A tribute to lounge wear – a few variations

Patterns: Sewaholic Tofino pants, McCalls M6681 & free-form pantsSewaholic Tofino

Skills acquired:

  • Adding pockets
  • Piping 

I’ve made some PJ pants in my time, in fact I’ve made a lot recently.  I decided to consolidate them all in one post, for more efficiency (another one of my job skills – companies take note!).

Pajama pants are probably the most basic garment there is.  It’s the perfect thing to make when you are first learning to sew.  You don’t really need a pattern, there are no zippers and they are made from basic cotton fabric.  There are ways to dress them up and build off the simple design, but for the most part there is nothing easier.  The most basic patterns have two pieces for the front and two for the back.  These all get sewn up pretty much how you would imagine (even the order doesn’t matter too much) and you end up with two legs.  The waistband gets folded down, an elastic is added, the pant legs are hemmed…and voila!  Something you can lounge around in that you made all your own.

Put it in your pocket

I wanted to make my boyfriend a new pair of lounge pants since I felt like I could improve upon the pants I had made him a while back.  He said to me, “If you do make another pair, could you add pockets?”  Hmmm…this was something I never thought of.  There aren’t too many patterns out there that include pockets on such a garment and I didn’t really trust myself to figure this out on my own.  I found this handy tutorial online and decided to experiment with some pants I was going to make myself, just so I could get it right.  I had a remnant of flannel which I really liked, although I did not have enough to make full length, which is why these are cropped.

PJ Pocket pants

It was all pretty straightforward, however I kept messing up because I had a hard time Continue reading “A tribute to lounge wear – a few variations”

The flannel shirt A/B test

Pattern: Grainline Studio Archer shirt

A/B testing is kind of my thing.  I did this a lot at my former job and it’s always exciting to me when I get real results from an idea or theory.  I’m a total nerd for data.  Back when I was just toying with the idea of making a flannel shirt I had bought two different independent shirt patterns and couldn’t decide which one to use.

Sewaholic VS Grainline

I did some initial reading up on both patterns, and made the decision to start with the Sewaholic Granville shirt because the pattern was designed for pear-shaped bodies (like mine).  I liked the result, shown in my previous post, but I couldn’t help but wonder how the shirt would look using the other pattern.  Well, the only way to know for sure is to test it out.

Hypothesis: The Sewaholic Granville shirt pattern is the better pattern for making a plaid flannel shirt

Now this obviously cannot be a real A/B test since there are a lot of factors in this test that make it imperfect and not scientific.  We all know that the first attempt at something has the most learning curve and so some techniques that were new to me when making the Granville shirt, were more familiar when making the Archer shirt.  Also the material I used for the Archer shirt was a lot cheaper, in price and quality, so the overall result would be slightly different no matter what.  There is no way to hold all conditions equal for this experiment, but I decided to still test out the following parameters:

  • Ease of pattern directions
  • Garment details
  • Overall fit and look

Ease of Pattern Directions

Both patterns have clear directions that could help anyone making their first button-down shirt.  The drawings are all well done and precise.  I did find it strange that the Grainline pattern didn’t specify which drawing referred to the interfacing cutting layout.  There is Continue reading “The flannel shirt A/B test”

The end of an era jumper

Pattern: McCalls 2075 (vintage 1969)McCalls2075

Oh!  Wouldn’t it have been great if I could have finished this right when Mad Men was ending!  Of course that was last May, almost a year ago.  As I watched the final season, I really wanted to make one of those vintage jumpers from the ’60’s.  I think I even had this pattern already.  But work ramped up and I never got around to it.  My mom gave me some royal blue corduroy last fall and I thought, “This will be perfect for this.”  But again things were busy at work and I only managed to cut it out.  As the year ended I started buying the buttons and some of the other notions I would need.  I started making the darts, but had to set it down as the holidays approached.  Obligations and lack of time again.  In January I began to chip away at it, step by step.  But I couldn’t quite finish it until mid-February, especially with all that hand sewing.

But this is called the “End of an Era” jumper for another reason.  A few weeks ago, I lost my job.  I have gone through this a few times, but it’s still never an easy thing.  Especially when it’s just due to some business deal that has nothing to do with you – some company buys another one and wants to clean house.  And suddenly I went from being busy every Continue reading “The end of an era jumper”

Waffle Knit: It’s not just for breakfast anymore

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew topRenfrew

What do you do with mis-matched fabric?

