Vogue 9204 –¬†a simple shirt for a complicated skirt

Note: I didn’t make the skirt!

Vogue 9204 – the shirt… the skirt was a fortune ‘find’ and shows more of my legs then usual!

I did however make the blouse to pair with the skirt.

This pattern is a bit of an ugly duckling – or perhaps more kindly, a hidden gem. Vogue 9204 is a Very Easy Vogue pattern with somewhat uninspiring envelope art and a sample garment in a busy print that disguises the garment’s design lines.

Vogue 9204 - image from Vogue Patterns, McCalls

Vogue 9204 – image from Vogue Patterns, McCalls

It’s a simple pullover top with a collar that extends into ties, lined yoke with back pleats and a shirt tail hemline.

Vogue 9204 - back view

excuse the creases – car travel to somewhere without a strong onshore wind required! Bad hair day to top it off… all the running means I pay less attention to my hair lol… true story…

There are no darts and the front v-neck is finished with a simple facing.

The fabric…

I’ve made this in a woven tencel chambray which I purchased on holiday from Ruche Fabrics in Launceston, Tasmania. If you happen to be in Launceston you should pop into Ruche. It’s the Tessuti Fabrics of Tasmania in terms of fabric quality & style.

While I love this fabric, it does show every crease and seems to amplify the shadows/ripples as it falls over your body or with movement. I don’t notice this when I’m wearing it but it’s obvious in photography.

Regardless of these gripes, the fabric is divine and very fluid.

Vogue 9204 - side view

Vogue 9204 – side view

The skirt… not made-by-me

The skirt… it’s hard not to notice isn’t it?! It was called the ‘fire & ice skirt’ by Bec & Bridge. It is fully lined and has a very deep back hem facing so the front cut away doesn’t show the reverse of the fabric at the back of the skirt. It’s some type of scuba-like fabric. I paid next-to-nothing for it, one of my unexpected finds, the fabric print drew my eye on the rack and cost me less than a coffee (yes really). It’s shorter than I usually wear but maybe it will be ok for a ‘night out’ or drinks with friends, we will see. I’m sure it will be readily adopted by my teenage daughters in due time.

Thoughts…

I deliberately chose this shirt design for its austere simplicity combined with a slightly sassy neck tie. I wanted something to quietly complement the skirt rather than compete with it.

I haven’t quite decided how I prefer to tie this… and I haven’t tried a low loose bow. The ties seem longer than the pattern illustration and I’m toying with the idea of unpicking the hand stitching on the inside back neckline and shortening them slightly… but maybe not.

I really like this simple pattern. I think I may make another in silk and/or rayon to wear as casual tops with jeans. It would also pair beautifully with a pencil skirt for work. It’s a nice change from a collared shirt yet not totally lacking in interest.

It’s a very fast make and if you can ‘burrito’ your shirt yokes, even faster. There is a small amount of hand stitching around the back neck to finish the tie neck.

Pattern: Vogue 9204
Fabric: Tencel chambray, Ruche Fabrics Launceston. Purchased in January while on holidays.
Skirt: RTW, Bec & Bridge, not current range

Thanks to my friend Susan of Measure Twice, Cut Once who lightened up my photos for me to actually show the top & skirt in their true colours (I’m not technical in this regard) and saved me taking more (clouds descended and the weather turned nasty/cold as these were taken making the colours very murky).

RUNNING

Still running! Park Run official time down to 26.02 minutes and I recently finished 10kms in 55.03 minutes. It’s four months since I attempted to run/walk my first Park Run. It’s been a lesson in persistence and perhaps sheer bloody mindedness ūüôā

I’m trying to fit 20+ kms into my week. Yesterday I did Park Run (5kms) and then a steady 11.5kms with friends in the late afternoon as I had a hockey game at night. We trotted out for another 5kms as the sunset this evening so I could tick off 21.5km this weekend and a total of 29.5kms over the week.

I’m slowly learning to approach different runs differently. Some are more about pace, others about distance and others about time on my feet. Sometimes I run and chat with friends. It’s been a really interesting process. I’m not terribly scientific about it, I simply do what works for me and feels right/sensible.

