July 26, 2014

Sew: Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

Still more Jaywalk! I bought enough for two dresses and this tee. After making my Jaywalk competition dress, a Colette Moneta and this tee, I still had more. I cut out a Brigitte Tee and I have a little bit left which I'm going to use to make an Ali knit skirt. When I unpack my fabric in about 9 months...

I made this tee up over a month ago. The day before I got sick actually. I then promptly wore if for a whole week while sick and then every opportunity I get. Love this tee!

From reading reviews I noticed that the sleeves were often reported as tight. I have large arms. Always have, always will. So I knew I would need to alter them. I simply slashed the sleeve piece straight up the middle on the straight grain, leaving a tiny piece of paper at the shoulder seam to act as a hinge, and spread the pattern piece by 2.5 cm. Perfect sleeves!

Project Details
Pattern: Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee
Fabric: Jaywalk jersey in black & natural (no longer listed online)
Alterations: Widened sleeves by 2.5 cm
Also see: Sewn By Elizabeth | Sew Amy Sew | Bimble + Pimble | Funkbunny 

My only word of warning with this pattern is that besides the slight adjustment on the sleeve piece, I made it up exactly as is. No alteration for length or size. I'm tall and a plus size so if you're short and petite, take this into consideration.

I really love this top and I think Tessuti have done a wonderful job in drafting this pattern. I'm looking forward to trying out the Brigitte top as soon as I find some space in my disappearing sewing room.

L x

July 09, 2014

Sew: Lady Skater meets Alexa T-top

Hello! Long time, no blog!! As always life has been crazy busy, but probably a little more than normal. And I've been sick, really sick. I ended up in hospital for a few days with an extreme sore throat that was threatening my airway. Thanking my lucky stars for modern medicine, steroids and IV antibiotics! I'm almost back to my normal health self. Almost.

I have been sewing a little bit but not nearly as much as normal. My desire to sew and drink coffee are the first things to go and the last things to return when I get sick. I'm back to drinking coffee so I hope the sewing returns soon. Especially considering I only have a few weeks left of my sewing room before it is demolished for our house renovation and extension. Fingers crossed!

On to my latest dress! Despite making a failed Lady Skater, it's been stuck in my head. The combination of a fitted bodice with a flared skirt is hard to resist. My last version was too big despite removing 5 cm from each side seam. I also had issues with the length of the bodice. I ended up removing 5 cm and it was still too long. I'm surprised that not many people mention this issue in their reviews. I'm 178 cm tall and it's too long on me so I'm not sure how someone shorter has no issues. Despite all these issues, I still love the idea of a Lady Skater dress! I've had great success with the Alexa T-top from Tessuti so I thought using that as a base for the bodice would work well. I simply marked my desired bodice length and attached the Lady Skater skirt.Voila!

Project Details 
Pattern: Lady Skater by Kitschy Coo skirt and Alexa T-top by Tessuti bodice
Fabric: Deep red ponti from Alannah Hill outlet
Alterations: Many!
See Also: Look What I Made | Busy Lizzy in Brissy | Lladybird

I'm still not feeling the love for this dress. It's not something I reach for in the closet. I'm much more likely to reach for my striped Moneta dress. Not really sure why, but I'm just going with the flow.

I have a few other makes to blog soon. I hope to get some photos this weekend. I'm working on a magenta shift dress at the moment. It's going to rock! 

What's everyone else been up to lately? 

L x
June 11, 2014

Sew: Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee

You've got to love a simple project to get you back in to the swing of sewing. This simple tee has been on my list for a while but when I received the lovely dot com jersey from Tessuti it jumped straight to the top. So lovely and soft.

Obviously, I left the sleeves of this version. It is really just a big box with holes for your arms, head and body. Super simple!

Project Details
Pattern: Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee (free!)
Fabric: Black dot com jersey from Tessuti
Alterations: Omitted sleeves

Not much else to say about this one. Except that it goes perfectly with my ponti pants and Harper jacket!

June 09, 2014

Sew: Colette Moneta Dress

I may have bought an excessive amount of Jaywalk fabric.... Is 7.5 metres excessive?? I also got 1.5 metres of the natural colourway... I have plans people!!

A Moneta dress was always on the list, plus the competition Laurel dress. I also plan on making a Mandy boat tee out of both colourways. That might leave me with enough for a simple knit pencil skirt or something. Jaywalk overload! It is such a beautiful quality weight fabric. I can't get enough of it.

