Alexa: winter versions

There’s not much of our mild Winter left so I grabbed Alexa (Tessuti pattern) and made a few Winter versions. Making knit tees is what I do when I’m preparing for another big project. Knit sewing is fun and quick to do while I ponder the details of the ‘next big thing’.

TNT Tee Contest

My earlier Alexa top versions are here, as a jacket base here, experimenting with prints here and here are the handy dress versions I used while travelling earlier this year. So this is certainly a TNT tee.

Fire: Red lace knit

This is the v-neck version and lined with tricot. I was trying for a pretty Winter version.

This fabric was bought at a fabric store in New Zealand a few years ago. 

Mmmm. Not sure the tricot underlayer works. I’ll wear it ‘out’ one night and see how it goes.

Moving on…

Coat of arms: Ribbon knit

I’ve made this style before in jaywalk fabric for a few summer polo tops.

This time I’ve used ribbon fabric bought in Portland a few years ago.

Here’s how the neckline looks now. This is definitely a winter top.

Mustard: wool knit hoodie

This time I’ve added a wrap hood to these two versions using the Avocado hood pattern.

Mustard wool hoodie – dummy view

‘On me’ view looking chuffed with new Jalie Jeans

Dummy view

‘On me’ back view showing off my new Jalie jeans with zippers at the hem.

Tangerine: wool knit hoodie

dummy view
‘on me’ view worn with brown spandex Anita pants pattern from Tessutis ($10 table special)

dummy view
‘On me’ view worn with Brown spandex Tessuti Anita pants.

Both of these wool knit fabrics for these two tops were bought at My Hung in May. They were $7/m and I’ve worn these a lot from day 1. These are soft and warm. I can still wear a thermal layer underneath these for when it’s really chilly.

Date night: Silver knit 

I tried to draft a collar but the points are a bit wing collar style.

Dummy view of Silver version
‘On me’ view worn with Chorizo Anita pants from Tessutis

Dummy back view
Back view on me

I bought this silver knit from Tessuti’s and this knit is soft against my skin. I tried to create soft gathers at the wrist but you can’t really see it.

These are all tunic length because I want to stay warm. 

Ta dah view wearing my grey test Anita ponte pants

I’ll show you the Anita ponte pants story soon – my other Winter staple.

Pattern Review has 51 participants in this contest. It finishes today and voting starts next week. Take a look at the entrants and the variety of TNT tees they’ve used. They’re a creative bunch!

Jackie – It’s orange

Jackie is my ‘just grab it’ jacket for Winter.

My head cold dictated being rugged up in a warm, soft jacket with a collar that hugs me was perfect.
Here’s how I’ve worn Jackie during the week.
Orange really lifts my spirits on a cold and very grey winter’s day.

Jackie has also been a fun casual jacket too.

My ta dah picture.

The plant behind me only flowers at the end of Winter. Yay.

See what I mean about a great colour making grey look amazing.

Lena has some prizes up her sleeve for Jackie sewalong-ers. I’ll give you those details shortly.

Have you see Janelle’s jacket yet? 

I’ll add Janelle’s photos here once her post goes live. Her work is impeccable. Take a peek on the Flickr group.
When I make Jackie again, I’ll get my hem right. 
I got my measurements wrong so I had to redo the lengths are here’s the result. I didn’t make a test jacket so I’ll just have to live with these results.

Hi five if you’ve started your own Jackie. Or finished it as the case may be?

I’ll update our sewalong posts soon.

Go to the flickr group and add your version – whenever you’re ready.

Stripes and NL 6149

It all started with this stripe top using New Look 6149 v-neckline and a good rugby knit I bought from Tessutis last year. A walking foot, many long pins and a lot of resewing seams helped me match the lines on these tops.

The neckline is made with overlapped binding and it sits very flat.

There was a fair bit of pieces and lines to be matched. Even the two-piece sleeve needs to be matched.

Then I moved to this fabric from Tessutis and made this version again. I think I’m a bit obsessed with stripes and matching patterns at the moment.

The lines on this fabric vary quiet a bit so the fun was cutting the pieces out and sewing this up. 

Again I used lots of long pins, my walking foot to keep the lines in place and a lot of unpicking.

 And this version goes well with what I already have in my wardrobe.

This time the hem has a slight curve to it this time around and I’ve cut the back on the fold this time because I was a bit tired of matching lines by this stage. 
These tops are my ‘go-to’ weekend tops. The fabric has just enough lycra to help the fabric keep its shape. These tops were worn a lot when we traveled in June.
Now might be the time to stop sewing with stripe knit fabric. Or maybe not:)

PS: There are some heftier sewing projects happening at the moment and you’ll read about soon. Promise!

Jackie: Lining, collar and facings

This black acetate is a medium weight fabric and will add to the coat weight. It’s lovely and smooth.
Sewing black fabric can be a pain to see so I use a dark contrasting colour thread to help me see and unpick seams easily. I’ve used brown thread on black in the lightened pic below.

I use the pins to remind me to stop and leave a side seam gap for later. Can you see what I’ve done? The crosswise pins act as my reminder to leave a gap.

The lining sews together really quickly and is then easy to sew onto the facings.

Collar and facings
Preparing the collar and facings starts off lovely, then becomes messy, then is lovely again.

The back and front facings are sewn together. That’s looking clean enough.

Then I added a trim along the facing edge that joins the lining. This is not part of the instructions. This is my ‘take’ on making jackets.

Here’s where the mess begins.

I’ve trimmed the collar to facing and the cut away pieces always make a mess but this trimming helps these layers to sit flat. 

