Style Arc x Abakhan x 2

Hi!

This will be a post of “two”-s: two Style Arc patterns, two fabrics from Abakhan and two identical little dresses for the dessert (for which two of the fabrics are from Sunnyday Kangad)!

I guess you have already noticed my little love story with Style Arc patterns! I really like their line art/technical drawings that for some reason are so appetizing to me, but more importantly that their styles are contemporary, casual yet quite elegant nonetheless. I also like the 1 cm included seam allowance and their monthly freebie campaign AND the fit of their patterns! So that is quite a lot to counterbalance their instructions that can be less than helpful sometimes.

As a result I own A LOT of Style Arc patterns, almost always grabbing the freebie and always taking advantage of sales. Lately I have used the copyshop option for printing them and then the process is as follows: don´t like the rolls of uncut patterns around -> cut all of the patterns out within a few days -> don´t want to fold them because they are nice to use when flat -> keep them piled up in my sewing room -> don´t like the mess it creates -> sew them up, one by one to get rid of the mess -> whoop, another sale coming up -> back to the beginning….

So I somewhat mechanically sewed up the Portsea Luxe Sweat (more so because of the cosy brushed sweatshirt fabric with metallic thread that I got from Abakhan without any clear idea at first, but that I realized was perfect for that pattern) and honestly laughed out loud when I put it on – just too short and too wide and generally really weird. I felt disappointed that I had used up my fabric and knowing how hard it is to give up my me-made clothes, I imagined it just taking space in my wardrobe, never worn. You can see how wide and boxy it really is:

I quickly took on another project, the Christia Pant that had been waiting for quite some time on my bookshelf and paired it with a classic blue pinstripe fabric bought some time ago also from Abakhan. And then… these two pieces met in my wardrobe and I realized they were made for each other!

I believe this kind of a pant – really high waisted, cropped length and with rolled up hems is exactly the pant this sweatshirt requires, being as cropped as it is, and having a rolled up sleeve detail on its own. I have been wearing the top without any extra shirt underneath but it has quite a tight fitting neckline so a t-shirt can also be worn on colder days. As the Portsea pattern was a freebie, I remember contemplating whether to take it or not because I didn´t think I would sew it and I also don´t think there will be a second one, but I am really glad I tried something so different from my regular choices. Unfortunately the “luxe” factor of the fabric – the lurex thread, is not visible in the photos, you just have to believe me that it shimmers beautifully in real life 🙂

The pants, however, are perfection. I am completely blown that they fit without any alterations and quite proud of my pattern matching as well. They could be a bit longer and now that I have tried and tested the pattern, I will definitely repeat it in another fabric and add 5 cm to the length.

Both items are in size 10, as always with Style Arc patterns. Although the top is really wide and boxy, I feel that it would not fit if I had made a size smaller. If the pants would sit lower, I would have to worry about flashing my belly, but when worn together they balance each other very nicely in my opinion. Both of them are also really easy and quick projects, which is always a plus, isn´t it?

It seems that we are finally done with winter now and the weather is so bright and sunny the last days, pure pleasure! Soon the lilacs will bloom, which is my absolute favorite time of the year! And in less than two weeks my little Liisa-Mai will turn 3 already, but for some reason I haven´t had a flash of insipiration yet, as what to make for her birthday in the “me and mini me” theme.

But her best friend had her third birthday just last week and I made them matching dresses. The insipiration came from Liisa-Mai, who stated that the dresses have to be brown! Wow, can I be proud that I have a three year old who is not only thinking pink and “Frozen”? I think I can, while it lasts 😀

The brown fabric is what I had left over from my Homewear Set and the middle stripe is the same lurex thread brushed sweatshirt fabric that I used for the Portsea Sweat. The pattern is from Ottobre 1/2021, model 8. Candy Shades.

Happy sewing and until soon!

Pleather and Jacquard Affair

Hi!

