Archive for April, 2012

Just a note..

Now that I’m out and about, I have to say that wearing trousers is weird. I’m not used to all this fabric swooshing about my ankles!

That said, I still want more. Maybe I’ll investigate something like the Colette Patterns capris.


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Yes!  I have finished items that I can actually wear!

First, I did some adjusting to my trouser pattern to see about making them like Burda 8365.  You can see the changes – the white on the bottom is my block (which I used as-is for the plus-fours), the tissue is the pattern, and the wax paper (it’s cheap and see-through!) is my trouser pattern, with green sharpie markings.  As it was a success, I have transferred it onto some random sew-in interfacing I got for free.

Trouser Pattern Back

Trouser Pattern Back

Trouser Pattern Front

Trouser Pattern Front

I was going to do a fly front, but I really don’t like the seams and buttons showing through t-shirts, so at the last minute I did an invisible zipper on the side seam.  I love them.  The pictures are a little wrinkled because I’ve been wearing them since I finished them. :D

Me, wearing wide-legged orange ramie trousers and a grey t-shirt.

Orange Trousers Front

The only struggle will be figuring out what colours to wear with them.  Black is my standard, but it’s rather Halloween-y.  I like grey, but this is my only non-Halloween grey t-shirt, and it’s a little small.

Side view of me wearing my orange trousers.

Orange Trousers Side

The side seam comes too far forward at the top, but I have adjusted that on my block and my trouser pattern.  This was my error, as I had been mucking around with the waist size.

Me, from the back, wearing orange trousers and a grey tee.

Orange Trousers Rear

There is a little wrinkling under the bum, but that might be because I haven’t clipped the seams… I’m not sure, though.

The block is Stephanie’s (3 Hours Past) trouser block.  I used her instructions (Well, sort of. I steamed ahead, then she emailed me back and I confirmed I had done it the smart way.) to alter the trouser pattern.  As you can see, I didn’t alter it too much, as I wanted high-waisted, wide-legged pants.  I am considering the patch pockets, but haven’t added them yet.

The plus fours are also a success, but I know they won’t get as much wear as the trousers.  For one, they’re navy.  I don’t really wear navy.  For two, they’re thick brushed twill, which is much too warm for the summer.  They’ll be excellent pants to wear around the house, though.  I’ll be making the shorts length of the pattern out of the grey linen I purchased, as I don’t have enough for anything longer.

Me wearing knee length navy pants (knickerbockers) and a bright coral t-shirt.

Plus Fours and Blank Canvas Front

The Blank Canvas Tee also turned out quite well.  This is after a day of wearing it under a sweatshirt, so IDK what’s going on with those sleeves!  When freshly washed, they aren’t as bunchy… although the French terry is thick enough, I kind of wish I had done a simple hem instead of binding them.  The bra I wore this shirt with over the weekend did NOT show through as much.  Sigh.  I will have to make some adjustments here as well, if I make it again in the French terry.  In a thinner fabric, the stretch isn’t as noticeable, and the sleeves have a little more drape.  I’m planning on doing the flutter sleeve variation as well, as I’ve found some pretty burnout knit that would be wonderful to wear in the summer.

Me, from the back, wearing navy plus fours (knickerbockers) and a coral tee.

Plus Fours and Blank Canvas Back

All in all, I am extremely happy with both the trouser block, and the Blank Canvas Tee.  Playing with these patterns (especially the block) under the guidance of someone who sees fit in a similar way I do has made all the difference in my understanding of sewing, and fitting my body.  I have taken sewing and drafting classes before, and I haven’t been happy with the results I’ve had with my sewing.  Now I can make myself a bazillion pairs of trousers, and they will all fit, no matter which pattern I base them on!

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Yes, yesterday I ended up making another Blank Canvas Tee.  This time, of the NEON coral French terry I purchased recently.  It is divine.

Even though I ended up taking a 3.5 hour break in the middle to go get some thread suitable for topstitching, because none of the oranges in my stash matched well enough for me.

Sewing pattern for Blank Canvas Tee, with my alterations marked in yellow highlighter.

Sewing pattern for Blank Canvas Tee, with my alterations marked in yellow highlighter.

