These Clover pants are destroying me!!
*warning* there are photos in this post that are extremely unflattering and you get to see me standing on a stool taking selfies in the bathroom, toothpaste spots on the mirror and all… anyways..
The actual construction is easy enough, but the fitting is driving me crazy! Like a moron, I made the initial muslin in a non stretchy sheet material, against the advice of the actual pattern makers. The butt barely fit, but the legs looked good so I decided I needed to do a full butt adjustment for the next muslin, in which I used a stretchy corduroy material, 97% cotton, 3% spandex.
Well, turns out when using the stretchy material, the pants ended up HUGE. I don’t think I actually needed the butt adjustment at all. I also noticed that the pants were just bunchy EVERYWHERE. And the crotch area was just boxy and unflattering. And my hips go IN where the pattern goes out. Where most girls have hip curves, my body is apparently concave where it should be convex. Awesome. So that was bunchy and weird. That was all before I even put the waist band on.
So I made little chalk marks all around where I needed to take it in. I also decided that I wanted it to be more of a skinny pant than a slim pant. The material was just too weird to be “slim”. Again, just too bunchy. I’m not really sure if the “slim” actually works on my body. Also, I found something on the good ol’ internets that suggested making the crotch area curve more “J” like, which totally helped the boxy front. This may have been my only “win” here.
I kept paring it down, trying it on, paring it down again, trying it on again, over and over. Remember, I have no real idea of what I’m doing, lol! I was getting worried that all the pulling on and off was stretching the material like crazy. (turns out it wasn’t, this corduroy has great recovery!). So when I thought I had something good going, I adjusted the paper pattern accordingly and cut away at the pattern pieces and got to making these pants for real. I was REALLY hoping for some sort of wearable muslin, but also was getting really excited to own awesome pants that were custom fit to my body. HA!
As I said before, the actual construction of this garment is pretty darn easy. I had to learn the invisible zipper as I’d never sewn one before, but that was pretty simple too, even though I could have positioned it up a little higher so it didn’t gap at the top. But when I sewed them all up (minus hemming them) and tried them on, there are SO many odd things. The waist band is SO BIG. And gappy. For some reason I thought that part would fit no problemo.Turns out, big problemo that I don’t even have a clue how to fix. And the knees are STILL bunchy. I really want to put this damn pattern on the shelf, but then I also REALLY want to finish them and make them awesome!!!
Truth is, I have deviated SO much already from the original pattern that it is almost silly! And the thought of unpicking all those seams to fix the waistband is stressing me out…
I think I’m going to have to make something fun and easy that requires no brain power to get my groove back.
Anyways, since this was flooded with awful pictures, I will leave you with a cute picture of Quinn trying to climb my step stool to get to me as I was trying to take terrible photos of my terrible pants.. I hope everyone else is having a more successful week than I am!
So how fitting is it to have my very first dress sewn all for myself coincide with my 100th blog post?!!! I’m not sure I thought I would actually post that much when I started this little thing! No wonder the kids have so many clothes, haha!
Anyways, back to the Washi Dress :)
I did a lot of sewing on Friday then finished it up Saturday. Everything came together extremely smoothly and easily. There were zero sewing snaffoos that I came across, which is awesome! The pattern directions are seriously easy to follow!
I realized that I need a pressing ham, though! Since I always sew for kids, there really hasn’t been much need for pressing something with a curve, so I had to made due and wad up a piece of scrap fabric and use that as a pressing ham when I was working on the bust darts. Worked great in a pinch!
Another fun thing: I bought glass head pins ages ago because I thought they were pretty. Turns out they have function and the purpose of them is to tack fabric down to press it without the tips melting! WHO KNEW?! It made making the pleats on the skirt SO easy!
The dress ended up a little loose on me, I was counting on the extra 7 rows of shirring in the back pulling the front tighter. The pattern calls for 6 lines, I put in 13. Having big boobs with a draped dress makes you look a little bigger than you actually are, which is why I lengthened the bodice in the first place. I’m thinking of maybe using the Medium size next time and doing a full bust adjustment for it.. Or maybe using the medium size for the back and using the same front bodice? Either way I still really love it! I think this will be my go-to spring dress! It is super comfortable and light! I’ll just throw a belt on if I want it to be more fitted.
