Sunday, 22 December 2013

Green Pants Plan B

Well as you may know I was planning on using M6361 and this green cotton spandex to make  view A.

This pattern calls itself  " the 2 hour pants". Well after 2 hours of grappling with my traced pattern pieces, I still hadn't managed to make much headway. Maybe I'm awkward, maybe fitting pants pieces on yourself is an awkward thing to do. Who knows. All I know is that 2 hours later I still had no idea what adjustments I needed to make nor how to make them or frankly, even where to begin really.

The green pants were looking unlikely to happen.

And then this arrived

It is the Plus Size Pattern Pyramid which I was very fortunate to win from the lovely Chris Lucas.

And this was inside

So the green pants (Plan B) are a go.

Wish me luck!

Has anyone else tried M6361? Was it just me? Should I give it another go?

Monday, 16 December 2013

A quick, satisfying make NOT!!!

It was supposed to be a quick satisfying make while I worked up the nerve to start on my green pants. You know, a simple pattern - should be able to knock it together in a couple of hours. Well that isn't quite what happened.

It started with this

How hard can it be - it only has two pattern pieces.
I chose size XL based on these measurements and finished garment size;

Bust 112 (mine is 114) Garment 123
Waist 94 (mine is 103) Garment 123
Hip 117 (mine is 113)   Garment 128

Problem number one was that I am still getting familiar with exactly how a certain amount of ease translates into a finished garment. Just what does 5cm or 10cm extra look like?

Well let me tell you I now know that this is enormous. I basically took it into a size L and there is still plenty of room. Especially given that my bust is 12cm larger, my waist is 13cm larger and my hips are 6cm larger than the pattern size.

And the fabric has no stretch whatsoever - because it is cheap (and I don't mean inexpensive) rich, red satin. Fortunately it was inexpensive as well at only $1/mtr - even I was surprised by that. And it is a gorgeous colour - just the thing for a party top. Although more dark red that it looks here - no amount of colour manipulation helped.

Great, isn't it? And well it should be since it took 3 days to make. And why was that? Well after the sizing debacle we then had the great bias binding disaster. I tried to make my own for the first time ever. However, this fabric did not press. At. All. But it did fray fabulously. So I ended up with manically fraying, getting smaller by the second, completely flat with no creases at all, bias binding. Ok, so we aren't using it after all.

I thought about facings. But I have a gorgeous powder blue silk satin blouse that I had made at a tailor that has the front facing hand stitched down. They did a great job and only caught one thread with each stitch (I know, I checked) and every time I put it on those hand stitches are the ONLY thing I can see. So no facings aren't going to work either.

So I'll make bands (for want of a better word) and handstitch them. The sleeves went together beautifully, no problem.

Now I knew the neck would stand up a bit like a collar but I did it anyway and then threaded elastic through it and I really like how it turned out.

And that just left the hem, which I ended up handstitching two and a half times!! Originally I made a 10cm band with the intention that it would look like a design feature rather then a "thing stuck on the bottom" as MrH described it. (Obviously design feature fail). So then I reduced it to the finished size you see here.

 So why all the restitching? The first time I got half way round and realised that I hadn't eased it or had twisted it or something. Anyway it was off. So I redid it. That was at the original large size. So then I had to redo it again when I made it smaller.

The funny thing was that I actually kind of enjoyed the hand sewing, which was a bit of a revelation and should be useful to know in future.

So here is my finished party top after all my labours....

Oh, but it looks lovely - why did she say it was cheap satin? Because of this

This fault just appeared, all on its own, ages after I had finished everything except the hem. That is, I wasn't sewing anywhere near the shoulder. Lucky it is at the back and I have long hair.

Ever had a quick make turn into a nightmare? Spent hours only to discover a flaw in the fabric? Tell me I'm not the only one, please?

Sunday, 15 December 2013

RTW Fast

Have you seen Sarah's gorgeous blog Goodbye Valentino? If this doesn't inspire you, nothing will.

So I am joining Sarah's RTW fast which basically means no clothes shopping, although you are allowed to buy shoes, socks and underwear thank heavens.

I don't buy many shoes. I spend half my life barefoot anyway as it is customary in Thailand to take your shoes off inside homes and since the lifestyle is casual, and the climate is warm, the rest of the time is just sandals. This does mean that I do often get pedicures however, so I spend way more on them than on shoes.

I do however buy underwear (you'll be pleased to hear:) But buying size 80F (36F) is also not easy here (or anywhere I suspect) so I would one day like to sew my own but that day is still a long way off.

Since I sincerely can't remember the last item of clothing I bought anyway - no seriously, I have been sitting here racking my brain and really can't remember - I'm hoping it should be quite achievable.

Wish me luck and if you want to join check out Sarah's blog.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sew Green December

As you no doubt already know the sewcialists host themed monthly challenges. They did Sew Red October and then Grunge November and now.....

So I am planning to make something with these green lovelies

The dark green cotton/spandex on the left will become close fitting pants. (yeah first pants I've sewn in 30 years). The middle fabric is gorgeous border print linen and will become a Christmas Day dress (not sure which pattern yet) while the eyelet fabric is destined to become a cool comfy top for our annual end of year raft trip on Kiew Lom dam.

Gee, raft trip sounds so outdoorsy and active. In reality it is a very large raft with 30-40 people, lots of good food, beer and wine. Don't worry I'll post pictures and all will be clear (after Dec 28 which is day of raft trip).

So are you a sewcialist? Any plans for Sew Green December?

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

How lucky am I???

Recently I posted a quick reminder about the 3 Plus Size Pattern Pyramids doing the rounds. Well guess what? I won. All. of. them.
Plus sized Pattern Pyramid

Yes, I won all 3. (Even though Mr H assures me that that is statistically speaking impossible.) I joked about buying a lottery ticket but how much luck can one person expect?

In the interests of spreading the joy (and really that many patterns would be truly overwhelming) I have accepted the one from Chris and asked Alison and Bea to do a redraw.

Thank you very much ladies!

Make a Garment a Month December plans

Since it is technically 'winter' here... oh come on it was like 20 degrees (celcius) last night... that's cold, isn't it?

Alright, since it is 'cool' season here, it is time to tackle pants! This is what I'm planning

(Sorry for the crappy picture but batteries are almost done.....)

I bought this fabulous cotton/spandex at my favourite Chiang Mai fabric store (Narin Fabric Supermarket, in case you're interested) for about $4/metre and it's 150cm wide.

And my wonderful sister popped along to the recent Spotlight sale and picked me up 5 patterns for $10. This is one of them and I didn't even realise at the time that it was a Palmer/Pletsch fitting pattern, which I now hope will help with the fit. I am going to make view A, long close fitting pants.

I hope to move the fly zip to a side zip. I've always found side zips pants to be a good fit and they don't add any extra bulk or detail to the front (which I definitely don't need).

So that's one plan for December. There are several more, including a Christmas day dress, which I'll post more about soon.

And since the pants are green they also count towards the Sewcialists  Sew Green December. (You can also follow them on twitter) two birds, one stone - love it!

So what are you sewing in December?