Saturday, 14 July 2018

Field Trip Cargo Pants

The second pair of pants I made for the kid with the cold ankles are the Oliver + S Field Trip Cargo pants.

It's been years since I made these pants for him. I use the raglan T-shirt from this pattern all the time, but I've only made him the pants twice before and once for his sister.

I consulted with him about the pattern and then went ahead and ignored his request to not put the cargo pockets on the side. He was good natured about it and we've agreed that the pattern can be a base for some school pants without cargo pockets another day.

The pockets are just really fun. They're constructed with sort of bellows at the edges so they really are as three dimensional as they look in these pictures. It had been a few years and I couldn't help myself but make them again.

Of course they add a fair bit of work to some already quite involved pants. The front is three panels with nice darts at the knee and lots of edgestitched and topstitched seams.

The back has two parts to the leg and regular patch pockets. The waistband is finished with a facing and belt loops and there's an easy to sew faux fly.

I made the size 10 with size 12 length. I only adjusted the length below the crotch seam so the rise and waist height is still that of the size 10. It was a bit confusing to get all the leg panel pieces the right length but luckily everything lined up. They're suitably long and could possibly do with the cuff being turned up once.

Mostly they are long because they're sitting a bit low on his waist. The main pitfall of sewing after dark (lack of sleep notwithstanding) is that I end up guessing at waistband elastic length. He tells me these are a bit loose. Thankfully not so loose that I'm compelled to unpick the casing and change anything. (thanks kid)

The fabric is a heavy duty something (poly/cotton maybe) that I picked up at Eliza's Fabrics for $3/metre. I intended to use it to muslin pants for me or Flipper but it looked perfect for these cargo pants. It's quite wide, so I suspect these are only about $4.50 worth of pants. Although double that figure for the amount of thread that gets used!

Pattern: Oliver + S Field Trip Cargo Pants
Size: 10 width, 12 length
Fabric: mystery poly/cotton home dec weight 
Notions: thread, elastic, button (for decoration)

NB: It turns out Blogger had some technical bug with commenting when EU privacy laws changed. I have finally found the solution to being notified that comments have been made and are awaiting approval, but sadly all comments now seem to come from a no-reply@blogger address so replying directly to you is getting harder. I'll keep working on it.... or change hosting services.....
Shelley xx

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Burda 9406 - cool kid pants

So given the whole point of this blog is to remind me of the fittings and foibles of patterns this blog post should be a big F for fail, but the pants are so cool it's a self rated A+ (as always ;))

The boy was getting about in last year's trousers and there was a disconcerting amount of ankle on show! I knew with school holidays coming up I was either going to see a lot of school uniform trackpants, or those exposed ankles... or I was going to have to sew some new pants.

I jumped in with another pair of Burda 9406 jeans. This time in the largest size, size 10, sewing View B which is the longer length , intended to be rolled up at the ankle.

I'd previously made the size 8 with 9 length and they're now comfortably fitting his 7 year old sister, so these are proper fitted jeans. Sadly, the size 10 is as large as this pattern goes.

View B has these larger, low slung back pockets that belie the fact that it's still quite a well fitted crotch seam. Kids can have the appearance of dude pants without the saggy, dropped crotch reality!

The bit that is unchanged between the sizes and views is that the zipper recommended length is still too long (4 inches would be fine, don't bother with a 5" zipper as instructed) and the fly shield is still too short (add ta least an inch to the fly shield length). And that's exactly what I found the first time I made them, and forgot to amend the second time also.

I'm loving these on him so much that I might try and make another pair this year before he outgrows the pattern. Let's see if, for the final time, I can heed my own warning and get the zipper and fly shield length amended and right. Don't hold your breath.

The pattern shows the cuff being rolled considerably, whereas these are just turned up once. Maybe I'll add even more length to the next pair so that they can be double rolled this year, cuffed next year and regular hem the following year. That would be winning at lazy mum sewing. Just have to remember not to overfeed him in the meantime.

The fabric for these is a navy, brushed drill from Rathdowne Fabrics. I usually buy any hard wearing navy fabrics when I find them cheaply as it's school uniform pants/skirt colour and so these pants can double as school uniform pants for those winter days when the washing hasn't been kept up to schedule.

With its soft, moleskin like face it's a really nice fabric anyway and I'd happily have a pair of jeans made out of this. Maybe I just stockpile nice fabrics and then find reasons for having bought them...

