Category Archives: pattern

Summer clothes

After my first jeans attempt, i decided to make a pattern from a pair i really loved which have worn out.  Since it’s June, I started by using the pattern for a pair of cotton twill shorts.   

 Even though the original jeans had a bit of spandex, the twill was pure cotton.  I added a half inch seam allowance to the pattern to account for no stretch, but it actually didn’t need that in all areas, probably only along the rise seam.  Which makes this pattern adaptable to most wovens and blends which is great.  I want to try some cords next.

Partway through this project, i realized i was envisioning chinos for this material – with more of the dress pant type detailing rather than denim accents.  I considered starting over but then pushed through instead.  And i’m thrilled with them.  

 When i finished them last night, i immediately pulled them on and they fit great, no adjustments.  I realized i was wearing two self-made shirts so the whole outfit was mine.  So cool.

My tee was a second try with a dandelion knit.  My first try ended with a cowl i wasn’t pleased with.  Though i loved the button detail on the shoulder, i did not succeed in making the print less juvenile or cutesy-looking.  Best to go simpler.  

This is the first attempt:    

This is the second:  

The sweater was a pattern i made when i came across the Perri Pullover which is no longer in print.  I used a thicker knit which is a blend but it was cheap at Len’s Mills.   

 The three-quarter length sleeves kind of make sense for a spring/summer pullover.  I’d love to make it in hemp fleece or cotton french terry.  The deep pockets – sourced from a thrifted shirt – are my favourite. 

 

Denim trouble

I suppose it wasn’t a total bust since i feel like i learned a tremendous amount.

But first the things that didn’t work:

The fabric is a wool (i know, i know), polyester, spandex denim which is more affortable than straight wool denim but as a result, too synthetic, too slippery, too thin, too shiny.  

 I had hoped the Jamie jeans pattern could save it but sadly no.   Actually, there were problems with the pattern itself.  I had to take almost 2 inches off the front rise and a smidge off the back.  I should have done even more, though on the front that would make the pockets entirely useless.  I would have also liked to take them in at the front seam (which was suggested by online sewers as the advantage of the additional seam) but again, with the pocket already set, it would have been a lot more work.  And no, i didn’t do a muslin.  Am i starting to see the advantage of that step?  Maybe.  

So to segue into what else i learned:

1. Setting the waistband is a true sewing miracle.  I love it and i’m getting so much better at it.  Moreover, the topstitching, the denim crotch seam and all the other classic jean detailing was such good practice for me.  Especially when i had to do some steps twice! 

 2. Since i still have to do so many size adjustments with a purchased pattern, why not try my next denims using a RTW pair that already fit well?

3. Which brings me to my last thought.  If my objection when sewing clothes is to make them in the fabric i want (and often can’t find) and since i usually don’t have trouble finding jeans that fit, then i’d like to try corduroy next.  And no stretch please.

Foray

The beginning of jeans.  

    
 These are Eily’s. They – along with the cords – were made using the Kudzu pattern.  With some major adjustments.  After making the cords, i realized he’s a size 4 in the waist and 10 in the length.  Which means he was swimming even in the skinny version.  The pattern also doesn’t distinguish between girl’s and boy’s sizes (which tends to make a difference the larger you go).

The fabric for both came from the thrift store.  I used two pairs of adult pants instead of buying new material.

Greys & Greens

From winter to spring.
Pants for Eily:

 
Shirt for me:

  I started out by using this pattern but i modified it so much that i’m not even sure i should credit that source.  First i compared sizing to my Burda blouse because i was skeptical of both my ability to measure myself appropriately and Lekala’s ability to accurately depict these measurements (with all due respect, their patterns are only $3 and arrive personalized in your inbox within hours of purchase).  Rightly so, as it turns out.

Next, i eschewed the (decorative) half seams in the front, the full seams in the back (except for the horizontal one) as well as the pockets and belt, and made the necessary pattern changes.

Lastly, the length. I’ve wanted a shirt dress for awhile.  That was my plan when i bought the pattern.  But it was also my plan to use fabric from my stash. This embroidered linen – i don’t even remember my intention in buying it, pants, sleeveless dress, curtains, who knows? (Maybe nothing in particular as my love for linen began way back in high school from whence this fabric originates) – in any case, i had only enough for a shirt.  The fabric also has a bulkier drape than i would have liked for the pattern.  So midway through, i decided against one additional modification – the half placket – and sliced the front for a full button band as the original pattern intended.

Considering all this, i’m so pleased that it’s wearable in the end.  Not only that, i like it. (I had some serious doubts about the excessive embroidery.) 

I think the sleeve straps are my favourite. 

 

Waiting for Spring

Well, what should we do?  Make more warm clothes?

   
 
The cardigan was a shrunken sweater, cut down the middle and outfitted with a button band (inspired by this project).

And the shirt is my own version of the Grainline Linden sweatshirt in bamboo jersey.  I pulled out this boatneck pattern from seven years ago and added neckline trim and cuffs (à la Granville).  I think the cuffs are my favourite part.