Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rocker Pants: PASS


When I made the StyleArc Elle pants last month, I got on a roll... a rock an roll! (Har, har. There's your dorky joke for the day. You're welcome!) Here is my second of three pairs. Unlike the unintentional sweatpants, I think the color and texture give them a rocker vibe.

It's a crime for fabric this cool to have poor recovery. Alas, it's true. These pants start bagging out by midday. On the plus side, they're probably loose enough to wear when I volunteer in prison. On the minus side, well, bagginess.



I have fit issues to solve in the back. I think the fit over my butt is fine, but I've got excess fabric underneath and the back legs are as wrinkly as an elephant's. If you have any thoughts, please share them. Pants are so mystifying.

With all the griping about this and that, you'd think these pants would be a fail. But, no! I wear these all the time. Why? 1. They look just fine with a tunic. 2. It's too dang cold not to wear pants.

With the poor fit of most RTW pants, I bet no one has even noticed the flaws in this pair. What do you think, do non-sewists notice these things? And do you ever put a piece with fit issues in your rotation?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Unintentional Sweatpants: FAIL



Until recently, I had just one pair of pants in my wardrobe: outlet store jeans that I loathed but wore out of spite and necessity. Enter the StyleArc Elle Pant pattern and a fabric shopping spree.

This is the first pair I made, imagining dress pants that were "secret pajamas." Secret's out, y'all. These look like sweatpants and are about as flattering. It's my own fault for using ponte knit instead of the recommended stretch woven. Also, that ponte (which was not cheap), is already starting to pill!

These pants are never seeing the office, though I do wear them around the house and to the grocery store. Thank goodness my subsequent Elle pants weren't such a disaster. More on those later.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Blue Corduroy Parsley Pants: PASS



When my mother-in-law showed me this lovely midnight blue corduroy someone had given her, I had only one thought:


Fortunately for me, Mom didn't have any use for it. Getting to see that gorgeous color on my kid is almost as great as wearing it myself. He chose bright green pockets for this pair of Parsley Pants. The bright color looks fab...for now. He went directly from this photo shoot to playing in a giant hole in the backyard.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pencil Roll: PASS



A young friend of ours had a birthday this week. It wasn't until I saw his mom's rainbow-birthday-cake-in-progress pictures on Instagram last night that I realized we forgot to RSVP to his party. Which started in 12 hours. Some weeks are like that.

Enter the 10-minute pencil roll tutorial. When paired with some of your husband's old-fashioned pens and nibs, it makes for a spiffy little gift package. Our son approved of the idea and helped choose the appropriate fabric.



Making a pouch out of a single piece of material felt a bit like magic. Cintia's tutorial instructions are very clearly written and illustrated. The only change I made was to attach the cord when I serged (overlocked) the side vs. serging first and attaching the cord with my sewing machine. I had to clean and rethread my serger, so this took longer than 10 minutes. But probably not more than 30.

Thanks to this quick project, we made it to the party on time, gift in hand for a really cool 11-year-old. We weren't the only ones who had forgotten to RSVP. And that rainbow cake was really something.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Crazy Pockets Parsley Pants: PASS


I wish I were as easy to fit as my kid. It took just one pattern adjustment to improve the fit of this season's second pair of Parsley Pants. Eyeballing the first pair, I figured the next ones could be taken in an inch. I slashed the pattern at the tuxedo stripe line, overlapped the pieces by a half inch, taped them back together, and redrew the waistline.

And that's it!

There is the matter of the pockets. Aren't these enormous fish ridiculous and wonderful? I didn't think I could use this fabric scrap for anything. I don't even remember where I got it. But when I pulled it out of my blue/green scrap bin, it coordinated so well with the corduroy. My kid thought they were great. (Despite the look on his face in the pic below.)

Pants in action at the end of a school field trip. Note the jaunty walk and nascent preteen glare.

Hoarding. It's how the magic happens.


Do you hang on to your dubious scraps? Or do you keep your stash pared down to only what you know for sure you'll use?


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tiny Button Down Shirt: FAIL



Last winter, just before my son's school concert and Kid's Clothes Week, I realized he had outgrown his dress shirts. What a perfect opportunity resize one of my husband's castoffs into an adorable and practical item!

Or not. As the shirt came together (Burda magazine 9/2008, 142), I realized it would be too small. Much. Too. Small. (Again!) I couldn't bring myself to finish a shirt my kid would never wear and bundled the whole mess away.


Last week I cleaned up a pile of fabric scraps, patterns, and unfinished objects. At the very bottom, I found the tiny shirt. Looking it over, I remembered enjoying the puzzle of reusing the button placket, collar, cuffs, and hem instead of making them from scratch. I ran the fabric, delightfully soft, through my hands. And I realized that I was nearly finished!


It took just an evening to complete. The shirt looks great, aside from one ugly buttonhole and a couple of lumpy seams. An utter failure for my intended purpose, but maybe some little guy can put it to use.

Egads! At least it's the bottom buttonhole.

Do you abandon projects you know you won't use or finish them up to give away? Or, like me, do let them sit for eight months while you decide? :)



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bright Blue Parsley Pants: PASS


I've been sewing bags and fabric shopping instead of making my kid pants. Nothing like a sudden temperature drop to make those gaping holes at the knees a priority. (Seriously, even the patches on all his pants had holes!)

Though there are many cute patterns to try, I'm sticking with Made by Rae's Parsley Pants. I love them. My kid loves them. And they go up to size 10.

As always, my kid chose the fabric and top stitching thread. It's a good way to make sure the pants will get worn. And he can't blame me later for dressing him funny.

My kid is slim, but his measurements were close to the size 8 so I didn't adjust the pattern. The fit is much too baggy. These pants look like scrubs with bright red topstitching. (Unnoticed by him, making this a PASS.) Next time, I'll make the pattern narrower, adjusting at the pintuck tuxedo stripe line.

I used Rae's super seams tutorial to make these pants good and strong. So even if the knees blow out, those crotch and leg seams will stay together!