Saturday, 15 September 2012

Following up with Iris

My below the waist sewing saga continues! After finishing off the Colette Clovers of this post, I had some fabric left over, and I also had the Iris pattern on hand after a mini-spree of Colette pattern shopping.


With all my previous pants pattern experience fresh in my mind, I decided to try something a bit simpler for these shorts. I cut a size 6, I slashed and spread the pattern horizontally at the hip, and used the size 10 crotch line. Pretty bold, but it kind of worked! They're a touch snug at the hip, but not bad for an afternoon's work. Again, no pockets, this time because basically these are a wearable mock-up, and also they didn't seem to be at the best spot for me. Maybe next time.

Sassy side view
So, next summer, when I attempt these again, I'll scoop the back crotch a bit more. They ride up a bit...

Not quite so lovely from the back
And I did follow my own advice and use a lighter fabric for the waistband facing, and this funny zip with it's own hook at the top instead of a hook & eye. Much more comfortable, but a bit tricky to do up.

One thing I noticed with both these and my Clovers, is that the waistband is quite a bit smaller at the top than the bottom, and my waist doesn't curve in quite so dramatically. So I'll be sure to add about a 1/2" to the top edge of the waistbands in future.

These photos were taken about two weeks ago now, and the weather is starting to turn. No shorts wearing in my immediate future, though the tomatoes have decided to finally ripen!

Summer is not officially over, but I'm moving on to fall sewing. Next up, some fall sewing plans!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

How Sweet It Is...

I've had this pattern on my radar for a long time, and spurred on by Sew Colette 2.0, it is now a reality! Yes, it is the Colette Macaron, at long last.

Overall, I'm pleased with the dress, but I'm just not sure I'll be getting much wear out of it. There's something just a little bit too sugary about it for my taste. I feel like I'm off to grandmother's house for cookies, or perhaps even down the rabbit hole!

Let's talk fabric. I was really drawn to the blue and white combo, so I used my last piece of Yardage Sale fabric for the body (don't be fooled, I think it's pretty heavy on the polyester), including midriff, and a bit of swiss dot cotton that I've had left over for years.

See, there they are, dots galore.
The dress is fully lined with white batiste, so I skipped the neck facing and did a lovely job understitching the lining at the neck edge and sleeve hems. I was able to sneak in and machine the lower midriff fabrics together and press them up, leaving only the skirt pieces to be finished with the serger. 

The pattern itself went together well, I cut a size 8 all over and squeezed an extra inch out of the midriff pieces for a little more room over my waist, letting out the tucks about 1/8" each. I didn't shorten the bodice, which I usually do, and the front is fine, but the back is a tiny bit long. I also could have taken in the back width about 3/4" across the mid-back, especially since the seaming makes the dress stand away from the body a bit there.

And yes, the sleeves are cute, but they may not make it into any future Macarons. I'd like to make a wool jersey version, and let the pleats be free from the midriff instead of stitched down. The pockets are  nice, but I find I don't really use them, so they may go as well!

Excuse the fuzzy foot.

All in all, a pleasant sewing experience, but perhaps not as wardrobe enriching as I would have liked. Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

August in Clover

Well, hello there! I had the best of intentions, but August went by without a post! But not without some quality sewing time. Here we have them, my first Clover attempt!

I've seen a lot of this pattern around, and my hope is that it fills the J.Crew sized hole in my trouser wardrobe. Pre-Clover, my jeans collection ruled the roost, and while I still love them, I think it's time to branch out.

Now, I am pretty narrow in the hips, with not a lot of bum, and a very long rise. Off the rack trousers can be problematic, especially in the rise. By the time I get a waistband to do up over my hip bones, where most "mid-rise" pants hit me, there is inevitably an excess of fabric at the sides. In an effort to improve on that situation, here's what I did:

I cut a size 8, matching my hip measurement, for the legs, and a size 10 through to the waistband. My first mock-up was not bad, but there was room for improvement:

Hello swayfront! This picture may be a little muffiny, but it shows off my "problem" area. I had honestly never really noticed this one before, but as the photo below shows, my hips sit fairly forward. I turned to the Colette Clover Cheatsheet for help. I reversed the swayback instructions, using the back info for the front of my pattern & vice versa. I also scooped the back crotch about 1/2". I could scoop more in future, I think. 

Since the front was sitting fairly flat, I didn't bother doing too much to it, but in future I'll be more generous, maybe that will help get rid of some of these crotch wrinkles!

My biggest issue was that even after all these adjustments, I still have extra fabric under my bum in the upper thigh area. Not too sure how I'll resolve that one. 

Super wrinkly. I'm blaming part of this on being caught out in the rain the night before these were taken!

Although when I move, they are less noticeable.

Just pretend I'm walking.
For my final version, I cut a size 6 through the leg, an 8 for about 4 inches through the hip, and stuck with the 10 for the waistband. All in all, I'm calling this one a success. Aside from the pattern adjustments, I'll definitely use a thinner fabric on my waistband facing next time, and use a button & loop instead of a pokey hook & eye at the top of the zipper. I omitted the pockets because they didn't seem useful to me. I've worn these to work a few times now, and I've even had a couple of compliments! This fall may see another pair on the horizon.