Style Arc Kylie Top

I was curious when I first read about hacci knits, so when I happened across some in the online Mood Fabrics Designer Fabrics store I decided to take the plunge and see what the fuss was about.

If you haven’t heard of this type of knit, the following is how they are described on the Mood site:-

“For those who are not familiar with hacci knits, they are a newer type of small denier knit that utilises a weft knitting technique which results in little to no torquing (a force that tends to cause rotation in the yarns). Hacci-baby knits are characteristically lightweight and sheer. With a phenomenal 4-way stretch, use this ribbed jersey fabric for stylish, sheer cardigan sleeves, fabulous tees, draped dresses and more! This material may require a lining depending on the application.”

When I received this knit, I realised that Mood had not exaggerated it – it is indeed sheer. After much thought, I decided that I would not be comfortable wearing it as a single layer so set to finding a pattern with a layered feature. There are several options in the various in-store catalogues, however I really liked the hi-low and angled back feature of the Style Arc Kylie Top overlay.

Hacci knit from Mood Fabrics NY. Pattern: Style Arc Kylie knit top.

Hacci knit from Mood Fabrics NY. Pattern: Style Arc Kylie knit top.

I was conscious of how delicate the fabric was – so I decided to use a lightweight fusible knit tape on all of the seams. I used my Bernina’s stretch stitch and followed it up with a narrow serged seam on my Brother serger. It might sound like overkill but as the seams are somewhat visible due to the sheerness of the fabric, I wanted them to be as strong and even as possible. I also used lightweight fusible knit tape on the neckline to make sure it kept its shape. The neckband is cleverly sandwiched between the layers and the sleeves are just a single layer of fabric.

Hacci knit from Mood Fabrics NY. Pattern: Style Arc Kylie knit top.

Hacci knit from Mood Fabrics NY. Pattern: Style Arc Kylie knit top.

The Kylie top features turned-under hems on the sleeves, overlay and body. I decided that I would use a narrow roll hem (using my serger) on the edges to achieve a delicate fluted effect. I also crossed over the overlay at the back – rather than joining them with a seam and then hemming the pieces. I felt the double or triple weight of fabric would be too heavy for the lightweight nature of the knit.

Hacci knit from Mood Fabrics NY. Pattern: Style Arc Kylie knit top.

The perils of beachside living – onshore breezes can play havoc with draped garment features!

I’ve sewn rolled hems on lightweight jerseys before and been surprised and pleased at how well they have held up over time.

This fabric is a really butter soft knit, composed of 97% rayon and 3% spandex. It is very stretchy but not difficult to work with. However I would advise you to be gentle to avoid your edges stretching too much during the construction process.

I ordered 1.5m in Ivory and while the Kylie Top requires 2m, I just squeezed this out of the 1.5m making a size 6.

Pattern

I purchased this as a PDF from the Style Arc Etsy store. I’ve taken to taping my patterns together by using a large sliding glass door at the back of our home – the light behind the glass means that it is relatively easy to line the edges of the sheets together without the need for trimming (except when I need a pattern detail that gets hidden in the overlap – then I trim).

It’s no secret the Style Arc patterns are brief – and they are for this however if you have made a t-shirt before this is not a difficult make. The main difference is the neckband is sandwiched between the two layers of the top.

The under top is quite fitted but it’s nicely balanced by the looser upper layer.

I think you may risk quite a bulky neckline (four layers of fabric) and shoulders (two lots of shoulder seams) in a heavy knit but it’s perfect for those lighter knits.

Fabric: Ivory Hacci Knit from Mood Fabrics NY, 1.5 yards
Pattern: Kylie Knit Top – Style Arc

Note: for this post I received a fabric allowance from Mood to make something of my choice. I blog it over at the Mood Sewing Network blog, then on my blog. All opinions my own.

A polka dot midi skirt: Vogue 9090

Despite having a misfire on midi skirts once before, I’m not one to be beaten so I tried again. I had this polka dot cotton twill with a slight stretch from Mood Fabric NY and although I worried about it for far too long, I think I knew it was always going to be a midi skirt!

Mood Fabrics, Stretch denim twill. Vogue 9090, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

The front features an inverted centre pleat with two pleats either side.

