Monday, April 27, 2015

The Stellar Tunic/Dress by Figgy's Patterns.

I'm continuing sewing my way through Figgy's Patterns' Heavenly Bundled Collection and today I'm showing you The Stellar Tunic/Dress.

And no, I'm not an affiliate or paid in any way by Figgy's - just a fan who is a liiiiiittle behind and is now trying to catch up by sewing it all at once, ha.

The Stellar Tunic is a good example of great design. 
It's a simple style and yet it looks 'different' and sophisticated.
The bodice is for knit fabric and the sleeves are for woven.

This version above is made with this thin baby pink/nude French Terry from Girl Charlee for the bodice (I'm sorry it is already sold do I know? Because I tried to buy more, argh) and the sleeves are made with fabric from the Cookie Book collection by Kimberly Kight from Cotton & Steel.
I love this fabric combination SO much. I had originally cut the woven sleeves together with the navy knit bodice that I'm showing in the next combination but didn't sew it because I was just not sure that I totally loved it. Then I bought the French terry and it all made sense and I cut some new sleeves for the navy knit. And that's when things started to get out of control and I ended up making 4 Stellar Tunics total. I'm showing 3 today. E was not in the photographing mood to show her's off.

I used my new Janome CoverPro to stitch the knit to the sleeve pieces plus for the neck rib and hemming. Man, that thing is nifty.

Here is the navy knit version with the stripy woven poplin.
This version I have made the sleeve like the original pattern where front and back is cut into 4 equal sizes. This gives you the chance to play with patchwork, color block and like here stripes.
I kind of wish the pattern came with both a solid and patchwork option but hey, at least it is easy to tape the pieces together (overlap the SA) and make solid sleeves (like the first version in this post).

I also kind of wish there was no fluffy cat in this photo but again....hey, if that is what makes the 7 year old want to model for me then okay okay, you can hold kitty.

The navy knit fabric is the Laguna Cotton Jersey from Robert Kaufman bought at Imagine Gnats Shop. It's a really great quality knit.

I think the stripe poplin is from but I'm not sure. Sorry!

The red and white knit rib is one of the few things I brought with me from Denmark. From a tiny shop smack in the center of Copenhagen called Skipper Stoffer. It's insanely expensive and an insanely nice quality so at least there is some sort of balance there, ha.

The pattern is not mentioning to line the sleeves like I did here but you totally can. Simply cut 4 front and 4 back sleeve pieces instead of 2 and 2. Close up the inner and outer sleeve (instead of hemming) before you sew the neck rib, and now you can make a little contrast fold up like I did here.
Then you don't have to finish all those seams either. Score!

This was the first Stellar Tunic I made and the reason I lined this one was because I was worried she would find the linen slightly scratchy.

The beautiful linen is from Miss Matatabi, the lining is French blue cotton voile (from ??) and then again Laguna Jersey this time in heather grey.

This time I overlocked my rib knit on and then I simply used my coverstitch to sew a chainstitch to hold down the seam.

I don't have much to say about the pattern. It's simple, it's great. It does not gives you full sewing lessons but shows enough photos and tell you the order of things.

I made my 7 year old daughter a size 6/7 and I think I added a bit of length but arghhh I can't really remember. Duh.

Okay, that's it!
Get your own Stellar Tunic/Dress pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Seraphic Pants by Figgy's Patterns.

I have sewed another Figgy's pattern. Actually I have sewed two more since I fell in love with the Sunki Dress and ended up buying the Heavenly Bundled Collection that contains 7 Figgy's patterns (which is on sale btw - and no, I'm not an affiliate, just a fan.)
I have made two Stellar Tunics and you will see them as soon as I'm getting around to taking some photos of them - preferably worn by my kids, said kids that would much rather play in the garden now that it is finally spring than standing still and posing for Mommy and her camera. Can't blame them!

And then I have made a pair of Seraphic Pants.
It's a style made for knit fabrics with seams center front and back for fun color block opportunities (you know I never turn those down), a slight dropped crotch together with slight tapered legs creates a great cool vibe and then lovely side pockets.
Overall an insanely comfortable pair of pants that my daughter wore for a full weekend after I finished them - including sleeping in them, ha.

I didn't even mean to make a blog post. We just went to a park that weekend and I brought my camera. While I was sitting at a nearby bench I could see that this might work so I shot like 10 photos of her and 4 of them are in this post. 

Together with a few spring flower photos just as a service for those of you that lives places where spring is just starting now or for those that live places where fall is starting now. You are welcome, ha.

The fabrics are both oh so lovely - AND environmental friendly.
The grey dot is a bamboo knit from Hart's Fabric. I'm giving you a link to all their bamboo knits because really you need to see them all. The drape is peeerfect, it is super soft and it is medium weight so easier to work with (than light weight) but not see-through. I guess the only downside is the price but at least you get value for your money!

