Friday, September 30, 2016

Tania Culottes

Hi!  Isn't eastern WA stunning?  I went to the Gorge for a concert over Labor Day, and I took some pictures of another two-piece set I made.  These are Megan Nielsen's Tania Culottes with my now TNT hack of my sloper.   You can see other iterations of the crop top here and as a dress here and here.  I've made another one, also, which I haven't blogged yet. 
  The fabric is rayon challis in a ditsy floral print on a turquoise background.  I love that it looks green from a distance.  The fabric feels luscious, so light and airy, and it was easy to sew after I saturated it with spray starch.  I was thrilled to see the drape after I washed out the starch.    I used chambray for the bias trim to finish the top and for the waistband on the culottes.  Yes, both pieces coordinate perfectly with my other sets of separates, 1, 2, 3.  Chambray overload?  I have more...

Do you like the back detail with the criss-cross straps?  I really like it.  The culottes would get more wear, honestly, if they were just a touch longer.  I cut the short version out at the hem length for the longest size, but I did lose a bit of length trying the true up the hem.  I'd like about two more inches at least.   They are still great for summer fun around the water, but I don't wear them to sit down on the bus, for instance.  The circle cut is such a pretty shape -- I'd like to try them again in the knee length.
If you zoom in you can see I still have a shiny moon sparkle on my forehead.

Can you see my trusty Saltwater sandals under the water?  
Here are some flat shots of the pieces:  
See?  Shorts!
And here's a random shot from the campground where I'm wearing the same top in the chambray version with my Endeavor shorts.  Nice suits!  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Winslow Hunter

I made more matching separates in chambray.  The top is Jennifer Lauren Vintage's Hunter Tank.  I compared it to my sloper to figure out my size, and then I made an FBA to accommodate my large lady lumps.  I also shortened it quite a lot to hit at my waist, and I brought the waist in by several inches as well.  On both pieces I used the wrong side of the chambray for trim, like the set in my last post. 

The culottes are the Winslow pattern.  When Helen announced this pattern I just kept opening her blog again and again to look at it.  So I signed up to be a tester.  Yeah, I tested this pattern!  It was really fun because I really waned to make it.  I wouldn't have minded paying for it, but I didn't want to wait!  It was hard to decide which version to make, but I decided to test the shorts version first simply because they would take less fabric. With pants, I'm finding that I need to wear them around a bit before I can assess the fit.

 Accessories:  my big, silly sun hat!  The whole purpose of my summer wardrobe is to coordinate with giant sun hats.  I also wore my favorite wood and metal bangle and some woven earrings from Mexico.  And of course I had Saltwaters on my feet -- such versatile and practical shoes, especially for sailing.
Here's my cutting layout.  I knew I wanted to use the selvage as my hem, so I cut it in a single layer and overlapped the pieces at the crotch by the amount of the seam allowances to save a little fabric. I extended my pocket piece into the waist.  I also took some height off the top of the center front and added quite a bit to the crotch extension on the back.  You can also see that I made them shorter.  
 Here's another one of my Maria of Denmark Kimono Sleeve Ts, modified as always.  I bought the jersey with my dear friend Leah out on Bainbridge Island.  It makes a nice outfit with my culottes, too. 
Here's another little top I brought along on my weekend.  It's a wearable muslin for an idea I had.  Everyone seems to be sewing up those cute, sweet off the shoulder ruffle tops.  I can't wear off the shoulder things because I need a bra with straps, but I love the look of the ruffle.  I just made my ruffle so it sits on my shoulders.

Here are the earrings I'm wearing with it, also from Mexico. 
These pictures were taken on 4th of July weekend up at Roche Harbor.  It was my first time going there. What a sweet place!  There's a big marina, and old hotel, restaurant, bar with live music, a little store, and some rental cabins.I went up on my friends' sailboat.

On the dock you can by fresh caught seafood.  I had no idea that the local, fresh prawns were so sweet!  They tasted as good s crab... until a neighboring boat gave us a crab they'd just brought in. Yum!!!!
There's also a lovely sculpture park.  It's about 20 acres, as I recall, with about 200 sculptures.

One of my favorite installations in the sculpture park was a poetry path.  Here are a few of the poems.

