Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pants Progress

A little update on my pants progress...

Monday: I finished pattern alterations, made a muslin and adjusted the fit, altered the pattern to match the muslin and cut out fashion fabric and interfacing.

Today: I fused the interfacing to the waist band pieces and cut out the lining

Due to the number of alterations I did on the pattern I decided to make up a muslin and I am glad I did. Maybe the measurements I took were skewed since I did not have a helper, or maybe the Cynthia pants fitting workbook was for a style of pant that was not for my taste or maybe a combination. (you are supposed to use her pants pattern with the book)

From the muslin I decided that I needed to cut most of the pattern an entire size smaller, I did have to add a bit to the depth of the back crotch, I have a tush, so unless I add like an inch and a half to 2 inches in the back then the pants are always showing my crack and I don't like that.

I did need to shorten the length from hip to knee and lengthen from knee to hem to keep the pants proportions correct and to fit me. I also needed to deepen the back crotch seam to take out the bagginess under the butt. And the last thing I did was to make them slightly narrower, they are still a little on the wide leg style but the original width cut from my hip measurement was too wide. I guess that's what happens when your hippy :)

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of me in the muslin pair...
Muslin fabric, the blue lines are the stitching lines.
I used some horseshoe and star cotton fabric from my stash.

Fashion Fabric, gray, slightly metallic cotton/Lycra blend

Lining fabric... another cotton blend found in my fabric stash and smelled like attic so must have come from either my mom's or one of my grandmothers.
I like interesting linings, like a special surprise just for me to enjoy my clothes :)

Front lining pattern, cut with the yoke included, don't need pockets in my lining!

My trusty helper, Baby Blue. Red Bone/Blue tick hound.
She thought it would be a good idea to try and make a 'nest' out of my fashion fabric... she carefully tried pulling it right off the cutting table when I wasn't looking! That stinker.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A new Project: Pants

It has been a couple of years since I have made myself some pants. I decided to go ahead and go for a new pattern since my old favorite is a bit out of date.
I am using a pants fitting workbook that I picked up at an Original Sewing and Quilt Expo 2 years ago by Cynthia Guffey. I am using this workbook to take my measurements and then she details step by step how to alter your pattern to make it fit you as well as how to fix fitting issues.
I am using Simplicity 2700 Amazing Fit pants and am going to use Sandra Betzina's fly zipper instructions.
I am still on the fence about making amockup in muslin or if I should just go for it with one of my more inexpensive fashion fabrics and use it as a working muslin... what to do, what to do!
First thing is first and off to the sewing room to finsih altering the pattern!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mom... your jeans are hemmed!

When I was home a couple of weeks ago my mom handed me a pair of jeans that she really looks good in but that were like 3 or 4 inches too long for her petite frame. She asked so nicely if I could pin them up to the correct length and then again so nicely if I could take them home with me because she worried that her sewing machine would severely balk at going through all that denim. So I did, cause I love her and I am a good daughter :)
So mom your jeans are hemmed and they look as good as new. The only difference you will see is on the inside of the hem. I don't own one of those special machines they use with twin needles and twin bobbins... I only have one bobbin thread to catch both top threads. But from the outside no one will ever know!

Before: that was how much shorter they needed to be so first I had to pick out all the twin lines of stitching then cut away the excess and then re-iron it all to the correct length.

Supplies: Denim twin needle and heavy weight thread to match existing thread on jeans.

I spooled out an extra bobbin to use for my thread on the second needle. and then hung the bobbin up behind the machine and thread both threads as if they were one,

I used a piece of soap to make a 'rubbing' of where the inside fold was. This allowed me to accurately line up the double needle to the exact place so I could be sure that it would catch the inner fold correctly.

Inside of hem

outside and all done!
Just need to wipe of the soap line with a damp rag.

Halloween Custume 2009 Part Three: the Final Outcome

I am ready for the party! Third time was the charm in making this 50's poodle skirt. The new fabric that I bought was a linen like fabric that I found on sale at JoAnn's. The waistband has no elastic and no gathering so the effect is much slimmer than heavy felt gathered at the waist!
I also made a slight change to the crinoline... shortening by about 10 inches.

Below are pictures of the final costume. I'll have to play dress up for my husband so he can take some pictures before the Halloween Party. Stay tuned!

The final product :)

This time I could cut the fabric out on my cutting table instead of the den floor!
Zipper and button tab detail.

Poodle detail, used fake curly fur.

Shortened crinoline

Ribbon for my hair and bobby socks.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Custume 2009 Part Two: not very successful!