This is the first of what will (most probably) be three posts regarding my latest collab with Abakhan fabric stores. This time I got several fabrics that will not make up one cohesive set, but separate items that I will match with others, made from fabrics in my stash. So these posts will take some more time as I am making more than one item for each.

The first up is this simple looking, but not so simple to make, set of Itch to Stitch Hepburn turtleneck (my second time using this brilliant basic pattern) and Itch to Stitch Danube skirt.

You can probably tell after seeing this photo, why the set was not so simple to make 🙂 I had a piece of beige pleather in my stash for about two years already, for a skirt one day. And the day came when I found this pretty jacquard knit on clearance on Abakhan online shop.

Pleather can be tricky to sew with and honestly, it took me way longer that it should have just because some days I treaded sewing the next step as there was absolutely no way to unpick the seams without leaving ugly marks on the material. Also, when sewing multiple layers of pleather, the material sticks to the foot of the machine and I got through some parts only by holding my breath! On the other hand, the material surprised me positively too, because I could actually press it carefully on the inside of the garment and while I was not sure whether this will be wearable at all when I started off, eventually the skirt looks exactly as I planned and is surprisingly comfortable, too.

I made a few changes to the pattern, mainly due to the limitations of the material – I left off the coin pocket, did not topstitch the waistband and did not use bar tacks to fix the fly shield in place. In addition, I didn´t use a button, but attached two press fasteners as I thought it would be near impossible to get a nice looking buttonhole and there would not be a second chance after the first try.

Also, the front fly instructions are a bit different than for the Liana jeans that I recently made. After comparing the Danube and Liana instructions, I used the latter for this skirt. I was afraid that with Danube instructions, the zipper would be too close to the fly edge as has happened with some other patterns in the past. I don´t know if it really would be the case, but I wanted to be sure, so went with the Liana instructions in this part.

For the Hepburn turtleneck I only had just enough of fabric to squeeze out the length of these sleeves. It is shorter than the full length, of course, but longer that the 3/4 option of the pattern. The latter seemed too short even for me, although I tend to prefer shorter sleeves. The cotton jaqcuard knit is quite thick and less stretchy than the ribbed cotton jersey I used for my first version, so it fits tighter and is also tighter around the neck. But I really like the pattern of the fabric, it is so versatile while still kind of neutral due to the colors.

In conclusion, it really is as my dad says – the things that offer the most satisfaction, don´t come easy. It was not easy making this skirt and someone should really hold me back if I happen to say that I am going to make something in pleather any time soon 🙂 but still, satisfied with the result!

Thanks, Abakhan, for providing the material for the top and therefore giving me inspiration to use another material in my stash!

Until soon!

PS. SPRING IS FINALLY HERE, even if only in the calendar! Happy spring!

Spring is in the Heart Set

…because it is not yet outside… For about a week we had amazing sunshine, temperatures above zero and almost all the snow was gone until it returned yesterday to my great dismay. Well, it is expected in March, but still, those few days felt like there was more air to breathe, I really do seem to work on solar energy! However, I managed to use one of the sunny days to take some photos of the two items I recently completed. As it goes, it seems I have somehow managed to find a midway between sewing time and blogging time by not blogging about each item separately, but to sew up things that go well together and then show them in one post.

So, I am really looking forward to spring and summer and while dreaming about this, I made up something that cannot be worn yet. Only maybe the dress, if I put a coat on it, as my smart almost-three-years-old daughter suggested just today (she is really one of the coolest humans I know, haha!)

All of the fabrics happen to be from Abakhan, but the greyish blue suede was bought about 2 years ago already while the dress fabric came in December. I just saw it on the website and you know the feeling when your heart skips a beat… If this happens, I can be quite unstoppable!

Both of the patterns are Style Arc, Sienna for the jacket and Pixie for the dress, which was a freebie pattern in November or December. The Sienna is originally unlined, but as much as I try, I haven´t made an unlined jacket yet. A lining really elevates any jacket plus adds to the ease of wear because it is so much easier to put on due to the smoothness of the fabric. It was maybe a bit trickier to figure out this time due to the construction, but completely worth it! Just the suede fabric gave my sewing machine a hard time occasionally and I changed several needles until the Microtex version worked.