The black fabric is something new to me. It is my first time working with fabric made from hemp (and 45% organic cotton) and it is from Organic Cotton Plus. The texture is much different than from the bamboo. More coarse but still soft and drapey. A bit like a linen blend. It's super easy to work with because of the non-slippery texture. And I could see myself using it for tons of things.

I made no changes to the pattern size-wise. This is a size 6/7 on my 7 year old daughter. I think it is the first time I have not had to lengthen a pair of pants for her, woohoo. I originally rolled them up for her because it is already warm outside and it added some extra cool vibes to the pants but the roll-ups did not survive the sandbox. Well, one half roll did as you can see on some of the other photos, ha.

I did make some changes to which sewing techniques I used compared to the ones suggested in the tutorial.

I know many knit patterns are made so everyone can make them - also people who does not have a serger. And that seems like a nice gesture.
But I did not agree with the waistband tutorial. The pattern is giving two alternatives. One will most likely give you quite a lot of troubles because of suggesting to stitch down the knit waistband from the front with a visible stitch (if only it was in the ditch) and the other is leaving a raw seam visible from the outside of the waistband.
So I simply folded the waistband (I did make it a bit smaller since I used rib) and sewed it on with 1 cm seam allowance and then overlocked the raw edge on the inside. This is the most basic and foolproof way to do it I would say.

I also did quite a lot more stitching as you can see but that is totally extras on my account.
Janome America have borrowed me the CoverPro 1000CPX until their new Cover Pro 2000 comes out and I just had to try it out right away. So I played with the overstitch and the chain stitch (at the elastic). SO fun! And I promise I will tell you much more about it at a later time!

And one last thing that I will add under the photo of these random flowers is that I was missing notches since the pattern didn't have any. Especially one VERY important notch that indicates the CF (center front) of the pants. It's kind of hard sewing a zip fly (faux or real) without that. 

BUT the conclusion is clear. My daughter LOVES her Seraphic Pants and I think they look super cool on her. And I will definitely make many more. Maybe try to put elastic at the bottom of the pant legs? Or make them cropped for summer. 

Even my pants-hating youngest daughter requested some but added...."when it is cold again"...which will be in like 6 months. We will see where she stands by then!?

Get your Heavenly Bundled Collection HERE.
or the Seraphic Pants Pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Sunki Dress by Figgy's.

I have always looooved the style of Figgy's patterns but I have never sewn any...until now ta-da.

I'm using the Sunki Dress pattern for a super secret project but first I needed to sew the original and since I love the result (and the process) so much I figured I would show you too.

I have heard some times that Figgy's patterns runs a bit wide and a bit short...which I guess it not the end of the world if you just know it. When looking at W's measurements and the pattern's measurements I decided to make W who turned 7 years old in January a size 6/7 and with a length from the size 8/9 pattern. The width is perfect for her but I might add a bit for length for the next one.

Because there will be a next one....actually there will be many next ones.

I absolutely LOVE this pattern.

The fit is somehow effortless. I love the way those two flaps overlap at the shoulders - a perfect and elegant detail. And I love how the pocket is ingeniously build into the curved seam at the front. And I love how those pleats at the sleeve are drafted with a perfect understated puff sleeve as a result. I have every notch I need (and no unnecessary ones) and this is a seriously pleasant pattern to sew. You basically just want to keep on going.

It has an invisible zipper at the back...and no you can't see it, ha.

Here is a close up of the 'secret' pocket. It's not deep enough - this is how far her hand can go down - but that is a very easy fix too for the next ones.

Ha, it was a windy day. This is the best photo I got of the dress full on frontal.

The fabrics are a very subtle Hello Kitty for Liberty and this gooorgeous cream double gauze with red dots from.....ehhhh, I would say either Miss Matatabi or Imagine Gnats.....but I have not been able to find it in either of their shops so I'm assuming it is sold out. I only have 1/2 yard and I wish I had like 10. I was kind of surprised when I realized it matched the Hello Kitty fabric - I never really imagined those two together.

Get you Sunki Dress pattern HERE.
It also comes in a teen/tween size version.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sleeveless Dress.

Okay, I promise I won't start every post with complaints about my photos BUT I just have to assure you that it is not your vision that is going while looking at this post....most of these photos are slightly (motion) blurred, ha. It was of course a bad idea to photograph a very happy little lady inside (less light, lower shutter speed and allll that stuff I just learned at my photography course) but hey....we live and we learn, right! And I did get that gem of a photo below which I absolutely love so at least there is that!

