Sunday, October 2, 2016

Port Trousers

It's rare I grab a pattern the instant it's released but I saw the Port Trouser pattern come out, realized I really needed a pair of pants that fit before the weather got too cool, and knew I had fabric in my stash from years go that would be perfect. So I downloaded and printed the pdf right away and set to cutting.

This was my first Pauline Alice pattern and I have nothing but good things to say. I had no head scratching moments and the fit was pretty good right out of the envelope so to speak. I didn't shorten the pattern, I'm 5'4 and the length is perfect when I want to wear them uncuffed. For my next pairs, because there will be more, I might shorted the pairs I always intend to wear cuffed for a little more ankle action.

I did make a few changes to ensure I had a wearable garment on the first try. I added a seam to the center back waist band. I really like doing this, I had actually just made a pair of Thurlow trousers (post to come soon I hope) and this method of construction allows for basting the pants together and getting just the right fit. I covered the seam with a belt loop so it's not noticeable at all. I'll probably do this all the time I make this pattern, it will also make the pants easier to alter as my weight fluctuates. The last minor change I made was to switch which site the button was on, just a matter of personal preference.

The lining fabric is a quilting cotton I got from the remnant bin in Joann. I don't remember the name but the selvage tells me it was made in the USA. The outer fabric I have had for so many years I can't even remember when I bought it. I know I purchased it from Denver Fabrics intending for it to be a shirt dress but it was way too stiff. So it sat waiting for the perfect pattern to come around. I think it works really well for these pants. I made them a few weeks ago and I wear them at least a couple of times a week. I love the style and the slightly relaxed fit. When I first sewed them up and snapped these pictures they were a bit snug and I was pretty worried. But I really needed pants so I wore them and after a short while they relaxed just enough to be really comfortable. A good thing to be aware of, it's true you really need to wear a garment for a while to get an accurate idea of the fit. I had to scoop the back seam a little which seems to be a normal adjustment for me, but that I fixed when baste fitting.

I highly recommend this pattern. They come together quicky and I think they are pretty stylish. I've gotten a few compliments already. I can't wait to add a navy pair and maybe a white pair next summer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Burda Bat Sleeve Dress 05/2016 #115B

I don't know what it is about this dress. It's basically just a sack but I love it. The moment I saw it in my email I wanted to make it so I used an upcoming wedding in sunny California as an excuse to make it. Knit dresses travel the best right?

This was my first Burda pattern and the slim instructions are no joke. Thankfully for this pattern there is just a front, back, and a neckband so you really can't go wrong. I used a a polyester knit from Joann that is slinky and drapes a lot. I think that is the key to this pattern, there isn't much shape so fabric with drape keeps it slim. That and a good belt. I actually didn't mind how this looked unbelted but I do prefer the cinched in look. My husband likes this one a lot but does prefer the belt.

The neckline is a bit large but you know, the dress stayed in place all day. I did serge some stay tape into the neckline when I attached the neckband. Next time I might raise it and the armholes a little bit. They are a little wide and low but if you have a beige undergarments and aren't swinging you arms above your head I doubt anyone would notice.

Overall this is a win and I'm sure it will get lots of wear. It's super comfortable, doesn't wrinkle, and I love the drapy arms. I want to make the shirt version as well.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Sparkly Arielle

This is one of those projects that goes from idea to reality in the blink of an eye. I was stopping in to Joann Fabrics on the way home from work this week to pick up some topstitching thread when I spotted this sparkly butterfly denim. It's in no way practical but I immediately grabbed it and 1 yard came home with me. I knew immediately it was going to be an Arielle skirt, a pattern I have wanted to make since it came out. It was cut out yesterday and stitched up and photographed today. I just couldn't wait to see how it looked.

 I made a straight 3 based on my measurements. I have made two other Tilly and the Buttons patterns so far and I felt pretty good that this would fit so I dove right in. I cut the long version and then took off three inches during hemming to get the length I wanted. That is it! I think the fit is spot on and I am totally smitten with the skirt. It's more quirky than I typically wear and who knows how long it will last, but sometimes you need to sew something fun.

I did not line the skirt since the denim was fairly substantial and I finished the facing with bias tape. The seams are serged because I didn't think I had enough tape to bind them all. Buttons are from the stash.

Not much else to say about this, it was a quick, easy, fun make.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

My Marlboroughs

I started to venture into lingerie making towards the end of last year. I debated for a long time which pattern to start with and ended up choosing the marlborough bra from orange lingerie. I liked the style the most and it seemed most like something I would wear. So armed with a kit from Blackbird Fabrics I set off on my merry way. Behold the prettiest thing I had ever made.

