Last Gasp of Summer Sewing!

Hello again! I am back for Fall with…more Summer sewing action, lol. I haven’t even started Fall projects yet! (Soon, I hope!) To console you, I have 2 garments to share today. The first is by far the most satisfactory, so I’ll start there. **WARNING: Post contains awesome .gifs at the end!**

Presenting: a total copy-cat of something posted by Trend Patterns on Instagram!

so-many-outfits-6-of-62

Pleats!

so-many-outfits-4-of-62

Pockets!

so-many-outfits-8-of-62

Bemberg rayon pockets, at that!

so-many-outfits-15-of-62

Side view

Trend Patterns posted photos from their new Spring/Summer 2018 collection on its release, and of course I ate that shit up! One outfit featured what looked like a shorts hack of their TPC6 trouser pattern, which I made last year and love. Lucy, the designer, kindly gave me details about how the shorts were made: 40cm was removed from the length of the pants, and the shorts were rolled up to create the cuffs. I knew I needed a pair exactly like them!

1y7a9295-editjpg_40495654740_o.jpg

Original Inspiration! (Image is property of Trend Patterns and/or their credited photographer)

I bought some medium weight tencel denim from Cali Fabrics just for this project, and it was perfect. I wanted something that had some decent weight with a definite wrong side that would show on the cuffs, and this was IT! (Plus Cali has really great prices–they’re a new favorite place to shop for me.) I was a little worried it would be too soft and drapey for the pleats, but I think everything hangs nicely.

so-many-outfits-16-of-62

Apart from shortening the legs by 40cm, I didn’t make any pattern changes. I did do a little extra work for the cuffs, mostly because I can’t abide adjusting my clothes whilst wearing them and prefer things to be secure. Just rolling the shorts legs up every time I wore them wasn’t going to cut it! First, I hemmed the shorts legs–turning the hem to the right side–at 1/2″, and then turned and pressed a 2″ fold going the same direction. I knew I wanted a double-turn cuff, so I did another 2″ turn before tacking the cuffs to the shorts legs at the side seams and inseams. I was a little bit worried this would make them too short, but they’re exactly what I wanted! (Thank goodness for my short legs, LOL.)

I wore these shorts every week between finishing them and the end of the hot temperatures here–between the fabric and the design, they are an awesome addition to my summer wardrobe! It was also pretty exciting to get more mileage out of my beloved TPC6 pattern and create a whole new look from the same great base. Special thanks to Lucy at TP for sharing the details with me, too–having the exact measurement was the key to my success! ❤

Now for the less successful garment: the Jim dungaree skirt from Ready To Sew. Sorry in advance about how dark the skirt is photographing: I didn’t realize until I was adding them here! (Fair warning: these photos were all taken after the skirt had been worn for a gig but not laundered; it looks a little wrinkled and bagged out in some areas as a result!)

so-many-outfits-37-of-62

Large Toddler Chic

so-many-outfits-38-of-62

3 is plenty of buttons…

so-many-outfits-43-of-62

Back view (now with 100% more flank on display)

so-many-outfits-46-of-62

Attitude, or hiding a flaw? (Hint: it’s both.)

so-many-outfits-49-of-62

Straps down = shit just got real! 😉

so-many-outfits-61-of-62

Obligatory “surly guitarist” photo

I made this skirt for a gig we had back in July; we were playing at a fair, outdoors, and it was going to be HOT. I styled it just how I am wearing it here. (I didn’t make the crop top. Also, hooray for not having to wear a bra–my boobs and I felt very free and subversive. 😉 )

I am not 100% happy with this skirt…overalls…thing. That is partially my own fault (of which more later) but the pattern itself left me a bit annoyed in the actual process of making it. This was my first Ready To Sew pattern, too. :-/ That said, I was happy wearing it and felt like it was a great choice for a gig. And I have to say I’ve gotten many compliments on it, which always makes me feel better about the things I’m not happy with.

So, on to my mini review of the pattern.

Jim

Jim by Ready to Sew (Image is property of Ready to Sew)

  1. First up: if you can, spring for a color print-out. The designer uses the same 2 line styles for all sizes, alternating them every other size. In B&W, the printout is a hot fucking mess. I had to open the copy shop file on my laptop to help me figure out which cutting lines were correct for hem lengths and a few other things. Super frustrating.
  2. Confusingly, there are multiple copies of the waistband and dungaree top pieces included. Some are for the skirt version, and some are for the trousers and shorts together. And no, there is no difference between any of them. O_o So if you want to print all the views in the copyshop format, you’ll get a bunch of unnecessary waistband bits. Sorry, I’m writing out of frustration, but shouldn’t there be a more efficient way to plan a copy shop file for printing?!? At least this is kind of avoided in the at-home file, which helpfully tells you which pages to print for each view. (If you just print the entire file without reading that info, you will get all the stupid extra waistband pieces though.) I was annoyed at wasting the paper for those pieces, and had a serious feeling of deja vu while sorting the pieces I needed for the skirt from the IDENTICAL pieces for the trousers and shorts views. The waistband and dungaree tops for the front do have separate right and left pieces, which is necessary, but there’s no need for the duplication across views when they all use the same exact pieces!! 😦
  3. This isn’t so much a fault as it is an “I hate this design element” thing: the D-rings. I was never going to have the ends of my straps flopping around and potentially needing to be re-secured. I opted to use a method like I used for my Cooper backpacks, and I bought slides instead of D-rings. No loose strap ends, no potential for strap malfunctions, and no half-ass looking straps. 😉
  4. Similarly (as in, it’s not an error, but it’s not my taste), OMG all those effing buttons made my eyes go twitchy. I wasn’t ever going to do that. I chose instead to use a longer zipper (6″) and only put buttons on the dungaree top. I chose jeans buttons for those, both for looks and durability.
  5. Upon putting this thing on, I realized how high up the back pockets are (I used the pattern’s placement). They’re basically on my lower back/upper butt area rather than over the fullest part of my butt, which is where butt pockets belong. I doubt anyone notices this, but they definitely aren’t very functional way up there!
  6. Overall: I felt that the pattern itself came together well in terms of sewing. I didn’t have any drafting issues to complain about or anything like that. The instructions were fine, although admittedly I didn’t use most of them because I did things differently. (And at its core, this is a mini skirt–the sewing was mostly pretty straightforward.)
  7. One thing I thought was neat: Ready to Sew makes playlists for her patterns that are linked in the digital instruction files. I know not everyone will think that’s worth doing but hey, I like music; it also gives you an idea of the designer’s head space relating to the design you’re sewing, and personally I think that’s intriguing.
so-many-outfits-48-of-62

See? Not at all cool.

So in terms of things that weren’t down to my own mistakes, that’s it. Shall we talk about my idiocy now? 😀

Exhibit A: I picked this fabric. O_o It was a beast to cut out and I decided that matching the plaids was 1.) not in my best interest sanity-wise and 2.) not the best use of the limited time I had between the gig and when I started sewing. Instead, I decided to match plaids on the skirt horizontally as much as I could, and then focus the dungaree, waistband, and strap pieces on specific colors in the plaid pattern, mirroring those things as much as possible.

