Again!

Again!

Again!

I couldn’t stop myself. I made another Jalie 3024.

Cute with shoes. Black photographs for shit.

Cute with shoes. Black photographs for shit.

The part where it only takes about two hours from first cut to hemming helps. This version is made of a heavy ponte, which I managed to nab a remnant of the other day. (It being prohibitively expensive otherwise.) I love that I can make this dress from a 1m remnant with room to spare. I made the neckline scoop a little lower this time (I think I overshot a wee bit… Maybe 1/2″ higher next time?).

Light!

Light!

Here’s an overexposed view of the front so you can maybe kinda sorta see the detail, not that it’s a surprise.

I finished it with some more of the narrow fold over elastic Mary of Hey Beautiful picked up for me in one of those rare and perfect moments of internet/real world synchronicity. It’s perfect. Thank you!!! Of course, it’s also black, so all of my attempts to photograph a closeup failed miserably.

Back view. Of which you can see absolutely nothing!

Back view. Of which you can see absolutely nothing!

No back-seam on the skirt this time, just swayback wedges removed from the skirt and bodice pieces in the back.  It’s not overly smooth in the back, but tolerable. I also took it in under the arms a wee bit, as it was sticking out in the heavier fabric. It’s an easy dress to alter. My husband has been mourning the absence of a little black dress from my wardrobe for over a decade now, so he’s actually quite approving of the make. :)

And again!

And again!

And then I made another. This one in a blue knit advertised as “crepe,” although it’s really a heavier knit with one side that’s textured to vaguely resemble crepe.

Playing with textures.

Playing with textures, which you can’t really see. (Tweaked to show the actual, royal blue colour. I HATE INDOOR LIGHT.)

The other side is quite shiny and spandexy. I used the shiny side for the waistband and the neck binding on this version. I like the contrast, subtle as it is. To reduce bulk, after I put the first pass of the binding on, I trimmed the binding’s seam-allowance close to the stitching line. This definitely reduced the bulk—here’s hoping that it doesn’t result in a binding failure later on. This knit is stretchier (especially lengthwise) than the pontes I’ve been using, so I made it up more-or-less as the pattern dictates, aside from my scoop neck (I had a wild moment where I thought about hacking a cowl neck, but those can be pretty hit-or-miss and I love a nice, wide scoop of pretty much any flavour. Maybe next time.)

Back. Remains bunchy.

Back. Remains bunchy.

I thought I made my swayback adjustments even more extreme, but it’s still kinda bunchy. Doesn’t bother me in the actual wearing, mind you, since I can’t see it. ;) Because this is a clingier knit than the others (even though it’s still quite heavy), I had a bad moment while trying it on where it was clinging to every lump and bump in a way that was not a good look at all. Then I threw my Gertie slip on underneath, and all of a sudden everything was just fine. YAY! Which reminds me, man I love that slip.

Ciao!

Ciao!

I still want a red one, and there are some scuba prints at Fabricland that would be absolutely to die for in one of these and why didn’t I scoop some up last month when they were 60% off?!?!?! But I think I may be close to being satisfied… maybe… :)

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Cream Lace Ensemble

Ensemble.

 

Wrenching myself forcefully away from historical costuming (who knew petticoats could be so riveting)…I do like cream, and I do like lace. As the whole blog theme may suggest.

I’m not quite sure what to say about my inspiration here. Bombers have been bouncing around the blogs for, well, awhile now, even if the cool kids are sewing the Papercut Patterns Rigel and not the boring old McCall’s 7100. And I totally missed Rigel Bomber January, anyway. I’m not a bomber girl, mind you. Boxy has never been one of my favourite looks. But, well, even I can be swayed by a trend… and I was curious about modifying the usual bomber into a cropped look, because I love me a cropped jacket. I made it as short as I thought I could get away with and still have (semi) functional pockets, but it’s still an inch or so longer than my “prime” cropped zone—but I actually think it may be pretty fun, and a practical throw-on-over-cute-whatever layer, which as an office-dweller I am often sorely in need of.

