Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top

Disclaimer: I received the pattern for free but my opinion is my own. Check out the CSC post for more versions.

Muna and Broad is one of the newer indie pattern companies run by Leila (@Leilasews) and Jess (Broad in the Seams). They are a plus-sized pattern company and really put a lot of work into making sure their patterns have a lot of plus-sized alterations built in. I have the Glebe pants and will be trying them out soon (my muslin is already cut out); I also tested their Undies/Period Undies pattern and it’s life changing! You’ll see those on the blog soonish (although just the undies not the period undies since I don’t have the materials for those yet). The Torrens Box top is a boxy silhouette top with sleeve bands and a sleeve extension pack.

My first version of the Torrens top is made without any alterations in a pink swiss dot cotton. I made a size A. There is a slight bit of gaping in the neckline but the fit is good otherwise. Gaping in the neckline is a usual issue for me due to my large bust.

It’s a really cute top. I’ve been wearing a more boxy silhouette these days since developing issues with compression urticaria (hives from wearing tight clothing). Let me tell you how horrible compression urticaria is when you have EDS. My skin is fragile so scratching actually breaks the skin or causes blood vessels to burst in my skin and also develops hives from scratching (dermatographia). Think of being itchy and then just getting itchier from itching and then being so itchy you want to cry. Fun times. It’s changed a lot of my sewing. I need to sew bras that I can actually wear without having this issue but I am not sure what those would look like. Some of the dresses I have made in the past aren’t comfortable for me anymore and even the waistband on skirts is getting to me. Honestly, it’s probably the most frustrating part of having a chronic illness: having things you love taken away from you… So my style is changing to adapt. Thankfully my Belmont leggings are still okay and my Misty jeans (new plaid pair here in double knit fabric… couldn’t pattern match due to fabric constraints) and a lot of my tops are okay, but most woven fabrics are too constrictive for me to wear. So I am really thankful for patterns like this that are loose fitting and comfortable to wear. I have plans for other types of flowy tops and some already cut out. You’ll likely see more pants here, too, but only elastic waistbands as anything else would hurt.

After this version, I made a few changes. I lowered the neckline as well as taking out a 1/2 wedge to deal with the neckline gaping. For version 2, instead of the deep hem, I chose to just do a 1/2 inch hem for a bit more length.

I used the sleeve expansion since I was given early access to it. It’s definitely my favourite version. The sleeves, the colour, so goooood. Since I lowered the neckline, I do have more gaping at the neckline in this version. It’s also made with red rayon fabric which does have a tendency to grow. We’ll see how it washes up but I will do some more neckline alterations for the next version.

There will definitely be more of these in the future. It’s such a comfortable shirt to wear.

I totally chose the red after seeing Leila’s red Torrens on Instagram:

How amazing does she look? I had to follow her footsteps.

Let’s talk about those sleeves for a moment. They are so roomy. I used the wide sleeve and really love it. One of few patterns where I haven’t needed to make a large bicep adjustment.

Real talk, just before taking these pictures, I washed my hands and got water all over the bottom front of the top right before taking pictures. I don’t photoshop my pictures so feel free to play Where’s Waldo with those water stains. LOL.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top
  • Pros: Great size range for plus and honestly that’s all I really care about. Love the sleeves. Love the sleeve bands. Love the shape. Great instructions. So many pros.
  • Cons: No cons that I can think of. Even the neckline gaping issues aren’t really cons.
  • Make again?: Oh yes. It’s so goood.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 5/5 stars

 

 

Fancy Pants and Burda Sweater

 

Today I am sharing two newer garments I made in January: Style Arc Misty Jeans in a houndstooth doubleknit fabric and the Off the Shoulder Sweater from Burda issue 09/2018 in a turquoise hacci knit.

There isn’t much to say about the Misty Jeans. I’ve made them several times before. The only difference with these ones is the material. The fit is okay, but the material grows over the day so I needed to take in the waistband a bit. The doubleknit is a wool blend. Possibly blended with vicose or rayon since the material is super soft and doesn’t have great recovery like most rayon/viscose blends I’ve used. If I took the pants in, though, to account for the poor recovery, they would be tight on first wear for a couple of hours. I’m just accepting it. They are soft pants and super warm for winter so I’m not super concerned about them growing as the day goes on. With the waistband a bit tighter, it keeps them in place.