Exhibit B: I am spoiled by my usual pattern sizing. I didn’t take into account any finished measurements apart from the waist before I cut this out. This was a huge mistake! The hips were so tight I could barely move, and this fabric has a small lycra content, LOL. (My ass is flat anyway, but it was compressed to EXTRA flat in the original skirt.) And of course, by that point the skirt was fully constructed except for the hem. I damn-near trashed this thing, but decided to press on because I knew it would be an amazing gig wardrobe addition. All I could do was add panels to the side seams, but the complication was that the waist pieces fit fine–I didn’t want to make those any bigger. In the end, the sewing of the side panels is far from my best work; there are some mini-pleats at the waist to ease them into position without expanding the waist itself. 😦 (And you guys will NEVER see the inside of this skirt–it’s an ugly mess around those panels.) I hope it isn’t noticeable to non-sewers, but I have a hard time not noticing them.

 


Exhibit C:
Because I took such offense at the numerous waistband and dungaree front pieces, I lent no brain power to why there were separate left and right pieces for them. To explain: On a proper fly front, you need the shield piece to go behind your zipper; this also creates extra width across the front of your pants or skirt that must be accounted for in the length of your waistband treatment. Since I was using a longer zipper, I remembered to cut a longer fly shield that would reach up to the top of the waistband; I did NOT remember to cut a wider right front piece for the dungaree, and instead cut 2 mirrored lefts. Instead of recutting it (I got the mirroring done pretty nicely), I cut myself an extension and sewed it to my right dungaree front. Luckily I hadn’t cut my linings yet, so I used the correct piece for the lining on that side. O_o But it was a close call!!

Exhibit D: The straps. These weren’t hard to sew or anything, but I did make more work for myself. First of all, I chose to do an adjustable slider strap; this necessitated the creation of a short strap piece that would attach to each dungaree front. Then I decided to lengthen the back strap pieces, just to make sure they were long enough to be adjustable and compatible with the sliders. (They are actually too long and I have to tighten them regularly, but at least I like how they look! 🙂 ) Sewing them on proved to be slightly more complicated than the directions accounted for (which I don’t begrudge the pattern at all–this is on me!), so that was another headache to add. But overall I have no regrets about my choice of strap style: I think these look more professional, personally.

Exhibit E: The hem. I realized after cutting the skirt pieces out that it might be a bit brief, even for me! (I do a lot of bending and crouching during set-up and tear-down on stage, okay?) I assumed I would need a hem facing, and I did. I could only afford to sew it on at 1/8″ (which became more like 1/4″ after turn-of-cloth) and then decided to try machine blind-hemming this on a whim. LOLOLOLOL. It was bad. The feed of my machine distorted the facing against the skirt, so I had to rip and re-sew it by hand.

so-many-outfits-47-of-62

Check out those sliders!

Another quick note about sewing things with this longer zipper: I sewed the front waistbands to the skirt fronts prior to doing the fly, since the fly was going to run through them also. The lining fabric for those was already basted in place inside the seam allowance, and functioned more like an underlining. The dungaree top and lining were then attached–along with the straps–kind of using the method from the instructions. The back waistband was sewn to the back dungaree top, then lining pieces and straps were sewn as per the instructions; that entire apparatus was then attached to the skirt backs as instructed. So really, it wasn’t too different to the way the pattern says! Highly doable, if you’d like to make a similar alteration.

So that was an adventure, eh? 😀 Let’s all console ourselves with outtakes and .gifs!

so-many-outfits-11-of-62

LOLOLOLOL

so-many-outfits-1-of-62

Pirate pose

so-many-outfits-13-of-62

Wonder Woman pose (now with dog)

so-many-outfits-17-of-62

Okay, not the most flattering shorts for sitting down…

so-many-outfits-54-of-62

Trying to hide my panties from the camera…

so-many-outfits-59-of-62

Moody guitar shot

parachute-shorts

Spin!

magic-mads

I should do bachelor parties, amirite? xD

That’s all for me today, but hopefully I’ll be back soon with something to share!

Thanks for reading!! ❤

 

Advertisements

90’s Nostalgia – Sundress Edition!

Well where the f*ck did July go?!?!? I really did plan on sharing some things with you all last month, but time kind of got away from me. And not for nothing, either: we have had a lot going on with the house, and I will definitely have some incredible “Before and After” photos to show you this Fall. 😀 It’s been really exciting but stressful, as old house renovations tend to be!

I have 2 garments to share today, which have been sewn for MONTHS. I haven’t done much sewing lately because part of the house goings-on involved me tearing my sewing setup down to reveal our lovely dining room. It looked beautiful but was also depressing, if you know what I mean!

img_20180729_154615

Sure it’s a pretty dining room, but I want to sew!!!!

I’ve just started getting the sewing stuff back out but haven’t had time to make anything. Hopefully soon! (Like, once we stop using the dining table as a closet and sleeping in the living room…)

My summer sewing was pretty successful this year. (Yes, I am pronouncing it “past tense,” because I don’t see how I’ll squeeze any more summer things in!) The first dress I’m about to show you was started the same week as my Myosotis dress, but I set it aside temporarily to hurriedly make that pattern. But I got back to my “Pepto-Bismol” pink sundress as soon as I finished the Myosotis because I knew it was exactly what my summer wardrobe needed. Then I made a second one almost immediately, lol.

Presenting: my Style Arc Ariana dresses!

6-30-18-22-of-27

Pink!

6-30-18-2-of-27

Pink, now with 100% more attitude

6-30-18-10-of-27

Showing off the neckline

6-30-18-6-of-27

Full back

6-30-18-9-of-27

Big-ass pockets

6-30-18-23-of-27

Nonchalant

so-many-outfits-21-of-62

Is there a sewing blogger in the US that *doesn’t* own this fabric yet?

so-many-outfits-23-of-62

Swish

so-many-outfits-26-of-62

Aren’t they just so perfectly 90’s and cute?!?

I bought the Ariana pattern from Style Arc as soon as it came out: the combination of the shirred back panel, spaghetti straps, and not-too-full skirt pulled me in immediately. (And yes, the 90’s vibe, because duh.) Apart from some small fit complaints, I LOVE THESE DRESSES. Seriously, I want an army of them for summer. (So…2 down, 48 to go? 😉 ) It’s chic, but not fussy. And while I must admit to not being totally sold on the large patch pockets at first, I am glad to have them. (They also help to break up the expanse of skirt nicely…)

I really wanted a pink one just like the cover art, so I made one. #sooriginal

6-30-18-13-of-27

Kick!

so-many-outfits-28-of-62

Blue Kick

For the second Ariana, I copied a bunch of other internet sewing people and went to JoAnn for this cotton/linen/rayon blend. I under-bought slightly, so the CF matching isn’t great; and while shortening the skirt was the plan, it would have been a necessity with the yardage I had anyway. Oh well, I’m happy enough with the dress so it’s all good!

Pattern Notes

Pattern-wise, I made 0–that’s ZERO–adjustments (unless you include using the extra length Style Arc put on the straps) to the pink dress. I have had great luck with tops from Style Arc fitting really well straight out of the packet. I was pleasantly surprised by the bust area however, as I am really small cup-wise (ahem…A) and the princess seams have just enough room for my braless boobies. (So be warned if you measure into a Style Arc 4 and have boobs bigger than mine!) If I really want to be a perfectionist (and you KNOW I do…), I could use a little extra length in the bodice rather than just using the maximum strap length to cheat it.

