Sunday, 7 July 2013

Maritime in the Maritimes

Greetings from the Maritimes! And the Maritime shorts! Last week I was visiting Nova Scotia, and of course had to bring my new shorts along for the trip - 

Yes, these are the Maritime shorts from Grainline, and they are great. This pattern is a real winner - no significant alterations, very good results.

Fabric: Midnight blue twill with a bit of stretch.

Pattern adjustments: Cut the size 10 and graded down to an 8 along the side seams from the bottom of the pocket to the hem - much easier than grading up from the hip. The standard advice for trouser (and shorts) sizing is to use your hip measurement, and adjust the waist as needed, but I found this route to be MUCH easier - and far fewer pieces to alter. I added two inches to the hem, but then used a larger hem allowance, so these guys are about 1 1/2" longer than the pattern. I also added 1" to the top, since I have muffin top paranoia, but I think I could have gone with the original. 

Sewing epiphany: As you can see, the left pocket meets the side seam in a smooth, practically invisible join - if I weren't pointing to it, you would not know it was there.

However, on the left side, there is a tiny wrinkle in the pocket facing, and the pocket lining (yes, I did use white, I ran out of fabric) pops out. The pocket facing/lining is wider than the top layer of fabric! This is purely a construction mishap (see amazing pocket results, above). I've noticed this a couple of times before, but finally put two and two together, and from now on when I baste my pocket to the side seams, I will check for this preventable mistake and take action! I guess I just needed to see both the good and the bad in one place to figure this one out.

Basically, these shorts are just what I needed. Casual, but nice enough to wear on adventures in the real world. And if, like me, you are not very curvy in the waist/hip area, this pattern is just a dream come true. I'm cool with drafting my own pants/trousers/jeans, but it is so nice to find a pattern that works with just a few minor tweaks. 

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Stashbusting: June

The Stashbusting Challenge has reached the half-way mark, and I have managed to bust every month! Woot woot! 

June's theme was containment, which I was very happy about. I had visions of whipping up a big pile of tote bags and zip-up pouches for everything and everyone. By the end of the month, I had made one thing. For myself. I still have the fabric for the imaginary bags, they may still happen. So, here's what I did make:

A knitting needle roll, following a tutorial from Stitch Parade. Thanks Andrea! I just took up knitting last winter, and am currently stalled at the half-way mark on my first sweater (not much incentive for a sweater in July). I've finished 3 other small projects, and have about 10 sets of needles already. Needles that I was "storing" on top of my dresser. Not even in a shoe box, that just didn't occur to me! 

Ta-da! Finished needle roll.
The outer fabric is an Echino heavy cotton fat quarter. What I originally though I would do with it, I can't imagine. It's gorgeous, but a fat quarter? Tough to find a good use for it.
For the inside, I used a heavy linen remnant, and had to piece the deepest pocket. No scrap left behind!
The only thing I didn't have on hand was a nice ribbon for the closure, so I  treated myself at Mokuba.

Ribbon close up - turquoise moire with bright pink weft!
This project went together really smoothly. The fabrics are very complimentary, and it looks like a pricey knitting store item! I didn't use a batting or felt layer since my fabrics were a heavier weight, and I don't have a walking foot. I'm keeping my double pointed needles in their packages for now, until I come across a handy needle gauge card, which will fit nicely in one of the pockets.

Thanks again, Andrea, for this great tutorial!