Of course when I put it on it was way too small, a poor size choice on my part. I was heartbroken but decided to try again with another kit and new underwires. For this one I left the lovely scalloped edge on the band and I love it. It just feels so fancy. I have a little excess fabric but I think it's my poor sewing on this one. I need to stretch the underarm elastic a bit more and be more careful when assembling the cups. But it fits and I think it's super pretty even if it doesn't photograph as well.

That kit is also a Blackbird Fabrics kit, I love that shop, such amazing taste and the blog posts that talk about the kits are really helpful. I have some more supplies I've been sourcing (that is seriously the hardest part) and I think I have enough to make another peach Marlborough if I salvage the findings from the small one. Expect more in the near future... :)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Vogue 9157

Just in time for our 50 degree week I put the finishing touches on my new coat, V9157. It's way too warm to wear it now but I'm pretty sure things will cool off enough to wear it this season soon.

I made a straight 14 with no adjustments. The outer fabric is a wool nylon blend in a basket weave camel color that came from Fashion Fabrics. I have had mixed success with the site but this fabric is a winner. The slight brushed and checked look it really nice.  

The fabric was super drapey, I'm actually planning a skirt with the leftovers. The lining is Kasha satin and each lining piece is interline with Thinsulate, both from Vogue fabrics. The thinsulate might have been a mistake, it's really warm and I think the coat makes me look a bit puffy, but we'll see if it relaxes a bit. I did want the coat to have some structure. Since the coat was so puffy already I left off the shoulder pads, I didn't think more bulk would help.

The only change I made to the pattern was to try and sew the tab right onto the front piece. I just couldn't see carrying a separate tab piece around, seems really strange. It sort of worked... the collar is a bit wonky but I can deal. The back views show the collar, it is lined with sew in interfacing but it won't stand right. I may try to steam it again into place but I fear it just isn't stiff enough.

Things I love about this coat:

  • The Fabric, I think it's a nice and classic looking
  • The seam lines. Love the raglan and pocket lines.
  • The belt and collar
  • The lining is nice and soft and the coat is really warm
Things I don't love:

  • I've never been a fan of patch pockets for comfort of use but the look got me on this one, I had to use them rather than adding in-seam pockets which I did cut
  • The thinsulate, I think it just added too much bulk. I may feel differently the first time I wear it in freezing weather.
  • How heavy and awkward this was to sew. It was quite the workout and Bernie did not enojoy sewing the buttons or button holes.
Overall I am happy I made this. I made a coat! I'm pleased with that fact for now and perhaps some day when I find the perfect boiled wool I will make another coat. I've had a pea coat pattern in my stash for some time and now that I have learned some things with this coat I'm sure the next will be much smoother. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Professor Baa-ble Sweater

Remember when this used to be a knitting blog? It still is!

This has got to be the cutest thing I have made. I seriously want one in my size, I can totally pull that off... look at those elbow patches!

This is a mashup of two patterns, the Professor Sweater and the Baa-ble hat. My Brother-in-law requested a sweater for my nephew and once I got thinking about it I had to add sheep. Some ravelry searching lead me to these two patterns. I loved the cute shawl collar and fortuitously the Baa-ble chart fit with the numbers for the sweater.
To make this I made the smallest size and knit from the bottom up. The Baa-ble hat is worked over 120 stitches so I cast on that, plus 2 border stitches and 6 steek stitches. The sleeves I sort of winged, changing colors whenever I wanted. I found it best to make a cheat sheet of when to decrease rather than increase. I started by writing down the cast on number at the top of my page but changing it to cast-off, and then just writing decrease instead of increase for each row. This made is easy to work through the knitting without having to think at all. 
I chose Paton's classic wool DK superwash for this as it's a kid's sweater and I've seen him eat. Dude is messy! It's really soft and worked up well. 
The steek was machine stitched on Bernie and the collar worked as indicated in the pattern. By using the US 6 needles I think I got a size a little bigger than the smallest which is what I was going for. I want it to be big this year at 1 year of age, but still wearable next year. It will be sent off in the mail this weekend.
My ravelry project page is here.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cropped Hudson's and a Plantain

After having suck success with the Hudson pants I decided to make a fun peach and grey cropped version and added a matching plantain t-shirt. The shirt is a bit tight for my personal preference and a bit low cut, but for lounging around the house it works. I already worked on these things in a later project.

Not much to say about these makes. I shortened the pants by 1 inch and they have been in heavy rotation. I really want a black ponte version. The flare on the shirt works really well for my shape so there will be more plantains in my future. They grey knit is a bit heavier than t-shirt weight so it works well for these pants, I think it came from Joann. I have more peach for additional items, it's got great recovery and came from I highly recommend it.