The waist is bigger than I’d like–in the size 4, it is over 1″ bigger than my largest occurring waist measurement (thank you, period) and 3.25″ bigger than my usual baseline waist measurement. However, I was paranoid about the dress not fitting–and I don’t know why, because they give the finished measurements!–so I didn’t remove any width. (I blame the shirring and not having done it before, resulting in paranoia about how much the CB panel would shrink up.) The views from the side and back are not very nice, but ultimately I know I’m not going to open the whole dress back up to take it in. (The bodice is fully lined in self fabric.)

Honestly, combined with my small bust and the very nice fit there, I was worried I looked dumpy in a baggy-waisted midi length sundress. Tom said he didn’t think it was dowdy or frumpy, so here’s hoping he’s not a lying jerk! 😉 I should also note that because there is a hefty linen content in this fabric and I wore it multiple times before these photos were taken, the pink bodice has relaxed a bit versus the hot-off-the-machine fit.

6-30-18-7-of-27

Partial back, wherein you can kinda-sorta see the poor fit at the waist and lower back.

so-many-outfits-25-of-62

Ugh, such puff…

I made bodice adjustments before the blue one, I swear! I took off 1/4″ from each seamline on the side front, side back, and CB panels. And IT’S STILL REALLY BIG. O_o Again, I think I was overconfident about how small the shirred section would be in the end–it really doesn’t shrink up as much as you might expect, even after a steam. Before I make any more Arianas (and I will make more), I will spend more time fine-tuning the back waist area. I’ll probably remove excess from the skirt as well: I don’t think all that bunched up fabric (shirring + gathers) is flattering on me in that area. I’m thinking I’d like a version with no gathers at all, so that will probably be my next plan of attack.

Construction Notes

Mie at Sewing Like Mad has an excellent post about how she made her Ariana dresses, and I found it tremendously helpful. As in, I wouldn’t have been so successful without her thorough notes. (Plus her dresses are totally gorgeous!) If you are planning to sew this pattern, READ HER BLOG POST. Seriously, it will save you a lot of trouble. Her tip for attaching the shirred panel to the bodice is particularly genius!! I would probably not have thought of that on my own, let’s be real.

She also notes that, on clothing with no proper placket, buttonholes are supposed to be horizontal–I did not know that! Style Arc’s line art bears this out, but I wouldn’t have even thought about it had Mie not mentioned it. (See both of my Reeta dresses for evidence of me not thinking about such things–I put the buttonholes on those dresses going vertically.) So here is a huge “Thank you!!!” to Mie for taking the time to share her process, which awesomely includes the “why” AND the “how.”

My first shirred panel isn’t the greatest; the lines aren’t 100% evenly-spaced, and despite being sure I was never going to fit all 29 lines of shirring on that panel, I managed to sew 31 of them because I wasn’t counting and didn’t trace the lines!! O_o #sostupid The last few were the worst and curve up pretty obviously; those were helpfully put on the inside of the bodice so nobody has to see them but me. 😉 The second one was marked and sewn very neatly!

6-30-18-8-of-27

Flexing, thanks to that shirring!

As for the straps, I went off-piste with those on purpose. The length of the straps–INCLUDING the extra Style Arc tacks on one end–was pretty close to perfect for me, so I went with it. I made the straps the same way I made my Reeta drawstrings, so they’re nice and heavy (because layers) but still thin and feminine. I did use Style Arc’s pattern piece for cutting them out, I just didn’t sew them as directed if that makes sense! I used the directions from the Ogden cami pattern to attach the straps: they are easy to follow and the result is clean and tidy.

I used smaller buttons than SA specified–I didn’t have anything suitable in a 5/8″ button but had plenty of white 1/2″ buttons (thank you, Past Mads, for buying one gross–144!–of those buttons…) that I liked just fine. Honestly, something about the scale of the buttons Style Arc suggests just didn’t feel right to me; 5/8″ seems too large for the sweetheart neck and delicate little straps and relatively close nature of CF to the edges (3/8″). Maybe that’s just me though?

Also, BEHOLD MY BEAUTIFUL HEM CORNERS:

6-30-18-4-of-27

Sharp hem corners

(The blue ones are equally beautiful, but I didn’t get a close-up of them…)

Conclusions

I am 100% making more Ariana dresses! I already have tentative plans for at least 2 more beyond the ones in this post. I don’t often buy Style Arc patterns just because their designs don’t always “click” for me and my style, but I do know that I can rely on them for a consistent draft quality and fit. (That doesn’t mean I expect their stuff to fit me perfectly right out of the gate, but that I can reasonably expect the same general fit across their patterns against my own body because they are consistent.) If you want a summer sundress that’s so 90s it hurts, this is it!

And you guys didn’t think I’d leave you without any outtakes or .gifs, did you??? >=D

6-30-18-12-of-27

Accidental strip-tease

6-30-18-16-of-27

Puppy snugs!

6-30-18-19-of-27

God I look like such a mom…

6-30-18-27-of-27

Chomp chomp!

flippity-flap

You guys are the wind beneath my…skirt. 😉

mulder-squash

No dog noggins were actually smooshed in the making of this .gif

so-many-outfits-32-of-62

A “Mads” in her natural state of being

so-many-outfits-30-of-62

Don’t judge: that bench was wobbly and those shoes are tall!

had-no-idea

Attitude in motion

I have a few more summer items to share, which I will hopefully have posts for shortly. (And one of them will introduce you to the newest member of the “Mads” House blog team. 😉 ) After those are live I will be mostly caught up, yay! I still have 4 Driftless cardigans that haven’t been photographed, plus 6 t-shirts for Tom that I made back in…March? O_o

I have NO IDEA what I will sew next (it’s hard to plan these things when you can’t use your sewing space) so perhaps a brainstorm/planning post is in order…

What’s on your sewing table right now? Are you prepping for the next season or still stubbornly sewing for this one? Are you into the 90’s fashion revival?

 

 

Pants on Parade (aka Lander Bandwagon Goals)

Hello again, friends! This post has been in Draft mode since February!!!! First it was because I was working my way through ALL THE LANDERS, and then they got pushed aside for other projects; then there were photos to get (not so easy in the winter when your heart is set on outdoor pictures!), and then the post grew to over 2500 words because I am a technical maniac and I kept trying to edit it down and failing. O_o I try to give you details when I make adjustments or run into something that I think is noteworthy, but I also know that most people don’t like reading that many words in a blog post. 😦 So bear with me, this is a long post despite my best efforts!

As I said, today I’m sharing some pants–the US English version, not the UK English version, so you’re welcome. 😉 I started this post during construction of the first pair, and finally have photos of all 4 pairs–the final pair of shorts took me ages to get photos of! No idea why, but I lacked motivation.

So without further ado, here I am, jumping on the Lander bandwagon in rather spectacular fashion:

4.22.18 (1 of 58).jpg

Resting Bitch Face (Feel free to white-balance your monitors on my bangs and/or skin, LOL!)

4.22.18 (4 of 58).jpg

Crotch

4.22.18 (6 of 58).jpg

Back view

4.22.18 (8 of 58).jpg

Side

4.22.18 (17 of 58).jpg

Trying to look casual

4.22.18 (23 of 58)

Surly

4.22.18 (26 of 58).jpg

Rear view, complete with slight wedgie…

4.22.18 (27 of 58).jpg

Checking my wrinkled self out…

4.22.18 (22 of 58).jpg

Moody

4.22.18 (47 of 58).jpg

Shorts!