I bought this fabric a while back because I really liked the waffle-like knit texture it had.  It reminded me of one of my favorite winter shirts.  One that now has a giant hole in it – probably from over-wear.   However, when I brought the fabric up to the register, I noticed the colors were off.  There was a whole section that was missing one of the colors.  The fabric was so soft and perfect for a thermal shirt I wanted to make, that I negotiated a price reduction and bought it anyway.  It would be at least be good to make as a muslin, right?

discolored fabric

I was able to cut out the front and back out from the fully colored section, but I had to cut the arms out on the faded Continue reading “Waffle Knit: It’s not just for breakfast anymore”

Sweater weather : Experimenting with sweater knits

Pattern: Butterick  B5954, view BIMG_3170

I can’t remember if I officially made the announcement, but I did mention this on a previous post – I bought a serger!  It was my Christmas present to myself….that I actually bought in October.  It was expensive, but so very necessary.  Finding a way to work on my mom’s just wasn’t working any more as I don’t live close enough to pop over for an hour or two.  I did however decide to buy the exact same one as her, since I had gotten so used to it.  And here it is – I feel like I need a name for it, but can’t think of anything clever.  Sergey just sounds too much like Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

IMG_3168

My main fear about this machine was threading it.   Continue reading “Sweater weather : Experimenting with sweater knits”

Another day, another knit skirt

Pattern: McCall’s M6966McCalls M6966

I’ve seen so many cute long knit skirts lately worn by people at work.  So I thought, why not make my own!  I had just bought myself a serger – exciting news.  So this was the perfect project to test out my skills.

Not much to say about this one.  I had used this pattern before, but this time I decided to try view C, but with the yoke I had constructed for view D.  It’s pretty basic, with just a back panel and a front panel, and the yoke pieces to form a waistband.

IMG_3010

I did start to sew up the waist incorrectly, sewing where the elastic is supposed to fit in the wrong place.   Continue reading “Another day, another knit skirt”

Happy and plaid: the Dahlia dress

Pattern: Dahlia from Colette PatternsIMG_2585

New Skills Acquired:

  • Machine blind hem stitch

When I look at some of my projects from last year…

You Like Plaid

 

 

 

 

 

I do!  It may be a mini-obsession.  I do have some non-plaid projects in the works, but for now….

This dress has been sitting as a draft in blog forever.  I wanted to share this on The Monthly Stitch and even bumped it up in my project queue because the July theme was all about plaid. I rushed through all the hot sticky weather to try to finish this dress in time to post on the site and then…the blind hem stitch on my machine wasn’t working.  On July 28th.

Yeah I know I could have just hemmed it by hand, but I really wanted to try out a new technique.  And that was more important than trying to force a project into a theme.  It’s all about my learnings as a sewist, right?  (Back me up on this one)  So in the corner this dress went while I worked on other stuff, involving other non-blind hems.  I decided to pick this back up when my machine was properly repaired.  Welp, at least I can also get that button-hole stitch fixed too.

Clash of the Tartans

I bought this fairly light-weight tartan fabric when I was on vacation in Scotland last summer.  I had a picture in my head of the type of dress I wanted to make from it – something simple but also stylish that would really show off the plaid design.  The Dahlia dress seemed perfect – Continue reading “Happy and plaid: the Dahlia dress”

It’s the holiday season…

Yes, I know it’s not the holiday season – it’s over.  But now that Christmas is over, I can freely write about some presents that I made.  This year, I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get it together mentally.  I had a hard time getting into the holiday spirit in the first place.  I felt very busy, and not able to get anything I wanted done.  For whatever reason, this year I just felt off.  Despite all my issues, I still managed to get some homemade presents made which I am pretty proud of.

I wanted to give my boss some small gift and I knew that she liked wine. Continue reading “It’s the holiday season…”

Back pockets

Striking a new corduroy: part 2

Click here for part 1…

Pattern: McCalls M6610IMG_1028

Yikes!  This project fell of a cliff fast.  Okay I’m being a bit dramatic – it’s not a total disaster.  These just didn’t end up being the fabulous everyday pants I imagined.  I tested these pants out using an inexpensive purple corduroy I bought in preparation for this nice green corduroy that I want to use for the real deal .  After making a few jeans with this pattern, I think I’ve decided I don’t like it too much. This is unfortunate because it means I will probably have to start all over again – more test fabric, more fitting adjustments.  Well maybe the practice will do me good.

Where the whole thing falls apart is the waistband.   Continue reading “Striking a new corduroy: part 2”

Crescent Skirt

Coming back from leave…with a leaf skirt!

Pattern: Sewaholic Crescent Skirt

New Skills Acquired:

  • Bound seams

Well I don’t know what happened.  I got super busy in August and September and put my sewing on hold. Then all of a sudden it was December and I hadn’t gone near my blog, not even to read posts from my favorite bloggers.  It’s not like I haven’t been sewing – I have been working on projects here and there when I find a spare weekend.  In fact this skirt I am writing about was actually made in September and I had even started a post about it.  Well these things happen.  Sometimes you get so focused on the constant making that you don’t take a step back to write and reflect on what you have accomplished.  I felt so behind in the projects I wanted to finish this summer that I kept pushing through and I let my laptop collect dust.  But now we return to our regularly scheduled blog post, already in progress…..

What a difference the right pattern makes!  With my last skirt a fitting failure, Continue reading “Coming back from leave…with a leaf skirt!”