Welcome to… the Kastulip

It’s that time of year, when I have been making up a storm for Indie Pattern Month, over at The Monthly Stitch. Having had so much success with the Kastrup blouse, I thought why not hack it and turn it into a dress, and so please may I introduce the Kastulip!

This has the bodice of the How to do Fashion Kastrup blouse and the skirt of the Style Arc Tulip dress. As you tell, it took me ages to come up with the name 😉 The dress actually took a while to decide. I knew I wanted to use the Kastrup blouse and actually put it together with 13, yes 13, different bottoms to try them out for visual effect. After consultation with a couple of friends from the ever helpful WSBN, the Kastulip was born!

The fabric is a cotton sateen from Philp-Wrights in Whanganui. Travelling around the country for work, I like to check out fabric shops when I find them and this store didn’t disappoint. So many pretties. I limited myself to two lengths, the first was used to make Burda 7031 and this tulip fabric seemed to fit the bill for this dress. Everything was a complete and utter breeze with this beautiful cotton sateen.

The Kastrup bodice needs little description, having written about it in my last post. I have made a few changes to this blouse, the side seams were taken in about an inch overall (half inch from front and back) and I also added darts in the back bodice. These have been added in line with the darts in the skirt back and are the same size. I also pressed them to the opposite side to the skirt to remove bulk.

The Tulip skirt was actually a pattern which has been in my collection a while, but I’ve never made up. I like Style Arc patterns, they are well drafted and rarely require adjustments for me, however, sometimes the instructions leave a little to be desired, writing, but few images and you all know how much I love images! I recommend sewing knowledge! This pattern is no exception. The pattern has a pleated overlay for the main feature skirt, but you can make it simple like this one. There are only instructions for the pleated overlap version, nothing at all for the basic tulip skirt. I had a read through, but basically had to use my own initiative and sewing experience to make it up. I’ve made up the Lindy Petal Skirt by Itch to Stitch, but this has added pockets. So I basically laid the front pieces on top of one another and then attached the pocket lining, folded it over to the inside and then attached the pocket back. The front hem needs to be finished before the side seams are made up. It’s cleaner this way.

I did toy with adding the waistband (from the skirt option), but it doesn’t need it. I thought I’d end up moving the skirt darts to match the princess seams, but trust me, they lined up perfectly! Honest guv’nor!

The zip has ended up as a dark pink lapped zip. I thought about an invisible zip, but I didn’t have an invisible zip long enough in my stash! I like the dark pink, it goes perfectly with the dress.

The skirt was lengthened by about and inch and a half. I possibly didn’t need that much, but a tulip skirt sat down in the summer with no tights, I didn’t want it showing everything to the world! I hemmed it using a pale blue hug snug. With the curve on the front, this doesn’t bulk up as much as the fabric.

The deets
Fabric:  White tulip patterned cotton sateen from Philp-Wrights in Whanganui, bought in December 2016.
Notions:  Thread, interfacing, a zip and some hug snug for the hem.
Pattern:  The Kastulip made from How to do fashion Kastrup blouse, version 1, size EU 42 and the skirt from the Style Arc Tulip dress, size 14.
Changes made:  The blouse back has darts added and the side seams taken in. It’s also obviously been shortened to bodice length. The skirt has been lengthened by an inch and a half.

Another one/recommendations:  I’m really enjoying hacking patterns like this. This is the third pattern hack I’ve done (previous hacks were the Gabrianna and the Fleurlicity dresses) and each one has been a success.

I could have taken in the waist a bit more with this one. Some of these photos have a belt and some don’t, mainly to illustrate how I could have taken in that front waist more. I also think the tulip isn’t quite as pronounced as it could be. Although it’s not really the time of year to wear this, (we’ve had a winter storm this week while finishing this, with freezing temperatures and snow on the hills) I reckon come summer, this will get a lot of wear. Even Mr N likes it! That’s a result!

These photos were taken down at Otari Wilton’s Bush here in Wellington. It was cold down there; the temperature gauge in the car said it was 7 degrees! I would much rather have stayed all rugged up in my coat!



Style Arc Gabby

I made this a year ago! And I’ve finally got around to photos – oops!

img_0530I first saw this pattern and fell in love with it when I saw this version by Tasia originally from Sewaholic. After seeing this version I just wasn’t happy until I’d clicked buy on the Style Arc website! The notched collarless neckline, cropped style with a curved hem. What is there not to like?

img_0528Casting my mind back a year… I made up a muslin and was actually really happy with the fit straight off, apart from… I ended up adding some darts in the back. It was just far too boxy. The darts have worked well and I don’t think look wrong at all.

img_0537The sleeve caps have great seaming. They have separate “arms” which are stitched together and then attached to the sleeve top which creates the shoulder. I also used shoulder pads, they are essential to give that great shoulder shape. I tried a couple of different pairs, these were the thinner ones. Placement of the shoulder pads actually took a long time. I wanted to get them just right.

img_0541The jacket is completely lined, including the sleeves and has a big facing which the lining is attached to. The lining is attached using the bag method and then the jacket turned the right way out. The jacket is sewn up in the lining of one of the sleeves, so it’s well and truly hidden.       img_8584The neckline is top stitched around the edge adding a great finish and really bringing out those notches. I’m really pleased how that neckline looks.

img_8589There are two welt pockets. These were my first ever welt pockets and I was really happy with them. They were so much easier than I thought, but I have to say, that’s not from the StyleArc printed instructions (which are basic to say the least). There are instructions on their website, but I used the instructions from another pattern, which I knew were easy to follow.

img_0543I also love the lining on this and the drafting with the pleat top and bottom to help with the fit.

img_8588The shell fabric is a really loosely woven fabric – possibly a rayon – not sure. So even the seams on the inside have been finished so they won’t fray too much.