 

I made these for the #sewfancypants challenge on IG. The challenge was a lot of fun. It got me to finally make more pants.

The Burda sweater is lovely with these pants. I made size 52, the largest size. The pattern fits large. I find that about most Burda patterns, though. While I am a bit outside of the measurements for 52, I don’t have an issue fitting into it. I usually do an FBA but didn’t feel the sweater would need that and it doesn’t. It has an oversized look which is perfect for a cowl neck sweater. I am not really into off the shoulder sweaters so I am wearing this as a cowl neck. TBH I would also need to increase the size of the cowl to not have trouble getting it into an off the shoulder look. It’s a bit tight due to my bust size and the length from my nape to my full bust not being very long. Otherwise, the cowl just pops up and becomes a cowl again.

 

The sweater is hella long, though. We’re talking might as well be a dress long. I shortened it by 5-6 inches and then lopped off another 4 and even made a hem band with some of the length. HELLA LONG. I get I am 5’3″ but like….sometimes plus size drafting is way too long and Burda is pretty guilty of that. It’s possibly drafted for a 6 foot person in length!

 

BUT the arms are short. What? I didn’t notice because the model’s arms are scrunched up so it’s tough to see that the arms are shorter. I usually have to shorten arms not add long bands so they are long-sleeved. I don’t understand a cowl neck sweater with shorter sleeves… I want a sweater with long sleeves. I want to be cozy af.

Other than those issues of confusion, the sweater is great. I love the oversized cowl and the shape. It’s a lovely cozy sweater in a gorgeous turquoise/teal colour.

 

The sweater actually completes one of my make nine items. Yay!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Off the Shoulder Sweater from Burda issue 09/2018
  • Pros: I love the final result! Even though I am a bit outside the size 52 measurements, it fits well.
  • Cons: Super long length and then weirdly short arms.
  • Make again?: I would. However, it required a lot of fabric even after shortening it quite a bit so I won’t be making it again any time soon since I don’t have enough fabric.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md  3.5/5 stars

Style Arc’s Eva Top

Hot on the heels of my latest Cate’s Cousin top, I bring you… my Eva top…. *sad trumpet sounds*

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And I hate it.

A lot of my opinion is coloured by the fact that I am not a fan of how this top looks on me. I will say, though, there are some strange issues with drafting….

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The Eva top is meant to have “soft” gathering at the bust…. Mine….. does not. The neckband was way too long for the neck piece and the gathering just softly disappeared… Other than that, just like my Cate’s Cousin top, this is way too short. It’s also quite a bit tighter than the other top. Slim fit, I guess.

It wasn’t easy to make. I had a horrible time with the “gathers” that didn’t work and the neckband. It just didn’t want to lay flat and when it came to the bottom piece… well….ugh….

I will still wear it, though, because it’s pink and I need more pink in my life… I got it looking okay, too. It will be fine tucked into skirts and the length won’t bother me too much then…

I won’t make it again, though.

Here it is… I managed a smile for a couple of the pictures…. I like the pictures…actually. It doesn’t look horrible on me and damn hot pink is my colour, but… I’m not a fan at all. I miss those soft gathers that should have happened… You can see the pulling at the bottom of the neckband, too, from the difficulty I had putting that on…

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Pictured again with my Style Arc Misty Jeans. 😀 I’ll be wearing the top with skirts from now on, though. It looks good like that. I didn’t take a picture of that, though. I will be sure to do that when I finish a skirt.

Also, I keep forgetting to mention which size I make. With Style Arc, I always start with a size 24.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Eva Top
  • Pros: I like the fabric I used…. Haha. Other than the neckband/gathering issue and not being long enough, the top doesn’t have a drafting issue. I gave it half points for the rest of the elements, but seriously docked it for losing the main point of the top… it’s gorgeous gathering…but that neckband is way too long for it to work. If I were to make it again, I would significantly shorten it as well as do an FBA, but I don’t want to even bother.
  • Cons: Where oh where have my gathers gone? Where oh where did they go? (see above….)
  • Make again?: NOPE!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md2.5/5 stars

Style Arc’s Cate’s Cousin Top

Today I am sharing a top I made this weekend (along with a bunch of other things, because apparently I am an incredibly fast sewer) and my latest pair of Style Arc Misty Jeans. This is actually a Style Arc outfit! The top is Cate’s Cousin Top. It’s a long-sleeve cowl neck top with a dropped shoulder.

