It was rainy, windy, and 9 degrees this afternoon, but that didn’t stop me from standing outside under the trees getting cold and damp with my camera remote in hand. Believe me, though, I stayed outside just long enough to half-ass the photos.
Not sure what I’m going to do about photographing my sewing in a couple of months. Winters here are frigid and snowy and I don’t have a patio or front porch to scuttle out to for a few minutes to grab some shots. Not keen on taking indoor shots, either, as I live in an apartment that doesn’t really lend itself to satisfactory backdrops.
Isn’t this cotton fabulous? I managed to get a hold of a remnant that was just enough for this Victory tank. Like the last one I made an all-in-one facing instead of a lining – I think I’ll have to tack it down at the underarms, though, because it seems to want to flip even with careful pressing. It’s a bit of a mashup of view A and B – I didn’t put the v-straps on the front, but I did put the cut-out and tiny strap on the back because it’s an adorable detail.
And two more! First, another Victory, this time from rayon I cut from a dress that doesn’t fit anymore. It’s super-light and is really comfortable to wear. The second is an Ione top; this time around the only mods I made were to shorten the sleeves and leave off the bands in favour of narrow hems. I love the colours and shape with this but next time I’ll make it just a couple of inches longer, as I think it ends in an awkward spot on my belly. If I had any more of the tie-dye fabric I’d make a band for the bottom, but it was another remnant that I had just enough of to cut the colour-blocked pieces.
I have a bunch of fabric set out on my cutting table… but I think I’ll wait until tomorrow to choose a project, because bed is calling my name.
I’m starting to get the feeling that this vacation is turning into a sewcation – I mean, I’m on day two of seven and I’ve already finished 3 projects with just the hem left on a fourth.
Today’s make is a Fringe top in mystery stash tartan. It was kind of a pain in the arse to sew because it frayed every time I looked at it, but I like the result. I think it’ll be a good top for autumn, because the fabric is more substantial than a summer cotton but without being too thick or heavy.
I didn’t make too many alterations to this one – just raised the waist due to both my height and my preference for a higher waistline, and then shortened the sleeves a bit so they didn’t end at an awkward length. My waist and hips are technically a couple of inches outside the size chart on Chalk and Notch patterns but there was enough ease (and in the Victory tank) for it to fit anyhow.
I found Starry Night (the Van Gogh painting) inspired fabric! Just a remnant, but enough for another Victory tank. That’s the project that just needs the hem, and the only reason it’s not finished is that I ran out of the right colour of thread. I picked up another spool this afternoon, though, so that’ll be first on the list this evening.
First, a slightly-hacked Pembroke tunic. I shortened it a lot, then changed the neck binding to a band to match the sleeves; I added a band to the bottom, too, instead of hemming, for a more sweatshirt-y kind of vibe. The fabric is a soft, stretchy french terry from l’oiseau fabrics and it is pajama-level comfortable.
You know, stripe matching is immensely satisfying when it works, but it’s also a right pain in the arse. Especially when said stripes are watercolour-style ‘painted’ ones that vary in width and colour. I managed to match them up really well all things considered… and then I tried on the top to discover that, for some unfathomable reason, it was a bit too snug. So those nicely-coordinated seams got ripped out so I could insert a narrow strip down each side. I cut the stripes vertically on the inserts because a) design element, and b) nope, not matching those things again.
My second top of the day is a Victory tank, and I hacked it a little bit, too, though it doesn’t show. The tank as drafted is fully lined, but because I was short on fabric I cut an all-in-one facing instead. I wasn’t even sure if it was going to work, because I’d never sewn an all-in-one before let alone cut one freehand, but it worked fine and I think the burrito method is my new best friend.
I’ve already finished another one of these and cut out two more. With or without the v-straps it’s definitely going to become a wardrobe staple – it fits well and I love the swingy hem.
I’m on vacation this week – it’s a staycation, of course, but I’m absolutely all right with that. I plan to do a lot of sewing and a lot of writing, and other than that, well, I’ll just see what comes my way.
A couple of months ago I had my medication changed, and a side effect of that was that I lost about 15 lbs rather accidentally; the clothes that I’ve made until now are still wearable but new makes do kinda need to be a different size. Which is a bit of a pain in the ass, as it means reprinting and reassembling my favourite patterns, as well as making new muslins for some. So that’s what I’m doing this afternoon – the print-and-assemble part, anyhow.
I need to find an adequate way to store my printed patterns, too. Until now I’ve had them piled beside my cutting table but that’s not particularly organised. I don’t like the idea of folding them because ugh, creases. Not sure I like the idea of rolling them any better. I’ve seen some people hang them from hangers with clips – might try that, maybe. If anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears.
Finn is helping me pick a project for when I’m done with my patterns. Sometimes I just need to take a bunch of fabric out and lay it everywhere so I can look at what I have. I’m leaning toward making a P4P Tulip Tee out of hedgehog-print jersey, but the one thing that gives me pause is that there aren’t finished measurements for anything but length. I know these are difficult when a pattern includes multiple variations, but it’s a particular pet peeve of mine – not everyone likes the same amount of ease in their clothing and finished measurements are often more important to me than body measurements when it comes to choosing a size.
