Friday, 30 December 2016

B6024 Boho Smock Dress

Hello holidaying sewists,

My last make for 2016 is a dress version of the Butterick 6024 collection of smock tops. I wanted to make the sleeved top into a dress and the mustard linen was bought a few weeks ago with this in mind. I should of course have been knocking out something more appropriate for heatwave weather but hey that's how I sew.
I love this pattern. I first went 'oh, I gotta get that' when I saw it made up as a white artist-style smock on the McCalls Facebook page, indeed there is a light breezy voile smock in my mental queue. I googled and searched Pattern Review for other fab versions including this one. Yes Annette I even took note of your colour choice. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I do live on another continent ;)

Finished and crumpled but it's getting a wash and a press before I put it away in the hope of cooler weather..

Alterations:  I fiddled with the height of the neckline and added 1.5cm all round to the height then ended up trimming about 1cm away when I was putting the binding on, so all in all it is about .5 cm higher all round and a total of 2.5 cm narrower across the back. Which brings me to the back. I narrowed the upper back and back neck area by putting in two pleats that match those on the front and sleeves in depth and width. I had already done a sway back adjustment for my previous version reviewed here. I think it adds some visual interest to the back too.
I added 1.5 cm to the edge of the shoulders tapering to nothing at the notches to preserve the effect of dropped sleeves. This would not happen on my wide straight shoulders otherwise. Then I added 20 cm to the length. I was squeezing it out of my material - I try not to buy too much as I am short but I got carried away and  had to shorten the sleeves by 3cm by folding out the casing allowance then gathering them into separate bands. I like this look better anyway.
A note on the neckline finish. I used a folded over self bias band as instructed ( I pieced it) and sewed  the doubled over circle to the wrong side of the garment then flipped it over to the outside and top stitched it down a millimetre or so lower than the seam line. This gives a clean finish and is quite easy to do.

I was keen to take photos and get this review in. I took them yesterday at dusk when there was a bit of breeze blowing but you don't see the cold facecloth I had handy! I did not photograph inside as don't like how the colour of my interior walls look in photos.
By the way I am growing my hair out and letting it go natural. I'll do my best to spare you my brindle skunk phase. You could be seeing creative headgear for a while..

A happy 2017 to you all,

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Hi everyone,

Thank you for reading my blog during the year. Thank you for commenting. I got distracted this year with a job that didn't work out and then a photo group venture run with a friend that didn't work out. It often felt like 2016 was a year of taking risks then failing... Thankfully there was always the mental relaxation of sewing and the pleasure of knocking out TNT's for my daughter or the usual selection of randoms for me, or catching up on blogs. So as I take stock and  count my blessings, thank you for being out there blogging about life and sewing too.

Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year,

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Style Arc Lola goes Cargo in cotton/hemp and a dress revamp

Hello sewing friends.

If you read the previous post about modifying the Lola pants into cargos you would have seen my photo of a bargain table piece of cotton/hemp that I picked up at the Fabric Store, Sydney. I've quickly made them up. It was a squeeze to cut them out of the yardage and I had to piece the pockets but I kind of like the look. The pants feel remarkably light for a sturdy material and the loose style allows for some air movement.

'This location is not going to work' out take.

On another note I have been doing some revamps of existing clothes. This RTW linen dress is a favourite but has always been hard to wear because the neckline would slip down and occasionally reveal too  much. My solution - a colourful appliqué from the jersey I used for the B6024 top. I  glued black cotton poplin to the back and experimented with freeform zig zag for the first time ever, then sewed it into place.

At christmas I am looking forward to partying with family, having more sewing time and of course more time at the beach...

Happy sewing everyone,

Friday, 16 December 2016

Style Arc Lola goes Cargo

Hello guys.

Right now there seem to be cargo pants everywhere I look, from designer collections downwards. They are an ideal summer pant and I decided to take a summer pant pattern that I knew worked well on me and turn them into cargos. I used Style Arc Lola's  blogged before  here  I used some jungle print cotton voile with just enough body for lightweight pants. 