img_0531The deets
Fabric:  Shell – Grey textured loose woven rayon?  from The Fabric Warehouse pop-up store, bought October 2015. Lining – from the remnant bin at the Fabric Warehouse, bought sometime Oct/Nov 2015. Probably cost a total of $25 for the fabric!
Notions:  Thread, interfacing, shoulder pads
Pattern:  StyleArc Gabby Jacket, size 14
Changes made:  Darts added to the back of the jacket. I may also have shortened the sleeves slightly.
Another one/recommendations:  It’s probably not something I would make again, although this was kinda meant to be a wearable muslin. Mm, not sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy with this jacket and I love wearing it and particularly feel great when I remember I’ve made it myself. I’m pretty happy with the fit. If you want a great fitting jacket, I would definitely recommend it. The instructions from StyleArc can be basic at times and assume a reasonable knowledge, so this is definitely not for beginners, but it’s a really good pattern. Definitely make up a muslin first to check the fit. As I say, the back was too boxy on my, so I added darts.




Natalie and Nina

This is another of Kat’s fabulous patterns teamed up with my fave cardigan, Muse Natalie dress and Style Arc Nina cardigan.

I’ll not say much about the cardigan, I’ve said it all before, it is so easy to cut and make up. I love them. I know the draped look might not be for everyone, but I get so much wear out of these.

I think I bought the fabric for this one, intending to make something else and it was definitely pattern tetris cutting this out. I think the bottom piece is actually cut across the grain, but hey, it works and the cardigan has been washed a couple of times since making up and it’s made no difference. This merino is quite closely woven and keeps it’s shape really well. Unlike my black merino Nina cardi which has gone a tad baggy now!

The details
Fabric:  Fuchsia pink merino from Levana, Levin, June 2015.
Notions:  Thread and some cotton tape to stabilise the shoulders and neck.
Pattern:  Style Arc Nina cardigan, size 14
Changes made:  None
Another one/recommendations:  I’ve made four of these cardigans. I love them. They are great for slobbing around in and are smart enough for work. I know the look isn’t for everyone, but for me, I love them!

And so to the Natalie dress. I was intrigued by this dress from the start. I was over at Kat’s one weekend for a knitting afternoon and she suggested I try on one of her sample versions. I loved it, the fit, the style, etc. I knew I needed one in my wardrobe. And so, I used this pale grey knit I got from Levana back in April. It was intended to be another Gillian, but I decided it would be perfect for this dress.

I went for the version with the gathers under the bust. I didn’t intend to, but this fit was actually much better for me. I had to be careful with pattern placement, I could have had flowers in the wrong places – as it were!

The pattern, like all of Kat’s patterns, is drafted perfectly. This is a size 38 and fit me straight out of the box. I’ve made no alterations to the pattern at all. I followed the instructions to the letter, they didn’t need any changing. It’s really easy to put together and sews up so quickly. The sleeves are the perfect length for me – I love 3/4 length sleeves.

I honestly have no complaints about this pattern. OK, the ties are really long and that’s possibly because they are intended to come round the front, but I’d rather leave the front free. Hang on, is that my only gripe – what am I saying? Nope I’ve no gripes or groans at all and I get so many compliments when I wear this dress. It’s a real keeper and very tempting to make another…

The details
Fabric:  Pale grey polyester knit from Levana, Levin, April 2015
Notions:  Thread, interfacing and some cotton tape to stabilise the shoulders.
Pattern:  Muse Patterns Natalie dress, size 38
Changes made:  None
Another one/recommendations:  I’m actually really tempted to make another, this dress is great, it fits well and I really love it. I certainly recommend the pattern, it’s so easy to make up and the fit is fab. Oh and what’s more you can make a top or a maxi dress too.

Excuse the hair everywhere, we’d done photos the day before and the exposure was all wrong and this day is one of Wellington’s lovely windy days. You’d have thought by now I’d learn to put my hair back!

Nina in red…

It all began with my fellow WSBN friend Nina… She has made so many of these I just has to copy since I love a longer length cardi… And, oh my! I have found pattern love! Trust me, this is lurve!! 😉

I bought this pattern printed and just couldn’t wait for it to come through the post. I’d bought the fabric before the pattern – oops! Style Arc patterns have little instructions. They are quite brief with few pictures. Now for those who know me, this is hard, I’m a pictures kinda gal and if you’re pattern instructions don’t have images, well I’m generally not interested… Saying that, this is NOT a difficult pattern to make up!

Now if you’ve not made a Style Arc pattern, you are in for a treat. I’m not the most careful of people when it comes to notches, etc on pattens and these patterns are drafted so well. Everything lined up to perfection, I had no strange overhangs at the end of seams, no out of place notches. I was definitely impressed. I think I made this up in an afternoon! That’s quick for me!

The whole cardigan was put together on my overlocker. I used my machine to attach binding tape to the shoulder seams and back of the neck and I used the double needle to finish the cuffs. I also used the overlocker to edge the front drape. Reason why? The pattern says to “BabyLock edge” Quite convenient that I have a BabyLock really 🙂

The details
Fabric: Red jersey knit from the Fabric Warehouse, January 2015.
Notions: Thread and tape for the shoulder seams, and back of neck.
Pattern: Style Arc Nina cardigan, size 14
Changes made: None
First worn: Middle of April sometime. As soon as I’d finished it, it had to be worn! Worn here for photos at Fabric-a-Brac last weekend with a RTW top, Stepalica Zlata skirt (a gift from Sandra) and shoes from Overland.
Another one/Recommendations: Yep definitely. Another is already cut out and ready to make up. I really recommend this pattern. It is so quick and easy to make up. The fit is great. This red cardi is getting so much wear already. I love it.