Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summertime Blues

I seem to be working with blue a lot this summer.

Both my girls said jean shorts are out, and flowy, "runner" shorts are in. I started with a pajama shorts pattern and navy blue gauze (that'll show up later in a dress for me). I made them for Megan, and she hated them. I think she's worn them to bed a few nights when she was desparate. I did some looking around on the internet and thought I didn't find anything (more on that later). So after that, we all went to Fabricland to look at the "real patterns".

How interesting to take both girls for their first foray into pattern shopping! Not only did they want flowy shorts, Lucy wanted a romper, so I was hoping for a basic shorts pattern that would work for both. None of the romper patterns in the books appealed to her (or to me...either too fussy or too basic and I wasn't buying a pattern just for potentially ONE project). The girls decided on Burda 6797 and then we went to the fabric section. They each picked out a blue print. Lucy also picked out a cute print for a romper.

 This is Lucy's fabric, "Valencia Prints", a crinkle rayon. It was on sale for $9.50/m. The shorts themselves don't take much, but if you want matching bias trim, that will use up what's left from the metre.
 I'm not sure what this was trying to show. I believe the pen and marker are pointing to something. I just dont' reember what LOL. This was Megan's fabric, "Shinta Prints", also a rayon, on sale at $6/m. I started with Lucy's shorts since I hadn't made anything for her yet this year. And she's more of a standard size.

 Here are some action shots from our recent trip to Muskoka Heritage Place

They are a little cheeky!!

I had issues with following the pattern. It's just very different than the shorts/pants I've done. The bias trim, the inseam pockets. And I've never done a Burda pattern. I wanted to use the serger but I just wasn't sure how it all goes together. The rayon crinkle makes it hard to get accurate cuts and markings. So a lot of it was intuition. I didn't catch the top of the first pocket in the waistband and realized I should have on the second pocket (or maybe on the second shorts). So the pockets were hanging down below the shorts when she used them. I tried to catch them up, and trimmed off the bottom.  The waistband, I didn't realize how tight the elastic fits in the slots, and my sewing wasn't the straightest so there were some issues.  If I remember correctly, she also managed to put a small hole in the shorts very quickly.

The greatest thing happened though. We were out at a small store, and the cashier was a girl in her late teens/early 20s.

 Megan's turn.  She tried on Lucy's shorts, so I went ahead with the same size. On Megan though, the rear is a little snug. She has a skater's bum!

 And with a skater's bum came an epic tear. It wasn't the seam, exactly. Right next to the pocket opening, on the bum side. I couldn't just take it all in and re-seam it. I didn't want to take it apart since it was quite laborious to add all the bias trim. I decided to make a patch. I started with some iron on interfacing on the inside to close it up. Then I laid a patch on top and zig zag stitched around it. It's really hard to see now!
Can you find the patch? Thank god for that busy print!!

The girls are wearing these shorts a lot. That makes me so happy! For some reason I was looking around the internet later, and came across this free pattern:  I knew as soon as I saw it that I had seen it early on in the shorts pattern search, but rejected it wasn't flowy? They seem a bit lower in the back, which is nicer (I think). You could make them more flowy by using a rayon, or cutting a bigger size and gathering it into the proper waist size. Oh, I see, these shorts don't have pockets. That might have been a big factor. I do like how the binding was added to the pieces before being stitched together. The Burda ones, I had a hard time with the ending of the binding just below the pocket. I suspect you could still add a pocket. Or change how you do the Burda ones.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back to Beige

I didn't really need beige pants. I have two pairs that are very similar (to each other) but they don't have pockets and they're heavier. So when I saw this fabric on sale I figured it'd give me another chance to fine tune my pants pattern and give me another shade of beige. I think there's 50 shades, right?

This time, I traced the old pants onto my paper to create a real pattern. I also narrowed the legs a fair bit. Even my mother, who doesn't read this and I don't see all that often, noticed they were slimmer. I wonder if the ankle is too slim though. I don't know how they'll look with my clunky shoes since I haven't worn them all summer (and my poor toes feel so much better!).