The fabric I used was Triangularity in mustard by Chromatics. It is so soft for being a quilting cotton! I also used Aurifil thread for the very first time, and it turns out that stuff is as good as people say it is! It is just such fine thread! So much fits on the bobbin and I felt like every seam pressed so much flatter! I think I’m a thread convert! It is just so expensive and I can’t use a Joanne’s 50% off coupon for it since they don’t sell it!! :(
I am SO happy that I lowered the neckline. It still is very modest, even with the cut out! I feel it would be way too high if I hadn’t. I was a little worried that I might not be able to nurse in it, but I totally can, which is awesome! Makes my life easier and my baby happier!
I decided to use the facings instead of doing a fully lined bodice. It seemed like a lot of people didn’t like the facings flopping around, but I just did some blind stitches and anchored that sucker down. You can’t see the stitches at ALL from the front :)
Speaking of blind stitches, I also used my blind hem foot for the bottom hem. I LOVE that foot! I remember when I first started using it I could NOT figure the darn thing out. Well, now that I know what I’m doing it is SUCH a breeze! I love not having to see the thread line in the hem :) I also love not having to hand sew the hem to get that look!
I love how different kinds of sewing help in unexpected ways. If it weren’t for the quilting I’ve done, I would have no idea to hand sew the bias on the arm holes to make them look nice and seamless! The Drunkard’s path quilt I made also helped me set in those sleeves, understanding how to sew together curved lines and doing it over and over and over again.
Sorry there aren’t very many amazing photos. I had Jake take a few snaps of me this morning before he went to work. It was 25 degrees out here, people! Don’t let all the sunshine fool you! I was absolutely freezing and this is how I really felt:
Then after he left, I wanted to get some more detailed shots. I did get a couple of the bodice, but then Quinn woke up and shortly thereafter peed on me, christening the dress. Thanks, buddy! Now the dress is being laundered, ha!
This dress has completely made me obsessed with wanting to sew more for myself!! It is SO satisfying to be able to wear something I made!! Especially since I HATE shopping, but love sewing? Perfect! I’ll just make everything from now on! I have officially struck the fear of selfish sewing right out of me!! YAY!
So last night I made another muslin with a third version of my tweaked pattern. Keep in mind it will be pulled a bit tighter around the waist due to the shirring that will be in the back. I am much happier!
Millie didn’t appreciate it when I told her a muslin was made with fabric you don’t care about. “But I love that fabric!!!” Sorry honey, I’ll save some to make something with it for you!
Anyways, I fixed it and measured it more precisely, making sure the bottom was the same width as the original so I wouldn’t have to mess with the skirt portion and making sure the darts matched up to the side seams better. I also cut away about an inch from the neckline.
Ahh, the 3 versions of the bodice pattern!
This morning I altered the back of the pattern a bit. Since I added 4 inches to the top, I had to add length to the back piece. I measured 3.5 more inches when I accounted for the seam allowance from the top being gone. I will have to add 6 more lines of shirring, which is totally okay with me. This obviously won’t be so much of an empire waist, which is good because that look is kind of hard to pull off with big knockers!
I also changed the front facing to match up with the new neckline I made. No pics of that, but that is pretty self explanatory, I think.
I didn’t have time for any actual sewing today, but I did manage to cut out all my pattern pieces and get them all ready for tomorrow. I can’t wait!
And I just wanted to add this photo, showing that even if the kids are letting me do my “thang”, the cats are forever into everything I do! I am never alone, LOL!
This morning I cut out a muslin from the Washi pattern, exactly how it is, in a size L, which is where my measurements fell. I sewed it up and tried it on, and just as I thought, the empire waist of it was WAY too short for my body! The darts were also way too high up. Left me wondering if I have a weirdo body!
I can’t believe I’m doing this, but for the sake of learning, I will post a picture of how the bodice fit. Also, I understand that I probably should have made myself look nicer for one of the only pics of myself on here, but come on, it is my lazy day with Quinn while Millie is in school!
