieces.  The first one is a skirt I fell in love with you soon as I laid eyes on the pattern. It's Simplicity 1429...

                                           

The stripe version shown in the photo, View A, is the one I actually wanted. So gorgeous on the model and I could see it on vacation quite a few times. I had already purchased fabric from my favorite store, Pennie Fabrics which matched the pattern View A perfectly.   Unfortunately, I only had enough yardage to make the shorter version, View B darn!  I guess I could have waited until I was back in the area and purchase more, but I'm going on vacation next month and wanted to take the skirt with me so it was the short version or nothing.  The pattern went together very easily with no issues and no alterations.   The only problem, I had cut a size 10 and it seemed quite a bit large so I ended up taking in the side seams about an inch.

When I tell you I love the skirt, I really truly mean, I LOVE THIS SKIRT!  When I put it on it just felt so much like me! Here's one of those rare occasions where my husband and I did not see eye to eye, he doesn't like it.  I do and know the skirt will win him over eventually (of course with me in it!).  The only frustration I had was after I finished it and put it on Ms. Thing (My dress form) and noticed that my stripes on the waistband where it attached to the skirt seam was a little uneven. This happened in my excitement of finishing the skirt and not paying attention!

  

Another great feature of the skirt is in the drape front, it gives the illusion of pockets…

                                   

I would love to show you a photo of me in this however, I didn't have an opportunity to snap photos of me as yet, but I promise to add one on the next post.

Next is the Style Arc Ginnie Tunic.  I am really in love with the styles of their patterns. I've only made a few of them that I've purchased so far and I've purchased quite a few already.  The fabric I used for this project, is a peach colored, polyester chiffon from my stash I was gifted a year ago. I must admit that this pattern went together very well with no issues.  As usual with Style Arc patterns though, because of the lack of illustrations, it does make it somewhat difficult to understand what their instructing you to do at times.  There were only two items I changed. The first being the bagged pocket. Because of my lightweight polyester chiffon fabric, I thought the bagged pocket may be a little too heavy for the fabric. With that said I decided not to bag the pocket and just make it a flat sewn pocket.  

The other item I didn't change because I had not pay attention until after it was sewn on, was the neck band.  When cutting out the pattern piece, you're instructed to cut it on the straight grain… However, all experienced sewers know the neck band should actually be cut on the crossgrain.  Unfortunately, silly me didn't pay attention when cutting (I did mark my pattern piece for future projects)!  So the end result is, my neckband appears to be a little wobbly because of it. Oh well, this was my first attempt and it is a muslin made from a polyester chiffon. My next version, and there will be one, will be made of silk.  All in all, I really like the way it turned out, but think it would lay a little better if it were made from silk (I apologize for the wrinkles in my top!)...

  

                                       

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of me in this one either, I promise to post pictures shortly. 

Lastly, is a self drafted pattern created from a RTW top I loved. You can view the previous project here.  I really liked that top and the fact that it incorporates using other design elements.  I want to move my sewing projects into another level of RTW, "mixed mediums".  This project combines a beautiful fabric I purchased from Pennie Fabrics a while ago and some chrome colored plastic chains I purchased online.  The fabric is a black Rayon Knit with beige spots that appear to almost move in a stripe pattern.  Love this fabric and it was originally purchased to make a sweater for my husband. However, once I made the sweater, he didn't like it so I ended up taking it a part and using it to re-create this top and having enough fabric left over to make a matching self drafted skirt for myself!

  

  

I promise to post photos of me in the full outfit soon!  I just needed to get a post up very quickly because I've been so behind lately in blogging.  I really appreciate you all stopping by and taking a little time out of your day to read my posts; so I don't want to disappoint you and keep posting frequently.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!  I'm off to complete my next project, until then...

HAPPY SEWING!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pennie Fabric Sewing

Ok, I couldn't wait to start sewing up some of my purchases from our Pennie Fabric tour and shopping a few weeks ago.  The first piece I cut was the light turquoise stretch wool.  I decided on this piece because I needed a skirt to go with a pair of sandals I'd purchased during an "End of Summer" sale.  Of course I wanted tp get at least one wear out of them before I put them away for next summer!  What can I say, I'm definitely a girly, girl!  I love shoes and clothes!

