Sunday, 1 March 2015

Style Arc Dixie dress in the sunshine

Just a quick post today!  The sun has just been out for a little while, so I thought I'd quickly snap a couple of photos of the Style Arc Dixie dress being worn.

Hopefully these will give you a better idea of fit etc.  As I mentioned yesterday, I made a Style Arc size 10, and the only alteration I made was a 1 inch sway back adjustment. 

Beajay mentioned in her comment on yesterdays post that the neckline looked higher than on the line drawing, and you can see that it is a little higher.  It's not uncomfortably high though, and it would be easy enough to make it a little lower if you so desired.

I'm not quite sure what I was doing with my head in this photo, I think trying to flick my fringe out of my eyes as although the sun is out, it's quite windy!

Anyway, I hope these photos are helpful!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Made by Me: Style Arc Dixie dress

Hello there. 

After several weeks at the beginning of the year with hardly any sewing being done around these parts I seem to be getting my mojo back.  I've made my second Style Arc pattern of the year, and I'm a definite convert!

This one is the Dixie top, which was the free pattern for February (you get a free pattern with every).  In my opinion it's worth purchasing even if you've missed it as a freebie.   As you'll see I've lengthened it to dress length. 

The top has a lovely curved seam front and back, which is completely lost in this fabric, but you can see here on the pattern illustration.

I'll definitely be making this again as a top, but decided to lengthen it as at the moment it's really too cold here to be wearing woven tops with elbow length sleeves. 

Style Arc patterns don't come with very detailed instructions, but I found the ones included with this pattern more than adequate for my needs.  I'm not sure they'd suit a beginner though, as there is a certain amount of assumed knowledge required.  The only bit that confused me slightly were the directions for sewing the bias strip to the neckline, but I just attached it as I thought and it's worked fine.

Other than that, everything went together beautifully.  I found the pattern drafting to be excellent, each pattern piece fitted exactly to the others.  All the notches were perfectly aligned and the sleeves went in without a huge amount of easing required. 

I sewed a size 10, and the only alteration I made was a 1 inch sway back adjustment, which is normal for me. 

You can just about see the curved yoke seam in the above photo. 

The fabric is some I've had in my stash for ages.  I'm not sure what it is, I think a viscose/poly blend.  It's quite lightweight, with a medium drape to it.  I bought it with the intention of making a maxi dress, but I think it works really well for this. 

As well as lengthening the dress, I lengthened the sleeves.  The original ones come to just above the elbow, while mine are 3/4 length, with a turn back cuff.   I was originally going to make them full length, but they looked too much.  3/4 length is much better. 

The back neck is finished with single button and handworked button loop.  The pattern gives instructions for a bias fabric loop for the button closure, but mine was too big and thick. 

I apologise for the lack of modelled photos, but its so dark and gloomy here, as well as rainy that I couldn't find anywhere in the house to get a good photo of me wearing it.  Yesterday the weather was gorgeous - almost Spring like - and would have been ideal for photographs. 

I'll be sewing several more Style Arc patterns in the weeks and months to come - I seem to be a bit addicted to them at the moment.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Friday Fancies

It's Friday again!  Actually this week has gone surprisingly quickly.  I'm finding it rather worrying how speedily the weeks seem to fly by these days... does that mean I'm getting old?!

Here I am with another round up of things that have caught my eye this week.

First up, this Toni dress pattern by Style Arc:

I seem to be rather addicted to Style Arc patterns at the moment.  The next two projects I have planned for the Minerva Blogger network are using Style Arc patterns, and I have a couple of others I want to make soon-ish.  I got an email about this one earlier this week and have to confess I ordered it within about 5 minutes of seeing it.  I'm wondering whether the khaki green leopard patterned rayon I got recently would work for it?  I might make it up first in a less precious fabric to check I really like it.

Also earlier this week I was looking for a tutorial for welt pockets, and found this one by Poppykettle.  I didn't end up using all of it for my pockets as some parts weren't really relevant, but it's really rather good.  I'll definitely be referring to it again.

This post from Maria Denmark about altering crotch curves is really interesting.  Sadly I didn't read it until after I'd made my trousers the other week, but I'm going to invest in a French curve so I can follow the tutorial and hopefully get my trousers fitting as they should.

I'm always on the lookout for casual clothes, particularly tops that can be worn with skinny jeans or leggings and I fancy trying the tutorial for this top/tunic.  It's less of a tutorial and more of a drawing marked up in Russian, but it looks simple enough to follow.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a fabric/crafting trade show, to help my friend choose dressmaking fabrics for her shop.  (We chose some gorgeous things!).  Whilst browsing the stalls I came across this book, which has some lovely ideas in.  I think it would be a great way to expand on the free motion embroidery I love to do. 

Have you found any great crafty (or other) things you love this week?  If so, leave me a comment and share them. 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Minerva Blogger Network - Style Arc Claudia Trousers

After my sorry tale last week, I'm back today with something slightly more successful.

For my Minerva project this month I decided to tackle something I’m not quite so confident with and make a pair of trousers.  It’s not the making of the trousers I struggle with, but the fitting.  However I think I’ve done quite a good job with these.
The wrinkling you see on the side seams isn’t actually there in real life, but it’s hard to pose by yourself using a self timer!
I used a Style Arc pattern – the Claudia stretch woven pant.
I highly recommend Style Arc patterns if you like to keep up with fashion.  They release new patterns every month, and they’re pretty good at following current trends in ready to wear clothing.  The downsides are you order the pattern size you want, and that's all you get, so if you need to grade between sizes it can take a bit of work; and they are only sold from their base in Australia – although they do have a selection in a newly created Etsy shop.
For my fabric I picked this brown and orange check stretch suiting.  I was initially tempted to go with the same fabric in grey, but decided on the brown for a change.  Unfortunately I forgot to consider the fact that I don’t own much that goes with brown!
You can see from the pattern drawing above that the trousers have a seam down the front of the legs.  I decided to omit this, as I didn’t fancy another place where I needed to pattern match the fabric.  Omitting this was easy; I just laid the pattern pieces on the fabric with the seam allowances overlapping and cut the fronts as one piece rather than two.
When I make trousers I often end up with too much fabric in the rear thighs, below my bottom.  This time the fit seems better here.  There is some wrinkling, but it’s no worse than I’d get from a pair of ready to wear trousers, and the bonus is the waist fits me on these!  That’s something that never happens with RTW. 
There’s not a lot else to say about these trousers.  They fasten at the side with an invisible zip, and have a waist facing instead of a waistband.  Next time I might try drafting a curved waistband, as the facing does pop out a bit.
If you fancy some new trousers I can highly recommend both the fabric and the pattern.  If you like the fabric, but don’t fancy trousers, it would be equally nice for a dress or skirt, or even a jacket.