Monday, September 29, 2014

Notes for Ziggi

These are my muslin notes. The top set is after my first muslin, the orange ones are from after the second. Do any of you take notes like this? I forget if I don't, and then all my hard work muslin-ing doesn't make it to my fashion fabric.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stress Relief

We're remodeling our kitchen. Yes, we are crazy. No, we haven't started yelling at each other over paint samples. Yes, we're doing most of the work ourselves.  Yes, my hands are FILLED with splinters.

Some friends of ours have kindly let us stay in their house while they are away and our house is filled with toxic fumes from the finish we put on the floors.  I'm so grateful to them, but there's only so long you can stay in someone else's house without something to DO.  So, when I went home to apply another coat of shiny poison to my floor, I grabbed my sewing machine and some half-finished jeans. It's a teeny tiny sewing space, but you can see the stress hormones falling below crazy lady level. Also, behold some pretty awesome jeans! As soon as I can hem them, I'll take pictures of them on:)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pants bender

I realized this week that winter is coming (insert Game of Thrones meme here) and I don't have any pants.
No, I really do have pants. But they're all shorter than I like for winter wearing. So I'm going on a pants spree! Mostly these will all be variations on patterns I've rubbed off my favorite RTW pants. I've finished my brown on black cotton sateen trousers (pics as soon as my photographer is willing!). On to the stretch denim!

Sewing happiness

Is variegated top-stitching thread!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Brown on black on black!

So, I ran out of black thread. And couldn't make it to the store... So yeah, I totally switched to top-stitching with dark brown thread. And I like it! Somewhere Bob Ross is smiling and saying, "Happy accidents!"

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mystery Pattern

My mom was helping my grandma go through her pattern stash a few weeks ago, and Grandma thought I'd like this one.  I can't find a copyright date on it, but the instructions include an email address and website, so it's since the mid- 90's.
Anyway, I was looking at the garment measurements. The pants have a leg width of 24 inches! I assume that's across the cuff? Maybe disco made a comeback in the 90's...  I'm loving that jacket, though. Thanks, Grandma!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Black on Black on Black

So I saw a post the other week (maybe on Closet Case Files?  That sounds right, but I can't remember...) asking why we as sewing bloggers don't show more Works In Progress pictures, and I thought it was an interesting question.  I love seeing WIPs-- it helps me learn, and it helps me not feel so lame when I see other people doing something just as crazy as I do sometimes:)  Also, I have a serious lack of Works Done pictures!  Maybe this will help me find a way to get more finished project pics.

Anyways, these are going to be a copy of one of my favorite RTW pants from White House Black Market.  I've been wanting a good pair of not-jeans, and the impending season change made me want to go black. The fabric is a cotton sateen that I bought from Pacific Fabrics this spring.  I love how sateen handles!  It's kinda lightweight for fall, but I'm Alaskan.  I'll deal:)

For the top-stitching, I'm going black.  It's unusual on a jeans-style pant to go tone-on-tone, but I saw a picture of some GORGEOUS green pants with an ever-so-slightly darker green embroidering job on the pockets (it was forever ago and I can't remember where it was or I'd link), and I've loved the subtlety of the effect ever since.  Plus, I was feeling too lazy to switch machines!

Also on deck:
More of the one T-shirt to rule them all!  Vogue 8536 is my favorite t-shirt pattern EVER.  And it fits me straight out of the envelope-- I don't even have to lengthen it (gasp).  And it comes with three different necklines and three different sleeves and aaaaaaaah.  It's such a relaxing sew.

McCall's 6800!!  I'm so excited to try this beastie.  I bought the most beautiful purple wool coating from Mood, and it gets back from the cleaners for preshrinking tomorrow.  I'm slightly concerned about putting that much fabric around my hips, but that's what a muslin is for, right?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday!

Hi all!  I promise this blog will get up and going once summer vacation is over-- my little guys get most of my downtime during the summer.  BUT, I saw that Amy had mentioned my Thursday morning get-togethers for sewing, so I thought I'd put details up.

I host a sewing club at my home every Thursday morning, and all are welcome!  It's free (which seems obvious to me, but I've had people ask, so there you go).  Sewing Club is strictly BYOP (bring your own project), or bring no project-- I have one friend who just comes to chat (hi Kim!).  And kids are welcome, with two caveats:
A) My house is only kid-proofed to the level of a five year old (my youngest), so if you're bringing any people littler than that, you may have to keep a bit of a closer eye on them.  That said, I've had 2 year olds running around here in happy abandon; my house isn't a death trap, it's just home to two little boys who love Legos, a seamstress who loses pins, and a man who loves tech and big speakers.
B) If they want to play with my kids' toys, they are more than welcome to, on the condition that they help clean it up!  Otherwise, MY kids' whining becomes truly epic.  And operatic.  And... several other adjectives.  You get the picture :)

Anyway, the festivities begin at 10:00-ish every Thursday morning.  Feel free to email me for an address and/or directions, and I hope to see some of you!

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Jeans, They Fit!!


Okay, now that's out of my system.  Getting down to business.  I've made multiple pairs of pants before, but I've never been able to make a pair that fits.  When I make all my usual adjustments, it seems to throw everything out of whack on pants.

