Monday, October 27, 2014

Pants are hard!

Last year I traced a pair of ready to wear pants that fit pretty well. I made a few muslins and sewed them up. They weren't bad, but they weren't good enough. Good enough, to me, means that I'm pleased and comfortable enough that an item becomes part of the regular rotation in my closet.
So, I pulled those pants out again a few weeks ago, pinned here and there, compared them to other pants in my closet, made up a couple more muslins and sewed them up again. This is where it's at.

It's so time consuming, you know, because every change in the main pattern pieces means you have to redraft all the little bits and pieces to match.

There are still wrinkles that I would rather see gone, like the whiskers at center front. I keep altering that curve in every muslin, but it's never quite right.

I'm ok with having a little extra room under my bum, as it's useful for sitting, but maybe there's still too much there. I would love to hear your thoughts and advice, my friends. And I mean it, don't hold back! I would really appreciate some constructive criticism. I need more of these straight legged pants, and I would like them to be as good as they can be.

The fabric is a slightly stretchy deep navy cotton with a brushed surface. It's pretty stiff and maybe a softer fabric would be more forgiving.

The top is another Simplicity  1366 I made with the leftovers from my Dolores dress. This is my first time making it in a knit and I finished all the openings (neckline, waist, cuffs) with bands.

See one of my favorite pairs of pants here: Comfy Linen Pants

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dolores Batwing Dress

Dolores Batwing Dress

I bought this fabric a year ago. At first I loved it, then I kind of hated it, so I put it out of sight. But the colors were so right for me... I pulled it out again for fall, though I wasn't sure what to make with it. When I saw So Zo's Dolores Batwing Dress, I thought it would be perfect, so I entered the giveaway Zoe was having on her blog. I'm so glad I won. Thank you Zoe! Sometimes, I find, when I'm unsure about a fabric, it's a just a matter of finding the right pattern for it.
I love this dress and have already worn it a couple times in the past week. I no longer have any doubts about the fabric. I'm actually pretty smitten with these crazy tile shapes.

When I measured the pattern, I found it had negative ease around the hips, so, since my fabric, a double knit, didn't have very much stretch, I cut two sizes bigger. Of course, I sewed it up and ended up trimming it back down to my size. But, you know, if I'm not making a muslin, I'd rather give myself a little room for adjustments, even in a knit, rather than cutting something and finding that I cannot wear it. So, in the end, the sizing was perfect, no mods needed.
I like my dresses to be knee length, but this may be just a smidge too long... The fabric is heavy and it seems to grow a bit. I might slice off an inch or so.

I'm glad I chose a very loose style for My Coat, so I can comfortably wear it over these types of dresses. Something that really puzzles me in ready to wear, is that you see a lot of oversized sweaters, but coats tend to be fitted, with narrow sleeves.
See my wings:

You might have noticed it's similar in style to Last Week's Dress. What can I say, I love these relaxed dresses! This is my version of sweatpants I guess... I like to be comfortable, but I still want to feel pulled together. I'd say the major difference between the two patterns is that this one was designed exclusively for knits and the Cynthia Rowley pattern is for either knits or wovens, so it has much more ease in the skirt and sleeve bands.  Also the sleeve shape is actually quite different and the neckline here is more of a boatneck. I'll probably use this one for knits and the C.R. for wovens in the future.

I made a matching slim belt with metallic beads at the end. I almost always make these to go with my knit dresses. I don't always wear them together, but I like to have options. Last week's dress also has its belt, though I chose to wear a leather belt for the pictures.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cynthia Rowley dress and Blog Hop!

Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 2472
I like having a bunch of loose jersey dresses that I can wear over my yoga gear (so I'm always yoga ready!) and look presentable while feeling comfortable all day. Here I used Simplicity 2472, a Cynthia Rowley pattern, and I made it up in a cotton jacquard knit.

Cynthia Rowley, simplicity 2472

It's a very quick and easy make, but there are a couple details which I think make it special: the neckline frames the collar bones nicely, and I like the balloon shape of the sleeves, which are gathered into loose fitting bands. I also like that it can be made in wovens, which is how I'd like to make it next time.

There really isn't much else to say about it, so as I continue to show you views of the dress, I'll move onto the blog hop now :)

I was tagged by my dear Sasha of fruits,flowers&clouds. She and I started blogging at the same time and we connected immediately. I have watched her, in less than a year, grow from beginner sewist to WOW!!!, So yeah, watch out for this ragazza! (Thank you Sasha :))

Why do you write?

I started blogging because I knew no one else who sews, or at least not with the same passion I felt for the craft, but I'd been following amazing sewists on the blogosphere and I wanted to take part in the fun! I can say that blogging has changed the way I look at what I do. It has given me some very welcome breathing space between myself and what I'm making, helping me to step back and see the bigger picture. I don't want to just churn out garments one after the other. I want a more conscious approach. To keep in mind how everything fits in together and  build something that feels consistent with who I am.

Rue Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in Europe!

What are you working on?

I've just finished making SoZo's Dolores Batwing dress, which I love, and can't wait to show off. Right now I'm working on a pair of cigarette pants and I've put a lot of effort into the fitting end, so I'm hoping they will fit.

How does your blog differ from others of its genre?

Well, I'm not there yet. I want to put more of all the different stuff I'm interested in here. Art, style... So far, I think it only represents a small portion of me. I admire bloggers who have a wider scope.

How does your writing process work?

Well, not much to say here. When I have something to write about, I sit down and write :)

I used the wrong side of the Jacquard because I love how textural it is.

So here are the two bloggers I would like to pass the torch to:

Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn. I have admired her for years, long before I started blogging. She has that overall vision! She not only sews everything in her wardrobe with great virtuosity and refinement, but she follows her own, very personal course and has been building a beautiful wardrobe of very unique clothes that couldn't be mistaken for anyone else's but her own. I find her approach very inspiring.

Marie of Imaginary Animals. I've only been aware of her for a few months now, but I love how her blog really functions as a window into her creative world. She's a wonderful artist, makes the prettiest clothes and have you seen her gorgeous sewing space?

Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 2472
A Bientôt!