I had a complete brain fart & upgraded my July 10km event to a half marathon… I decided I just need to finish my ‘first one’ and then I can work on my time over this new-to-me distance… can’t be that hard… can it???

The Unblogged: Waffle Pattern Vanilla and Cali Faye Collections Rumi Top

So yet more tops, this time some knits.

While I was feeling out-of-sorts this year, I resorted to sewing lots of simple tops to sate¬†my craving to sew – which it really¬†didn’t. Although I do have a collection of tops to wear so all is not lost. In hindsight I should¬†have sewn more complicated garments, I find while I love¬†simple garments, I find sewing challenging garments more relaxing – which is what I needed in 2016. However these little garments were about all I could fit in. Such is life!

Vanilla Top, Waffle Patterns

First up the Waffle Pattern Vanilla top.

I hate these photos so probably why it’s been hovering in the Neverland of Unblogged.

Vanilla Top, Waffle Patterns

Vanilla Top, Waffle Patterns

One thing I really don’t like about this top is how the perfectly neat neckline hits the stripes at an odd angle (due to the slightly-off-beat stripe directions with the drape) and looks messy. It really annoys my eyeballs like dust on a dry windy afternoon! I’ve often worn a scarf with it for that reason because it visually drives me bonkers. But I can be precious.

 

I do find the sleeves an odd length but I also think in a different weight fabric they wouldn’t bother me so much.

Waffle Patterns, Vanilla Top

If you like stripes doing odd things, you will love this

So another easy-to-wear-with-jeans garment as hence got a lot of wear throughout the colder months as a ‘house’ jumper with jeans.

Yes, you may recognise the fabric from my first Penny Raglan. I managed to squeeze a Penny Raglan and this top out of 2m of this fabric.

I think this fabric choice is too heavy for this design BUT very easy to make and rather fun to wear. My eldest daughter has declared that this will be her top when I tired of it.

This is the second Waffle Patterns pattern I have made and I must say I do enjoy them. Nicely¬†presented, comprehensive but not excessive instructions well illustrated with diagrams, and an A0 copy shop sheet printing option‚Ķ and you can turn off layers to print as many or as few sizes as you like. I’d love to try some of her jacket patterns, the details are thoughtful and they have intrigued me for some time.

Pattern: Waffle Patterns, Vanilla top
Size: Size 34
Fabric: Make It Fabrics, Brisbane

RUMI TOP by Cali Faye Collections

Next up a Cali Faye Collection Rumi Top which was released a few months ago.

I volunteered to pattern test for this and found the process really interesting. I’ve always quite liked the design aesthetic of this designer, simple and modern. Although the pattern price point is quite high.

Rumi Top, Cali Faye Designs

Rumi Top, Cali Faye Designs

Cali Faye Collections have a closed facebook group for their testers. Throughout testing period, testers post their versions, comment about the design, instructions and so on. The pattern did changed several times in response to feedback from testers and it was interesting seeing different fabrics being used. I thought it was a thorough, open and interesting community sewing process.

Rumi Top - Side view

Rumi Top – Side view

I sewed up the final version which you can see here. It’s a large over-sized boxy top with fitted sleeves. I’ve worn it a lot, it is easy to wear and great with skinny jeans or fitted pants. It is a very simple design and reminds me of my Japanese pattern book top patterns.

The neckline is finished with woven bias tape. I haven’t finished a knit neckline in this manner before and would be curious how that works for a stretchier knit than this. With this rather stable cotton terry knit, it did provide a nice neat, flat finish.

I would advise sewing with a knit with nice drape. Anything too heavy and you may find yourself wearing a tent!

Rumi Top, Cali Faye Designs. Back view

Rumi Top, Cali Faye Designs. Back view

Pattern: Cali Faye Collections Rumi Top
Size: XS
Fabric: Cotton Terry Knit, Spotlight Australia
Note: I received this pattern as part of the testing process, all opinions my own.