I loved the denim tones and I thought if I can’t wear jeans all the time I might as well embrace the colour scheme in my other clothes!

Unfortunately this particular fabric has sold out however the beauty of Mood is that there is a seemingly endless array of fabrics and still plenty left in this stretch cotton twill range, including Navy, Green, Yellow, Red, Blue, Black, White and Orange. It’s got a nice sheen and body to it – and a joy to sew with.

I adore fancy fabrics as much as the next person.. However I don’t think all our sewing projects to be ‘fancy’, made from silks and high-end fabrics. Don’t get me wrong – they are delightful and I’ve sewn quite a few and loved them, However, I do love clothes that I can toss in the washing machine along with the rest of the family’s laundry. As a full-time working mum, sometimes practical wins out!

Mood Fabrics, Stretch denim twill. Vogue 9090, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

yes, pockets

I had planned initially to make a shirtdress with this. However due to the body of the fabric it seemed to be begging to become a full ‘ladylike’ skirt.

I love the midi skirt trend and when I happened upon Vogue 9090 with its fitted yoke, pleats and pockets, it seemed like a match made in heaven. The design provides a lovely feminine shape without ballooning from the waist. I love a good yoke ūüôā

Yes, there are side pockets. Nice deep pockets – which are also sewn into the waistband. I prefer these types of pockets as they don’t flap about and make the line of the garment untidy.

Mood Fabrics, Stretch denim twill. Vogue 9090, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

I confess I actually quite love the silhouette this pattern creates. It feels timeless and ageless.

I decided to line the skirt with some cotton voile. I simply used the skirt pieces, cut slightly shorter. I attached the lining to the skirt along the waistband, then attached the yoke lining and skirt lining to the zip using the Sewaholic Cambie method.

Vogue 9090 - cotton voile lining

Vogue 9090 – cotton voile lining

I would advise that the 7 inch invisible zipper recommended in the pattern is a little too short – or perhaps that’s more about my child-bearing hips… you may scoff but even my teenage friends referred to my hips that way! I used an 8 inch zipper and it was barely enough!

This pattern is not a fabric monster – it uses just 1 3/4 yards (1.6m) or 60 inch (150cm) wide fabric.

Not terribly smilely – work has been relentless for several months and I’m bone tired. Of course when I went looking for sunlight it was nearly impossible to find!

Fabric: 1.6m Denim Blue/White Polka Dot Stretch Cotton Twill
Shirt: Just Jeans, sorry can’t see the point in sewing a shirt until I need a new one!
Shoes: Roxette Yellow Lizard Pumps, Jo Mercer (I just had to type that – coolest name for shoes ever!)

Note: for this post I received a fabric allowance from Mood to make something of my choice. I blog it over at the Mood Sewing Network blog, then on my blog. All opinions my own.

This post first appeared on www.sewbusylizzy.com

Floral Riot, Burda 6849 from Mood Fabrics NY

On the side, I’ve been suffering from a quiet obsession with shirts… this one I’ve made as my Mood Fabrics NY project, using a¬†lovely Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile.

I took two lots of pictures – one just as a storm was hitting at lunchtime – then about 24 hours later on the beach… this winter has been ‘all over the place’! I decided to use a few from both as the stormy backdrop really did make the colours jump off the screen – I habitually roll up my sleeves – fortunately I managed to get one photo before the sleeves assumed their ‘normal position’, half way up my forearm.

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C – yes it’s mid-winter here…

When I unpacked this fabric¬†I immediately thought of making¬†a shirt. I think voile would be one of my favourite fabrics. It’s not as fancy as silk or wool but it’s one of the most wearable and washable fabrics¬†I’ve encountered¬†– which means that it passes my ‘lifestyle’ test with flying colours.

