Butterick3579One bad go at pants wasn’t enough. I had to try again. This time I used this simple slacks looking pattern and again, I traced the pattern out on kraft paper and graded up a few sizes. I ran into a few issues in tracing, which may have led to some of my problems with fit. Basically, the pattern was printed lighter than normal so I had to sandwich the pattern between two layers of kraft paper to make the lines visible to trace out. That meant trying to keep all the layers still, which was beyond difficult. In hindsight, I should have pinned them together first. Doh!

Anyway, I finally got my pieces traced and a few measurements told me things were going to be a bit big. My waistline was measuring out at 52″, not subtracting for seam allowances so I know I’d have to take things in. I sewed them as is though and then tried them on and yup, way too big.

I ended up ripping out the waistband, and taking in about 2.5″ from each outside seam, plus adding one small dart that took up about an inch into each side in the back. That was better, and I stitched the waistband back into place like this.

B3579Front

 

Are they great, amazing, fantastic pants? No. But I didn’t expect a miracle because they literally have three pieces and no shaping in the original instructions. They are however, better than the red pants are ever going to be, and they are comfortable to wear.

B3579Back

 

Oh! And that’s another Kwik Sew 3740 view B you see on my top half. I managed to squeeze it out of the scraps I had left over from the Dolman sleeve top I showed you last time with the red pants.

I’ve sewn KS1425 before, twice, actually, but its such a comfy, casual style and I wanted to sew it again. I traced the patter sizes I’d previously cut out to a larger size (boo! weight gain!) and I started cutting. I was proud of myself because I graded things perfectly and all my pieces lined up just right. Of course this top has 4 pieces, plus the little strips across the back, so there’s not a lot to it. I didn’t take process photos but there’s not a lot to see in this one anyway.

Afterwards, I took some photos wearing it, along with the red pants from my previous post. The pants are kind of growing on me, and as I said, they are super comfortable. I’m thinking  after looking at these photos, maybe they aren’t so bad.

Here we go! Picture time!

3

 

I’m still not 100% crazy about the fit in the front but I’ve gone over several fitting cheat sheets and there’s nothing super glaringly wrong with them. They’ve just kind of loose which I’m not sure to, though as I said, I like the rear fit okay.

4

 

So, new top, and the final view of the red pants. I’ll hopefully be posting new projects soon. I have some crazy stuff in mind!

S1620Simplicity 1620 is a cute set of separates, which includes tops, dress, and pants. I decided to do the pants but oh my god was I shocked, disappointed, and completely confused as to how these pants that I made were the same pants as seen on the envelope.

I did use a heavier fabric than it called for, however, these pants are awful. For one, they are huge. I’ve gained weight so I remeasured myself to make sure I was making the right size. The pattern is for an elastic waist, pull-on pant, and I initially followed the directions to a T and I think I could have fit two of me into them.

I wish I had taken a photo of these pants when I first made them so you could see how bad they were, but I was honestly so shocked at their awfulness I set to work right away ripping them apart and remaking them.

S1620CutWhen I started, I started out right. I traced my original pattern pieces onto kraft paper so not to cut the original pattern up. I elected to add pockets, which are easy enough to draft yourself. The trick is just making sure the opening edge is large enough to admit your hand easily after sewing it in.

I cut my fabric, which was a not-very-heavy red corduroy that I originally bought to make a jumper with. I figured I’d either have really cool pants (That make unfortunate noise when I walk) or I would have wasted the approximately $10 I spent on this fabric off of eBay.

I followed the directions to a T, as I said above, and ended up with awful, super bulky pants that made me look like I weighed about 400 pounds.

I ripped out the waist casing and tossed the elastic aside. I grabbed my tape measure and started marking darts- 4 front and 4 back. That took up about 12 inches of fabric from the waistline and when I tried them on I could just wiggle them over my hips. I took the extra fabric and cut a waistband and stitched that in place, and I added a front zipper with a button and loop closure on the waistband.

I tried them on. The fit at the waist and upper hip was good, but they were so big everywhere else. I decided to take them in from about 3 inches down from the waistband to 3/4 of the way down the leg about 2″. Basically I cut a straight line from one point to the other. Stitched them. Tried them on again.