And I think that’s all the Unblogged tops done now. Hooray!

The Unblogged – Grainline Willow Tank and True Bias Ogden Cami

As 2016 rapidly disappears, I’m determined to clear some of my projects out of my head and into the blog. So expect a slight rush of posts before I disappear again for a while.

I view my blog as a documentation of my makes and my sewing journey ‚Äď I‚Äôve frequently been sorry I haven‚Äôt blogged a few things as when I go back to a pattern I have no notes of the changes or size I may have made.

So for record-keeping sake for me (selfish blogging)… here are the Grainline Studio Willow Tank/Dress and the True Bias Ogden Cami.

No time for photos and I don’t think they really merit the time required, particularly since the Willow feels like a work-in-progress.

Most of my blog photos are taken while walking my dogs on the beach, however I simply haven‚Äôt had the time to be so organised to be achieving multiple things at once this year. And sometimes… I just don’t want a photo of ‘tired me’ on record.

True Bias Ogden Cami

I really don‚Äôt feel the need to write an epic blog post about the Ogden Cami as it has been blogged everywhere ‚Äď and generally received a tsunami of universe love. With good reason. It‚Äôs simplicity can make it a very versatile winner if it‚Äôs your sort of thing and the dartless fit works for you. It must be said, I’ve seen several add darts to this pattern with great success.

Odgen Cami by True Bias.

Ogden Cami. Hot off the machine.

I’ve sewn this up with some leftovers from this skirt.

I made this ages ago and tried it on before I understitched the facings‚Ķ the fit seemed a little too tight under my arms and across my upper bust. I assigned it to the naughty basket, upset to have wasted about $1 worth of leftover ‚Äėop shop‚Äô vintage fabric that I loved but felt unable to throw it out. Ridiculous but true.

I rescued it this week, understitched the facings and then pressed and pressed it‚Ķ and for some reason‚Ķ perhaps different underwear choice (!), the fit is much better and I now adore it. Another pretty little top to wear in summer with my favourite scruffy jeans. Lesson learnt: don’t give up too early!

Odgen Cami by True Bias

Ogden Cami ‘out in the wild’ sneak retail store mirror shot while Christmas shopping

I opted to just overlock/serge the lining lower raw edge and use a narrow hem on the outer hemline.

Described on the True Bias site as “The Ogden Cami is a simple blouse that can either be worn on its own or as a layering piece under blazers and cardigans. It has a soft V neck at both center front and center back necklines, and delicate spaghetti straps. The neckline and armholes are finished with a partial lining for a beautiful, high-end finish.”

And the suggested fabrics are “Light weight woven fabrics such as crepe, rayon challis, voile, and lightweight linen.”

Like so many before me, I do really like this pattern. I do struggle to tell the front from the back – which based on responses to my instagram post is a common theme and it’s agood idea to mark the back with the label or some stitches. I’m sure I have it on backwards in the above photo… no one noticed… so wear it however you fancy I say!

Pattern: Ogden Cami, by True Bias
Size: 0
Fabric: Vintage cotton I purchased for $3 from the op shop. It was only about 1m wide. I’m not sure whether it has a bit of rayon in it, or perhaps all rayon and maybe some polyester. Whatever it is, it’s cool to wear with nice drape and oh so pretty.

Grainline Willow Tank/Dress

I purchased this on impulse when I succumbed to the Penny Raglan. And also thought at the time‚Ķ ‚ÄúDid I just pay that for a basic woven top pattern?‚ÄĚ. However for me, Grainline is a good buy. Solid, reliable basics that are always in high rotation for everyday wear. Not necessarily ‚Äėexciting‚Äô sewing but highly wearable pieces that always seem to come together with little effort or fiddling.

The Grainline Willow Tank is described as ‚Äú‚Ķfitted at the shoulders and falls into a relaxed fit below the bust. It‚Äôs unfussy and can be made into a dress or a tank top‚Ķ  Techniques involved include sewing a straight seam, darts, hemming and applying bias facing. Pattern is nested to facilitate cutting between sizes if needed.‚ÄĚ

Suggested fabrics are: ‚ÄúLight to medium weight fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, crepe de chine, charmeuse, voile, chambray, etc.‚ÄĚ

Both my attempts at the Willow Tank have been made in leftover pieces of linen.

