Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thanks Kay! (And more shopping...)

Kay kindly alerted me to the fact that Craftsy had some classes I'd be interested in if I wanted to solve the pants fitting thing.

And also, classes are on sale! Most of their classes seem to be $15.

A few clicks later, here's what I bought! Pants, pants, and a quilting class, just to mix it up.

Which means I know what project I'll be working on next.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sewing books!

When I first starting sewing, I think I gave myself a monthly sewing allowance of $100 - an amount I've rarely spent (mostly because $100 is a lot of money - especially when you buy cheap fabric and buy your patterns on sale.)

However, I'm well on my way to hit it this month - I just placed an Amazon order that was sewing-book heavy. (I'm bummed to note that I evidently forgot to place the Collette sewing book in my cart - aargh. I meant to order it.)

What did I get? Both the Drape Drape books (1 and 2), Pattern Magic 3, and Shape Shape (inspired entirely by Carolyn's many beautiful projects from this book.)

The package should be delivered Monday, yay!

Now to go actually make something, to make up for all these indulgent purchases!

(Dress update: My dress is done! I love the pattern so much, I actually cut out another version while I had it out. Which I hope to sew tonight/tomorrow night. Photos will follow - maybe even today, if the rain lets up.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blue pants - Simplicity 3850

Pants are my biggest wardrobe hole, and while it's easy to avoid wearing pants in the summer, as the weather gets cooler, I find myself wishing I sewed more of them. And therefore, when I was looking for something to sew, I dug deep in the pattern stash to find Simplicity 3850.

The fabric is a pale blue stretch denim-ish cotton. It was a gift from a friend. For the longest time, I've been uncertain of what I'd actually do with this fabric - it isn't really the type of thing I'd pick out for myself, but I decided that a wearable muslin of Simplicity 3850 was a perfectly good use for it.

I cut a size 12, but was still nervous that the pants might be too tight. (Weight gain is a bitch.) So, I sewed  my side and inner leg seams as 1/4 inch seams, vs. the 5/8" the pattern is drafted for. The pants are therefore a tad too loose, but that might be the stretch as well.

The instructions are ok, I did follow them for the fly front, since I couldn't be fussed to find the simpler, Sandra Betzina set.

After all that, what do I think?

Pros: I used some fabric, I made pants, these fit ok in the front.
Cons: The fit on the back isn't great, and I need to keep hitching them up, it is too loose at the waist and hip. Also, about an inch too short.

Still, it got me back to sewing and blogging, and that's pretty awesome. And I would make these pants again, with the proper seam allowances and with a no-stretch fabric.

Incidentally, readers, if you know things about pant fitting - I will be everlastingly grateful if you leave me comments telling me what I'm doing wrong - the back fit is not ideal, and looking at the front pictures, there's some wrinkling there too! 

Up next, a mock-wrap dress with 3/4 sleeves - already cut out, and a free evening tomorrow to sew them up, hopefully. Yes!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What seems to be my monthly catch-up post

Well, hello again, everyone.

Ok - my life is showing very slow signs of getting back to normal. With the advent of Fall, the lawn-mowing and gardening bits slow down somewhat, and spare evenings suddenly start making their appearance.

I had one such spare evening last night - I actually had a 2 hour block to sew. Yes!

I'm working on a pair of Built By Wendy pants in a stretch denim-like fabric that is - rather unfortunately - sky blue. Still, coloured pants are "in", no? It's more a muslin.

I've been working on these pants, off and on, for about a month now. (Sigh.) Last night, the pants were complete to the point where I could try it on - and lo-and-behold - they fit. The fit isn't great - but it works. (Pale blue shows every single wrinkle though.)

They are actually a bit loose - I've been putting on weight, and so I made a size 12, and reduced the seam allowances to 1/4 inch on the side seams, all to guarantee that the pants will fit. The stretch on the fabric helps too, of course. They feel a bit loose at the waist now, but I'm going to hold off from fiddling with it for a bit. 

My next free bit of time is Sunday - and I'm hoping to find another 2 hour bit of time to finish the pants then.

I also pulled out a pattern for the next project. I'm going to make a knit wrap dress. I usually tend to fail at wrap dress making - the neckline is always too low/gapes/needs a cami underneath. However, long-sleeved knit dresses are useful in winter, plus, honestly, my weight is so all over the place that I'm very leery of making something woven and have it not fit in a month.

I do think the weight gain is a bit part of what's keeping me from sewing. The pants I made back in February are a bit too tight, and it's seriously frustrating to pour hours of sewing into something, and then not have it fit. It's all my fault, of course - hello, sedentary lifestyle, laziness, ice-cream, take-out and beer - but still, frustrating.

My camera batteries are still dead - I think this set has lived out its life, and I need to go buy new rechargeable batteries. But hopefully, on Sunday, there will actually be a picture of a pant.