Kabuki Tee

 

I’m on a Paper Theory roll at the moment!  I’ve enjoyed making and wearing the LB Pullover this year, and the Zadie Jumpsuit had its christening this week on holiday in South Africa. It was lovely to wear!  The other pattern I’ve made is the Kabuki Tee.  It’s a loose, boxy, oversized tee pattern, designed for woven fabrics.  I’d admired the large sleeves and front detail, with the opportunity to play with direction with stripes or other patterns.

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Wearing my new Kabuki Tee on a beach walk

This first garment is a plain, I bought some grey chambray earlier in the year with the Kabuki in mind.  It’s probably a little stiffer than would be preferable, but I like the way it keeps the boxy shape of the design.  All the edges were overlocked after sewing the relevant seams to keep it all neat and tidy inside, and I topstitched the armhole/sleeve seams.

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Topstitched seam detail

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It’s a relatively quick pattern to make, the instructions, as with all the other Paper Theory patterns are pretty straightforward.  To make sure that there wouldn’t be any holes or inclination to tear once the corners on the front and back were snipped to allow for rotation and insertion of the sleeves, I interfaced that area with a scrap of fine sheer fusible.  It just gives a little more stability to the fabric that’s going to be weakened.

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I’ve worn the tee twice on my holiday in South Africa, and it’s been really comfy to wear.  Hubby doesn’t like the oversized armholes, says  need slimmer sleeves, but I like the look.  I’ve also made a version in viscose, just to see how it looks in a much more drapey, fluid fabric.  But I haven’t managed to wear that one just yet, so pics are non-existant!

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I dragged the other half to a fabric shop to stock up on fabric to refill my suitcase (having emptied it of loads of stuff I brought out for friends and family) and picked up a black and white wide stripe linen that will either be another Kabuki or possibly another LB Pullover.  I’m liking the idea of stripe manipulation…

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Apple Green Pinafore

After seeing the #SewBibs hashtag on Instagram earlier this year, I decided that would be the push I needed to make myself a pair of Burneside Bibs. I’ve had the pattern and fabric for ages, just never got round to getting them sorted. Well, I still haven’t!

The bibs I’ve finally made are for Daughter no 2, and it’s a Burdastyle pattern, surprise surprise. She’d like the pattern for a while and wanted me to make it before Christmas, but that wasn’t really good timing. The fabric is a lovely green organic stretch cotton twill (probably not most recommended for this pattern, but who cares) from Fabworks, and they still have stock.

I traced the 38 and toiled in a sturdy fabric. I had a feeling the skirt would need to be longer, it is a petite pattern afterall. The toile revealed it needed a fair bit more in the length, I added 10cm, and to take a little out on the upper skirt/waistband pieces. I took in the sides from the top of the waistband to just above where the pocket opening ends by 0.75 cm each side, effectively going down a size. The construction is straightforward. The front and back bib pieces are doubled, attached to the waistband and then the skirt.

Facings and underlaps provide support for snaps, but you could use buttons instead, which is what I ended up doing. Actually, as this fabric stretches so well, we could have made the buttons decorative instead of functional! Buttons were used instead of snaps because althou I have a box of different ones, I didn’t have nough pieces to put together 6 of the same snap! I think I need a clear-out of that box. There also waasn’t time to order more snaps, and we decided buttons form the stash would work just as well.

The insides are all overlocked & I used double rows of topstitching. The pinafore comes together pretty quickly and Burda’s precise instructions are easy to understand. I have a feeling I might be making more of these in the future.

My New Favourite Trousers

It hasn’t taken me long to make another pair of StyleArc’s Teddy Designer Pants.  I had a 3m length of black herringbone linen that I bought from Croft Mill ages ago that had been destined for a jumpsuit, but now has made the perfect pair of black linen Teddy Pants.

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Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc

The fabric is a soft, drapey linen, but has good body.  It also attracts every last bit of fluff, dust and feathers…  It was narrower than linen usually is, so I used more meterage than I had done with the green pants.  I had hoped to get another of the Kana’s Standard jackets I made last year out of the remaining fabric, but it’s looking unlikely.  The pants are pretty much the same as the green ones, apart from an adjustment in the back.  I darted the back waistband in line with the trouser darts to take out 2x 0.75cm and enlarge and extend the darts a centimetre and a bit.  The back fits better now, and has less opportunity to “grow” as the day goes on.  I had noticed with the green pair that I was pulling them up more later in the day, so this little adjustment will sort that out.

