Monthly Archives: March 2013

Moving day

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In a couple of hours, here, I go to pick up the van so we can move our furniture into our new house.

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Can I just skip to Sunday, when the worst is over?

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I am so looking forward to the reunification of at least the majority of my sewing stuff (especially my serger!) though I will miss using my Stylish sister-in-law’s Janome Memory Craft as my main machine.

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Just to celebrate (?) I went through the pattern collection and grabbed the images I most want to make.

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There were twenty three that jumped out and screamed MAKE ME, and that’s not even sewing for anyone else, or counting projects I already have traced/fabric picked, or are otherwise under way.

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And, of course, no sewing this long weekend, because moving. So I thought I’d share a few of the pictures, so you can share my frustration.

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Fleece Pants, Episode 3 (part II)

Fleece Leggings

Fleece Leggings

Sick of fleece pants yet? Yeah? Too bad. It snowed every day this week, except for the bright sunny days with windchills in the -30s C. This is not what I want from the end of March, peeps.

At the end of Episode 3, I mentioned that Syo wanted fleece leggings. Well, not long after that I made the mistake of taking my children to the fabric store, and Syo managed to persuade me to buy her a metre of wolf-patterned fleece. At full price, no less. Oi. Kid has mad parent-guilting skillz. And very long eyelashes.

Very skinny fleecepants

Very skinny fleecepants

Attempting to be mindful of the lessons of fleece stretch, I knew I would need to size up a bit for this pair. I went back to my original tracing of Kwik Sew 1670 and undid the tuck I had made in the pattern piece when it became obvious after the first pair that they were way oversized. I added some extra height at the CB, and some extra length along the crotch. And enough extra length in the leg to work for Tyo, probably. And (gulping) I cut them out.

And, well, I should’ve gone up a size. (it has, after all, been almost a year since I traced out this size for Syo, and while she’s not sprouting like a weed the way Tyo is these days, she still is getting bigger.) D’oh. Fortunately for me, Syo is extra-super-determined to wear this pair, and she’s very tolerant of tight. I can’t imagine where she might’ve picked that up from. *whistles*

Rear view

Rear view

Print mixing to do Oona proud, I tell ya.

Half-ass waistband

Half-ass waistband

Because I didn’t want to lose any height at the waist, I did only a single, very narrow fold-over at the waist elastic. It’s not a lovely finish inside, but it’s plush-back elastic so it’s pretty comfy, anyway, and I’m quite glad I didn’t use up any more height.

Rise

Rise

Unlike the purple fleece sweatpants, though, these are a hit. Like a big hit. Like a super-duper-can’t-peel-them-off-her-to-wash hit.

So I have a theory for future tight-fleece-pants-sizing adventures. I hypothesize that zero ease, or at most 10% negative ease, is probably about the max stretch ratio for fleece. So next time, I’m going to pick a size by measuring the thigh of the person who will be wearing them, and then measuring the pattern. Well, at least for fleece leggings, where that would be super simple. I’m still thinking about the yoga pants…

For those of you who are bored stiff of fleece pants, I did steal a few minutes to work on my stalled mail-order dress. I ripped off the yoke and shortened the waist. Everywhere but right at the cf. there are some funny things about this pattern, peeps. But it’s coming, I’m liking it much better. I just need to recut the skirt, but that won’t happen until

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Fleece Pants, Episode 3: Syo

 

Booyeah

Booyeah

Otherwise known as, “just because I have to be different.”

Although Syo has thoroughly enjoyed her Jalie 3022 shorts, she has no interest in flared yoga-pants, fleece or otherwise. She is a child of the skinny jean era. So I wasn’t planning on making her a pair. But, she has been asking for a pair of old-fashioned sweatpants, to wear to her hip hop dance class, where several moves seem to require tugging on sweatpants.

Simplicity 3714

Simplicity 3714

So instead, I pulled out Simplicity 3714, which sweater I had previously made. This time, I was going for the pants. Although I maintain that the half-bunnyhug is one of the cutest things my children have ever refused to wear. Now, it’s not entirely clear from the photo, but this, too, is a flared pattern. Not as obviously as the yoga pants, of course, but really, wtf was I thinking? Don’t answer that. I was thinking “I’m going to gather the ankle anyway, what does it matter?” and “I can just trim a bit off below the knee. It’ll be fine.”

And they are, I guess.

Simplicity

Simplicity

The fabric is a purple fleece I found at Value Village sometime last winter. Actually, it’s one of two pieces I found of the same fleece, on two separate occasions. Syo immediately laid claim to both, and the larger one is still serving as a blanket on her bed.

I cut the size 8 (which the pattern was conveniently already cut out to, saving me the effort of tracing), and added a bit of length (not that Syo is particularly long-legged), and for my peace of mind added a bit of height to the CB and shaved a bit off at the CF. And I made them up. Not a lot of thought, artifice, or anything. As a stunt, I topstitched both the inseam and outseam, which was really more effort than pants like this deserve.

Grommets for waist tie to come through.

Grommets for waist tie to come through.

