Orange Issy knit top and Elle pants

Issy top and Elle pants Issy top and Elle pants

Kate dress / picture from Style Arc website

Issy knit top / picture from Style Arc website

Since a number of satisfying projects with Style Arc patterns, I have ordered a few more from them. This is Issy knit top, which is the freebie for every purchase in February. The top has asymmetric neck drape and angled ruching across the front.

The fabric is bamboo jersey from Mood Fabrics who actually is more suitable for spring or even summer. It was part of supplies kindly sent by Kollabora a few months ago. This fabric is sooo wonderful, it is smooth, soft, and comfortable against my skin. My initial plan was to make a dress with it, but when the fabric came I felt that it is just too orange to be worn as a dress. I stashed it for a while waiting for the right idea when the season changed and as a result, it had to wait a few more months until Issy top pattern arrived just in time for spring!

Issy top and Elle pants Issy top and Elle pants

Short sleeves and asymmetrical hem

Short sleeves and asymmetrical hem

My pattern alteration is shortening the bodice, 2 cm on the back and 2.5 cm on the front (because the front piece is gathered). This top is actually quite simple and can be finished quickly especially using overlocker.

I started by making the short sleeves option, but then I feel that it is better with either no sleeves or long sleeves. So I unpicked the sleeves and finished the armholes with binding.

For some reason, asymmetrical thing kinda bothered me so I cut the hem straight instead. Asymmetrical neck drape is okay as it will just hang there around my neck, but I imagine I will keep pulling the hem if it was kept asymmetrical.

Elle pants Elle pants


Eller pants / picture from Style Arc website

The pants pattern is Elle pant, also by Style Arc. These are pull-on pants with slim legs. Though the waistband is elasticated, there is no bulk when the pants are being worn since the waistband is just a bit bigger than the waist measurement.

My fabric is black stretch bengaline that I got from Style Arc when I joined the professional pattern club. According to the care label that was included in the package, the fabric is 72% viscose, 24% nylon, 4% spandex. Elle pants is one of the recommended pattern to be used for this fabric. I quite love the fabric! It can look quite formal but still comfortable due to the stretch.

This is another quick project with only three pattern pieces! I cut size 6, shortened the hip about 1 cm, made swayback adjustment to the back 1 cm, and shortened the legs 5 cm. It was done completely on overlocker and hemmed using the coersticth function.

I’m not too sure about the finished result though. In the pictures, you can see that there are lots of lines especially across the back legs. Maybe the butt area is too tight? On the other hand, these are very comfortable pants so I suppose I can wear them with long tops like this Issy top. In the meantime I guess I should learn more about pants fitting. Anyway, I’m glad to have two more additions to my everyday wardrobe!

Top pattern is Issy knit top by Style Arc, size 6. Fabric is bamboo jersey from Mood Fabrics, sent by Kollabora.
Pants pattern is Elle pant by Style Arc, size 6. Fabric is black stretch bengaline.

Dog fur bolero

Fur bolero Fur bolero

Fur bolero

Dog bolero

Why would a dog needs a fur bolero, considering that she already has fur all over? The answer is not important though! I think Fuwawa looks fabulous in it, don’t you agree?

The pattern is dog bolero from MillaMilla, my favorite Japanese pattern shop for dogwear pattern. They sell PDF pattern in their  Japanese site, English site, and Etsy store, I bought mine in the Japanase site. In MillaMilla store, you can buy pattern only without the instructions. I chose this option as the bolero is quite simple.

The fabric is faux fleece fur in shocking pink with floral lining, both fabrics are stretchy knits. The faux fleece fur is quite popular here in Japan during winter, usually made into socks or body warmer. Initially I used grosgrain ribbon as closure but it kept coming undone so I changed it into button closure. I think the white button adds a nice detail!

Fur bolero Fur bolero

PDF pattern is dog bolero by MillaMilla (Japanese version, English version), size M.