The FIRST time I wore these pants, I got bacon grease on them. Didn't notice until I was out for the day.

Argh. I did get them cleaned up. I just never got around to a real photo shoot. Last night I grabbed my husband and headed outside. It was a bit later than I had intended and he's not my favourite photographer in the family. He constantly looks for the "Make boobs bigger and tummy smaller" setting.

 I think my boobs grew two sizes during the photo shoot.
 The droopy bum seems much better, though one day I tucked a shirt in and everyone said STOP!
 This is NOT how I usually stand, honey.
 I wanted to show the waist band and the pockets. Hubby wanted to show the dog.
 Model vacant stare into the distance. I found a really close match in a knit fabric for the waistband. I didn't want something printed for these, or dark. It's a thicker knit so it doesn't wrinkle up like the band on my brown pants, so I think that makes them slimmer looking--as long as I don't tuck my shirt in.

I have no idea. THere were also several others not fit for this blog.

I did do something different on these pants that I should get pictures of. On the first two, I had measured the SA of the original pants. It was 1/2". So I serged them at 1/2" but when I went to top stitch, I no longer had 1/2" and one line of stitching was on the SA and one line on just the single layer, so they didn't quite match. This time, I seamed them on the regular machine at 1/2" and then serged the SA together. This meant a LOT of back and forth between my machines, but the end result was WAY better. Top stitching thread will be the next improvement.

However, I might be done with these pants. Three pairs in basic neutrals. Oh, wait, I still need my grey pair! When I was laying them on the paper, I couldn't figure out exactly how the grainline should be. And I recently did a pair of Kwik-Sew shorts that fit very well, so I might try a "real" pattern next.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It's White, Alright!

I wanted a white shirt. White-white, not soft white. I couldn't decide  if I needed a t shirt or a woven shirt, but since I was on a t-shirt roll, and that seemed to be the only white fabric in the entire store that was white-white AND affordable AND attractive/suitable, a t-shirt is what I got.

I went ahead with another New Look 6807. I didn't want too much fullness though, however, I think it's a smidge snug given that it's a heavier weight cotton (5% lycra). It was $22Cdn/meter, which is crazy if you just want one meter to make a t-shirt. It was on sale though, get two free meters, so it works out to $7.33/m. Plus tax. Which still seems crazy for making a t-shirt. Especially a plain white t-shirt. But at least I know the conditions it was made in, and it's a OOAK, and I value the time spent to make it.

Especially when I manage to get mashed black beans on it, on it's first trip out of the house, before I even got photos taken.

 To try to eliminate neck gaping, I really stretched the band this time, which meant I had more gathers which didn't get placed all that equally. However, I'm still quite pleased.
 I was hemming the bottom and my bobbin ran out with this much left!  I still haven't fixed that. I did a blind stitch hem on the bottom and sleeves and quite like it. I've been using it a lot lately, rather than zig zag or twin needle.
 This picture is actually to show the shorts. So ignore me from the waist down. I did a wider neckband again this time, and I think I sewed it properly so when I got to the tie portion, I didn't have fudge it.
I don't like how it's a little snug around my middle and shows the lumps of the shorts. I just need to keep moving so I'm a white blur :) I still haven't tried it on with the pink floral pants, which was my main reason for making it. Those pants annoy me.  They need more altering, but I think I'm going to make them into shorts. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Muslin That Wasn't

