Monday, August 15, 2016

The Axel Skirt and Inari Top - Pattern Besties

First up, a quick but HUGE thank you to everyone for the incredible response to our latest Frankie pattern release! Man, we were blown away and can't wait to see your versions xx

Today I'm posting two recent makes that are pattern soul sisters. First up, Megan Nielsen's Axel Skirt. The pattern comes with three skirt options and mine's version 3. It's high-waisted, midi length and features an inverted 'V' slit.
Construction? Two words - Dead. Easy. With the exception of the twin needling around hem and split (just missed, dammit), the entire skirt was done on the overlocker. There's no elastic in that waist band and it's a slim fit, so I'd definitely recommend a firmer, mid-weight ponti for this style. I used our (now sold out) Blu Navy Punto but this new Black Razor Ponti would be perfect (coming soon in navy, ivory and silk grey colourways).
 
Four panels make up the skirt - two at the front and two the back. The beauty of this style is that you can wear the slit at the front or back and even to the side. Hello options! 
So yes, go right ahead and call me an Axel fan. I love this pencil style, it's comfortable, easy-to-sew and will happily dress me well across the seasons. It's also a style that can easily swing from casual to dressier modes and I'm fully planning on revisiting the pattern soon to give Version 1 a run.
After eyeing an INSANE number of spectacular versions of the Named Inari Tee/Dress (no, really...go take a look for yourself) I finally got around to making one in our linen/cotton Small Town Stripe.
Serendipitously, it turned out to be the perfect top to wear with the Axel Skirt and also got an excellent workout on a recent holiday with my much-loved Esther Shorts. As the pattern name suggests, the top is most definitely 'crop' and is therefore pattern perfection for any high-waisted style. And before you ask, there's most definitely a dress version in the works now too...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Our NEW pattern - the Frankie Dress/Top

Hey readers! We're so happy to introduce you to our latest pattern - the Frankie Top/Dress. In addition to being a cruisy sew, she's also pretty versatile and we love her because she's suitable for ALL the seasons. 
I made this striped version in our 100% cotton Japanese jersey Mimasu Red Line (also available in these navy and black/white options) and I love it in all its simplicity and comfort. Dress, sandals/sneakers and you're done.
 
The pattern features a flared hemline, set in sleeves and comes with numerous style options - a top, two dress lengths and four sleeve lengths (short, elbow, three quarter and full). Oh the possibilities!
The bateau neckline features a simple turned back front and, for extra strength, we've included a stitched-down back facing that creates a neat and secure neckline.
Frankie's also fantastic as a trans-seasonal layering piece too. The full length works perfectly in the cooler months and can be worn with shirts. She's a total match made in wardrobe heaven with our  Sydney Jacket.
I made up this version in our Hashtag Black which is - hands down - my favourite jersey composition (viscose/spandex). It's weighty and drapey and holds both colour and memory in a way that so many knits just don't. It also washes like a dream and is all over perfect for Frankie. You can see our full range here.
Anita from our Surry Hills store made her glam version (below) in our Sparkling Romance, an Italian
74% acetate, 19% polyamide, 7% elastane metallic jersey. It also comes in Graphite and Skies colourways.
My top length version (below) is again a viscose/spandex  - Black Truffle Splice - and is also available in this wider stripe, Wide Black Truffle.
With this pattern, you can shorten both top and dress lengths at the hem.
The Frankie Top/Dress 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 all included. Suitable fabrics include light to mid weight jerseys and light weight ponti knits.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cut Out Lace Sewing Competition

http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2012-ready-to-wear/valentino
Valentino 2012 Spring RTW (inspiration)
We're really, truly excited to be launching our Cut Out Lace Competition! All you have to do is create an outfit that showcases any one of the three gorgeous competition laces and you'll be in with a chance to win some pretty excellent prizes.
Cut Out Ivory Panel Lace
Cut Out Ebony Panel Lace
Cut Out Flame Panel Lace
Dress, jumpsuit, two piece, original design, commercial pattern, mash up...make whatever YOU like! You must use the same colour lace throughout the garment/outfit and the outer fabric must be made entirely from the competition fabric.

Available in black, ivory or red, the cotton/polyamide lace is sold in panel pieces measuring 1.18m x 104cm wide. For the duration of the competition, we've reduced the price to just $20 per panel (normally $45 per panel). This fantastic price is available to anyone and everyone so if you're planning on entering, note that fabric stocks are limited and once sold out, that's it. Remember, one of the fabrics in our last competition sold out in less than a week so be quick!

As entries are received, we'll upload them to our competition Pinterest board. We've already pinned some inspiration pics over there so do check it out. 

First prize is a whopping $1000 cash. Second and third prizes will respectively win a $500 and $250 Tessuti gift voucher. The winning prizes are all quoted in Australian dollars and competition is open to both local and international entrants. Entries close 11:59pm AEST Sat 24th September which gives you eight weeks to get sewing!