 

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I changed the order of work, once the front pleats were constructed and basted in place, the centre front was sewn from the base of the zip approx. 5cm.  I had cut the front trouser pieces with the fly facing “grwon-on”.  Basically, the fly facing pattern piece was taped to the centre front of the trouser piece, marked the centre front line with tailor’s tacks and went from there.  The whole fly zip went in like a breeze and looks better finished too.  Then I attached the pocket bags to the side seams and then sewed the front and back trouser pieces together.  It was a pain in the whatsit trying to do the zip after having sewn the side seams first the last time.

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I didn’t alter the length in the end, I’ve decided I like them as they are and I have enough cropped trousers anyway.  I can imagine this pattern will be fabulous in a wool suiting or crepe for the winter too.  I have a feeling that I’ll be buying something to make another summer pair when on holiday!

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Maybe a patterned pair next time?  Stripes??

Here’s another shot of that pleat, just for luck.

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This pattern’s USP, the pleat and cocoon leg shape

 

FBA Without a Dart

Last year I made a jacket from one of the Kana’s Standard books, and made a dartless FBA, a technique I used again this year when I added a FBA to my LB Pullover.  I’ve been asked for a tutorial on how to accomplish this on a couple of occasions now, but I really lacked the time to do it.  However, I needed to trace the pullover pattern again and reinstate the bust adjustment, so I figured that was as good a time as any to photograph the process and do a little tutorial.  Bear in mind though, that this technique works for me, it might not for you!  This is just my way, and I’m sure there are other methods out there.

Start by figuring out how much you need to add.  With this pattern I didn’t need to add excess width, just depth to avoid the drag lines.  So I cut the front piece from just under the shaping for the sleeves and angled upwards to roughtly the bust point and then went across the front, perpendicular to the centre front line.  I added a piece of paper to the top piece, measured 3cm down (the depth I’d figured out I needed) and drew a line parallel to the line I’d initially cut, then taped the bottom pattern piece to that line, ensuring the centre front line was straight.  The next step was to draw a line from the bust point, which in my case was 12cm from the CF line & halfway through the added 3cm, to the hemline.  Then draw a dart from the bust point to encompass the added width at the side seam.  Cut up one of the dart legs and down the line you’ve just drawn to the hemline.

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1. Add the fba, or length. 2. Mark the bust point or apex. 3. Draw line from apex to hem, draw dart from added width. 4. Cut up dart leg & down line from pust point.

Now close the dart in the paper by pivoting at the apex, this opens a dart from the bustpoint to the hem.  Tape a piece of paper in that gap.  Measure along the hemline to establish the width of the dart.  This will need to be removed at the side seam.  Mark the same measurement in from the side seam, along the hemline.  Draw a line from the now closed side-seam dart to the mark on the hemline.  This will be your new side seam.

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1. Close dart in side seam. 2. Measure new dart width. 3. Mark that width on hemline from side seam. 4. Draw new side seam.

Check the length of the new side seam by placing the back side seam along it, the side seams need to be the same length!  Chances are the new side seam will be a little longer than the back.  So mark where the back hemline comes to on the front and join that to the existing front hemline with a slow curve.  Cut off the old side seam along with any hem, this is basically the dart you added.  And that’s it!  Remember that if you’re lengthening anything that has a front opening and facings to that opening, to lengthen the facings too!!

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1. New side seam. 2. Check length of new front side seam against existing back side seam length. 3. Draw new hemline to meeet new side seam length. 4. Remove the dart!

I hope that’s all as clear as mud! 🙂  Happy sewing people, now I need to get cracking, I leave in a week and have LOADS to still get done before that!

Work in Progress Wednesday 5/19

More sewing getting done!  Must be the weather, April showers have arrived just on time! 😀 I have moved indoors this week due to a couple of rainy days chasing me off the allotments.  I have less than 2 weeks to go before we’re off to South Africa, so there’s a lot to do, both sewing wise and gardening.  As I knew the bad weather was on the way, I cut out 5 projects on Monday afternoon/evening and started the sewing on Tuesday (yesterday).  But I’m not going to show you what I made yesterday just yet.  Today I made a Kabuti Tee in viscose, and started on a dungaree dress for Daughter No2, which I spoke about in my last WIPW.

