FALL STRIPES IN VOGUE

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Fall is all about basic pullover tops so when I saw this vogue 9169 pattern, I knew I had to make it. I hunted for the perfect fabric from Fabricville and made this magical combo. I have never made two views of this same pattern as fast as I made this!

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The Pattern:

Vogue 9169 is a contrast underlay pullover top with seam variations. It is such an easy yet beautiful pattern that I made both View B and C and simply switched the fabric placements to get a slightly different look. I love the unique shapes of this pattern.

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The Fabrics:

I chose two beautiful knit fabrics, the Marley cotton spandex knit and the Venice knit. The Marley cotton is a gorgeous lightweight striped knit and is perfect for tops such as this one and the Venice knit is slightly more lightweight than the Marley knit but equally gorgeous. Working with both knits went smoothly. My favorite thing about knits is that it hardly needs any ironing. How can you not love that?

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The Instructions and Fit:

The instructions were very easy to follow and was overall a very fast project. It is a loosely fitting top and so there were no issues with fitting. I made no changes at all to this pattern.

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I love this pattern for multiple reasons.

  • It is an easy and fast sew since it requires knit fabrics
  • No additional notions needed (yes, no buttons, zippers, fasteners…nothing!)
  • Fabric selection is endless! If you wish to take a look at my choices, click here and here.
  • There are multiple views to make

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Have a great day!

Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

 

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The Melilot Shirt

My most recent addition to my handmade closet is a button-up shirt. I have been obsessing over classic button-up shirts for a while and I am glad I found this Deer and Doe casual button-up drop shoulders pattern.

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The Pattern –  Version A has long sleeves and a rounded collar; version B has cuffed short sleeves and a mandarin collar. Both feature bust darts and I chose to make version B with double breast pockets as my first attempt. The packaging of this pattern is gorgeous like many other indie patterns but what makes this different is that the instructions are both in French and English (Deer & Doe is a french company).

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The Construction –  The instructions for this pattern was pretty straightforward although some steps could be explained better especially for beginners. French Seams are actually stated in the instructions. How awesome is that? You do not need to have a serger for this pattern. I made zero changes to this pattern (which is rare) and had no issues. However, I think I will go up a size or two in my next one for a more comfortable fit (the pattern measurements are really true to size).

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I am in love with this pattern! I have found a new place in my heart for button-up shirts and I’m not looking back. If you have any suggestions for other button-up shirts, let me know and I’ll put them on my ‘to-sew list’ 🙂

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Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

 

FALL ESSENTIAL: KASHMIR COATING JACKET

Fall is here! The best way to start my favorite season and keep warm is to make the comfiest, most gorgeous jacket in this beautiful Kashmir coating fabric.

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The Fabric:

When I saw this fabric which is a polyester nylon blend, I knew I had to make a jacket. I have always dreamt of having a red jacket so it was a no brainer to go with this color. I love that Fabricville has a variety of colors in this fabric as well. It is a thick, warm fabric with a felted feel to it and is a dream to cut through with scissors due to it’s weight and stability. However, if you do not own a steamer like me, I’ll advise that you put a lightweight fabric over the it when pressing. The Kashmir coating does not have a lot of drape so it is great for slightly more structured projects.

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The Pattern/Instructions:

To bring this fabric to life, I used Burda 6736 which has both a jacket and coat version but I decided to make the jacket. It is a loose fitting jacket with an integral spade collar. This pattern only has six pieces and nine very clear steps and illustrations for the pattern.

The Process:

I really enjoyed making this jacket as it was a relatively easy project. It requires two buttons and interfacing for the facings. Here are some progress shots.

    

The Fit:

The fit is very loose so I’ll suggest to look at the finished garments  measurements and use those. I had to go two sizes down from my regular size.

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Tips:

This pattern does not recommend edge stitching but I would highly recommend it. As you can see from the photos, I did not do that initially. Once I did, it looked even better and had a cleaner finish.

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I am now ready to take on the fall weather! Do you plan to sew up a coat or jacket? Have you ever made one? Let me know in the comments below.

Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

 

The Afternoon Blouse

My newest handmade addition to my fall wardrobe is The Afternoon Blouse I made using a pale pink linen blend fabric. Leonardo da Vinci’s quote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” brilliantly describes this pattern by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. It is a very simple pattern but the unique neckline option takes this blouse to a whole different level.