Selvedge men’s jeans: in progress

Muslin for my husband

I’m making another jeans for my husband! This time I want to make him a pair of selvedge jeans using jeans kit that I bought from Citron Jeans. Selvedge jeans has straight outseam that utilizes the selvedge of the fabric. The denim fabric used usually has contrasting color of warp on both edges.

I have made him several jeans for my husband before using Pumila pattern and Kwik Sew 3504. Unfortunately they are not for selvedge jeans. Maybe I should take the opportunity to learn more about drafting a proper selvedge jeans but hey there’s an easier way! So I ordered this jeans pattern from a Japanese pattern shop, Full of Pattern.

Since I didn’t want to just cut into my precious selvedge denim, I made a proper muslin for the jeans. Here they are waiting for my husband to try them on. I’m quite excited with this project and want to take it really slow this time. I love making jeans, it is a big project each time. Not just about the sewing, the topstitching, the rivets, the stitching details, every step is exhilarating!


Kate dress (and thoughts about sewing everyday clothes)

Kate dress Kate dress

Kate dress / picture from Style Arc website

Kate dress / picture from Style Arc website

Next from my growing Style Arc pattern stash! This is Kate dress, a wrap dress inspired by Kate Middleton’s engagement dress. It has several reviews on PatternReview who mostly highly recommend it.

As usual for Style Arc patterns, I cut size 6. I shortened the bodice about 2 cm, but next time I might reduce it to 1 cm. The original hem is quite long and I had to shorten it about 20 cm. I left out the sleeves at the end of sleeves and lengthened the ties about 15 cm. My fabric is polyester knit with abstract floral pattern.

Kate dress Kate dress Kate dress Kate dress

Per the instructions, the neckline is finished with clear elastics. I overlocked the elastic on the wrong side, folded it iniside and topstitched using coverstitch setting. I also used a piece of fabric selvedge to reinforce the shoulder seams. This is very important in sewing with knit fabric so they won’t stretch out.

Kate dress Kate dress

I put on the dress and asked my husband’s opinion. He said, “It’s pretty. And… shiny.”

The slight hesitation in his voice got me start asking myself about my choice of sewing projects. I love making dresses, I love wearing them, and I feel good wearing them. But as a stay-at-home mom, I have to admit that these dresses are not practical. I practically live in old cardigan and skinny jeans that I didn’t make myself.

This recent post by Sallieoh about finding TNT pattern resonates well with my thought. When I look at my wardrobe, it’s a closet full of beautiful, handmade clothes, and yet nothing to wear. It is a problem that many of us have to face.

I think that is why I really love my previous project, the floral bomber jacket, because it is something that I do wear everyday. My Sara leggings and Plantain tee got a lot of wear as well. They’re both quite basic so it says a lot about what I need in my wardrobe. I need more wearable things that suit my reality.

My reality is taking care of the house and the dogs. I cook and clean. I pick up the dog’s droppings and sometimes scrub the floor when they have ‘accident’. Slippery floral wrap dress has no business being worn in situations like these. I can probably wear the dresses when I go out, it’s just that I don’t go out that much. No need for a wardrobe full of dresses. How about weekends? On weekends we often go to the adoption events where I usually sit on the floor with the dogs. No wrap dresses please.

I guess I need to spend sometime to think a bit more about this. I love looking good and wearing this old cardigan and jeans everyday doesn’t make me feel good. But I have to understand that to look good, I don’t always have to wear pretty dresses. There are other things that I can make, ones that look good and wearable at the same time:

  • pants: skinny jeans, comfortable pants.
  • tops: not just T-shirt but also blouses and shirts (I don’t have a button down shirt!).
  • skirts: not too short, knee length and long ones are more wearable.
  • jackets and cardigans: a well made one has proven to be so wearable.
  • dresses: maybe long dress made with comfortable knit fabric. But not too many!
  • etc: coats, hats, and I can still make pretty lingerie!

It’s funny that by writing this down, I can see that there’s a big hole in my wardrobe. So many things to sew!