Yes, I know. Yellow highlighter is NOT a good colour to use to identify cutting lines, especially when taking a photo. Two things to mention. When cutting, I had to go to the scoop neck from the crew, as after stitching on the neck binding thing, it was WAY too tight for me. Could be the fabric, could just be me. I greatly prefer the scoop! The original back neckline is too far over, so I need to add some paper and re-draw it on my pattern. I noticed that as I was cutting the neckline down with the shirt half sewn together! The other thing is I went with the 50″ hip line in the back, but I could have gone with the 55″. I’ll do that next time, if I use French terry. The material is quite a bit thicker and less stretchy/drape-y than the soft bamboo I used for my first Tee!

I used the same treatment on the sleeves as I did on the neck, and I’m not 100% sure I’m going to keep it. The Tee has been washed, and is currently drying. I wanted to see if washing it would take down the “sticking out” of the sleeves with the binding. If it is too much for me, I’ll unpick the binding (and the top stitching!) and fold-and-hem the sleeves.

Another consideration is the depth of the shirt through the shoulders. I feel like it’s just hanging there, and might end up altering the pattern by shaving 1cm off the top edge. I haven’t decided yet, though.

White crocuses with bright orange-yellow stamens and green leaves. Taken from directly above the flowers.

Crocuses. Croci?

As the shirt is drying, I haven’t done any photos (Though photos are coming! And I’ll be wearing my plus fours!), so I’m attempting to appease you all by showing you some flowers. I’ve been doing some more hiking, and less running these past few weeks. I went up a local trail that’s 500+ stairs, and then today I got out of work early and went for a mostly-walk (very little jogging) on another local trail. (Smartwool is doing a giveaway on their Facebook page, which is what this photo was for.)

My feet in purple woolly socks, in front of a view of the ocean, with hills in the distance and white fluffy clouds in blue skies.

My feet in purple woolly socks, in front of a view of the ocean, with hills in the distance and white fluffy clouds in blue skies.

I’m maintaining an uphill KPH of about 3.4, which I’m quite pleased with, as my asthma has been pretty bad (For me. Not for asthma. I have a friend with Bad Asthma, and I hope I never experience that!). Today I pre-medicated, and it made ALL the difference. My lungs didn’t whistle at all! Breathing wasn’t actually that difficult! What a concept.

Tiny daisy in green lawn, with white petals and a circular yellow centre. Taken from above.

Tiny daisy in green lawn, with white petals and a circular yellow centre. Taken from above.

Now I need to go get some more wax paper, as I am out (OH NOES!) and want to trace, cut, finish the edges on, and maybe insert the zipper in a pair of trousers made of some dark orange ramie I forgot I had in my stash. A huge piece of fabric, enough for a pair of TROUSERS, and I forgot I had it. Go me. That’ll be it until next week, as I have no time for sewing until Monday, which is my BIRTHDAY! A day all for me, it will be bliss.

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Yay! Pants!

Or rather, plus fours.  As they are currently unhemmed, I am considering making these ones into shorts.  They are a heavy brushed cotton twill, and although they might be fun, I can’t see wearing them much in the summer.

I ended up going with a straight waistband, and for this pair I eased the top of the pants into the waistband.  I will be taking out that extra fabric for the next pair, and I’ve already marked it on my pattern pieces!

After wearing them about the house for a bit, I can say that they are very VERY comfortable.  The waistband length I chose isn’t as small as my skirt waistband, but it’s also not as high!

I was a beta tester for Stephanie’s (3 Hours Past the Edge of the World) trouser block service, and I must say it was awesome.  She is patient, she is timely (much more than I am!), and from my perspective, she truly understands fit issues.  It might be a while before I get pictures of my new shorts and/or plus fours, and I will do a more comprehensive review then.  My opinion is that if you’re having troubles fitting trousers, DO IT.  It’s totally worth it.  Once the block is perfected, you can adjust any trouser pattern to be a perfect fit, or use the block as a base to draft your own.

The linen twill is currently drying (as is the almost fluorescent coral french terry, the magenta cotton/spandex, and the purple nylon supplex), I won’t be able to cut out my next pair until tomorrow.  These ones will DEFINITELY be plus-fours, with the cuff at the knee, and silver buttons!  My new (to me) overlocker is out, and I am determined to learn to use it, to finish the edges on the linen.

I’m also hoping that I can use this thing to sew knits, but from reading the manual, I’m really not sure.  I want stretchy seams, and the way it’s currently set up isn’t letting the seams be stretchy.  It’s a Kenmore Overlock 3/4D, model 385.15752.  Hmm.  Might be time to search the internets for more information.

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