According to the Mood Fabric Dictionary (this always helps me when I’m stuck wondering what some mystery fabric is in BurdaStyle!) Voile is: “Plain, loosely woven. Characteristics: A thin semi-transparent dress material of cotton, wool, or silk. Sheer and very light weight. Usually made with cylindrical combed yarns. To obtain a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are used. Voil√© drapes and gathers very well. The clear surface is obtained by singeing away any fuzzy yarns. Has a hard finish and crisp, sometimes wiry hand”

This fabric is not loosely woven and is not semi-transparent as I would expect with a voile. It strikes me more as a lawn than a voile. A fabric of this nature is perfect for shirtmaking –¬†I¬†found it an exceptionally easy fabric to work with to create finishes such as flat-fell¬†and French seams, rolled hems and more. It’s remarkably easy to cut out and iron. In short, it’s a dream to sew with.

Shirts have a few tricky elements if you have never sewn one before РI confess my first few shirts gave me several heart attacks during construction. Perhaps that is part of the addiction, conquering the challenges one by one. There is no doubt for me that sewing with a lightweight fabric with high thread count certainly makes those tricky elements much easier to handle.

Burda 6849

The insides – no overlocker required! I flat felled the centre back seam and then French seamed the sleeves and side seams.

Shirts are a staple in my wardrobe. I tend to wear dresses to work however my out-of-work uniform tends to be denim jeans/skirts with t-shirts and button-up shirts.

I decided to wanted a feminine, slim-fitting shirt and Burda 6849 delivered. It has a shaped centre back seam, four fish eye darts at the waist, shaped side seams and a curved hem. The sleeves are also quite slim fitting.

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C

Due to the nature of the print and the weight of the fabric, the seams, darts and pockets just disappear and you focus on the silhouette created by the sewing pattern. And this fabric just sings, it’s so pretty!

Burda 6849

Pocket and buttons

As this lawn was so lovely and fine, I flat-felled the back seam with a neat 4mm seam. I also decided to French seam the sleeves and side seams. These types of seams are so easy to achieve in a high-count light-weight cotton.

Burda 6849

The cuffs

I did add a slight curve to the cuff edges. The placket is a simple one and while I thought about adding a tower placket, I decided not to as I liked the light nature of the fabric and how neatly it rolled up at the sleeve end.

Some techniques used:-

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C

Pattern: Burda 6849
Fabric: Pink Carnation Cotton Voile, Mood Fabrics NY
Also see: Creating in the Gap – gorgeous shirt by Margo. I’d like to steal it ūüôā

Buttons: the buttons were a surprise gift from Vicki Kate Makes¬†– which were also perfect on my daughter’s Japanese shirt. They just seem to go with everything! Thank you xo.

Shirtmaking

I think shirtmaking is a long journey, I have many miles to go. I love making shirts, I find them methodical and precise – it’s like sewing yoga to me – I really relax when making them.

I decided to invest in a few resources including both David Page Coffin books (read GingerMakes. review of The Shirtmaking Workbook). I’ve made a couple of shirts (sorry behind in blog posts), stalked menswear stores for inspiration¬†(just the shirts I promise!) and crawled my way across Pinterest.

So I hope there will be more shirts to share in the future.

Out & About

Busy times coming up with three weekends¬†away. This weekend it’s Newcastle¬†for dancing mum duties, then Melbourne for Frocktails, followed by Brisbane for the theatre – Dracula! Somehow must find time to sew.

Burda 6849, sewn with Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C. Sometimes I get demure and cover my wrists…

Sweet Carolina… a Mood Fabrics silk metallic brocade three-piece

I know… it’s been awhile! 

I’m having a weekend ‘up north’ with Busy Lizzie… potentially shopping for shoes, buying fabric (who me??) or eating ‘high tea’.

After a bout of sensible sewing & lots of knit fabrics, followed by a bit of blog & sewing silence, I’m back with some very extravagant fabric, courtesy of Mood Fabrics, New York.

 

These pictures were very difficult to take. We have had a lot of rain… and when it clears it is soooooo hot & muggy. It was 30 degrees celcius and very humid…. and it was 4.30pm! Despite being lined, every item of clothing kept clinging to my skin. Fortunately this was not made with outdoor leisure in mind! I prefer to take all my shots outside as 1) natural light is kind, 2) the family happy snap camera doesn’t like playing nice inside, 3) my hometown is pretty & 4) I’m not big on putting my house on the blog – a bit precious I know but that’s me.

