Sunday, 23 February 2014

when lola became suzy

i have been meaning to sew a pair of loose elastic waist pants all summer.  i had been eyeing off the lola pant by style arc.  i like the waist detail - being a flat front and elastic back and also the elastic at the back cuff.  from the art work they look to be a narrow'ish fit, plus i haven't sewn style arc before.

when i finally decided elastic waist pants would be next up and looked into buying the pattern and i realised how gen y my sewing can be - even though i am clearly not gen y!  i was actually shocked when i couldn't find a pdf option - what wait for postage?? how could i?? this is something i haven't really done for patterns before since my return to sewing. i therefore made a last minute switch to suzy.

the suzy pattern from tessuti comes in pdf.  it seems i am in a minority in the sewing blog world, but i really like pdf patterns.  they are so now!  i don't mind putting them together at all.  i do all the cutting in a comfy chair then move to the floor or table to put them together depending how big they are.  lately i seem to be doing a better job at matching them nicely.

according to the tessuti website the suzy pant is a fun and relaxed pleated front pull on pant.  i used a rayon from spotlight but cut the pattern pieces on the cross wise grain so the wiggly lines of the pattern are vertical not horizontal.

the only thing i did different to the instructions was to use 25mm elastic, instead of 12mm.  i did originally use 12mm, but found that the pants dragged down a bit and therefore looked quite large around the hip area - perhaps this is because the rayon is a bit on the heavier side.  the 25mm elastic keeps the pants higher up and less baggy around the hips, but the trade off is the crotch seam sits a bit high.  next time i will consider lowering the crotch seam and lengthening the leg a smidg.

i went with the in seam pockets and was a bit confused at first by the instructions, but if you read them carefully and thoroughly (which often i don't do) it all makes sense and is quite easy.

i constructed them using my sewing machine with straight and zig zag stitch. am happy with this make - would like to try lola sometime, but have a feeling i will make a few more suzy's first.

am getting the itch to get stuck into some autumn and winter sewing now, is anyone else??

(lastly i should also say for a beautifully made and presented pattern from a great indie company i would be happy to wait for a hard copy in the post, but a quick pair of elastic waist pants really appeals to me in an immediate pdf format!)


Sunday, 16 February 2014

lurex mini challenge - shiny scout

the lurex mini challenge came about when kirsty decided to buy this fabric on our sydney fabric shopping trip at the fabric store.  i quite liked the pattern, but when kirsty mentioned it was 'lurex', i decided i needed some too.  and so the mini challenge was born - we both bought 1.2m and agreed to sew it up and reveal our makes at the same time on our blogs.  other than that there were no rules.

i was initially drawn to the pattern of the fabric (before being seduced by the lurex) and when contemplating what to make i did start to wonder why i am always drawn to fabrics that require matching and careful cutting!

i made a tessuti zoe muslin, but decided the style wasn't really me.  i then thought a grainline scout would be a good pattern as it has a nice shape, limited matching required and most importantly the large square checks would be maintained without interruption from darts or the like.  

i am pretty happy how this turned out.  i have made a couple of scouts before but felt they were a bit boxy on me.  for this version i tapered the sides on the pattern before cutting the fabric.  as i was a bit stressed about stuffing this up i made up a version in a rayon to make sure it looked ok. i am pretty happy with the tapering, but will make another slight adjustment to taper a bit further near the hem next time.

here's some pics at the side to see the matching. when cutting the fabric i tossed up between having the edge of the check squares at the centre front or to make the centre front in the middle of one of the columns of squares.  i ended up going with the edge of the squares for centre front - see pic below.  

when i tried it on for the first time i thought it looked a little off centre/balance, but now i'm used to it i really like how it looks.  i also like how the squares match at the side seams. 

this pic was taken outside and you can see how the fabric looks different in the different lights. i love how shiny the fabric looks indoors and under light shown in the top 3 pics.

i made bias binding for both the neck and arms.  i prefer to make bias binding to finish short sleeves as i find this a lot easier than turning up the hems.  as usual it hurt my head a bit working out how to match at least some of the pattern at the sleeves, but it worked out ok first time. i didn't go with a lining as i wanted to keep the top light and will just wear a black singlet underneath.

i constructed the scout using french seams following jen's really excellent tutorial - this is a great finish for the lurex. you can just see in this pic on the neck binding that some of the bronze coloured metallic threads pulled through to the underside when sewing.  it makes this top a little scratchy to wear, but not a fatal problem.  i really should have forked out the $13 for a metallic needle!