Willow Tank, pattern by Grainline Studio.

Willow Tank, pattern by Grainline Studio. My first attempt in a rayon/linen blend from Lincraft

I made my first Willow back in July!

The darts on my first Willow are at least 1/2inch, if not more, too low. Despite this, I do prefer the fit of this one compared the second Willow (below) as this linen is a linen/rayon blend and the fabric drapes in a slightly softer fashion. So much more forgiving of the low darts. Despite the slightly-off fit, I‚Äôve worn it several times as it‚Äôs so darn pretty and a perfect partner to scruffy jeans on the weekend. It’s leftover from my Grainline Morris Blazer which I adore and love to wear.

Willow Tank, pattern by Grainline Studio

Willow Tank, take 2. Floral lightweight linen from The Fabric Store

The second I whipped up in a lightweight linen, leftovers from a Vogue dress I finished up tonight after dinner with some hand stitching. I shifted the darts up 1/2inch however I think they need to be higher. I simply folded up the excessive between the dart and armhole so as not to impact on the armhole size and did likewise on the back piece.

As this linen has less drape, despite being a finer fabric than my first Willow, it’s far more tentlike on me. My eldest daughter loves it, mainly because the fabric is so pretty I think. So perhaps I’m being too fussy… it’s been known to happen! Maybe paired with some skinny jeans or shorts I will feel differently.

Willow Bias Finishes

I used to hate bias finished neckline and armholes, however I am very pleased with the finish on these. They are lying beautifully flat and neat.

I did sew the bias stripes end to end with a 20mm seam, rather than the 4mm (1/4 inch) seam as directed. I found them a little long and I like to stretch them a little to fit as I find they sit flatter when finished ‚Äď in my experience anyway. This does really depend on your fabric choice and the stretch of the bias though!

You do need patience to achieve a nice neat finish with bias strip finishes ‚Äď and it‚Äôs worth it. I find it easier to press the edge of the bias stripe that will be turned to the inside before I attach the other edge to the neck or armhole. I find it‚Äôs easier to achieve a more consistent width of the bias tape ‚Äďand avoids iron-steamed finger tips!

I whipped this one up on a Sunday morning.

Pattern: Grainline Studio, Willow Tank Dress
Size: 0
Fabrics: rayon/linen blend from Lincraft (blue/white) and lightweight linen from The Fabric Store (blue/khaki/white/yellow).

Final Thoughts

I love having these patterns that use minimal fabric lengths. I think there are a few more people out there with an ever-growing stash of fabric scraps that seem too big to throw out yet too little for another project.

I‚Äôm trying to make these little tops and whatnot with the ‘leftovers’ as I‚Äôm sewing other dresses or skirts to ensure I don‚Äôt end up with piles of short lengths that never get used for anything. It‚Äôs too easy to move onto the next project rather than tying up the ‚Äėloose ends‚Äô of the leftover pieces. Not to mention the fact if you whip up a little top in the same fabric you don‚Äôt need to change your machine threads!

I think they are also excellent for those irresistible remanent bin purchases and indulging in some gloriously expensive fabric as you don’t need much.

Not everything we sew needs to be a dress.

 

 

The Unblogged – Penny Raglan by Grainline Studios

or more than one Penny for your thoughts…¬†

I impulsively bought the Grainline Penny Raglan – after resisting it for quite some time. Even after I bought it I thought “did I really pay that much for an oversized raglan tshirt pattern??” Yes I did.

It was¬†money well spent. I’ve made four of these and I love them all. It’s the tshirt I reach for every other weekend and afternoon. It went so quickly from my sewing machine into my wardrobe I barely thought to blog it.

Described by Grainline as “The Penny Raglan is an oversized tee perfect for summer fun. The breezy shape keeps the fabric from clinging so you can stay cool while looking great.”