Before cutting into the "good fabric" I wanted to make a muslin for Megan's t-shirt. I used the same blue sheet that I used for my t shirt. I think I cut a straight 14 for her, as a starting point. Her bust measurement fits a 14, but she does not have a B cup. So does that mean I should be making a 16 and do a SBA? I figured on a t shirt it doesn't matter much, but the neckline is a little low (I think I did raise it for her because that's one of her issues with t-shirts and gym class). There is gaping at the neck which could be because I didn't stretch the neckband enough, or it could be sizing. I did a cheater SMA on the one I made from the good fabric
 There is some pooling at the back. She's about my height, 5'1". I don't want to take in the CB seam but would taking it in just a bit  help?
The neckline looks like it fits, but the band is a smidge floppy, and there is the gaping when she bends over issue. I think it could be narrower on her shoulders, combined with a tighter band.
I hemmed with a simple zig zag.
She says it's SOOOO soft and instantly loved it. But then she started wearing it less because of the neck gaping. I think it's time to re-visit this before school starts so she can have a couple of comfortable gym shirts. Which will mean she will instantly grow a bust and need a whole new pattern.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

T Shirt Refashions

We all know the sadness of getting a t-shirt from an event and wondering who they thought it would fit. Here in the Durham District School Board, all kids in grade 5 take part in "Racing Against Drugs". There seems to be only one size of t-shirt given out. It still fits Megan, who is 11 and on the larger size, and it still fits Hugh, who is 17, 6'1" and 130lb. See the problem?

After making Megan a racer-back tank top (not blogged about yet), I thought maybe I could "feminize" the RAD t-shirt. The graphics on the back extended pretty far out to the sides, so I couldn't swoop it in too much. I also didn't want to mess with the lovely shoulder seams already there. They really do need to be taken in a bit though.
The armholes ended up quite large. She says she likes it because it is cool to wear a colourful sports bra or tank underneath.  Dad disagrees. To finish the armholes, I folded under and used a twin needle.  I read a hint to use woolly nylon in the bobbin, so I did that, and was quite pleased.

I also didn't want to mess with with neckband. This one isn't too bad, but some shirts are way too high.

Excited by her response to this one, I secretly re-did another free t-shirt she wasn't wearing. Her school choir performed the national anthem at an Oshawa General's hockey game. Cue the one size t-shirt.
 I thought I'd try making this one more feminine by using lingerie elastic around the armholes. I like it, but I think it would be more effective on a tight tank top.
 I could scoop the back in more, but I couldn't open the neck up too much. She had complained about the neck, so I thought even just a bit bigger would be good.
I used some blue and white striped fabric left from my son's t-shirt for the neckband. She wasn't as impressed as I thought she'd be. Neither of these shirts had side seams so I didn't feel like tapering them in any, and this one really didn't have much excess anyway. Overall, I liked the result, but she still doesn't like the shirt and won't use it even for sleep :(

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Just For Fun

I started seeing "reusable water balloons" this spring. Really? Now we're going to make reusable water balloons? Why?! Okay, we have a dog so when we do real balloons, there is the clean up issue. But why change the age-old tradition of water balloons?

I then read a blog post about them, along with the pattern. They started to seem like a good idea! Softer, no big explosion, no down time for filling. And no clean up.

I headed to Michaels with a coupon. The blog said she got four, I think from the ball. Well, of course, there are several different varieties of this yarn and I got a giant ball instead of the one she got, so I got all of these from the one ball. I didn't get the individual colours like she did though because mine wasn't a striped yarn.

 How many is there? 15? One came out quite large. I couldn't figure what I did wrong so the next one I did one less row and it's tiny. It's hard to tension this yarn, so I gave up and just let them be what ever size they wanted to be.
You must remember to tie off the starting yarn before you start decreasing. A few times I didn't, and thought "what will happen?" Well, the long end finds it's way out of the balloon.

Megan tested the first few in a friend's pool and said they were great. She said they didn't "really" sink. Well, they go down a foot or so. So at the cottage this past week she took them out with her cousin, into the lake, since there wasn't really a lawn.  Apparently they will sink. Otter Lake, south of Huntsville....keep your eyes open for two.

I used almost the entire giant ball, so I'm just counting it as if I did since the leftover wasn't enough for another one.

Yarn In: 2242gr
Yarn Out: 300gr + 2195gr = 2495gr
Balance:3 47gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $57.30/220 days = $0.24 per day