I confess I’ve had this fabric for months and the indecisiveness nearly destroyed me. It was so different to anything I had sewn previously and I was a little stumped… and terrified. 2.5m of Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade from Mood Fabrics NY!  

 

The flowers are enormous… and the fabric shifts quite dramatically between light & dark.

So I spent lots of time draping a fabric over my dressform, wrapping about myself, sewing some small swatches and ironing them helps me better understand what type of garment the fabric might suit best. Then I bombard my sewing friends (thank you in particular to Lizzie, Jen and Susan for their advice) and the instagram peeps!

When I google Carina Herrerra there was an abundance of cocktail dresses, with fitted bodices and full skirts. I think this would be grand… but overwhelm my frame. This fabric would make a stunning sheath dress – which I own rather a lot of as it’s my typical work dress style – they often pop up in my Instagram feed.

I nearly made a Pauline Alice Quart Coat.  It would have been perfect… the fabric does crease beautifully into pleats… however I faltered at the last step and suddenly changed my mind. 

 

Due to the body of the fabric and the structural way it fell, I was haunted by the urge to make a cropped flared jacket that emphasised the body of the fabric. I finally settled on Vogue 8145

  

This was one of my very early pattern purchases, I’ve long adored the flared back of the jacket.This pattern is an unlined jacket. As the fabric is somewhat coarse in texture I used a lining from the stash. I underlined the body of the jacket and lined the sleeves. I used a bias tape to turn up the hem to minimise bulk.  

 

The sleeves are two piece raglan sleeves with a seam running down the top of the arm which provides some shaping.

I omitted the buttons as it felt ‘busy enough’. I also eliminated the centre back seam in the jacket body piece.

Once the jacket was complete… another bout of indecisiveness followed… should I make a long pencil skirt or a mini skirt? 

So I took the very practical approach of wrapping myself in fabric and the was very apparent that a long fitted skirt would be a nice counter balance to the very dramatic flared jacket. 

 

It was very tempting to indulge in a new pattern and I nearly gave in and purchased the Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt. In a rare bout of self restraint I decided to defer to my pattern stash. I really loved the fit of the By Hand London Pencil Skirt – which I had made and blogged way back in 2012.

I lined the skirt with more stash lining and added a walking vent (yes, a lined walking vent no less!) following A Fashionable Stitch tutorials. You can learn how to draft the walking vent here and how to line a skirt with a vent here. Thanks Sunni!

While this skirt pattern calls for fabric with some stretch, the long walking vent makes it easy to walk in – I do have a huge stride (fast walker!) so I’m slightly limited – probably walking in a more ladylike fashion. I actually adore the firmness of the fabric. It feels amazing to wear and I find the high waist is very comfortable. 

The top is a Burda 2964. I had this in my stash as well! I picked this up at a Spotlight sale as, despite the rather gawky pattern envelope art, I loved the square neck and princess seamlines. The top is cropped and I think the shapely yet slightly boxy fit suits the fabric and works beautifully with the high-waisted skirt. The top is a slight miracle of pattern cutting Tetris – I wiggled and jiggled the pieces onto the scraps of my brocade.

The pattern is unlined, features a side zip and slits in the seamlines. It also comes with long or short sleeves and in a longer length.
 

THE FABRIC  

This fabric freaked me out for a while as it was so unfamiliar. However… I’ve fallen in love with silk brocade and would now love a sheath dress! The fabric is just fabulous to wear.

The oversized print is spectacular of this particular Caroline Herrarra fabric is a unique blend of opulent and grunge. It does amazing things in different lights and settings. It’s just gorgeous. I’m never 100% comfortable in ‘pretty’ things however this rather masculine yet feminine blend of colour, print and texture is very appealing to me. 

I’d read much about the frantic fraying nature of brocade but didn’t find this fabric at all troublesome. In fact it was one of the easiest fabrics I’ve ever worked with. That’s not to say it doesn’t fray but it wasn’t shedding like a beast. 

I would advise lining this fabric.

Slip stitching the fabric is a joy as the stitches just seem to disappear. 

The colours of the fabric change quite dramatically – in the first image the fabric looks quite dark & moody. The light is behind me. The other pictures the sunlight is shining onto me, bringing out the yellow gold tones.

