Monday, 25 August 2014

Style Arc Barb Pants Round 1

This is quite a long post with some very dodgy photos and way too many of my bum - you have been warned!

Well, these have been a very long time in the blogging. Once again (as always) photographs were the stumbling block. Someone recently (sorry but can't remember who) mentioned that they often like garments better after having seen the pics and blogged them. I'm afraid that I am completely the opposite. The pants to follow are a very good example. I made them, wore them, was quite happy with them and then I saw the photos and went "Oh, they don't look like they fit nearly as well as they feel like they fit". I think that this is exacerbated by the fact that I have never seen close up views of me in RTW pants. And these makes certainly fit better than any RTW that I've had recently.

But on to the Barbs. I got this pattern free and you can too by signing up for their newsletter here.

According to their size charts I am between 16 and 18 in the hips but a 20 in the waist. Fortunately for this promo you receive the size requested plus one size either side. I ordered the size 18 and received 16, 18 and 20.

So I made a first hopefully wearable muslin using a size 16 for the back and size 18 for the front. FYI I have comparatively small hips and a very flat bum. I used some very bright red cotton spandex. Which is fabulous fabric by the way, although very bright as you can see.

So this is the back of the size 16 with no alterations. As you can see, there is clearly too much fabric at the top of the thighs. The front in an 18 was also too big. I have taken these apart to recut in a smaller size.

I then made another pair using size 16 both back and front using fairly light stretch denim. I made a flat bottom adjustment using Style Arc's tutorial. I also took 1 cm out of the front crotch depth based one the many tutorials I found. I really can't remember which one I finally used.

Sorry, it's hard to see details with dark colours but obviously they still need to have more fabric removed under my bum. And there's still too much fabric in the crotch as well. However, these are in high wardrobe rotation and are very comfortable. And are usually only seen with a shirt out over them like this.

So then I made version 3 out of the same denim but decided to go for a capri length. I did another flat bottom adjustment (so I took out about 3 cm altogether) and took another 1 cm from the front crotch. I also basically removed the hip curve entirely and took a couple of centimetres off the outside leg seam.

And there is still excess fabric. However, again these are in high rotation and very comfortable. Note that I was not/am not looking for a really close fit as it is much cooler in really hot, humid weather to have a slightly looser fit.

This is also cheap stretch denim and doesn't have great recovery, hence the bagging at the knees. And boy that top is too big and doesn't have enough drape. But that's a story for another day.

I have since also made a pair of jeans using the size 16 Barb with yet more adjustments. So hopefully you'll see those soon. I also now have the pattern in a size 14, which is probably what I should have started with! In fact this experience (and a few other things) distracted me while I did some research into pattern sizing, finished garment sizes and the information provided regarding choosing sizes. What I discovered quite surprised me. I hope to post that in the next day or two and I will be really interested in everyone else's views on that.

Well done for getting to the end of that. Your turn now. Have you tried Barbs? How did you get on?

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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Not a complete loss

Some of you may remember that I was going to make this

I thought the Tessuti Pia was going to be a relatively straightforward sew. Silly me.

You see in my initial enthusiasm I somehow completely misread the sizing information. The XL has the following measurements; Bust 101 cm, Waist 89 cm, Hip 117 cm.

Ok the waist is too small but I didn't think that would be a problem due to the shape - and it wasn't. And the hip is pretty spot on. But my bust measurement is actually 116 cm. Not a great increase on the 110 cm that I read the pattern as. But a significant increase from the actual 101 cm.

So needless to say my first wearable muslin didn't quite fit - although I think it is salvageable. And I do want to salvage it as I really like the fabric. Actually I was (and am) embarrassed to discover that it is actually a cheap knockoff of this

On Walkabout by Karen Taylor

Which led me to have a closer look at some of the truly amazing Australian Aboriginal print fabric available.

I am actually not that fond of prints - largely because I usually find it so difficult to find ones that I like. I don't like florals or novelty prints. I do like strong, geometric prints. Boy do these aboriginal designs fit the bill. Check these out

So I am now going to order myself some of these fantastic fabrics. You can find them at

Fabrics Downunder


Aboriginal Fabrics

And for those of us outside of Australia

Fabrics and art which by the way has flat rate international shipping of only $23.95 for up to 9 yards (and really good prices on this fabric).

So the Pia dress has been temporarily shelved while I contemplate the fitting issues. But it has opened my eyes to the wonder of Aboriginal print fabrics so it hasn't been a total loss.

Have you ever used Aboriginal print fabrics? Or are you now tempted? If you have, please leave links in the comments as I'd love to have a look.

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