McCall's 7100

McCall’s 7100

As for nuts and bolts—the pattern is McCall’s 7100. The fabric is a beige scuba-knit bonded to a lace, which has the effect of nearly nullifying the stretch in both fabrics. For my bands, I picked an ivory Ponte di Roma which is stretchier than the base fabric, but also not really stretchy enough for what it is supposed to do (although the pattern calls for “moderate stretch knits” for the bands, not psychotically stretchy ribbing. I checked.) I made the size 10, since I wanted a fairly close-fitting jacket. I shortened all the bodice pieces by about 3.5″, mostly at the hem except for the side-front panel which has a wee bit more shaping than the other pieces, so I took a tuck from the lower part of it. I also lengthened the sleeves about 5″, though I did take 1″ off afterwards. Though I kinda wish I hadn’t.

 

Jacket.

Jacket.

I didn’t particularly like the way the McCall’s pattern has you construct the pocket welts—it’s simple but not the cleanest look. I wanted my welts inset into the seam, which I’ve done before… but not since I made Jalie 2795 for Tyo. Um, that was a while ago (like, it’s been handed down twice since). And I should really have re-read the instructions for that rather than just bumbling along. I feel like I’m doing a lot of bumbling along lately, mostly due to not having the time/energy/focus to actually think through, research, and practice a technique. Not the best for personal growth as a stitcher, /sigh. But I did manage it, give or take a bit of seam-ripping and  rippling and a few seams finished in the wrong order (or not at all).

Ugly inside band attachment. Closeup declined. ;)

Ugly inside band attachment. Closeup declined. ;)

Where i mostly fell apart was actually in attaching the bottom band. I love the little panel of the main fabric at the zipper, and they have a pretty neat method of attaching it, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how to mesh that with the stretch band around the rest of the bottom. I mean, it’s together, but the join is ugly as hell inside, and this is an unlined jacket. Blerg. Need to re-read/rethink that a bit. A lot. Before I try it again.

Pockets!

Pockets!

But otherwise, it went together quite easily and I’m quite happy with the fit. The pockets (after all my shortening) are pretty teeny but just barely large enough to put hands in, at least. It’s funny, I don’t really love the shape when I look at it in the mirror, but I feel like it’s better “in motion.” I think I like it.

Jalie Dress

 

Now, I’m pretty sure in actual wardrobe rotation the bomber will be pretty much a standalone piece, but I still had fabric left over, and a hankering for a matching little dress. Tis the season (or almost the season) for cute little dresses, after all. After wrangling bomber most of the day, I didn’t have much energy left, though—all I really wanted was a T-shirt type dress. (Speaking of which, I wonder where my lacy T-shirt-dress is…). After paging through my patterns, I really was feeling Jalie 3024, a cute pullover knit dress I haven’t gotten around to before.

Cute dress.

Cute dress.

The only problem? Jalie 3024 is designed for four-way stretch knits with rather more stretch than either of my fabrics.

After some thinking, though, I settled on some fairly simple alterations.

Tyo catches some good "transition" shots. ;)

Tyo catches some good “transition” shots. ;)

I cut the skirt and waistband pieces (out of the bonded lace) with about an inch extra ease both front and back, and added seam allowance for a seam at the CB skirt so I could add some swayback/butt shaping. I didn’t make any changes at all to the back bodice, but for the front bodice I lengthened about an inch and added a dip below the bust, basically a big fat FBA. (Muahahahah!) I used the ponte for the top as it has a bit more stretch than the bonded lace. I also gave it a scoop neckline because I like them so much better. All of these alterations played hell with the seam lines, but ponte is a forgiving knit and I was able to ease everything together quite nicely.

Back view. Centre seam added for butt shaping.

Back view. Centre seam added for butt shaping.

I’m not usually a big fan of the “dress that looks like skirt and top” but I’m kinda liking it in this case. It needed a bow, though. I’m not quite 100% sure on the location, but it definitely needed it.

As with most Jalie patterns, I’m now feeling the urge to make five more…

PS: First outdoor photo shoot of the year!!!! Hooray for crappy cell-phone-pics with actual good lighting. (I fully intended to use the “good” camera, and pulled the battery out to charge it… then couldn’t remember where I’d actually put the camera when the time came. /headdesk) Also, miraculously the beige colour of the skirt makes my legs look pink rather than fish-belly-white, so I’ll call that a major win. :)

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The Never-Ending Petticoat

A flannel petticoat

A flannel petticoat

This petticoat felt like it took forever. Really, I guess it was only a couple of weeks, and much of that was the hem. God, the hem. >_< We’ll get to that.

