Friday, November 27, 2015

Style Arc Stacie Jean Jacket

 For the last couple of summers, I have really wanted a denim jacket.  I knew one would make a great addition to both my summer and spring/autumn wardrobes.  I never really found the right one.  I began trying on rtw versions, while I was away in the States in August but despite searching both on my holiday and then at home, I didn't find one I liked.  They were either in a denim I didn't like, were a length I didn't like or the sleeves were too long.

The Stacie Jean Jacket from Style Arc began appearing on my new feed and was the catalyst to actually make my own.  I actually liked every version I saw.  I still wasn't entirely convinced though because denim selection is kind of critical for both the right look and comfort of a denim jacket.  I had the perfect piece of denim in my collection that I had procured at the op shop.  It was a stretch denim which concerned me but after much deliberation I decided that it would probably make a better jacket than jeans because of concerns over stretch recovery.  As luck would have it, I had the perfect amount of denim for the jacket with next to nothing left over.

I had previously also written about my frustrations with jean buttons and their tendency to fall off.  I wasn't about to have this sort of disaster with my denim jacket.  Thankfully my lovely readers came to the rescue and pointed my towards M.Recht in Australia.  I ordered some nickel coloured buttons with ribbed buttons which proved to be an expensive exercise when postage was factored in but it still worked out about the same piece wise as buying packs of 5-6 at my fabric shop.  The remaining buttons will get used eventually for jean making.

This jacket proved to be a time consuming exercise largely due to the amount of top stitching involved.  I thought I was being very resourceful in using the leftover top stitching thread from my Ginger Jeans but frustratingly ran out just as I began making buttonholes.

I cut the jacket to size 8 but felt the length of the jacket was a little long so I removed 3cm before attaching the hip band.  I also wanted cuffs on the sleeves so altered the turn back cuffs in the pattern for a placket and sleeve band.  I didn't opt for the traditional shirt placket fearing my fabric may be a bit thick to ensure a neat finish so I cheated and used the seam instead.

I am really happy with how this worked out.  The fit is perfect so as it turns out it was the perfect use for my denim fabric and at a fraction of the cost of rtw.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sewaholic/Style Arc Mash Up

Way back last month, I made a couple of Style Arc Courteney tops which I really like, but at the time I wrote of my wish to combine both this pattern and my long time favourite Sewaholic Belcarra.  Good things can sometimes take time.  Well they do when I am involved in them anyway!  I think though I may have created my favourite top pattern of the season.  I say season, because being of a fickle nature there will be something else shiny and new to capture my attention further down the track, but for now I have serious top love!

My aim was to combine the relaxed nature of the Courteney top with the fitted shape of the Sewaholic Belcarra.  One would think that the whole idea of such a thing is an oxymoron but alas no, I believe I have achieved what I set out to do.  Over the years, I have worked out that the most flattering silhouette for my shape involves a fitted or semi fitted waist.  Without this illusion I can appear somewhat bottom heavy, which I am of course, but I certainly don't want to appear that way when I don't have to, right!  I also don't always want to be wearing fitting clothing.  In fact, I often don't want to be wearing fitting clothing.  I am actually quite partial to the whole relaxed weekend look.

I started by redrafting the entire Belcarra pattern.  In the past I have found the neckline extremely large and lazy me has just eyeballed the neckline changes each time I have cut it out.  This time, I got out my pen and paper and did it properly.  Yay me!  I then added a yoke to my new pattern as per the Courtney pattern,  but at the back only. Next, I added an inverted pleat to the back of the top to the same dimensions as my Courtney pattern.  Just for a little more interest I created a small high low hem with side vents.

I made the entire top up in some lovely rayon that I scored at the op shop.  I have made a lot of op shop fabric items up lately but I have had some seriously good luck on the shopping front there recently and haven't bought much fabric at all at the fabric shop.

I finished the neckline with self made bias tape in matching rayon. I am really happy with both the finish of the top and the way it hangs.  I really like rayon for it's wearability, durability and it is lovely and cool to wear in the summer.

Will I make another Belcarra/Courtney top?  Definitely!  I could have some fun combining remnants to come up with different fabric combinations.  I just have to work out how to squeeze more hours into my day!

These photographs were taken last weekend on our camping trip to Lake Benmore.  Lake Benmore is a man made lake that was created for the purpose of generating electricity.  There are a series of hydro stations on the canals leading to Lake Benmore.  This particular station is Ohau C. It may well be a man made creation but it is a beautiful part of the world nonetheless. 

I assure you, the road in the photo at the top was not a busy one. That is what my husband was telling me anyway.  Either that or he was hoping for a little insurance money coming his way!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Papercut Anima V7

This weekend is anniversary weekend where I live.  It is a huge party week beginning with the NZ Trotting Cup on Tuesday, Agricultural and Pastoral Show on Wednesday to Friday and of course the all important public holiday on Friday.  It is the week that the country comes to town.  Although I stayed away from both the races and the show (someone has to work), I did take the opportunity of a long weekend to get out of town.  It was the first time this season that we have been away in our caravan.  We spent two nights at Lake Benmore,  off grid.  I did sneak onto Instagram briefly to catch up on news but that was about it.  I did take the opportunity to take a few recent projects with me to get a few interesting photographs.  I do get bored with my backyard shots from time to time but sometimes it is either that or no photograph at all.

