Sunday, 15 September 2019

Style Arc Rosie Alice Top

Not all rabbits are created equal. The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland (Sir John Tenniel's original illustrations not the Disney version) is my favourite kind of rabbit however when it comes to matching the Alice top to your new Wildwood jeans and Kate Spade Edina ballet flats it just doesn't cut the mustard.

The top on its own wasn't that spectacular initially either but after a bit of reverse engineering I now love the top with a plain pair of trousers.

The finished garment

The finished garment photos were taken before I took it apart for the second time. Since I tweaked the armhole shaping the weather has been horrible and completely unsuited for a cotton top so no photos of the top in its current finished state.

Originally this top was due to be blogged once pictures had been taken of its final state however for the last three weeks I have been trying to write a post about a pair of trousers and can't seem to finish it. Blogging about this top is my palate cleanser which will hopefully encourage the trouser post to emerge from its cocoon or maybe it will continue to be elusive until I have made the second pair.

Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Rosie Alice Top

Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Rosie Alice Top
Style Arc Rosie Alice top with Untouched World Pure Skinny black jean and Camper Twins Luis Gordillo Sneakers
Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Rosie Alice Top

As you can see the top is much less successful with Lana's Wildwood jeans, even with my United Nude Fold Liqorice booties. The patterns really don't go together - can't imagine why I thought they ever would.

The fabric

This is a Lecien quilting cotton from the 2016 collection Girl's Story. A disappointing Japanese cotton much coarser than usual - very much a quilting cotton, purchased from some unknown Etsy source. Do like the print though.

Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Rosie Alice Top
Lecien Girls Story Alice in Wonderland Harlequin Teal

The pattern

I made the Rosie top for Cath nearly a year ago and have always fancied making it for myself.  Seemed ideal with this Alice in Wonderland fabric.

Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Rosie Top

Style Arc describe Rosie as a versatile top with interesting back detail. A great top for all occasions. The slight cap sleeve is very flattering and the back inverted pleat give this top a point of difference.

Fabric suggestions are: crepe, washed silk, cotton, any woven with some body and drape. So for once I chose a fabric recommended by the pattern.

The pattern alterations

All of the pattern alterations stemmed from the fact that I don't like cut on sleeves and removed the cap sleeve. To start I used a TNT top pattern with a set-in sleeve lined it up at centre front / centre back matching the two patterns at the neck edge shoulder point and marking where the end of the shoulder seam came. Then using the armhole template for my favourite woven sleeve I drew in the armhole.

For the back I also made a sway back adjustment. For the front having altered the side front piece for a set-in sleeve I decided not to use a princess seamed front as it would distort the fabric's harlequin pattern. Instead I found a top with a French dart and manipulated that to be the front pattern piece, lengthened ½" at centre front, curving to both the same length as the original pattern at the side seam and the same width at the peplum seam.

Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Rosie Alice Top
Left original back pattern piece (white) overlaid with armhole template; and the new pattern piece (brown) on the right
Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Rosie Alice Top
Original front pattern piece (white) with new pattern piece (brown) on top. Left photo with armhole template overlaid
The top was sewn up and tried on. It was very unflattering - too long in the back and big in the waist. Pattern was altered to shorten the back and reduce the circumference at the waist and peplum hem, top was un-sewn, fabric pieces re-cut and top re-sewn.

After it was sewn the second time and tried on the length was good but there was extra fabric at centre back and around the armhole (not needed for a set in sleeve but required in the original design to create the cap sleeve). Pattern was altered again to: (1) lower the armhole and bring it in at the side seam blending back to the original waist; (2) increase the sway back by ¾". Top was once again un-sewn, fabric pieces re-cut and the top re-sewn.

The pattern pieces you see in the photographs above are the final version of the pattern, except I think the sway back alteration was too extreme and I will probably lower the centre back by ½". Just can't leave it alone have to be constantly tweaking striving for perfection.

The sewing

As the quality of the fabric was disappointing I didn't bother sewing it with french seams as I normally would. Apart from the hems it was sewn with the overlocker, and there was no hand sewing. Even the neck edge was just folded over twice and machine sewn in place. The hems were overlocked and turned up once.

This was a quick and easy to sew top except for my need to deconstruct it twice.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

An Orange Extravaganza for Summer

After the orange excitement of last week I had a forage through my fabric stash to see what else I could find. Surprisingly there was no shortage of orange fabrics. (I may also have bought a couple of extras just in case there is a sudden world fabric shortage.)

Instead of spending Sunday sewing I disappeared down the rabbit hole of creating an orange summer wardrobe. And here it is...

