April 01, 2014

Sew: Pleated Style Arc Ali Knit Skirt

I like to keep it real around here at Sew Brunswick. I really don't like this skirt I made last weekend but I decided to post the photos anyway so others can learn from my mistakes. The decision to use the pleats on both the front and back of the skirt was a very, very bad decision. The pattern is designed for a flat back piece with a pleated front. To spice it up, you can have a plain pencil skirt, like my floral scuba skirt, by using the back pattern piece in both the front and back. Or you can use the front pleated pattern piece twice and get pleats in the front and back. It's quite a versatile pattern for such a simple style. I do plan on using this pattern again, and again, as I think it's going to be a great wardrobe staple. Just without pleats in the back!

I thought putting the pleats on the back would avoid having the visible undie line and avoid showing all the lumps and bumps. It has just drawn even more attention to my backside, in addition to adding bulk! Lesson learnt.

Project Details
Pattern: Style Arc Ali Knit Skirt, size 16
Fabric: Medium weight black ponti from Tessuti

I'm planing on making this again with just the pleated front in a black ponti to replace this one and also a charcoal knit, maybe a wool knit, to wear with boots and tights during winter.

You live and you learn!

L x
March 31, 2014

Sew: Black & Grey Pixelated McCalls 6460

Following on from my Gridlock M6460, I hacked in to the pattern and made an excessive amount of alterations. I was a bit scared that I'd destroyed the pattern and even asked my mum to get me another copy of the pattern just in case. But it all worked out! 

The printed cotton sateen was a random find from Spotlight many moons ago, when they still had a store in Brunswick. My 4 year old chose it and it was destined to become another NL6000. It sat on the shelf for a long time and I glimpsed it one day sitting with a black piece of fabric while I was rummaging through my pattern stash. Lightbulb moment! I personally think the fabric pairing is verging on epic. I love it.

Look at that fit! I'm really enjoying tweaking patterns to suit my shape and preferences. I love the process of slashing and taping and tracing to get a perfectly fitted pattern. It's my inner geek coming out! 

Project Details
Pattern: McCalls 6460, size 16
Fabric: Printed cotton sateen from Spotlight & black cotton sateen from Clegs, lining from Clegs

  • 4cm sway back adjustment
  • Removed 3cm from back neckline at the centre 
  • Removed 3cm total from front neckline
  • Lowered bust darts by 2.5cm
  • Folded out a dart from the front and back 8cm below the underarm - removed 2.5cm total
  • Added kick pleat to the back
  • Lengthened by 7cm
Next time I will add more length. I will also probably merge the body of NL6000 with the sleeves and top of the this pattern. The body and bust darts of NL6000 are perfect on me but I really like the raglan sleeve. I think this combination will result in a perfect pattern. 

I have a few more items to blog before I catch up. I'm not sure what is next on my sewing table. Probably more work clothes. I really need more work clothes. I've also got another pair of Tessuti Anita pants and a Tokyo jacket on the list. Oh, and I really need to get back to that little black jacket... 

L x
March 30, 2014

Sew: Tessuti Pia Dress in Black Linen

Well the sewjo has definitely returned. Yay for that! I just don't sew as much as I used to, due to a full wardrobe and other commitments. But I'm ok with that! Late on Thursday night I decided to sew a dress for Friday night drinks with the school mums. I had all the supplies for a Pia dress so it was a go! The fabric and pattern was cut out on Thursday night and I finished the dress at 5pm on Friday. The sewing part really only took about 2.5 hours on Friday afternoon, interrupted by school pick up and feeding the boys. Gosh they can eat!

When Tessuti released the Pia dress pattern I wasn't that keen on it. I decided to hold off until next Summer as I certainly had enough things to work on. I'm so glad I changed my mind. I love it! The pockets add interest to an otherwise simple style. I also really like the wide shoulders.

In terms of construction, things went together extremely easily and I really enjoyed the process. There is something soothing about sewing with linen. I did my own thing with the bias binding at the neckline and armholes. I finished one shoulder seam and then applied the neck binding before closing the other shoulder seam. The armhole binding is applied before sewing the side seams. This method is my preferred method for doing binding as I often have to fit the side seams once I've tried it on. Inevitably, I always end up taking the side seam in from the armhole to waist. I also eliminated the centre back seam. I didn't think it was necessary so I simply removed the 1.25cm seam allowance from the from the centre back and cut it on the fold.

Project Details
Pattern: Tessuti Pia Dress, size L
Fabric: Black linen from Clegs
Alterations: Removed centre back seam (cut on fold after removing seam allowance)

Apologies for some of the dodgy iPhone photos. My photographer only took from the waist up with the DSLR! I'll have to give him a lesson on photographing a dress. 

I wore it out on Friday night to the Brunswick Mess Hall for drinks with my Funkis clogs and Dinosaur Designs necklace. I then pulled it on again on Saturday morning, in a post-cocktail fog, and wore it down the road to the hairdressers and beauty salon. It worked really well belted with a red belt and a pair of red Saltwater sandals. Multi-talented dress. Perfect! That's my kind of dress.

Have you succumbed to the Pia dress? Do it!!

L x

March 26, 2014

Sew: Style Arc Ali Knit Skirt

There's not much to say about this skirt. The fabric is a remnant from this dress I made last year for Mr Sew Brunswick's 40th birthday party. I only wore the dress twice before donating it to the school fete trash & treasure. I think I overheated way too much and was traumatised by the experience. I never wanted to wear it again. A skirt is a much better option for this fabulous floral scuba knit, that just doesn't breathe. It's a bit shorter than I would have liked, due to fabric restrictions, but I plan on wearing it with tights and boots during winter. An oversized black cardigan would be great too!

Project Details
Pattern: Style Arc Ali Knit Skirt, size 16
Fabric: Floral scuba knit from Lincraft (remnant from this dress)

L x

March 25, 2014

Sew: Kwik Sew 3045 Polka Dot Jumper

Oh look! I made something!! I've actually made a few things in the last few days. So watch this space.

I spotted (!!) this jumper knit at Clegs one afternoon when I popped in to grab lining and thread. Isn't it always the way?! I couldn't leave these cute polka dots so I grabbed 2 metres with no plans at all. It didn't take me long to work out I wanted to make a raglan sleeve slouchy jumper. Kwik Sew 3045 looked like it would work a treat, so I grabbed it at Rathdowne's 50% off pattern sale last week. I also went back to Clegs and grabbed 50cm of the reverse print to use for the bindings. Best decision ever. I love them.

I made a few adjustments to the pattern to get the look I was after. I scooped out the neckline by 10cm at the front and 2.5cm at the back. In hindsight, this was probably a bit too much. I made a size L according to my measurements but ended up taking the side seams in an extra 1cm. Lastly, after popular demand on Instagram, I omitted the hem band and simply turned the hem up before using a twin needle to finish it.

Easy as! Now I'm in polka dot heaven. It's soft, cosy and slouchy, all in one.

Project Details
Pattern: Kwik Sew 3045, size L
Fabric: Polka Dot Interlock from Clegs
Alterations: Scooped neck out, took an extra 1cm of side seams, omitted bottom hem band, shortened sleeves by 2.5cm

In terms of the contrast bands, I used an 8cm wide strip that was 80% of the neckline. I originally used 85% but it was too slack. 80% worked perfectly. For the arm bands, I used the pattern piece but add 2.5cm to the length so they weren't so fitted. I also removed 2.5cm from the sleeve length. I could possibly have taken more off but they'll be fine.

I now just need a bit of cold and wet weather to be able to wear this jumper! I'm sure it is just around the corner...

L x
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