Monday, September 19, 2016

No Jeans Were Harmed In The Making Of These Shorts

I had a decent sized piece of denim left from my first pair of Ginger Jeans;  the idea that at some point I'd like to make a distressed pair of Morgan Jeans, and a need for something really casual for throwing over a bathing suit when traveling to the beach.  When your trip to the beach requires riding the subway you need real clothes and not just a coverup.

Distressed Ginger Jeans:

There was lots of fun in the making of these.

Lots of slicing.   The recently acquired rotary cutter made that fun:

I did the first distressing with my kitchen microplane:

But found that this did a much better job:

It took 3 baths in bleach to get the final color.

As expected, the bleach did a good job of killing the lycra. I was perfectly fine with no stretch on these.  The mystery though was without the stretch would they be tighter or looser?  Verdict is they loosened.  A long spin in the dryer helped, but the looseness is good for the boyfriend look and for comfort.

One last look:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Very Useful Dress

I have had a number of occasions lately that have required something a bit more special than my everyday wear,  but not something too fancy.  Maybe best desired as business to cocktail.

I took advantage of a fit clinic with Kenneth D. King at Sew Right, the terrific store where I bought my  newest sewing machine.

This was the second one I had attended.  After the first I started thinking about the styles I that  I could never wear as RTW.  What silhouettes would actually flatter, if they were altered to fit me properly.  Although I am a fairly standard petite height, my upper body is even more petite than petite sizing.  A fit and flare style would suit my shape, but even in a petite cut, I'm still trying to fit my hips into a higher place.   Additionally my shoulders are very narrow,  my under bust very narrow and my bust full.

The pattern is Vogue 8848  which I picked up on a rare Joanne's (bathroom pit stop on a business trip) visit.  It definitely could only be made to work on me with expert fitting.

Early this spring, on our yearly fabric shopping trip to find a good friends birthday present, I found this lovely Jason Wu fabric at Mood.  It is a cotton fabric, with a bit of texture.  A bit thicker than most cottons, but not too thick.  I'd describe it as something akin to a light upholstery fabric
It behaved  up beautifully.  A shot of steam and all those tricky pivot points just laid perfectly.

All seams are bound with Hung Sung seam tape:

It might have been worth the effort to get the zipper and tape to match, but I used what I had and I still think it looks pretty.

As the fabric has a lot more body than those the pattern called for, the stiffer fabric lead to too much in the skirt.  I removed quite a large amount (24" total) from the flare.  Just took out long triangle from hem tapering to nothing at the horizontal seams:

I should get a lot more use out of this dress as it really is just about reasonless  Looks great with a black cardigan and may even work with boots.

Unless a special occasion comes up, I'm taking a break from dresses.  That's okay; there is plenty else to sew.  I'm planning a coat, more jeans and bras.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Frankenpattern Sundress

On Pattern Review, Catina , The Pattern Hack Fairy",  drafted a skirt pattern for someone who had asked for help in finding a pattern to recreate a Milly skirt with lovely pleating.

 Although I was searching for fabric for a skirt that would match a sweater I love very much, when I saw this fabric at Mood I thought sundress.


The fabric was a bit stiff when purchased, but that totally washed away with one washing.  I thought it might have been a plus for the pleating, but now it is so soft and comfortable.

I was very creative here and I all worked out very well.

I started with my TNT shift dress pattern.  It's from an old Butterick coordinate pattern.  The number is B5147, but it could have been any darted shift dress.  The original fitting was done by Kenneth King at a fit clinic at Sew Right and I've sewn it many times.

I cut across at the waistline, rotated the darts into princess seams and cut across the top.  After the first muslin, I took quite a bit in at the back and the sides.

The skirt was cut from the pattern posted through Pattern Review and it matched up to the bodice very well.

It has lovely unique pleating.  Very flattering as you get a pleated skirt look while it is very flat across your tummy:

Bodice only was lined and bra carriers were added to the straps;

I added pockets, nabbing the pattern piece from a random pattern, because, well pockets!

The lining was hand stitched down at the bottom of the bodice and to the zipper.  I have never been successful at machine stitching the lining to the zipper.

Hem was finished with Hung Sung seam tape and hand stitched.

For no reason at all I had issues in getting the zipper so that the seams matched up.  With a bit of persistence (and basting only a few inches many times) I eventually concurred it.

One last photo:

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I've got a skirt thing going on

So the 3rd skirt post in a row.