I wonder how much of this imagined summer wardrobe will see the light of day or is destined to be another random rambling.

The outerwear

Not true outerwear but a wool cardigan and loose fitting shirt in cotton canvas which for Summer will hopefully be more than enough for the outer layer. Although now I have started playing I really fancy an orange leather jacket!!!

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
A Marcia Derse fabric from the Art History 101 collection called Timeline in the Lecture colourway printed on cotton canvas from Marcy Tilton paired with Katherine Tilton's Butterick B6491 loose fitting shirt.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
An orange aqua striped Italian wool knit from Stonemountain and Daughter paired with Papercut Patterns Fjord cardigan which I have previously lengthened to mid calf. Whilst the stripes will generally go around the body I would like to play with their orientation on some of the pattern pieces.

The dresses

I will invariably use my TNT dress pattern in some form or other but otherwise I haven't really decided which pattern to use for which fabric.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
Clockwise from top left: Liberty Ganton Jersey in design Powell from The Fabric Store; Marcia Derse Treasure Hunt cotton fabric from Marcy Tilton; Liberty Argyll Swim in design Mayrose from The Fabric Store; Rebecca Taylor faux leather stretch woven; Plaid floral cotton; and Calvin Klein embroidered cotton. The bottom row are all from Silhouette Patterns.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
And here is one I prepared earlier (not yet blogged) the Style Arc Toni Designer Dress in the Liberty Argyll swim fabric design Mike.

Two fabrics not included in the montage have patterns firmly associated with them.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
This Rebecca Taylor silk viscose called Sunrise from Silhouette Patterns I see as a classic fit and flare dress using an oldie but a goody Vogue 9243, with added short sleeves.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
The second fabric with firm ideas is this large Givenchy silk scarf panel from The Fabric Store. It was purchased to be a Named Kielo Wrap dress and that is still what it will become. Although I have two of these panels I suspect some creativity with pattern placement will be required, maybe even cut on the bias.


The tops

I am strangely indecisive about the tops - not at all sure which patterns I will use. Vogue 1415 by Tom and Linda Platt view A has been on my to sew list for some time just not seeing it in any of these fabrics. The Evelyn or the Josie blouse by the Experimental Space (a recent purchase) could be a contender, although highest on my list is the Rosalee dress made into a peplum top.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
Clockwise from top left: Liberty tana lawn in design Johnathon from The Fabric Store; Etheric plaid an Italian viscose woven from Marcy Tilton; Liberty silk crepe de chine in design Firenze actually from Liberty; Art Gallery Fabrics Ice-cream Shop cotton knit; Windows French digital knit from Marcy Tilton; Cotton+Steel Rifle Paper Co Wildwood collection rayon in design Petite Garden Party from Stonemountain and Daughter; Orange stripe print French viscose knit from Elliott Berman Textiles; and Cotton+Steel Bespoke Ephemera in navy cotton double gauze from Stonemountain and Daughter.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
These two Rebecca Taylor fabrics (left to right: sheer poly cotton knit; and textured ITY knit) will become Kendosa's top all from Silhouette Patterns. Need the ubiquitous black top to go with all this colour.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
This Valori Wells Wrenly Voile (Bloom on the left and Ingrid on the right) has been in my stash for quite some time and I have always had trouble finding the ideal pattern. As soon as I started playing with orange I knew this wanted to be a Sewing Workshop Zayn top.

The trousers

Much as I love colour it may be necessary to add a black pair of trousers to this wardrobe in order to give the senses a rest. However black trousers were not my first thought when assembling this wardrobe collection.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
I recently watched the Threads Magazine / Louise Cutting DVD Easy to Sew Pants and when I washed this silk over the weekend it gave a strong indication it wanted to become a pair of one seam pants. Although I have this pattern in my collection it has never been used so I will need to make a test pair before I cut into my Calvin Klein silk from Silhouette Patterns.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
These Issey Miyake Vogue 2271 trousers were altered recently but there was a severe shortage of the chosen fabric and I could only make one leg. I have since managed to buy a second leg's worth of fabric but not yet made the trousers. Given the pattern cover features an orange suit it seemed appropriate that the pattern be used with this Cosmo Textiles of Japan fruit design cotton canvas fabric from Stonemountain and Daughter.

The found

Once I started I couldn't stop my quest for orange fabrics. It brought to mind a long ago linen skirt which was taken apart to be remade into something. With trepidation I went into the half finished / remake projects box and found some things that would look fabulous in an orange summer.


Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
As you can see this fabric was cut out but never got further than that and is now probably too small. I think with the cut-out pieces plus the left over fabric I could make the Style Arc Charlotte dress lengthened to knee length and with short sleeves. It would be fun to try and feature different colours in each dress section, rather than the horizontal stripe.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
For these three fabrics I am a bit undecided. On the left is a gorgeous cotton fabric from the Pacific Islands gifted to me by a friend. It got a bit too precious to use despite buying the orange embroidered organza (centre) and a silk crepe-de-chine (not pictured) from The Fabric Store to make a dress. The coloured linen print fabric on the right is the aforementioned skirt which I found difficult to wear as the natural background has a green hue and altered how it looked with coloured tops.

The thought of making these fabrics into something is exciting. I just need to decide what the something is. Imagined sewing adventures are so invigorating if only the clothes were made before the imagination flits off into another direction.

The accessories

I have to confess that the Camper sandals were a contributing factor to my sudden obsession with an orange wardrobe the brooch from the CODA museum wasn't the sole influence.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
CODA Orange Paper brooch
Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
Chloe Faye Cross Body Bag
Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer
Top: Camper Twins Red Orange Sandals; Bottom: Camper Twins Luis Gordillo Sneakers

Parting shot

For those that have read to the end of this post here are the Kaikoura Ranges in all their winter snow glory, a fitting counterpoint to all this talk of summer wardrobe planning.

Creates Sew Slow: An Orange Extravaganza for Summer

This is also a reminder that I better finish my winter coat. Apparently a burst of bitterly cold weather is due here soon. Scientists are predicting a very cold spring due to a sudden stratospheric warming event above Antarctica which results in cold blasts of air attacking New Zealand. Not holding my breath though as this has only happened twice since the late 1950's (September 2002 and 2010). On the other hand the possibility of it happening may just be the incentive I need as it certainly hasn't been cold enough so far this winter for a toasty warm winter coat.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans

These jeans were made for the Pattern Review match your shoes contest to go with a pair of Kate Spade Edina ballet flats. However the top I chose to sew the weekend before the contest finished: (a) didn't really go with the trousers or shoes despite having rabbits on it; and (b) was a fashion disaster. The top was reverse sewn, re-cut and resewn to become a wearable top but still not with these trousers.

That hasn't stopped these jeans taking up a useful place in my wardrobe. Whilst a bit quirky they are a basic charcoal grey so are easy enough to wear with any number of my plain tops.

The finished garment

Great fun to wear with orange tops. Makes for a playful work outfit that brings me joy.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans

The fabric

I thought this Cotton+Steel fabric by Rifle Paper Co came from Stonemountain and Daughter but maybe I bought it from Nancy's Stitch Studio here in New Zealand.  Regardless of where it came from this is a nice fabric to make trousers.

Stonemountain still have the fabric in stock in this grey as well as a green colourway. I love that the quilt fabric manufacturers (especially the Japanese ones) now produce their prints in different fabric compositions for garment sewing.

There was nearly a fabric shortage as it is only 45" wide and one directional. Even though I purchased 2 metres it was not possible to align the pattern across the legs. The print is busy enough for this not to matter. Once I started cutting out I noticed that the print is actually mirror imaged from the centre which made matching the back pockets tricky and I basically gave up for the front pockets, back yoke and waistband.

Creates Sew Slow: Cotton+Steel Rifle Paper Co Wildwood Fable print in grey cotton linen canvas
Wildwood Fable print in grey cotton linen canvas

The pattern

My trusty Silhouette Pattern #3300 Lana's jeans was used once again to produce these trousers.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns #3300 Lana's Jeans

The pattern alterations

As my waist and hips are expanding I altered my TNT Lana's jeans pattern to give extra width at these points. Ultimately I added too much width at the hips and ended up increasing the seam allowance for a better fit.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans
Left: too much circumference; right: extra removed
In Threads Magazine #204 September 2019 there is an article about skinny-fit trousers. They explain which parts of the anatomy to measure and have a section on diagnosing fit problems. Smiles = crotch depth too short; frowns = too big overall or crotch depth too long; smirks (horizontal lines) = circumference too small. Their advice for horizontal lines is not to worry too much as it is difficult with skinny trousers to get a snug fit over the seat without forming a few wrinkles under the buttocks. They also recommend only using stretch fabrics with 2% to 7% spandex. As my cotton linen canvas has zero stretch apart from the natural give of the fabric these fit pretty well.

My biggest problem is defining whether the wrinkles are a smile or a frown. I think the picture on the right is a slight frown. But then the one on the left could be considered a smile and much of it was resolved by taking in the side seams... Back we come to my problem of defining the wrinkles!

