Monday, August 17, 2009

Simplicity 3692


I recently discovered a new (to me, at any rate) fabric shop, only about 10 minutes drive from where I live. They mostly specialise in hand-painted silks and velvets, which are of course wildly inappropriate for standard mum-wear. Anyway, I decided to pay them a visit one day since they had a 50% off pattern sale, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that as well as the silks (which are beautiful, if perhaps a little bright for my personal taste) they are also starting to stock a variety of other natural fibre and organic fabrics. The colour range isn't huge at this stage, but I ended up buying some beautiful avocado-green bamboo knit. The fabric has a lovely drape, feels amazingly soft against the skin, has a four-way stretch so has really good recovery, and is just generally pretty darn cool. The sustainability factor of bamboo fits well with my inner Green Party voter, too ;-)
It sat on my shelf for ages waiting for the right pattern, one that wasn't fitted but would show of the drape of the fabric. I ended up deciding on Simplicity 3692, and I'm really pleased I did. The gathers and the sleeve shape really show off the fabric, and it's immensely comfortable to wear.
I toyed with the idea of elasticating the bottom edge, like in the sleeveless version, but in the end, laziness and the desire to be finished won, so I just hemmed it instead. I like it tucked in, and left out, and also worn with a belt (which I didn't get a picture of.)

All in all, a success, I long as I don't wear it with a brown belt or brown boots...cos then I end up looking like a wood elf, according to my Lord of the Rings-obsessed four year old.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pants, pants, pants.


So, I finally finished Vogue 2907. They've been sitting in my WIP basket for a few weeks now, through a variety of sewing machine malfunctions (I still have my doubts about technician man. The machine's working ok, but still seems a bit temperamental at times.)
I used a biscuit coloured cotton sateen with a bit of stretch, and some quilting fabric for the piping. Overall, I'm pretty happy with them - the fit in some parts is good, in others it's not good, but it's a pretty good jumping off point for a first pair, I reckon.
I like the shape of the legs, and the fit in the front is ok, I think. Front thigh width is ok, too; but I'm wondering if I need to take a bit out of the back thigh area? I definitely need to alter the pattern at the waist - I took out four inches at the top of the CB seam (that's not a typo) and at least an inch on either side, tapering to nothing just above the hip. Without it you could have posted an encyclopaedia down the gap at the CB. The waistband is different to how the pattern looks, too, because I didn't take a seam in it at the sides to accomodate the excess I pinned out at the side seams - I decided to fudge it and let the band wrap further around the front. Next time I'll do it properly ;-)
The main problem, as I'm sure you can see, is the serious wedgie I've got going on. This is straight out of the wash - after wearing them for a couple of hours, it's not so bad, but it's certainly not a look I was going for. I've scanned through good old Pants for Real People, but I'm still not 100% sure on how to alter the crotch so this doesn't happen. Ideas? I'm pretty happy with the fit across the rest of the ...what's the polite word they use?...."derriere"...but it's just not cool having that kind of wedgie going on. Not cool at all. There's also a bit of pulling on the fronts of my thighs when I walk, and I wonder if this and the wedgie issue are connected?
The bubble in the middle of the CB seam, comes, I think, from where I tapered up to the waistband at quite a steep angle to accomodate my sway back. I could try to smooth that out a bit, I guess. Can I fix the wedgie at this stage of construction by sewing a deeper crotch curve? Or do I just have to live with it?

I'll definitely try another pair - I love the style and apart from the obvious issues they're really comfy. I'd love to hear any fit advice you might have, though.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Spring on the inside

It's been a pretty long and grim winter around here...well, probably not by the standards of any truly cold and grim place, but for a soft-bellied Aucklander, it's been freezing. Finally, though, a walk around the streets has yielded glimpses of stuff like this:


...and this....


...which led me to think that this:


...would be a nice lining for this jacket, BWOF 2008-08-115, made in black wool:


...which I am looking forward to making at the Palmer Pletsch tailoring workshop I'm attending at the end of the month.

So there you go. A woolly jacket with a little bit of spring on the inside. Just the thing to bring a bit of fabricy good cheer to a cold day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fun with dangerous tools



One of the things I have learned as a mother of two boys is that when it comes to tools, the pointier and more dangerous, the better. Apparently. Oh...and "sewing's boring" (unless I'm making a Jedi robe, or a lurex suit of Mithril mail a la Bilbo Baggins, among other costumey things.) Anyway, today I felt the urge to get crafty and avoid the mountains of laundry that need to be folded, so I decided that rather than attempting to sew for myself, and gritting my teeth through the ensuing whingeing and mischief-making, I'd attempt a project that spoke the kids' language a bit more. One with pointy dangerous tools.

Our computer chair has been in a dire state for quite some years. In recent times, it's been covered with a crochet throw from the op shop, but I've become sick of putting it back on to the chair innumerable times each day. I'd bought this short length of upholstery fabric from the remnants bin at Nick's fabrics months ago for $3, and so armed with a serious industrial-style staple gun, we got stuck in. A variety of pointy tools were poked in a variety of holes in the chair by the four year old and the two year old; a fair amount of paint was worn off with a rasp while I was downstairs getting more staples; and an old oak cabinet I inherited from a great-uncle came within inches of being "distressed" with a few choice hammer blows. Ahem. There was a close call with a hacksaw, but no-one lost any fingers or eyes, and we now have a chair that isn't a complete embarrassment.

In sewing news, my machine came back from its second service and is, I think, sewing ok - I've lost my sewing mojo a bit in this cold and miserable weather, and am instead spending the evenings in front of the fire with my knitting and a glass of red wine. I'm also slightly embarrased to admit that I've developed an addiction to Pam's white chocolate buttons. Low-brow in the extreme, but so very delicious. I urge you to try them before you laugh too hard ;-)