I was really happy I could use the suede from my stash as well as the remnants of the yellow lining. It is quite an unusual shade, but it worked perfectly with the dress fabric. You can see my hesitation below as I wasn´t sure whether to go with the yellow or more conservative beige, but I am so glad I used the first option!… And the piping of course!

The dress is a really fun style i think, so relaxed and flowy and quick! If there would be a next time, I would maybe change the neckline to a round one, but I like it as it is, too. It can be worn with or without a sash and I ordered extra fabric to make a sash from the same material, the photos show a black one I already had.

The fabric is called marocain stretch crepe and it doesn´t seem to wrinkle or fray and it was easy to sew. I also like that the print is something in between floral and animal print and the colours make it possible to match with black tights and boots for early spring, but at the same time it would be suitable even for summer, I think.

So, despite Style Arc instructions being once good and once off, I still like their styles and fit very much. I have bought so many patterns that I am excited to make and I always seem to find something new even though I have scrolled through the website probably a thousand times already 😀

Happy sewing and lets hope the spring weather will return soon and this time for good!

Chocolala Makes

It is the name of one handmade chocolate brand in Estonia and I just had the box next to my laptop while thinking how to title this post that mainly has to do with brown garments… spot on!

Highly influenced by one of my sewing buddies with whom we chat nearly daily but have managed to really meet only once, leaving aside several encounters where we hand over bags of fabrics that we have jointly ordered, I have recently taken a closer look at a small pattern brand Itch to Stitch patterns. The designs are classic I would say and as I have mentioned my goal of trying to create an almost all hand made wardrobe, classics is definitely what one needs as the basic elements (remember, I made altogether 3 ITS Lisbon cardis?).

So, being influenced by Kadri, I tried making a pair of Itch to Stitch Liana stretch jeans and wow, I discovered a true unicorn for myself! This pattern, sewn in the right (meaning the right amount of stretch) fabric, “straight from the envelope” in size 6 fits me exactly as I want a pair of skinny jeans to fit. It is a bit hard to believe, really… Things may change in the future, though, because my body has changed after the two babies and I haven´t been able to cycle as much as I used to, so if I can commence this in spring-summer and get consistent, there is a chance of some muscle build up in the thighs an buttocks that I lost during the pregnancies and I may need to make some adjustments. But right now, just wow!

The fabric is probably a simple cotton twill with elastane, but I am not 100% sure as I bought it by weight from Abakhan together with some other fabrics in matching shades as I am really into brown, beige and the likes right now, which is funny because I used to really dislike this color. While I lived and worked in Cyprus between 2005-2007, the ladies there used to wear brown a lot and it always seemed such a dull colour to me… and here I am 😀 I can also say that you will be seeing more of these colours quite soon…

For the back pockets I used one of the 33 free topstitch templates available on Closet Core Patterns. It reminds me of an ECG wave, but I thought it was easy to do and I liked it 🙂

I used a regular button this time, but as you could probably guess, I have cut out another pair already and I will use a metal jean button for these.

This turtleneck is also an Itch to Stitch pattern Hepburn, super simple and super satisfying and super comfy because the turtleneck really sits close to the neck and is nice to wear under a coat without necessarily needing a scarf. I will be making more of these for sure! Again, the fabric is from Abakhan by weight and I think the turtleneck and the jeans cost me about 12 euros altogether!

It has been very cold and snowy here in Estonia this winter, but for us this is how it should be and I really like sunny winter days – first, for better photos and second, for walks by the frozen sea like this:

Happy sewing and until soon!