So in a bid to bring our brutal winter* to an early end, I started work on a flannel petticoat. Maybe it was the delirious speed at which the corset came together, but I was not feeling patient. That was probably a big part of the problem.

Anyway, this petticoat is based pretty much entirely on the instructions in The Home Needle, (p. 37-38). She is mostly describing a regular muslin petticoat (Er, “white skirt,”), but does give a nod to flannel petticoats:

“A flannel skirt is made shorter and scanter, and has a muslin yoke. For this, three yards, or even less, will suffice. The seams, after being run evenly together, are pressed open on the wrong side, and fastened down with the stitch known as herring-bone or cat-stitch. The bottom of the skirt is often finished with elaborate embroidery in silk ; but a neat hem, headed with a row of chain stitching, either in silk or linen floss, is sufficient for ordinary purposes.” (The Home Needle, p. 38)

I managed the shorter, I think not so much the “scanter,” since I pretty much followed her instructions (later in the book) for cutting out a regular skirt, and didn’t down-scale my fullness much/at all. Though I only did one set of side-gores for the skirt, not two. This petticoat will pretty much work over a bustle, whereas I get the impression that most flannel petticoats were for wearing under the bustle, to keep the legs warm. Not 100% sure, though.

A yoke. (rear view.)

A yoke. (rear view.)

So, phase one: I winged a yoke. According to Mrs. Church, a yoke should have the straight grain at the front and be cut in a single piece with the bias at the back—I, however, added a side-seam, because cutting a curved yoke in a single piece like that seems like it wastes a lot of fabric. My yoke still wound up rather over-size, so I wound up taking it in a lot at the back opening. I stabilized the waist seam with some ratty old rayon stay-tape from stash—not period, but non-bulky and thrifty, so I’ll take a half point for that. ;)

My flannel was 54″, and Mrs. Church’s instructions mostly assume a fabric around 27″ wide, so I basically cut it into skirt-lengths and then sliced those in half lengthwise. Maybe not the best way to maximize my fabric usage, but anyway. ;)

Skirt diagram

Skirt diagram

The skirt consists of three gored panels plus a rectangle for the back; the front I cut on the fold, angling from what seemed like a good width at the top out to the full width at the bottom. As per Mrs. Church’s instructions, I cut the side pieces from one length, with an angled line to make two identical pieces, wider a one end, narrow at the other.  The back is just a long rectangle of my fabric “width” (artificially narrowed) x skirt length.

Tucks & lace

Tucks & lace

Since I was going for a shorter petticoat, I didn’t add to the length to accommodate my tucks. I measured, marked the folds, and stitched them in place on the individual lengths before sewing (or should I say, running) the lengths together. Incidentally, just in case I forget this, the formula for the distance between tuck folds is y=3x+b, where y is the distance between folds on the flat fabric, x=the width of the finished tucks, and b=the space you want between tucks. (Tyo is doing linear equations in math right now. ;) )

Cat-stitched seams

Cat-stitched seams

Once I had the skirt panels run together, I catch-stitched (which I am assuming is the same as cat-stitched) all the seam allowances open. This was the first part that seemed to take FOREVER. They do look nice now, however.

According to Mrs. Church, petticoats which have yoke & buttons (which are better than drawstrings as there is less bulk at the waist) invariably fasten at the back. The only problem with this is that there isn’t any back seam in my petticoat (since I used a single back width). Now, maybe Mrs. Church didn’t mean at the centre back exactly, but I don’t know. However, while Mrs. Church doesn’t cover it, Plain Sewing and Amateur Dressmaking (1887, p. 11) has a brief passage covering how to make a slash placket, which basically involves adding a pleat at the bottom to give you the overlap. I think. It’s possible I am completely not understanding what they described; I did my best to follow along, anyway. I turned one edge of the slash under twice, narrowly, and then make a big pleat at the other edge to cover the gap. It feels pretty much like a cheater’s solution, but it works.

Buttons & placket

Buttons & placket

I put the front of the petticoat onto the yoke smoothly (no gathering), relying on the back gathering to get everything to fit. I kinda really like this method of skirt fitting. One of these days I will work on those crazy Victorian gathering techniques that all seem to involve making multiple lines of perfectly-even stitches and then stroking each of the resulting pleats to maximum perfection before meticulously stitching each one down. For now, though, I just gathered.