This dress is pattern i from a Japanese pattern book called Sew Sweet - Handmade Clothes for Girls by Yuki Araki. 
I was immediate attracted to this style in the book which is the first (and only so far) that I have made from this book. Only because it is a new book to me not because there is anything wrong with it, ha,

The dress is made for her two year older sister but when she realized that there was new books and ice-cream involved as payment for the photo shoots (we did 3) that day she begged to get in on the fun. And fits her quite well.
The biggest size in the book is for a 120 cm tall child (and that is what I made) and W is 123 cm. E here is 113 cm tall.

I only changed ONE thing from the original pattern - I added some more width to the bodice (not the yoke).
I simply did it by putting my pattern pieces to fold as usual and then moving both front and back out 4 cm (1 3/4") from the fold and then cut. It simply gives some more gathering and width to the dress.

The yoke is made from this light blue chambray from Kaufman and the flower fabric is this loooovely soft and drapey viscose that I bought a while ago from Fabric Mart for an undetermined project for myself but then W asked so nicely for it and I feel like the more they are involved in what I make for them, the bigger is the chance that they will wear it. I think I need to start hiding the fabrics I want for myself, ha.

I don't think there is a single photo without her making a funny face.

Told ya :-)

Thank you!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Twisted Trousers and Tank Top.

I don't do a lot of pattern testing but when my god friend and favorite pattern maker Laura from Titchy Threads (blogging at Craftstorming) did a call for testers for her Twisted Trousers I sort of felt the need to apply.
The patterns were actually introduced in my own series Sewing for Kindergarten last September in THIS post. And now they are finally here, yay! And I can already say that they were certainly worth the wait!

The Twisted Tank released a little while ago but is being re-launched together with the Twisted Trousers with the addition of a non-twisted tank top version. And there is a discount for buying both patterns together. Read THIS post for more details.

We went through several rounds of testing and not because Laura does not know what she is doing but because she insists on getting it right. And we all know that pants is one of the hardest garments to fit. There are so many variables with side seams, inseams and crotch seams and then add the fact that the seams (side and inseams) are making that cool twist that you can see on the photo above and you got yourself a real challenge. But she worked it out so way to go!!

Like all Laura's patterns there are plenty of lovely details like a back yoke and pockets, front side pockets and a coin pocket. Plus options for piping and making them fully reversible. 

It is very hard to see in most of the photos but I played with the stripes and cut the back pieces with horizontal stripes and the fronts with vertical stripes. Another way of showing off the twist is using piping or color block. The options are endless.

The waistband is made with knit rib and a wide elastic. I happen to find this gold elastic at Jo Ann the other day in the exact width that the pattern recommend. I sewed it on directly and that worked like a charm. The pattern also have that as an option and it will give you all the info you need.

The Twisted Tank is constructed super cool. There are no side seams and the pattern pieces looks kind of like triangles. I was really really happy that Laura had helping notches on the pattern because then there was no doubt about which sides to put together. Thank you!!!

The pattern gives the option of making the pocket color blocked too like you can see above. I did not quite manage to both match up the stripes in the fabric and the diagonal seam buuuut good enough for me to not redo it, ha.

There is really not any more to say. Both patterns are perfect and contains everything you need for a pleasant sewing experience and a great result that your kid will love too. 

And I'm so happy I do not have any more of that stripy trouser fabric because it is really a pain to photograph, gah.

The two fabrics I used for the tank top is organic interlock knit from Organic Cotton Plus.
(Here is a link for the Stripe. It looks like the navy is sold out at the moment but here is a link to all their other interlock knits).

I took these photos the other day when we FINALLY had some warm weather (for ONE day) but the ground were still muddy after all the melting snow...and guess what the outfit totally worked for a bit of play in mud too!

Get your Twisted Tank pattern HERE.
And your Twisted Trousers HERE.

Thank you!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Green Tunic

At first I decided not to blog this one because hey I had just made something very similar (HERE) so there was not that much more to say about it.


.....then Wilma styled it like this the first time she wore it and I thought hmmm, that's pretty neat.
Normally her choice of clothing combinations is not this put alllllll - which is totally fine and part of the charm of being a child, right! But this I really liked.

The fabric is part of Cotton + Steel's Basics collection and I bought is from Miss Matatabi. And yes this is the third post in a row that has fabrics from her lovely shop and I have more coming. It is my first post with Cotton + Steel though, woohoo. Super lovely quality!

I made this one with short sleeves and then a tad longer to make it tunic length.

And that's it...there is really not any more to say that I did not already say in THIS post which contains a mini tutorial on how to transform the original Japanese pattern into this style shirt/tunic.

Thank you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Lotta Skirt by Compagnie M

Marte from Compagnie M. contacted me a while back and generously asked me if I wanted to try out one of her patterns free of choice.
I was very tempted to go with The Swing Skirt pattern but ended up going for a pattern for myself. The Lotta Skirt. A versatile style with some clever drafted pockets. It is a style I love to wear on an every day basis.

