Pattern Hack, Sewing

Lady Skater Two Ways : A Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress Pattern Review

19241652241_a162db60d6_k_Fotor_Collage

IPM 2015 is drawing to a close, what a ride it’s been! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the constant stream of indie pattern inspiration from The Monthly Stitch this past few weeks and will definitely miss it when it’s over!

My last entry for Indie Pattern Month 2015 is the lady skater pattern done two ways – one as a boatneck peplum top and the other as a drapey lady skater dress. I’ve been eyeing this pattern from Kitschy Coo for over 6 months now, and IPM gave me the push I needed to finally make it up! It’s such a customisable design and so similar to some of my favourite RTW dresses, I knew that I could definitely stand to benefit from making a ton of these (plus it’s an easy and quick make too!)

20150628-IMG_9267

20150628-IMG_9279

20150628-IMG_9296

The peplum top was very much intended to be a wearable muslin. I raised the neckline by 15cm and narrowed the shoulders to 4 cm based on the recommendations in this post, but clearly I’m of a different shape from the original writer because the neckline was much much too high on me! (It may have something to do with my lack of boobage…) I ended up cutting off the finished collar altogether and rebinding it with a neckline binding that was half the width of the original pattern piece. It’s wearable as it is right now, but I think I will go back and cut the neckline a little lower again – it does feel a bit like I’m getting strangled sometimes… I will also definitely rebind the neckline again, there’s a little bit of puckering going on there, though not enough to stop me wearing it out!

20150628-IMG_9234

20150628-IMG_9242

20150628-IMG_9243

I’ve always had a problem with peplums on my pear shape. I feel that they only serve to accentuate my big hips as they flare right at the largest point of my lower body! This version, however, I can definitely get behind. For some reason, I feel that this top actually does work for me. It may be a combination of the shortened waist (by 2″) and the reduced flare in the half circle skirt (I used the skirt pattern as is, just shortening it to a length of 9″), but no matter the reason I’m quite loving it! I’ve worn it out (in public, imagine that!) twice already, once with shorts to a dinner date and another time to work with jeans and heels on casual Friday. I can definitely envisage myself wearing this a whole lot more once I fix the neckline issues.

20150628-IMG_9251

TLDR;

Pattern: Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater Dress (Cap sleeve version)

Size made: Size 2 at bust grading out to size 4 at waist

Fabric used: Black ITY jersey from Spotlight

Alterations made:

– Shortened bodice length by 2″

– Raised neckline

– Narrowed shoulders to 4″

– Shortened skirt to 9″ to make a peplum top

20150628-IMG_9143

20150628-IMG_9132

20150628-IMG_9123

To me, this lovely drapey dress was the main attraction. It was my first time working with rayon jersey, and I did face a lot of difficulty during the sewing process because of how light and slightly slippery it was!

The advantage of using such a light fabric was that I didn’t need to insert clear elastic into the waist seam in order to the support the skirt. I did attempt to at first, but as I didn’t have clear elastic (or at least not the flat kind) and regular braided elastic caused the fabric to warp at the waistline, I just decided to leave it out altogether.

20150628-IMG_9086

20150628-IMG_9106

20150628-IMG_9107

20150628-IMG_9116

This dress is wonderfully swishy and just the right length for me after shortening the bodice by 2″. The neckline on this version is raised as well, but only by 2″, and the shoulders have been left the same width as the pattern piece. The sleeves have also been lengthened by about 1.5″ to make a short sleeve rather than cap sleeve. On hindsight, I should have left the sleeve a little shorter as the print of this dress tends to be a little overwhelming in large doses, but I’m glad I tested out this sleeve length for future reference. Plus it’s a dream to wear, and a perfect length for church and for work #winning

TLDR;

Pattern: Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater Dress (Cap sleeve version lengthened)

Size made: Size 2 at bust grading out to size 4 at waist

Fabric: Rayon Jersey from Sew Many Knits

Alterations made:

– Shortened bodice length by 2″

– Raised scoop neckline by 2″

– Lengthened sleeves by 1.5″

20150628-IMG_9074

20150628-IMG_9127

All in all, I really like what I’ve ended up with! A peplum top that I actually think I look good in (though I will probably love it loads more once I nail down that elusive boatneck neckline) and a wonderfully draped skater dress perfect for summer and big-eating days!

