Friday, 21 April 2017

Designer Stitch Eleni Top

Introducing the Eleni Top (Tunic and Dress) by Designer Stitch*.

As usual, there are so many options packed into this pattern. I've made up two tops (the shortest length). But there are also tunic, dress and maxi lengths.

Added to that, there's the option for a flounce at the top.

Sleeve lengths included are short, long, with a flare/ruffle, and peasant style (with elastic at the cuff).

If you're not after a strapless look, there are options for a peasant style, off the shoulder with straps, and modesty panels to provide shoulder coverage.

Finally the pattern also includes options for a belt and neck tie.

I wasn't convinced on the neck tie at first, but it works so beautifully with this style.

You can get a picture of the versatility of this pattern when you have a look at all the wonderful versions sewn up by the tester group. Have a look at the pattern listing for more amazing versions

The multicoloured fabric is from Textile Traders, a crepe chiffon. It's nice a soft and drapey, but holds its shape pretty well while sewing and cutting.  The busy pattern also helps it from looking too see-through.  With such a vibrant fabric, I stuck to a simple view.  This top is a straight size 3 (Designer Stitch has its own size numbers - it avoids confusion between US and Australian sizes, and helps me to let go an any hangups on what size I feel I 'should' be).  For more fitted patterns, I usually size out for my waist to hips, but the loose, flowy style of the top meant that wasn't necessary.

With the pink dots (voile), I had a bit more fun.  The flounce is a shortened version of the one in the pattern, as even though the fabric is pretty drapey, it does hold its shape more than the chiffon.

Can you see the hem I've used there?  After turning under the hem, I made a scalloped (shell stitch) edge.  It's pretty easy to do. Just a matter of mirroring the blind hem stitch, and having the zig-zag bit fall just over the edge of the hem.  The stitch pulls the fabric in at that point, making the scalloped edge.

I wasn't too sure about the off-the-shoulder style at first (especially when trying to do stuff around the house or chase after the kids), but there's a nifty little trick.  I've added elastic across the arm holes (stitched in place in the seam allowance). When you put the top on, you put your arm over the top of the elastic, so it sits in your underarm, and helps to keep the top in place!  Here's a video if you want to see more details.

As usual, the Designer Stitch pattern is well written with grading consistent across the other patterns (I was feeling pretty confident and jumped into my first version without sewing up a muslin (let's call it a wearable muslin).

The pattern includes layers so you can easily see your size(s), and save on paper and ink by only printing the pages that you need.

This is a great pattern if you want to have a go at using lighter weight fabrics - not too many seams, and not too curvy either.  It also looks stunning in a border print.  I haven't added trim to any of mine, but have plans for trim on the sleeves or flounce for future ones.

The pattern is on sale for release (click here). Have a look at the pattern page, and check out all the options and variations the testers have sewn up. Thanks Designer Stitch for another amazing pattern!

* This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I receive a percentage of the pattern price on any purchases.  The opinions, sewing and awesome fabric choices are all my own.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Show your Stoff

Welcome to my stop on the Show you Stoff blog tour. This is where we get to show off some of the amazing patterns put together by Zierstoff Patterns*.  Zierstoff is a German pattern company that has a range of patterns also available in English. And there's also a code for 30% any  purchases from the pattern store.

It was difficult trying to choose what to make - there are so many patterns to choose from (including patterns for children, women and accessories).
I stepped a little out of my comfort zone for the tour, and signed up to sew a jumpsuit. I'd been looking at the trend of jumpsuits over the last year or so, but hadn't been game enough to try one out. I wasn't sure how well this style of garment would suit my body shape (a definite pear). And so, I was a little nervous about this sew - if I stuffed up my fabric choice or sizing it had the potential to go horribly wrong.

But it was worth it. The Henrike Jumpsuit (pattern was provided for the tour by Zierstoff). I'm so thrilled with the finished product.  The fit is great, and it doesn't make me look all short and stumpy.

