Friday, 27 April 2012

Style Arc Linda pants

After seeing the success that other people were having with the Style Arc Linda pants, I decided to see for myself what all the gushing was about. 

Style Arc is an independent pattern company from Australia, that designs RTW styles, with RTW fit. They also very helpfully include a sample of their recommended fabric with their patterns, so that you have an idea of the weight and stretch of the fabric they suggest if you want to substitute, or if their recommendation is a bit 'lost in translation'.

The Linda pant is a pull-on style most often seen here (and in Australia) made in bengaline, and that is the fabric recommended here.

To keep in the spirit of what was intended, and because frankly, I find them very comfortable, I made mine up in RPL* bengaline which I found on the clearance table at Spotlight for a slightly unbelievable $3 a metre.

The only alteration I made was to add 1cm to the front waist, as that is where my extra waist 'fluff' resides, and shortened them by 3 1/2 cm. For reference I started with a size 16.

Yes, I am standing on the side of my bath!

While I am reasonably happy with the fit, there is still something slightly hinky going on with my crotch seam, which I suspect has more to do with my fluffy tummy than the pattern.
As it is, I can't complain. These essentially fit straight out of the packet, and they are acceptable enough to wear out of the house, though if anyone has an idea on how I might improve the fit, I'm open to ideas.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Jalie 2911 Women's Pullovers

The next Jalie pattern I tried out was 2911, a pattern for Women's pullovers, either with or without a hood.

I made this up for my Mum's birthday, as she mentioned wanting a new lightweight sweater. I found a caramel coloured sweatshirting, that didn't look too heavy and gave it a try.

The instructions were again straightforward with the aid of the diagrams, and this went together easily. 
The only bit that was a bit difficult was getting the neck band in with no puckers. One of the previous reviewers on PR mentioned getting better results when she sewed from the centre back down toward the front, so I gave this a try and was happy with the result.

Not too puckery?!

I am really pleased with the finished result, and my Mum likes it too. I am planning to make one for myself, perhaps in fleece for the winter.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Jalie 2794 Sweetheart Top

This was the first pattern I tried from Jalie, a Canadian pattern company, that I discovered through Pattern Review. I ordered a couple of different patterns, and decided to try this one first as it currently has 80+ reviews!

I chose a pink and black stripe synthetic, probably polyester, and used a black cotton/lycra for the bands around the neckline. I made a straight size Z, as Jalie recommend you choose your size based on your full bust measurement.
It went together easily, as the instructions while a bit sparse also include step by step diagrams which are very clear. The only change I made was to sew the sleeve hems before I did the seams, as the sleeve wouldn't fit around my free arm very well once sewn.
A good representation of the colour

Unfortunately the neck and shoulder area was quite loose, and I ended up having to wear a tank tee under it to cover my bra straps, and feel comfortable wearing it.
Also, having been through the wash just twice (in a lingerie bag), the black parts of the fabric unravelled and the top had big slits where the black had 'washed' out. It ended up in the bin, as there wasn't even any salvageable fabric left!

After going back to PR for advice I made another attempt, this time using a size X (my high bust measurement) through the shoulders and armscye, and then a size Z from armscye down. I also used a better fabric, this time an ITY knit, again with the cotton/lycra bands. Again I sewed the sleeve hems first, and I also stretched the elastic at the bust a little more to get a bit of extra gathering.

Overall, I am much happier with the fit of this version. The neckline sits against my chest better with no gaping, and no bra strap flashing. The smaller size resulted in the neckline being raised, and also the shoulder seams being closer together, essentially a smaller neckline 'square'.

So far, the top has gone through the wash with no signs of spontaneous combustion too.