4.22.18 (49 of 58).jpg

Tight shorts…

4.22.18 (50 of 58).jpg

Cuffs!

6.30.18 (10 of 17)

Back view, minus the vacuum-sealed look… O_o

6.30.18 (12 of 17)

Hooray for #sewingleftovers

6.30.18 (13 of 17)

Jump!

Okay, so 2 pairs are shorts. But…

LANDER PANTS!!! You guys, I love them. I am mentally planning more pairs already!

As someone who plans to wear skinny jeans forever despite their “no longer cool” status and a general skepticism of OPPPs (Other People’s Pants Patterns), I admit that I was instantly all about the design of the Lander pattern. It struck me as a good balance between a 70’s style and modern trends. The shape of the legs isn’t too wide, either–I cannot handle WIDE pants. Obviously I made and wear my TPC6 trousers, but those have a very unique style and shape; they were definitely an exception to my rule(s)!

I cheated a bit with these Landers: I made them all out of stretch twill. Originally, the plan was to make View B of the Lander pattern in the wine color–it’s not my go-to shade of red or purple, but I thought it would make nice trousers. I only ended up with this many Landers because I thought it was a good idea to test the crotch adjustments I made by making a pair of shorts out of the colorway I liked the least–the tan. And then it kind of snowballed into, “Hmm, that went well, and tan trousers would be pretty wearable…” and “While I’m here, I might as well make the wine pair too, since that was the entire point…” and finally “Fuck it, I have so much extra fabric left that I kinda have to make wine shorts too…” shit-show of sewing the same thing 4 times in a row. O_o But at least I made use of my leftovers, eh?

Fitting Notes

As I mentioned, fit adjustments were most definitely made. Pants can be daunting to fit, partly because it’s labor-intensive to work out how your crotch is shaped in 2 dimensions. Luckily for me, I have a pants block made from my RTW skinny jeans (I am very, very lucky that many RTW jeans are capable of fitting my body well) that I can use for a comparison against any fitted crotchal region. 😉 (I didn’t do that against my TPC6 trousers because the crotch is not fitted against my body.)

Here is your periodic reminder that I am not a drafting expert by any stretch; I use my block because it is easier than fussing with someone else’s draft, and typically I am content to just work from that block without getting too analytical about a given crotch draft unless something is really, really appalling and obvious. Perhaps someone out there will feel that I am doing a disservice by just getting on with things that way, but at the end of the day I am only an expert on my own body and how I like clothes to fit it. I won’t waste my time analyzing something that I’m not even really using, if that makes sense. YMMV, of course.

ANYWAYYYYYY…

Most of my changes were made to the back pieces, which I expected. I started from a size 0 because it was the closest to my measurements. I forgot to get a photo of the back leg piece before I cut it up to match my block, but suffice it to say that there was a serious difference in shape!

The tan shorts were my guinea pigs; I took a big ol’ wedge out of the center back, and shaved a little bit off the front crotch as well. They fit GREAT until I had to wash them the first time (long story; the short version is they got dirty when I put the buttons in) and are now really snug. They also shrank vertically, so I spend a lot of time pulling them out of my labial region. 😦 The upside? I put the other 2 colorways of this fabric through a second wash and dry cycle before cutting things out!

4.22.18 (48 of 58).jpg

See? Tight. They’ve since relaxed a bit more and are fit for polite society…

I made a few adjustments to the first pair of pants versus these shorts, mainly for insurance purposes. The tan pants are looser in the waist and hips than I was originally aiming for (what can I say? I like stuff tight…), but I thought they looked pretty good–if slightly frumpy–so I left them alone. The wine pants are…tight. I definitely over-corrected after being slightly disappointed with the tan pair, LOL. Having very different waist and hip measurements makes pants a challenge when you like stuff tight and hate belts. There is a lot of wiggling required to pull up that wine pair of pants but I make it work!! O_o

A note on the rise and length: I am about 5′ 8.5″ and the Landers–and all True Bias patterns–are drafted for a height of 5’5″. Height and proportions are not the same thing, and I know that my extra height is mostly concentrated in my torso (and my giraffe neck). When I used to buy clothing, I never needed “Long” sized pants–just the “Regular” length. With all that in mind, I didn’t make any changes for length to the rise or crotch depth of the Landers (again, THANK YOU, PANTS BLOCK!), though I did take a smaller hem than indicated based on my personal length preference. Knowing how your body’s vertical proportions are distributed is vitally important in getting a good fit, and you can’t assume a pattern is proportioned like you are just because the draft height matches your own. (Case in point: I always need to lengthen bodices/tops, even on Named patterns, whose base height is nearly identical to my own.)

Finally, I want to reiterate what’s up with the wrinkles along the front crotch/pelvic area, particularly on the wine pants. My front thighs (and, to a lesser extent, hip bones) stick out further than my lower abdomen and pubic bone, which results in an excess of fabric over the center of my pubic/uterine region that manifests itself in these lines. This is a typical thing for me with snug-fitting pants, as you can see in the difference between the two pairs of pants in this post. (It’s also way worse-looking in photos than in real life, since most photos capture all kinds of shadows because I’m just standing there.) I have the same lines on RTW and self-made skinny jeans too–it’s not exclusive to the Landers.

The side-view photos show my thighs projecting forward.

4.22.18 (3 of 58).jpg

Wrinkles

4.22.18 (9 of 58).jpg

They do not look this bad IRL, I promise!

 

There are adjustments you can make to address this, if you are so inclined; personally, I find this not to be worth my time so long as the crotch fit is comfortable and the pants are wearable. I’m pointing it out (again) because I don’t want anyone to think I don’t know they’re there!

Other Adjustments

Aside from the fit, I did make some other changes to my Landers. I added 1.5″ to the hem of the shorts legs; I also drafted* cuffs for the shorts. The cuffs were sewn on 1/2″ above the raw edges of the shorts legs to get the length I wanted. (So that’s a net gain of 1″ in length, plus whatever the original hem allowance for the shorts was.)

*Seriously, it hardly qualifies as drafting: it’s a damn rectangle. 

This isn’t necessarily a fit adjustment either, but let’s talk about the back pockets for a minute. Unusually, the back pockets are graded in groups–there are 3 sizes you can cut. I cut the pocket commensurate with my pattern size, and I knew going in that they were designed to be oversized as a styling element. What I didn’t know was how the pocket size would work with the size of my ass…by which I mean it didn’t. At all. Behold:

0217181254.jpg

Pocket: 1, Butt: 0 (Also: note how nice these shorts were before I accidentally shrank them!)

My entire ass cheek is obscured by the pocket!! (And yes, that’s with the seam allowances folded back.) Not a good look, IMO. Using lightweight cardboard, I made a template for a new size. I took about 1″ off the height and width of the pockets; they’re still slightly taller than they are wide, just like the originals, but now they don’t cover up my whole butt. (Just most of it. Sad, “butt” true. 😉 #buttpuns) Placement was tricky, as the pattern marking for the top inner corner got removed from the back shorts leg piece by my crotch curve adjustment! I got my back trouser leg pieces out and measured the original distances from the center seam (since I hadn’t cut the changes into the paper yet). Then I checked a pair of my homebrew jeans and decided that the Lander placement was close enough to work, so I slapped them on there and sewed them down. I think the size is good, but wish I’d moved them in about 3/8″ more on the pants.

