Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fall Sewing: I Need Your Feedback!

You know how I got that great fabric last weekend. Well, I have been thinking hard about what to make with it. I do have a few ideas - most of which are patterns I've made before, namely:
  • Vogue 8323 - This surplice-esque top would be terrific in the lavender modal or electric blue bamboo jersey.
  • Vogue 8790 - This is another surplice top might work with the drapiest of the fabrics (the bamboo).
  • True Bias Hudson Pant - I'll likely try my hand at a cropped (below knee) version next time- this is calling out for either the slate or navy French terry jersey. That stuff is sick, btw.
  • Victory Patterns Lola Dress (not yet made - or altered, more to the point). This would be great in the French terry or the thick navy jersey. And shout out for local talent...
  • StyleArc Elita jacket - While this could be made in the thick navy jersey - the imp in me wants to make it in French Terry!
  • Tiramisu dress - I love the one I made in that gorgeous, spongy black ponte. This dress needs a fabric with density and weight in order to keep the surplice well in place and to fix the underbust gathers optimally, not to mention that it shows off the full skirt to its best advantage. I made it once in wool jersey (didn't drape well and it itched). I could probably use the thick navy to good effect. It's got great recovery, surprisingly, and it's quite heavy. This isn't a useful dress for winter though, what with short sleeves.
  • I could also remake a dress I drafted a while ago from a highly-altered, vintage Simplicity, kimono sleeve top. I know I took photos of it but damn if I can find them in archived posts... That garment, while I didn't like it at first, was phenomenally popular whenever I wore it and really looked so much better as a dress than a top. Alas it no longer fits (admittedly it was a snug fit in the waist to begin with). But a redo of this one is quite appealing now that I think about it. It would be great in either the modal or the bamboo but it would have more impact in the bamboo (what with its electric blue-ness).
But I'm getting a bit sick of the few patterns I've got that I'm actually inclined to make. (Note: I feel a cull in my future.) So I decided to check out the StyleArc Etsy store. Since they opened the online shop and started populating it consistently with new and former patterns, you can get great patterns AND instant gratification. Cuz let's face it. There's no fun in waiting a month to get your loot from Australia - after having paid for shipping.

Here are the patterns I found that are a) available for download and b) currently appealing to me:

Danni Dolman Dress
This one could be rather attractive (and good for fancy meetings) - or a dud. But ain't it always the way... It would work in the modal or bamboo.

Emily Knit Top
There's apparently a tutorial to make sense of the box pleat at the neck. It's chic, no? The bamboo or modal are perfect for this.

Fiona Knit Top
This one is an outlier, given its relative boringness. But it could be a good basic. Not sure if any of my new fabrics are better for this than some I've got in the stash.

Lotti Top
I like the colour-blocking potential of this one. You can use some wovens (silk charmeuse?) along with knits.

Sunny Cocoon Top
This could be good in the French terry - with some denim leggings. You can eat all the cookies wearing this (and the sleeves are very fitted, for sleekification, from online versions I've seen).

Toni Designer Dress
This one could be hideous. I don't see this in the near future (it's too late in the season to make a dress that's best for summer), but good to have for next spring. Perhaps.

I'd love your feedback on these options! Can you assist me in determining which patterns to buy? FYI, the whole lot would be 70CDN, which is very reasonable, IMO. But I've made some dubious pattern choices in the past - something I'd prefer not to repeat.

Let's talk!


  1. If you make the Lotti top, watch the sizing. I made one and it was ginormous. I probably took 2-3 inches in on each side

  2. Ooh, yes, so many great options!!!!! I love all the TNT patterns you linked to at the top, so those are all solid options... but I agree it would be fun to slip in some new patterns as well!
    I think I've talked to you about Lola before - I love mine, but be prepared to change every single pattern piece. To make it work wel, you need the waist hitting at the right spot in front and back, the princess seams well fitted, and I had to alter the sleeves too. Still, it's lovely to wear and i think has stayed trendy over the years!

    The Fiona knit cardigan is a lot like the Mouse in the House Julia Cardigan which has been popular online... I've made it in sweater knit, and it worked well. Seems like a quick pattern to adjust with your sloper, which is nice! :)

    I"m kinda in love with the kinda of the Sunny Cocoon top on you. So perfect for winter weekends when you want to be snuggly but also chic!

    I was checking out STyle Arc yesterday myself, and teh Emily top caught my eye - I think it would be lovely on you!

    Finally, the Danni Dolman dress- I googled it, you you are totally right - when it's fitted, it's super elegant. I'm not entirely sure how and where you would FBA it, but I think it would look great!