The other change I made was to create a new curved waistband partly for my expanded waist but also because curved waistbands fit my shape better.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans

The sewing

These trousers were sewn as per the pattern instructions. Except that the back was sewn in its entirety including the waistband and the same for the front before the inseam was sewn. This was done to accommodate my changing shape. Should I increase/decrease in circumference I can undo the side seam and alter the fit.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans
Jeans back assembled - can you spot the back pocket?
Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans
Jeans front assembled
As is normal for me now with trouser waistbands I removed ⅛" from the bottom edge of the inside waistband then sew on the binding with a ¼" seam allowance. The waistband can then be sewn down by stitching in the ditch from the right side which should be just above the binding on the wrong side.

My trusty Singer Featherweight did all the straight stitching and even made the buttonhole. I was going to get out the big modern Bernina machine to sew the buttonhole but it was too much effort. Instead I used the antique Singer buttonhole attachment. I do like how this attachment sews buttonholes you just need to have a button the right size. It is difficult to believe that this attachment actually makes the zigzag stitch. I go around the buttonhole twice to get a nice neat finish.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans
Sewing the buttonhole using the Singer buttonhole attachment on the Featherweight

Outfit of the day

I had an orange week at work featuring these trousers with a Moochi merino top on the left and a Moochi Lay tee on the right.  The second outfit is a Style Arc Toni Designer dress still to be blogged. The third outfit is a Moochi Promise dress with the black dot self-drafted leggings.   The cardigan is the Untouched World Ecopossum coat cardi in graphite. All outfits are worn with my United Nude Rockit Ace black and gold ankle boots.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans

A great finishing touch for the outfits is a brooch from the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. The museum speciality is contemporary jewellery design and visual arts on and from paper and cardboard. The brooch symbolises a folded piece of paper. This would be one of those fascinating museums I would love to have a look around in person one day.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans

This was a gift from a friend (originally from the Netherlands) that really complements this week's work wardrobe and my new to me handbag.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns Lana's Wildwood Jeans

Monday, 12 August 2019

Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress

This dress is largely based on my TNT pattern. The difference this time is that I used the length, hem width and V-neckline of the Style Arc Toni Designer dress. As this dress is a mash up of patterns used before I wasn't going to bother with a blog post for it but then thought others might like to see how I take my TNT pattern and make it into something else.

I enjoyed the V-neck of the Toni dress and wanted a longer more pencil skirt shape for this dress to maximise fabric use. A fitted dress was also better suited to this robust cotton twill fabric.

The finished garment

This has been worn a lot since it was made. No matter which shoes I wear for the week this dress goes with them, especially these United Nude Zink Patch Mid Pop Mix boots.

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress

The squiggle squares sort of match up across the body and sleeves.

Not sure why I have such a horizontal fold of fabric across my back in the photos because you don't notice it when I am wearing the dress in real life.

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress

The squiggle squares are not a straight line which made matching them at the side seams pretty impossible. They sort of match on the left side but are way out on the right side.

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress
Left: original V neckline; Right modified square neckline
The only thing that bothered me about the dress after it was made was the V-neckline. It didn't really suit the shape of the squiggle squares. It was a bit of a faff but it irritated me enough to make the change to a more square neckline. The plunge of the neckline is now deeper than I would normally choose and was dictated by the depth of the original V-neckline. I am just hoping that it can be worn with any bra as I hate clothes that require specific underwear.

The fabric

This fabric is a cotton twill from Japanese fabric manufacturer Kobayashi, purchased from Cutting Line Designs (SKU: FF-00865) and still available! Purchased after falling down the fabric rabbit hole instead of sticking to the pattern section.

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress

The pattern

This dress is an amalgamation of three patterns. My TNT dress pattern is Silhouette Patterns Traditional Blouse view 2 blended into the 3-piece Yoga skirt. This incarnation is mixed up with the StyleArc Toni Designer dress.

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns #400 Traditional Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Silhouette Patterns #2010 3-piece Yoga Skirt

Creates Sew Slow: Style Arc Toni Designer Dress

The pattern alterations

As already mentioned my TNT dress pattern was adapted to mid-calf rather than knee length with a V-neckline. Having recently made the StlyeArc Toni Designer dress this was the pattern I chose for both the length, hem width and V-neckline.

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress
Left: front pattern pieces; Right back pattern pieces
Hopefully you can see the dress pattern pieces overlaid on the Toni Designer dress (yes a PDF pattern I have actually taped together). The front pattern piece appears longer than the back because my TNT pattern has a bust dart and I needed to compensate for this so the side seam front and back would be the same length. I did add 1" to the length of the Toni dress because I wanted a deeper hem for this woven dress.