You've probably seen a million versions of the Moneta dress around the online sewing community. I think it's a fabulous pattern. I wasn't that keen on it at first but thought it was worth a shot. It came together beautifully and I've worn it a LOT in the 3 weeks since I made it.

I omitted the side seams pockets as I don't need any extra bulk on my hips, thank you very much. I also chose not to line the bodice. It's not necessary, adds a lot to the fabric requirements and would be too hot in the Australian summer. I simply bound the neckline with the black stripe. Otherwise it is a straight size XL with the 3/4 sleeves.

There is a little bit of excess fabric in the underarm area. I could fix this by sewing a larger seam allowance in this area. I probably should but it doesn't seem to bother me at the moment. Maybe one day... 

I had a bit of trouble sewing the skirt to the clear elastic for the waist. My machine likes to grab the clear elastic which makes it quite tricky to stretch and sew at the same time. I might try a normal elastic next time instead of the clear elastic. You can see in the photo below that the gathers aren't even. I seemed to have avoided having the gathers on my hips, which was a successful fluke of genius. Now, if only I could work out how to do this again... 

As I mentioned, I've worn this dress quite a bit since I made it. It is so comfortable yet stylish. I wear it with my beloved Cordova jacket and patent pumps to work or a cardigan and boots for casual.

Project Details
Pattern: Colette Moneta, size XL
Fabric: Black/natural viscose/elastane jersey knit "Jaywalk" from Tessuti Fabrics
Alterations: Omitted bodice lining and pockets. 

I should also mention that the length is as per the pattern. This is worth mentioning because I always lengthen dresses but I had to remove the extra length from this. I'm 178cm tall and it is a good length. My only other suggestion is to not over fit the dress. The weight of the skirt pulls the bodice down and makes it slimmer. Over fitting the bodice, especially in a plain fabric, would show every lump and bump. This happened in my Lady Skater dress and I consciously avoided it during this make. 

I'm super pleased with this dress and I plan on making it in a red knit that's loitering in my stash. Have you made the Colette Moneta dress yet? 

L x

Ps. I entered this dress in the Jaywalk competition too. It was a last minute decision!

Sew: Jaywalk Laurel

This is one bad ass Laurel. Laurel is supposed to be sweet and feminine but this one ain't! Jaywalk fabric, black knit, exposed zippers and a touch of red. A match made in heaven. 

As soon as I saw this competition announced I knew I was going to make a shift dress. Starting with the Laurel pattern, I performed a series of alterations to achieve the look I was after. I did my standard sway back adjustment, removing the excess from the back neckline in the process. After these alterations, I folded out the bust dart all the way across, raised the back neckline and placed the back pattern piece on the fold. I simply omitted the waist darts. I traced off the desired yoke piece and added seam allowances. Voila! It worked a treat. 

I gained inspiration from Pinterest for this make. The Tessuti stripes board was a winner. You can see my particular inspiration pics below. These pictures are all from the Tessuti board.

I was repeatedly drawn to a few key features. I wanted contrast sleeves, coloured binding on the neckline, a loose fit, patch pockets and an exposed zipper. I got all of them except the patch pockets. I want those to be black and if I put them on I was concerned about going over the 20% allowance for non-Jaywalk fabric. So I can add them later if I want. We'll see! 

I decided on red binding for the neckline. It would have been much easier to use black but I do thrive on a challenge. You can see a tiny sliver of the red binding in the above pictures. Below are the inside garment pictures. Pretty, isn't she??

The exposed zipper is purely decorative. I left the centre seam in the back yoke and stitched it together before stitching the zipper over the top. The seam provided the zip with some stability.

Project Details
Pattern: Colette Laurel dress, size 14
Fabric: Black/natural viscose/elastane jersey knit "Jaywalk" and black dot com jersey from Tessuti Fabrics
Alterations: Sway back adjustment, removed 3cm from back neckline, folded out bust darts, omitted centre back seam, omitted back waist darts, raised back neckline 1cm.

A good shift dress is trans-seasonal and I will be wearing my Jaywalk Shift with boots and tights for the next few months. It works well both ways.

Thanks to Tessuti Fabrics for a wonderful competition and encouraging this wonderful online sewing community. Good luck everyone!

So the big question is, pockets or no pockets?? 

L x

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