Penny Raglan, Grainline Studios

Penny Raglan, Grainline Studios. I hate these pictures – taken months ago. Just having a bad day ūüė¶

My first one, pictured here, was sewn from a double-sided knit, stripes one side and dark grey marle on the other. I simply flipped the fabric for the sleeves… and hey presto, saved on some stripe-matching trauma. Yay for contrast raglan sleeves! This is a rather heavy knit but I actually like the body the knit has and how boxy it is. Not to everyone’s taste but I’ve worn it a lot – so clearly my taste.

Is it flattering? Not particularly… but it’s perfect for lazy days. I like it with skinny jeans.

Is it huge? Yes. Massive. The neckline is wide and the armholes deep. Sometimes I like that. I made size 0 which matches my measurements.

I think I added an inch in length as I favour lower cut jeans and have a longer torso.

Penny Raglan - back view

Penny Raglan – back view. I was post-gym and in hockey mother Saturday morning mode – hence the sports crop top. Hockey has been over for months – which shows how far behind I am!

I have no doubt¬†I will try it in a light knit sooner or later… but I need to sew some dresses and skirts for summer first.

Penny Raglan - contrast mostaches.

Penny Raglan – contrast mustaches. Life selfie (again). The ‘matching shirt is simply reversed – black jersey main and mustache sleeves.

My second and third were from a mustache print and black jersey¬†and the fourth a blue floral french terry (no pictures sorry). My daughters love these oversized tees¬†too¬†and are eagerly waiting for my cast-offs… The black jersey one with mustache sleeves has already been claimed by the ‘posing coach’ as a PJ top.

It’s simple to make, allows for some fun sleeve or neckband options. And it’s the easiest thing to wear with jeans.

I sewed all seams with my overlocker (pattern is designed with seam allowances for this). I did pin and use my machine to first attach the neckband before serging it as serged ‘oops’ are much harder to fix!. I used my coverstitch to finish the hems.

If you prefer a fitted tshirt – this is not the pattern for you!

I have much love for the humble Grainline Penny Raglan. Simple, basic, easy to wear.

Perhaps unblogged but not unworn.

Pattern: Penny Raglan by Grainline Studios, size 0
Fabrics: Make It Fabrics Brisbane (stripes) and Spotlight Stores Australia (mustache & floral)

Tunic Bible Winner…

Wow thanks to your huge response on the Tunic Bible giveaway – unfortunately there is¬†only one winner… and (determined by random number generator) the winner of the Tunic Bible winner is jaelh!

The Tunic Bible

The Tunic Bible

You can grab a copy of the Tunic Bible¬†at C&T Publishing ‚Ästall new customers receive a 30% discount by signing up on their¬†website and the ebook is now available. Or of course there is also¬†Amazon and other retailers.

Note: for this post I received a digital copy of the book The Tunic Bible from C&T Publishing to review. All opinions my own.

The Tunic Bible – a review & giveaway (part 1)

(Giveaway now closed)

My sewing is behind schedule. As much as I don’t like to think the my life requires a¬†schedule, the simple reality is when you are working fulltime with kids and a hobby blog… a degree of planning is necessary!

Lately my life has been dedicated to juggling a fulltime job and my eldest daughter’s very busy dance schedule and her participation in the local dance eisteddfod. More about the dancing & dancewear in another post – as I ended up making more than ‘just’ a tutu!

Today I’m here to review the new book The Tunic Bible: One Pattern, Interchangeable Pieces, Ready-to-Wear Results¬†by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr.

Julie Starr is well known for her gorgeous contributions to Pattern Review and Sarah Gunn needs little introduction to the online sewing world courtesy of her blog Goodbye Valentino and Mood Sewing Network Рin fact she was one of the first sewing bloggers I discovered. Together they have written The Tunic Bible, a huge achievement and exciting development for them both! Congratulations.