when i was getting close to finishing this top i thought it would be a great top for a night out at a bar, but that i don't really get out to bars that often.  it then occurred to me we had tickets to see eddie vedder at the state theatre in sydney last wednesday night. so my top got its first public run and i got mr flagg to snap a pic of me inside the theatre.  there were about 100 or so punters having a drink before the show started just to the right of me in this pic so was happy to get a quick phone snap. 

all in all am very happy with this make, though its not a difficult make or flashy (apart from being quite shiny!) i think i'll get a bit of wear out of it.  thanks heaps for being part of my first blogging challenge kirsty! make sure you check out her fabulous make here.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

black n' white pants - simplicity 1918

this is the first pair of fly front pants i have made in a long time. perhaps ever - now i think about it, i can't really remember having made any pairs.  maybe for high school sewing class?

these are simplicity 1918 from the amazing fit range.  i purchased the pattern during one of lincraft's 50% off all patterns sale (coincidentally 50% off all patterns is currently on now too) after seeing them on miss p... i thought they looked like a good place to start for fly front pants and am happy enough how they turned out, particularly as i didn't make a muslin.

the main thing about the fit is some fabric pooling at the front and back in the upper thigh/lower crotch area.  given the fabric is pretty busy though its ok for this pair.

the fabric came from which i purchased after seeing it on another blog last year in the navy colour way.  i was pretty sure it was on four square walls, but i just googled for it and couldn't locate it. its a soft stretch cotton sateen which has a nice light weight for summer.

before making the pants i thought i would take them in and make them a slim fit.  but after trying them on during construction i decided to leave them as cut. the looser fit is good for summer.  

here's a 'tucked in tee' pic to show the waist fit, which i'm pretty happy with.  the fly is just passable thanks again to the busy fabric.  i have since bought some craftsy pants fitting and construction classes and am looking forward to trying sandra betzina's method next time.  

i finished the waistband with bias binding.  this was new for me as i have always previously finished waist bands by turning under the seam allowance.  i really like the finish of the bias bound waist band and am also looking forward to using this technique more.

i'm happy i made this pair of pants, particularly to try out a few techniques for the first time.  however it is unlikely i will use the pattern again as i am keen to try other patterns, particularly a skinnier fit,  


Sunday, 2 February 2014

dotty old mathilde

wow the start of 2014 has been great for me for sewing makes.  here's tilly and the button's mathilde blouse.  i really like this make.

the fabric is a heav'ish silk and it came from darn cheap fabrics from this visit.  i really like the 2 fabrics i purchased on the visit and am rapt they turned into 2 great pieces - this mathilde and my style 2622 dress.

i think the silk was about $22.95m (thought i kept the receipt but can't find it and also can't see this fabric online.  it was 1.7m wide(!) and i purchased 80cm thinking at the time i would make a grainline scout. enter stage right amy of sew amy sew and her recent mathilde.  on seeing her gorgeous version i remembered i had this pattern sitting in my stash for some time and really wanted to use it.

i read a few web reviews, most of which suggested this pattern is best for light drapey fabrics - but for some reason i still really wanted to give it a go in this fabric. so i did.

as i only had 80cm i needed to do a few of things to fit all the pieces in.  firstly, i cut pieces on both the lengthwise and crosswise grain - you can see this in the photo below.  i was a bit worried that the fabric may have a different sheen on the different grains but after draping the fabric in front of a mirror i thought it should be ok.  you can also see in this photo that i finished the seams with a zig zag stitch.

secondly i took 4" out of the fullness of the sleeves by slashing and overlapping in 3 places (middle and close to sides) at the bottom of the sleeves.  i also shortened them by about an inch due to fabric restrictions.  lastly, i cut the back on the fold line, which i actually would have done regardless.  after trying it on i decided i needed to take in the back a bit further and so stitched a 3/8" seam down the centre back.  i can still get it on and off no problems.   i only have a few scraps left which is fantastic as my scrap fabric collection is quite big.

i interfaced the cuffs for stability when turning them under, but wish i didn't.  they are a bit bulky and puffy but still ok.  i also slip stitched the cuff down instead of stitching in the ditch like the instructions suggest, as 1 i quite like finishing makes with hand stitching as its a nice way to slow down and finish a garment; and 2 i wasn't sure how good my ditch stitching would be over the gathers and bulk of the fabric.

the hem was also a bit tricky given the bulk of the fabric at the pin tucks, so i hand stitched the hem in these areas prior to doing it with the machine.

tilly's pattern is fantastic.  the pdf taped together perfectly - usually i get little puckers here and there when taping patterns together, but this went together perfectly.  i really like the short instruction tick box sheet too as this is supplemented with full instructions and photos on tilly's blog.  i didn't look at the full instructions much, but it is great to have them available.  all in all its a great pattern.

this is definitely one of my favourite recent makes - watch this space for some more versions.