25/09/2014

DIY Leggings + Wrap-front Blouse

ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY Leggings There’s nothing, I’ve decided, quite so annoying as being restricted in some way by the clothes you are wearing. Whether they be too tight, too short, too good or too silky, it’s all bad. Now, if you’ve been here for the ride thus far you may have noticed I have a small penchant for silky things, specifically, silks. But here’s the thing…many of my most favourite silk items hang, rarely worn, in near-mint condition in my closet. Which is a bit sad considering how much time and love got poured into them. I would like to wear them on a daily basis if it weren’t for fear of small people grime and the fact that I could still probably do with a bib when eating sometimes. When I petitioned (mostly against myself) to sew more ‘fiercely attractive mum-friendly clothes‘ this year, I didn’t know what that would look like. But I knew what was needed were things I could throw on, go about the day’s mostly un-glamorous activities, all the while looking put together, or at least like I’d changed out of pyjamas. Finally, with this legging and blouse combo, I feel I have arrived! At a craggy isthmus somewhere between BabeTown and MumTown.

ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY LeggingsIn hopes of reigning in the silk-monger within, I’ve been looking out for some happy replacement for silk; something drapey and nice against the skin, without the omg-dishwater-on-my (insert most-beloved item) factor. Step in Viscose, Rayon and whatever else is in this glorious man made fibre! I saw it, petted it, decided it was the softest, most buttery SOLID I ever laid eyes on and stowed it away for a worthy project…something like the wrap-style Dotty Blouse by Style Arc. You may have seen this deep cross-over silhouette doing the rounds, see here and here. I saw it, loved it and before I knew what was happening, the pattern was making it’s way to my house. McCalls have put out a similar blouse and Burdastyle released this cute variation but it was the line drawing of the Dotty that sold me.
ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY LeggingsSo much to love here! A double yoke, gathered back, good butt coverage and a cleverly designed front with the wrap section cut as one whole piece. The instructions imply you can sew a double yoke in your sleep and with my experience of double yokes being mostly of the breakfast variety, I decided to seek help. I followed this tutorial on the Style Arc site, up to the point where it became obvious that attaching a double yoke in a normal scenario, where the shirt front has two pieces (like a normal button up) is one thing. Attaching a yoke for a shirt where the front is made of one long joined piece of fabric, is something else all together. Also, the tutorial makes sense for a shirt that would eventually have a collar attached, in which case it is no problema to leave the neckline raw. But for the collar-less Dotty blouse, I realised that the neckline would have to be sewn shut at some stage in the yoke attaching otherwise it be left raw foreverrrr! To be honest I don’t really remember how it did it and wish I took better notes on the process but just know, it’s possible. Your double yoke will be okay. It will, however, take some manoeuvering that I cannot explain without wild hand gestures.

ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY LeggingsThis is actually my second version of the Dotty Blouse. I thought I should probably muslin it (see! I can be a responsible) before cutting into this fabric. The pattern recommends silk, crepe or a jersey knit. After muslin-ing it in a feather-weight cotton voile, I learned that lightweight and good drape are not one and the same. The recommendation for jersey knit should have been the give away that whatever fabric you choose, it has to hang-well (not the same as well-hung). In fact I don’t think it mentions light-weight anywhere. No it does not. I made that up. But having now sewn the Dotty up in something lightweight with no drape and something with lots of drape, the drapier fabric produced a front section that cascades instead of puffs out and an all round nicer looking top.

ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY LeggingsThe sleeves are my favourite! The instructions are to gather them into narrow bands and left long. But I liked rolled up sleeves. I like their utilitarianism. Especially on a top with so much party in the front. Plus I thought that the addition of sleeve tabs could take this top some place special. So, after asking the deep questions about sleeves, I omitted the sleeve band, sewed a straight hem and ‘borrowed’ the sleeve tabs from another pattern. For the buttons, I covered some regular flat shirt buttons using a great little technique I learned here. I much prefer their compactness over the clunky store bought self cover buttons.
ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY LeggingsNow seems a good time to address the pink elephant in the room: how is that front section staying shut?! Well, it’s not really and even standing relatively still on a not windy day, my photographer copped a few eyefulls. So, short of wearing a velcro bra, I’ll have to go back at attach a press stud, which I was trying to avoid but is what the pattern suggests anyway.  I should also point out that even with the double yoke fussing, it was possible to French seam the whole thing, which makes this one of my most meticulous and most un-hand-made looking pieces yet. Save for a few dodgy bits sewing the curved hem…
ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY LeggingsShort and sweet for all involved, DIY leggings are the ultimate quickie project! These here were my demo pair for the Leggings Workshop I taught at the recent The Craft Sessions weekend. I chose leggings because they’re beginner friendly when you’re starting out with knit sewing and instantly satisfying. At the start of the workshop, I told the ladies they’d laugh once they realised how straightforward leggings are: one pattern piece + 4-way stretch fabric + a ball point needle + stretch stitch = DIY legging fabulousness. Anyway, they all produced beautiful leggings (some I wanted to snatch for myself) and left with new sewing confidence!

ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY LeggingsNow that leggings season is coming to an end here, these are finally making it to the blog. The fabric is swimwear lycra from here, which I really don’t mind against my skin. My favourite sources for leggings fabric are Tessuti Fabrics, Wanderlust Fabrics, Girl Charlee and random Etsy shop, Fabulace. I used the same Burdastyle pattern as this pair (now retired to pjs), which I love for the extra length in the legs and torso.

ADA SPRAGG // Not Your Nanna's Sewing // Style Arc Dotty Blouse + DIY Leggings(good butt coverage)

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Comments

  • EmSewCrazywrote:

    Just found your blog the other night and am so glad I did! I love this blouse! Will have to check out those patterns. Thanks for giving the lowdown on it. You look super amazing too !

  • lisa gwrote:

    fabulous! it’s so hard to balance the need for fun silky luxurious clothes with the reality of grimy hands and embarrassing eating habits… ha! i pre-wash my silks so i’m not afraid to give them a delicate wash when necessary. but rayon is the perfect compromise! i bought the mccalls version of this top recently and it is very, very high on my to-do list. such a fun top! and those leggings are so great. nice work!

  • LKwrote:

    Sold on this pattern because of you, its absolutely stunning.

  • lsaspaceywrote:

    By the way, both Simplicity and New Look have versions of this pattern too.

  • Katywrote:

    This outfit is fabulous! I’ve had the dotty blouse on my list for a while but I think I may need to bump it up! The colour is amazing on you, stunning!

  • Sassy Twrote:

    Love your style. Would you mind me featuring any of your projects on SSB? I credit, link to your post and let you know when featured.
    https://facebook.com/sassysewingbees

  • Sarawrote:

    Beautiful, very wearable outfit! I totally agree about needing to sew things that you actually wear, but at the same time they should still be beautiful and unique, because otherwise, what’s the point? That top is gorgeous and you seem to have chosen the perfect fabric for it. The gathers in the back are such a lovely detail!

  • Madywrote:

    I loooove it! This blouse is absolutely beautiful and the fabric on the leggings just stunning! I always love your makes!

  • Sashawrote:

    Splendid! That viscose fabric is simply beautiful and I find the whole outfit to be stylish and relaxed. I love the color palette!

  • Jowrote:

    I was already keen on the blouse pattern but you might have pushed me over the edge – totally gorgeous!

  • Tamsin W-Pwrote:

    Great outfit! the top is amazing – I am looking for some slightly ‘different’ tops for this winter and this could be one of them! I particularly like the sleeve strap thingy.

  • Nicolewrote:

    oh this is stunning, love it! The addition of the button loops is very cool, this is like one of the 500 rtw blouses I have on my inspiration board but never make, must change that. Beautifully styled as always too 🙂

  • Marionwrote:

    If this gorgeous outfit has been road-tested at the kitchen sink then it’s a game changer for around the house. The colours are a knockout. Daggy is the word that springs to mind when I look at my ‘house-clothes’ …but your combo is glam inc. Again you wow us with possibilities.

  • mokoshawrote:

    i wanna steal your entire outfit! dreaming of similar blouse (and i think burda is releasing somehting similar in october issue, it’s a dress, but i plan to chop the skirt section and make it into a blouse).. i also love that stripey burda shirt that you linked to, been looking for similar striped chiffon for ages, so i can make it.. and love the print of your legging! i’m practically living in leggings lately, have probably 10 pairs of them, but all are in gray colors, i really need to make a pair that is bold and fun as the one you’re wearing

  • Thewallinnawrote:

    I think most of us face similar issue: pretty vs wearable. At the moment, I try to focus on sewing garments suitable for cycling yet looking feminine “sigh” I love how the entire outfit turned out!

  • salliewrote:

    Girl, you always look so chic!! But I’m glad this getup also happens to be comfy and check off all your ‘mum-friendly’ boxes too! Real life wearability really is the icing on the cake for me! (take THAT icing vs. cake!) I’m digging this wrap-front blouse silhouette I’ve been seeing around – might have to jump on that bandwagon this fall – especially in whatever magical fabric you’ve chosen here – it looks, and sounds, delish! And your print leggings are just mouthwatering! Lovely look all around!!