The other change I made was to create full size pattern pieces so that I could achieve good pattern placement of the squares on the dress.

I cut the pattern in both the outer and lining fabric for the front and back body pieces but only cut the sleeves from the squiggle squares fabric.

The sewing

This was a very quick project even though I effectively made two dresses.

The darts were sewn in both lining and outer fabric. For the waist darts they were pressed in opposite directions in the lining and outer fabrics to minimise bulk.

Both the dress and the lining were sewn separately on the overlocker at the shoulder and side seams. Then the outer and lining fabric were sewn at the neckline with right sides together, and the neckline under-stitched.

The sleeves were sewn in the round with french seams. So apart from the sleeve seam all the seams are enclosed.

The sleeve is machine hemmed but I hand catch-stitched the dress hem.

Today a few weeks after the dress was finished I unpicked the neckline (under-stitching and seam). Re-drew the neckline to be squarer at centre front, with a four-inch base curving back to the original shoulder neck edge. I then sewed a cream bias binding around the right-side of the neck edge, under-stitched it and folded it to the inside. Any minute now (or at least sometime this week before I wear it) I will hand-stitch it in place to the lining.

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress

Creates Sew Slow: Kobayashi Squiggle Squares TNT Midi Dress
And here it is a week later with the binding stitched down and wrinkles fresh from the wash

Monday, 15 July 2019

A Me Made Week

An amazing thing occurred last week. Apart from one RTW Moochi top and my under garments all of the clothes I wore to work were me made, including my coat. To celebrate I took selfies of the outfit each day. Apologies if anyone is offended by the bathroom pictures but it is the only way to take pictures of my outfits when I am away from home during the week.

If you ever wondered how my wardrobe plan for the week works it is often driven by the pair of shoes chosen to wear for the four days I am away (can't be bothered to carry extra shoes for such a short work trip). Once I had decided on the United Nude Zen bootie everything had to work with the colour red, and then the navy of my recently sewn trousers which led me to my Ecopossum coat cardi and...

Creates Sew Slow: A Me Made Week
Left to right: Meandering Chrysanthemum Swirl top; plus Zephyr Ecopossum coat cardi; and Moochi Kicked tee
All worn with Papercut Patterns Peter and the Wolf trousers and United Nude Zen Mid Merlot booties
Creates Sew Slow: A Me Made Week
Left to right: Issey Miyake Gorgeous raincoat; Squiggles Squares dress; and Winter Floral dress 
Creates Sew Slow: A Me Made Week
Gratuitous photo of the Winter Floral dress (note different shoes) included because I love the way Google has made the background black and white so the dress really pops
There are probably not enough me made clothes in the wardrobe for this to occur too often unless I make a conscious effort, but it shows that the proportion of clothes I have made versus bought is starting to change.

Probably the biggest driver for this change is the demise of my favourite boutiques. There are now only two shops I frequent with any regularity Moochi where I have only ever bought tops and dresses; and Untouched World which provides mainly my woolly garments although I do have two pairs of their jeans.

Interestingly I haven't bought any trousers apart from the two pairs of Untouched World jeans since Andrea Moore closed in March 2018.  My waist has recently expanded and many of my Andrea Moore trousers no longer fit. As I can't be bothered to find another go-to source for trousers you will probably find a few more trouser makes featured on the blog, including the Papercut Patterns Peter & the Wolf trousers worn in these pictures.

This week of me made clothes has me wondering about trying to wear a sewn garment every week day for a month to identify the lacking areas in my wardrobe. This idea was inspired by Becky at Trial Balloons who wore a sewn garment every day for the month of May and recorded each day's outfit with a selfie. It helped Becky identify what she likes to wear in her everyday life and those garments which are a joy to sew but remain unworn.

I will have to cogitate on this idea whilst I make a few more pairs of trousers, as I don't have enough tops and dresses for a whole month without lots of repetition, which would be boring when there is so much variety to choose from in my wardrobe. Or maybe I should just take a selfie every day for a longer period of time to see what I love to wear. This would have the added benefit of helping me remove some of the unworn items in my wardrobe and provide a bit more breathing space for what is left.

And finally a picture to celebrate friendship. This gorgeous bouquet of flowers was given to me by a friend to brighten up my winter week. Not only did they look wonderful they smelt divine and came with a bar of chocolate, what more could a girl want.

Creates Sew Slow: A Me Made Week