Monday, January 23, 2017

Pattern Review - McCalls 8193 One-piece Swimsuit

Lisa's fantastic swimsuit make last year and my daughter's constant requests for bikinis and simple one-pieces got me thinking that it was time to dive back in and try out some swimwear sewing. It's been a really long time since I've sewn swimwear (not since my fashion college days), and I did remember enjoying the process, but hadn't tried it again since then. 
Brimming with swimwear ideas and inspired by some of the great patterns that are currently out there, it was finally time to make up some of the lovely nylon lycras from our current and past swimwear collections that I've had in my stash, 
I found McCalls 8193 (printed 1996) in an op shop a while back. It's a great classic one-piece style featuring a few neckline and strap variations. Back in the 90s, the spaghetti strap one-piece was one of my all time favourite styles so this was the perfect pattern to get me back into swimwear sewing.
I decided to make a toile to check the fit and practise my construction and seam finish. Since swimwear takes up very little fabric, I had enough fabric to make the toile as well. I made some fit adjustments on the body, crotch width and leg and am glad I did. The practise with the elastic distribution helped in my second make and the pattern definitely needed some adjustments to bring it into 2017.
I really enjoyed the process of sewing this. It made for a nice change from sewing my regular makes and, even though I still think the bust area sits too high on the body, I'm pretty pleased with the end result. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Modified Linen/Liberty Alice Top

I often think about making little changes to our existing patterns, constantly inspired by styles and detail finishes I see in RTW garments. It's a fun, easy way to alter a TNT pattern for a little variety. 
Since releasing our Alice Top pattern two years ago, I've thought about modifying the armhole band  to both compliment the yoke and give another effect to the shoulder line. The latest arrival of Liberty prints, in particular this Pointillism Blue, prompted me to finally give it a try.
I combined the print with a co-ordinating plain 100% linen Hartford Denim, adding contrast orange topstitching detail to compliment the pops of colour in the Liberty print.

Here's how I modified the armhole bands (click on images to enlarge):
A seamline was added to the original armhole band to create an upper armhole band and lower armhole band, eliminating the shoulder seam by overlapping the original pattern piece at the armhole seam. This way the new upper armhole band covers both front and the back. The upper armhole band is cut x 2 pairs and the lower armhole band is cut x 4 pairs.
Lastly, contrast topstitching (similar to a detail on the Kate Top pattern) was sewn in two stages -  around the outer edges of the upper armhole bands and around the lower bodice 1/4" in from the edge. First a row of topstitching is sewn on the machine in matching blue thread (set on a longer stitch length e.g.4), then hand sewing with one strand of contrast topstitching thread over every second stitch. The machine stitching helps to give an even guide for the hand sewing stage.

In addition to being a great scrap buster, this is such a simple alteration and the possibilities are endless for combining embroidered, printed and textured fabrics with plains.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pattern Review - Vogue 1515

For those of you who enquired about Eva's dress from yesterday's Instagram post, here are more images along with the pattern details.

The pattern used for the dress was a pull-over ruffle necked top from Vogue 1515, extended into a dress with side pockets. Eva used a 100% cotton lawn (now sold out), a similar print and weight is our latest Liberty Of London Edenham Black.  Eva combined crisp black cotton poplin for the contrast neck ruffle facing which she interfaced for added structure. The black cotton is also used for contrast pocket bags, a simple touch that complements the floral print and best of all emphasises the ruffled neck detail beautifully.

The only change Eva made to the pattern was the construction for the ruffled neck and it's elasticised detail . Instead of the method suggested in the pattern instructions, Eva opted for a simpler and neater method of sewing two rows of stitching to create the casing tunnel between the outer neck ruffle and neck ruffle facing.

Another lovely version is this top (above) made as per the pattern. Eva used a woven navy/off white reversible spot jacquard Stitched On Spot (sold out), and used the reverse side for a co-ordinating slim skirt. A similar jacquard is our Pyramid Lane or About The Curve, a perfect weight to show off the ruffled neck and boxy shape. Other suitable fabric suggested for this top is silk duppion, just perfect for stunning eveningwear version!  

