Monday, 25 February 2013

February Good Times

 This past weekend saw the Toronto Sewing Blog Meet-Up, which was just an all-around good time! Of course, I forgot my camera, but there are lots of great shots of the absolute crowd of us who took on Queen Street, shopped, swapped and hung out. Thanks to the dynamic duo of Adrienne and Gillian for organizing the event, and introducing us all in real life! I'm in the process of adding you all to my reader list at this very moment.

Now, February is a short month, but I did get my stashbusting in - this month's theme was love, naturally enough, and the challenge was to make something for a loved one. Well, I held true to the theme, but not the challenge, since I made something for myself - or, more accurately, my cold feet.

Yes, it is a new hot water bottle cozy! My old one was very sad (navy polar fleece, it was on there forever!), and I happened to have a few pieces of this fun sweatshirt knit in the bins. I made a knock-off un-blogged sweatshirt with this fabric last year, which I tried to post, but taking photos of this stuff was a bit crazy. At any rate, there are a few hearts in there with the animal print, and I even lined the "collar" for an added pop of red. 

So there you have it, true love.

All in all, a busy and surprisingly fun month - this stash busting is a good antidote to the winter blues. It's nice to have something fun to work towards when the grey days drag on, and it was such a treat to meet so many fellow sewing bloggers, too!

Til next time...

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Winter Wool Trousers

Trousers can be tricky, as we all know. Most of us have spent many frustrating trips to the fitting room in the stores to either leave empty handed, or with something not quite right, but ok for now. Fortunately, I have found a style/brand of store bought jeans that I love (and wear, pretty much exclusively in the colder months!). But when it come to trousers, I haven’t had much luck. This winter, I’ve been eyeing up the exciting patterned trousers appearing everywhere, and decided to take the plunge - with plaid. 

Enter the plaid pants!

Last year I made a pair of skinny jeans with the help of Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear. They somehow didn't get a post of their own, but I was pretty happy with the fit.  If you are at all interested in pattern drafting, I cannot recommend this book enough.

Pockets for work keys!

Here's a little figure analysis: Looong through the rise, low-ish bum, slim thighs, and, according to almost every pattern and rtw garment out there, larger than average waist. As I’m typing this, it sounds like I’m describing a rectangle! I do have curves in there somewhere, they are just not quite rtw trouser friendly. All this means is than my usual struggles in the trouser department involve a too short rise, and that by the time I size up to fit my hip-bones/waist, the bum & thighs are just a pool of excess fabric.

But no longer. When drafting to your own measurements, you are fitting your specific shape right of the bat. There will still be tweaking and adjusting, of course, but I find it easier to see where I'm going when I'm not struggling to add inches to the rise. All that chopping and changing drives me bonkers!

They are a bit more tapered than I was going for (partly due to having to adjust the grainline after I had cut them out - yikes!) and waistband is a bit high, even for me, but entirely wearable. I do not feel like they are going to slide off, and there is absolutely no danger of plumber bum, so that’s a win right there.

Smooth back view!
I did intend to have a front fly, but after putting one in, it had to come out - too bulky! So I went with a side zip instead, remembering to use a strip of grosgrain as a zipper guard. No danger of pinching while zipping! And they are fully lined, or let's face it, they wouldn't get worn at all!

Side view with slight model face.
I'm still not sure what came over me when I bought this fabric, but the plaid sure keeps you honest when it comes to grain lines! And not that you can tell in these photos, but the pockets are a work of plaid matching art.

These guys were finished these about 3 weeks ago, but the inside photos were not good. Here was the state of my back deck photo zone on Friday:

But thanks to some ambitious shoveling, it was back in action today!