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I actually made two Style Arc tops this weekend. I will share the other later this week.

Out of the two tops, I prefer this one and am actually wearing it right now. Construction was really simple on this top. You bind the back neckline, sandwich the back shoulder in between the cowl and the shoulder piece, sew the shoulder seam, put the sleeves on in the flat, sew up the sides, hem, and done. It took me about an hour to make maybe less. I did everything on my serger, Rochester, except for the hems. I really want a coverstitch some day for really lovely hems. I just used a zigzag stitch on the hems. I’m not a fan of the twin needle to be honest.

The fabric I used is the same as the black fabric from my niece’s Christmas dress. It is a poly/rayon blend. It’s lightweight and drapes nicely. Perfect for a cowl neck.

My issue with the top is that it’s not as deep and drapey of a cowl as the line drawing suggests. There are two reasons this could be: 1) drafting in the larger sizes for Style Arc is different and reduces the cowl to fit on a certain fabric width or 2) my bust far too large for the b-cup and the cowl disappears. It could be both of these are the reason. The pattern pieces are all one piece: no cutting on the fold with Style Arc from my experience (I’ve made about four now and own about 8 patterns with no pieces cut on the fold). It did make for quite an ordeal to cut that front piece out. I actually had to drape my fabric over a chair to cut the bottom. I’m worried that might be the reason why the two tops are a little short; that or my bust is pulling them up…or both. I will be lengthening the top for the next time I make it and widening the cowl, because I like a deep cowl. When cowls are nicely draped and have a deeper drape to them, they look great on me.

I still love this top, though. It sounds like I am complaining, but these are minor issues. The dropped shoulder was something I wasn’t too sure about, but I think it looks great.

But enough talk, let’s see what I am talking about.

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This is my first photoshoot in a while. I haven’t taken good blog pictures since my Hogwart’s cardigan in November… I haven’t wanted to go to the trouble and have so few spoons these days, but I found this photoshoot fun and it helped me remember that they can be fun as well. They are best done on weekend days, since they take so many spoons. Chronic pain is tough.

Let’s talk briefly about the Misty Jeans. I’m satisfied with the fit and won’t be tweaking it anymore. They are, after all, *just* pull on elastic waist jeans. Sure, I have wrinkles at my knees and above my back thighs. I should take care of those, but I just don’t care. They fit me better than any jeans I’ve bought in the store. I’ve got a couple more pairs cut out already. They are pretty darn comfortable and will be great for the big trip.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cate’s Cousin Top
  • Pros: Love the drop shoulder. Really simple to construct.
  • Cons: Definitely made for a smaller bust. Cowl isn’t as deep as the line drawings. Shirt is pretty short. Sparse instructions with very little information. For example, the instructions just say bind the back neckline and then refer to a tutorial on their website. Fair enough, but if you are a beginner, you might have an issue with them.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. Lengthening it and making the cowl deeper for next time.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

Edit:

Bonus picture with my Snapdragon skirt:

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Style Arc Misty Jeans

This post is ridiculously long overdue. I held it up because I wanted to take “proper” photos, but the reality of that happening at this point is very low. I will be making “proper” photos in the future for other versions, though.

I started my Style Arc Misty Jeans pretty close to the deadline for Alicia’s sewalong. It ended November 30th and I finished it that night and posted pictures on Instagram to add to her link party. I’m pretty pleased that I won that! I even got my Style Arc pattern prize already in the mail with their bonus monthly pattern, too! They included fabric samples and a woven Style Arc tag.

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Tons more Style Arc for the future!

I made size 24 and only made one alteration to shorten the leg by 3 inches.

The fabric I used was a stretchy brown corduroy.

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I pressed that faux zipper out the wrong way. I was tired. Haha. Luckily, I didn’t sew it down like that. SMH.