Julie Starr and Sarah Gunn, authors of The Tunic Bible

Julie Starr and Sarah Gunn, authors of The Tunic Bible

I’m in the middle of making up my ‘tunic’ from this book and decided not to rush and to share it on a separate post because…

  1. I like to finish my project thoughtfully and neatly; and
  2. focus on the book.

I think it’s easy to just look at garment and not really know what you might be purchasing when you buy a book on impulse after seeing one garment from it.

I’ve been provided with a digital copy to review. I confess I do find it difficult to read a book online or on my ipad so I ended up printing it out in mini booklet form so I could get a general sense of the layout and feel. The paper copy is still on it’s way

MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Now like many of you I suspect, I thought… how on earth do you write a book about tunics? I thought¬†that because my ‘notion’ of a tunic is a garment that finishes at¬†upper to mid thigh, a placket style neckline – with or without sleeves.¬†And as a general rule – modest.

And yes, the tunic as you know it is definitely this book… alongside a seemingly endless array of tunic, and dresses – mini/maxi in this book.

the-cover

or if you prefer to see them on ‘real’ people…

Sarah Gunn & Julie Staff (centre) ... that long print maxi dress sold me on the versatility of 'the tunic' if only I could find suitable fabric.

Sarah Gunn & Julie Staff (centre) … that long print maxi dress sold me on the versatility of ‘the tunic’ if only I could find suitable fabric.

WHAT’S COVERED

I’ve decided to include the Contents page from my ‘review copy’ so you get a good overview of what is covered in this book.

contents-page

Contents: The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn & Julie Starr

 

The books does provide you with a full¬†overview of all the possible options – and each version of the ‘tunic’ is accompanied by a description of the different style ‘elements’ that have been used as well as the type of fabric, trimming and embellishment.

There is a array of necklines and collar types to consider, sleeves (including a puffed and split sleeve), fitted vs loose silhouettes and how to embellish and trim your tunic. They also cover suitable types of fabrics – the options range from silk and linen to lace and knit options.

There is also a gallery of home sewing personalities who have made up a wide range of ‘tunics’ in all lengths, fits and fabrics. The book itself is packed with a huge range of different tunics – there must have been A LOT of sewing going on during the making of this book! I believe Sarah and Julie sewed approximately 60 tunics between them.

Tunics from The Tunic Bible by Sarah Gunn & Julie Starr

There’s more to a tunic than meets the eye

CONSTRUCTION

The pattern is provided full-size on a tear-out jumbo sized sheet. Hooray for not printing off A4 sheets and sticking them together!

There is a ‘general assembly order’ provided with an order of construction provided and also a seam finishing order.The construction instructions to me are more than¬†adequate – however if you are an absolutely beginner you make want to google a few things BUT if you have basic sewing knowledge the book provides adequate guidance through the contruction of all the different elements: the types of plackets, collar finishes (including a ruffle of course – I would expect nothing less from Sarah!).

I wouldn’t say that there is ‘fitting’ advice in this book – other than the suggestion to make a muslin, what to check and a resource list on where to source support for alterations. I think this is adequate as it is not sold as a tunic fitting bible and fitting is such a varied and complex area unto itself.

RESOURCES

The book concludes with a range of physical (largely US based) and online fabric & trim stores, Sewing and alterations resources, online classes and links as well as sewing with speciality fabrics.

SIZING

I’ve been guilty of not to think to include sizing in my book reviews – and I always should. I’ve made the mistake of buying patterns that I fall outside the range of and I think it’s easy enough to do! So The Tunic Bible covers the following size range.

  • Begins at¬†XS: Bust 33in/84cm, waist 28in/71cm, hip 35.5in/90cm
  • Finishes at¬†XXL: 47in/121cm, waist 43in/109cm, hip 49.5in/126cm

FINAL THOUGHTS

I admit to being somewhat skeptical about 100+ pages on tunics – and I’m delighted that my skepticism was unfounded. I found the book interesting and inspiring – and a nice change from pretty dresses (as much as we all love them – me included).

There is a truckload of visual inspiration due to the large number of photographs and tunics that have been constructed for this book. This comprises more than half of the book Рand reminder being dedicated to the construction of the tunic elements (yes, there are a lot of options!).