Thanks again for the inspiration Eva. We always love your makes x

Friday, December 23, 2016

Ruby with a Ruffle

Here's my final sew for 2016 - a ruffled Ruby. Inspiration for this dress came via something similar I saw in a shop. Ok, it's basically a direct copy. Also, dead easy and supremely comfortable.
Whilst I normally have a solid aversion to this chambray shade of blue, the inspiration dress was a light blue and when I tried it on, I didn't feel like I was wearing my school uniform at all. Funny that.
So here are the details. The fabric is our Bleached Chambray. I used our Ruby Dress pattern and shortened it by 3cm. The gathered ruffle is made up of two pieces (front and back), each measuring 140cm x 32cm. And because any option to avoid hemming is always a good one (and also inspired by this modified Ruby), I used the lovely fringed selvedge at the bottom of the hem.

I'm 160cm (5' 3"), so keep this in mind if you're taller/shorter and want to end up with a similarly finished length.
Because not having them would've just made me sad, I added pockets with some stashed Liberty on one side. I deliberately positioned them a bit lower so that when I put my hands in them, I don't get any pocket drag.
This'll be our last post for 2016 while we take a little blogging break. We'll still be active over on Instagram so be sure to follow us over there and, rest assured, we've got some exciting new patterns and plans for 2017 which we'll be working on.

On behalf of Colette and the entire team at Tessuti, we'd like to thank you for all your follows, reads, comments and support. Have a happy and safe one, and we look forward to catching up with you again in the new year x
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Friday, December 9, 2016

Vogue 8723 and a journey to a graduation dress

So the kid is about to finish primary school and, as it goes, those years have flown by with breathtaking speed. A couple of months ago, I put in an oh-so casual query as to whether or not she'd like me to make her a dress for the school graduation. You know, like, #likenobigdeal but hey, if you like I can make you something to wear...? The initial response was a polite thanks-but-no-thanks.
And then we went shopping. This could be the perfect segue for an angry rant on some of the crazy inappropriate tween clothing out there but, I figure if they're selling that stuff, there must be a market for it. But it's not my market, I can't go there and my kid can't either. And on the plus side, guess who then realised that maybe mum sewing her a dress wasn't such a bad idea after all...?
She was armed with a rough idea of what she wanted based on a dress she wore to a formal event a few years back. The design brief was pretty simple - white, fitted bodice, full skirt and just above the knee. Oh, and preferably a square neckline. I showed her this dress and the accompanying pattern - Vogue 8723 - and she tried mine on. Even though it swam on her, I was able to do enough pinning and bulldog clipping to give her a clearer idea of what it would look like and got the two thumbs up to proceed *silent fist pump*.  I brought home a couple of fabric samples and she eventually settled on this gorgeous cotton broderie anglaise, Zenith White.  Keeping with the circular theme, I chose an embroidered cotton spot for the lining, Little Swiss Dot (available all stores). 
I started out by making a calico because nailing this dress is all about nailing the bodice. Being an adult pattern, the smallest size and cup was still too big for her. Fortunately, all the adjustments were fairly straightforward and to get the fit, I only had to remove some of the bodice length (across the bust), double the side seam allowances and shorten the bodice length. I also dropped the neckline a couple of centimetres. For the straps, I used a white grosgrain ribbon and chose a slighter narrower width to accomodate her smaller shoulders.
There's a healthy amount of gathering in this dress and because I didn't want it to be too bulky with all that embroidery, I used the wide selvedge for gathering.