The Good: After a month, I finally have my computer back from the repair shop.
The Bad: It’s near the end of its life and will have to be replaced sometime in the next couple of months.
The Random: I have thirteen (13!) finished sewing projects to share.
… But that’s if I manage to actually take photos of all of them. It’s a lot to do all at once, especially since I don’t have a safe place outside to leave my camera & tripod when I run inside to change – I have to bring it in with me every time.
So aside from sewing up a storm I also sorted and decluttered my fabric stash. Most of it I kept, but I did get rid of some inherited fabric that I didn’t particularly like and knew I’d never use. And I discovered (or re-discovered, really) that I have far too many cotton fat quarters, leftover from my bag-sewing phase. I have 67 of the things! Ack. Fab colours and patterns, but what am I going to do with them all?
Parker, as always, has been ‘helping’ with the making. I never sew alone.
I don’t have much free time left this evening, but I’m going to see if I can’t at least get my Everyday Dress cut out. It’s out of stashed cotton, because of course it is. I had to shorten it by six inches and it’s still going to be longer on me than it is on the pattern model. Being short is fun.
Three more pairs of pajama pants from the same 5 Out of 4 pattern, because when I said I wanted to use up the mystery flannel in my stash, I meant it. I have enough left for one more pair and for a blankie for the cats, but I need a break from clothing that I can’t even wear at this time of year. I suppose I could have waited until fall to deal with the flannel, but then I’d have to have it in the stash all summer, looking at me. Yep.
The yellow pair is made from the strangest, stiffest flannel I’ve ever felt. It’s still adequately comfortable, at least.
The future-cat-blankie fabric was popular when I laid it out as a decoy so the cats would stop attempting to sleep on my pants-in-progress. I figure I’ll just fold up the edges and zip around them with the machine so they don’t fray, and then the little monsters can have their soft fabric fix without furring up whatever I’m working on.
What to make when feeling less than stellar? Pajama pants! And, I mean, what else am I going to do with the mysterious flannel in the stash I don’t remember buying?
I used a free pattern from 5 Out of 4 Patterns; even for something as simple as pajama pants there are a couple of details I really like. First: pockets! As far as I’m concerned there is no item of clothing intended for my lower half that could not be improved by pockets. Second: the low-rise option only applies to the front waist, meaning there’s a nice curve that makes it sit right where I prefer it in the front while still rising high enough in the back to cover my not-insignificant butt when I’m lounging around.
The pattern is unisex, and recommends sizing down for women – I went down one size from what the hip measurement put me in and they fit fine. Actually, more than fine. I really like the fit, so I’ll definitely be making these again.
Say hello to Autumn. She’s apparently feeling like a bit of a goof tonight.
It’s a windy one today! My shirt was floating around like crazy the whole time I was outside. Rest assured it fits better than it looks, but after countless photo attempts I basically just said “yep, good enough”.
So this is Workhorse Patterns’ Ione shirt. As drafted it’s a boxy high-low hem top with an enclosed yoke and sleeve bands, and I intend to make that version of it at some point. For this one, I used the “hack pack” version that combines the yoke and body into one piece and softens the shoulder sleeve line. I lengthened it by three inches for more of a tunic style and graded up two sizes at the hips because of that. It doesn’t show thanks to the wind but I used the dipped hem piece for both front and back, and I had to shorten the sleeves by two inches and the bands by half an inch because I’m all of 4’11” tall. I also narrowed the square neck because otherwise it would have been falling off my sloping shoulders.
Full disclosure: I have no idea what this fabric is. I’ve had it for yonks. It feels almost like a cotton/poly blend, and it has minimal stretch even on the bias. It worked well for this version of the top, but when I sew it as drafted I’m going to want something lighter with more drape.
Another overcast day and I’m still doing the timer-and-scramble technique with the camera since I’m remote-less at the moment. I’m also still on a Montrose kick, as I’m the type of person who, when she finds a pattern she likes and that fits well, wants to make one in every colour and every print in existence.
Yes, the hems pull up in the front, likely because of my protruding belly. I don’t hate the look of it, on me, so I’m not yet in a hurry to make adjustments to counter it.
It doesn’t show well in the photo but the black-and-orange print has little foxes! I loved both fabrics as soon as I saw them (I’m a sucker for cute/fun prints) but there was just a metre and a half left on the fox bolt so I used a scrap of black cotton for the sleeves. I also used store-bought bias tape for the neckline, which isn’t my favourite as it tends to be stiffer than I’d like.
I’m thinking about my next projects, now, and being super-indecisive. I have no problems grading between sizes – it’s necessary for a good fit, for me – but I often find myself balking at grading up entire patterns when they don’t come in my size. Not because I can’t, but because I’d rather support pattern makers who include me in their measurements. That gets difficult, at times, because I’m often at the upper edge of even so-called plus-size sewing patterns.