Oh man, the result is fantastic! Like YES fantastic. It has the perfect amount of width to make it a relaxed comfortable style but at the same time you do not have to worry about going out on a windy day.

I love the design of the pockets and the chance to add some contrast fabric and pretty buttons on the pocket flaps.

Another thing I was really happy about are the lines and angles of the actual pattern. You can see this is made by an architect that knows that those things matters! The result is a great fitting skirt that feels wonderful to wear.

I also had some things that I was not so happy with and I don't find it super fun to write about those things. I know that it is someone else's hard work I'm criticizing and who am I to do that?!
But I strongly believe that constructive criticism is what makes us all better. I did not get my sewing degree by being told that everything I made was just great. I have picked up countless seams (and I still do) so here goes.....

The first thing I noticed was the creases Marte made with her iron to divide the gatherings on the skirt to the waistband pieces correctly.
And beside the fact that a tiny snip in a notch would do that job in a second, I also have to mention that it is really not a good idea to make creases in fabric unless you want them there permanent. If you are unlucky you simply won't be able to iron them away again - especially since you have to do it in the middle of gatherings which you do not want to flatten at all.

Then I noticed that the tutorial shows to overlock both skirt and waistband pieces all the way around - also at the top. There is no reason to overlock seams that are going to be hidden inside the waistband. That is both a waste of time and thread plus it adds unnecessary bulk. Especially since the top of the skirt is later gathered and that adds a ton of extra bulk. IF it is for some reason necessary to overlock the seam where the gathered top of the skirt is sewed to the waistband then do it afterwards in one go, gathered skirt seam and waistband seam together.

Then lastly there was the lining pattern - and I know there are lots of opinions about this but this is my blog, okay! If I buy a skirt pattern with an option for a lining I want a separate lining pattern. I do not want to cut the lining pieces by using the skirt pattern pieces and let me tell you why:
- It needs to be shorter than the skirt which means I afterwards have to measure and cut of more if I don't have a lining pattern. It is a waste of time and fabric.
-When you have a skirt with width like this one you do not really need or want the same width in the lining. You need some but not all. A new lining pattern would be able to compensate for that
-And the last reason is that when I do not have a lining pattern pieces, I do not have notches for the pleats. The pattern is very correct stating that instead of gathering the lining like the skirt, instead use pleats which is less bulky. But I do not appreciate to be told to do my own calculations so they get placed evenly on each side. This is a product sold for money and in my opinion is it the pattern maker's job to make it complete.

The same thing happened for a placement of a notch. I needed a notch where the end of the pocket opening meets the waistband but instead the tutorial tells me to put my waistband up to the skirt and make a mark myself. All this should have been done in the pattern making process and notches should have been added to the pattern.

All these things I'm mentioning above might sounds like minor things and they kind of are!
Yes, of course the most important thing is the base of the pattern - the actual shape of the pattern pieces are perfect. 
But like I said before when a sewing pattern is for sale then I think it is in order to expect all the techniques to make sense and all the pattern pieces to be complete - also an optional lining piece. Plus a complete set of notches to ensure a pleasant sewing process.

I might be alone about this but I do not only want a perfect result like I certainly got with the Lotta Skirt. I also want a pleasant sewing process where I don't have to get up from my sewing machine unnecessary times to make notches and marks along the way.

Okay, deep breath and let's move on, alright :-)

Now let's return to the lovely things about this pattern because there are lots of that too!
The pockets are ingeniously made. Simple yet very cool. They are part of the skirt and then folded over. Smart!

I love these old buttons I had left from when I had my apparel company.

The fabric is that same flower printed cotton that I used for the yoke for THIS top from Miss Matatabi. The fabric had the perfect drape for this skirt but was ever so slightly see-through so I added a lining. The navy fabric on the pockets is double gauze. I interfaced my pocket flaps. I felt I would get the best result like that.

I really love wearing this skirt and I have already made another one (which means I have to go through another photo shoot arghhhhh).

I also made this dolman sleeved t-shirt in organic interlock knit from Organic Cotton Plus (psssst it's on sale at the moment).
The pattern is from the Japanese sewing book called Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. It is actually a pattern for woven fabrics AND a dress but hey....this worked too. Interlock fabric is not very stretchy anyway and I knew this pattern was plenty big and I actually ended up making a size XS (which is not my normal size) and it is still roomy just the way it is suppose to be.

I love this outfit and as soon as I don't feel like wearing wool cardigans every day it will be worn all the time.

Thank you Marte for your generosity!

I will be back soon-ish with another Lotta Skirt paired with another top from a Japanese sewing book.

Get you Lotta Skirt Pattern HERE. The link is for the pdf-pattern that I used but you can now also buy it as a paper pattern.

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