Sunday, March 8, 2015

Another Navy Renfrew: PASS

Here's the Renfrew (again!) in navy (again!). But this time instead of a sweatshirt,  I made a layering tee.

The fabric is the same as the top layer of my reverse applique Plantain. I thought it was too thin to wear on its own. In fact, today's shirt was originally intended to wear underneath a sleeveless dress at a winter event. (I didn't finish it on time, so wore yet another Renfrew instead.) It has elbow length sleeves and a bottom band that's 1.5 times as wide as the one called for in the pattern. Rushing through the construction process left me with some bumps at the shoulder, but I just finger press them down and forget about them.

This shirt works great as a layering piece or on it's own. Maybe it's the poor lighting of winter, making everything seem more opaque. Or maybe I've been blissfully unaware of showing everyone my belly button and bra.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Welt Pocket Mini Skirt: PASS

Honest, this is the same gorgeous midnight blue corduroy from my son's bight green pocket pants. There was just enough left to squeeze out view B of McCall's M6608. Gotta love a front seam. So great for using stash fabrics!

There is plenty of fitting advice in the pattern and because I'm sometimes careful about fitting I was putting off making jeans, I dove right in. The instructions call for the standard Palmer/Pletsch technique of using 1" seam allowance to allow for fitting insurance. But from what I can tell, the pattern pieces still have a 5/8" seam. WTF, McCall's? I had already traced and cut my pattern pieces when I noticed this, so I didn't go back and add the extra allowance. I did, however try the pattern pieces on and make adjustments before I cut the fabric and as I sewed. I took in the waist and a LOT of extra bulk at the side seams. In this lightweight corduroy, the width at the bottom of the skirt seemed extreme.

The welt pockets also might have worked better in a stiffer fabric. The pockets pull the fabric open so that it looks like two pink slits (which I pass off as a design feature) and also distort the front of the skirt. 

They are, however, supremely useful for stashing my phone and keys. Which is why this skirt, even with its flaws, is a pass. I need more pockets in my life and until I get those jeans done, this is one of my few options!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Birthday Shirt: PASS

The Flashback Skinny Tee pattern + rainbow stripes harvested from my t-shirt stash continues to be a winning combination for my kid's birthday shirt. (In case you want to replicate, the stripes are cut three inches wide and sewn together with a 1/4 inch seam using a stretch stitch. This makes for smoother seams than using a serger.)

The only thing I would have done differently is follow my sewing instincts and go up a size. My kid says the arms are a bit tight and I can see the shirt rides up as he moves around. That hasn't stopped him from wearing it near-continuously since he hit the big oh-nine. I wonder if he'll want a birthday shirt next year or if he'll have outgrown the idea? I hope not. The pattern goes to size 14!

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.