My first project, is actually my most recent.  I ordered a piece of unbrushed cotton sweat shirting (although it wasn't advertised that way) from  I had initially intended a pair of Ginger type pants but when the fabric arrived the recovery was not nearly good enough for this style of pants so the fabric was shelved (literally) for 3-4 months until inspiration struck.  Unfortunately I didn't order quite enough to afford me much of a choice in styles and since a denim looking sweatshirt may just look a little odd, I stuck with my pants plan and whipped this pair up with my camping trip in mind.  I also figured they would make a really comfy, pull on after work pair of pants that were neither shorts or trousers.

The pants pattern I chose was Papercut Anima, which I have made before 6 times in total, so this pattern is a real tnt by now.  I made the shorter length but this time I shortened the band by just under a half because my previous pair I wear the band folded in half.

I am sure I will reach for these pants regularly both for weekend wear and camping and they will be perfect for weekend walks  because I am a reluctant legging wearer at the best of times.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

McCall's Twist Shirt

 McCall's 6992 was a pattern I bought in an online pattern sale before reading the reviews.  By the time I was ready to make it up,  was already having reservations.  The fabric I had chosen was not reversible which is necessary for the draped front so the entire project was put on the back burner pending more thought.  I put the pattern back into my collection but it was never far from my mind even after reading the less than favourable reviews.

It was after a recent visit to the op shop and my acquisition of two metres of black and beige georgette and a little online tyre kicking that I decided to make it up.  It was this shirt that really tipped the balance in favour of action.

I cut the top to size 8 which is one size smaller
than I would usually make, knowing that this pattern ran huge.   My plan was for 2cm seam allowance but even this wasn't enough.  I ended up running the top in a further 2cms down the side seams  in both the bodice and sleeves.  I also modified the back hem to a rather normal shaped shirt tail instead of the exaggerated duck tail as drafted.

I am pretty happy with the resulting top.  It makes a pleasant change from my usual bog standard work shirts but I think there really is only room in my wardrobe for one. My only small gripe, is that since I ran the top in so dramatically after carefully matching those squares up, they are now quite out of line.  Fortunately, because they are small, it is not really noticeable.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sewaholic Granville Shirtdress

As soon as I laid eyes on this piece of chambray at the op shop, I knew it was destined to become a shirt dress.  I had plans to make it printed side out but after cutting it out, I put it to my Instagram followers and the overwhelming vote was to accent it only in the print, so who am I to argue!

The pattern I used was Sewaholic Granville, which I lengthened and cut the hem to match Grainline Alder.  Instead of cutting the back in panels I cut it in one piece and added fish eye darts.  

The buttons came out of my stash and were originally rescued from my husbands work shirt.

I think this dress is now my favourite shirt dress.  To everyone that helped me out with my fabric decisions, thank you!  Although I made it for use in spring, I can see it working very well with tights and boots for Autumn and Winter as well,  that is if I haven't worn it to death by then!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sewaholic Granville Version One

This is my first version of Sewaholic Granville and I have since gone on to make another.  This one is made using a piece of linen in lavender and mint with a tiny check pattern, which was picked up at the op shop a couple of years ago.  It had been sitting in my stash and narrowly missed out on eviction before I stumbled across this pattern and decided to make up a trial version and donate it to Courteney.

I was fortunate enough to find the perfect shade of mint green buttons in my stash to finish the shirt so all in all this shirt was a bargain to produce.

I am so pleased I took a chance on this fabric because it made up into this style beautifully and I love the finished shirt, so much so, I could have gladly kept it for myself.  The sleeves are a little long and the fabric puddles across my back because it wasn't made to fit me. I haven't been able to corner the owner of the shirt long enough in the last few months since it has been completed to get a proper photo.  Sometimes if you want something done it is just as easy to do it yourself!


Courteney certainly wasn't complaining about being donated another item of clothing to add to her winter wardrobe.  Now if I could only find another piece of similar fabric, I will make one up for myself!

Monday, November 2, 2015

End of Month Wrap Up

End of October Wrap Up

Blue Style Arc Courtney Top
Pattern $11.41
Fabric $3.00
Total $14.41

Melon Style Arc Courtney Top
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Total $0.00

Denim Thurlow Shorts
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern $0.00
Zip $3.00
Button $0.00
Facing Fabric $0.00
Total $3.00

Navy Flutter Top
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $0.00

Jalie/Kwik Sew Swim Suit
Pattern $16.77
Fabric $8.00
Cups (rescued) $0.00
Lining $3.00
Elastic $2.00
Total $29.77

Vogue Pink Dress
Pattern $14.14
Fabric $6.00
Total $20.14

Olive Jacket
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Skirt Fabric $2.00
Zip $0.00
Moleskin $10.00
Lining $6.00
Snaps $0.00
Total $18.00

Green Tee
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Fabric $3.00
Total $3.00

As usual I am not including items made for my family in the total.

RTW Purchases $380.00 (it was a bit shoe month)
Me Made Purchases $88.32