I think it may be a good starting point for someone who wants to experiment with a fairly simple base pattern to try a range of fabrics, trims and let their imagination run wild. The book does offer you a range of options to consider to make a unique garment each time.

For me, I can see a few simple tunic shift dresses for summer and perhaps a floaty version with sleeves as a beach cover-up. I look forward to seeing the book in person.

GIVEAWAY

Now the giveaway Рevery stop of the blog tour has a copy to giveaway. Note it will be a hard copy for the US-based winners and an electronic copy for those based outside the US.
Would you like a copy? To go in the lucky draw, leave a comment below and you might just win yourself your own Tunic Bible (courtesy of C&T Publishing). The lucky winner will be announced October 11! Where else can you enter the draw?
Or if you can’t wait, you can grab one at C&T Publishing –¬†all new customers receive a 30% discount by signing up on their¬†website and the ebook is now available.

Note: for this post I received a digital copy of the book The Tunic Bible from C&T Publishing to review. All opinions my own.

This post first appeared on www.sewbusylizzy.com

 

Indie Pattern Month 2016 (+ Waffle Patterns silk Warabi Tunic)

Over at The Monthly Stitch they have regular monthly challenge or event. I like it, I don’t take part (I’m just not that organised in my sewing life) but I love to read all the different posts from all sorts of bloggers from around the world.

This June they are running Indie Pattern Month, and as part of that¬†they have created ‘bundles’ of patterns, enabling you to try a number of different designers at the reduced price. I’ve really enjoyed all the interview posts with designers involved in Indie Pattern Month – a really interesting read.¬†Some people prefer to support independent pattern designers and others are strictly Big 4 customers. I like both, I buy patterns that appeal to me. It’s that simple.

Indie Pattern Month, June 2016

Indie Pattern Month, June 2016

Yes, this post is an advertisement for the Bundle and I received the ‘Get Away Bundle‘ for free to blog about it here.

I don’t say ‘yes’ to many/anything things lately. Work, family and community commitments keep me very busy – and the sewing/blog is just a hobby for me¬†–¬†but I found the concept behind this month’s initiative interesting.¬†Some of the funds raised will go towards creating a self-hosted¬†platform for The Monthly Stitch blog, more storage space for the community’s imagery and¬†the ability to¬†implement other functions, such as forums. The online sewing community, in all its forms, I think is enormously valuable to supporting sewing as a hobby and viable industry. I don;t think I would have engaged with sewing to quite the degree I did and have without the online community support and resources it provides. Other funds will be going to the designers involved and a charity – this Bundle it’s going to Little Sprouts. So that’s where your money will end up. You end up with the patterns at a good price. Up to you!

What do you get in the Bundle and how much is it? Rather than provide a blow-by-blow description, pop over to the Monthly Stitch blog and read about it there.

Indie Pattern Month, June 2016

Indie Pattern Month, June 2016

You can buy the basic bundle for $21 or for $33 you can get all six patterns in the extended bundle (prices in $USD). This package is available until 6 July 2016.

The Sewing

My sewjo needed a kick in the butt. I already owned the Waffle Patterns Warabi (and another pattern from the bundle)¬†but supporting this Bundle¬†finally motivated¬†me to sew the Warabi. So it’s not an intended pattern review so much as just me just sewing something I’ve been wanting to for quite some time from a pattern company that has long interested me – have you seen the Waffle jacket patterns?¬†I do quite like the new Vanilla jumper/top, draped and very much my style.¬†I printed the pattern eons ago and had the fabric waiting.

Warabi Tunic, Waffle Patterns

Warabi Tunic, Waffle Patterns. It’s a little big on me, should have made the smallest size and the silk just wants to collapse on itself, creating folds under the bust and arms… although it is a voluminous top.

