Tuesday 30 May 2023

Men's (almost) Metro T - Part 2

No sooner had I made Flipper his mtb trails T-shirt than I had a request from the big kid for one too.

I obliged, of course, but not before making a plain long sleeved T first, cause that was the bigger wardrobe hole that needed filling.

This is the Liesl + Co Metro T size M with, from memory about 8cm extra body hem length and 10cm extra sleeve length.

Photographed quickly on the way to lacrosse training with the long pole he got for Christmas. Did I tell you I strung the head myself? Not such a hard task if you're a crafty type. Thoroughly enjoyable if you have a post Christmas lunch glass of champagne and a quiet place to sit.

The T-shirt he really wanted though was the athletic knit with the favourite Strava trails on it...

This is the Strava bike map of his favourite ride in the Mystic mountain bike park up in Bright. If you know the tracks you can probably name those loops just looking at the photo.

I kindly gave up the 2nd 1m cut of athletic knit from Maaidesign, even though I'd earmarked this one for myself. He wore it to lacrosse training on a warmer evening and was rapt, like being nude but with clothes on!

For the transfer I used the Silhouette Cameo again, but this time used a generic brand iron-on transfer material in a holographic silver. It looked great, but in the very first wash it almost all peeled off. It wasn't the application to the fabric that was the problem as all the glue was still adhered, it was the bond between the silver layer and the adhesive layer. I picked off the few bits that remained stuck fast and now there is the faint glue shadow outline of the original artwork, which I've been kindly told looks kind of cool and subtle.

Meanwhile I let the company that I bought it from know and they've refunded me. Only trouble is I have half a dozen other sheets of this iron-on transfer in other colours and I guess I'll have to reserve them for non-washable type projects.

Good thing I insisted on photos before it hit the laundry basket!

Monday 22 May 2023

Men's Metro T - part 1

Have I told you I bought myself a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine?

I'd borrowed one from a friend ages ago and went crazy making T-shirts for the kids with iron on vinyl designs and one supergirl outfit! I gave that machine back to the friend, and every year or so afterwards I would do another little bit of online sleuthing as to whether the Silhouette or the Cricut was better. Eventually I decided on the Silhouette Cameo 4 based on two things: More freedom to create your own designs and import graphics into designs, and a deeper cutting depth. I know I'm not about to go cutting cork or leather right now, but I sure as heck don't want to not be able to should I decide I want to!

Armed with a new toy I had a sudden urge to create something. Turning to the household head of IT, I asked what he'd like on a T-shirt. "Tabs or Spaces" he replied.

Apparently that's a defining choice amongst code writers. Obviously I had no clue and needed to be instructed as to the graphics that would represent each word.

What I did know was that the T-shirt would be the Liesl + Co men's Metro T in XL as per every other one. Easy. 

He requested navy or dark blue as the colour. That I didn't have, but I'm not above shopping for fabric when the need arises ;) I found this perfect dark blue remnant, about 90cm size, at Fabric Deluxe and I suspect it's a bamboo blend? It is a lovely fabric.

The iron on vinyl is a Silhouette branded one that is a metallic blue and changes colour a bit with the light reflecting off it. Subtle yet bright, and super cool.

Here's the household IT guru in his natural environment: horizontal with laptop

This photo is taken at my parent's house. When he's not to be found napping on a couch or deckchair he'll be out on the mountain bike trails near their place.

After visiting for many years, it's in the last two or three years we've discovered a great network of single track just out of town.  I think when visiting the in-laws involves unlimited GnTs, couch naps and singletrack there can't be much to complain about right? What's that? I'm told we need to get rid of the veggie garden and put in a pool.

Anyway, back in January I had the idea of making him a T-shirt with the Strava map of the local mtb trails on it. We were up in Bright so I dropped into Maaidesign to visit and pick up some of her lightweight athletic knit fabric.

This time the transfer is a metallic silver (still Silhouette brand) with the folks' home town GPS co-ordinates, the fire-road drop in and then about 60km of sweet singletrack meandering. That's his happy place in T-shirt form.

Here we are coming back out of the bush along the fire road with the lure of coffee and cake in town...

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Gr6 graduation - Adora style

If the dress request had come after the falling out of love with the pants that were soooo much work, the answer would have been quick and brutal. 

She must have caught me when I was riding high on the wave of having made the exact pants she'd asked for, and having been proven right that graduation was an event that called for a fancy outfit, rather than yellow cargo pants. Of course I could, and would, make the dress.

The brief: A deep red dress with overlay just like this one that the cartoon character Adora is wearing.

I was somewhat relieved by the dress design, as my memories of the 1980's version of the cartoon She-Ra was that she wore nothing more than a fur bikini and a sword.

There weren't many images of the back of the dress, and A declared she wanted it to be backless. 

