Showing posts with label clothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clothing. Show all posts

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Me-Made-May Roundup #2

Okay, second full week down and I've kept up my streak of wearing at least one me-made garment per day (and no repeats so far!).  So here we go with the roundup:
Sunday, May 11th
Top: me-made here
Gray capri pants: me-made here

Monday, May 12th
Dress: me-made here
Tuesday, May 13th
Top: me-made here
Shorts: Anthropologie (though it hurt a little to buy them when I've been making pants and shorts!)
Little boy's hat and shorts: mom-made (unblogged)
Wednesday, May 14th
Blouse: me-made here
Ponte knit skirt: me-made (unblogged)
Thursday, May 15th
Dress: me-made here
Belt: J.crew
Friday, May 16th
Blouse: me-made (unblogged)
Jeans: Gap
Saturday, May 17th
Blouse: me-made (unblogged--can you tell I'm testing a pattern??  It's the same as the one I wore on Day 1 of MMM)
Jeans: Gap

Phew!  Another week down...I'm running out of clothes, but I guess it's acceptable to wear the same items more than once :)  Tomorrow I'm doing a "fun ride", and I have zero handmade cycling clothes, so perhaps pajamas will make an appearance for when I'm done!

Monday, January 13, 2014

New quarter, new wool pants

The start of the Winter quarter at the college was now a full week ago, but I've been busy enough that I hadn't yet gotten an opportunity to show off my "first day of school" pants until now (and now only because I'm procrastinating on some grading!).
The fabric is another one of the wools I bought on a great sale a while back at Eddie's.  The subtle plaid just screamed pants to me, and while I really, really wanted to use my new Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers pattern, I knew it meant time fiddling with the fit, and time is something I do not have at the moment.  So, I went with a pattern I've used several times before.
I've made this pattern four times now (most notably here), and each time I've used a less and less forgiving (read: stretchy) fabric.  This time, I lined the pants and it became even more obvious that I need to either find a new pattern or make some significant fit changes.   Basically, the back rise just isn't quite long enough for my ample bottom.  It doesn't look bad, but they just don't fit perfectly.  I just need to bite the bullet and make time to get the perfectly fitting trouser (you know, or take a pattern making course and design them from scratch).
The original pattern doesn't specify any sort of back pockets, so I always put in my own welt pockets to break up the expanse of fabric.  I worked hard to match up the plaids on the welts, so they blended in a bit better.
The plaid is well matched everywhere except the trim part of the pocket on one side.  I'll show it to you, just so I can confess that I did not go back and fix it.   Sorry guys.  
I lined the pants with some Bemberg, but didn't take photos at the time (and probably won't get around to it), so just trust me on that one.  Since the pattern didn't include a lining, and I decided to add it after the pants were almost fully constructed, it didn't go in as gracefully as I would have liked, but it works!
My only goal for this year is to make one garment for myself each month.  I know it's a low bar, but I want to be realistic and not feel like a huge failure when I'm over-extended in other areas of my life (and I might even feel good about myself if I surpass expectations!).  Hurray for reasonable goals!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Slow start to the Jedediah

With a new teaching quarter to prepare for, I have slowed down a bit, but despite the inactivity on my blog, I actually have been sewing!  Some of my work has been boring (wet bags) or housekeeping (hemming), but I do have an big project as well: the new Jedediah pants pattern (Thread Theory) has been on my work table for a few weeks now.
Had to move to the dining room floor for this operation!
This time around, printing the file at the print shop was a serious cost ($19!) because the file was a few inches too wide to print on a single 36" wide sheet.   So as not to destroy my expensive paper pattern, I copied it onto Swedish tracing paper and then made up a muslin.  All that takes time, and isn't very exciting, I'm afraid.
Muslin version of Jedediah pants
The muslin version looks like hospital pants (if hospital pants had an actual waistband and fly), but they did their job and now I have a better idea of how to improve the pattern to fit my guy.  Some changes to make:
  • decrease the waist (maybe by creating a two-part, slightly contoured band instead of a single, straight one) 
  • increase the hip area a bit
  • increase the width of the legs   
  • adjust the slash pockets so they lay more flatly against the body
My husband and I have been laughing at the "easy-access" ring tab zipper and really exciting fly shield that I worked into this muslin.  I'm *so* tempted to use that fabric for the fly on the the final one sees that, right? :)
Fancy fly shield and zipper pull
For the real deal, I purchased some amazing fabric from Hart's a few weeks back.  It's charcoal gray cotton/ hemp blend in a ripstop weave.   I'm excited to see the final product!
Top: organic voile (pocketing) Bottom: organic cotton/hemp ripstop
With the fit issues I've encountered, I find my feet dragging a bit, but I'm trying to persevere!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Coastal Cargos and Recess Raglan, done!