SO I’m no expert, but that dart is just a bit too high, right? INCHES too high… Oh and that bruise was a gift from Quinn. He apparently thinks I’m delicious.
So I measured myself wearing the muslin and decided I wanted the dart about 2 inches lower and the bodice to be about 4 inches longer, closer to where my waist actually is. I added 2 inches above the dart and 2 below, extending the front part 4 inches. Quinny helped.
Learning my lesson from those pants, I sewed my muslin with a basting stitch, so it was easy to pull off and I just used the same back piece to try out the newly drafted front.
Much better! I know the neckline will be 1/2 inch lower from the facings, but I think I want to deepen it a little more, maybe an extra inch. Apparently I have a much taller chest than most, since a lot of reviews said the neckline was too revealing? Crazy, it feels like a crew neck on me.
Anyways, once I fix the neckline of my newly drafted top and tweak it out a little more, I think I’ll be ready to make the dress! I bought 2 different fabrics to make this dress with, I will use the cheaper one first, that way if I still need to tweak something out, I won’t be using my expensive fabric :)
It has been a while! Truth is, I haven’t been able to carve out much sewing time lately. Every time I sit at my machine, which is upstairs, Quinn decides it is a perfect time to crawl to the edge of the top of the steps and flirt with disaster. So I run over to him and grab him before he falls, which he thinks is a hilarious game… Then when I get to my computer, he gives me about 2 minutes before he thinks I’ve had enough screen time and he pulls me away! I haven’t even been able to check my emails lately, let alone blog!
There is that, and there is also the fact that the kids have SO many outfits, I’ve been having a hard time finding inspiration since they don’t actually need anything currently.
I, on the other hand, am DESPERATE for some new clothes! I haven’t really ever sewn for myself, with the exception of a couple forgiving maternity shirts, so I’ve been a little afraid to. My goal this year is to change that. I want to start sewing for myself, and the only way to start doing it is to just get over my fear and DO IT!
This weekend there was a fabric shop hop in Austin so I decided to go and check out some shops I never even knew existed! There were 8 shops on the official list, and I visited 10 in all! I had no idea Austin had so many amazing fabric stores! I chatted with lots of store owners and sewers and was blown away with inspiration! I bought a couple patterns for myself and a bunch of amazing fabric to go along with them.
Both of these patterns are going to need some alterations on my part. I made a muslin yesterday for the pants, where I decided I really need to add some length, and apparently I need to grade for a bigger butt, lol! I was a little let down because I was hoping for a wearable muslin, but that is not the case. And no, I will not be posting a picture of me wearing it, ha! I don’t know why I always thought I had a flat tush. Quite the opposite! Then I was thinking I am an idiot for trying to do pants when in 2 seconds it will be summer, so maybe I should focus on the dress. That and hopefully by next winter I will have lost some more of this baby weight.. which would make me cry if I couldn’t fit into the pants I made. So I might just put that project on the shelf for a while..
Anyways, I decided to go ahead and blog about my experience of fitting and altering adult patterns as I go through it. Kind of publicly learning!
I have already traced out the pattern for the Washi dress and plan on sewing the muslin tomorrow while Millie is in school. I want to lengthen the bodice a little bit to make it not quite as high of an empire waist. And I’m sure I’ll have to adjust it for a bigger bust. I just want to see how the actual pattern pieces fit before I start changing the pattern.
Wish me luck on my new sewing ventures!!
As I said yesterday, Millie is in a new school and they are celebrating valentine’s day with a sock hop party. So of course me, being me, decided to make her a cute little poodle skirt to get festive for the party!
It was really easy and fun cutting out that circle skirt! I can’t believe I’ve never made one before! I am absolutely making more circle skirts for Millie that are not made of felt, lol! The twirl action is amazing!
I VERY loosely used this tutorial to make the circle skirt. I mean, I got the idea to use the 2 inch elastic instead of rolling it over and encasing elastic from this.. MUCH EASIER! For the circle skirt measurements, I just kind of used my brains + Millie’s measurements.