Fabric was my last purchase made at Chic Fabrics before it closed.  It's a charmeuse with matte dots and I've used it wrong side up so it is matte with charmeuse dots.  I just love a fun skirt, worn with solid tops and the colors of this print are totally me.

No pattern, no hand sewing.   I took my 1 yard of fabric and cut a waist band off of one selvedge side.    Cut the remaining piece in have crosswise.  Then I cut 2 pieces of Bemberg lining the same size less 1" along the long side.  With both the main fabric and the lining I  sewed the two respecitve  pieces together on the short sides.   Next the body and lining were sewn along the long end, which became the hem line.  Side seam had a zipper inserted and sewn.  Waistband created and attached with a single button for closure and done.

Here's a look at the no hem hem:

Twirling shot:

Guess what?  There's another skirt sewn.  Just need a photo session. Been really bad about that lately.

'Til next time.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Nice Warm Skirt

Absolutely lovely, very heavy (as could have been a coat) Navy wool from Metro Textiles bought at #wineandcheesewithkashi.

This is my TNT skirt pattern that Claire helped fit for me. I can no longer locate the Sarah Verblen fitting tutorial I started with.  The same info is in an article in the July 2015 issue of Threads.  They must have taken down the tutorial when the article was published.

The closure is an exposed brass zipper in the back:

Those funny squares showing in the photo do not show in real life.  Navy is just as hard to photograph as black.

When I purchased the fabric, I was told me  to be careful with how I stabilized the waistline  to keep it from stretching, since I wasn't going to put in a waistband.

I decided that I would use Petersham ribbon.  I found this tutorial:

I extended the ribbon and used a hook and bar for the closure.

I am so happy with the fit on this one.  If I make this length again I will extend the kick pleat up higher.  I missed on my length measurements and had to shorten the hem.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jungle January?

Well it's been awhile since I've posted, but when the daylight hours got shorter my camera decided it couldn't coop.  Getting a good one is on the long list of things to do.

The question mark in the title is there as I'm in almost no way a animal print kind of person.

Well I do make one exception, cows.

But I don't think there are cows in the jungle anyway.

I had an occasion I was making a dress for.  The occasion didn't necessitate something very dressy, but I wanted something new.

The dress was a big failure and ended up, for multiple reasons in the trash.

So as one does, the Tuesday before the event  I ran to Mood and purchased a small cut of a very lovely Alice and Olivia of fabric (not found on the website).  The fabric is a lovely cotton brocade.  Weighty with out being too heavy.

The matching sweater and shoes were already in the wardrobe for a perfect outfit.  I've been know to walk into a fabric store with a shoe to look for coordinating fabric. This time i wore the sweater. 48 hours later I had a perfect skirt.

Then I realized that the pattern is cheetah.

So I'm in for Jungle January.

I'm having a patterned skirt moment. It is a rather simple make, but it is the kind of thing I'm likely to get a lot of use from. There's another one coming up and I expecting that there will be more.  As long as I already have the top to match.  I'm really avoiding orphan makes these days.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Finally... A Skirt That Fits

Here's the last of the summer sewing.

I'm very  excited about this one.  All my skirts, self made and RTW, usually fold at the top of the waistline in an uncomfortable way.  I've solved that with this one:

Unfortunately I can't seem to locate the fitting instructions I found on the web, but the method is exactly as shown in the  issue of Threads magazine.

My friend Claire helped me fit the skirt muslin.  I used the basic 4 dart skirt from B4461 from which I had already straightened from the hip line down to remove the A shape.  I added to the waist seam allowance another 1" of height.

I sewed the side seams, sewed in horizontal balances line, through in a quick and dirty zipper and marked on the darts the outside , but not sew them up.  When I put it on I pinned a piece of elastic at my waistline.  Claire pinned the darts to fit my body and with a magic marker drew a line below the elastic.

I took the muslin apart, balanced out the darts and copied it on to paper.  I like to use medical (spa) paper.

For this version I did a bit of work to the pattern.  I created a contour waistband by drawing a line 3" below the waistband.  Cut them off, closed the darts and added seam allowances to the bottoms.  I attached the front the back at the side seam to create one piece and added a few inches to the front for the fly.   To the main pieces I added seam allowances at the waist and a fly front which I copied from the Ginger Jean pattern.

Now to find a nice piece of Navy wool.  I'm planning a winter version too.