Monday, 28 November 2016

Style Arc Marilyn Dress

If you have been following me on IG you would know that I planned to make Vogue 8945 for my work Christmas function. Well, I chickened out at the last minute because time was running out and I was not sure how the Vogue pattern would fit. The Marilyn Dress by Style Arc caught my attention, and I know Style Arc size 12 usually fits me quite well without needing alteration. So plans were changed.

Style Arc Marilyn Dress

This simple dress is made special by the lovely split sleeve and ties and the elegant V neckline. There are two V necklines to choose from and I went with the lower one. It is a loose and gentle A line shape and is easy to wear.

I used a rayon chirramon from Spotlight which had the perfect drape for this style. The fabric behaved very well and I had no trouble sewing with it. I used a microtex needle (size 70) in my machine and a walking foot. It pressed beautifully and doesn't crease too badly, like some rayon's can do.

I felt great wearing this dress. It was comfortable and felt very elegant and I love the colour of this fabric. The only alteration I made was to lengthen it by 3cm.

The split sleeve makes this simple dress quite special. I have seen a couple of versions out there that have used a contrasting sleeve lining which looks fantastic. I already have a few ideas for future versions.

We had a great night out at a Carnival themed party at Fairground Follies and hubby wore a shirt I had made him too.

Happy Sewing

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Style Arc Marita Knit Dress #2

Style Arc Marita Knit Dress
I have revisited the Style Arc Marita Knit Dress. You can see my first one here made in a printed ponte.

Great easy to wear knit dress
Style Arc Marita Knit Dress

This time I used the suggested fabric ...a two way stretch knit jersey. This fabric is from Knitwit. I cut a size 12 and added an extra 1cm to the side seams below the arm holes. I didn't want the dress to be too clingy.

The fit turned out much better than my first one. It's amazing how using the suggested fabric works so much better. Initially I thought I would run the stripes vertically, as I thought they would be more slimming that way, but then I realised the most stretch ran along the stripes so I would have to run them horizontally. I was very mindful of this when cutting out and I tried to have the darkest stripe positioned around my waist. Unfortunately the mauve stripe is not in the most flattering position.

I am very happy with the fit at the back. I tried to match the stripes at the side seams but they look a little off due to the irregular size of the stripes. They are not a constant width and sort of blend into each other. The sleeve stripes matched up quite well with the body of the dress.

The jersey sits much better than the ponte, but I do find myself fiddling with the cowl a bit. I do like the interesting twist at the waist and I like the way the stripes have changed direction on the front bodice area.

The high back collar is not interfaced and it does collapse a bit in the jersey. It might be worthwhile interfacing this bit to add a bit of structure.

This dress does show off any lumps and bumps but it is very comfortable. I wore it to work with a black cardigan and felt good all day. This is my favourite sort of work dress as it does not require ironing. It would make an ideal travel dress too. It is a quick sew but I don't know about making it in an hour, as it states on the website. I cut this out and sewed it up on a Sunday afternoon and was finished before dinner and I am a slow sewer so I was very pleased with that.

Happy Sewing

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Style Arc Adeline Dress (aka The Recovery Dress)

Style Arc Adeline Dress
Sewing has taken a back seat over the last couple of months as I have had some serious health issues to deal with which I will share at the end of this post if you are interested*. And now, onto the Adeline Dress, a recent pattern release from Style Arc which I sewed up during my recovery.

Style Arc Adeline Dress

I have been a bit of a rebel and used a textured silk cotton knit from Knitwit in an olive green, (this colour has sold out but other colours are available), when the recommended fabric was a woven. I thought this would work because it has a low stretch factor and a nice drape.

These photos were taken after the dress had been worn all day at work, hense the wrinkles. The Adeline dress is a little longer than I expected, but I quite like it. The hem is finished with a facing and I did find it a little restrictive and it could perhaps benefit from a centre back vent or split. I may incorporate this in the next one. 

You can see the high/low hemline in the photo above. This is quite fashionable at the moment, but I'm not sure I'm a huge fan. I think this dress would look just as good with a level hem line.

The shoulder seams were stabilised with some cotton tape to stop them stretching out, as I was using a knit fabric. The neckline and hemline were finished with a facing which was then top stitched to keep it in place, but also adds a nice decorative element. I love the cuffs on the sleeves and I have secured them with a few hand stitches to hold them in place.

I decided to add some decorative buttons to the pockets, as the fabric was looking a little drab. I found these cute orange buttons at the local fabric shop. They are made from Corozo, a natural product which I thought was quite fitting for my silk cotton dress.

This how I styled it for work yesterday. Thanks to Mum for taking these photos for me in her beautiful garden. She did an awesome job and I had 97 photos to choose from, not the 3 or 4 I usually get when hubby is behind the camera. (And this was the first time she had used a smart phone to take photos too. We had such a laugh and after all I do have plenty to be happy about now).

Happy sewing

*I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in early September. This came as a huge shock to me and my family. It is very confronting when faced with your own mortality. I have decided to share my experience to help create awareness of this insidious disease.  

I casually mentioned to my GP (on a totally unrelated visit) that I had noticed I was passing a little blood when using the toilet. She referred me to the local surgeon for a colonoscopy. It took a month to get in to see him. As I have no private health insurance, he put me on the public hospital waiting list for the procedure. This took another two and a half months before I had the test on 2/9/16. 

Everything happened very quickly after that. I was sent for further tests...a CT scan and an MRI. There did not appear to be any spread of the tumour to any other organs. The local Surgeon referred me to a Colorectal Surgeon in Sydney, due to the low location of my tumour, and I had an appointment with him a week later. He booked me in for surgery on 30/9/16. The surgery (an ultra low anterior resection) went well. Due to the skill of the surgeon, the operation was done laparoscopically (keyhole) and I did not require an illiostomy, so no "bag" to deal with. After spending eight days in Westmead hospital, I was sent home to recover.  

I then had to wait almost three weeks before I received the pathology results... a rather nervous wait. However, I received good cancer cells were detected in the associated lymph nodes, therefore I require no further treatment. I couldn't have hoped for a better outcome. Early detection is the key to beating this disease so I urge you to act promptly and get any symptoms checked without delay. It may just save your life.