I'll preface this post by saying that these may be the last two garments I sew for this particular child of mine. Granted, it's the end of a 10 week summer break, but the amount of grief I was given when asking said child to try on the clothes I had painstakingly made for him has convinced me to stick to selfish sewing for a while!  That face above?  That disdain is for real.  
On to the garments!  I am super pleased with how these Coastal Cargos turned out!  Style-wise, sewing for an 8 year old is tricky; you definitely don't want their stuff to scream "my mom makes my clothes!", so essentially I was aiming to make something you could buy at the store.  My son and I picked out the fabric together (Joann's), with some negotiation, of course.  We weren't going for the 'military fatigues' look, but there was a serious lack of better options at the store and he wouldn't even consider the rust colored version I had in mind.  
My son is super skinny, so I used size 6 for this pattern.  Most patterns have excess ease (and my French seams probably used more seam than they were allowed), so these pants fit him well right at this very moment, with little room to grow, unfortunately.  But hey, at least I have a younger son!

Melissa's directions were great and I loved all the details in the pants (Three different types of pockets, button tab for rolling up the pants, zip fly, belt loops...these pants have it all!)
In lieu of bias tape on the leg seams, I went with French seams, that I sewed down (topstitched).  Flat-felled seams were my original plan, but the FS seemed like it would be easier, and less finger-burn inducing.
Inside topstitched French seam, with button tab
Other edges were serger-finished
It's unlikely that my son will actually use this feature, but the pants roll up and are secured with a button tab!  It'd be great for wading in the this weekend while I'm fabric shopping at Hart's....
At the last minute, I wanted to make a t-shirt to go with his new pants, so I downloaded the Recess Raglan Shirt, by See Kate Sew.  It's a great little pattern, and between my two boys will be useful for years, but the size 6 was pretty big all around for my guy.  Next time I'll size down and probably make the sleeves a little slimmer.  I started off with the elbow length, but they just looked comically large on my skinny guy, so I cut them back to short sleeves.
This morning, we carved potato stamps to look like animal prints and he used them to decorated his new top.  The boy loves his animals!
Pretty adventuresome looking outfit there!  He just needs his Adventure Bag and he's ready to go...back to school :)

P.S. The Coastal Cargos Sewalong is going on right now--you still have time to join in!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Coastal Cargo Sewalong (and some others)

There are a bunch of seriously exciting sewalongs going on right now.  Most started yesterday, but it's not too late to get on board!

Having received an early-warning notice from Melly Sews, I purchased the fabric for a Blank Slate sewalong:  Coastal Cargos (affiliate link).  The timing of this sewalong is perfect since school starts for my big boy next Monday.  The kids occupied themselves for a while and let me sew yesterday, so I managed to finish the welt pockets, slash pockets, zip fly, side seams and cargo pockets (so many pockets--a garment after my own heart!)  Here are some work-in-progress photos:
One of the welt pockets
Zip fly
Cargo pocket with button tab for rolling up the pants
After another productive sewing day today, I only have the hem and buttonhole left, and if I hadn't run out of thread, they'd be done!  

In other sewing news....
Thanks to Katie at Creative Counselor, I found Thread Theory Designs!  Menswear patterns that are hip and stylish!  Their Jedediah Shorts (or pants) Sewalong begins on the 15th (this Thursday!).  I snapped that pattern up the moment I saw it and I'd love to join in with that sewing event, but I'll need to convince the family that we should go to Santa Cruz so I can visit Hart's Fabric.  Since it's near the beach, it might not be such a hard sell!

If kids and mens wear aren't that exciting for you, Sewaholic is hosting a Saltspring Sewalong (starting yesterday).  I've been dying to try out one of Tasia's patterns, and this is a super cute dress, but GAH! I really must shift into sewing work-appropriate clothing for myself.

