Saturday, February 3, 2018

Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers

My intention for 2018 is to draw up a bodice sloper and create tops, but here I am with another pair of pants.  I can't decide what I think about the Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers, and it has nothing to do with the pattern itself.  The pattern is great, but I swore off cropped pants  years ago because I think they make my legs look really stumpy (technical term right there).  However, I am in search of a pattern to go with the dark teal stretch denim I purchased from Guthrie and Ghani several months ago, and when I saw the Sasha pattern I thought I would test it out to see if it would work.  I'm considering this my wearable muslin, but I'm still undecided on what I think about it! 
I'm absolutely in love with the fabric, which is a stretch denim from Style Maker Fabrics.  So much so that I'm considering buying 20 yards of it so I can have some on hand for the rest of my life. You can dress up this pattern for work with non-denim fabric, or make it more casual with denim.  My top is a Sewaholic Oakridge blouse that I made many moons ago.  Alas, my jacket is RTW from JCrew.  I bought it years ago and will never part with it.  
The welt pockets are a nice touch, although when I study this picture they don't look lined up.  I didn't notice that before! I didn't add belt loops due to laziness.  I'm a veeerrry lazy seamstress lately.  
There are a couple of things I would do differently if I make this pattern again.  First, after topstitching the fly shield, I would serge the straight open edge of the shield so I didn't have to serge it to the fly extension after I assembled the fly.  I accidently serged both sides of the fly extensions instead of just one side like it says in the instructions.  I would do that again so both extensions and the straight edge of the shield are serged prior to being assembled. 
Second, my waistband is a train wreck at the front.   The instructions say to fold the waistband facing back at the corner when you stitch the waistband at the center front.  I did that, but in the future I think I will just do it like I always do, which is to sew the center front without the folded corner and then tuck the facing under to finish.  I think that's just personal preference.  I couldn't pull the folded corner technique off to get the finish I wanted.  
And here's the obligatory shot of the back view.  The model pictures at the pattern launch seemed to be extremely tight in the butt.  My measurements are a 28 waist and 38 hips.  I cut an 8 in the waistband and then graded that out to a 10 in the hips.  I sewed a 5/8 inch seam allowance in the inseam, but only a 1/2 inch seam allowance at the top of the pants (prior to adding the waistband).  When I hit the pocket I gradually moved out to a 5/8 seam allowance for the rest of the leg seam.  The result is a form-fitting pant through the hips but it's not skin-tight.  Also, the fabric is very stretchy with good recovery.  
I think this might be my last pair of pants for awhile.  We will see!


Friday, January 19, 2018

Grainline Archer (finally!)

I'm pretty sure that I'm one of the last people in the sewing community to make the Grainline Archer shirt.  This will be a short post because I don't think there's anything that hasn't been covered already!

I've developed a habit of not making a muslin and just winging it.  Had I done one, I would have known that I need to lengthen the sleeves and had an inch or so to the bodice length.  It's wearable as it is, but I would like it better if  both the sleeves and the bodice were longer.

I usually stay away from plaid because I don't want to pattern match.  It intimidates me, but I do think I'm getting better at it.  When I took these pictures I realized that the pattern matching between the sleeves and the bodice is better than I thought it was.

The fabric is flannel from Style Maker Fabrics.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Blackwood Cardigan and 3 Birkin Flares

I've been busy sewing but not busy blogging! I'm on a mission to make clothes I need, so once they are finished I throw them on and go on with life instead of pausing to take pictures.
The Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan is going to become a new favorite pattern of mine. I love how it's an open front that sits close to the body.  I am not a fan of boxy cuts, and I chose the shorter version because I don't gravitate to longer cardigans either.
The Blackwood Cardigan is easily a one day project if you're focused. There are minimal pieces to cut, and construction consists of sewing the fronts and back together, putting on the sleeves, putting on the cuffs, sewing the bottom band and sewing the front band.  No closures!
Fabric for the cardigan came from Style Maker Fabrics.  Don't you love the color? The quality is great.  The shirt is the Sewaholic Granville in fabric from Hell Gate fabrics.  
I made three new pairs of Birkin Flares in September and October, which brings my total to 5.  I've blogged the two previous pairs before here and here, so I won't go into details here. I like the fit through the hips and the flare that covers my shoes, so why not have more than one or two pairs?  The above fabric is Ralph Lauren stretch denim from Mood Fabrics.  The following two fabrics are also from Style Maker Fabrics.

It feels good to put together an entire outfit of separates! Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

SBCC Gina Shorts & Grainline Maritime Shorts

I inadvertently took most of the summer off from sewing and instead I've read about 16 books so far.  I have no regrets! I did manage to make three pair of shorts: two Maritimes and one Gina short, which is the new pattern from SBCC.  I always wonder how similar patterns compare to each other, so I thought it might be helpful to describe them for you.

The green shorts are the Maritime pattern and the teal shorts are the Gina pattern.  The Maritime shorts have a bit looser or flared fit throughout the leg.

A big difference between the patterns is the dart in the back of the Gina pattern.  The Maritime has no dart, which results in the Gina short having a curvier fit throughout the back than the Maritime.

I think the Maritime short makes your booty look a little flatter while the Gina short makes it look a curvier.  We all want different things!