And here's a couple shots of our return to Seattle by sea plane.  It was a delightful weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chambray Felicity Skirt

I mentioned that I bought a whole bolt of chambray?  I don't want to ruin the suspense... but I've made a lot of things out of chambray lately, more to come.  These pieces are two of the most versatile and easy to wear. 

The top is the same pattern as my shift dress but cropped to the waist and with back waist darts.  I used the same treatment for the scooped back with the rouleau strip to hold it on my shoulders.  I used the wrong side of the fabric for contrast trim.  I love this top with... ok, lots of things!  But I wear it very often with my high-waisted skinny black jeans and a white or red belt. 

The skirt is another Felicity skirt.   I also added some contrast with the wrong side of the fabric in the waist band.  This skirt!  I just wear it all the time with all kinds of tops.  It's an easy piece to mix. 

I guess that's about all I have to say.  Pardon the wrinkles -- I'd been biking all day.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 13, 2016

First Endeavor

I have been working on refining the fit I need for shorts/pants.  Shorts seem like a better place to start since they use less fabric, right?   I'd love to have more shorts for summer.  However, I need the fit to be just right so that they are comfortable for a lot of walking and bike riding. 

 I bought the Endeavor pattern from Cake last summer.  I like the style and the idea that the pants are drafted to accommodate different hip/waist ratios.

I made the size 40 with the size 28 waist. The fit of my first muslin was closer than most other shorts I've tried, other than the red Chataigne shorts that worked out well (the top is from that post, too).  I did have to smooth out the high hip curve significantly, add 1.5" to the back inseam at the crotch, and added 5." flare to the center front piece at the seam at the center of the leg.  I also hemmed them right up to the bottom of the pocket.

This is a wearable muslin of those changes with some navy blue cotton from my stash.  It's not super heavy but heavier than quilting cotton.  It really worked well for these shorts.

 They are mostly perfect.  However, you can see below that with some movement, they eventually have the same problem that I've encountered with my other attempts at shorts -- they shift to the back and give me awkward creases at the front.

I have a new idea about the cause.  Maybe the front rise is too long?  On my next pair I want to shorten the front rise by 1" at the waist and extend the back crotch another 2".  Also, I still need to smooth out the hip curve even more on my pattern piece. 

 Flat shots:
 I used some scraps of a pretty print for the pocket and waistband.  I top-stitched the pocket openings, front seams, and back yoke.  Yes, I should have ironed these for the pictures... but they were straight from the laundry, and I just put them right on to go run around in the sunshine.
I'm very happy with this first pair of Endeavors, and with a few adjustments I expect this to be a TNT.  I'd like to try the sailor view soon.  Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Chambray Ruffle Set

 Happy summer!  Wow, so, global warming, huh?  I was swimming in Lake Union for hours on May 2nd.  Anybody else worried?  Anyway... Lovely weather for outdoor concerts at the winery.  Here I am in a little self-made set waiting for the doors to open to see Bob Dylan at Chateau Ste. Michelle.  It's a great venue.  You can bring in blankets, low chairs, and any food you want.  We packed a lovely picnic.  They sell the wine at normal price, plus the wine club discount... too easy!
This is the Coachella Shorts in the smallest size, high waist, short inseam, with an extra-wide waistband.  I trimmed them with a ruffle made of 2" bias strips folded in half and gathered.  The crop top is modified from my block without the front waist darts, and... some "make it work" moments.  I used chambray from Joann's.  I bought a lot of chambray to use for wearable muslins and experiments.  
I swear that back keyhole sits flat. 
No, it sits flat, really. 
 Ok, it might sometimes sit flat if tied correctly when I'm not throwing my shoulders around self-consciously in pictures.

 Flat shots: 

 Above, you can see where I had to piece the back of the shorts because of a cutting error.  I wanted to shorten the front rise, and cut it from the center back by mistake.  Oops, new design lines! 

Similarly, the top, below, is a saga of botched ideas that finally worked out pretty well.  It was initially envisioned as more plain, cut from the top of my shift pattern, but with the back darts and ruffles at the shoulders.  The ruffles looked ridiculous hanging off those wide-cut shoulders, so I removed them and intended to just cut the shoulders in a bit...  But I cut out the neck hole more instead!  Bah!!  So I gathered the front to bring it in, and pinched out darts as a "design line" at the high bust to deal with the creases that caused.  At the back I made a centered dart to pull it in, plus keyhole... finished it all with self bias tape, and I love it!  Ah, lucky save.