I have a lovely length of Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery knit and I’m wondering whether to make that up as a Lady Skater dress (with a round neck / boat neck)  or as a Christine Haynes Marianne dress. I would love to hear what you guys think!

Standard
Pattern Review, Sewing

All Wrapped Up : Papercut Patterns Coppelia Cardigan review

I’ve been a lean mean garment churning machine this past month! In honour of the 3rd week of Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch, I’m back with another new make from a new-to-me pattern designer – Papercut Patterns!

20150614-IMG_9010

20150614-IMG_9046

I first noticed Papercut Patterns a while ago (I mean, who could miss them, they’ve had quite a few blogger crazes running for their patterns over the last few years – Soma Swimsuit, Ooh La Leggings, Rigel Bomber and who can forget? The ever-popular Clover Dress) but never got round to buying one of their patterns because they seemed a tad out of my budget, even with the free shipping. So when Papercut Patterns offered a storewide discount in honour of the Queen’s birthday this year, I simply couldn’t say no. I snagged myself copies of the Coppelia cardy and the Clover dress straightaway, though I wish I had gotten myself more of their patterns now!

After seeing all the gorgeous iterations of Coppelia cardigans out there, I was dying to get one of my own. I loved Elizabeth’s merino ones  (the frequency with which she wore these things during me-made-may had me having serious cardigan envy!) and Amanda’s purple version, but it was really Lauren of Lladybird’s four (yes, FOUR) coppelia cardys that really convinced me that it could have a place in my wardrobe. Look at her in that bright red merino coppelia with her hair up and looking all classy and shit – I could totally use some extra glam over here!

20150614-IMG_8997

20150614-IMG_9018

The only thing that bothered me was that the Coppelia is really meant to be worn done up (or else it would just be a very strangely shaped shrug with too long waist ties) and I almost never wear cardigans worn up – it’s just way too hot over here on the equator! I really wanted my version of this pattern to be wearable as a top and to be short sleeved so that I could wear it as an everyday office staple – this meant that there could be no gaping, it had to be secure (wardrobe malfunctions in the office are a big no-no) and it had to be comfy.

The result? This beauty. I paired it with my Lindy Petal Skirt to show you what a classy little number it could be – this pairing also makes me look much more shapely than I actually am, aren’t wraps amazing?

20150614-IMG_9002

20150614-IMG_9006

20150614-IMG_8993

Fabric

I am incredibly pleased with this make, though it does seem a little too formal for the office and due to the print can basically only be worn with plain dark neutrals. As this was very much a test garment, and because reviews seemed to indicate that the stretchier a fabric was the less gaping was likely to occur, I opted to make it up in a stash polyester jersey that I had gotten from the bargain bin of a shop in Hong Kong.

Pattern

This pattern ticks all my boxes and it was a quick and easy make to boot! Even though my measurements put me at an XXS for the bust and XS for the waist and hip, I made a straight XXS after reading a bunch of reviews that said that the pattern ran large.

The only difficulty I had was a bit of confusion relating to how to finish the neckline binding. In the pattern instructions, it says that excess of the neckline binding is to be snipped off if it’s too long for the front wrap bodices. My confusion was how the neckline binding was to be finished – was it meant to be attached to the waist ties (i.e. cut at an angle such that the bottom edge of the front bodice is in a continuous line with the neckline binding) or finished separately? In the end, I went with the former method and I think I got it right, it was tricky though figuring out how much excess to snip off and at what angle the excess needed to be removed.

20150614-IMG_8995

20150614-IMG_9036

Alterations

As for the sleeves, this was a simple alteration of taking 9 5/8″ off the sleeve, folding up the raw edge by 1cm and hemming it. I opted not to use cuffs on this version.

Well, that’s all from me this week – but I do have a backlog of new makes to show you all, a real first for me! So how about it, do you like wraps or hate them? Is it actually possible to wear the Coppelia undone? Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear from you in the comments box below!

Standard
Pattern Hack, Sewing

Casual Co-ordinates : Eucalypt Tank and Angelia Shorts

20150614-IMG_8924

20150614-IMG_8927

Hey y’all! I’m so pleased to have had the chance to take part in the first challenge of Indie Pattern Month 2015 over on The Monthly Stitch, and by some miracle I actually won 2nd place! Thanks to all who voted, and I’m so glad that you liked my wild and whimsical Flora dress.