The Maritime shorts have pocket bags while the Gina pockets are topstitched on with no pocket bags.

I made the Maritime shorts first, and I found the instructions for sewing the fly and zipper extremely easy to follow.  The Gina instructions list the steps in a different order, and since I made the Maritime shorts first the Gina fly instructions felt out of order to me and resulted in what I feel is a less desirable looking fly.  Also, the Gina fly facing is about an inch shorter then the Maritime facing, which exposes the zipper at the bottom. If you are new to sewing pant zippers and fly facings, I would choose the Maritime pattern first.  The Gina doesn't give instructions for finishing your zipper pieces, and you'll want those if you're new.

I also have to be completely transparent and say that I had a lot of energy when I was sewing the Maritime shorts at the beginning of the summer, and was completely lazy when I was sewing the Ginas.  L-A-Z-Y.  I think you can tell by my workmanship but I'm not planning on wearing my pants inside out so it's my secret!

The Gina shorts have a cuff at the bottom while the Maritime shorts are just turned under and stitched.

I like them both for different reasons, and they aren't so similar that you have to choose one over the other.  Both shorts are made with twill from Style Maker fabrics.  I think the fabric is part of the summer sale so hurry over!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

McCalls 7537

I fell in love with this pattern when I saw it's release this spring.  I usually stick with indie patterns but I had to make this one!
I initially wanted to make View C with the contrasting waist panels but I couldn't find the right contrasting fabric to go with this loud Liberty print I bought on sale from Craftsy.  I opted instead for View A with the sleeve caps from C instead of the sleeves.  I still want to do the contrasting waistband option at some point. I can't get it out of my head. I love mixing prints.
The fabric is so busy that you can't see all of the great details like the gathered waistband and gathering at the bust.  Those would be easy to showcase in a solid print.  I made two simple changes: 1) I inserted the zipper all the way up to the top of the left side because I find it impossible to put a dress on when there is an inch of fabric sewn together above the zipper.  2) I sewed up about 2 additional inches from the circle listed in the instructions on the front band because it was so low that it bordered on indecent.  It doesn't lay as flat that way, but I don't think I would feel comfortable wearing it if I had only sewn to the circle as instructed. 
The only design feature that gives me pause is the gathering at the middle back above the waistband.  I think I would like a smoother look back there without the gathering to make it look less bulky. 
The sewing is straightforward.  I barely glanced at the instructions because it's pretty easy to see how it all goes together.  

I think this one is worth a try!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Birkin Flares + Two Colette Violets

I just noticed how long it's been since I blogged.  I had a men's shirt pattern go south on me in February, and then I made three pieces that I decided to blog together instead of separately. 
I'm obsessed with Birkin Flares, and I'm also obsessed with this Cornflower Blue stretch denim Style Maker fabrics.  I'm almost afraid to wear them because I love them so much.  Kind of like when you don't use your fine china.  If I wear a hole in them I will dissolve in a puddle of tears. 
The Birkin pattern is really easy to follow and super easy to fit.  If you are thinking about sewing jeans this is a great pattern to start with.  The fabric is so high quality and the recovery is great.  
The Colette Violet top is one of those patterns that I didn't try when it first came out, and now that I've sewn it up I don't know why I didn't do it a long time ago.

My wardrobe was in need of casual short sleeved tops for spring and the Violet is perfect.  All fabric for the Violet tops was purchased at the locally owned fabric store Sarah's Fabrics in Lawrence, KS
 The main fabric for this one is a Moda lawn and the contrasting collar and bias tape fabric is Alexander Henry quilting cotton.  I love mixing prints and this pattern is a great one for that. 
Please excuse the sideways picture and also excuse my inability to fix it.  I've forgotten which line they are from, but the bodice is a lawn.

Happy sewing!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Birkin Flares

I accomplished something major: I made jeans! Specifically Birkin Flares from Baste+Gather.  I feel so joyful. 
My material is burnt orange corduroy from IndieSew and it's great.  I snatched it up right when it was advertised and have no regrets.  I went rogue for this pattern and didn't make a muslin.  I like the fit. It's right under my belly button and there is negative ease in the hips which means they actually stay up when I walk around.
Everybody says jeans aren't hard, and they actually aren't.  There is a sewalong on the Baste and Gather website that is fabulous and really helped through the challenging bits. 

Close up of the front:
 Close up of the back:
You'll notice that there is something weird going on with the back yoke. The piece didn't look right when I cut it out, but since I didn't make a muslin I just went along with it.  The middle part of it seemed to have too much of a diagonal as compared to the sewalong pictures that seemed to continue up in a straight line from the leg.  I'll have to revisit that next time because the extra fabric makes the yoke wavy. 
I do not plan to wear a shirt tucked in with these and the rest is satisfactory, so I'm OK with that.  Being the opposite of Type A really helps in sewing....

I enjoy topstitching quite a bit.  It makes it all look put together. My sewing machine kept spitting out my needle when I tried to do the narrow row of zigzag on the pockets.  I eventually had to give up on that after doing the best I could. 
I chose to have the front of my pocket lining facing me so I can see the fun burst of color.  Nobody looks inside my pockets!

I highly recommend this pattern if you are a first-timer.  Go for it! You won't be disappointed!