The most complicated thing I did was interface the waistband with a knit interfacing, mostly as a support for grommets for a waistband drawstring. Speaking of which, I need to get a real drawstring, not just some flattened out bias tape. I wonder if I can find purple twill tape?

Fleece sweatpants

Fleece sweatpants

They seem to fit the bill, anyway although she pretty much never wears them except to dance class, and I suspect will never wear them for anything else once she’s done.

Next, though, she wants fleece leggings.

Ulp.

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Another Blogiversary

The dress formerly known as Simplicity 3965, alias the Star Wars Dress.

The Star Wars Dress, probably my crowning achievement of the year

My blog is three today! I had totally forgotten. It would’ve been so nice to make a pretty dress, too. I didn’t do anything special like make up a little pattern to share, and since I still can’t seem to manage to mail things (don’t ask about all the Christmas cards still sitting, in stamped envelopes, on my computer desk) I don’t dare even do a regular giveaway. In fact, the only reason you’re getting a post at all is that a) I happen to be off work today, and b) I am bumming around because I have a cold, and c) WordPress sent me a notification via the mobile app reminding me it’s the blog’s birthday.

A lot of things have been intersecting lately that make it harder to blog. At least, harder to blog well. I’ve never had a backlog of projects unblogged the way I do now—at least three or four items, although none are terribly spectacular. Winter, of course, is always a problem in the photography department, and I don’t have a good indoor photo location here. Having the family and old friends around is awesome, but it means we have more stuff to do and people to see than we ever did in Cow Town. My sewing stuff is scattered over three different locations, so when I do get a few minutes here or there, I am often stymied by needing this thing or that. Worst of all, my growing kids are no longer going to bed at 8:00 every night! I depended on that two hours of “me time” to do most of my sewing and blogging. (I don’t have my train commute to read blogs anymore, either, so I am way behind there as well.) Now, by the time they’re in bed it’s pretty much my bedtime. I rarely do any sewing on a weeknight, and if I do get some done on the weekend it’s usually a little bit stolen in the morning before everyone else gets themselves going. And I’m not a natural morning person, either.

This is not a goodbye post, mind you. I’m still a diehard obsessive. I fall asleep thinking about sewing at night. I wake up thinking about it in the morning (if not the middle of the night). My fingers itch with the desire to be making something, or talking or writing about it, pretty much every minute of the day. And there are lots of great things about sewing in my hometown, from meetups to brainwashing mentoring my sisters-in-law, to fun and quirky fabric stores other than Fabricland (even if they are small.) And I’ve been having a tremendous amount of fun doing the digital linework for Cake Patterns—almost as satisfying as making the patterns myself! I’ve mentioned on twitter that we’re moving again at the end of the month—I’m hopeful that I’ll have better photo locations, if nothing else, once that goes down, although the prospect of moving again, even just within town, is exhausting. I should be able to get all (most) of my sewing stuff back together, too!

And on that inspiring note, I think I’ll maybe go have another cup of tea and tidy my little sewing space. The fact that it’s always an insane mess probably doesn’t help my productivity one bit.

Want to cheer me up? Tell me about the most exciting thing in your sewing queue right now! 😀

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Chillin’ Down Home

All y’all* remember a couple of weeks back when Vicki the Sewing Scientist launched her grand ambitious plan to map the people-who-sew-and-talk-about-it-on-the-internet**? Well, I was pretty happy to pin myself on there, but I was totally not expecting it to yield such awesome fruit! Within a few hours, I discovered I had a fellow sewologist** right in my own back yard—Erin of Trumbelina Sews.

Me!

Me!

The nice thing about meeting up with people in Saskabush is that, no matter where in town they live, they’re not very far away. It only took us a week or so to coordinate a meetup at a coffee shop that just happens to be one of the hangouts from my high school hipster days. In fact, I bought the Xena Dress at a vintage store (now sadly gone) in the very same building…

Erin!

Erin!

So aside from revisiting my misspent youth, I got to spend a few hours chatting it up with Erin. I mean, it was no sprawling New York do (OK, I was looking for a link for one of those but there are too many!) or posh UK meetup, but damn that trip-over-your-own-tongue, old-friend-you-just-met feeling is the best. She brought a stack of patterns for me to peruse, and I brought nothing. which is totally lame-sauce of me. It’s not that I mean to be stingy about my patterns mind you, but the stash is so kind of ungodly huge at this point that I just sort of flail and fumble and preemptively give up. And the fabrics are still mostly in boxes.

Yes, we were actually together!

Yes, we were actually together!

Anyway, it was a totally rocking time, and I am totally stoked about future possibilities—crawls through the Saskatoon Garment District, thrift store pattern hunting, and all the other possibilities of having another victim fellow sewilizer** at hand. Well, other than my sisters-in-law, who of course are their own particular variety of awesome. And the next time the NYC or London sewistas** are going at it, I totally know who I’m gonna call to fend off the green-eyed monster.

And yes, obviously I suck at selfies. Where’s my tripod when I need it?

And yes, it’s still that fucking snowy here. We got another couple of inches today.