This week I’m back again (and just in the nick of time!) for the Separates competition with a cropped Eucalypt Tank, and a little sneak peek of a not-yet-released pattern from Itch to Stitch – the Angelia shorts! Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Eucalypt Tank pattern by Megan Nielsen

If you’ve been following my sewing journey for a while you’d have remembered my first Eucalypt Tank made out of some cheap Aztec print cotton that I scored from the bargain bin in Chinatown (in Singapore). If you know me in real life, you’d probably have seen me wearing it, oh, just about every other weekend or so. It is by far the best and closest fitting woven tank top or shell top I own, even if the material is kind of stiff and does feel a little too tight around the arm holes. So when I decided to whip up a cropped tank, it was a no brainer that the Eucalypt pattern was the one for me. (It also helped that Holly made this adorable crop top and midi skirt set using the Eucalypt pattern last year and I’ve been dying for one of my own ever since.)

20150614-IMG_8951-2

20150614-IMG_8920

This is an incredibly simple pattern with great results – only 2 pattern pieces,front and back! Plus bias binding strips if you aren’t using store-bought ones. The instructions are very simple to follow. This was one of my very first makes that I attempted before knowing very much about sewing – I remember reading about french seams months later and realising that I had already done them before just by following the instructions in this pattern! If that’s not a sign of clear directions, I don’t know what is.

20150614-IMG_8945-2

I wish I could give you a bit more details on how I hacked the pattern, but in all honesty, I just winged it. I put on my first Eucalypt and measured how much I wanted to take off from the hemline – this length is about 3 fingers above my navel. I also had a little problem because my eyelet fabric was scalloped, and I wanted to keep the beautiful selvedge as my hem. This meant that I had to even out the curved hem of the Eucalypt and make it straight all the way around instead. If I remember correctly, what I ended up doing was measuring 10cm up from the hem of the side seam, and drawing a perpendicular line from that point, straight across both the front and back pattern pieces. I left the top unlined in spite of the eyelets because they were too small and sparse to be revealing.  I also raised the neckline and armsyces, but ended up wearing the top back to front as I liked the high neckline in the front and the scooped neck at the back instead. I can’t tell the difference – can you?

20150614-IMG_8965-2

Tldr;

Pattern: Megan Nielsen’s Eucalypt Tank 

Size made: XS at the shoulders and bust, grading to a S at the waist

Alterations made: Raised the neckline and armscyes, cropped length, evened out the hemline

Fabric and Notions: Less than a metre of black cotton eyelet fabric with a scalloped hem and store-bought black bias binding 

Itch to Stitch Angelia Shorts 

This pair of nautical shorts was a tester version I made as part of Kennis’ testing process for her upcoming release – the Angelia Shorts Pattern. I was provided the tester version of this pattern free from Kennis for testing purposes, and she’s kindly agreed to let me use them for the Separates challenge! (Thanks Kennis! On a side note, all opinions on this pattern are completely my own.) This is the view A version of the shorts, ie. the simplest version sans pockets or belt loops. There are two other version of the Angelia that include all the bells and whistles – coin pouches, tabs, cuffs, patch pockets and welt pockets – you name it, it’s probably somewhere in the pattern. If you would like to be kept posted on when this pattern is being released, be sure to sign up to the Itch to Stitch group on Facebook for updates.

20150614-IMG_8976-2

20150614-IMG_8975-2

I won’t go into too much detail about the pattern as yet, as I’m planning to save that for a later post after the pattern has launched. But I WILL say that this pattern is completely manageable for a beginner or a beginner+, it’s my first ever pair of shorts myself! You may notice that my fly zip is kind of messy – that’s completely my fault as I misunderstood the instructions. I did raise this up to Kennis and she was very quick in taking in my feedback – from what I understand that step will be clarified in the final version of the pattern. If you’ve ever made up an Itch to Stitch pattern, you’ll be familiar with how comprehensive the instructions are. If you haven’t, I would strongly strongly encourage you to get the free Lindy Petal Skirt pattern and see for yourself!

20150614-IMG_8939

20150614-IMG_8936

Pattern: Itch to Stitch Angelia Shorts pattern, view A (not yet released) 

Size made: Size 4

Fabric and notions: Some kind of cornflower blue printed cotton with a waffle-like texture, a 7″ regular zip and a hook and eye

I can’t wait to get some wear out of both these pieces – either separately or together! I would have liked to make the crop top a little shorter to suit the high waist of the shorts, but I wanted a versatile piece that could be worn with my mid to low rise jeans and shorts as well.