For the little poodle I took this picture, cropped out the black poodle, and enlarged the image of just the outline, then printed it and cut it out with black felt. I fused it on the skirt with Wonder-Under. I used a zigzag stitch to sew on the little ribbon leash.
The bottom hem has a bit of razzle-dazzle with a sequined embellishment all around it.
The only issue I had with making this was sewing on the sequins on the bottom hem. The first needle broke in 3 pieces. I thought it was notable enough to take a photo of. Four broken needles later, the 5th again breaking in three, where the middle piece flew up and hit me in the forehead (thank God I was wearing glasses!), I decided it would be MUCH safer (and cheaper) to hand sew the rest of it on!!!
I decided that to complete the costume, Millie needed a plain white tee shirt to go with the ensemble, and since she didn’t have one I used one of Jake’s white tees and made one using the boy version of the Figgy’s Banyan Tee pattern. The sleeves are a bit long because I used the original hems of the shirt sleeves, but forgot to account for that when cutting the pattern.. OOPS! The crazy person I am finished it off this morning right before I sent her to school!
……Then upon entering her school, I realized that I am the ONLY mother who is completely insane and who gets all excited about her kid dressing up for parties… HA!! I didn’t see a single other kid dressed up, and there Millie was with this awesome huge pink skirt, haha! I felt a little ridiculous all day, but then when I picked her up, I saw there were 2 other girls who were wearing poodle-ish skirts, so that made me feel a little less silly.. OH well, at least she is totally in love with it! That is all that matters, right?
I hope everyone had a fantastic and chocolate filled Valentine’s day!
..It was for a good cause though!
Millie started a new school a few weeks ago and they are having a sock hop tomorrow for Valentine’s day, which I think is TOTALLY adorable, and of course I have decided to make her a poodle skirt. So against my own self-imposed rules of no more fabric shopping, I trekked it over to Joanne’s yesterday to get some pink felt.
And while I was there I figured I should pick up some notions, like more elastic, needles, trim, ribbon… And some super cute knit fabric from the remnant bin! (oops!)
I kind of fell in love with this geometrical print! It is only slightly larger than .5 yards, but I’m sure I can squeeze something awesome out of it :)
And you should be proud of me! I didn’t even LOOK at all the other fabric! I almost ran past it all with my eyes closed because I didn’t want to be tempted, haha
It is funny because my entire stash really isn’t THAT much, but I’m more the type of person to buy as needed, so I don’t want to risk the chance of not using certain fabrics I have already gotten. And it is kind of a fun challenge to be inspired by fabric instead of by pattern :)
Anyways, I had better get on to making that poodle skirt. Leave it to me to save it for the last day!!!
Ahh, week 4, the last week of Project Run and Play is upon us. This is the week for “my signature style”, which honestly was the hardest for me! There are so many things I enjoy, both sewing and fashion wise. I wouldn’t say that I am the most fashionable person in the world, I mean, heck, I’m currently wearing pants I bought 10 years ago. I suck at shopping. But I really do love having really sweet outfits for Millie to wear. I almost have her as an extension of me when it comes to clothes.
Lately I’ve been really into sewing knits, so that is what I originally planned on making. But when I looked through my stash, none of the knits I had were giving me inspiration. Pretty much the only things I have left are boy prints, and I really wanted to make something for Millie. So I decided to go ahead and play with my wovens. The blue floral fabric I used was some cotton lawn that I bought during my fabric shopping spree in NYC. I’m pretty sure I go this stuff at Mood. The solid brown is a voile I bought on Fabric.com.
Earlier this week, Millie actually ASKED me to make her a shirt that was kind of like a dress, so that was why I decided on this peplum. I took this picture of a shirt at Anthropologie MONTHS ago that I thought would be cute to copy for Millie. I figure if you see something that sticks in your mind for this long, it is definitely worth something! So that is what I used as inspiration :)
I can’t tell you how AMAZING it felt to draft my own pattern! I got really into the making of this. I started with a plain tee shirt pattern and totally tweaked it out to make this cute little peplum top. I lined it with facings instead of using a bias trim because the fabric is so delicate. I will most certainly be hanging this one to dry! This really took me back to the crazy creative place in my heart, and I got a huge amount of joy from making this! For some reason I’ve been just using patterns and not really straying from that. As much as I LOVE the ease of using amazing patterns, it felt wonderful to get my creative juices going.