I also gathered the skirt lining but reduced the pattern piece width by about a quarter, again to eliminate bulk around the waistline. Oh, and I removed the pockets too. 
As a finishing touch, I embroidered a small something into the lining. It started with just a small heart and I then decided to add the 2-1-6 so that we never forget what this dress was about and the occasion it was made for. But I'm pretty sure we never would anyway...
Did she like it? She loved it. So much so that she even said I could make her Year 12 graduation dress. OK, but slow down kid. And thanks for asking xx
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Friday, November 18, 2016

NEW :: Nina Pant Pattern

Meet our latest pattern - the Nina PantThis classic, slim, tapered leg pant has a faced waistline that sits on the lower waist. Design features include flat front, back darts, stitched down facing, side invisible zipper and twin-needle finished wide hem with side splits. 


Suitable fabrics for the Nina Pant are firm one-way stretch woven fabrics, ideally cotton/elastane. From our new and current Italian collection, we highly recommend:
and more stretch cottons here (check description for pant recommendation).
Frankie Top in Mimasu Black Line and Nina Pant in Stretch Cotton Black
Nina looks great worn with t-shirts, jumpers and tops (like Frankie, IslaRuby, Kate, Ola and Mandy) and our Helga, Jac and Silva shirt patterns too. Jane (below) paired hers with a classic white shirt. Her Nina's are made up in our Bamboozled cotton/elastane and she shortened them by an extra hem length.
Nina Pant in Bamboozled stretch cotton
The Nina Pant comes in (Australian) sizes 6-16 and is now available in both hardcopy and PDF copy shop/print-at-home version.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Pant Love :: New Look 6459

Last year, my pant pattern crush was ALL about Butterick 6178 which I blogged here and here. For me, one clear benchmark of a Pattern Winner (aside from multiple makes, obvs) is whether or not I can recall the pattern number by heart. I'm not alone here, am I? And though I still (and probably always will) love you B6178, it's time to step aside and make way for New Look 6459.
One make and she's already settled herself into the (now very) limited brain space reserved for numbers and passwords.  Surely that MUST be saying something...
You guys, these pants are so good. I bought and filed the pattern away when I first pinned it back in May and then proceeded to watch some really lovely versions crop up all over the tempting interwebs  - Erica B, Sophie, Christy and Lindsey.
What initially drew me to the pattern was the slightly dressier appearance of the pant style. Fact is, you can dress it up or down with your fabric choice and the addition (or not) of a crease. Also...POCKETS!
For this pair I went with linen in our Hartford Vicuna. It's a most delicious, nutty, cinnamon shade that goes with all my perennial wardrobe colour faves - black, white, navy, grey and khaki. I made a straight size 10 with no alterations. Like the pattern cover image, I wanted them to be more crop pant than culotte, so for my 160cm/5'3" height I've given them a pretty deep 5.5cm hem.

As is my general (and quicker) preference, I finished the invisible zip at the top of the waistband. That's really just my usual (and slightly inaccurate) waistband MO so I can avoid sewing on any kind of hook closure (if you do this, don't forget to get a slightly longer zip than the pattern recommendation). You're welcome for that little tip.
Just as an aside, the black top that I'm wearing here is a pattern sample that we've ben playing around with. If it takes your fancy and is something you'd like to see us release, leave a comment here (or over on Instagram) as we'd love to know your thoughts.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NEW :: Isla Top Pattern

Meet our latest pattern - the Isla TopThis stylish jersey top sits firm on the hips and features a back yoke, dolman sleeves and wide neckline with finished neck band. The simple design has only three pattern pieces making this a quick, satisfying sew and a great trans-seasonal wardrobe staple. There are no shoulder seams as the front pattern piece extends over to form the back yolk. 
With this loose and easy style, Isla makes the perfect travel top. Suitable fabrics for the pattern include good quality lightweight viscose/elastane, cotton/elastane, wool/elastane or poly/elastane jersey. Click here to see our full printed range.
Isla Top in Hashtag jersey (Navy due back in stock soon)
The Isla Top Pattern is now available in both hardcopy and PDF print-at-home/actual size copy shop versions with (Australian) sizes XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL all included. 
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