Back View

Back View

Because my yoke is pretty wide, I went with three buttons on the back. The buttonholes are hand-worked, not that my hand-worked buttonholes have any degree of grace or beauty; I also worked them backwards, so the edge that the buttons pull against is probably the wrong one. Oops. They are functional, however. They, also, took forever, as did digging through my massive garage-sale-button-stash (thank you, Mom) for the perfect plain white glass buttons.

And now, we come to the albatross, the Waterloo—the hem. Ugh. Scroll up a bit and re-read Mrs. Church’s words: “… a neat hem, headed with a row of chain stitching, either in silk or linen floss, is suficient for ordinary purposes.”

Chain-stitched hem. Started bad, got only slightly better.

Chain-stitched hem. Started bad, got only slightly better.

So, of course, I had to look up chain-stitching, Fortunately, she had a diagram. OK, I can do this. It’s pretty simple. It also pretty much only looks good if the stitches are teeny-tiny short (the fact that I was using cotton thread, not linen or silk floss, might be a part of this), and teeny-tiny-short-stitches were really hard to get through all the thick layers of my flannel. Not to mention proceeding at even more of a snail’s pace. I also (eventually) figured out that the only way I could keep the chainstitch even was to mark its position with wash-away pen… there is some meandering before I hit that desperate point. No, I’m not going back to fix it.

The hardest part, mentally, aside from the not-terribly-decorative nature of my “decorative hem”, was that it’s not an invisible hem. I hand stitch my hems invisibly all the freaking time, and it’s not a problem, but doing this visible hem (and having it not look AWESOME) made me want to stab my eyes out with the needle. Or just run over to the sewing machine and SEW THE FRICKING THING BY MACHINE. Because then it would be done, in five seconds, and LOOK BETTER.

Ahem. But this is supposed to be about the process, right? If I just want to whip up a costume that’s a whole different beast… this is trying to reproduce, or at least experiment with, period techniques.

It's hard to get a good picture of bustle-bum.

It’s hard to get a good picture of bustle-bum.

Anyway, I did eventually get it finished. And I like how it looks, although it doesn’t look particularly like what comes up when I google “Victorian flannel petticoat.” Two more minor things remain: I would like to add an elastic across the inside to pull in the back (as Mrs. Church recommends), and/or some slits in the side so the ties for pulling in the outer skirts in the same way can pass through.

I’m excited, though, to make a light-weight version next, with ruffles on the butt. And a proper bustle, of course. And after that… (ulp!) after that, I have to begin thinking about the dress! O_o

Petticoat!

Petticoat!

*OK, February and the first week of March were brutal. Before and after, the weather has been lovely.

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Historical Clothing of the Late Nineteenth Century

… is the slightly ostentatious name they came up with for a program (actually, a series of programs, or workshops, or afternoons of hanging out) I am coordinating at the Marr Residence, a local history site, this spring. The first one is tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, May 22, 2015), the other two are the first and last Sundays in May.

I wanted to call it a "Victorian Sewing Bee."

I wanted to call it a “Victorian Sewing Circle.” This way sounds more educational, I guess. ;)

Like my poster?

I probably should have posted this sooner, although if I have five local readers who might even potentially drop by I’ll actually be a bit surprised. And frankly, I feel like a bit of a poser since I’m a long, long way from an expert on historical clothing or costuming. I’m justifying it to myself as a way to network and meet other people locally who might have an interest in historical sewing & costuming (and who may well know more than me.) And it’s my little way of “creating an event” to explore my interest in historical sewing and costuming, since I really don’t want to just make costumes that have no other function but to hang in my closet.

I do have a few hidden resources… like the Victorian Dress, and the rest of my mom’s antique clothing collection (plus a few lovely pieces in the Marr Residence collections) and reproduction catalogue collection. (I haven’t seen as much of the catalogue stuff around the webs, which is interesting… I feel like it gives a more day-to-day view of fashion than the fashion plates or even the period photographs.), and I’ll be there with my own project (I think it’s BUSTLE TIME), and some sewing basics should anyone else want to drop by and do some sewing, or just some hanging out and talking.

So yeah, um, those five of you who are in town (or is that three who’ll actually read this on a Saturday night, or one who might maybe have nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon…) anyway, yeah, stop by!

I think it's cute, anyway.