Construction Notes

I didn’t really follow the directions when making these. (What a shock!) I didn’t line the front pockets–it just felt unnecessary, especially for a pair of casual pants. I made bias strips out of my twill and used them to bind the top pocket edges, topstitching from the outside to seal the binding.

The front fly is left until nearly the end of the construction order in the directions; I opted to do mine how I do my jeans, which is in the earlier phases of construction. I used my own method combined with the one from the directions.

I did try a new waistband construction method for all these Landers, courtesy of Amber @soisewedthis. Basically, you sew the facing side down first, and then when you topstitch from the right side there’s no worry about sealing the inside. IT IS AWESOME. Thank you Amber!! (I am still working on the front lower corners though–they don’t turn out so great for me.)

True Bias includes a pattern piece for making all the belt carriers, but I just made my own like I would for jeans. (I like a finished width of about 3/8″, personally.) My topstitching thread is Gutermann Mara 30, which is the same as the stupid tiny spools you can buy at Jo-Ann but which comes in much bigger spools (and in more colors) for less money on Wawak. 😉 (NAYY)

The pants are both View B, the cropped version. (Full length wide-leg pants are right out for me.) As previously noted, I did not make any height or rise adjustments to this pattern (again, my block is my savior), and I took a 2″ hem instead of a 3″ as instructed. I simply picked a length I was happy with, as cropped trousers are something I find to be tricky when it comes to finding the most flattering* hem length. But looking at the product photos from True Bias, I think mine are basically the same as the sample for View B.

*As I perceive it on my own body–YMMV

I used jeans buttons for the 3 button fly pairs because I like the look, and don’t own any other buttons that I’d want up the front of my pants. 😉 Shout-out to all my Instagram friends who helped me pick which color to use for the wine pants: you guys are the best! 😀

IMG_20180304_095115

Copper won, but gold wasn’t far behind!

Conclusion

Making these shorts and pants was a little bit of an adventure, but it was worth it! I love them all. It’s fun having a new shape in my pants wardrobe. I’d love a denim blue pair as well! As for the shorts, it’s great to have nice-looking pairs that double as office-appropriate on Fridays. 😀

And now, in the great “Mads” House tradition, here are outtakes and .gifs!

4.22.18 (21 of 58)

Testing a new photography toy

4.22.18 (7 of 58)

Coquette

4.22.18 (10 of 58)

Leap!

4.22.18 (56 of 58)

Had a little bonfire going, too!

4.22.18 (52 of 58)

Literally the closest I can get to climbing a tree…

4.22.18 (32 of 58)

Gotcha!!

4.22.18 (37 of 58)

Roughhousing

6.30.18 (16 of 17)

Doggo!

dancey

Had to do a #landerpantsdance for you

jump

Jumping, now in .gif!

Seriously, I aim to be the queen of .gifs in the sewing blogging world. 😉

Now that I’m caught up with long-finished stuff, I will be sharing proper summer sewing next!

Summer Tops and Miscellany! (But Mostly A Blair Shirt)

Hello, friends!

First off, I know I kept saying I was going to do a planning post for summer sewing. Clearly I haven’t had the time for that, LOL! So while that may not materialize, I have been sewing a bit. I made a Named Minttu top but haven’t bothered to have Tom photograph it until now. Apart from being annoyed as hell about the length of the facing (it cuts off right at mid-boob, where the top is still quite fitted: WTF?!?!? Not cool.), I think it’s really cute!

pink shirt-striped shirt (1 of 17)

Derp Face

pink shirt-striped shirt (2 of 17)

Side (Can you see the facing stopping suddenly? >=[ )

pink shirt-striped shirt (3 of 17)

Back

pink shirt-striped shirt (4 of 17)

Trying to put some “swing” in my swing top…

I added my usual 1″ of length at the bust, but otherwise there are no changes to this pattern as you see it. (And yes, I added the same 1″ to the facings. #bitter) It’s snug through the shoulders and upper back, but the stretch in my fabric makes up for that.

The fabric I used is a ponte knit, as recommended by the pattern. This particular fabric almost got destashed (it is decidedly NOT my best color/look, but then neither are white skinny jeans), but I actually really like it as a top. Which is good, because I have enough fabric left for another top! 😉 I’m planning on a Named Lexi or Sointu but haven’t decided for sure yet–feel free to weigh in with a comment!

And now for the star of this post: the Blair shirt by Style Arc!

pink shirt-striped shirt (11 of 17)

Blair!

pink shirt-striped shirt (8 of 17)

Side-ish

pink shirt-striped shirt (9 of 17)

Flaps!

pink shirt-striped shirt (12 of 17)

Back view (incl. VPL, ugh)

pink shirt-striped shirt (15 of 17)

One more front shot for good measure

pink shirt-striped shirt (17 of 17)

Shirt in the sunshine

Obviously I really love this shirt, hence the barrage of photos. 😉

I bought this very nice cotton shirting at Fabric Mart (my fabric shopping frenemy) and knew I would make a shirt with it eventually. I know…I’m a fucking visionary.

tumblr_m8wqmaUgod1r9rluwo1_r1_500

Cotton Shirting? For a shirt? Groundbreaking.

After seeing so many inspiring versions of the Blair shirt and dress, I realized this fabric was perfect for it and finally made my pattern choice. 😀 I really couldn’t be much happier with it–it turned out so much like I had hoped!

Construction Notes

This is only my second Style Arc rodeo, but I know enough to read their instructions, chuckle, and figure it out for myself. 😉 I did things my way pretty much from start to finish. Here’s a brief summary:

  1. I assembled the bottom half of the shirt and the underlayer at the side seams before hemming them separately up to a few inches before the center front (to make attaching the button bands easier). That curved hem was a tedious operation, so I wanted it out of the way! Then I basted those pieces together.
  2. Next came the shoulders and upper half side seams, followed by attaching the bottom layers to the top.
  3. I did the button bands and remainder of the hem next, then the collar assembly and buttonholes.
  4. The sleeve cuffs were the last machine step, then I sewed on my buttons. Ta da!!!

I spent a lot of time prepping the stripes so that everything mostly matched. The shoulders don’t line up exactly, but I was more concerned about the fronts so was willing to compromise there.

pink shirt-striped shirt (15 of 17)

I think we can all agree that was time well spent…

Pattern Adjustments

I took a big chance here and didn’t change any proportions on my Blair. O_O I know. But it’s a cropped shirt, and the length looked like it would be fine with high rise jeans so I just went for it. I only made one–ONE–change to the pattern itself, and that was the undercollar.

pink shirt-striped shirt (14 of 17)

Undercollar awesomeness

Surprisingly, Style Arc has you use the same pattern piece for both the upper and under, but I wanted a bias undercollar. #shirtmakingcred That’s it, though. Everything else is exactly per the Size 4 original pattern, even button placement.

Apart from some sewing, here’s what else I’ve been up to lately:

IMG_20170712_192257

Readers, meet Nessie! She’s a Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple. ^___^

We planted a new tree out back! We lost our large Norway Maple (it was necessary, trust me–I don’t cut down trees lightly) and replaced it with a stronger, non-invasive species. Bonus: someday, Nessie will provide maple sap for syrup!