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The Pattern and Instructions – This pattern gives two options: a blouse version with two neckline variations and the dress version with two variations (and yes, the dress version has pockets!). I’m a sucker for patterns that have as few pattern pieces as possible especially PDF patterns so this definitely gets into my good books. It is great for sewers of all levels and such a great addition to the closet. The instructions and illustrations were very easy to follow. The instructions also state the corresponding pages of each view, allowing you to print only the view you plan to make. I think this is genius!

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The Fit and Construction – The fit of the blouse was spot on due to the kimono sleeve feature which tends to fit most people. The afternoon blouse simply did not need any changes to be made. I under-stitched the neckline instead of topstitching it. That was the only change I made and was simply personal preference. I cut based on the size chart in the instructions and it fit great which was a pleasant surprise. For most patterns, I have to make some adjustments but this pattern was an exception.

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The choice of fabric can change the look of the blouse. Medium weight fabrics such as my linen choice gives it a crisper look. If I had chosen a light weight fabric such as rayon, I feel it would have had more drape and given it a softer look. It is a great blouse whether worn tucked in or not. Overall, I feel that the blouse gives a clean and simple finish to any outfit.

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Additional Highlights and tips: I love multi-sized patterns. This pattern ranges from 6 to 24 with both imperial and metric measurements! What else can I ask for? I have one tip… Iron after each step. It makes all the difference. If you have made the Afternoon blouse or dress or plan to do so, I would love to hear about it. 🙂

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Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

Ideas brought to life

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I have been drawing a lot lately, trying to get my never-ending ideas on paper before I lose them. The only issue is I’m really not great at drawing human figures at all. So when I was approached by Valeria of HWardrobe and ValeriaSpeck.com to try her ebook that promotes focusing on your own body as the central piece in designing and sewing garments, I jumped on it.

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The ebook is titled “Designing your Handmade Wardrobe in a Creative, Fashionable and Sustainable Way“. I must say that I overestimated my “interest” for drawing out my ideas. It took me 3 tries to get the instructions right but was finally able to draw up a template for my body based on my own body measurements (pictured above).

 

I was so proud of myself. Now that I have the basic drawing of my body, I can draw any clothing ideas that pop up in my head before I lose them. Remember my Ray of Sunshine dress I posted recently? Drawing it out helped me figure out if the lace sleeves would work fine. I’m also currently working on a blue striped dress pictured below.

 

What I love about this book is that it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to draw your body with your measurements. Valeria shares her story about why she wrote the book and decided share tips on how to draw your own body. I believe a lot of sewers will be able to relate to her story. There are also links to video snippets in the book that help clarify how to get your measurements. Here’s another polka dot dress I am working on.

 

From my experience with this book, I think having full video tutorials instead of words explaining every step may work best for me as I generally prefer videos to reading when it comes to sewing but look at the progress I have made? I’m very happy with the results and will love to keep practising to get better.

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Anybody interested in giving this ebook a try can use this code theravelout to get 10% off until September 15. Do you lovely readers also have any suggestions for drawing or illustration for me? Let me a comment below so I can check it out.

Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

 

 

Afternoon Fern Shorts

It’s been a while since I did any pattern testing so when I heard about the Fern Shorts pattern by Afternoon I had to jump in for three reasons:

  1. I have a soft spot for Indie pattern labels
  2. I’m not a big fan of shorts because I rarely find the perfect fit for my body type so I’m always looking for that ‘right fit’
  3. I am always up for a little sewing challenge

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Instructions– The instructions and illustrations for the Fern Shorts pattern is one of the best I have seen. It was beautiful yet concise. There was not a single step that was confusing or unnecessary which was very impressive. The instructions were also easy to follow.

 

Construction – The construction of the garment went smoothly. I used 100% African wax print cotton and did my best to pattern match to avoid any weird placements. It didn’t work great for all parts but I am pleased with the overall result. This pattern definitely works better with fabrics that have medium weight especially because of the folded hem detailing which needs to stay in place.

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I used size F which matched my hip measurements but was two sizes bigger than my waist measurement. However, I did not resize the pattern at all. I simply sewed a slightly larger seam allowance at the waist part compared to everywhere else and it worked out great. The fit and overall detailing of this shorts makes it a win for me! It honestly came out better than expected considering my fear and frustration with the fit of shorts on me.

 

Changes to pattern – Although the pattern did not call for it, I topstitched the pocket for cleaner finish as can be seen in the photo above of my initial muslin. I also shortened my shorts by about two inches for my African print version. This was a personal preference.