I doubt that I would wear all three items together… then again you never know! I do love to dress OTT sometimes, it’s fun! I’ve purchased several suits in my career and usually only wear the pieces together at the most formal corporate occasions. I prefer to mix and match. I love wearing jackets with skinny jeans and heels to more casual events such as dinner and drinks with friends. I also think I will wear the skirt with heels and a loose fitting shirt tied at my waist. 

Fabric: Caroline Herrara Silk Metallic Brocade, supplied by Mood Fabrics as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions are my own. 

Pattern, Jacket: Vogue 8146 from the stash 

Pattern, Skirt: Charlotte Skirt from By Hand London (this pattern was sent to me in 2012 by the girls. Previously blogged and loved here.  All opinions my own). I’ve modified this pattern by adding a walking vent to the back and adding lining. 

Pattern, Top: Burda 2964 from the stash 

The Quart Coat will happen sooner or later… it’s just a matter of time & fabric…

I love sewing with Mood Fabrics, I’ve tried so many new things – anything you’d like me to try next – fabric or garment?

ZIGGI Jacket – Style Arc. Couching Tiger, Hidden Cougar…

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - I always seem to push my sleeves up!

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – I always seem to push my sleeves up!

hmmmmm, not sure where to start with this one…

Firstly, I love that fabric and not because Mood Fabrics NY gave it to me as part of the blogger network I must sing its praises. I absolutely think it’s¬†fabulous fabric, it really is. I hadn’t sewn with ponte-style fabrics before but have discovered why people adore sewing with them. They have enough ‘give’ to make sewing a breeze, they are firm enough not to cause the headaches of tshirt style knits in the sewing process. They have enough body to skim over lumps and bumps for dresses, skirts and jackets. I’ll be back for more!

I wrote more about the fabric in relation to this pattern on my Mood Sewing Network blog post – there was too much to say to write it all at once so I focused on the fabric at Mood Sewing Network and the pattern here.

So this¬†post is mainly about the Style Arc Ziggi Jacket¬†pattern¬†and my thoughts on it. Ziggi seems to be one of those patterns that is tucked away in pattern stashes or on a sewing ‘wish list’.

I’ve had a jacket fetish going on – yes, it’s out-of-season sewing. I just sew what I feel like. It was STINKING hot on this day. About 33 degrees and the humidity was suffocating. Naturally it POURED rain the next day, about 160mm in a few hours, and the temperature dropped by over 10 degrees (Celsius). I had to do a massive detour to get home from the fabric shop that day as many roads suddenly closed due to flash flooding.

STYLE ARC PDFs

I purchased this pattern from the Style Arc Etsy shop.

This is a great way to purchase Style Arc patterns (note: not all of them are available) if you have been concerned about purchasing one-size patterns – or want to avoid postage costs.

It’s¬†important that you realise that you might get three sizes (I purchased the 4/6/8 jacket pattern) however those sizes are NOT nested. You receive three separate PDF files, one for each size. So if you are hoping to grade between sizes… it’s not going to be easy… unless you particularly like taping together 48 pages of pattern several times. I don’t know… I’ve got better things to do with my time!

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - it's a PDF carpet!

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – it’s a PDF carpet!

This jacket can be made as a lined or unlined jacket. Unfortunately if you choose not to line the jacket the PDF has not been set up in such a way that you can just print the shell pattern pieces.

Ziggi is a monster PDF pattern to piece together, 48 pages in total. The only print option is A4 sheets. Hopefully one day Style Arc will also provide a print/copy shop version for A0 sheets and 36 inch wide paper as provided by companies like Grainline. I don’t mind PDF patterns however I do LOATHE trimming and taping together 48 pages. I know there are bigger patterns out there but I would prefer to pay a little more for printing and have several A0 sheets printed.

STYLE ARC INSTRUCTIONS

I think everyone knows Style Arc instructions are notoriously brief. I knew what I was getting myself into. I decided everything would be OK as there are many blogger posts about this jacket, including a sewalong by Sew Maris and Stacey Sews. If you are going to make this jacket – refer to these posts. And google – lots.