They were better but still not great. The back fit pretty well but the front was really poofy and just awful. I now looked like I weighed about 300 pounds. An improvement from 400, but still not okay. 😉

Finally I stitches a line of basting down the hips, closing off the pockets. My beloved pockets. I tried them on. I saw most of the poof was gone out of the front and they laid much flatter. I looked closer to my actual weight. Time to grab the scissors and cut off the pockets and sew things up for real!

Here’s the final outcome after all of those adjustments and changes.

I feel like I finally have a wearable pair of pants, though not the best fitting ones.

Would I use this pattern again? Probably not, even knowing what mods to make to make them “okay”, because in all honesty, they are barely what I can call okay. I will however, look forward to sewing other pants that are hopefully much better fitting and not needing so many modifications just to make them semi-wearable.

Oh, and did I mention I bought a serger? Its just a basic model but I for to use it for most of these pants! That was after my first one broke after less then 30 seconds of use and i had to return it to Amazon for a replacement. This one seems to be doing much better though!

 

 

 

scarves

The time since I last posted has been filled with a variety of things. I’ve finished the last of my knitting UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) with the exception of my blanket, which I’m still slogging along on. I have an informal goal to do at least 4 inches every time I work on it, but some days I don’t feel like working on such a large project. I’ve knit a few more ruffle scarves, which will be available in Raeosunshine Pets‘ auction the second week of February. I’ve listed a few random items I somehow missed in my shop, and I’ve sold an item (not made by me, sadly) that I had hanging around for ages at a much better price than I expected on eBay. I had a birthday yesterday (I’m 34 now) and I took myself shopping for new fabric, new yarn, some new knitting needles, and some meat at Mattie’s request that was “not chicken.” We eat a lot of chicken.

The fabric, once pre-washed, will be made into another pair of pajama pants for me, and I have a fun idea for a new scarf using the Edgar pattern I used with that bulky green and yellow yarn last month I think it was. I’ve got rainbows on the brain, and if you know anything about me, you probably know I love bright colors. I think after I get another few inches done on my blanket I will start on that project.

I’ve also started going through my grandmother’s cedar chest a little at a time and seeing what’s actually in there. I’ve pulled out about ten dresses and one blouse in various states of completedness, and I am betting there are others because I still see more fabrics pinned together into rolls and stuffed into bags in there. Everything I have taken out so far needs to be hemmed, only has some of its facings, a few things are damaged.

Some of the more interesting pieces in the chest. A blouse, a colorblocked dress, plaid dress with schoolgirl pleated skirt, and completed dress with rip in one sleeve.
Some of the more interesting pieces in the chest. A blouse, a colorblocked dress, plaid dress with schoolgirl pleated skirt, and completed dress with rip in one sleeve.

I’m hoping I can finish some of the dresses though it’ll likely be with bias tape or some other type of matching fabrics for facings, but need to look at them more in depth first.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Hopefully my next post will be showing you some completed items!

I’ve posted a few projects in the last few months that have had either lousy pics, or mentioned things without any pictures at all. This afternoon my new camera arrived, and I was able to get a few quick photos of some of the stuff you really did not get to see before, so here’s a quick photo dump.

I’ll start with Simplicity 1612, View E, which was my prom party dress. I had posted photos from the party that the photographer took, but none of them really showcased my dress well. This dress turned out great except for some slightly wonkiness at the neckline, but that may have been caused by user error.

S1612ViewEFront

 

The back of this dress is fairly open, and ties at the neck. I had originally wanted to do the view with the twist back detail, but ended up falling in love with this one after seeing it sewn on another sewer’s blog.

S1612ViewEBack

 

One last shot. Look who needs to redo her nails! Whoops!

S1612ViewEFrontClose

 

Here’s McCall’s 6173, View A. I’ve sewn these pants before but wanted one more pair of them because they are so freaking comfortable. I’m totally channeling my inner Peg Bundy here, BTW. The shirt I’m wearing is Simplicity 7330, which was Mattie’s shirt for the prom party. One of these days I’m going to make my own because this shirt is really nice to wear.