I can't say what a difference it makes seeing the kids in clothes that fit. It's only now, that I'm insanely busy with other projects that I realise he needs more pants. I've cut and sewn one other pair that I'll share next, but then he has to get back in line and wait a while.

Pattern: Burda 9406, View B

Size: Straight size 10
Modifications: NEED to lengthen the fly shield by about 1"
Fabric: Brushed navy drill
Notions: Buttonhole elastic, buttons, jeans button, NEEDS 4" zip (not 5" as specified)

Monday, 2 July 2018

Double knit - Japanese dress pattern version

When I was trying not to buy fabric at Fabric Deluxe and I was weakening faced with the blue/orange double knit, they cleverly showed me the other colourway and now A has a dress too!

The fabric is more of that fabulous double knit, and yes, the collar of this dress is seriously just the reverse side of the fabric.

As soon as I saw the fabric I thought of this lovely Japanese dress pattern which I last made back in 2014 (here). The pattern is from Let's Go Out Girl's Clothes by Yuki Araki - I can't find a purchasable copy on the web, but here's a link that at least shows the cover.

It's a lovely, gently A line dress with an inverted box pleat at the centre front, a peter pan collar using the reverse face of the fabric and the cute Petersham ribbon trim.

It's hard to see in the photo but the ribbon trim is curved slightly, and while I struggled with a standard ribbon last time, this time I did find a Petersham ribbon that was a pretty good colour match. The difference in how it curves is the key. Failing finding a Petersham ribbon I'd suggest a strip of bias binding. This ribbon came from Jimmy's buttons.

The sleeves are perfectly puffy and very sweet. They're gathered with elastic which I suspect has flipped up in these photos and I hadn't noticed until now.

The back neck has a little facing and a hook and eye closure. Looking back at my blog post from 4 years ago I commented on how lovely the neckline finish is and how I should have taken a photo of the insides. For fear of repeating myself, the inside neckline is lovely, and yes, I should have taken a photo.

I made a shirt for myself that had a similar neckline finish and the process is shown in this photo tutorial. It's  a really nice, neat way to finish a neckline with collar and involves no handsewing.

Her brother's lesson in expert modelling, which was being performed just out of camera shot, was not being appreciated....

She looks cuter here, but you'll have to imagine how cute he was looking! :)

The dress is size 130cm which is the largest that the patterns in this book go up to. The length is generous and the fit is just perfect. It was made exactly as per the pattern with no modifications. It's a good reminder that I need to revisit my Japanese pattern books more often before she outgrows them all. So many of the patterns are just delightful.

The fabric is just superb, so soft and cozy. I can't promise myself I won't go back to Fabric Deluxe and check out the third colourway one more time.....

* If you're one of my lovely blog readers who regularly leaves a comment you may have noticed I took away comment moderation for a while. The spam comments were no worse, or better, but without moderation I don't get an email to say you've commented. That meant I may not notice the comment and I certainly couldn't reply by email as I usually like to do. So that's why moderation is back. Not because you need moderating but because I need to chat back at you! Let me know if it works OK for you....xx Shell.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

M7574 Cropped tee

When I was making my pleather pencil skirt I remembered this little remnant of textured knit and thought to make a top to go with the skirt.

They didn't work well together in the end as the skirt wasn't as high-waisted as I'd imagined it would be. But, here's my new top with a pair of wool trousers that I bought in Worcester back in 2001 (I don't do much clothes shopping you know!)

I've been wanting to use this fabric for myself for so long but it was only a small remnant and I couldn't find a pattern that fit on it. I desperately hoped I could make the long sleeved version of this top, but no, no luck.

The pattern is the Melissa Watson M7574 Knit raglan sleeve top and dress. I've previously made the View D dress (here and here) and this one is the cap sleeved, cropped View A top.

Again I struggled with getting the shoulder seams to not be too wrinkly. It took a few passes at stitching them to feel like they were behaving. But then the lack of sleeve weight makes the poor fitting at the front underarm really obvious. I don't see that area looking problematic on my dress versions with their slightly longer sleeves. There are fitting adjustment lines all over this pattern and it would be an interesting exercise to really try and get it right, but I suspect I might be ready to move on and say it's all a bit too difficult.

Not that I don't like this top. It's OK. The fabric is lovely: A thickish, cream knit with this geometric, embossed pattern in it. I picked it up as a remnant from The Fabric Store years ago.