I must admit that I was nervous about starting this project. I hadn't sewn any Zierstoff patterns before, and I'm often concerned about new things.  Looking at the patterns was a little daunting at first - but when I actually paid attention, it all made sense.  There are pattern files for A4 and for letter paper (as an A4 user, I always find that a nice touch), and the pieces are tiled together with no trim (the edges butting up against one another). There's a couple of files to help you check your printer settings, and I just had to make sure my paper was in straight. It was a lot quicker taping up the pattern without having to trim the pieces.

Based on my measurement I fell into a size 38 for my bust measurement, something a lot smaller for my height - I ended up settling on a 170 for length. The pattern includes a measurement for back of the neck to waist, and there are size charts on the website. The first run was a toile (muslin) in light interlock to check the fit. The pants section was really comfy (and a little long), and the bodice was a little short, so I adjusted the top half to a straight size 38 for the final version.  Taking the time to check out the pattern before cutting into your good fabric can save a lot of heartache (and wedgies).

The pattern stipulates a drapey knit fabric with good stretch.  After sewing up my version in interlock I would add a recommendation of a knit with a decent amount (at least 30% or so) of vertical stretch.  Added to my own requirements in fabric was a print that I would wear, was darker in colour, and would help to elongate my body. I ended up with a DTY Jersey (that's what was on the tag- I'd describe it as a crepe jersey) that contained spandex. I decided combination of florals and lines was a good bet.

The pattern comes together really quickly. It was lots of fun working in knits as most of the recent sews for myself have been in woven. Most of the jumpsuit was sewn up on the overlocker, which helps to speed things along.  The instructions are clearly written, with pictures for each step. There is a good amount of information on how to construct the garment (not too much, not too little).

I ended up overlapping the bodice a little more than indicated in the pattern, to get a bit more coverage. And when I've worn it, I use a small piece of Hollywood Tape (I'm sure it's just double sided tape in a special box) to make sure I don't need to worry about coming adrift (I do this with all my wrap tops).  Instructions on adjusting that fit are included in the pattern.

The pattern uses elastic at the top and bottom of the waistband. I find this helps the garment to keep its structure, and avoids it stretching out over the day.

The critical test for a jumpsuit is "Can you go to the toilet easily?" and the answer is "yes".  The cross over bodice allows you to pull it off your shoulders to take the jumpsuit off (and put it back on again).  This is another reason a degree of vertical stretch is useful, as the band is cut along the grain (vertically), so not much stretch could lead to a bit of shoulder wriggling if you're not careful.  I would recommend having a go at taking the bodice off over your hips before attaching to the pants.

All up I am thrilled with the pattern, and with my new jumpsuit.  I don't know when I have ever had so many compliments about something I've made or worn.  When I wore it out to church, there was a chorus of "Did you make that"s and "It looks great"s.

There's also a children's version of the pattern. It's super cute. And I think the child sizes lend themselves well to using contrast fabric for the neck and waist bands.

Well, thanks for reading through all my thoughts on this pattern (turns out there were quite a few). Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour (there's a list below), and don't forget to use the code "MahlicaDesigns30" for 30% off Zierstoff Sewing Patterns during April 2017.  There is a large range of patterns, for kids, women and accessories

Check out the other stops on the blog tour (links will not be live until tour date)

Monday April 10- Anne-Mari Sews, Inspinration, Tenille’s Thread, Sew Cucio, Embrace Everyday
Tuesday April 11- Musings of A Seamstress, mahlicadesigns, Anna's Heirloom Boutique, Ronda B Handmade, FABulous Home Sewn
Wednesday April 12- Thread and Scissors, Kaleidothought, Idle Sunshine, mahlicadesigns
Thursday April 13- Very Blissful, Sew A Piece of Joy, Zowie Zo, Nina Makes, Thread and Scissors
Friday April 14- Tales of a Tester; Anne-Mari Sews; Bless, by Tone; Life Sew Savory; Needles to Say, Adventures with Bubba and Bug,
Saturday April 15- Sprouting Jube Jube, Musings of A Seamstress, Stitches by Laura; Tea, Dust and Stitches, Anna's Heirloom Boutique, Ronda B Handmade, Glitter in my Coffee

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a pattern after following one of the links I am paid a small commission at no cost to you.

The Henrike pattern was supplied for the purpose of this blog post.

The opinions expressed in this blog post, and rockin' jumpsuit are all my own.