This skirt was self drafted an inspired by Vogue pattern 1247...

I like the pocket styling of the skirt, but did not want to work with the pattern because I wanted to knit skirt with no zipper.  So I used one of my pencil skirt patterns and cut the front piece in half. The top half I measured down from my waist to the point where I wanted the packets to start.  Then I sewed the upper and lower portions together, leaving spaces open for the pockets.  Then I created the pocket bags and stitch them to the packet openings.  After that it was pretty easy, just stitched the rest of the skirt together, put the elastic in and it added some light weight knit lining and it was done. Easy Peasy!  


I love this skirt! It's very comfortable easy to wear and not to mention gorgeous color!  Now the problem was finding a matching top! Luckily for me I have some fabric in my stash I have purchased from Hancock Fabrics earlier this summer.  It has a white background with patchwork colors that look like they were painted. The colors are a light turquoise, tangerine and fuchsia.  A perfect compliment to the turquoise skirt I just made.  I also had a design in mind, but hadn't seen a pattern that look like the thought I had in my head. I wanted a front button peplum blouse with a collar and short sleeves.  So I combined a couple of patterns to create the look...I use Vogue 8815 and McCall's 6035.  I'm sure you've seen both of these patterns very many times before, just not together.  It was pretty easy combining them too.

   

I use the body of Vogue 8815 (View B) for the base of the top and I only used the collar and collar band from McCall's 6035.  Combining these two patterns proved to be easier than I thought and it worked out very well. Now I have a gorgeous blouse to match my new skirt and my new shoes!  

  

I've been sick with a cold for a few days and this was the best thing to make me feel better… Getting behind my sewing machine and coming up with a great outfit!

  

Did anyone ever hear me say before...I love that I can SEW!  My guess is, I bet you all are too!  I bet you all have some great stories of clothing ideas you created in your head and now are wearing proudly too.

Thanks for stopping by everyone, but I have to get back to the old sewing machine, I'm REALLY behind!

HAPPY SEWING!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lunch, Tour and Fabric Shopping!

My favorite past time… Fabric shopping and socializing!

Saturday, October 11, I got to do what I really enjoy doing, meeting up with like-minded individuals for great socializing and a fabric shopping tour!  Our newly formed sewing group met for lunch and a tour of Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota Florida.  Some of us like me, had been there several times already, but you can never get enough of this wonderful boutique fabric shop!

We all met at a quaint little restaurant called Beckhams on the Trail for some good food and fun talk about sewing.  I have to admit during our lunch I was little anxious about getting over to the fabric store…the thought of touching many new fabrics just makes me a little giddy!  However, as soon as the good food was  brought out, I totally forgot about it!…

After lunch, we all quickly shuttled over to visit Pennie Fabrics and Nasir, the owner, had a very nice display waiting for our arrival...

I think everyone had a great time shopping, I know I sure did! 

  

Here are some of my fabric purchases...

From left to right:

Silk Panel Print, Brown with Cream, Orange and Salmon flowers.

Silk Graffitti Print

Cotton Black and White striped shirting (this was originally purchased for my husband, it's now mine-he doesn't want it!)

Cotton Red and White striped shirting

Dark Teal Rayon (lightweight with a beautiful drape)

Light Teal Stretch Wool

Now I have to start sewing some of these beautiful fabrics!  My plan is to get them all done before the end of my RTW Fast at the end of the year.  It's been a wonderful year of sewing and I have to admit, I didn't get anywhere near what I wanted to have created by this time!  Oh well, maybe next year!  At least I have few more weeks to get some great sewing in!

I'm very sure I'll have something to show very soon!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Two Successful Remakes!

First, New Look 6303...I said I would try this one again because my first attempt at this pattern, which you can see here didn't turn out so well.  I am so happy that I made the decision to try it one more time!  This one turned out so nicely, the fit is perfect and I just love the look!

I have to admit I did make quite a few changes though.  The first change was a full bust adjust of 1 inch.  This was diffcult because of the pattern piece.  If you remember from my first post, the pattern piece was very oddly shaped, like this...