The Kabuki Tee is one of those boxy, loose fitting tops that looks so completely different in a drapy fabric.  It’ll be lovely and cool to wear in the summer.  It’s a pretty simple pattern, the only tricky thing is getting those sharp corners sharp!   I always pop a bit on interfacing on the fabric that I’m snipping in cases like this, just to reinforce the fabric and support that snip and spread.  It definitely helped with this viscose!

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Supporting the fabric for the corners

Next up was the dungaree dress.  This is one item that Daughter No2 is rather keen to have in her suitcase for the holiday, so I HAVE to finish it!!  The fabric is stretch cotton twill from Fabworks Online, chosen by Daughter No2 herself.  It’s a lovely, cheerful green, perfect for spring and summer!  The pattern is 115 from April Burdastyle magazine 2017.   It’s also not a tricky pattern just has a few pieces to get together.

I started with the front bib and pocket and added the loops for the d-rings.  The front and back bib pieces are all done now, and I’m ready to get the waistband bits on and start on the skirt and pockets.  I hope it’ll all be done by lunchtime tomorrow, when I need to get to the allotment to plant my Mother’s Day present, a Bramley Apple tree!  Can’t wait to make apple pie with my own home-grown apples!

 

Spring Green

With the Equinox on the 21st, it’s finally officially Spring here in the UK, and I’ve got a nice new springy green pair of trousers to show off!  I’d been after an interesting pair of linen trousers for a while, and was thinking of drafting something when I took a quick look at the Style Arc website.  They tend to have interesting designs and I thought I might be inspired somewhere along the line.

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Teddy Designer Pants from Style Arc

After a fairly short browse, I’d found 2 patterns I liked, one in particular.  In the end, I just bought the pattern!  Now this is my very first Style Arc pattern, despite them being very popular amongst certain areas of the sewing world, I’ve never bought one.  And here’s why.  Up to now, they’ve only been available in your size, although you get the size above and below your chosen size as well.  But – these are seperate patterns, not nested, so it makes blending between sizes interesting, also, if I’m going to be dropping good money on a pattern, I want to be able to make it for more than just one person.  I want more than 3 sizes.  You could also only get PDF download versions in millions of A4 pages to stick together – something I particularly dislike, or wait for the pattern sheets to be sent from Australia, paying postage & customs charges on the way, making this an expensive pattern that had better be good!  It was a pleasant surprise to find that this particular pattern not only came in multiple sizes, but they were nested and the PDF was available in A4 as well as a copy shop version.  Sold!  Now, if they start doing this with all the other patterns, Burda will have a real run for their money!  I wanted a couple more, but they weren’t available in the same format.  No matter, I’ll keep my eyes peeled and hope I can get them later once the multi-size copy shop versions become more available, here’s the link for all the multi-size patterns currently available.

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So, on to this one, the pattern I’ve been rambling about is the Teddy Designer Pants.  Pants, not pant!  Here goes another rant, why only one?  I have two legs, and want a pair of pants/trousers!  *breathe* I fell for the nice deep, long pleat down the middle of the trouser legs, sewn down from the hem and the waistband for about 20cm, the slight cocoon shape to the outside leg seam, the wide, shaped waistband and narrow hem. Basically, all the design features! 😀  I had some olive (bright) green washed linen in the stash that was begging for an interesting pattern, and I had just enough!

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Now, last time I mentioned there has been a little change of measurements around here.  Earlier in the year the #SewMySize hashtag did the rounds on Instagram, showing “ordinary” sewists with their measurements with the hope that indi pattern companies in particular would recognise the range of body sizes and shapes out there and cater to all.  I posted this photo.

But I’ve changed by eating habits and now I have new measurements, which means making different sizes! Woohoo! However, it also means I have a large pile of clothes that I need to make smaller so they don’t fall off me.  I’ll be adjusting for summer, rather than sewing for summer!  So, in the interest of openess and helping you to choose your size, these are the new measurements.