My memory is shoddy and I didn't take notes when I was sewing, but I'm pretty sure I cut the length to use all of my fabric, so it's a bit longer than the intended cropped length. I suspect I've added an inch and a half perhaps.

Not much more to say about a little t-shirt.... I've finally resigned myself to winter being here to stay and I've put away all my summer clothes and brought out the wool trousers and coats. This little t-shirt can stay in the wardrobe as a winter top since it works well under a coat and is perfectly comfortable indoors where it's warm (that is to say, anywhere except at my house! brrrrr)

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Double Knit Double Dipped

Let's not ask who wore it best, OK?

When it comes to modelling sewn garments for the blog, the champion in our house is this kid. He schools the rest of us every. single. time.

It's the same wonderful and weird, double sided poly knit from Fabric Deluxe.

The pattern is my go to T-short pattern for the kids: The Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt

I went with the size 10 again and added the usual 15cm of sleeve length. Yes, you read that right, 15cm! I'm perfectly prepared to concede my kids are monkey-like in their arm length, but I'm sure this pattern must also have shortish sleeves. Don't tell me I'm the only one who adds length to the sleeves on this one?...

For a bit of fun I sewed the neckband using the reverse orange side of the double knit. The pattern has a standard round crew neck, but my tutorial for sewing a V neck is right here. It's super easy and looks great. Also, kinda handy when the fabric has less stretch than a regular t-shirt fabric and you want to make your neck-hole a bit more generous.

Not much more to say about a t-shirt, but he can model it with his skateboard....

And only gets caught out looking silly when I say he has a spot on his face....

I'm sewing the other colour of this fabric now, and it's looking great. Come on over to the inner west and get some. The coffee is awesome over here too.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Vogue 8805 double knit dress

This dress jumped the queue when I found a fabric that forced me (seriously, I had no option to resist) to break my no-new-fabric intentions.

The fabric is a curious double sided poly knit from our new local, and utterly fabulous, fabric shop: Fabric Deluxe.

These photos don't do the fabric justice and you must know how incredibly annoyed I was to discover that my thermal top had curled up at the bottom and created that weird line across my lower abdomen. My ever patient husband takes the pictures but has absolutely no eye for that kind of thing bless him.

I had only gone in to Fabric Deluxe for some thread and was doing really well at avoiding all the lovely fabrics until this bolt of knit caught my eye. I have always had a weak spot for double faced knits, ever since P had a little Euro ready-to-wear hoodie that was two different striped knits bonded together.

The blue and orange were such a fun combination and I loved the subtle pinstripe and the curious embossed chevron/swoosh things. Given it's a double faced knit it has quite a thick, almost spongey texture and I figured it would make a nice long sleeved T for my son.

Of course once I'd decided to have some, and then found out it was half price, I suddenly found myself buying a bit more knowing I could make this dress pattern with it. Then they showed me the other colourways and I picked up a bit more for a dress for A too. The bolts turned out to be from a previous fabric store closing down and possibly is a fairly "vintage" fabric. It's curious and I like it.

The dress pattern is a variation on Vogue 8805. That's intended for a woven fabric and has options for colour blocking the dress. I went with the straight View B, sewing the elbow length sleeves and using the one fabric throughout. The topstitching still makes those seam lines stand out.

Not long after I'd bought the pattern I lent it to a friend and she sewed it up. She had also used a knit fabric and I tried on her version, which was a size down from what I would normally chose, and decided that was plenty big enough. The only thing I needed was two inches extra length through the waist. Even though it's a fairly straight dress, the slightly wider hip part was sitting oddly high and sticky-outy on me in my friend's version.

The pattern usually has a centre back seam with a slit opening at the neck with a button and loop closure. I figured that with a knit I could get away with cutting the back top section on the fold. Then I finished the neckline as instructed with a bias facing. Now of course that took nearly all the stretch out of the neck opening anyway. It just works for me, but if you have a head that often doesn't fit though headholes then don't do this, do as the pattern instructs!

We've had a definite turn towards winter in the weather over the last few days, and I was wearing this dress today with a thermal top (better tucked in!), tights and boots. It was lovely and warm and every bit the secret pyjamas we all love in a winter dress.

The elbow length sleeves have a fun straight width that looks almost a little flared.  The dress comes in different cup sizes and while I didn't know which one I'd tried on, I plumped for the A/B version which fitted my lack of boobage. I was very happy to find the bust darts were just the right height and length.

