Thursday, October 9, 2014

/railroad pants

These began with this pair of pants from Madewell that I'd saved to my sewing idea pinterest board. I needed a pair of striped, elastic-waisted pants (because, who doesn't?), but something I could wear through fall and not freeze the second I stepped out the door.


I bought the fabric at a local quilt shop that was sadly going out of business, but that did mean it was on a hefty discount- sad yet happy! It's Robert Kaufman railroad denim, and at 6.8 oz it's a really nice and sturdy weight for these pants, yet not too heavy- it still gathers nicely at the WB. It would work well for a pair of jeans, jacket or vest too! I still have a bit of it, so one of those is definitely in my future.


As for the pattern, I made that myself. It had been way too long since I had drafted a pair of pants, so why not spend a little extra time getting the fit just how I wanted? Thankfully, it only took one muslin and the confidence that the changes needed would work well in my fashion fabric. I think it worked out! I used the fail-safe Patternmaking for Fashion Design - I love that most of my required texts from fashion classes are still super useful.


I decided against adding the horizontal panel at the waist a la Madwell because I wanted a more streamlined look, but had a little patchwork-y fun with the back pockets to add a little interest. Added some roomy side pockets, and called it a day!

These things almost qualify as secret pajamas, and I think they're my first non-solid pant since my elementary school printed legging days!

SUMMARY:
fabric: Robert Kaufman railroad denim
pattern: made by me

ps: Still having problems getting my photos to look their best on the blog. Followed all of these tips to a T (resize, save as jpeg in sRGB, etc.). Does anyone have tips? This usually doesn't bother me too much, but hoooey those stripes are not reading well! They look so much better in person, I promise. :)


Thursday, September 25, 2014

/two scouts and a moss, a.k.a. grainline staple party

I'm usually a one project per post kinda gal, but things are piling up.
And I'll be honest, those things aren't all that interesting. Staple-y stuff. But if it goes unblogged, was it really sewn? Well, yes- I'll always have that super tight shoulder muscle letting me know I've been at the sewing table too long.

Firstly wanted to post my denim Moss skirt, since I made it a while ago. It's the best.
Then I wore this Scout tee with it in the photos, so a two garment post was obligatory.
After that, I realized I had yet another knit Scout from eons ago so... tacking that one on too.
It's just a Grainline Studio staple party!


I had this Moss skirt all cut out and ready to go when my old serger decided to get something stuck in it and multiple mechanisms were bent every which way. (I've since bought a new serger, since it would have cost as much fixing the old one.) Hesitant, I used the faux serge stitch on my sewing machine to finish the insides. It was agonizingly slow, even with a swift and powerful Bernina motor and it didn't contain the fray too well.
But the outside looks decent and it's held up so far!
I also decided to embrace the denim and made some jean pockets.


I've made three iterations of the Scout pattern so far (all knit; one here & two seen in this post), and each time I think I've chosen a different size. Sometimes you want a super loose tee, sometimes with just a bit of ease. Then of course you have to take stretch content into consideration, too. This knit doesn't have any stretch in the way of fiber content, so I figured I wanted around 1/2" to 1" of ease at the bust. I find it easiest to choose my fit and just measure the pattern pieces directly to find the coordinating size (front and back times two minus seam allowances). For this particular tee, I went down 4 sizes from what the pattern listed me at for the original woven version. It is a little snug under the arm, but still comfy enough.

This is a knit from Drygoods Design which I believe is cotton with some linen in it.
Linen in it.
Heh, I just tried to say that super fast five times, failed, and laughed at myself.
If you're by yourself right now you have no excuses.
I believe this fabric is out of stock, but they always have so many good ones to choose from. Go there.

MOVING ON. This striped Scout is more than a year old, but a total workhorse. I wear it on the days I'm not wearing my striped raglan sweatshirt, because I must be wearing stripes at all times. If I remember correctly, this one was cut two sizes smaller than the pattern-prescribed woven size.


Only a slight variant here, I extended the back hemline a little and added a baby slit- very fancy. Even when I'm making multiples of a pattern I love, I can't stand to make the same exact style twice!


Patterns: Grainline Studio Scout Tee and Moss Skirt.

Fabrics: For the tees, Drygoods & Mood, respectively. Both tee fabrics are gone but the denim is still in stock at Mood!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

/sweatshirt season

Here we are, another post, another quest for my version of the perfect ________. This time it was a sweatshirt. It's so silly when a product is straight-up named "perfect tee, sweatshirt, trousers", right? Is it just me, or do those companies have a bit of an inflated sense of self? 