Sox

SOCKSSSSS!!!!!!

And I’ve been knitting socks like a fiend! I have 2 more pairs on my needles as I type this. 😉

20638557_1815629978747100_3148741113629774084_n20638959_1815629595413805_6836453522334997805_n

And some hot air ballooning for good measure. Here at the “Mads” house, it’s not really summer if we haven’t played with some hot air balloons. 😀

How is your summer (or winter for my Southern Hemisphere friends!) going? Have you gone on any adventures (in the air, on the ground, under the sea)? Are you starting to think about sewing for the next season yet?

In Which The Blogger Is Late To The Party

The Archer party, that is. 😀

Hi, everyone! Before I get to the Archer part of the business today, I want to do a quick shout-out to Pattern Review and Creative Publishing International: I won a giveaway at PR!!!!!!! I am the lucky winner of a copy of The Shirtmaking Workbook by the aspirational AND inspirational David Page Coffin–can you hear me “SQUEEEEEEE”ing from here? My very cool and professional reply to PR’s email informing me that I had won began with a solid row of exclamation points. #nochill So thank you, PR and CPI, for offering this giveaway. I will try to do you proud with this resource by my side!

0612161322

I’M A WINNER!!!!!!

And appropriately enough, the news of my random victory came during the final stages of finishing up my Archer shirt!

I know that almost everyone else with the internet and a sewing machine has made this pattern, but I’m just now getting to it. I mostly bought it for making flannel shirts for myself, but decided to take a crack at using it for at least one summer shirt when the vintage pattern I was working on proved to be too much of an annoyance. (Seriously, fuck those camp collar/ridiculous facing combos.) I recently bought several stripey fabrics at Mood (who clearly knew that a stripes sale on a Friday the 13th would bring your pal Mads out of the woodwork) and immediately knew which one I wanted to sew first: a denim blue/natural striped cotton voile, which can be found here (for right now anyway).

And now for the big reveal–my favorite part!

Striped Shirt-36

“ALL THE STRIPES” Archer

Striped Shirt-38

Pocket + Buttons

Archer Collage 4

Side views

Striped Shirt-26

Back view, plus nature

Striped Shirt-49

A perfect shirt for Puppy Playtime, obviously!

Archer Collage 2

Insides!

Striped Shirt-10

Artful front view

Striped Shirt-8

“Oh, funny seeing you here!”

What do you guys think? I’m really happy with it. It will definitely get a lot of wear this summer!

I took a lot of time to work on stripe matching for this shirt, but it’s fair to say that we had some do-overs before the end, LOL! I had a very specific idea in mind for laying out the stripes (of course) and everything more or less turned out just as I had hoped! The sewn-on right front placket was tough to keep lined up and while it’s certainly not perfect, it’s damn close. Apologies for the styling otherwise: it rained a tiny bit on Saturday night (we did pictures on Sunday) so I wore my big-ass boots for our photo “shoot” to ensure that I could get to any part of the park we wanted. Those boots may not be much to look at, but they are among my favorite things; I got them at the Eddie Bauer outlet like, 5 years ago. $25 for $150ish Le Chameau boots = #winning. And the shorts? I have no good excuses there…making better ones is on my sewing “short” list (HAHAHA GET IT?!?) for sure. 😉

CONSTRUCTION NOTES

  1. I used muslin for my bindings (armholes and hem) and the yoke facing and inner collar stand; voile fabric is light and the show-through from the blue stripes is no joke. (Although shockingly, the shirt isn’t see-through on me; I am not wearing a cami under it in any of these!) I bit the bullet and made my own bias binding from muslin.
  2. This was my first time doing the “burrito method” for the yokes (haven’t dealt with a yoke and yoke facing before now) and it’s everything it’s cracked up to be!
  3. I also used the often-referenced construction order from four square walls for my collar and stand, and I’m never doing it any other way if I can help it–my stand and button bands are perfectly aligned!
  4. I put the pockets on the cross grain for maximum style points. The pockets are my 2nd favorite part of the shirt visually, topped only by my brag-worthy placement of the back pleat, which I can assure you was 100% intentional:
Striped Shirt-27

Attempting to use both pockets at once. #nailedit

Striped Shirt-41

Seriously. LOOK AT IT.

See that?!? Perfectly centered to feature a blue stripe IN THE CENTER of the pleat. BOOM! I’d like to thank my cutting mat, masking tape, clear grid ruler, and obsessive/compulsive tendencies for making this not-at-all-humble brag possible. 😀

Finally, I topstitched the side seams, collar, hem, and armholes; I did edgestitching on the collar stand, shoulders, and back yoke seam. My undercollar is on the bias, which looks AMAZING, but I did not get a great picture of that for you. Seriously you guys, I feel like I could wear this shirt inside-out if it weren’t for the buttons. (Fabric with no “wrong side” makes cutting out and matching things a bitch, but boy does it make the insides look spectacular!)

You probably noticed how few buttons this shirt has (6) vs. the pattern’s recommendations (9). I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want my summer shirts to button all the way up to my larynx. Once I decided on which buttons to use, I opted to start from a decent-but-still-casual location at the pockets and space the buttonholes 2″ apart until I ran out of buttons or made it really close to the hem. The buttons I used are vintage; a friend gave them to me from her late MIL’s stash and I am so thrilled to have found the perfect use for them! I was thisclose to using Size 16 pearl snaps but felt they looked too puny against the 1/2″ stripes on an oversized shirt.

PATTERN NOTES

I followed Grainline’s own recommendations for sleeveless alterations, which worked perfectly. The only other alterations I made were:

  1. Added 1″ of length at the lengthen/shorten lines
  2. Took a slightly smaller hem than recommended (somewhere between 1/4″ and 1/2″)
  3. Increased my side seam uptake below the underarms.

With respect to that last part, I ended up with about 1″ seam allowances at the waist and 5/8″ at the hip. That’s why the stripes get a little different as you look down the sides. I could have taken more at the underarm as well, but didn’t want to make the shirt uncomfortably snug or create drag lines once the buttons were added later. I don’t think it made much difference though, so I either need to be more aggressive or just surrender to the “wearing a rectangle” thing entirely next time.

For next time (and there will be one), I will omit the cut-on button band on the left front and do it as a sew-on. In a perfect world, I would have had the button band stripes going the same way as the pockets; I just didn’t want the extra annoyance after dealing with the failed vintage pattern (2 muslins and still not right–ugh). I plan to make lots of plaid flannel versions of the Archer, and will definitely want bias button bands for those! 🙂

That about wraps up the details on this one; it was a very simple project apart from the stripe matching! And now for outtakes!

Striped Shirt-12

“YOU’RE A MONKEY, DEREK!!!!!”

Striped Shirt-15

Classic Mads. The camera isn’t tilted, btw: that’s the angle of the slope and tree!!

Striped Shirt-17 (1)

Flailing

Striped Shirt-23

Having a Narcissus moment

Striped Shirt-29

Poppin’ the collar so you guys can see the bias effect…kinda.

Striped Shirt-34

Messing with the buttons

Striped Shirt-50

Mulder learned to levitate for this picture.

Striped Shirt-55

Puppy kisses!!!