And then there are the 8 bagillion other patterns and ideas I have in mind, all competing for my attention:

  • fabric arrived in the mail for the Bombshell bathing suit (not most seasonally appropriate, but...)
  • Nani Iro fabric with a dress in mind (pattern drafting in the works)...
  • This pattern, with no fabric in hand....
  • And many others....
I need help--how do you keep track of and prioritize all the projects you have in mind?  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another roller skate dress

As mentioned here, I made a second version of the Roller Skate Dress to head-off any possible sadness that might have arisen if one sister received a new dress and not the other.
Of course, I didn't get any photos of the beautiful little girl actually in the dress, except with her sister:
I made this version exactly as directed in the Oliver+S instructions, with the exception of French seams throughout and an alteration of the neckline.  Instead of dipping into a V, I smoothed out the neckline to be a simple curve.  I just adore simplicity of the self-fabric button.
There's a cute self-fabric button on the back too:
After all the work aligning chevrons, I wasn't sure I could face more stripe matching.  But despite my best efforts, I couldn't avoid it, so I had to plan the cutting of this dress too, to make sure the front and back matched up.  
This was a throw-together sort of dress, though, and there is a stripe mis-match in the back that makes me absolutely crazy.  Can you spot it?  Believe me, had this been for the actual competition, I would have ripped it all out to get it right!   Sometimes you just have to let it go...
With all of the incredible entries for Round 2, I feel very fortunate to be advancing in the competition. Now we get to tackle a bag pattern!  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Little Birdy skirt

I love skirts.  Other than the logistics of sitting on the ground, I so much prefer them to shorts.  And just when my thoughts swing toward sewing up some leg-baring options, Crafterhours announces their annual Skirt Week.  How fortuitous! 
This lovely Echino linen blend fabric was purchased for another purpose (an apron), but I kept coming back to it with a skirt in mind.  Rifling through my pattern drawer revealed nothing that I was excited about, particularly for a single yard of fabric.  So I drafted my own pattern!

Using this wonderful book and my own measurements, I drew up a basic A-line skirt pattern.  Then, using the lines created by the darts, made a simple 6 gore skirt.  Since all skirts need pockets, I cut the side pieces, added pocket bags and trimmed them with piping.
The skirt is completely lined in white muslin, since the linen is actually a little itchy.  Besides, I like a few more layers to hide any lumps and bumps.
I did have to make some slight fit adjustments, but no more than I would have had to make with a commercial pattern.  Maybe even fewer!
This is a little dressier than I need for my current role as stay-at-home mom, but I guess it just means I'll have to plan more lunch dates! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Scoop neck tee from Skirt as Top

The garment factory accidents in Bangladesh have really opened my eyes to just how our clothing is made.  This article, which I heard on our local NPR station, painted a very vivid picture of the awful working conditions.  (The article is short, please read it.)  As seamstresses, we have a unique opportunity to do something small to help this terrible situation: to make at least some of our own clothing.  Even when my sewing room is sweltering hot, I know that my homemade clothing is not actually made in a sweatshop.  I can't make items like jeans, and I still do love shopping for and buying pretty things, so I don't think I'll be going fully homemade anytime soon, but I truly believe that even a little helps.  
In the past, I haven't wanted to make things like t-shirts because, well, they are so cheap to buy.  But they are cheap for a reason.  As I've gained confidence in my serging abilities, though, t-shirts have become much more quick and easy to make, and might even approach cost-effectiveness, which means one less item of clothing to buy. Fellow Britex blogger, Kristin from Skirt as Top has generously provided a lovely, simple and free t-shirt pattern, and after seeing it here, here, and here, I finally gave in.  Plus, I had a yard of some beautiful chevron fabric that had been waiting for a good pattern.
The pattern comes only in a smallish-medium size, so I took the sides in quite a bit and shortened it by about 2-3 inches.  I also redrew the neckline to be less scoopish (for modesty while bending over at the park, you know) and made the armholes smaller.  I love the resulting fit! 
I couldn't help myself and made a second one, immediately!  No lie, it took me 40 minutes.  The black and white looks a bit like prison gear, but it's super comfortable.  Despite using the exact same pattern, the black and white striped top is slightly roomier.
My littlest was helping work the camera timer today, wearing his mom-made top!