What summer sewing are you guys embarking on? All the shorts, sundresses, maxi skirts and bikinis popping up on the blogosphere have me dying to ditch my work clothes plans and make holiday outfits galore!

Standard
Sewing

Flora in the Wild

17689412504_7788f8225e_o_Fotor

So with the outfit-of-the-day frenzy that is Me-Made-May done and dusted, we’ve officially (as of yesterday) moved into Indie Pattern Month and all the competitions that come with it! Indie  Pattern Month is an annual month of competitions centred on, you guessed it, indie patterns and is organised by The Monthly Stitch. To enter, you sew up a garment in line with the rules and post about it over on The Monthly Stitch blog – click here to see my entry!

20150531-IMG_8720

20150531-IMG_8612

20150531-IMG_8694

20150531-IMG_8579

20150531-IMG_8825

20150531-IMG_8603-2_Fotor_Collage

The By Hand London Flora dress has been on my to-sew list since I first started sewing – that’s almost a whole year ago! So when I decided to enter in the dresses competition, it HAD to be the Flora. This is by far my most involved garment to date and is definitely my current favourite – it’s got weird and wonderful Alice in Wonderland-ish paisley flowers, who can resist that?? To match the whimsical nature of the print, I decided that the futuristic Gardens by the Bay in Singapore would be the best place to photograph it, amidst the strange and exotic plants of the Cloud Forest dome. But enough of the chattering from me, keep on reading to find out all the juicy sewing-related details!

20150531-IMG_8707

20150531-IMG_8755

20150531-IMG_8697

20150531-IMG_8653

The Pattern

By Hand London’s Flora Dress (Tank bodice with hi-lo circle skirt)

I found the pattern instructions very easy to follow, and coupled with the sew-along, is extremely manageable for a beginner sewist! The only pain was finishing the hem of the voluminous circle skirt – I used my rolled hem foot and even then it took ages (not to mention it got a little tricky at the side seams and centre back seams). Other than that, the construction went very quickly, even having to make slight fit adjustments to fix neckline gaping issues.

20150531-IMG_8801

20150531-IMG_8742-2

20150531-IMG_8729

I also loved the gentle shaping given by the knife pleats in the front and the box pleats in the back – I didn’t realise it at first, but a friend asked if the “wavy” effect of the skirt hem was intentional, and it dawned on me that it was due to the shaping from the pleats! (Rather an unimpressive revelation to have, but there it is)

20150531-IMG_8732

Adjustments made

– Small Bust Adjustment – I found BHL’s tutorial in their sew-along really helpful!

– Shortened the centre back of the skirt by 3 1/4″ and smoothed out the curve gradient. I still found the skirt a bit too long in the back and the curve gradient a tad too severe for casual wear, I would probably shorten the skirt a further 2″ the next time or try out the other skirt option.

– Removed 2″ total from the back neckline where there was gaping. On my next make of this pattern I’ll be sure to remove a total of 1″ from the front neckline as well.

20150531-IMG_8723

20150531-IMG_8731

Fabric & Notions

Purple paisley lightweight cotton (only slightly heavier than voile), bought from Hong Kong for a mere S$5 (US$3.70) a metre! #winning

White voile for the bodice and a 22″ cream invisible zipper

I had actually bought a similar liberty-esque purple paisley print from Goldhawk Road (and was told that it was a William Morris – I still don’t know if the shopkeeper was telling the truth as the selvedge doesn’t mention it) with the intention to use that for a Flora instead. But lo and behold when I saw this alternative in a dingy Hong Kong roadside fabric store, I decided I liked vibrancy of this print a little more and snapped up 3m of this right away.

20150531-IMG_8803

20150531-IMG_8710

20150531-IMG_8629

I got such a humongous kick out of finally making up this dress – thank you Indie Pattern Month for the huge shove up my behind I needed to do it! Am really looking forward to showing a few more of my entries this coming month and fingers crossed I’ll have time to finish them all! Wish me luck!

Standard
Me Made May, Styling

Me-Made-May 2015: Days 25 – 31

… And just like that, all 31 days of May have gone by, and with it a whole month of celebrating me-made clothing! This week saw me keeping to my pledge (well, for the most part) and wearing at least one me-made garment a day for 6 out of the 7 days of the week.