The Homewear Set

Hi! I hope this new year has started well at least in personal matters for you all! I don´t know what is wrong with me, but I don´t seem to be able to fully enjoy staying at home even on paid maternity leave, so I have started working part time from home again. I do realize that this means reduced time for sewing, but I really enjoy having different things to think about, not just sewing projects or baby stuff…

For as long as I can remember, my mother has always worn a skirt at home, but I never find it comfortable, even in summer. At home I usually wear a pair of old jeans or track pants and my husband still talks about an especially hideous pair of extra slouchy pants I used to wear at home a few years ago. If it was up to him, I would be wearing dresses, but …

I realized I could make myself a comfy homewear set after I completed my morning robe. I don´t know why, but it never occurred to me earlier than now, when I made an agreement with myself to try to make all of my clothes (excluding underwear, sportswear etc), that I could also make this kind of casual stuff.

I was drawn to Ottobre woman 5/2017 model 10 due to its interesting angled princess seams on the front. This model is also currently the topic of a sew-along on the Estonian biggest online sewing community so I am not the only one who liked this pattern. For the pants, I used Style Arc Joni Knit Track Pant pattern that was the freebie of December 2020. To me, the side seam of the pants that curves to the front, echoes the angled seams of the hoody and I thought these two would work great together.

And they do, actually! There are some minor things to remember for the potential next time: the jacket is a tad too long for my liking, I would prefer it to be about 5 cm shorter (not sure however, if I would like to go through the pain of shortening it, due to the angled seams) and I think if there will be a second time, I would add facings to the fronts because I don´t like the way it looks on the inside right now. There could be a mistake from my side regarding the neckline finishing, but still. But I must admit I was surprised that the general fit of the jacket is spot on, I had heard many times that Ottobre patterns have too much ease, but I measured this one and cut the size 38 and it is exactly as fitted as I wanted it to be.

As for the pants, I went with my regular size 10 for Style Arc patterns and they are true to size, slouchy around the hips and tight around the calves, that is the style. The dropped crotch was a bit scary at first, but eventually they do fit nicely. The only thing I would definitely change another time is the back pockets. The placement is too high for me and I guess I would even leave them off the next time.

I couldn´t find ribbing in the exact shade as the french terry I used, but I think eventually this is good, otherwise the whole thing would look too plain. The cotton jersey I used for the top and for the hood and pocket matches perfectly and to my great surprise I was also able to find perfect zippers, cord and cord end caps locally. Finding the correct size and colour of eyelets was more complicated, but a sewing buddy living in Tallinn helped me out with these too.

I waited until taking photos of these items before wearing them because I knew once I put them on, they will stay as they are really comfortable and now I feel that I look put together at home, too. Little Liisa-Mai (2 years and 8 months old) also exclaimed: “Mommy, this is a very nice set! I like it!” And it must be nice because this girl has an eye for this stuff – she is choosing her own outfits almost every day and also has a say in what her baby brother should wear. I once put on a pair of socks that really didn´t match the rest of his clothes and when we got downstairs, Liisa-Mai immediately demanded that I should change them 😀

Some close ups too:

I have been wearing this set the whole day today and I have also realized that I need another one for sure. I just have to decide whether to use the same patterns or pick something new and what colour should the second set be – I am between really dark purple (too dark?), navy/blue (too boring?) and dark green (too weird?). Anyway, there is thought food for a few days for sure 🙂

I guess I have fooled you a bit, because although these are the first things I am showing you in 2021, they are not the first things I have made. Just hoping to get more photos taken soon.

Happy sewing!

Finally done! (The Fireworks Project)

I know many of you will expect this title to have to do with the worst year in so many people´s lives. I don´t rush to call 2020 that bad PERSONALLY because how could I, having had our precious baby boy arrive in mid July? But I have to admit that the overall Covid situation even though no one in our family has fallen ill or been affected too badly by its collateral damage in terms of job loss etc, has grown heavy on me as well.

The title actually has to do with the last project of 2020 and it is this dress accompanied by a jacket that looks plain on the outside but is quite fierce on the inside 🙂

And it is no usual project either, being my first collab with a company, Abakhan Fabrics, that has several shops all over Estonia, the other Baltic States and Great Britain. I have personally visited one in Riga and one in Liverpool. They have a large variety of fabrics and honestly I was quite thrilled when they approached me because when they opened their beautiful store in downtown Tartu (my childhood hometown), I was a teenager, already interested in sewing and I remember vividly how I loved to indulge myself in the fabrics on offer.