I used a button closure and decided to use a ladybug button, hoping that it would inspire Millie to wear it more often, since when she came to see what I was sewing she was like “Is that for me? No. It’s for Quinny. Look at those colors, those are Quinn colors.” **crap**
I wanted to make pants to go with it, but I still wanted to keep up with that “no buying fabric” thing, plus I have this to contend with at all times:
So there you have it! The conclusion of PR&P! Check out the other amazing people who participated!
This past week was Kid’s Clothes Week, where people try to dedicate at least one hour a day for the whole week to sewing up clothes for their kids/grand kids/nieces/nephews etc.. There are a ton of amazing projects being posted from all the awesome people who are participating. Last time this came around I made an entire article of clothing for every day, which actually kind of burnt me out a little.
This week, even though I thought about it, I barely even LOOKED at my sewing machine! I know, crazy. I guess I needed a little break after that crazy wedding dress refashion.
I have been thinking about what I am going to sew up for the Project Run and Play next week.. which I should be actually creating, but instead I am procrastinating and blogging, lol. The truth is, the next challenge is “signature style” and, while I really love making dresses for Millie, and also most people use this opportunity to “pull out all the stops”, I felt I should make some nice easy knit outfit, since that is what I really have been wanting to sew lately.
Signature styles can change all the time! There are so many style influences all around that it is difficult to define myself or how I want my kids to be dressed all the time. So while I wanted to be true to the “right now” in how I feel, I started looking through my stash to find some nice knit material to make a sweet shirt for Millie (I have a pic of a shirt from Anthropologie that I took over the summer as inspiration), it turns out that I have been SO into sewing knits that there really aren’t any more nice ones left in my stash!! I have boy prints but nothing that really goes with the idea I have in my head..
So now I’m thinking about how I can pull this idea off with woven fabrics..
Anyways, I guess I better get to drafting something out while Quinn is napping and I have some free time.
I will leave you with this picture of Quinn in his diaper modeling the blanket my sister knitted for him. It has nothing to do with anything, but there you go, some baby skins to feast your eyes on :)
Wish me luck sewing!
I wasn’t kidding when I said I was on a Figgy’s pattern kick a couple weeks ago. I actually sewed this Celestial Pullover up earlier this month, but only now have gotten the chance to blog about it.
I just love this! The short sleeve sweater thing works amazing for our bipolar Texas weather (hello snow/ice one day, 77 degrees the next) and it was SO easy to sew up!
I didn’t think I would really like the high/low aspect of it as much, but it turns out that I LOVE it, it adds such a sweet feminine touch to a staple such as a sweater without being over the top girly.
I really love the shirts that have the sleeves built in so you don’t have to bother setting them in! It really makes the whole project go really quickly! All you have to do is hem and go!
My only issue is with the pockets. While I love them and Millie loves having a place to put things (coins, special rocks, etc), she has had a hard time understanding how to put her hands in them without stretching them down past the bottom of the shirt. I’ll have to probably sew them down to the shirt to tack them in so they don’t pop out the bottom all the time. It won’t stop me from making more of these, though! I think I might want to even try to draft an adult sized one for myself!
I got this fabric from Joanne’s in that red tag section a while back for 50% off. I honestly have no idea how much it was, but I know I had eyed it for a while. You can’t really see it in the photos, but there are also silver stripes along with the blue and white. I sewed the size 4/5 and I think it is kind of perfect. This sweater has been paired with quite a few outfits and even Jake commented on how well together Millie looked while wearing it. He must be sick of all her princess dresses, lol!
SO I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I’ve been handed down Jake’s old camera, which is awesome!! So I’ve been trying to get better photography than I was getting with my iPhone :)
It certainly is a learning curve and there are so many settings I’m trying to figure out! But I am REALLY excited to get awesome crisp photos! If anyone knows of any awesome and ‘easy to understand in layman’s terms’ blogs about photography, send the links my way, please!! :D