*I feel obliged to point out that Canadians don’t actually talk like this; I picked it up during about five minutes I spent in Texas several years ago, because it’s just too damn cute.

**insert your favourite collective noun here: sewintist, stitcher, sewer, sewist, sewcialist…

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Lots of little leggings

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Jalie 2920 Leggings

Jalie 2920 is getting a lot of love around here. Maybe because a pattern with just one piece is about my speed these days. Stylish helpfully traced the sizes for her girls out, so when I had a smidgeon of downtime I found myself cranking out a couple. If I spent half an hour on either of these I’d be surprised. I feel a bit bad because I probably should’ve left the fabric for Stylish to practice on… but there’s enough left to make a couple more pairs, anyway.

I’m a little bit perplexed with this pattern, though. I get that it’s designed to stretch in length as well as width, and for snug, extra-stretchy fabrics…   well, I dunno. This purple is NOT such a fabric. I mean, it’s a pretty nice, beefy knit. The amount of stretch is good. But it’s definitely not a four-way stretch. When tracing, I had Stylish give lots of extra room in the leg length, to compensate for this. I used the longest lengths here, and I’m glad I did. The Waif’s are a little long, but she seems to grow up rather than out, so that’s probably a good thing, and Fyon’s are spot on. And that’s five or six extra inches beyond the pattern’s “proper” lengths. Well, the length dictated by their heights, anyway. The Waif’s pair are a size 2(F), lengthened to the five length and then beyond. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen her in a pair of pants that wasn’t way loose and baggy on her.

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The Waif, Tyo, and Fyon in their new leggings

This was after I had attempted to make myself another set of leggings from some luverly denim-look knit I’ve been sitting on and petting since I acquired it around New Year’s. The whole bolt at my local Fabricland recently got marked down to half price and I’m having a hard time not rushing in and buying up the whole damn thing. I used the same Jalie 2920 as for my black leggings. However, peeps, this is where those stretch gauges on the patterns become important. This stuff is stretchy, but not leggings-type stretchy. Length was not an issue, but while I could wriggle into them, well, um, let’s just say that it was putting undue stress on the fabric. D’oh.

Fortunately, as with the fleece pants, I have a suitable candidate with a derriere just a little bit smaller than my own handy in the house, so Tyo now has her first pair of jeggings. I guess I had better enjoy that while it lasts… we just had to buy her a whole new crop of skinny jeans, as the ones she got in September are getting too snug. (This is why I don’t make her jeans very often any more). The time until her hips surpass mine may be measured in months rather than years at this point. Oh, you cursed curvaceous pears.

I guess I just need to get some more denim-look knit for myself. /sniffle.

Anyone else addicted to deadly simple projects? I swear I’ll do something actually interesting one of these days…

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Fleece Pants, Episode 2: The Sister-in-Law Edition

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Sister-in-Law Fleece Pants

Mere moments after I unveiled my first attempt at fleece pants, my Stylish sister-in-law determined that she had to have her own pair. There was just enough of the same purple-grey heavy fleece left, so I set her to tracing out the pattern in her own size. She really is a trooper—she tackled tracing her first Jalie pattern with only a minimum of “OMG WHICH LINE AM I ON?” and had her pair cut out in record time.

Unfortunately, in her efficiency (and my distraction), a couple of problems we should have foreseen came home to roost. The first one being, she traced the pattern in her real size, not upsizing. (This makes sense in that she will probably want to make the pattern out of something not fleece at some point, of course.) And, I had intended to perform a rather larger version of the Gigi alteration* I did on the kids’ shorts made from this pattern last summer.

My changes

What I should’ve done on Stylish’s pants pattern, too.

However, this kind of slipped our minds in the excitement of cutting and pinning.

Stylish tackled the stitching and even topstitching (much facilitated by using the blind hem foot as an adjustable edge-stitching guide on the Memory Craft. Which, I should say, has generally excellent attachments, although I am not fond of its zipper foot.), and got the hang of it quite quickly, with only a little confusion over the construction order. (Did I mention this was her first pair of pants ever?)

Unfortunately, when we got to the try-on point (and I’ll refer you back to my Pink Suite post if you need construction details, or just go to the Jalie website and read the instructions yourself), the same issue that I had was happening: dangerously low rise, especially (actually, only) in the derriere.

Some quick thinking was in order. The pants were stitched up, lacking only the waistband. Unpicking fleece… um, not happening. Obviously we had to alter the waistband.

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration. AKA “What I did instead.”

So we did.

And, while it may not be the most elegant solution (and no, I don’t have a good shot of how it looks… I didn’t really want to pester my SIL to allow me to post photos of her butt on the internet), it works, and she has worn them every bit as much as I have over the winter.

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So Stylish!

And she has already bought fleece for her next pair…

*Gigi is the pet name of the incredibly sweet lady who is the mother of both Osiris and Stylish. She also has a marked pear-shape, which she passed on to Stylish, and even Osiris in modified form (he has a very curvy butt for a guy). Tyo is well on her way to developing this shape as well, although in Syo’s case it seems to be a bit moderated.

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