It took me approximately 20 to 30 minutes to plan and figure out how I could make this full bust adjustment.  My conclusion...fold the actual pattern piece in half the way you would after it's sewn.  Then cut it on the middle crease, ultimately cutting the pattern piece in half, then make your full bust adjustments so you have two pieces that each look like this...

Afterward, I taped the pieces back together so I had one pattern piece that includes the full bust adjustments like this...

  

It was so worth the extra 20 to 30 minutes of planning to make it work.  Now I have a great top I can wear and I have a pattern so I can make more!  You'll noticed I also removed the pleat in the back, that was just  a preference alteration.

  

Now for the second remake, McCalls 6925...The first time I made this one, it worked out okay but I knew it could be better.  The changes to this patter weren't quite as extensive as the one above.  I just needed to be more careful in how I made my athers in the four of the top and shorten the back arm sync a little to remove the gaping.  Those few changes worked out perfectly and I ended up with another great top!

For this one I used a 100% Silk print I purchased at Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota Florida.  I'm reeally excited that I'll be traveling to Pennie Fabrics again in a few weeks with our sewing group!  I just love the fabrics there!  Here's a photo of the new top alongside the previous white version I made...

  

  

I guess there is something to that quote, "Patience is a Virture" after all!  It definitely worked out in my favor this time!  Now I have two new great tops that I absolutely adore!

Thank you to those of yo who told me to hang in there and give it another try.  I really appreciate your support and hope I can return the favor someday soon!

Thanks for stopping by and...

HAPPY SEWING!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Style Arc Weekend...

Lucky girl that I am, I received my Style Arc patterns last Saturday! For those of you who don't know, Style Arc is an Australian-based pattern company. Their patterns seem to be a little more pricey than the big four, and their shipping costs are a little steep to the US. However, their patterns are very stylish and I like them so much that it outweighs the cost. I usually wait until I have a few patterns I want to purchase, and then purchase them all at once.

This was the collection that I received Saturday...


I've been waiting on some of these patterns for quite some time so of course I was very excited to get started on them. First stop was the Elle pants...


When I purchased this pattern, it just happened to be a part of a combo. The fabric and pattern were sold together as a set. The fabric is a black stretch Bengaline (stretch woven). I've never use this fabric before, so this was a special treat. The composition of the fabric is, 72% viscose, 24% nylon, 4% spandex. The fabric has kind of a stiff feel to it with 30% vertical stretch, perfect for a pair of slacks.

When you order your Style Arc patterns, you purchase your size based on your measurements. I purchased a size 10 for the slacks based on my measurements. I am currently tracking which patterns fit me perfectly or almost perfectly straight from the envelope. Style Arc definitely pleased me! I know it's risky, but I made these pants using the Bengaline fabric I purchased without any alterations, just so I can see the fit. I have to tell you I was very, very pleased! These pants fit like a glove!
 
When I make these pants again, and I will be making them again, the only change I would make, is to shorten the crotch length a bit. That is only because of me being short waisted. I prefer my pants to sit a little lower on my waist. I also like that Style Arc sends you labels to sew into your articles of clothing. One of the label includes the composition as well as care instructions for the fabric.


I also have to add that this pattern was so quick to put together that I was able to make a top too! Both pieces were made last Sunday afternoon. How's that for quick gratification projects!

The second style art project I worked on, was the Dee top.  


I've had this pattern on hold for several months, I just can't tell you how excited I am to finally have it in my hands! I purchased this pattern in a size 10 as well. Once again I decided to make this pattern without any adjustments using a fabric from my stash. The fabric was purchased a while back from Joann fabrics and is a rayon jersey knit. Again super impressed with Style Arc! This pattern went together very quickly and was very easy to sew and very clear directions.
 

 

     
      
 
 
   Sorry about the work restroom shot
I can easily say this top will definitely be made again! I received such a perfect fit with this pattern. No adjustments or alterations were made and I won't need any on future remakes of this top!

I must add this note though, I believe their standard patterns are not for beginners. The majority of the instructions were illustrated. However, some of the basics ending steps were not illustrated. I could see a beginner easily becoming frustrated and confused. For the convenience of the beginners, Style Arc does offer beginner patterns.

All in all last week was a great weekend for sewing! I am one happy little lady!

Happy Sewing!