M6173ViewAFront

 

Here’s the back view.

M6173ViewABack

 

I still have the complaint that these pants will never really be the leggings they are supposed to be, despite taking them in many inches from the mid-thigh down. They just don’t fit that closely at all.

Here’s Butterick 5169, View B. This is a nice fitted top and its very easy to wear. I can see this pairing well with quite a few things, and my only complaint is its a little too short for my tastes, so if I make it again, I’ll be adding 2″ to the length of it.

 

B5169ViewBFront-546x1024

And here’s the back view.

B5169ViewBBack

 

I think this top does a nice job of emphasizing my waist with the way it fits, although I did find it a bit odd that it only has vertical darts, no horizontal ones.

I also tried working with my polymer clay on my own the other day, only to find my toaster oven I had does not regulate its temperature at all, and my clay was burned completely black in less then three minutes, and the entire house was filled up with horrible smelling smoke. It took me over 30 minutes with the doors all open and a fan going to clear the air inside before me and the dogs could go back in again.

I’m hoping to pick up a toaster oven in the near future that actually works properly and having another go at it. Tracy keeps sending me all these fun looking ideas and I want to try some of them.

 

wpid-IMAG0753As promised, I worked up a second pair of these plants today, in some in plain black flannel for Mattie. His pair went together really smoothly except for the past where I manage to stick a pocket on backwards and ended up with two right legs and had to rip out some seams. I didn’t notice until I was about to sew the crotch seam and things weren’t lining up quite right.

Even with that problem, I still managed to knock them out in about 90 minutes from first cut to last stitch.

He claimed they were going to swallow him, I can only assume his reaction to the very wide legs on these pants. Simplicity 4101 is actually a pattern for scrubs so they are very roomy and easy to wear.

I made this pattern once years ago in a really fun, really splashy fabric that was not at all suited towards something that needed to take abuse. I wore them maybe twice, sat down, and the whole butt ripped out. That was when I learned that there are fabrics referred to as bottom weights and what that actually means.

My friend Alix was recently given a sewing machine and I am trying to get her to come over so I can teach her how to sew. Hopefully we can do that soon and I can give hr a small project to work on while she learns.

Today I’m planning on doing some furniture rearranging in my craft room, but not sure how much. I also want to try to reclaim at lest part of the closet nook, but with all of Richard’s car parts in there, that’s looking pretty iffy as I won’t be able to access the space even if I do empty it out.

I set out today to clean my craft room. To says it a mess is an understatement. My craft room is divided into two sides- one side for beading and jewelry making and the other side for sewing. I have two 6 foot folding tables, one on each side of the room. When its clean, its easy to find anything, and there’s plenty of room to work. But when its messy? Forget it. Finding things is a nightmare, and getting stuff done is almost impossible.

 

room-before

This was my craft room after I put most of my fabrics away, and stowed the ones that are for sale into a container pushed under the beading table. You can see it there on the right. Under the table is a huge mess of larger fabric scraps, interfacing pieces, and who knows what else.

 

room-after

This was after I tackled the pile of scraps, throwing quite a few away and stowing the rest. I had to empty my little trashcan twice. I put away pattern pieces from the project I finished yesterday (whoops!) and picked up as many tiny bits of fuzz off of the carpet. I found tons of safety pins laying everywhere. I found my bolt of interfacing, which was buried under all those scraps.

snips

 

That plastic trash bag you see under the table has a hoop skirt in it. Where does one generally store their hoop skirts? I honestly don’t know.

I also found these. My long missing thread snips. I’ve bee looking for them for ages and all along they were buried on my sewing table.

Of course there’s still that big stack of fabric sitting on the end of my beading table I need to do something with. Two of the cuts of fabric are supposed to be pajama pants, so I figured I’d jump in and make one pair today and will probably make the other pair tomorrow.

threadI used Simplicity 4101, View D (pants), cut in a medium. Its a unisex pattern, technically for scrubs, and the sizing is huge. Except for my hip measurement, I really could have cut a small and been okay. Anyway, it went together super easily, though I left off the patch pockets that are on the legs halfway down. The slash pockets at the hips are more than enough for pajamas.

