Category Archives: wardrobe

Coat in June

I am not in tune with the seasons.  But i am so pleased with my new jacket.  

Designed by a Japanese pattern maker living in Amsterdam, i originally found her work when i came across another of her patterns (also for a jacket, also in the works).  I saw this one and fell in love and decided to make it first.  I love the bomber style.  I love it in wool. 

  But it’s way too hot for June.

Though i found lining for the sleeves in my stash, i had to buy more for the rest of it.  The teal ribbing is from Nature’s Fabric (it was a toss up between that and olive).  The fabric for the shell was in my stash of vintage blankets but not heavy enough (and far too lovely) to convert into a wool mattress pad.  I had some serious work to do cutting out the pattern (and making sure all the pieces were correctly orientated) around all the moth holes.  The picture below shows the holes marked with painter’s tape. 

 The pattern itself was very straight forward; the lining pattern was a little less intuitive but mainly in terms of the order of the steps. 

I hyped myself up for the zipper work but the pockets were no big deal and this was the first separating zipper i’ve put in without having to redo once or twice.

 The fit is fabulous right off the bat.  The only modifications i made were to shorten the back collar facing and the collar ribbing. The body and sleeve length are impeccable.  Living in Amsterdam, she must know my type.

Now i have to wait three months to properly wear it.

 

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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.

That’s better

  
So i gave it one more go.  And it wasn’t even too many adjustments, just an inch on either side and realigning the zipper.  I also tried to act a little more professional by tacking down the interfacing and actually pressing it.

Worth the effort as I’m so much happier with it.

Too soon

I made this dress three weeks ago with silk from the fabric shop or street tailor – i can’t remember which – in Berhampur.  I finally got some pictures of me in it.   

   
Which, upon looking at, leads me to consider if i’ve given myself enough time…before ripping it up and beginning again.  Maybe in another fabric.  Linen?

The bodice, well basically everthing is too big.  Grrr.

And the dress that started this all is just so lovely.

A better green

A long time ago, i bought this organic cotton knit off etsy.  It was labeled “lettuce green” and from the pictures it looked like a lovely light shade.  

But it really looked more like a light mint green and i didn’t know what to do with it.  Besides use strips of it to tie up the raspberry stalks in our garden (either i was dealing with a fabric drought or i was just resentful that i bought something useless).

Then, this week i dyed it reseda green and it became a perfect shade of aqua.  So i used it to make another copycat linden sweatshirt and added faux quilting with help from this tutorial.

   

Ahead of the game

Actually i’m a bit behind as i was wearing a mismatched 2 piece suit last summer.  I’ve had this material for years with the plan of making a bathing suit.   

I  like that i can customize the length and stick to shoulder straps instead of halter style (so constrictive!). I’m interested to see how the fabric holds up.