I had one pattern that looked like it might fit the bill. A vintage one-size, sleeveless shift dress with rolled collar. Butterick  4379 I made it for myself in 2020 to attend a 50th birthday party. The theme was hawaii/50s/bright, and I figured this pattern in some wax print would fit the bill. Needless to say the party never went ahead. My dress has only been worn once on another summery day and this is the only photo of it, and please ignore whatever my face is doing. For a much better write up of the pattern, and in anticipation of me never getting around to add it to my blog properly, go check out Lower Your Presser Foot. 

Anyway, I tried that dress on A, and if we took about 2" depth out of the chest/armscye it wasn't a bad fit. I knocked up a muslin version in some cotton to see how the backless modification would fare. Meanwhile hitting up all the online stores again to try and find the right fabric.

It was Supercheap fabrics to the rescue once more with a satin backed crepe and matching georgette. The colour was a bit deeper than desired, but the need to have the two fabrics matching was more important than it being the exact shade of red.

The final version had more tweaking on the go and was very much pinned to fit then adjusted a bit as we went along. Thankfully a gold elastic belt was readily available at the local shopping mall. Done and ready for the proper graduation evening.

Monday 15 May 2023

Gr6 graduation cargo pants

I'd be getting an F for the lateness of this assignment if blogging about a sewing job was actually a requirement. Instead I'm giving myself an A+ for execution, and a "highly commended" for my positive attitude in the face of an unimpressible tweenager....

Late last year, as the end of primary school was coming up, A put in her request for her "graduation outfit". She wanted to wear a black button up shirt, under her favourite pink jumper with a pair of yellow cargo pants.

Since she had zero chance of finding yellow cargo pants anywhere in a shop, she realised it would be worth her while asking nicely....

I quite liked the idea of making her cargo pants, even if I didn't entirely understand the outfit's appeal. In my head, the "graduation" was an evening affair and this was an unusual outfit, but I wasn't about to become the fashion police.

There's a lot of tasteful mustard shades of heavy cotton drills or denims out there, but she wanted a proper buttercup yellow. I found this lovely, soft, cotton drill online at SuperCheap fabrics and it fit the colour brief perfectly. I also clicked on their black, lightweight cotton for the shirt. The quality of that fabric is not so nice. If it ever gets worn, and then washed, it might soften up. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's stay in the happy zone where I'm enjoying making exactly what's been requested of me.

The shirt is the Liesl + Co Recital shirt, with the collar from the Classic Shirt. These two patterns are designed to go together in a mix'n'match sense. I made a size 2 as per her chest measurement but it's probably a bit tight across the shoulders and upper arms. 

I didn't have a women's cargo pants pattern and she was very keen on the Waffle Patterns Azuki workpants - in reality I think she just falls for everything Yuki designs when it's included in one of the awesome little sketches she does.

The pattern is fabulous, and the only quibble I have is that I bought and paid for the printed pattern. What that actually entailed was receiving a copyshop print out of the pattern, but still only getting all the instructions digitally. I'm a fan of a nicely printed instruction booklet, or a pattern in a packet. This was a bit disappointing and should perhaps be advertised as a "printout of digital pattern".

I made the size 40 pants and followed the pattern suggestion to baste the pants pieces together to try them on before taking them apart again and adding all the pockets etc. Kind of like making a muslin with the final fabric. Fine, so long as you're likely to err on the side of too big.

She wanted every pocket and extra option on these, and I think the final count was something like twelve pockets! I added some rivets as I went, and I suspect I even snuck a label under a pocket edge somewhere although it's not visible in any of these photos.

The only adjustment to the pattern was to take a bit of height off the back yoke, and bring it in closer to the lower back, and then shorten the waistband to match.

The little pouch bag, which contributes 3 or 4 pockets to the total pocket count is removable and attaches with press studs. 

She was absolutely in love with these pants when they were finished. She wore them dog walking and at every opportunity. It took all her willpower to not wear them immediately before graduation day so that they would be washed and dry and ready....

The day came and she even managed to talk me into driving her to school so she wouldn't need to put her bike helmet over her hair-do. I insisted on a few photos before we left, but something caused the happy yellow pants mood to evaporate. Since the blog is about my sewing, and to be fair to someone who was having a bad morning and who is actually quite beautiful, I've cropped her face out of all these pictures. 

For a much younger, and very cute, refresher on what the "death stare" looks like: try here.

We got to school in the car, only to see everyone else arriving still in regular school uniform. Nobody's mood was improved by this and my only suggestions were either; I would provide a note explaining she'd misread the process and assumed it was a casual clothes day, and I'd deferred to her as she's usually more on top of this kind of shit than I am, or, I'd drive her home, get myself to work on time and she could get changed and ride back to school and be late. She took the latter.

The pants were worn again, a bit later, on the actual end of term day which was a free dress Friday.

Meanwhile, I'd been informed that "graduation" was actually an evening affair (ha! I knew it!) and could she please have a dress just like the one that Adora wears to the prom in the update version of the She-Ra cartoon.

Are we all sighing deeply and counting to ten in unison? 

But you know I went back for round 2 don't you?