  • Heather Louwrote:

    Good lord I want those leggings! I’d never concerned using swim fabric for every day but how else to get those magic fabrics?! Do you get all schweaty in them?

  • Meganwrote:

    This is such a fabulous outfit. I love everything about it and want one just the same!!

  • maddiewrote:

    Total babetown if you ask me! Show-stoppa!

  • Blogless Annawrote:

    Stunning! And definitely ringing the mummy friendly & stylish bell… Ding ding ding…

  • crab&beewrote:

    It’s a super luxurious blouse! My brain is turning in knots over sewing that back yoke 🙂

  • ebonyhwrote:

    This outfit looks great! No one would guess you were aiming for anything other than pure babe-a-liciousness. Little buttons look cute too! And thank you for providing some links to a few fave fabric locales; you deserve the award for best eye for fabric on the internet. I don’t need more fabric… but… it’s good to know where to go if/when I decide that maybe I do. I love that you’ve been using swim lycra for day wear. It just makes so much sense, yet I wouldn’t have taken the leap with the gusto you have shown. Inspired.

  • Kimwrote:

    Gorgeous! Seeing your awesome makes make me mis my sewing machine like crazy! I already had those leggings on my wish list and now I’m adding the top too.. Really beautiful outfit!

  • Lizzywrote:

    *sigh* I’m not sure you ever make anything I don’t like… The silhouette and colour of that blouse is divine.

  • emily mariewrote:

    You make and put outfits together so well! I agree that rayon content is the best thing ever. Sooo soft and you even found it in the best color ever! Serious fabric envy right here. Love the coordinating shoes, too!
    Is press stud another name for snap? I’ve never heard that one before but I like it!

  • Bellawrote:

    Inspiring as always! I have the dotty pattern and a silk georgette for it waiting in the (stash) wings, might need a shot of courage before attempting that double yoke. Yours looks divine.

  • poppykettlewrote:

    Had you not mentioned, I would never have thought this not to be silk. But I’ll take faux silk if it looks like this!!! Love the detail on the sleeves, you’ve definitely knocked the stylish-but-practical mama nail on the head.

  • Helenewrote:

    You look adorable in this outfit! Love the blouse, love the navy, adore the leggings, and your pink shoes are perfect!

  • Natalie from Sewoutnumberedwrote:

    Ooo love the blouse! Not sure how “mum-friendly” that would be minus press-stud though! Meanwhile, perfect for accessing ‘the girls’ while breastfeeding 😉

  • Beth – Sew DIYwrote:

    This outfit is gorgeous!!

  • Chie - Vivat Veritaswrote:

    I love this! The whole outfit looks so comfy but put-together at the same time. Great job!!

  • carolynwrote:

    Girl, is there anything you don’t look good in? No? I thought so 🙂

  • Amandawrote:

    Sophie, a seriously wearable make for mumtastic awesomeness! The fabric for your blouse is delicious looking- I would have thought it silk for sure!

  • Elkewrote:

    I just fell in love with your blouse! And you have a very talented photographer by the way.

    And by accident I just wrote an article featuring style arc Patterns two days ago. The Cassie Pants and Nina Cardigan. On my sewing list: Dotty, Camilla and Jacqui Patterns! So I will take some Inspiration from here and just Need to buy my fabric for this blouse. I didn´t expect the fabric required to be so huge. I did not buy enough… hmpf.

  • Sarawrote:

    I was seriously considering buying this top but I don’t know if I’m ready for that double yoke bit with few instructions. But yours is so SUPER lovely, especially with those fun leggings and heels. I also just want to give you serious props for your profesh looking photos—I dream of the day I look that nice in pictures of my makes!

  • Rachelwrote:

    super cute… as always !

  • Gingerwrote:

    This is so, so, so, so gorgeous. It’s an absolutely perfect outfit, dude!!!

  • Elizabethwrote:

    You always make the coolest stuff! I’m not even a print person and I think I’m about to go make myself some floral leggings…

  • Fall Sewing Trends with Kelley | Sew Mama Sew | Outstanding sewing, quilting, and needlework tutorials since 2005.wrote:

    […] from top left: Uve: Autumn Leggings, Max California: Mermaid Leggings, Ada Spragg: DIY Leggings, Mokosha: Self Made Leggings, Peneloping: Jamie […]

  • BeaJaywrote:

    That is a fabulous outfit. The fabric for that top is gorgeous. Do you mind sharing it’s source?

    • Sophiewrote:

      Thanks! It’s from The Fabric Store, they’re not online but there are three locations in Australia and one new shop opened in LA…hope that helps x

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