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I traced the 16 and 14, based on those measurements and toiled the 16 to see where I needed to alter the pattern.  Turns out the fit was pretty solid!  The waistband fits snugly on the waist, with the upper edge on the natural waistline.  There was no pulling around the high hip area, which can happen on some trouser patterns.  All I needed to to was to shorten the leg, brilliant!  I love the shape and the pleat, did a little wiggly dance around the sewing room in delight!

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Making was fairly simple, I know some people have a problem with the instructions, or lack thereof, but being a Burda girl I’m used to sparse instructions.  They did read a little oddly though, like they were written by someone for whom English is not their first language.  The zip instructions were weird though, and for the final garment I ignored them entirely and did it my way.  I cannot get my head round instructions that have you put the zip in backwards.  I’ll be changing the pattern a bit for next time around the zip, basically adding the fly facing to the front trouser pattern, this eliminates bulk and gives me more to work with to sew the zip in from the centre front line.  I might also bring the pockets up 2-3cm, but that’s not critical.  I made the pockets bigger though!  They’re too narrow for me, my phone and hand didn’t fit in, so I widened the curve to make more space.  Three centimetres was taken out of the length of the leg.

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Details

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I put the pants on for photos, and didn’t take them off!  I decided they were so comfy that I’d wear them for the rest of the day.  They really are good to wear, even the hubby likes them!  So, as I have yet to start the next Zadie Jumpsuit – in the black linen from the stash, I think I just might use it for another quick pair of these!  That way I have two pairs of pants to add to my suitcase for my holiday!  And I’d better get something else while I’m away for the jumpsuit…

Jumping into my Holiday Wardrobe

I’ve been after a good jumpsuit for a while, and made one last year from a German magazine that Chris gave me.  I liked it a lot, but it needed more adjustments to be perfect.  I even bought more fabric to make another, but the summer disappeared on me and I thougth I’d wait.  I then had an idea to make a pattern from the top portion of the Sew House Seven Tea Dress and a wide leg trouser pattern (more than likely from a Burda pattern) and see if I could make something work.  But other things landed on my sewing table and I hadn’t got round to more than just think of the idea.  And then Tara from Paper Theory posted her progress on making a jumpsuit pattern available.  I thought I’d just wait for that, given how good her first foray looked last summer when she drafted one for herself.

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Navy linen Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory

The pattern was released a week and a half ago now, and I’ve made mine!!  Actually, if you look on Instagram there are some great examples of the #ZadieJumpsuit to be seen.  Lots of different fabric types, pattern or plain, and on lots of different people.  I started by tracing the sizes 14-18.  I’ve had a bit of a change in measurements lately, and can start sizing down! (yippee)  Checking the finished measurements against my current measurements, and knowing how much ease I can get away with, made me start the toile with the size 16, with no adjustments.  I already knew I’d need an FBA, just not necessarily in width.  Making the toile means I get a proper idea of how much length I need to add to the bust depth.  I also thought I might need to size down in the legs, as they’ve been getting skinnier!  The other alteration I thought I’d need would be to shorten the legs – but by how much?

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Can you see my whiter than white ankles in this shot? No? Need to shorten the trousers then!

I made the toile in an old duvet cover from the charity shop, and it ran up really quickly.  The instructions are really clear and easy to follow, with diagrams if you need them.  Once on, I knew I’d need that extra length in the bust depth!  Standing up straight, I marked the bust point with a marker pen, then I pulled down the front so the waist was actually on my waist and then marked the bust point again.  There was 3cm between the two points.  Voila!  Extra required bust depth!  The crotch depth was also low, like MC Hammer low! 😀  So I pinned up 4cm and it felt much more comfortable.  By doing this, I improved the look of the length, the trousers looked like they finished in the right place, so no chopping of leg length! Woohoo…

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So, back to the paper pattern, I drew a line perpendicular to the grain line on the bodice front that lined up with the lower marking of my bust point.  Then I cut along that line, stuck the bottom bodice piece onto a piece of paper, extended the grainline, drew a line parallel to the cut line 3cm away and taped the upper bodice piece to that line, lining up the grainline.  Then I marked a dart at the side seam, the point of which is 5cm short of the bust point.  Then I trued up the front line, crossing my fingers that I’d got the curve right!  I used the lengthen/shorten lines on the trouser pattern to shorten the crotch depth.  I also decided that when cutting I’d move the shoulder line to the 18 on the front, giving me another 0.75cm of length in the front.  Maybe I needed it, maybe not!  Time will tell once I’m actually wearing the jumpsuit on a regular basis.