Pattern: Warabi Tunic, Waffle Patterns

Simple! The ‘bodice is more or less the sleeves, wrapping over your shoulders and extending across the upper bust and back, creating a ‘crossover’ at the front. The front and back body pieces are bias cut. The neckline is finished with bias tape (self or purchased – I made mine from the silk), the hems are twice turned and it is¬†French seamed throughout. If you haven’t tried some of these techniques, this is possibly a great way to dip your toe in without being overwhelmed with a complex pattern.

This silk didn’t mark with stitching, so I sewed a line of basting stitches which I used to turn/iron up the hems. I carefully removed the rows of basting stitches and machined the hems in place. This made for neat and even hems.

The print files are layered and you can choose which size/s to print. I think that’s very clever. There is A4 or A0 files – the presence of A0 files cheers¬†my little anti-sticky-tape heart.

Waffle Patterns, Warabi Tunic

Waffle Patterns, Warabi Tunic

The instructions are clear and concise with clear illustrations. You are told what you need to know without excessive detail. I know some sewing people love lengthy instructions but there are ample words and illustrations to get you throughl.

Fabric

I’ve sewn this Warabi in a silk crepe de chine from Tessuti¬†Fabrics, Sydney. It was a completely impulsive¬†online purchase quite some time ago. It’s no longer on their site. Sorry!

Warabi Tunic, Waffle Patterns

Warabi Tunic, Waffle Patterns. Bonus bra strap and ‘derp’ face, must have been laughing at Banjo.

Thoughts

It’s a little wide¬†on my shoulders. I think I need to put some stitches at the crossover part of the front bodice and also some strap keepers to stop the top sliding off my shoulders and wanting to pull apart at the bust.The seam keeps wanting to ripple, I suspect because of 1) fabric choice and 2) the bias bodice. I can live with it. And if I can’t, I’m pretty sure that it will find a new home easily, the fabric is gorgeous and feels lovely on the skin.

It feels oversized on me and perhaps not the best fabric choice. If I make it again, I will make the smallest size. I made size 36. Such is life!

It’s very simple but beautifully finished. It’s a pretty and slightly unusual shape. I think it could be a real winner in a summer wardrobe.

I think I need to wear a tank/camisole under this!

Oops… and a dog

Our gorgeous new/old dog - Jody, greyhound

Jody – she¬†does this odd thing with her ears, most of the time one is pointing up and forwards; the other is lying backwards against her head. Maybe it’s got something to do¬†with her hearing in both directions but it always makes me laugh.

I impulsively adopted this old greyhound a few months ago, my ‘horse dog’ as I call her.

She’s a former successful racer/breeder¬†and¬†she is nine. It’s unusual to see greyhounds of this ripe old age up for adoption, they are lucky to make it to five years in ‘the industry’. She must have been ‘a good dog’ to survive the odds.

While it’s¬†not the smartest thing I’ve done, taking on such an old dog (average life span 10-12 years), I adore her and I feel good about it. She’s much larger than Banjo (in fact he runs under her hind legs if she is in his¬†way) however they play together¬†in the backyard and happily co-share the lounge room, bedding, family attention and meal time.

And if you are wondering what happened to that puppy… after five horrendous months of¬†the puppy¬†constantly attacking Banjo and Banjo having to live outside for the sake of peace, we admitted defeat (so hard to do) and found him a new household with multiple chihuahuas. It was pretty sad but everyone, Banjo and puppy included, are much happier. We were clearly just a¬†halfway house on his way to his true home.

Our gorgeous new/old dog - Jody, greyhound

Our new/old dog – Jody, the greyhound. Yes it’s winter here and I’m barefoot again.

Pattern: Waffle Pattern Warabi Tunic (provided in the Indie Pattern Month June Get away Bundle Рon sale until 6 July 2016).  Comes in sizes 34-48 (US 2-16) (UK 6-20), includes seam allowances/hems etc.
Fabric: Silk Crepe de Chine, Tessuti Fabrics (I think I paid $35 a metre, very indulgent purchase for me). No longer available – sorry. I used 1.5m.
Also see: Funk Bunny | The Compulsive Seamstress

Note: for this post I received the pattern bundle from The Monthly Stitch to blog about the bundle. All opinions my own.

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