Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fringe T-Shirt Scarf: FAIL

Last time I checked, I wasn't a member of Aerosmith (or one of their mic stands). But if opportunity knocks, I have just the scarf in my wardrobe. When ThreadBangers posted a how-to video with Megan Nicolay from Generation T, I immediately went to my t-shirt bin and snipped up this scarf.

It's been four years now and I've worn it twice. This scarf is just too much, figuratively and literally. After a few minutes of wearing, the copious fringe separates out over my boobs like a waterfall over boulders. Yeah, that feels hot.

Have you successfully worn this look? And if so, would you like a new scarf? I'm afraid I'm wearing this one no more, no more.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crazypants Workout Leggings: PASS

Sometimes overbuying works out. I certainly didn't need more than a yard of this crazy purple print from Stretch Text Fabrics in Montreal to make short workout pants. Perhaps my subconscious knew I'd have an unprecedented desire to for full length leggings when I returned home.

Or perhaps I have a problem buying small quantities in large warehouses. You can see the temptation I was facing:
I only just now realized that cardboard sign says "employees only."  Whoops.
This latest pair of leggings is from my self drafted pattern (à la Cal Patch) with a wide waistband (à la Oona). This time I extended the length by 5 inches so I could gather the sides, following the instructions in Dana's ruched leggings tutorial. The result is delightfully comfortable to wear. I like workout pants that end right below my knee, but a simple hem in that area can pinch. The ruching adds a bit of give and is so easy! Two lines of stitching on each side of the leg opening with elastic thread in the bobbin and you're done.

I'm hoping to use the rest of my Montreal fabric before it feels like stash. Most is accounted for, but I'm not sure what to do with this gray stretch lace. Got any ideas?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Purple Parsley Pants: PASS

My son was so excited when I asked him if he'd like pants from the leftover minidress material. He was thrilled to have purple pants, specifically purple Parsley pants with bright yellow curvy pockets. "Can you make those?" he asked, eyes shining.

Do you ever sew something that you know will be ugly?

I knew this would be a barfy color combination. I knew because I helped design a website in the early 2000s with the same awful palette. But unlike most of the computers of that era, my kid is extremely cute. Cuteness can go a long way to make something horrid look good.

The November Southeast Michigan Crafty Meetup was this week, perfect for a straightforward project that doesn't require me to sew in my underwear. I packed up my supplies and headed to Pink Castle Fabrics. (I like to pretend the retention pond that separates it from Costco is a moat). There I enjoyed the hilarious company of seriously skilled sewers and cutting on a table instead of the floor.

Constructing Parsley pants is so easy that taking time for nice finishing feels luxurious instead of overwhelming. I used a double topstitched hem for the crotch seam and a flat fell seam on the inseam. I had never tried a flat fell seam, which is smooth inside and topstitched on the outside. My kid isn't overly sensitive to clothing texture, but I think the smooth inseam will feel nice.

While I sewed, my son started his tunnel to Nunavut in the backyard (currently a two-foot hole). He was busy, so I didn't show him the pants until it was time to hem. And that's when he realized that purple and yellow can look kinda barfy.

Design errors can be hard to get over. But kids are resilient, and my son says that event though the color combination is "not his favorite" the pants are a PASS.  I think with a more colorful shirt they might even look cute. Especially if he strikes a ridiculously adorable pose like this one.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Purple Pocket Minidress: PASS

This dress should not have taken a month to complete. (Or six years, if you start counting from when I purchased Simplicity 3835, now out of print.) Admittedly, I was a bit distracted in October with my book group's selection and a new time sucker app. When I did dedicate time to sewing, pattern modifications and silly mistakes really slowed me down.

I've sewn a lot of Built by Wendy, enough to know better, really. Her patterns are adorable and simple–and completely wrong for my body type. There was no way this dress was going to fit without modifications. I took down Fit for Real People for guidance on how to make a FBA in the dartless front. After hours of tracing, taping, and trying on pattern pieces, I had a new pattern piece that included generous side darts.

While I was at it, I decided to replace the plain rectangular pockets with Rae's cute pleated pockets and axe the sleeve ties in favor of a simple hem.

Tissue fitting revealed no other issues, but I knew that might not hold true in the dress itself. I was too impatient to baste the entire dress together before sewing up the final seams. (Maybe if it were a standard bodice, but raglan sleeves and a neck band? Are you kidding?)

Sure enough, the back is a bit wonky with too much width at the top and possibly not enough at the bottom. Maybe because I used an invisible zipper instead of the lapped zipper that was called for? That might be the problem, come to think of it.

The most hilarious fitting issue is in the sleeves: the entire dress becomes shockingly short when I raise my arms. Instead of a slip, I'm going to need some silky hot pants to wear underneath.

Even if it's not a perfect fit, this dress fun to wear and perfectly acceptable. Not my best work, but not the worst. And that's enough to pass!