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Remedial Corsetology II

Victorian Underoos

Victorian Underoos

I probably don’t need to say a lot here.

Back, with lacing.

First try-on.

I got lacing. (poly cord from Fabricland. Historically accurate? no. Functional? Absolutely.)

As Laurianna noticed in my last post, I forgot to allow space for boning outside of the back grommets. This is what I get for leapfrogging between different instructions, and not paying attention to details. I added some cording to the area for a bit of reinforcement (better than nothing?), but there is definitely some buckling along the lacing that could have been avoided. Lesson learned, hopefully to be applied next time. (Honestly, this is the kind of lesson I learn best from making mistakes. >_<)

Lacing grommets, cording, and bottom binding.

Lacing grommets, cording, and bottom binding.

I added self-bias binding along top and bottom, pulling it fairly tight to bring in the looseness along the bottom. I was a little worried halfway through that this would backfire and just look bunchy or lumpy, but it seems to be fine.

Lace flowers.

Lace flowers.

Since I had exactly five little lace flowers left over, I opted to add them to the front of the corset. I just cut them apart and  hand-tacked them down. I think they’re cute (though maybe not very Victorian with that random asymmetrical design. Ah, well. At this point I’m going for impression, not detail.)

Corset back. Lace job by the fourteen-year-old.

Corset back. Lace job by the fourteen-year-old.

The corset is, technically, a little bit big. The two-inch lacing gap I used in my try-ons disappears pretty much entirely without too much difficulty, and I think I could stand tighter lacing at the waist. (Despite the above photo. However, if I wait to take new photos with the lacing done a bit better, you may never get this post, so, wonky lacing it is.) I love how it flares out over my hips, though, and I love the shape it has around the bottom, even though it isn’t, strictly speaking, really long enough over the hips.

The bust isn’t exactly too small, but I think if it were a bit larger, and shaped a bit differently (i.e. more defined), it would look better. It is technically alterable, should I choose to unpick and re-stitch the seams and boning-channels, but I’m going to leave it for the moment, partly because I hate alteration and partly because I want to test how it feels when worn for more than a few minutes of trying-on.

Full view

Full view

I haven’t really talked much about the chemise, have I? (I covered the drawers here.)

Closeup, with chemise.

Closeup, with chemise.

I used the yoke piece from Simplicity 9769 (If I’d had this pattern when I first started the corset-testing I would probably have used it rather than Butterick XXXX, as it seems to have somewhat better reviews, but anyway….) This is more of an 1860s pattern than 1880s but, well, I like it , so there. ;) The rest I kinda offroaded, based on the instructions in The Home Needle and a fair bit of poetic license. I sewed up the yoke, with lace, fairly conventionally, but then I wound up taking the project with me to my mom’s family farm for a few family events over the winter, and while I can’t really run off to play with a sewing machine while I’m out there, I can definitely sit in the kitchen and hand-stitch and visit while everyone else around me cooks and cleans and does actual useful work. So the flat-felled seams of the main garment were all done by hand, as were the teeny little pin-tucks (facilitated by the woven-in stripe of the fabric, though they still aren’t perfect, which is fairly unforgivable given the stripe) and the lace-insertion.

A photo posted by Tanit-Isis (@tanitisis) on Dec 27, 2014 at 5:31pm PST

(Hmm. This attempt to embed from Instagram does not seem to be displaying on my browser. I will attempt to fix it when I get home. Sorry all!)

Full back.

Full back.

Then I got home and impatiently finished the hems using the teeniest rolled hem foot on my Pfaff. I love the teensyness of it, but kinda wish I’d stuck with the hand stitching just for, oh, I dunno, excessive old-fashioned-y-ness.

I think it's cute, anyway.

I think it’s cute, anyway.

I was pretty pleasantly surprised by how the look works all together. (OK, I think it’s cute, anyway.) I like the three together better than any of the individual pieces (well, except maybe the corset.)

Next up: the petticoat(s)! (OMG I might actually have to start thinking about the actual dress. (But not before I tackle bustles. Ooooh, scary!)

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Remedial Corsetology

IMG_0810.JPG

Almost a corset.