If you look closely, I’ve used two layers of interfacing on the collar. This keeps the collar structure without it being too stiff.
And here’s the inside view of the collar sewn onto the jacket. Messy looking but it all sits flat.

This story does have a collar and lining happy ending. It’s neat and clean.

 Here’s how the collar with lining now sits nicely. The black trim worked too.

I found some Craftsy writers that have some good information to keep in mind when you’re at this stage.

  • The beauty of understitching facings by Linda Reynolds on Craftsy.
  • Andrea Brown on Craftsy shows how to sew a double welt pockets the way Roberta taught me years ago when she used to teach at the Sydney McCalls warehouse.

    Waratahs and Stefan – New Look 6808

    These New Look 6808 styles are very Mad Men / retro and has been made by lots of great sewists I follow. Both versions below have been worn a lot.

    Waratah print
    I tested view A with the collar on View E using a waratah quilting cotton. I bought this fabric at Millthorpe village, near Bathurst and Orange last year. How Aussie is that:)
    I can see why this pattern is popular.
    Technical details:
    Sway back adjustment to the back and adjusted the hem length.

    Used an invisible zipper in the centre back seam.
    Roll shoulder adjustment (forward) to the shoulder seams and sleeve cap

    Shortened the top by 5cm.

    The fit on this version is firm and works well for an everyday work top. I’ve overlooked the positives of using quilt fabrics in the past.
    Stefan Liberty print:
    I bought my first Liberty print last year – Stefan shocking pink – from Addicted to fabric. 
    Since then a few more Liberty print fabrics have sprouted in my stash!
    This version has slightly longer sleeves, piping and a couple of small pleats in the collar and a tiny button. I’m still debating the length of this top.

    Gosh this fabric feels good. Sewing real Liberty fabric is easy. It’s soft and smooth. Very tame. Easy to ease at the shoulder cap. 

    The detailing looks crisp. I’ve been Liberty influenced by keen Liberty print sewers, Kirsty and Kristy.

    I’m currently working on getting a button down shirt pattern to work for my next Liberty print makes. They need to be used and worn when Spring arrives.

    Keep cup

    I just got a new Keep Cup – my reusable ‘take away’ cup. My first one lasted three years.

    Original on the left. New cup on right

    Mr V bought me my first Keep Cup when I already had my normal cup to buy take away coffee with. But this cup became part of my daily work things like making sure I have my security pass with me every day. I had to have this cup with me everyday for any ‘hot beverage’ situation.

    Over time, my colleagues bought one for themselves to use too and we’ve created a morning coffee club.
    But in the last month, the lid became so loose, the coffee would drip when the lid was on.
    So I had to replace my faithful Keep cup. 
    Keep Cup upgraded their lid design so the lid has a double seal and the coffee spout is bigger to drink from. You can see the original cup colour is only just starting to fade.
    Why did I buy the same colours? So my barista wouldn’t need to relearn my coffee order. She smiled when I used this cup last week. And I still love these colours. 

    Keep Cup replaced my cup for me because I’m an ‘early adopter’ and long time Keep Cup used. From their calculator, by using my cup for 3 years instead of using disposable cups about 7 times a week, I’ve saved 15kg of landfill or 364 disposable cups per year. Thank you Keep Cup.

    Rugby worthy

    Winter means going to rugby matches and wearing a decent coat is a must hence McCalls 6657 using a wool plaid from Minerva Crafts UK. I’ve paired this coat with my Minerva jeans Vogue 8774.

    Here’s how this coat looked with no metal clasps but they arrived in the mail just this week!
    Here’s how this coat now looks with the metal clasps. Thank you dear postal service for such a quick delivery. I’m still toying with the clasp placement but they are a perfect match.
    Minerva Crafts has a great range metals clasps to choose from.

    I’m still very much ‘Game of Thrones’ influenced at the moment – hence the hardware closure.

    This fabric kept grabbing my attention when I visited Minerva Crafts in June. It’s got the colours I wear but plaid/checks. I’ve never used this type of plaid before – until now.
    It’s lovely in real life.

    McCalls 6657 is made for large checks and plaids so I took a chance and made View C with no test version. I know – daring right?

    McCalls gives you the dimensions on the pattern pieces for bust, waist and hips. I made Extra small at the bust and waist and used Small for the hips. 

    The adjustments:

    Side seam pocket view with double belt loops
    • Roll shoulder adjustment
    • Raised the pocket by 2.5cm
    • Decreased the pocket bag depth by 2cm
    • Eliminated the centre back seam to cater for fabric lines
    • Added facing trim and coat hook trim
    • Added double belt loops on the side seams to keep the belt secure
    • Added lining

    All the tech notes are here.

      I’m still in awe as the lines follow across the back and collar.

      McCalls 6657 is an unlined jacket so you only need to purchase the fabric and a few packs of binding from Minerva Crafts. This pattern has been in my pattern stash for ages, staring at me.

      While trawling through the fabrics with Sam  and the Minerva bloggers at Minerva in June, I didn’t have any pattern in mind when I ordered this fabric so I took a punt to get the fabric, lining and metal clasps. 

      We worked out that I’d need my coat length, sleeve length and 30cm for a collar and pockets. I had just enough to get every piece I needed. 

      The metal clasps are hand sewn on. I’ve been resewing them a few times so the fit is right without the closure looking tight or falling open because they’re too close.

      Also wearing Vogue 8774 jeans and CJ patterns cowl tunic
      I’m so excited because this coat worked first time! #cheesygrin

      I think I’m ready to wear a few more layers underneath this coat when head off to the rugby. We have a weekend in the ‘Outback’ soon so this coat is going to be worn a lot this winter.

      Thank you again Minerva Crafts for having such lovely fabrics and notions.