I didn't want the stovepipe leg shape so, going by the leg circumference of some other pants I've got I added 2 cm to the width of the front leg at the hem on each side and then added 1.5cm to the width of the back leg at each side and tapered going up to hip level. The ideal leg hem circumference for a loose but not wide pant on me is 42 cm (16.5")

I redrew the side of the front where the slant pocket was and played with the idea of a round patch pocket but then went with the classic cargo style pocket that gets incorporated into the waistband and side seam. Then I added square back patch pockets and two rows of elastic in the waistband, the lower one ending in ties. Then I added some loops and button at each side hem for rolling up the legs and viola! Summer cargoes.

Front - excuse the wrinkles. This is after wearing them all day!

Back - patch pockets

They are regular length triple folded and help with a loop and button.

These were actually the trial run but I wore them today to lunch (my fashion critics approved of them) and a quick photo shoot in the park.
I have some pale gum leaf green cotton/hemp blend from The Fabric Shop just waiting to be cut out for the next pair.

p.s. Here's some other linen goodies I bought the other day:

I've been looking for a gold or russet colour linen for a dress and I hit the jackpot. (psst  enabler alert. I used my Fabric Store December voucher to get $20 off )

Above and below are two Tessuti beauties.

The Mustard linen may well become a B6024 smock dress and the Duplice is earmarked for  a little dress pattern coming to me all the way from France. Stay tuned! What a splurge, Merry Christmas me. (But what I spent would purchase one RTW pure linen dress, you know, so I've saved really..)

Happy sewing,

pps re advertising. I don't advertise on my blogs but if I am a fan of a store or I find something great I share it. Same goes with honest criticism.  I haven't been paid to flog anything, Just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

B6024 Top

Butterick 6024 is a versatile smock top that can look arty, casual, boho or just summery according to variations of it I've seen on the web. The version that first caught my eye was a floaty white artist smock that I saw on the McCalls blog Facebook page. A google search turned up some other great variations as well.  Anyway..
I sent away for the pattern. It wasn't on the books here because our two big fabric chain stores are so slow to move with the times that they only keep pattern books that are one issue behind. It's frustrating and I don't think they realise the sales that they are missing especially now that they don't have $5 dollar sales any more. Time to talk to store managers I think and voice dissatisfaction.

Butterick 6024

I made up View A without the duck tail out of a lovely Liberty cotton jersey from The Fabric Store and have been wearing it often. I am going to make it up in a floaty multi coloured speckled voile in my stash. Trying to decide on sleeves or no sleeves :)

Those cute flowers are really a fly swatter..

My alterations:  The pattern is designed for lightweight wovens but I made it from a one way moderate stretch jersey. The usual recommendation is to go down a size for knits but when I had a look at the pattern pieces I decided to stay with my usual medium size for the front but had to do something about the enormously wide back neck. I have straight square wide shoulders and paradoxically this kind of neckline (on me) needs bringing in either through the body of the back or at the side neck to sit properly. I considered doing back neck darts but then I ended up folding a vertical pleat out of the whole back piece to effectly bring the back piece down to a size small. Also the whole neckline sits a bit lower than in the illustrations so I will raise it 2 cm on the next version. I folded out a tiny sway back alteration at the waist. (see last photo)
On the next version the vertical back fold will be folded out and turned into a pleat sewn down partway like those at the front..maybe.

The pattern has you finish neck and armholes with bias strips attached then folded to the inside and stitched. I cut mine on the crosswise stretch one size shorter to take out a weeny bit of stretch. The neckline became a neckline border instead of folded in. I turned the armhole ones under and stitched as per instructions.
My pleats are folded to the inside not outside as I did not want to top stitch them and I pressed them all going in one direction when I was finishing the neckline. The directions have four pressed one way and five pressed another. This doesn't make sense from a construction or appearance viewpoint IMHO.
Also, on my next version I will bring out the side shoulders 2cm tapering to nothing at the armpit to give more of a cap sleeve effect. That's because of me not the pattern, for the previously mentioned wide shoulders.

Vertical 1cm folded out to reduce overall width, Horizontal small sway back adjustment 

It sounds like I tweaked it a lot but it did not take long. This is a quick sew and the pleats are placed beautifully and makes for a nice summer pattern.

Happy sewing,