Thursday, June 25, 2009

Zen and the gentle art of unpicking....

I really wanted to give this post another title, but I think I would have had to change the "uses rude words" setting of my blogger profile. I'm hoping you can smell the sarcasm on my breath...

I decided to tackle my first BWOF pattern, and chose an easy, 3-pattern-piece, knit top 02-2009-108. Traced it off during one of Mr 2 years old's rare daytime naps; added seam allowances; cut it out that evening. Tried to sew it up last night and a combination of tired eyes and brain led to a whole lot of swear-inducing unpicking. Grey thread on grey marle knit, at 9 pm, with a pair of eyes that I suspect need to visit the optometrist, is not a good combination.

Anyhoo...I got it finished. I used a cheap $4/m cotton/lycra-ish stuff from Nick's Fabrics (Dominion Rd, AKL) as it was supposed to be a wearable muslin before I cut into my merino stash. Very happy with the fit, though I might just lower the front neckline a smidge as it's a bit snug against my throat.

I cut a 36, and added about three inches to the body length (not due to a pattern malfunction; just because I've got a really long back and and am no longer of an age that I like to show off my belly button ;-) )I added clear elastic to the neck edges (which I inadvertenly stretched on the back neck edge and ended up with a slight gather)and stabilised the shoulders with same clear elastic (serged on). I also shaved about 1.5cm off the top of the sleeve cap (as per suggestions on PR) and sewed it in flat...with the overlocker. Which I probably won't do again as it was a tiny bit stressful...or if I do do it again, I won't try to do it whilst simultaneously cutting off the 1.5cm seam allowances. Duh.

All in all a great pattern, and one that I see myself making again and again. It'll be great to have some high-necked merino tops to wear for the remainder of the winter, since most of the styles I've found in shops this season seem to be low cut. What's with that? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of it being a warm woolly thing? Or am I just being a nana?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

They don't look this bad in real life, honest...



Sewing mojo has been seriously absent in my house over the last little while, thanks to that winning combination of winter lethargy, sick kids, and the boring bits of life in general getting in the way. I've also had a pile of "must sews" glaring at me which have been aggravating me to the point of total craft-inertia; this weekend will hopefully see the end of the nappy-sewing marathon and I'll be good to go with the projects that have been buzzing around my head for the last few weeks.

Anyway, I have finished one thing. A couple of weeks ago I attended a Palmer/Pletsch pants fitting workshop and it was fantastic. I learned so much and am really looking forward to a future wardrobe of pants that fit. We spent a lot of time altering the fit pattern, but despite flaring the legs out by a factor of lots, and dropping the waistband about 5 cm, the pants have managed to retain a certain je ne sais quoi that reminds me of their supertapered, stopping way above the ankle, high waisted origins.

I cut a 10, but then took out about 4cm through the back; I think I'd actually be better off cutting an 8 and adding the required extra to the hips. They've also sagged out a bit in the back and the knees, and are not helped at all by the fact that the photo was taken in harsh afternoon sunlight in all their unironed glory.

So, all in all, not the coolest pants in town; but in the spirit of blogging and sewing verisimilitude, here they are, in all their unironed (but very comfy)glory. I'm definitely looking forward to having a go at the alterations on a funky pattern, and I've got a couple of the Vogue Alice & Olivia ones in mind. Will endeavour to be back soon.