Pattern is  Kate dress by Style Arc , size 6.

Floral bomber jacket and knit skirt

Bomber jacket and knit skirt Bomber jacket and knit skirt

Bomber jacket and knit skirt

I love my new jacket! The pattern is Rigel bomber by Papercut patterns. The first time I saw it was in Sophie’s blog with her wonderful polkadot version. Since then I couldn’t get rid of the image of my own bomber jacket from my mind. I wanted a bomber jacket, and it had to be in floral pattern. Why? I don’t know, it just had to.

Rigel bomber description: “An easy fit unlined raglan sleeve bomber jacket with the option to make with a geometric sleeve detail or plain sleeve. It features front welt pockets, neck, sleeve and hem ribbing, open end front zipper, and front facing.”

I found the perfect fabric in a small fabric store in my neighborhood. The fabric has a bit of stretch with fuzzy flannel on the wrong side with dark floral pattern that looks like watercolour. The zipper and ribbing fabric all came from the same store. Since the store sells end of bolt fabric in cheap price, I only spent about USD10 for the jacket.

The alteration: I shortened the bodice about 1 cm across the neckline. This way I shortened the bodice as well as the neckline. Then I altered the sleeves to match the length. The jacket actually sewed very quickly but I spent a bit of time with the pockets.

Bomber jacket and knit skirt Bomber jacket and knit skirt
Bomber jacket and knit skirt Bomber jacket and knit skirt

Pocket - first version

Pocket – first version

At first I used red rayon lining for the pocket bag. I wore the jacket a couple of times before I decided that I didn’t like it. The pocket bag was too small, the red lining showed too much, and the fabric is not strong enough. I really like the jacket though, so I decided to unpick the whole pockets and redid them using the same fabric as the jacket. It was a risky move but I’m glad I did it because now I adore the jacket!

Bomber jacket and knit skirt Bomber jacket and knit skirt

Floral bomber jacket Floral bomber jacket Floral bomber jacket Floral bomber jacket

Fleece lining Fleece lining Fleece lining Fleece lining

I also made a detachable fleece lining to make the jacket more winter-friendly. The sleeves were also lined with rayon lining so they won’t cling to my clothes when I wear the jacket. The fleece lining is attached to the jacket by rows of buttons along the center front, neckline, and end of sleeves.

I think everybody needs a floral bomber jacket! This is absolutely my new favorite clothing item. The jacket is stylish, comfortable and very wearable. In fact I’ve worn it almost everyday this week, even when the pockets weren’t properly finished and the lining wasn’t made yet.

Ali knit skirt / picture from Style Arc website

Ali knit skirt / picture from Style Arc website

The skirt pattern is Ali knit skirt by Style Arc. I was quite happy with my first Style Arc pattern that I decided to join the Professional Pattern Club. The membership includes 10% off all pattern, free pattern of my choice, and a gift. The package arrived yesterday and the gift is black Bengaline stretch fabric enough for a pair of pants! I was so happy that I already ordered more patterns so I can use the fabric.

The Ali knit skirt desciption: “Latest fashion, this slim line pencil skirt featuring front draping, plain back and elastic waist. For a plain skirt just cut 2 of the back panels, or for a rouched all round skirt cut 2 of the front panels.”

10-P1320562 11-P1320565 Ali knit skirt
This pattern was such an instant gratification! It only has two pieces and everything was done on overlocker so it only needed less than an hour to finish. I didn’t make any alteration other than shortening the hem about 5 cm. The fabric is rather thick jersey that I bought in the same store as the jacket fabric. The color is actually not truly black but rather very dark brown that matches the dark colour part of my jacket.

The skirt is very comfortable and the style is versatile. I can see myself wearing this skirt quite often in the future. So far I had had two successful result with Style Arc patterns, can’t wait to work with the next one!

Jacket pattern is Rigel bomber by Papercut patterns, size 34.
Skirt pattern is Ali knit skirt by Style Arc, size 6.

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