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Things I loved about this pattern:

  • The pattern has only 18 pages when printing at home (A4) which means less cutting and pasting!
  • I loved the pocket detailing. In my version, I used a contrasting color as seen in the above photo to make it stand out even more.
  • A side zipper! What’s not to love about that?

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Final Thoughts:

When I was testing this pattern, the measurements were only in the metric system. I gave feedback on having both metric and imperial systems. The final version which is out now will have both! How great is that? If you do give this pattern a try, I’d love to see it or if you have any questions, ask away!

Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

 

 

Summer Makes Round-Up

Here’s a round-up of my summer makes! Summer has been great but this means I’m ready to transition to making fall items and I’m excited about all the ideas I’ll be bringing to life!

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New Look 6103

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McCalls 7543

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Self-drafted

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McCalls 7566

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Vogue 9021

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McCalls 7573

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Hacked Burda 6721

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Refashioned from Wedding dress

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Vogue 9251

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Vogue 1531

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Burda 6721

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McCalls 7510

 

Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

Ray of Sunshine (DIY Shift Dress)

It’s only right that I add my ray of sunshine to these gorgeous summer days before the season is over.

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I made this simple shift dress using Burda 6721 and added lace sleeves just to make it different from the other shift dresses in my closet. I am pleased with the results.

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Since I have made multiple dresses with this pattern, I will not be going into any details. A review of B6721 can be found in my previous post here.

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Below are a couple of the other dresses I have made and blogged about in the past using  this easy pattern.

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Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

FANCY SUMMER NIGHT WITH VOGUE 1531

If you are looking for a sexy yet classy look for a summer night outing, look no further! Vogue 1531 and this amazing stretch satin will make your occasion that much better.

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The Pattern:

Vogue 1531 is a close-fitting, lined dress that has a deep cowl, front princess seams on the bodice, and an open back. The deep cowl can be draped as desired and the open back is perfect for summer nights. The recommended fabrics for this pattern include will crepe, ponte knit, and crepe back satin. Basically, fabrics that have a good drape will work great. I personally would not recommend fabrics with too much stretch such as jersey knit as you want to keep the structure of the dress.

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The Fabric:

I used a gorgeous red stretch satin from Fabricville. This fabric has a lustrous sheen that gives the dress an even more sophisticated look. Who doesn’t want that? It drapes beautifully and feels great on the skin. I used it as the lining as well. It is important to be patient with this fabric when sewing to avoid any puckering. You can check out different colors of the stretch satin right here.

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The Process:

The pattern instructions were generally easy to follow except for the steps for attaching the lining to the main dress. Due to the cowl feature, it was tricky to attach the lining as instructed so I ignored the instructions (step 42 to 48) and did it my way. My way – attach lining right sides together by stitching armholes and back edges, under stitch, turn lining to inside, and slipstitch the cowl area.

I also chose to self line the cowl instead of using bias binding as instructed because I think it is a much cleaner finish. I ignored the instructions for a drawstring as well as I did not think I needed it on my dress.

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Final Tips:

Do not forget the wrong side of the cowl will show (unless you self-line it like I did) so it is important to consider this when choosing a fabric.

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Don’t be like me. Finish the back with a hook and eye as it gives it a more polished look. I will be adding that once I buy some on my next visit to the fabric store.

Let me know if you have tried this pattern or fabric or if you have any questions.

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Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO

 

Summer Wrap Dress

In my opinion, every summer deserves at least one wrap dress. Here’s this summer’s version. It’s a simple yet gorgeous green number. It was very easy to sew up and I’m pleased with my new closet addition.

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I used the V9251 pattern to achieve this look. I didn’t really have any issues with project. Below is the review of the pattern.

Vogue 9251

Pattern Description: 
Wrap fitted dress with side ties, sleeve, and length variations.

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Pattern Sizing:
Misses Size 12. View A.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes exactly like it.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy.

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What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The neckline is a little too low. As you can see in the photo’s I had to wear a tank top underneath.

Fabric Used:
Polyester

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made this dress about 6 inches shorter and it still was a little longer than I’d prefer.

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Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I would but I’ll need to figure out how to raise the neckline without messing up the fit of the bodice

Conclusion: 
Overall, it’s a great pattern. Very easy to sew up and a great addition to your closet. Watch out for the neckline though.

I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I’m pleased with the dress.

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Sylvia

The Ravel Out

XOXO