 

Remember when I did a mock-up for a corset? Yeah, me neither (well, barely.) I think it was last spring sometime? Anyway, finally this past weekend I had—wait for it—leisure time! Nothing that needed to be made with an instant deadline! (And my husband wasn’t playing Final Fantasy 14, which is also sapping the sewing time these days. I’m not gonna apologize for that, though, down-time is down-time and I love back-seat gaming.)

So, after spending most of my Saturday puttering around tidying the perpetual mess that is the sewputer room and finishing the odd UFO and repair, I finally got the itch to pull out the altered pattern for Butterick 4254 and bash out a second toile. (swayback adjustment and a variety of take-a-bit-out-here, add-a-bit-there-type alterations.) And then made some alterations to that, and then finally bit the bullet and started in.

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Pretty details.

 

The fashion fabric is a lightweight twill with a toile-ish print that I spent ages ogling at my local Fabricland about two years ago. It was 70% off, but I was dead broke and couldn’t justify a random purchase, especially since I didn’t have any idea what I would make with it. Then it sold out, and I was sad. Then, one day, I happened to be at the *other* Fabricland in town (which never happens), and guess what I found… in the bargain centre for $2.00/m.

At that price, even stone-broke me could justify it. The last 2m came home with me… and have sat taking up space in my basement ever since, although I did hit on the idea of using some for a corset a year or so ago.

I chickened out on using my precious coutil (ordered along with spiral steel boning and grommets from Farthingales corset in Ontario) for this first run, instead using a sturdy white twill I got as a hand-me-down from a friend’s de-stash. We’ll see if I regret this later on.

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Guts.

 

For my instructions, I pretty much followed “The Basics of Corset Making,” for a double-layer, alterable corset. As per the pattern, all the bone casings are on the seams of the panels, and I just serged the edges before topstitching them down, so historical this is not (even though I’m going for a fairly traditional sort of look. I think. >_<) The only other place I added a casting channel was beside the grommets in the back, as I thought it would need a bit more support in that area. Having a channel on each side of each seam makes for what seems like a LOT of bones, but I guess that’s not a bad thing?

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Grommets & setting tools

 

I think my least favourite part of the whole construction was setting the grommets for the back lacing. I ordered grommets, as I said, from Farthingales, just to see how they compare to the ones available at Fabricland. The Farthingales ones have a much wider rim compared to the hole size, which makes them look larger and seem much more substantial, so that’s nice. The setter that came with them (and I don’t recall if it was separate or included), though, was identical to the Unique-brand one I have from Fabricland… that I’ve always used for grommets the next size up. The cupped base fit the wider rim of these grommets nicely, but I found the upper part, that you hammer on, was just too wide to fit in the small hole—I wound up using the upper part of a grommet-setter I already have, for the smaller size grommets. This worked quite well, but if all I’d had was the one that came with, I would’ve been unhappy. It’s not even the hammering that I dislike, (I can say this because I only hammered my fingers once this time.), it’s the poking-hole-and-then-working-grommet

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Set grommets. (Baggie to the left is Unique-brand eyelets with the same hole-size, but much narrower rings so they look smaller.)

 

I haven’t been able to do a proper try on, since I’m still lacking a real lacing cord (I thought I had ordered one when I ordered the grommets and coutil but, um, apparently I forgot to change the “1” metre measurement to the 8 I was intending to order, so, um, one metre of lacing does not do me a hell of a lot of good.) and none of my piddly little wire-cutters are really up to cutting the spiral steel. I did manage to pick up a more robust wire-cutter after work yesterday, and spent the evening merrily cutting and tipping bones, but I won’t be able to get lacing cord before tomorrow at the earliest.

ANYWAY, I was startled how much waist reduction I did get just as a quick, bone-free try on (before my cotton string “lacing cord” broke)… well, reduction for me, anyway. I have very little space between my ribcage and hips, and my ribcage is tubular, or maybe just barrel-shaped. As in, doesn’t taper towards the bottom. Let’s just say I’m not expecting dramatic results.

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Corset front with spoon busk.

 

I did have to un-bend the curve of the spoon busk, as it doesn’t fall in the right place for this style (it was that or replace the busk. >_<) I’m a little disconcerted how hard that wasn’t. And I may yet have to take apart the front bustline seams as I’m not convinced the bust curve is in the right place, but I don’t want to make that call until I can do a proper try-on, which won’t happen until I can get some approximation of lacing cord, maybe later this week.

 

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Looking curvy! (by my standards.)