What’s on your sewing table for the new season? Have you made an Archer? Would a sale on striped fabrics be enough to get you to hit “Add to Cart?” 

SUPPLIES

1.5 yards Cotton Voile, from Mood
~1/2 yard cotton muslin, from stash
6 x 5/8″vintage buttons, from a friend
80/12 Universal needle (should have gone down one size)
Thread

A Wild-and-Crazy Maxi Skirt (aka Look Who Finally Finished Something!)

Don’t sound the “Stranger Danger” alarms, folks: it’s just me, back after an unintended blogging hiatus! Hiiiiiiiii!!! 😀

I haven’t even got a good excuse for my extended absence–life just got in the way of blogging, I guess. Well, that, and I haven’t gotten much sewing done lately. I definitely didn’t finish my Anna dress in time for the big Instagram party–in fact, I haven’t even finalized the muslin stuff yet–but I enjoyed seeing what everyone else came up with. I am thisclose to having the bodice fit the way I want, and it’s very exciting! I even got a zipper in my muslin, and it’s looking goooooooood. Here’s what I have left to do: move the pleats so that they match up with the edges of the CF skirt panel, sew the pleats about an additional 1/2″ toward the apex, take in the waist a bit, and take about 1/4″ out of the back neckline on each side to fix a slight gaping issue. I have adjusted the skirt pattern pieces so that the side seam is relocated appropriately, and apart from losing about 4-5″ of length and making the same waist adjustment that I will make to the bodice, that’s all I need to fix there. Yay!

Once I completed my most recent muslin, I decided I wanted to make a maxi skirt using the Anna pattern and some rayon challis I bought earlier in the year. Since this is supposed to be a casual garment/wearable muslin, I just marked 4 inches up from the bottom of the pattern pieces and stopped my skirt there. I lost what amounts to a couple of inches of sweep that way, but whatevs. (And seriously, WTF is up with the gargantuan length on these skirt pieces?? Gah.) I also added a waistband, because I really prefer those to waist facings. For the waistband, I just cut a rectangle (I fussy-cut it so that I could have my favorite part of the skirt’s repeat on the outside) that was 1″ longer than my waist PLUS 5/8″ on each end for the seam allowance. I also interfaced it, since this is rayon challis we’re talking about here. (Speaking of waistbands, one of these days I will try to show you guys how I sew waistbands onto skirts, because it’s super clean.) So without further ado, here is my Anna skirt:

Anna-liscious!

Anna-liscious!

Side view, BAM!

Side view, BAM! (And a blur of dog.)

Mulder and I both showed our backsides for this one...

Mulder and I both showed our backsides for this one…

Anna in motion

Anna in motion

Gotta have a twirl photo...

Gotta have a twirl photo…

Pretty neat, huh? It’s super comfy and swishy. This fabric is a lot louder than most of what I regularly wear, and that effect is magnified by the fact that it’s a maxi skirt, but I’m digging it. Now comes the downside: this skirt is not my best work. The pattern matching (or lack thereof) is really bad, and I didn’t manage to think about aligning the black pyramid motif on the waistband with the center of the skirt front. 😦 Construction-wise, I did a really good job though. French seams throughout, except for the front seam where the split goes and the back seam where the zipper goes. And the waistband was attached in my usual fashion, which encloses all the raw edges. The above pics were all taken before I added the hook and eye at the top of the waistband, so if you see that gap there, that’s why; it’s done now, though! I actually ought to add a second hook and eye between the first one and the top of the zipper: I had a handful of 7″ invisible zippers on hand and was therefore determined to use one, but I could really have used a 9″ to make my life easier! Oh well.

Can you spot the French seam?

Can you spot the French seam?

Zipper; that's Hug Snug to finish off the raw edges there.

Zipper; that’s Hug Snug to finish off the raw edges there.

I used white thread for everything, and am really proud of how invisible the final stitching on the waistband ended up being thanks to my fussy-cutting:

Camouflaged white stitching to secure the waistband!

Camouflaged white stitching to secure the waistband!

And of course, it wouldn’t be an Anna without some sex appeal:

Dat split tho.

Dat split tho.

Since this is a casual skirt, I just topstitched the split opening (a la my Inari dress splits) and the hem. Speaking of that hem, measuring it was made SO FUCKING EASY thanks to my newest friend inanimate object:

My very own (VINTAGE!!!!) adjustable dress form--that fits me!

My very own (VINTAGE!!!!) adjustable dress form–that fits me!

“Size JR.” Damnit.

What her insides look like...

What her insides look like…

That’s right, I got a dress form!!! I put the skirt on her and was able to measure my hem out from the waistband without a problem AND without a live assistant. Hooray!

I cannot adequately express my excitement at finding this form. Finding one that would fit my stupid measurements had proved impossible since I started sewing seriously, and I had resigned myself to either buying a Uniquely You form (which isn’t a bad form, just a lot of work) or making a plaster cast (a task with which Tom should NOT be trusted, frankly), or just never having one. And then a Festivus-worthy miracle happened: while we were in our hometown a few weeks ago, we stopped at the antique shop owned by a cousin of my in-laws, and I saw this form from across the room. The price was way lower than any new form would have been, and that was before my “family discount” was applied. 😀 Plus, she is vintage, and you guys know how much I love my vintage! (Speaking of which, you know I didn’t get out of there with just the form, right? Not possible. xD) All she needs now is an adjustment or three and a name! Name suggestions for the dress form are welcome and encouraged! **Disclaimer: we here at “The ‘Mads’ House” reserve the right to ignore not use any suggestions we don’t like, or which have been previously reserved by us for future Fur Children/sewing machines/etc., etc.** 🙂

So there you have it: a new skirt, a new dress form, and a nearly-ready pattern to make a properly-fitted Anna dress! I will leave you now with some outtakes and the supply list. Thanks for reading–I’ve missed you all!

“There is no Mulder, only Demon Ginger Dog.”

Attack of The 50-Foot Wife!!

Attack of The 50-Foot Wife!!

Anna Skirt Supplies:

Anna dress pattern from By Hand London (skirt pieces only)
4 yards rayon challis from Fabric.com; I used about 3-3.5 yards, probably
1 x 7″ invisible zipper (9″ would have been better)
2 x hook and eye closures
Several feet of Hug Snug seam binding
Interfacing for waistband (roughly 3.5″ x 24″)
White thread

Scout Tee in Ikat

Good news, everyone: I’ve finally finished something new! Behold: the Scout Woven Tee in genuine ikat! Apologies for the poor quality of these photos–I finished the top around 10PM last night and wanted these done before I went to bed! Tom was a little tipsy after having some beers with his friends, which surely didn’t help matters, LOL! (And I HATE being photographed in skinny jeans, but this is definitely a “with jeans” top, so I’m grudgingly allowing for an exception.)