After taking a look at their website which unfortunately does not represent even half of what you can find in stores, I decided to go for a simple dress in a remarkable fabric. However, it turned out that there was not enough yardage left for my project so I quickly rearranged my plans and decided to go for a skirt in said fabric, a top and a jacket. BUT…. when the package arrived, it appeared that since the piece had been the very last one on the roll, there was actually enough for my dress! So once again, plans changed and here we have a jacket and a dress.

Now the reason for such a title is that the pattern for the dress, Burdastyle 12/2020 model 112, is really off. I was careful enough to measure the pattern first and to my great surprise I had to cut a size larger than normal and still add extra room for the hip area. When comparing the pattern to the measurement chart, it looks like the pattern has been designed with zero wearing ease! And no, not for knits, but wovens!

The muslin did help out in terms of avoiding complete failure, but there was still too much tweaking to do around the bodice and even after all this work, I can´t say that I am 100% happy with the fit since the back neckline is gaping slightly.

The pattern is originally designed unlined, but due to the fabric I chose (slightly sheer and scratchy on the wrong side), I had to add a lining to the dress. At some point, when I could try the dress on already, I realized I want to skip the sleeves. This is again weird, but the armholes are not big at all although this is what usually happens when the pattern is designed with sleeves and you just leave them off. I wonder if I would have pushed through with the sleeves, would that have been another nightmare in the process?

So a dress that looks really simple, turned out to be a lot of work – fit issues, adding a lining, main fabric that only accepted tailor´s tacks for markings… you name it! I guess the two things that kept me going were the fact that the fabric is really beautiful and that I was working on a sponsored project that I was documenting on Instagram stories.

The jacket is a pattern that I have used three times already, Simplicity 1421. I think it is a wonderful pattern that fits well and works great with a wide range of fabrics and is a simple design that looks good for special occasions. It is not designed as lined, but I have always added a lining because it just upgrades the whole thing. Plus my favorite, the piping, of course!

In this case the pattern was tried and tested, but both fabrics frayed like crazy, making the process more difficult than it could have been. The fabric that I chose for the lining is not a lining per se, but just a very fluid, silky polyester that can be used for a top or even a slip dress. I am not sure whether this and my dress fabric are from the same producer, but it looks like exactly the same pattern, doesn´t it? And I know that while wearing the complete set, no one will see the lining, but this is what makes sewing so fascinating – the ability to create things that at first exist only in your head and then adding those “secret” personal touches. If ten sewists would be given these fabrics, we would have ten different end results! And this is mine!

To those of you who will wonder, where and when will I have the chance to wear these clothes, the answer is that the dress will be worn for New Year´s Eve at home because we will have friends over and I always like to dress up even at home on Christmas and New Year´s Eve. The jacket will have to wait its turn, but given that it is a classic black piece, it will definitely have many occasions in the future.

In terms of sewing, 2020 has actually been a good one – I upgraded techically as I bought my Juki HZL-F600 (it is technically the same as the F700 but white instead of fuchsia on top) and as my husband fulfilled my birthday wish by gifting me a remote and a tripod for taking photos. Considering how cumbersome it was to find time for both of us at the same moment especially with two kids, the tripod and the remote have been a relief for him as well. I also completed some garments that I am proud of, for example the Tommy coat and the Burgundy jacket. Considering that I was pregnant for the first half of the year and later having two kids at home, I have also been rather productive. And to top this, I was offered this exciting collab from Abakhan!

I hope for the new year to bring further adventures in sewing but most importantly I hope that the vaccines will help the world to turn to normalcy sooner than later!

Lisbon x3

Hi!

It doesn´t show I guess, but I am doing something sewing related every day, if I can´t literally stitch, at least I can tape patterns or do some other preparatory work. And I have been sewing like mad recently as well, great fabrics are waiting and my head is full of ideas. However, life with two little kids has its own plans sometimes and some things take more time than they should. These three Lisbon cardis could have been made in a week, but it took me maybe four? Among other things of course!