The instructions for this jacket are brief. Less than one A4¬†page in total. I think that is¬†very brief considering all those zips and the lining. There are also no diagrams, other than diagrams of the jacket itself. I don’t have huge issues with this as I knew that before I started. I’m just pointing it out so if you do purchase this pattern you don’t get a shock.

I didn’t refer to the instructions much at all. I generally read sewing instructions before I start any project¬†to see¬†if there are any new or unusual techniques I need to be aware of or research before I start. Then I may refer back to them as a guide for order¬†of construction or to see if the seam allowances vary as I’m sewing.

The pattern pieces have the stitching line printed on them. I personally hate referring back to pattern pieces to check seam allowances. I’d rather the pattern just said ‘sew the collar outer edges together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance’ rather than ‘Sew the collar outer edges together’. Call me picky but I don’t think it’s much to ask for a few more characters in the sentence.

ZIGGI ZIPS

It’s important to point out, before you rush off and buy supplies for this jacket, that the pattern requirements state 6 inch zips for the front pockets.

Unless you like shortening your zips, you will need to alter the pocket bags and facings to accommodate the 6 inch zips. I used 5 inch zips. I have long, skinny hands/fingers and decided I could get my paws into the 5 inch openings.

Longer sleeve zips are easy enough to accommodate, you just need to change the opening length.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - I was stupidly proud of myself when I finished my first zip pocket.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – I was stupidly proud of myself when I finished my first zip pocket.

That surprised me most about this make is how easy the zips were to put in. Yes, it was fiddly but I didn’t find it difficult. Sew Maris provides a fantastic blog post on this.

My Ziggi Zip Tips…

  • Take your time
  • Be generous with your zipper window facings – cut good sized pieces, you can always trim them back. I used silk organza for my facings.
  • I like to press my silk organza facings and take¬†lots of time to roll them to the wrong side of the jacket and achieve clean straight edges and neat corners.
  • I also like to pin the facings in place before I baste the zips into the window opening. I always put an extra pin on an angle to the corner rather than just pinning around the straight¬†edge. It seems to help pull out the corner of the facing and create a little more tension to create a nice sharp corner.
  • Hand baste the zip into the opening you create. It’s worth that little bit of extra time and makes tops sticking around the opening much easier and smoother.

If you would like to add sleeve gussets to your sleeve zips (not part of the pattern), Shams of Communing with Fabric has a great post on this Рand Ruth of Core Couture has added some helpful tips here. I chose not to add sleeve gussets but you can certainly do so for an extra finishing touch.

Peekaboo Cougar Pockets!

Peekaboo Cougar Pockets!

I’m not such a huge fan of metal zips. I know they are ‘cool’ but clearly I’m not. They interfere with how the jacket sits on the body and moves. I’m just too picky about weird things I think. My zipper for the opening as a slight ‘wiggle’ in the teeth and that annoys me senseless.

POCKETS

I only used one of the pocket facings per pocket. Maris is right, you only need one. The pattern instructs you to cut four.

TOP STITCHING

I like top stitching. I really, really do. It’s not just the look I like. I also enjoy the process.

I use upholstery thread for my top stitching if sewing with my Bernina. I find it behaves better than top stitching thread. It¬†could just be my Bernina has issues with top stitching thread thickness and¬†I¬†just need to fiddle with the tension¬†– or¬†perhaps my Bernina is¬†just antsy about¬†very thick thread¬†just like she¬†is about shirring elastic. I love my Bernina but she’s got some quirks – don’t we all?

I lengthened my stitch to 3. I used my edge stitching foot and put my needle over 2 ‘clicks’. I also always top stitched on the same side. It might be overly fussy of me but with something like top stitching I find the more consistent your method/technique is the more consistent the outcome is.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - back top stitching detail

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – back top stitching detail

I always keep a hand sewing needle close by when top stitching. When I finish top stitching an area I use my hand sewing needle to take the top stitching thread to the wrong side of the fabric and finish the thread off. I guess that’s more fussiness but that’s how I roll some days.