Or maybe just plain HORRIBLE!!
Last Sunday I spent all afternoon working on my Halloween Costume, I was excited to have a big block of time and felt confident that I would get it done and that it would look awesome.... HAH....
I went from Horrible to Horrible take 2 to literally throwing away all that pink felt AND the pattern in to a large black garbage bag. What was I thinking???? or more accurately why wasn't I thinking??? The pattern that I was using was just plain bad and if I had spent a few minutes thinking about what I wanted my finished garment to look like I would have known that and I would have never, ever bought felt. ugh... total brain lapse on my part.

Monday, I spent a little time talking to mom and checking out some pictures in the Internet, I then drafted a new pattern and headed back out to the fabric store.
Take 3 is much, much better! (still not a skirt I would wear in real life but acceptable for a costume!)

Still putting the finishing touches on so you will have to wait for a 'final' pictures in tomorrow's post.


I was actually laughing so hard that I was crying!

Crinoline was way too long...
bad, bad pattern

Me in my 2 new shirts

I took both of my new shirts with me on my work trip this week. I got my hubby to take a couple picks of me in them.

The striped one I wore on the plane and it was quite comfortable. The only adjustment that I may make is to add about an inch to the length. The sheer green and blue was perfect. I wore it our to dinner with customers and received a nice compliment on it.

Me, at dinner in my new shirt... glad I had the lobster bib to keep it clean!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween Custume 2009 Part One

I started working on the poodle skirt tonight. Hubby went to a drawing class so I had several hours of uninterrupted sewing time. I have to say that even though I really love dressing up for Halloween, I sometimes dread the making of the costume. I mean seriously would you look at that pile of materials... Stuff I don't normally sew with.
The skirt itself is going to be the easy part, it is making the darn petticoat/crinoline to put under it that is a pain in the arse to do. And of course the pattern said you only need 2 yards of tulle for the underskirt, who are they kidding! Maybe if you want some seriously flat and lame poodle skirt. I started off with 9 yards and I will see how that looks. I can always add more if I need it.
Oh well, it will be fun and I will look awesome for the Elekta Halloween Cancer Benefit Bash. That by the way is why I choose to do a pink poodle skirt in the first place... October is Breast Cancer awareness month and the 'official' color is pink. Even the NFL players are wearing pink!

The huge pile of pink fabrics... felt, tulle, netting and sparkly tulle and some lining material.

Fortifications in the form of Scotch and chocolate to mess with all that tulle!

The felt nearly covered the floor in the den!
That is allot of pink.

Going old school for part of the sewing and using the mechanical Necchi.

The Necchi with a ruffler attachment.
Sure was not going to hand gather all that tulle!

Piles of gathered tulle.

First layer pinned on.

That is it for now... I am off to bed! Stay tuned for more on the Poodle Skirt!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

2 new fall shirts

After a bittersweet week spent in NJ (bitter because my 'Babi' passed away and sweet because I spent time with my family) I needed some creative me time in the sewing room.
I was a little bad when I was with my family and went out with the girls for some retail therapy, well retail therapy and to get something for my sister to wear to the services. I broke my vow and bought 2 shirts and a pair of black pants... I know it was bad of me, but it was the first time I have gone to a clothes store in a 4 or 5 months. (except for horse riding breeches!)

Anyway... I have been trying very hard to use up my never ending stash of fabric... which just keeps on growing thanks to donations from my mom!

The first shirt is a striped knit with a little bit of 'sparkle' in it. Perfect for the current metallic trends. It has 3/4 length sleeves a fitted body and a crossover piping detail at the neckline which adds some interest.

The second shirt is made from a semi sheer fabric with some nice drape that has also been in my stash for a while. I just could not think of what to make with it with those large bands of color. No matter what I draped in horizontal or vertical I was just not pleased at all. Then I had one of those 'ah-ha' moments and cut the fabric on the bias and I really like the look of it and how it hangs. I kept the neckline, and hem finishes simple using a dark blue woolly nylon in my serger and making a rolled hem. A combination of the bias cut and semi-boat neck allowed me to leave off any neckline closures for a nick sleek and clean look. The sleeves are 3/4 length and slightly flared.
I must admit that I was not expecting this shirt to turn out as well as it did. Between the decision to cut everything on the bias along with the slippery nature of the fabric I was preparing myself to trash it if necessary. I just took my time, used lots of pins and my serger on the entire thing and it came out just fabulous!

Next on the agenda is my Halloween costume (a pink 50's poodle skirt) and then on to some mending and hemmimg, then maybe a re-fashion or two if I am inspired before back to the fabric stash! I am really wanting to try a pair of pants...