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Boob wings in all their glory in this photo.

The nature of the fabric is also showing up one tiny flaw.  I do need to add some width to the bodice front.  Because of the cut of the bodice and the kimono-like dropped shoulder, I have little “boob wings”.  There is a triangular section of fabric running from the bust to where the armhole would be.  So I need to fix that before making another.  It didn’t show up so badly in the soft cotton duvet cover toile, so I thought I’d get away with it…

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My fabric is a 3m length of 140cm wide navy Irish linen, 137gsm.  It has a crisp handle, but is lightweight and hangs beautifully.  It’s been in the stash for a while, and I’d fogotten it was as crisp as it was, but I wasn’t going to buy any more fabric just yet.  It will soften with washing ( eventually) but will never quite loose that crispness.  The colour though, is great, rich and with lustre.

The cutting layout has you open the fabric to a single layer, right side up, and cut each piece individually.  This is because the designer is looking at the best way to cut the pieces with the least amount of wasted fabric, which, with the size and shape of the pattern pieces, is high.  So leave plenty of time to do the cutting out!!  And follow the diagram, or you’ll be caught short.  Seriously, I recon it took as long to cut the pattern as it did to sew the toile!!  However, I only had small bits of linen leftover, so it was the most efficient way to cut.

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Bias binding on the front, with extra stitching for the ties. Insides are all overlocked.

The pattern itself is easy to put together.  You have the option of making it “sleeveless” which really means a short, dropped shoulder sleeve, or adding the sleeve, which gives you long sleeves.  This means you can make this jumpsuit for cold weather!  I quite  fancy making a wool suiting version and wearing a poloneck like the Tessuti Monroe underneath.  The front of the bodice is bound with self bias binding, but you can make a bit of a statement if you go for a contrast colour or a different pattern.  The bodice is staystitched before the binding goes on, so there’s no chance of stretching the front.  The only thing I did differently was to overlock all the pieces before I started sewing, instead of neatening as I sewed.

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I really love, love, love this finished project.  It’s good to wear, shows no boobage when bending over (a critical aspect of any cross-over top) and stays put when moving about.  I double checked that one by doing a crazy lady dance in my sewing room.  In hindsight, I could probably easily loose another 2cm in the crotch depth and still have room to sit without squeaking.  It is a very forgiving fit!  The choice of size 16 was perfect, and while I could size down to a 14 for the width of the legs, this is a wide leg jumpsuit in a lightweight fabric, so no harm done.   I will also be removing about 3cm in the leg length.  Looking at these photos more shows that they are a tad long on me, you cannot see enough of that overwhelmingly white ankle, just about the same colour as my trainers!

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I’m heading home – back to South Africa – for three weeks over the Easter period, and this is going to be the very first item that goes into my suitcase!  Along with a large bottle of fake tan…  I hadn’t deliberately decided this time to make anything for the trip, so this is a bonus – mostly because I didn’t think the pattern would be available until the summer.  So, would I recommend it?  In short – yes.  I’ve seen it made by tall slim people, and by shorter, fuller figured people, and it looks good both ways.  I’m not the tallest person on the block at 1.65cm, but the proportions seem to work.  The fit is relaxed and loose, but you don’t feel like the saggy baggy elephant.  I have a feeling this will work on pretty much all body types.

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Now, will I make another?  Heck yeah!  I’ve just remembered a black 3m length herringbone linen that’s in the stash, bought 2-3 years ago when I first thought I’d like to try the jumpsuit trend.  Might even do the sleeves with that fabric, it has more body than the navy I’ve just used!  But first, I have a couple of Kabuki Tees I want to make, and some grey jersey that wants to be a Stellan tee, and make my first ever Style Arc trouser pattern, and I need to make two things for Daughter No2 that I toiled the week before last, and…..  BIBS!  I want to make a pair of hazel linen Burnside bibs to take with me!  Oh boy.  There is still the allotment and digging in of muck and starting of dahlias and sowing of seeds to do too.  Oh help.