I would very much consider making a version of this dress in colour blocked crepe. Maybe with a sway back adjustment or even centre back seam to give it a bit more shape. I think it could easily turn out to be one of those fancy looking but super easy to wear dresses. My funny poly knit version certainly doesn't look fancy, but boy is it nice to wear.

Speaking of boys, I'll show you the kid's long sleeved T in another blog post because, of course, he nailed the modelling and he makes me look completely hopeless by comparison.

Pattern: Vogue 8805
Size: 12
Modifications: 2" extra length at waist, omitted back neck opening
Fabric: Double sided poly knit from Fabric Deluxe

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Pleather Pencil Skirt

When Liesl + Co released the Extra Sharp Pencil Skirt pattern I immediately thought of a length of brown, faux snakeskin pleather I had in my stash.

But I'd forgotten it was super shiny. Not to be a skirt for me. (I tihnk A wants it as a bomber jacket, which would be insanely cute)

Thanks to my seven year old for photography
Then I thought of the remnant of pink stretch cord that I'd made A's pants out of. Nope, there wasn't enough. Then I remembered this olive green stretch pleather and dived straight in. (after tracing off 4 other skirt patterns trying to use up the oddly shaped and small remnant of pink cord anyway).

I measured about a 6 waist and 8 hips, but that seemed weird since I'd only just recently made the size 10 Soho shorts and I haven't changed since then. or have I? Anyway I went with the 8 thinking it would be tight. It's obviously not, but maybe that's my fabric?...

The skirt closes with an invisible zip at the back and has a lovely generous kick pleat so it's really easy to walk in. In fact, in this stretch pleather I think I've got a good chance of being able to cycle in it. Not tried it yet but I don't doubt I'll get dressed one day and then realise I'm about to ride off. That either results in the skirt being cycle worthy or me hoicking it up into my knickers, but I never bother going back indoors to get changed! :)

The pattern very kindly has you sew the zipper and back panels first. That means that all the fitting can be done using the side panels. I love that 'cause often the zipper is the last thing you do and the time when you realise it's not going to fit all that well after all. So then why didn't I get the tight fit I was after?...

The pleather has quite a bit of stretch and when I put it on I convinced myself that once the interfaced yoke facing was attached and the waistband stabilised with twill tape it would feel much smaller. I did take in the side seams above the hip. Each seam has a 1/2" seam allowance, and I stitched at 3/4" on all 4 seams for about 5" from the top of the skirt. Effectively my waist size has come down by 1" and is closer to the size 6 after all. Maybe a straight size 6 next time (bet I use a non stretch fabric and it's too small, aaargh the indecision!).

I didn't take photos of the insides, but I finished the edge of my waistband facing with some of the bias leftover from my recent jacket. The twill tape on the waistband seam allowance is great, and stops it from turning into a stretched out mess throughout the day. It sits low on my hips rather than high waisted, but at least it doesn't sink lower as the day goes on!

I pretended my pleather was a bit more real leather looking than it truly is, and edgestitched the side seams on both sides. It keeps the seam allowances tidy and other than that I didn't finish them in any other way. But the stretch pleather doesn't really look or hang like real leather, and now I feel like I want to size down and make the real thing in leather. Or maybe leather front and back with thick ponte side panels - I just saw an olive green leather/ponte Calvin Klein skirt in a consignment shop that was just like that (it didn't fit or it would have been mine), maybe that's why I was inspired to use this fabric from my stash.

So while i didn't get this one quite right, I've worn it a couple of times and it's not too bad. I love the pattern and will definitely be going back for another round, or two. There's a sew-along coming up on the Oliver + S blog with prizes available. I should try and time my next one to join in with that as it's always fun to feel a bit less isolated and less like a crazy lady when you're home alone sewing into the wee hours

Meanwhile, I'll keep wearing this one, and as someone pointed out on Instagram, I could spill my lunch in my lap and just wipe myself down with a sponge!

So long as it wasn't a hot lunch as I fear my skirt would melt!

Pattern: Liesl + Co Extra Sharp Pencil Skirt
Size: 8, but probably reduced to 6 around the waist
Fabric: Oliver green stretch synthetic pleather - I suspect a remnant from GJs, but so long stashed I forget.
Notions: invisible zip from Eliza, interfacing, bias binding, twill tape, thread.