When I noticed this Itch to Stitch cardigan pattern, I knew that there will be more than one of these in my wardrobe. Why? Because you can make them in basically any fabric combination you can imagine, but what immediately came to my mind was that I could achieve a rather pulled together look with the comfort of a hoodie.

For the first one, I had fabric in my stash, for the last two, I shopped already with Lisbon on my mind. All of the black details are made of the same fabric, a remnant of leather-look ponte that I had in my stash. For the first two cardigans I used the wrong, simply black side of it but for the last one, I decided to go with the leathery effect.

Because taking the photos can be a problem if you have to line up a sleeping baby, the brief sunlight of the winter and your own looks of the day (some days whatever I do, I don´t like myself on any of the photos) so I did not have the time to play around with various other garments in my wardrobe that can be paired with the cardigans, so just my Jalie Vanessa pants (another beloved pattern sewn x3) this time. However, after I completed the first version, I did take some pics combining the Lisbon with a pleather skirt:

I made all three versions slightly different (in addition to the fabric choice, obviously!). The first one has five big buttons, the second has none and the final version has seven smaller buttons. By playing around with the pattern, I can also visualise it looking nice with a statement zipper….

Just by a lucky chance, I was able to find perfect buttons for the pepita print version – the buttons have the same print embossed! This makes them look a bit leathery, again matching the leather look ponte that I used for the black details.

For a while already, I have been emptying my wardrobe of the ready-to-wear clothes that I don´t wear anymore and my secret goal has been to get to the point where the majority of what I wear is made by me. This will exclude sportswear, underwear, socks and knitwear since all of the years that I have been sewing, I have never felt the pull to make any of these things.

These cardigans take me closer to the goal in terms of having something easy and comfortable to wear in addition to all the dresses that I have made and will make more, but that are not always the most practical for my lifestyle.

In other news, I recently won a year of Burdastyle subscription! I can´t believe my luck, since as a rule, I never win anything, either the lottery (ok, I almost never play either) or any social media draws. However, I hit the nail this time! This generous prize was put out by Kadri, who is the administrator of the biggest online Estonian sewing community as well as one of the admins of Itch to Stitch Facebook support group. You should go and check out her sewing blog Kadristik!

Happy sewing!

Burgundy Ziggi Biker Jacket

Being a member of the largest Estonian hobby sewists´ Facebook group, I participated in a sew-along that was arranged by secret topics – no one who entered knew initially what the topic will be and everyone had to pick a number from 1 to 6 and only after that the topic was revealed. So I chose number 5 and the topic is “Sew a project that has been haunting you forever!”

I immediately knew – I have been gearing up for a leather jacket, bought the hides and even buying the new sewing machine had something to do with this. But having read a bit on sewing with leather, I was also convinced that this time I need to make a trial jacket before getting to the real thing. As the deadline for this sew-along is November the 2nd, I will not be able to sew the real ghost project by that time, but I did manage to finish the trial 🙂

So the jacket is the Ziggi Biker Jacket by Style Arc sewn up in a soft fabric that has an interesting effect on its good side – a geometric pattern print that varies from a glossy surface to a suede. I bought it maybe a year ago from Abakhan Fabrics in Estonia but a funny fact – I bought the same fabric just in black over ten years ago from Athens! The black is even more stunning, but I tried to make a dress out of it several years ago and messed up…

I wanted to make the jacket in order to test the fit and sew it through in order to prepare for sewing leather where you cant really go wrong with stitching. However, after making this one I am a bit confused – should I make it again in leather or pick another pattern? The fit is good, but the pattern instructions are realy really bad – there is no mentioning of the zipped pockets for example – if you follow the instructions the result is in seam pockets without zippers.

