Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Only one more to go ...

This is a crappy late night photo that doesn't show much, but I'm thrilled with these pants and I wanted to get them up here as soon as I could. They are from V8604. I've made the skirt several times (and in several lengths) and a red version of the jacket was part of a SWAP a few years ago. The fabric is a very rough wool (blend??) that was purchased at Fine Wools Direct in Newtown some years ago now. I think I bought it because it was ridiculously cheap and it was wool, but it's sat unloved in my stash ever since. I knew I would never wear it living in the subtropics, but down here it's perfect. I knew I would need to line these pants but I didn't want to use anything silky so I lined them with the batik print cotton pants I made as a muslin. I should be warm this winter!
This is my third attempt at high-waisted pants and I think I've finally got it right. I made an ivory pair for my first ever SWAP but I wore them once. I made a chocolate brown wool pair for another project but chucked those, too. They fit well, but just didn't look right and I couldn't figure out why. It wasn't until I read something that Steph wrote a few years back that I understood. Steph said that a rear zip is way more flattering and she was right. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd go back through her blog and find the post so you could see her in her very stylish back zip Katherine Hepburn style pants.
One of the things I love about these pants is that the back dips down low and sits in the small of my back. I will try and take some photos on me over the weekend, but this is what you get for now.
I have only one more garment to go: jeans. I have a reasonable fit already on a free pattern I downloaded from Burda several years ago so now is the time to make it perfect! Guess what I'm doing this weekend?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

SWAP number 9 ...

I haven't decided on the fabric for my SWAP pants, so I decided to push on with the final shirt. This is yet another version of my favourite BWOF 01-08-107 blouse made most recently by kbenco in a much better way than me.
I need a white blouse. I have trouble with white: I don't like it and I don't like wearing it. I went looking for a textured fabric, maybe even a linen. I was hoping for a jacquard of some sort, a self spot or stripe, but I couldn't find any. In fact, the only white I could find was a cotton poplin, which is totally boring. As much as I tried to keep this plain, I just couldn't do it. I ended up topstitching the front with a Signature variegated quilting thread in purples.
The variegation was hard to see so I decided to steal kbenco's embroidery ideas and stitch some little leaves on the band. If I'd thought about it before, I would have made a hidden placket and stitched the leaves all the way down, but I didn't so I'm stuck with this.
I've pulled a piece of fabric from the stash, washed and pressed it and I'm currently staring at it trying to decide if it will work for my wide legged pants. Once they're done, I'll tackle the final garment: jeans.

Monday, February 13, 2012

SWAP piece number 8 ...

It's a long weekend again here in Hobart. It seems there are three extra public holidays here than I got in NSW, so I'm not complaining. I had planned to do a whole lot more sewing than I actually did, but the weather was incredible and Molly and I spent a lot of time out walking. Funny thing about Tasmanian sun; it's so much easier to get burned here. I'm told it's because of the ozone layer.
I did manage one completed garment. It's BWOF 05-08-116. I had originally planned to make this in the pinstripe that I used for the pants I made last week, but I changed my mind and used plain black. This is black stretch wool that came from the Vera Wang fabric sold on a few years ago. I bought three yards that I've already made a pair of shorts and a skirt out of (for my red, black and white travel wardrobe that I took to the US in 2010). This was the very last of it. The purple topstitch thread was leftover from the purple jacket and skirt I've already made for SWAP.
I had a few issues with this dress. Despite interfacing the front, it stretched. To fix it I stitched a thread on one side, threaded it through the fold and pulled the neckline in, then stitched it down on the other side. Next, I layed it over my pressing ham and steamed - it shrank back perfectly. I also managed to sew the facings in upside down, but didn't realise until AFTER I understitched and trimmed the seams. The original pattern is not lined, but as this wool is very fine, I wanted to line it. Because of the topstitching I couldn't follow my usual construction method for a lined dress, so I bamboozled myself a little and took a whole lot longer than I should have. I trialled several kinds of topstitching but ended up with regular thread and regular stitch to keep it a little subtle. I tried topstitch thread and triple stitch, but they all looked a little cartoonish to me.
If you follow the link and look at the Burda picture, you'll see this has a self-fabric belt above the waist. I went as far as making thread loops and stitching them in place, but the belt just doesn't work on me, so I took them off and will wear it as is. I like this dress but I don't love it. It's a little large in the shoulders - I should have graded down to a 36, but it's still flattering. It will be a great work dress. I tried it with the SWAP jacket and I like the way it looks. I may even wear it tomorrow because I have a meeting with the Antarctic Division and I like to look professional when I go there!
I had planned wide leg pants this weekend, but when I layed the fabric up I decided it wasn't heavy enough. I went to the back up plan and that fabric was completely wrong, so that project ground to a halt. I'll shop my stash tomorrow and see what else I have, but I think this means a trip to Spotlight, which I really don't want. Last time I went there I might have bought some purple faux fur, but that's a whole other story ...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SWAP garment number 7

This isn't a great picture, taken as it is on the floor, complete with dog hair. It's BWOF 05-07-112 and this is the fourth time I've made it. This time, though, I made a few alterations. I lengthened the crotch of the front piece and rounded the side seams to fit my rounded hips. In keeping with the theme of SWAP this year, I finally decided to tackle the pants fitting issue. I muslined four pairs of pants but came back to this one, which has always been the best fit I've had off the bat. I'm pretty happy with this fit, but you will have to reserve judgement until I can be bothered to mess with the tripod and show you what they look on me. I think I will always struggle to get a smooth, wrinkle free fit in a closer style because I have muscular front thighs that create a hollow at the top of my legs. This pair of pants finally used the last of this lavender pinstripe fabric and I'm glad to have a good pattern.
Coming up is a black high waisted wide legged pair of pants, very Katherine Hepburn. I'm also planning a white button down shirt because I really need one. I think I've decided on a dress and I will finish up with a pair of jeans. That means my SWAP will look like this;
2 x skirts (already made)
2 x button down shirts (one made, one planned)
2 x pants (one made, one planned)
2 x dresses (one made, one planned)
1 x blouse (already made)
1 x jacket (already made)
1 x jeans (planned)
I am a little obsessed with tie neck blouses at the moment and my obsession was reawakened by Trena who in a recent post reminded me of the magnificent BWOF 02-08-119. For some reason I can't link to her post to show you. This is the only Burda magazine I don't have, so if anyone has a spare copy or is willing to trace me a copy of this blouse, I would be eternally grateful. I might have accidentally bought some fabric that might look good in this pattern ...