 No way I'm falling for that ploy, but here's what I had in mind for my ideal sweatshirt:
  • a wide, roomy neckline - Still covering any straps, of course! And wide enough to peek an Archer collar from underneath.
  • raglan sleeves that aren't to tight up the armpit - Not going to take the sweatshirt title to heart, give those pits some breathing room!
  • sleeve ribbing that's not too tight when pushed up to the elbows - I'm always wearing my sweaters and sweatshirts pushed up.
  • not too long, not too short.- 'nuff said.

First test: striped rayon French terry. A little sleeve tweaking was still in order, but this is probably my most-worn garment in my entire closet for almost a year. You did read that correctly- I made this October 2013 and am just now getting around to sharing! This sweatshirt is actually pretty messed up; the sleeves are not straight and the neck binding is sewn on backwards. BACKWARDS! Yet, people still ask me where I bought it so I guess others perceive these things as design details? Fine with me! The stripes are just so stripey and irresistible I'll wear it no matter what!



Here's the second sweatshirt I made in May (of this year). A definite rule breaker. That's right- cotton navy sweater knit and black ribbing, with an oversized appliqued monogram! I managed to get the neck binding on in a normal fashion this time and fixed the wonky arms.




Next, I've got high hopes for a midi-length dress from this pattern. I'm totally and completely ready for fall and all the snuggly clothes (read: sweatshirts) that I get to wear and layer!

Oh, and BOOTS. Tall boots, short boots, rain boots, booties.

I've spent half of this post waxing about my perfect sweatshirt; anyone else have such fervent sweatshirt opinions? I guess I just take comfort seriously!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

/incidentially blocked pineapple tank

Scraps. We all have 'em and no matter how good our intentions are to use them, it's so hard to do! I'm always distracted by thinking of the next project, the next amazing fabric. I love the idea of using the whole buffalo but rarely get around to it.

Exception: the Sewloft Diana tank, made with leftovers from my pineapple playsuit.

Some sewers call full yards of fabric "scraps", but no, these were really and truly little baby SCRAPS. I couldn't even get a full front or back out of my leftovers, or enough for anything but a crop top!


Luckily I had a random piece of chartreuse linen, also a true-to-form scrap. I only had these bits to lengthen the tank, but it turns out there was a reason I've kept it for years - it was the absolute perfect thing to finish off this tank!

I did screw up the strap attachment/neckline finishing process a bit by not reading through the directions ahead of time... oops.
Piecing together small pieces of fabric is admittedly a bit of a time sucker, but it feels great to have a useful garment hanging in my closet instead of random fabric clogging my drawers & boxes (or actually, on my floor)! I'll just ignore the rest for a bit and revel in this little victory for minute.


I'd love to see more scrap projects or recommendations that would be more suited to autumn than a camisole.. have anything in mind?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

/LAkeside PJs

I'm a really highfalutin thinker/post namer, you guys.
These are the Lakeside PJs and they're made from fabric I got in L.A.


They're a rayon crepe de chine, which I had always fantasized about, but never actually encountered in the flesh (fiber) before. Very pleased with the super silkiness. Sometimes I feel a little guilt in my love for rayon, since it is a semi-synthetic fiber (but derived from natural materials), but then I wrap myself in some rayon (or rayon/cotton blend for guilt-lessening softness) and my doubts melt away.
One thing is for sure: It's the perfect pajama fabric.

Not sure about the print... reptile? oil spill?


I didn't use wide elastic in the waistband because it would wear on this fabric really easily, and I don't like the feel of really stiff, wide elastic under thin and silky fabric. Also, I have tons of 1/4" elastic, so it worked out. I just made two 3/8" channels and shimmied that elastic right through, resulting in a nice lightweight waistband.

Be warned: If you're not feeling really jazzed about sewing bias binding on that particular day, do not even attempt these. Sewing time on these guys works out to 5% seams, 95% bias making/applying. I did the math. If you don't own a bias tape maker, it will make your money well-spent list after the first yard, I promise!

All that tiny baby bias is worth it though, once you feel those silky back flaps fluttering as you walk across the room.

pattern: Grainline Studio Lakeside Pajamas
fabric: rayon crepe de chine from Fabric Planet in Venice, CA (ok so not really LA. Whatevs.)
handmade pj set tally: three (one and two)


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