I had a little scare as I was sewing when I looked up and saw this much thread left on my spool, and my bobbin had just run out. I only have about 6 more inches to stitch, so I hand-wound the bobbin a few times around, and hoped I’d make it. I literally finished as the end of the thread from the spool was feeding through the machine, and there’s a tiny bit of thread left on the bobbin. Close call!

Sorry my photos of the pants aren’t very good ones. I see to have been suffering some sort of difficulty with my tank top- no matter how I adjusted it for the pictures, something was showing that wasn’t supposed to.

Here’s the front.

s4101-d-front

 

Here’s the back.

s4101-d-back

 

And here’s the side.

s4101-d-side

 

These are insanely comfortable, and the flannel I used is soft and warm, and the print is really fun. Lately I’ve been all about the owls and the foxes. I would love to make a few more pairs of these, but I really don’t need any more clothes actually designed to lounge around the house in. I do enough of that already.

Tomorrow I’ll make another pair in plain black for Mattie, and that will be two cuts of fabric gone out o that stack.

A while back I posted View B of this pattern McCall 6173 (here), finding that while the pattern was easy enough to put together once I had the right fabric, they were more skinny pants than leggings. I had cut the pieces for View A shortly after, but only just got around to stitching them up today. While View B has an elastic waist, View A has a zipper and waistband. It also has several darts, front and back. The real question of course, is does it make leggings as shown on the envelope? Nope. Not even close.

pantsThe fit around the waist, butt, and hips is comfortable and decent… for pants. I took an inch and a half from mid-thigh all the way down, and I still have skinny pants. I’d have to take a lot more of for leggings to appear out of this pattern, even though the zip-entry version is a better fit.

I honestly can’t imagine how much modifying I’d have to do to make these into leggings- I cut these as a large according to my waist measurement, but I almost think I’d have to cut a medium and tweak from there to get a true leggings fit. As you can see, they’re still baggy around the knee, and way too loose at the ankle for leggings.

I am really pleased with my fabric though I wish the zebra strips were a bit more obvious. They are in the weave of the fabric, and there’s no color differences, so you can only see them when the light hits just so. Oddly enough when I ordered the fabric, I was worried the stripes would be too obvious. Go figure. There’s also just the right amount of stretch and good stability in this fabric, and I feel like I made a good choice for these pants.

Will I make the other pair I had planned, and already bought fabric for? I think so. That pair is supposed to be this same view, so I anticipate a new pair of comfy (but skinny) pants in my future. This view of the pattern was super easy to work up, and it flew by, except for the part where I stitched a dart into the wrong side of the fabric.

I think I might work on Simplicity 1716 as mocked up here as well.

capeletI did a lot of sewing the last few days, but unfortunately, I can’t share the most exciting parts of it with you yet and that’s driving me crazy. I stitched up my prom dress for Joann’s party in November with only a few weeks to spare, plus I whipped up a really quick capelet using my leftover dress fabric, plus some other stuff in my stash to line it. I will show you the capelet though, as it doesn’t give away anything about my dress except color and fabric.

I based the capelet off of McCall’s 5006, view G or H, but I only went as far as cutting out the fronts and back piece using the pattern and ignored the rest. I had a few small pieces of black velvet ribbon in my stash which I used for the ties, and I used some gold satin that I have no memory of buying from my stash to line it. Its one of those fabrics I want to use up to get rid of it, but can’t think of many applications where I’d actually want to wear it. I also made a small gold clutch, and am going to go with gold sandals.

I also cut the pieces of the pattern out for the polka dotted top I showed you a mock-up of in this post on Sunday, and put it together on Tuesday. It turned out really cute, and I love it- its exactly what I expected, even though I altered some of the construction methods to finish off the neckband and armbands in a way that would be nicer than what was called for. This shirt was super easy to put together, and it took me about an hour and 40 minutes from start to finish. Part of that time was me ripping out a seam because the upper shoulder edges and center back edges on the back of the shirt are almost identical, and I stitched them together wrong and had to rip it out. I also had to restitch my sleeve cuffs on one sleeve twice as I completely missed snagging the cuff’s fabric on the inside of the sleeve when I stitched it in place.