Monday, 25 May 2015

A repeat of my Lindy petal skirt on Monday, I didn’t manage to get a picture of it as I was running late and… I had worn the exact same outfit pairing a couple of days before so I wasn’t too fussed about documenting it.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

I whipped out my denim pleated pencil skirt for one more last hurrah before the end of the month and paired it with a black RTW shell top. (I really need to start making more of these generic tops)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Way back in September last year, I sewed up a wearable muslin of By Hand London’s Sabrina dress, and due to all the fitting problems I had with it, I ended up hacking a lot of it up. (I was also a little too intimidated to attempt to remake the full dress pattern again – if you’ve been a regular reader, you’d have seen my hack of the Sabrina dress into a crop top here and here.)

The result is this dress I wore on Thursday, it’s got princess seams that are part of the pattern(still a bit too big in the bust) and a waistline seam that isn’t (from when I removed length from the bodice). It’s wearable, but it’s not my favourite because of the fit and the crummy $2/m fabric I used to make it. I can’t wait to get round to making a proper version of this dress so I can upcycle / bin this one!

That being said, if anyone has any tips from removing bodice length from a princess-seamed dress with no waist seam, PLEASE share them!! I would love to find out how best I should go about doing this!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Fridays at my office are casual business wear, and since I was already in a holiday mood for the long Vesak day weekend, I decided it was time to bring out the party workwear – the Itch to Stitch Emily Culottes. I mostly resisted wearing my pair earlier on in the month because I had gotten it into my head that the broadcloth I had used tended to crumple very easily (and crisply) and would leave lots of butt creases on my behind – a big no-no for client meetings!

As with the Sabrina muslin I wore on Thursday, it seems that it was all in my head (I tend to do that a lot). By the time evening rolled around I had realised that the fabric wasn’t creasing as crisply as I remembered and that any wrinkles that set in were quite soft and looked just like they were worn in from a day of wear. These culottes will definitely be joining my work wardrobe rotation!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Back to the good ol’ chevron skirt for the 2nd last day of MMM, plus a bright hot pink blouse for good measure. I guess my dog got sick of me wearing the chevron skirt because she’s clearly not impressed with it…

Sunday, 31 May 2015

This By Hand London Flora dress has been one of those projects that I started 3 weeks ago but has been left sitting on my sewing table while life caught up with me. But in view of the impending Indie Pattern Month and the indie dress pattern competition running in the first week, I took some time out to finish it off yesterday and this morning, and promptly wore it to church not more than 15 minutes after I had finished pressing it.

I’ll have a post with more information on the Flora dress coming up tomorrow (plus an entry to the Dresses category of Indie Pattern Month) so be sure to come by tomorrow if you’ll like to read about that!

As a bonus, I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon in my brand new Flora taking in one of Singapore’s best attractions like a tourist – the two conservatories at Gardens by the Bay. Here are some iPhone snaps to entice you guys to come visit my sunny (and very, very humid) island!

All in all, I’m really glad I took the time to participate in Me Made May this year! (Thanks Zo!) I’ve gotten to meet some really lovely people both here and on instagram through MMM and have learnt a lot about my style and preferences. Here are my biggest take-aways that I will definitely be keeping in mind when I choose my next sewing projects:

1. I NEED more white button-up shirts and generic black A-line or pencil skirts for work. I have only one court-appropriate me-made garment (a black skirt)!

2. More tops! Some shell tops would be great and suitable for both work and casual wear – I’m thinking the Sewaholic Pendrell pattern view C? Also I could benefit from a smart looking cardigan / blazer that is comfortable for long hours in the office – the Grainline Morris blazer in black ponte knit anyone?

3. More dresses! I have way too many skirts, it’s time to make some dresses!

4. Sew all the knits – this month I fell in love with knit garments and how easy they are to whip up! There are a couple of Kitchy Coo Lady Skaters in my future, you can count on it!

PS. Am I the only one who has been buying patterns left right and centre? With all the discounts going on for Indie Pattern Month, new release sales and Memorial Day / Queen’s Birthday sales, I’ve found myself buying and researching new patterns every other hour! I’m currently deciding between True Bias’ Hudsons and Named’s Alexandria Peg Leg Trousers for a pair of woven slimline trousers for casual wear – if anyone has any input / recommendations for that do drop me a comment below!

Standard