Please note that the following Terms and Conditions apply to enter our Cut Out Lace Competition:

  • Enter as many garments as you like.
  • The submitted garment outer fabric must be made entirely in one colour of the competition lace. Lining fabric is permitted and may be purchased elsewhere. No trims or embellishments are allowed and you cannot dye the fabric.
  • It is a condition of entry that the garment, images and any associated materials be permitted for promoting Tessuti and the images may be supplied to media for promotion. 
  • The winning entrant gives permission for Tessuti to use images of themselves and the winning garment on the Tessuti website, blog and other promotional opportunities if required.
  • The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • If the winner is an entrant outside of Australia, money will be awarded at the current exchange rate equivalent to the AUD1000 prize relevant to the prize-winner's currency of residence. 
Make your garment/s, take up to ten great photos, email them to us at fabrics@tessuti.com.au (Subject heading: Cut Out Lace Competition) and we'll upload them to our Pinterest competition board

Photo guidelines are as follows so please ensure you include:
    •    at least one photo of your garment/s in the design/development stage
    •    at least one photo of the close up details of your design
    •    at least one photo of the stitching/construction inside the garment.
    •    only portrait photos (not landscape) as this will show your garment at its best

Try to:
    •    crop the photos to 500 pixels wide, 750 pixels high.
    •    submit photos that show off your creation, at least one front, side and rear photo.
    •    photograph the outfit being worn on a real person - not a dressmaker's form or coat hanger!
    •    have a photo or two of the dress under construction.
    •    have a photo or two of close ups of the garment/s, to show features and the quality of the construction.
    •    take clear photos in natural light. Blurry photos will never, ever do your garment justice!

Finally, if you're sharing an entry on Instagram please don't forget to use the #tessuticutoutlacecomp hashtag so we can all see your make!

Happy designing, creating and making! And good luck! x

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pattern Review - Vintage Style 1652

Vintage Pattern Hunting...that's a legitimate hobby, right? These days, I buy more of those than of the currently-in-print variety. It may be a throwback to my former occupation as a picture researcher but I really do love the whole vintage pattern finding journey - the online browsing, the journey through all the eras and endless styles, the artwork and - ultimately - the thrill of the find.
I'd long been thinking about making a v-neck, bell sleeved dress and when I found this - Style 1652 - late last year, it was my pattern wish come true. I've made more than a few Style patterns over the years so I'm pretty comfortable with the sizing, but I still decided to toile the bodice just to be on the safe side. During that process, I stretched out the fabric along the v-neck so when it came to making my final version I used Vilene tearaway along the neckline and around the waistband. Worked a treat.
The fabric I chose was our silk crepe de chine, Walking the Jungle which sadly sold out just after I Instagrammed it three weeks ago.
To give the fabric a bit more life and body, I block fused all the pieces using our lightweight interfacing - BVM 40. The very merit of doing this can be seen in just how nicely the skirt and sleeves fall.
One of the great side benefits of a busy print like this one is that it does actually hide a multitude of sewing sins. Like so many vintage patterns, there was a ridiculous amount of sleeve ease so there are a couple of little gathers in that sleeve head. The apex of that shaped waistband should really be pointed but mine's more curved and, due to over-fitting, there's a bit of pull across the front shoulders. 
Nothing I'm going to stress or un-pick over and a few sewing lessons learnt for the next one I make.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pattern Review - McCalls 7166

As mentioned in my last post, I'm on a hard and fast mission to pad out my winter wardrobe and this skirt is a happy consequence of that. In casting my pattern-yielding net a little wider, I've been pouring over the commercial pattern websites in a way I haven't done for a really, really long time. Actually, the break has been kinda nice because I've stumbled across a whole lot of new and not-so-new releases that have never crossed my pattern path before. And this - McCall's 7166 (by Melissa Watson for Palmer/Pletsch) - is one of those.
 
I had the pattern for a good few weeks before I settled on a fabric. Because of the gathers, I knew I couldn't go with anything too thick but I still wanted a winter skirt. Colette and I shared very deep, very important conversations about whether or not my ultimate fabric would work - Candy Hail (also available in Steel) - and then Silva (aka The Genius!) suggested that I run the skirt part off grain so the ottoman texture of the jacquard would work with, rather than against, the gathers. You can see what I mean in these photos...
The final result was a skirt which sits beautifully and has enough body to hold the full shape of the gathers. And that fullness perfectly complements the slim fit of the dropped waist and fitted yoke. I wavered a bit on whether or not to self-line the yoke as I thought it might be too thick. In the end, I rolled with it and love the result. There's a bit of corset action going on here and fortunately not in an uncomfortable way. It all just...works.
Initially, I made it in the longer length (View C) but it just didn't suit me with all the volume created by the fabric. It felt like there was way too much going on for my short stature so perhaps I'll give it another go in a lighter fabric for the warmer months. The pattern actually recommends challis (like rayon or viscose), crepes and crepe de chines which would all be dreamy, for sure.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