I finally remembered to check and see if I have a matching zipper for the maroon dress I made months ago because after trying the dress on after I made it, I discovered the zipper sticks really bad, if you can zip it up at all- obviously that is not conductive to wearing it. Unfortunately, despite the fact I have literally 200 zippers of varying sizes and colors, I do not have one in a wine or maroon in the right length so will have to actually go out and buy one for it some time.

Anyway, here’s the top I did today, in a horrible dimly lit mirror shot. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but my camera took a crap on me, so right now its pretty much cell phone pics (sadly mostly in the mirror) unless I can get Mattie to take them for me. The fabric is actually navy blue with light blue dots, though its hard to tell in this awful photo.

I also did some new mock-ups this evening for a new pattern I recently picked up- I love leggings, and while I have two pair, I feel like I could use a few more. The pairs I have are black and grey, wit the black ones having huge metal grommets all over them and the grey ones are studded up the side seams. The grey ones are more versatile of the two, but the black ones can be hard to wear because of the grommets.

The new leggings I will be making fall into two places- calm and quiet, and crazy and wild. View A from McCall’s 6173 features a waistband and zipper, as well as zippers at the ankles. I chose two crazy fabrics for that view, with black and purple zebra stripes, and bold leopard print that channels my inner Peg Bundy.

The other view I like has an elastic waist, and no additional detailing. I’ve chosen a plain black rib knit for one pair, and a tan and brown houndstooth pattern for the other pair. There is a third view in the envelope, which features extra length so they are bunched up around the ankles. I don’t really care or that view.

4I also did a mockup of a mini-dress I have in my stash that I initially purchased for the top variations. But I’m thinking the mini-dress will be a great with leggings (its too short for me to wear otherwise- I’m not comfortable showing that much leg) and the teal colored rib knit I found will be great for it. I could wear it with either of the tamer leggings I’ll be making, as well as the two pairs I already own. Really trying to give myself some wearable Winter options that are still cute and fun while hopefully not freezing to death.

Tomorrow I will see about working on another of the tops I have had fabric for for a while and maybe knock something else out of my stash.I’m thinking of working on one of these variations of Simplicity 2365 View D as I really like the shirt I’ve already made form this pattern, though I did a different view- the one with the short sleeves. I’m not sure which fabric I want to dive into first though I do know the next time I do this pattern it will turn out better then before as I have a better understanding now of some of the finishing techniques used in it after making Mattie’s dress shirt.

I’d also like to see what I have in the way of bigger knit scraps that might be usable for other small projects and see about maybe listing them on eBay. Figure if I sell off some of them, I can make a few bucks and clear some room out in my fabric drawers. I need to pick up a few Priority mailers from the post office when I mail out patterns I sold tomorrow and see how much I can fit into one of them.

 

 

 

 

2

Here’s a few new mock-ups I’ve made. Some of these are super basic pieces, but I have so many crazy patterns and colors I need some “quiet” items. The lingerie I plan on modifying the bodice from Butterick 5350, and adding a lace skirt to it, that may be loosely modeled on the skirt pieces from the same pattern. If I do that, I plan on shortening them quite a bit. The back will close with a swimsuit hook at the top and be open the rest of the way down. At least that’s the plan. I can’t wait to see that gorgeous teal blue-green velvet in person!

Simplicity 1613 View D I am hoping I have enough fabric to cut the neckline in the opposite direction. I think that will really make a difference in how this top looks. The fabric choice is not something I would normally buy, but I wanted to grab something different while I was in there.

The pants are in a tan twill and a dark blue denim, both of which have a little stretch. I’ve never sewn pants before but I feel like I am ready to give it a try. As it is, I have 3 pairs of jeans, and I would like to have a few more.

The Qwik Sew patterns are just basic tank tops and a cowl necked long sleeved tee. Dark brown, dark blue, and army green are the colors.

I’ve also just listed a few more clothing items in my Kittyloaf Shop, all store-bought clothes that no longer fit or I just don’t want. Everything that was store-bought is free- you just paying shipping. You can see the clothing items in my store by going here and clicking on the Yard Sale category.