Monday, February 25, 2013

Suddenly Seven!

It feels like I just took my eyes off the toddler for a minute and BAM!

Seven shirt

He's seven years old! And quite into Lego.

Pattern: Ottobre 1/2010 #24 - also seen here in a smaller size.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Style Arc Nina Cardigan

I'm not really a pattern hoarder. I'm more likely to be tempted by the potential held in a new piece of fabric than a new pattern. Also, I don't have access to the $0.99 sales here and that is a natural deterrent. But, sometimes I see a new and different pattern that I really want and I make the purchase without a definite plan for it on the horizon. So it was with the Nina Cardigan from Style Arc.

Given the currency conversion and the shipping costs, it generally isn't prudent for me to be making impulse purchases from small independent Australian businesses. This pattern was expensive. But, I do like to support the small independent businesses and I also wanted to try out their patterns since they get good reviews. Was it worth it? I think so.

Style Arc Nina Cardigan

I used a lightweight burnout jersey in a grey-blue color that I really like. The pattern suggests leaving the front  edge/neckline and hem raw or "babylocking" them. My fabric curled like crazy along any raw edge, so I wasn't excited about that and my old serger didn't have a good option for a rolled hem or anything suitably discreet. I needed an alternative and decided to attach a raw-edged band to the hem and lower front edge.

Style Arc Nina Cardigan

I thought this was a good idea, but there was a fair bit of trial and error in the execution of it. It was difficult to get the stitching neat and even. I ended up fusing the bands in place with steam-a-seam. I thought I would miter the lower front corners, but obviously didn't think about it clearly since I cut the 45-degree angle the wrong way! Argh! It was fused in placed and a done deal before I noticed. So, I trimmed off that corner and had to do the other side the same way. Now those nice points that hang down are cut off and blunt, but so be it. I can't change it.

Style Arc Nina Cardigan

I wanted the sleeve finish to be similar to the other hem, so I added the same sort of band. The sleeve ended up being too long that way, so I added a piece of elastic to the seam for some scrunch.

The pattern itself is well-drafted - nice shaping along the back seams, the sleeves fit in very well, and all the notches along the long front neckband piece line up just right. I needed to add length to the bodice pieces and the sleeves and ideally, I would have gone up a size. This one just fits, but it could be better.

Style Arc Nina Cardigan

I doubled the front neckband piece to get around the raw edge issue. If I hadn't done that I would probably have to declare this too small. With a belt, everything stays in place pretty well.

It might be awhile before I can justify purchasing another Style Arc pattern, but I'd recommend them based on my limited experience. They do a good job of producing current, but wearable styles and I always like seeing the newest releases.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Does It Get Any More Basic?

A plain black skirt. So basic, yet I didn't have one. I needed to change that. After making these pants (which are refinished and wonderful to wear, BTW) I had just enough fabric left to eek out a simple skirt. Given the fabric constraints, I didn't have a lot of options for styles or details, but I wanted to create a little interest somehow.

I started with McCall's 3830, a pattern that I've used many times before and have tweaked to fit me. For this version, I sliced and manipulated the pattern to add a yoke at the top and a seam down the skirt's center front. The back darts are incorporated into the yoke piece.

McCall's 3830 (modified)

The additional seams are accented with topstitching on each side. I used the triple straight stitch so that it would be more noticeable on the black fabric.

McCall's 3830 (modified)

The addition of the seams and stitching is nice, but the really interesting part of the skirt is the lining (also leftover from these pants).

McCall's 3830 (modified)

The facing pieces are sewn on top of the lining pieces and then attached as one to the skirt at the waist. The facing edge is bound and I love the professional finish that gives. I attach the lining to the invisible zipper by machine and get a nice finish at the top edges using this method.

McCall's 3830 (modified)

I'm happy to have this basic piece in my closet and since it was made with leftovers, it feels like a total bonus/freebie!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Birthday "Suit"

My youngest child (my baby!) celebrated her fifth birthday in January. I must confess that this sent me into a minor tailspin. I don't want to go back to life with babies, but I'm not sure I'm entirely ready to be done with the "little kid" stage, either. Anyway, my emotional state aside, I wanted to make her some new clothes for her birthday.

The big day was a Monday, but we celebrated on Sunday. I made my decision to sew new clothes on Friday afternoon. Since she would be home all day Saturday I only had Friday evening to make it happen. I chose simple things and didn't have any trouble getting the three-piece "suit" all done.

Birthday Shirt
Pardon the wrinkles - this has been worn and washed a few times already.

I always like the birthday number shirts that Joy makes for her kids and decided to copy her. The "5" is fused on and then edgestitched in place. I stitched over the same line three times to make it a little bolder.

Twirly Skirt and Leggings

The leggings (Burda 9615) and twirly skirt (self-drafted - details here) complete the ensemble. The skirt fabric is left over from these dresses. Purple is my daughter's most favorite color. The leggings are extra long, so she can wear those for quite awhile (and purple leggings can be worn with EVERYTHING).

I told The Preacher that this project was probably going to be one of the tackiest things I've made, but that our daughter would probably really love it. Of course, I was right.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Shirts for the Boy

My son has been in need of some more long-sleeved shirts for a few weeks. His patience was rewarded a couple of weeks ago with two new shirts, both from Ottobre patterns.

The first was this collared polo shirt, #20 from the 4/2012 issue.

Polo Shirt: Ottobre 4/2012 #20

The striped fabric is a nice pique knit. It has a good weight but a good amount of stretch, too. I'm happy with how the stripes match across the body and sleeves.

Polo Shirt: Ottobre 4/2012 #20

The instructions for the placket were beyond puzzling to me. I should have just ignored the pattern pieces and instructions and used the same method I do for sleeve plackets. In the end, it looks okay from the outside, but the inside leaves much to be desired. The collar and stand is cut in one piece - not my usual preference, but I thought I'd give it a chance here and I'm happy with it. I stitched along the fold line and pressed along it well to help keep it in place.

The second is a long-sleeved T-shirt with some sleeve details, Ottobre 1/2010 #24. The fabric is leftover from this dress project.

Long-Sleeved T: Ottobre 1/2010 #24

Instead of cutting a separate panel for the center of the sleeves, I just added the solid piece on top. The instructions for the pocket were good and it was easy to construct. I like the interest that it adds.

Long-Sleeved T: Ottobre 1/2010 #24

I opted for a snap closure rather than Velcro as suggested. I find Velcro to be a laundry menace. The girls' tights always seem to get the worst of it...