Front view

Front view

Awkward side pose

Awkward side pose

Rear view

Rear view

Scout innards

Scout innards

Obligatory 6AM selfie

Obligatory 6AM selfie

Maybe you can’t tell, but I LOVE this top!! I’m so proud of it, and proud that I was able to get it together so quickly. I made 2 mojo-smashing mistakes (inserted one sleeve inside-out, and got almost all the way around the hem attaching the bias binding only to notice that I was attaching it to the inside, not the outside) on two of my three work nights on the final version, but still got this top done in about 4-5 total hours of work time. For me, that’s basically the speed of light. =D

This top is really easy. Like, so easy I didn’t bother reading the instructions once I finished my muslin on Friday. As with my muslin, I cut a straight size 0. I did bias facings for all the hems and the neckline, and got to use a bright orange vintage binding from my stash for the task. The weave of this ikat is loose, so I did french seams everywhere but the armholes; I only skipped the armholes because the sleeve seam allowance on this pattern is a scant 1/4″. For the moment, those seams are raw-edged, but I think I will trim and bind them for security. This fabric frays horribly so I don’t want to take the chance of those areas falling apart with wear or washing. Apart from that, though, this Scout definitely has the prettiest innards out of all the things I’ve made; it helps that there is no “wrong” side with my fabric, of course!

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to add a lot of length to this top due to the nature of my midsection. The side photo above is deceptive, because I actually eliminated the high-low hem effect; I must have been arching my back or twisting awkwardly when that photo was taken. Fit-wise, I’m really happy with the final product, though I concede that it needed no “fitting.”

Because my fabric is somewhat irregular pattern-wise, I decided not to worry about pattern matching everywhere. I decided I wanted the vertical stripes to line up at the shoulders, and they do! I disobeyed a direct order and cut the sleeves on the cross grain, and I did that for two reasons: I wanted that vertical stripe to circle around the bottom of the sleeve (a smashing success, if I do say so myself) and I wanted to conserve fabric. I had foolishly hoped to be able to squeeze something else out of my 2 yards of 44″ wide ikat, but I don’t see how that’s an option now that this top is done–I’ve got very little usable material left over. Such a miracle was little more than the fever dream of a madwoman, I suppose…But at $17.50/yard, can you blame me for trying?!? Thank goodness I used thread and binding from my stash, because this was an expensive-ass tee!!

What’s the most expensive “basic” in your wardrobe? 

Next Up: The Scout Tee (aka The 50th Post at Life In A “Mads” House!)

Howdy! This is my 50th post on this blog, and I can hardly believe I’ve made it this far. Thanks to everyone who has read my nonsense over the past 1+ year: I hope you stick around for entry #100, too! (Shit, who am I kidding?? I hope I’m still around for #100! 🙂 )

I’ve been a busy little bee in my sewing room lately! I decided to scrap the linen version of vintage Simplicity 1281 that I had started. I would rather start over and do it right than try to salvage one that I very obviously did a sub-par job on. Next time, I will be sure to cut carefully and LABEL everything as I go!

My stretch denim and ikat fabrics arrived from Michael Levine last week, and I have already started working on one of the projects I had in mind: the Scout Woven Tee from Grainline Studios. My muslin is finished and looks the way I want–I’m so excited! I’ve got my ikat washed and ready to go, and will be cutting into it today. I really want this top to be done in time for our visit to our hometown this weekend, and I should be able to achieve that–this pattern goes together so fast!! Here’s how the muslin turned out:

Front view

Front view

Side; after seeing this photo, I slashed and added the needed length to the back piece.

Side; after seeing this photo, I slashed and added the needed length to the back piece.

Back view

Back view

You may not be able to tell from these photos (the cell phone variety, obviously), but one sleeve is better than the other. Truth be told, I am struggling to remember which it is using these photos, since I muslined this on Friday night. I’m pretttttttttttty sure it’s the one on my left. But up close, it’s obvious. The main difference is that I dropped one side seam by about 1/4″ for comfort after setting my first sleeve. I did not change the sleeve piece at all, and found it eased in just fine and looks exactly like the Scout on the Grainline shop page, whereas the first one I did wasn’t eased in very well and felt a little restrictive under my arm.

I have lengthened this top pretty considerably–about 2-3 inches at the front. I know that it has a slight high-low effect in its unadulterated form, which wouldn’t normally be an issue for me, but the front of this top was hitting me in an odd place. I have a longer-than-average torso, so I wasn’t surprised. I opted to just lengthen the back to match the front (which I did after seeing the second photo and checking the muslin while flat), since I’d rather have a flush hem than make the back long enough to register as a high-low (rather than an ID10T error); I had maybe 1″ to add there, so not much at all.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out the neck band on this damn shirt. You can sort of see it in the photos, flopping around and sticking up away from the shirt. The instructions and drawings aren’t really solving my problem either, so I’ve decided to do an invisible bias tape finish on the neckline (and sleeves!) instead. I’ve done that before and feel much more comfortable with that, especially since this fabric I’m using isn’t cheap and I’m not about to relegate it to UFO status because of a fucking neckband.

In other news, I stopped at Joann’s after work on Friday night to pick up some denim needles (SEW ALL THE JEANS!!!!!) and a set of Microtex needles. I noticed that their current big sale included muslin by the bolt–40% off!!! I thought about it, but decided I really shouldn’t spend the money right now–I just went on an epic spree when Fabric Mart had a sale on the entire regularly-priced section of their site–and went home with just my needles. I figured I had enough muslin to not need to worry about it. And then I started this top, and realized I had about one more Scout Tee worth of muslin on my current bolt, and that was it. *gulp* So I went back the next morning and got a 10 yard bolt of 60″ muslin for 40% off. I should be set for a while. I am now on a true fabric fast, because we have some things we need to have done at the house AND our county auditor has increased the value of the house by A LOT, and we’ll need to be able to pay a lump sum into our escrow account to cover it for the December tax distribution. So, you know, grown-up shit. But I got some great knits and silks in the Fabric Mart sale, so between that and the rest of my stash I’m ready to ride out this fast. =)

Do any of you have big plans for the end of summer (in the northern hemisphere, anyway)? August sure snuck up on me–time flies!

 

Photos of Vintage Simplicity 1173

I finished hemming my new grownup onesie yesterday while watching “The IT Crowd” before heading to work. Yay! I was determined to wear it, despite the fact that it was 62 degrees (which, if you’re me, is too cold for such a small amount of clothing). As promised, here are some better photos of my playsuit:

Image

Front view, now with 100% more dog!

Image

A better view of the back; also, dog.

Image

This is about as “cheesecake” as I get….

Image

This outfit was meant for lazing around, right? You can see the pile of sweaters I had been wearing but had to remove for the photos–classy.

I feel compelled to note that no, I totally didn’t need those sunglasses–it was overcast as hell yesterday by the time we got around to taking photos! But I don’t like doing “final” outfit photos without makeup, and since I was wearing something that’s super appropriate for summer lounging, I opted to use my sunglasses to cover up my lack of cosmetics. I did throw on some lipstick for all y’all though, because it seemed necessary.

I really enjoyed wearing this outfit all day, with one exception: I cannot close the hook and eye by myself!! I can undo it just fine (which is great, because if I have to pee, I’m not about to wait around until someone shows up to unhook me) but have not yet been able to close it afterwards. Other than that, it’s a joy to wear!

I haven’t decided what my next project is, though I would love to whip up some shorts using the pattern from this playsuit–I’ve got leftovers from my gray skirt, along with a cut of vintage fabric that HAS to be made into shorts. I’ve also got a summer halter dress (1930s) and a crop top and skirt set (1950s) that I’d love to start on as well. Looks like I’ve got some decisions to make! 🙂

Thanks for reading–while wearing what I make is a thrill, it’s so much better knowing that I can share with all of you. ❤