Monday, January 26, 2015

Deer & Doe Plantain

I'm in search of tride and true (tnt) patterns for all the basic pieces in my closet.
I've got a button-down that's pretty close, some magical shorts that I've copied that fit no matter how much I weigh that I'm translating into jeans, and now i'm close to having a t-shirt tnt of my very own.

Plantain is a free pattern from Deer & Doe (as I'm sure you well know unless you are new to the sewing blogosphere). It's has a different shape than what you might be used to (ie: it can look a little maternity), and I wasn't sure about it myself, but it sure is easy to wear! Besides, taking in side seams is an easy alteration that can change the shape to whatever floats your boat. Plus it has cute little elbow patches that I have yet to try.

I made some small changes to affect the fit for myself, and after looking at my pictures I'm going to need to make some more changes.

On my muslin (not shown), I cut a 38 and graded to a 40 at the hip according to my measurements. In this version, I used a 38 throughout and like the amount of ease much better.

My changes:
1. forward shoulder 1/2". Finally a t-shirt that isn't sliding back all the time!
2. raised neckline to the smallest size – perfect. Changed the length of the binding to correspond with this change.
3. I can't remember if I made a broad back adjustment (all sewing packed away), but I'll check when I'm able. I suspect that I did.
4. took out the sleeve at the bicep and elbow. It was a little tight and uncomfortable in this jersey.

From drag lines the pics, it looks like I also need to:

1. sloping shoulder adjustment and lower the arm hole accordingly
2. swayback adjustment. I usually don't bother but it looks like shit and I should really figure that shit out. Any suggestions on how to do this?

This pattern fit my shoulder to bust area much better than the Sewaholic Renfrew that everyone has had so much success with. I think the Sewaholic block is not right for me, though the Minoru jacket is still a favorite. I've tried a couple of other no-name t-shirt patterns, but so far this one is the best for me.

Pattern review is here.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stitch Magazine's Weekender Duffel Bag

I'm destashing and packing up my sewing stuff so we can paint and put new carpet in the basement after a 3+ year reno. In the meantime, I'm going to get my fix by reviewing and posting everything I've sewn and not blogged blogged about for lack of time/energy/interest and most importantly inability to take a decent photograph.

A long time ago, I thought it might be fun to make a duffel. There are some great patterns out there on the interwebs, but none of them were exactly what I wanted (I have no interest in quilting anything). Then I found stitch magazine's weekender duffel bag. Oh ya, and it's free.

I went out, bought fabric, bought lining and just missed the sale on iterfacing so my project stalled for a number of months. Finally got the interfacing but my momentum had stalled so it sat for another few months—until my recent stash busting mission.

If you decide to make this yourself, be warned, the downloaded version does not come with instructions. Since I was winging it, my order of construction was a bit wonky. Not sure if I would do it again exactly like this, but here's what I did:

1. Insert zip into top two panels.
2. Attach lining to zip on opposite side.
3. Attach end panels to zipper panel (outside and lining fabric separately, though in future I would treat them as one and bind the seam.
4. Attach bottom to zip/end panels, creating a circle of fabric.
5. Sew outer pocket to lining installing piping.
6. Attach outer pockets to side panels, stitching down centre of pocket and baste along bottom/side edges
7. Bast side panel lining to outer fabric lining along edge
8. Sew side panels to zip/circle piece.
9. These seams with self-made binding from lining fabric.

There was one thing that I still can't make sense of. On the end panels (those that you attach to the top zipper panel), it says to cut 4 fabric and two lining. For the life of me, I cannot think of what you'd need the extra two fabric pieces for. I used them like an interlining.

End panel attached to zip panel shown here.
For interfacing I used this stuff (sorry no name) that Taran helped me pick out. It's stiff but has loft – perfect. I think you are supposed to use two different types of interfacing for different sections but I used the same one on all outer fabric pieces except for the top two attached to the zip where I used nothing. My lining was a very stiff home dec poly taffeta – super durable as a suitcase lining but melty-melty if I even looked at it with an iron in my hand. It also added some body to the bag and helps it not to completely collapse when empty, as to the bound seams.

Lining and binding

My outer fabric is also from the home dec discount department. Both the lining and the fabric were a good deal. I probably paid more for the interfacing on sale.

I had to guess on the length/width of the straps, but I used the pic as a guide and it turned out well. I also inserted flexible plastic tubing (can get at home depot, or my dad's garage) to make them stiffer and easier to hold.

Would I make this again? Proabably as a gift. The end result was very satisfying. It's large enough to use for a weekend but small enough that it's not unwieldy.

I love it and I can't wait to use it!!

I put a bird on it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Foxy Lady

We are renovating our basement... for the last three/four years. sigh. It's almost done. In anticipation of packing up my sewing area to ready for painting and carpet installation—which I'm sure will take at least a month because we are champions of procrastination—I've been trying to sew from my stash and actually make some of the projects that have been staring me in the face for the last I don't know how long just so I won't have to pack up as much crap. This post is not about one of those. ;-P

There was a sale at Fabricland this weekend and I haven't been there since maybe the beginning of December if not earlier. $4/metre flannel was too good of an excuse and I didn't receive my full quota of pj pants this Christmas so there you go.

I picked this cute fox fabric similar here—which is incidentally also the favourite of Taran (hi sewing buddy)—and took it home with the intention of sewing it up before the weekend was over so it wouldn't sit all packed away for at least another month.

I'm happy to say that it's mission accomplished.

I picked Simplicity 2262 from a short stack of elasticized waistband pants from my stash. This one won out because the technical drawing looked like it had a lower rise which I can't do without on pants (I think I have a tilted pelvis (maybe) which results in normal rise pants feeling like they are on backwards – anyone else have this issue?)

The only pattern/instruction changes I made were:
• lower the front rise another 1 1/8" (tapering to nothing at the side seam)
• added cuffs with flat piping (bias binding)
• folded over a wider casing at waist to acommodate drawstring/elastic and the elastic is anchored at the side seams
• sewed, serged and flat felled all seams

These pants sewed up a smidge short for my liking (but accurate to the envelope photo) and I'd rather have my pjs a little longer especially when they are made out of flannel which will inevitably shrink even though I pre-shrunk.

Ugh! sorry for the terrible pics. I've yet to figure out how to take decent blog photos obviously.

This pattern was easy to sew and would have been even faster if I would have just stuck to the instructions but who does that?
Looking at the picture, the back fits surprisingly well. I will most definitely make these again when new pjs are needed.

After finishing these I was wondering... do these count for Jungle January?