June 2013

Wardrobe sewing

This is pretty off-season, but I finished my first sewn wardrobe last winter.

I wish I could say this was due to careful planning and discipline but the truth is I was just too lazy to change the thread in my serger.

From left, boatneck top (M6571) in soft gray rayon knit print with charcoal jeans (pattern copied from RTW and modified to fit and have a flare leg).  Middle: black/gray wool stripe cowlneck dress (M6612, cowl reduced slightly and length cropped).  Right, 2 pieces made from rectangles of fabric: 40″x40″ elastic-waist skirt in ITY knit print (double the fabric length-wise, seam, stitch 1″ from the edge to make elastic casing, thread elastic, serge back seam) and cotton knit print scarf.

The most-worn are the jeans, although the most versatile might be the elastic-waist skirt.  Can be worn in the winter over tights or in the summer with a tank top.  Indestructible, washes well, and stretches to accommodate seasonal weight fluctuations.  The trickiest to wear is the stripey dress.  I was so pleased with it I wore it out twice to meet friends— and found that they were wearing essentially the same dress.  That should teach me to sew something because it is trendy!



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Thank you thank you everyone for your comments.  Joe is doing great (for those who asked).  And so are we!

If you look closely you can see that he is wearing his first-ever mama-made garment.  Which also happens to be her first-ever refashioning project: a pair of soft shorts made from an ill-fitting jersey skirt.

I’m not going to show you a close-up because there is nothing nice about the finish on these.  However since I expect them soon to be appliquéed in dirt, yogurt, and peanut butter I decided not to stress the waistband topstitching.  I do like the adjustable button and elastic although joe tells me “don’t like button!”

He’s very particular about his pants, which I guess is not surprising given that most of those he has don’t fit him.  Since these seem to fit well enough and since I was foolish enough to buy 3 of said ill-fitting skirts he will soon have three pairs of shorts.  Just as soon as I find some more waistband elastic.

(The good pictures are by David of course.)


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Hello again

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog.

My reasons for stopping were probably not that good, although they seemed compelling at the time.  And then it became harder and harder to start again.

Since it’s been nearly a year since I posted anything the things I was making when I left off are in season again.  So here we go.  I derived the need for this skirt a year ago last spring by pulling all my most-worn handmade items out of the closet and seeing what was missing.  What was missing was this skirt: A-line, neutral, pocketed, in washable cotton twill.

I think this skirt marked a turning point from ooh-shiny! sewing to thinking like a designer.  On it own its not spectacular, but it goes with and complements most of my tops, and the dark neutral color can make brighter tones pop.  As drafted the Burda pattern I used came to mid-calf.  So I scaled the whole thing down, changing the hem and the pockets too to keep proportions similar to the original skirt but that fit my shorter frame.  I also realized (finally) that the same alterations I usually make to pants need to be made for skirts too.  So I added some fabric at CB and shaved some off at CF.

Since I often feel like making these kind of basics is boring I added some details for fun: orange topstitching with two threads on the pockets and a printed orange quilting cotton for the linings of the waistband and pockets.  The linings were a great way to use an irresistible print that would never work as a whole garment.  I think these more rational approach to project selection worked well as this skirt has gotten a lot of wear in the last year.


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