In order to be able to complete this, I relied heavily on some great blog posts by Stacy at StacySews and Maris at SewMaris. But the most helpful and insipiring was Birdy Sew Obsessed instagram, where she has saved the whole process in stories with very detailed photos. Since the pattern is not new, some posts date back to 2014, I was really disappointed to see that while all the sewists mentioned a mistake in the pattern and reporting it to Style Arc, the mistake has not been corrected all these years. Unless we all misunderstand something profoundly, the lining pattern for the lower back is a seam allowance shorter than it should be. Also, the required length for the pocket zippers do not match the pocket facings – the latter are shorter.

I hesitated whether to go through the pain of quilting some details, but eventually I think this is what makes the jacket stand out and of course I am very satisfied that I did take the extra mile. For this, I use a piece of windstop felt which is thin but structural enough for that purpose. There is no pattern or suggestion for quilting, so I simply tried a few times and ended up spacing the lines 1,5 cm apart, so each square is roughly 1,5×1,5 cm.

I also added piping between the lining and the main fabric which as some of you may know already, is one of my favorite details. The lining is dark green and I thought the golden beige piping will stand out nicely and echoes the golden zippers.

I read somewhere in the numerous blog posts on this jacket that the result will be “much boxier than you expect” but I would say then the size has been picked too large. I made it in size 10 as all of the stuff I make from Style Arc and the fit is just right, not boxy, not too tight either.

So I really don´t know what should I say if someone wanted to know whether I would recommend this pattern or not. Definitely not for a beginner but I would say it is a tough nut for an experienced sewist as well. It also took me nearly two months because I was struggling with it due to the missing instructions and I think only thanks to the sew-along of the FB group was I able to push through. Also, it helps if you let others know you are making something challenging, I told two of my sewing buddies and felt accountable to provide a result 🙂

Anyway, I am super satisfied with myself for having DONE IT! And as you may have noticed, I am on a roll with this burgundy colour, I am planning a pair of pants in a similar colour as well. Oups, now I am accountable for that one as well 😀

Happy sewing everyone!

Burgundy Inspiration Dress

It seems to me that the word “love” has been used excessively to the point of devaluation. We use the same word to describe our feelings for our children as well as a nice juicy burger for example. So what words or expressions should I use for this fabric here? Because it seems that saying I loved it from the moment I saw it does not really convey the feeling when I first noticed it on Minerva Crafts Instagram account, sewn up and worn by Hila from Saturday Night Stitch. You can check the post up here. My heart sank for real! And it was one of those times where the fabric bought online was exactly as I had envisioned it when it arrived!

And as fate would have it, just about the same time I tried copyshop printing for the first time for my pdf patterns. And while adding files to the online order system, I recalled having a bunch of Jalie patterns on my account. And there it was, the perfect match for my fabric, Jalie Rachel! And here is the result:

I have used Jalie patterns before and have always been happy with them and I now made a mental note to try some more soon, after having been on Style Arc train for a while already.

So what to say about this simple but fun pattern and dress? It is easy to make really, but watch out for the fabric, I would love to make one or possibly even two more with different necklines and tie options that are provided with the pattern, but due to the way the front piece is cut, I don´t think it would work with visibly striped patterns. I have one snakeskin viscose jersey in my stash that I was about to cut for the same dress but noticed the last minute that from a distance it has a repetitive pattern in lines and probably that would not play out nicely for this pattern. The houndstooth print on my dress also has a direction, but the way it looks on the dress rather benefits it, I think (on the bust it is perpendicular and on the skirt diagonal). For comparison, look at the back:

My Jalie size is constantly V and I didn´t need to make any modifications really. I didn´t use the pattern piece provided for the neckline, just calculated the length of the binding by multiplying the neckline circumference by 0,8 and dividing it into 4 equal parts as well as the neckline in order to stretch and stitch it evenly. The sleeves are a tad long I would say, but as you can see I have the habit of pulling them up anyway, so I decided to leave them as is, it might be nice to be able to pull them down when it is colder.