NEW :: Berlin Jacket Pattern

Meet our latest pattern - the Berlin Jacket! This collarless, longline jacket features low patch pockets, extended dropped shoulders and full length sleeves with a turned back cuff. The back neck is slightly raised. Effortlessly stylish, the jacket is the ideal winter wardrobe staple and perfect for layering over dresses or any casual outfit.
How did Berlin come to be? Well, the feedback we received when we released our Brooklyn Coat told us that you love a quick, simple sew that results in such a fabulous finished garment. With its overlapped seams and raw edges, it's a super speedy sew and can easily be sewn in 1-2 hours (depending on your skill level).
Connie's version below is made up in our black Nero Tepore which is also available in these colours.
 
Berlin Jacket made up in our Charcoal Tepore Marle (above) and Nero Tepore below.
The Berlin Jacket is best made up in boiled wools and is also suitable for ponti, boiled felted wools and neoprene fabrics. The pattern is now available in both hardcopy and PDF print-at-home/copy shop versions and pattern includes Australian sizes XXS through to XL.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Grainline's Driftless and skinny Anitas

At the beginning of this year, I made a pledge to not buy any new clothes in 2016. I told a few nearest and dearest (my 'sponsors' if you will) but for the most part I've kept the decision on the down low. Honestly, I wasn't actually even sure I could do it, but so far so good. Just to be clear, fabric and shoes aren't part of this 'no buy' pledge so things could be a lot tougher and tighter, but it still represents a pretty big shift for me and my shopping habits. 
There are a bunch of reasons why I decided to set this personal goal and I think that, as a sewer, they're all pretty obvious ones. Reduce the stash, reduce the waste, save money and see how it affects my sewing habits. I sew a lot and I'm lucky enough to do it for both work and pleasure. But (like my shopping habits) I'm often spontaneous and end up making (also buying) things because I want rather than need them. Don't get me wrong - I don't actually think this is a bad thing because some of my most favourite makes have resulted from this impulse and I bloody LOVE that about sewing. As I once said here, I love the idea of trying something that may or may not work and learning a few new skills along the way. But I was definitely curious to see if making this choice would change both the way I sew and what I sew. Well, short answer is that it has and hasn't. The warmer months were always going to be a piece of cake. Like the dressing part, I find summer sewing infinitely easier and my wardrobe very much reflects that. I knew the challenge would come in the cooler months and that's where I found myself right now. I rarely plan my sewing but I've been going through my patterns, Pinterest, Instagram, magazines and everything, taking stock of what I have and what I think I need. Last winter, I think I wore jeans pretty much every day in work and play. I had no winter dresses, no winter skirts, and by August I was muttering under my breath to those jeans like they were the annoying friend I didn't want to be friends with any more.
So my very first winter make (well, actually second) were these  black Anita Ponti Pants. Forgive the crappy, blue-tinged iPhone pic. These were tricky to photograph not least because I was photographing them on myself. Like these two, I made them more leggings than pants and just basically fitted the hell out of them. The fabric - our Nero Coated Ponti - has a subtle sheen that gives it a neoprene/wet look without the bulk and because I wanted them to bunch around my ankles, I added 20cm to the length.
And so onto Grainline's Driftless Cardigan. I looooved this pattern from the get go. I am a HUGE fan of the cardy and all its layering virtues so after stalking all the other ace Driftless', I set my fabric finding goals on a beefy knit, something with both texture and body. The fabric I eventually chose is actually the wrong side of Secrets of Charcoal Lace (also available in Ivory) - so we're calling it double sided! It's a bonded grey knit with cotton/wool/nylon and acrylic lace.
Because it's bonded with the lace, there's actually very little give or stretch so I wasn't sure it would actually work. But hey (and yay!) it did! I went with the smallest size which gives nicely fitted arms and instead of slipstitching the front band closed, I just went with the lazy option of overlocking. The only other change I made was to shorten the sleeve length by an inch. I went with view A, sans buttons. I may or may not add some down the track, so I ironed on some lightweight fusing on the  lower button band in case I change my mind down the track.
From a review point, I can tell you that this is a pretty fantastic pattern. Not only does it look great but it comes together quickly and the instructions are true to Grainline's form - clear and easy to follow. I will also tell you to try really hard to avoid making mistakes with a knit because unpicking a fabric like this takes ALL the patience and uses ALL the swear words. 
I'm wearing my new Driftless with (yet) another Mandy Boat Tee. My kid stole this one, so it's pretty much exactly the same but longer in both body and sleeves.
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