    Finally, I'm going to say this: Your fabric source is local - so why not take some risks with new patterns, and if they totally fail, well, go get more fabric! :)

    1. I knew you'd have much to say!!! And I do love the TNTs for their simplicity in production, but I need some new stuff! The only reason I'm hesitating on the Lola is because I remember how hard you worked on that one and i just don't know if I'm in the mood right now. And I also remember your Julia cardigan - which I really like - and I checked out her Etsy shop. I wonder which would be better?! The julia might be less long - because StyleArc really does design for the tall peeps.

      That Danni is either going to be excellent or a horror, I suspect. But you're so right. I have a fabric source and that is SO key. In a worst case scenario, I'm out 50 bucks and a day or two of my time. And in the best case I look like a million bucks and I get to brag.

  3. I love that dolman dress. I've been wanting to try a Style Arc pattern - it's on my list to do this fall. When I'm considering a new pattern, I google the hell out of it and look for as many examples as I can find, with an eye toward body shapes similar to mine. Past me would say, "Just buy them all," but too many times of doing that has left me dismayed at the number of PDF patterns I have that I've never sewn, and probably won't get to.

    1. I can't believe you haven't tried it yet, G! It's a great pattern company. And I do exactly the same thing when I'm thinking of making a pattern. I spent all night on PR and reading random blog posts. It's actually a very fun way to pass the time. It's like my version of a mood board! And I'm inclined to buy them all too. But then i think, I can always go back in the future and get them as I need them. They're on the interwebs, after all. It's just a click!

  4. I love the cocoon sweater and the dolman dress the most. As you say the dress would be an amazing piece for work. Very elegant. Knowing how chilly your winters are, I think the cocoon sweater could get a lot of mileage, especially as you could layer a fine tee underneath for extra snugness.

  5. That cocoon sweater has more potential that I'd like to admit (between the cookies and the extreme cold). I'm trying to pretend I'm like a supermodel who lives all the time in California :-) I think I've got to make that Dolman dress. If it works, it could be a staple.

  6. I really like the Emily and Lotte knit tops. The Danni dolman dress is really nice, but if I were making it for myself, I would be concerned about how clingy it might be in a jersey and would probably attempt it in a not too heavy ponte instead. I think the electric blue would also look really nice as a Tiramisu dress!

    1. I know - the Danni worries me because of the abdominal cling! Ponte does sound like a good fabric choice...

  7. I have TNT envy! I need to tweak my 8323 quite a bit (my pattern only goes down to 16; if it was still in print I'd probably move my changes onto a 12).

    The Lola is cute, but I think the Sunny in the French terry would fill the same niche I your wardrobe with a lot less fitting work.

    The Toni is an interesting shape. I have a Sandra Betzina pattern (V1234, I think) with that kind of design. I'm worried that it's a lot of effort to make it up without knowing if it will be flattering, so I keep putting it back in the pattern box.

  8. Ha! I know that feeling. But it's funny how, once you have a few TNTs, you feel envious of those who have LOTS of TNTs :-) I agree with you about the Lola, which is why I bought the Sunny (stay tuned for next post). And you've really called it with the Toni. It's a total crap shoot with that one. I understand why you keep putting your Sandra B one back in the cupboard.

  9. I've been in a dress mood the last while, so I'm going to say one of the dresses! Danni, Tiramisu with extended sleeves, or self-drafted, for reasons I am not sure of even myself :)

    (btw: is the self-drafted one this one?

    1. Yes! Scary when you can find things on my blog that I can't?! I really loathe those photos - because the dress is actually a lot nicer in real life. And I do think that in bright blue it will look less 80s. Um, or not.

    2. well, I knew it was shortly after I started reading your blog and I was terribly impressed that you'd just _created_ a skirt to make a top into a dress :)

      (some of the best dresses look like just nothing when they aren't on a person, don't they?!)

      to be honest it doesn't look that 80s to me! if it were a fitted skirt with a high-spandex-content fabric then oh ya, but in the lovely fabric with the A-line skirt it's relaxed and sophisticated at once :)

    3. In real life it doesn't look so 80s. It's just in the photos!

  10. I remember Thornberry making the Sunni top, and she said that fabric choice was KEY. She recommended something with tons of drape, like slinky or rayon jersey. I wonder if French terry would be too heavy?

    If you want to see the Toni dress on a real person look up marjoriesews on Instagram. She made it about four or five months ago. I remember she remarked that despite her 5'9" height she didn't need to shorten it.

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback - which I'm considering carefully. Will lso look up marjoriesews... Thing about that dress is that I'll probably have to lop off a foot of length :-)