I top stitched a large piece of fabric and then cut my yokes and upper sleeves from the piece. I also fused some Pellon the wrong side of the fabric so some extra body. I also put in shoulder pads to bulk up my silhouette and support the shoulders and sleeve heads.

LINING

I found the lining a b.i.t.c.h to sew in. I’m not particularly happy with it. It feels slightly off and Jodi of Sew Fearless¬†had the same issue. I found the instructions entirely useless for this step. All I can say is good luck, it may involve cursing and a seam ripper. (NOTE: GingerMakes made an excellent point – it maybe sewing a woven lining to the knit shell – probably true!

Style Arc Ziggi - back view

Please tell me next time not to keep putting my hands in my pockets when taking photos – ruins the line of the jacket… but that’s what pockets are for!

THANK YOU

A big thank you to¬†Ruth of Core Couture. When I was vacillating about this pattern and the fabric, I googled myself silly, researched Pattern Review (a time efficient way to check what fabric people used with a pattern) and finally contacted Ruth about her experience as she had sewn this jacket in a polyester knit, most reviews I’ve seen have been sewn in a woven. She provided plenty of advice and encouragement along the way. Thank you Ruth!

I often find when I’m sewing, it feels like I’m sewing in a vacuum. So I often reach other to other bloggers via email, twitter or messaging, particularly if I know they are experienced in certain patterns or¬†techniques. I’ve always found people to be incredibly helpful and generous with their advice and encouragement. If you ever need some extra advice – don’t’ hesitate to reach out to someone else, especially if you have no IRL sewing circle to hang out with.

JUNGLE JANUARY

This jacket is a bit of a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cougar… I roared like a angry beast during the making of this jacket (the lining caused me the most grief). I lined it with some cougar print fabric from my stash. This fabric has popped up a couple of times on my blog… here and here!

So this one is for you Anne! I feel like some old biker gang girl…. oh dear… perhaps I am a cougar after all!

The Hidden Cougar

The Hidden Cougar (crappy tank top underneath due to the heat!)

POSTS I FOUND HELPFUL

Other than the lining, I didn’t find this too difficult to make. It’s detailed and fiddly in parts but not that hard. I did lots of research and googling along the way and found these posts very useful.

General Ziggi Tips – Core Couture

Inserting the inseam zips

StaceySews: for a list of links to the Sew Maris and StaceySews Ziggi posts

FINAL THOUGHTS

I chose the Style Arc pattern over the Kwik Sew biker jacket due to the volume of online posts and help available for the construction.

The sizing seems largish for this particular pattern. I sewed¬†size 6 based on my measurements and the comments about the Style Arc sizing accuracy. I think a size 4 would have been better on my frame, for your reference my bust measures 32 inches and my under bust measures 27 inches (I find it helpful when bloggers include their measurements as it is so hard to judge someone’s physical size and the finished garment size on them).

I think Ziggi is quite boxy despite what the pattern illustrations indicate. If you are considering sewing this because you think it’s more fitted and sexy than the Kwik Sew biker jacket pattern… it’s not as fitted as you think it is going to be. I increased my seam allowance to 25mm between my bust and hip to eliminate the boxiness of this jacket. Given the instructions, PDF, single size pattern files, wrong zip sizes, lining issues I had… if I wanted another biker jacket, I would try the Kwik Sew next time. Yes, the catalogue images are not very enticing but I’ve sewn plenty of ‘ugly ducklings’ and been delighted by the end result.

I seem to have written a lot in this post and I suspect I will think of more to add later!

ALSO SEE: Stacey Sews | Core Couture | Communing with Fabric | Sew Fearless | Sally Bee Makes (love this one) | A Challenging Sew | Clothing Engineer (shearling) | Meggipeg (gorgeous two-tone leather) | Sew Maris | Sew Judy | Sigrid Sewing | Dodgy Zebra | Sewing Pattern Review
And a Ziggi in progress (maybe) report: My Messings

Pattern: Style Arc Ziggi Jacket
Fabric: Wool Stretch Suiting from Mood Fabrics NY
Accessories: Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (birthday pressie from my mum) | Key necklace: Tiffany & Co¬†| Ring: sterling silver from some random¬†little Hunter Valley shop during a girls’ road/wine trip