This was a major problem, considering that I signed on to the RTW Fast over at Goodbye Valentino, and I am not the type of woman to wear dresses and skirts every day.  So, after considerable frustration and five or six pairs of pants that didn't fit, I bought Kenneth King's Craftsy class titled "Jean-ius".  He teaches you how to clone a pair of pants that you already have that already fit (without destroying them first).  Ladies and gents, I HIGHLY recommend this class.  I am lucky enough to have two pairs of pants (one pair of jeans and one pair of trousers) that fit me perfectly-- in the summer.  They're too short to wear with anything other than the flattest of flats.  So, following Professor King's method, I got all the information I needed to clone the jeans (they're the Blanc Jeans from White House Black Market, if you're curious), and made myself daisy duke muslins-- see my previous post for more one that.  Once I got the fabric chosen, I got to work.  Professor King walks you through every step of creation, adding in several new tips that I hadn't heard before.  Here they are!

Don't you like my purple tie-dye socks? :)  

Now, all this is not to say that I did perfectly.  I somehow managed to mess up the applique pattern for the pockets, resulting in this:

I am SO happy I managed to make it look like it was on purpose, but that little layering effect is actually a second applique sewn down on top of the first!  Without it, you could see the pocket material, which looks like this:

Note to self:  Next time, use pocket material that's similar in tone to the pants.  From some angles, you can see the tiniest of white lines around my pocket openings on the outside.  But hey, those are CUTE little pockets :)  Emphasis on the little-- these are fairly low-rise jeans, which equals itty-bitty pockets.

I am really pleased with the interior construction of these-- it's the first time I've really used my serger that my wonderful husband bought me for Christmas, and I was SO happy with how RTW it made my pants look:

With that, I suppose it's time for some shots of the jeans in action, huh?  Fair warning, I took them with my cell phone, so the quality isn't great.  And, by the way, it is spectacularly awkward to get a shot of one's own caboose.  Here goes!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Ongoing Pants Saga, or, Why I Love Craftsy

Well, I finished the Vogue 1366 pants, and was so dispirited that I doubted I would ever see sewing mojo again.  They are a sad, sad pair of pants.  I'm not sure why I have such trouble fitting pants in the crotch area, but... yeah.  It was sad.  ANYWAYS.  I was poking around and found the Jean-ious class by Kenneth King.  It's a class designed to teach you how to clone a pair of jeans that you already have that already fit!  Cue heavenly light!

So, I started in with a pair of pants that I love (these ones from White House Black Market, if you're curious).  They are awesome pants, but they are crazily expensive (at least for me), so they are a perfect object for cloning experimentation.  I got all the information that was detailed in the class from the pants, and then started in on the muslin.  Here's where things get funny.  You see, the originals are made of a cotton/poly/spandex blend.  I didn't have anything like that laying around (in fact all I had were scraps laying around), so I made the front out of white canvas and the back out of non-stretch denim.  I figured they'd be pretty snug, but that I should still be able to get a feel for the fit.  Uh, no:

Now, for those of you who have never really paid attention to how your jeans are made (and who could blame you, really), it would be easy to think that all that gaping is where the zipper goes, right?  Weeeell... you see those black snapped threads on either side of the gaping maw that is the front of my muslin?  Where those threads stop is where the pants are supposed to be sewed up to.  The zipper goes above that stitching. This bodice-ripper effect is what happened as soon as I tried to put my muslin on.


SO.  There was more stretch in those jeans than I had originally thought.  So, my sewing time has been devoted to going to the fabric store (Thank you, PacFab!), buying half-yards of all likely looking stretch denim, and making...

Daisy Dukes!  (Ignore the mess.)  You see, I'm not too worried about the leg fit, just the waist/hips/crotch.  DD's are wonderful test garments :)  The one on the left is a European denim with not too much stretch-- I could get them on, but there was no hope of getting them closed.  The middle is a 95-5 cotton/spandex blend, and the one on the right is a 75-23-2 (-ish) cotton/poly/spandex.  The fit on both the cotton/spandex and the cotton/poly/spandex was pretty close-- they close, but I think I'll add just a smidge on the outseams just to be safe.  But, Huzzah!  Onwards to fitted pants!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Woe is me!

I've been working on V1366 all day.  Hear my travails!

1.  I serged (SERGED) one leg right side to wrong side up the inseam.  It took me almost a whole episode of Project Runway to unpick it.

2.  I nearly gave myself a blister with my pinking shears.  I think they might be in need a good oiling, don't you agree?

3.  I sewed a pucker into the very bottom of my otherwise flawless top-stitched fly.  You know, right in the spot that's nearly impossible to get straight once you've sewn the legs together.  Of course I didn't discover it until I'd sewn the legs together...

4.  Speaking of sewing the legs together-- the pockets get caught up in the side seam.  When I hit the end of the pockets, the serger jammed.  I un-jammed it, which took a good chunk out of my sewing time.  Then I tried again.  At which point the needles (both of them!!) snapped off and embedded themselves in my pants. The side seams got finished on Rarity (my Elna).  She didn't even blink, so that was good.  Less good was having to pink all my edges that I'd planned on serging.  More thumb blisteriness for me!

Perhaps I should stop kvetching.  On the plus side, the pinking shears were a gift, and I'm glad I had them. The pants are fitting well, and are coming up on done.  If I'm supremely motivated, maybe they'll be ready in time for date night tomorrow.  Rarity took care of the bulky seams at the pockets with zero problems. And I had friends over who sat and watched PR with me while I ripped out serging.  When I write it like that, it all sounds a lot better:)  And, my pockets are silk!  Purple silk, which is even better!