I kind of got ahead of myself in the finishing department, adding lace and binding to the top of the corset. I will probably regret that when/if I do have to re-shape the bust seams. Oh, well. The lace was one of those random remnants that floats about a stash, but there was just enough to do the top of the corset—perfect. (OK, with five flowers left over. I’ll call that perfect.)

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More pretty details.

I hope I can make it work once I get to try it on, because I think it’s really pretty right now…

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Jammie Pants

McCall's 6641

McCall’s 6681

Over Christmas, I was wanting to do a wee bit of sewing for my children, but by wee I do mean wee since I had about as much free time as I ever do lately, which is on the order of a few hours ever other week. For Tyo, stretchy cozy PJ pants seemed to fit the bill, but they needed to be as simple as possible. Even the Sewaholic Tofino pattern, which has to be one of the cutest PJ-pants patterns out there, and is sitting patiently in my stash, seemed too complicated.

So, after a bit of stash rummaging, I settled on McCall’s 6681, a Stitch ‘n Save pattern that I can’t quite decide if it’s cute, or just dated and butt-ugly. Anyway, the bottoms were a completely basic PJ trouser, which is what I was looking for. As it turned out they’re a teeny bit tapered, which I thought might suit the kids these days.

Batpants!

Batpants!

Despite the deliciously-soft panda fabric featured throughout this post, the first Christmas pair was made with Batman fleece. This was a rare score, indeed, since Fabricland has had mostly bugger all for licensed anything the last couple of years, so I had to snaffle it up when I saw it, since this year Tyo is All Batman All The Time. I’m not terribly into taking on pop-culture as totem or mascot, myself, but, well, I suppose there are worse mascots she could adopt than Batman. And this was a LOT easier than the Pikachu onesie.

Now, while one of the major downsides of having a teenage daughter is her ability to steal your clothes, in making these as a present, it became a bit of a boon—I made them to fit me, just a little bit shorter. It worked fairly well, though I should’ve made the waist a bit more snug—not sure if that’s to be blamed on my comparatively-larger waist (do you see the hips on that kid?), or the way the elastic stretches out a bit in sewing. Anyway, they aren’t going to fall off. And she was very, very happy with them.

So, when I finally dug out this panda fleece (purchased a year ago last fall, originally for Tyo before she came down with a bade case of Pikachuitis) to make a pair of comfy pants for Fyon’s birthday (who is eight now, by the way, how the hell did that happen?), I figured I should make Tyo a pair too, for old time’s sake, even if pandas are so year-before-last. Since I had the pattern all ready to go ‘n everything.

The pandas will get you if you don't watch out!

The pandas will get you if you don’t watch out!

So I did.

Tyo-fitting pattern changes

Tyo-fitting pattern changes

Being the second make, I tweaked the pattern a bit, finalizing the changes I’d made to the rise the first time. I make these changes kinda preemptively to a lot of pants patterns, especially when I know they were designed for a higher rise in the front than I like. (I’ve become comfortable with a very uneven rise, nice and high for lots of coverage in the back, dipping low in the front to sit under the belly. Tyo seems to like it too, but it makes it really hard to wear most storebought pants and leggings. For this pair, I added a bit of length (depth? I always forget which it is) to the back crotch, as well, just for good measure.

The front.

The front. I forgot to get her to hike her shirt so you could actually see the rise.

Now, I’m certainly not going to be a fit-Nazi about some baggy PJ pants, but I am pretty pleased with how they turned out, anyway. No smiles and straining, but not so huge she’s swimming in them. How much can be credited to my alterations and how much to the fact that these are loose PJ pants, I don’t really know (I suspect mostly the latter, though.) And no, I didn’t even try to pattern-match panda-faces across her butt.

The back.

The back. Also, why can’t I have hips like that? /momsulk

The back hangs almost straight, and the rise is nice and high.

The side.

The side. You can kinda see the angle of the waistband under her shirt.

The best thing about PJ pants like these is how damn fast they are to put together. These didn’t take more than an hour all told (it helped that the pattern was ready to go, mind you), and I also managed to churn out a couple of fuzzy pants for Fyon and the Waif. And I think I have just enough panda fabric left to make some 3/4-length comfies for Syo.

Small fuzzy pants

Small fuzzy pants

There’s only one problem: Osiris is now wondering where his panda pants are.

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