The only trouble with this dress at the moment is that since I am breastfeeding little Lennart, I have to consider the occasion for wearing it time wise because I would have to undress almost completely for feeding him! But otherwise it is as comfortable as a nightgown, I really like this fabric not only for the print but for the soft touch of it as well. And the burgundy is so good for autumn! I might have one or more projects in the works in this shade….

It is the first time I have used a tripod and a remote for the photos. These were a gift from my husband for my birthday in September. I also need to get some sort of light source for the winter photos, the trouble with daylight is real… But unless you really zoom in, I guess the photos will do for now.

Baby News Vol 2 and Some Old Debts

Hey!

This is my first post as a mother of two! Our little baby boy Lennart was born on July 12th and everyone in the family is trying to find their place in this new situation. There are moments where everyone has a different “want” and “need” and it is hard to decide who gets what first 😀 However, we are so privileged to have the best grandmother and mother in law one can wish for (and Lennart was born exactly on her birthday!!), so there have been moments that I have actually been doing some sewing and now writing this post as well. Both kiddos are asleep, what a bliss 🙂

The old debts that I mention are the three pairs of Jalie Vanessa pants that I have made over the last year and mentioned several times but not really talked about them. One reason was that there were no proper photos, the other that soon after making the last two pairs I started to show some baby belly and I was at that point not ready to give any hints to anyone. Now that almost two weeks have passed since I gave birth, I don´t mind showing them even with my postpartum belly. I wore the first pair I made, which was about the same time last year, together with my new Style Arc Como Knit Top. The latter was sewn “blind” during the last weeks of my pregnancy, since I had no idea how it will fit, but I decided to trust Style Arc.

The fabric for these pants is a rather cheap polyester that is very surprisingly really comfortable and perfect for this pattern: it is light and airy and it barely wrinkles, making them perfect for travel, for example. After making them last summer, I wore them to work almost every day because these pants look work-appropriate despite being so comfy and they were also a wardrobe staple during our trip to Spain (oh, those pre-corona perks of life!). No wonder I made another two pairs and I have fabric in stash for a brown version as well. I cut size V but I would suggest widening the calf part of the pants just a little bit, I have managed to make them fit by leaving a very small seam allowance, but anyone with stronger calves would need a little more space there.

A few pics from Spain here, wearing the pants with an oversized flounce top I made for the trip as well. By the way, this top turned out to be great during the last weeks of pregnancy as one of the very few (non-stretch) things I could fit my belly into. I used a very nice breezy viscose fabric for the top and together with the pants they were great, apart from the wrinkling of the viscose. The pattern for this top has somehow gone missing from my sewing room, otherwise I would have made more by now, but I am too bored for tracing…. It is originally a Simplicity/New Look/something from these companies pattern, but I cannot find the original pattern number online. I traced mine from Meine Nähmode 2/2019, but they don´t print the original pattern numbers.

But now back to the Vanessa pants themselves… I guess the following photos show the versatility of this pant pattern the best, and I am sorry that I don´t have any better pics of the checkered version although these were my go-to work pants in autumn.

Below you can see the tech drawings for the Jalie Vanessa pants and for the Como Knit Top by Style Arc. Maybe not here on the blog, but definitely on my Instagram account, I have mentioned that I have fallen in love with Style Arc recently. To be honest, I blind-sewed several things using their patterns during the last weeks and days of my pregnancy (this time it was the only thing to provide pleasure and kind of escape from my body that was just HUGE) and some of them are unfinished, waiting for a try-on and fitting adjustments. Hopefully blogging about them will not take a whole year as has happened with these pants here!

For the Como Knit Top, I made one major change that came about partially accidentally – I cut the top out and then realized the pattern called for a double front! No spare fabric left, but also thinking that it would be too warm for summer anyway, I just drafted a facing and I guess it was the right call, preserving the intended look but keeping it thin enough for the summer. I actually don´t see a reason why I would waste fabric for the double front anyway.

And finally a couple of pics of the three versions of the pants together. As you can see I haven´t added a drawstring to any of the pairs and for the black version, I even omitted the buttonholes.

Happy sewing everyone!