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My topstitching was in regular green thread (it was a muslin – not wasting topstitching thread on a muslin) with a twin needle. I used my serger to sew most of the seams outside of topstitching. This is how they fit the moment I finished sewing them:

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The pictures are a little dark and sans makeup and a nice top with my house flipflops on, but whatever.

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Let’s talk fit. There is some extra room in the front crotch area that will need to be resolved. The side seam runs very nicely down the side of the pants, though.

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The back is where most of my issues are…. I definitely need to change the pocket placement and bring them closer to the centre, increase back crotch length to accommodate a fuller bum, a full thigh adjustment, and a full calf adjustment. Since I am not a pants fitting expert by any means (first pair here yo!), what do you think about those adjustments or do you think there are others to add or I need to change my list up? I’m mainly going off a few pants fitting resources on the web via Fashionable Stitch and Sewaholic. Also, do you know of any pocket placement guide out there?

For my first pair of pants ever and a wearable muslin, I think the fit was pretty good the first time around. They are incredibly comfortable and have the exact issues that RTW pants would have on me. I’ve been wearing them a lot since making them.

This was also my very first Style Arc pattern. I’m actually really impressed with them and their size range. I love their style and, since they added the etsy shop for pdfs, I’ve been adding them to my pattern stash like crazy. I have a few more of their patterns planned out for the future.

As for the Misty Jeans, I have quite a few projects upcoming, but plan on making a couple of more pairs in February with one or more of these stretch jean fabrics in my stash:

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I got the two on the right from my mom for Christmas. The one on the left is leftover from my floral bomber jacket.

I probably have enough fabric to make about five pairs of jeans!

The elastic waist made the Misty Jeans pretty easy, but I would like to try some real jeans in the future with a zipper. I’ve been eyeing the Jilly Jeans on the Style Arc website. I’m a straight leg jean person.

Other than the Misty Jeans, I also wanted to share another project that never got proper pictures. My latest Colette Myrtle dress in a bright orange tie dye fabric.

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It’s incredibly seasonally inappropriate and the fabric is pretty thin and not entirely opaque…. Although, it’s really lovely fabric and has a silky feel to it. It’s a poly/rayon/spandex blend from Fabricland. I got it in August in Hamilton while meeting up with some fellow Sewcialists. The Myrtle dress is lined in the front for the cowl neckline so it works well to preserve modesty in a thinner fabric like this. I adore this dress. I kept the pockets off for whatever reason and regret that. I just miss having pockets, but they don’t lay super flat in this one. I’ve made the Myrtle dress before so this isn’t a full review.  This is my first time making it with a knit, though. I really like it. My other dress in silk charmeuse is worn frequently. Definitely summer dresses, though.

I made size 3X, used my serger for most parts except topstitching the waistband. I also didn’t follow the instructions for the waistband and instead inserted it into the casing later. The first time I made this, the waistband was constructed as per the instructions: sew the elastic closed and then topstitch the casing down by stretching the elastic while you sew. It was a fiddly method and didn’t give me a lot of control.

Other than this dress, I’ve mostly been making presents for people. I will share those in the next few days now that they have all their presents, except for the two I just put in the mail today.

Lingerie Month is coming up at the Curvy Sewing Collective. I am gearing up for that and already have one bra made up using my cloned bra pattern; watch for an entry on that! I’m going to be sewing a bunch this week to get at least three more done by the end of the month and (hopefully) get my Monthly Stitch outfit done as well! Cross your fingers that I can do that! I’m going to be doing a review for the Maya bra pattern from AFI, too. I’m really excited to start contributing to CSC and it’s about time, too! I’ve been meaning to since last year and never quite got to it. Gillian is quite the encouragement for me to contribute. I definitely needed that!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Style Arc Misty Jeans
  • Pros: Elastic waistband. Great first pants pattern. I thought the instructions were good. Although, they are brief, but the sewalong is a great resource for any questions you may have. Thanks, Alicia, for that!
  • Cons: I think maybe the pocket placement is a little off, but I notice this is true of most jeans patterns once they get on a real butt so I can’t really take points away for that. It’s just something to think about when you are making them.
  • Make again?: Abso-fucking-lutely.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars