Plaid Sparkle Trousers

The plan was to create a pair of pants with some gentleman’s old style details. While most of the details are there, they aren’t visible due to the choice of fabric. I will probably be attempting this again in the future with a fabric that is somewhat solid in colour. The details I wanted to include were triangular pocket tabs (here), double closure tabs (here) which did not end up in the final product and fish tail back (here and here) of which a minimized version was included.

The basis was again the Swordfish Pants pattern, which at one point started as Helena Culottes. It has since been heavily modified for all kinds of pants. For this iteration, I increased the back height to get a fish tail back. While I was aware that I needed to have darts, I did not expect to need to take in as much as I did, so the fish tail is much less pronounced than I wanted. I also made the pocket tab change on the pattern which did work, although you cannot see it very well. The double closure tabs did not work at all, because the pants are not mirrored on the same center line, so the tabs I cut on did not match. Another solution to close the thing was chosen and implemented.

The fabric is again a plaid fabric with silver threads through it. There’s horizontal matching along the side seams, front and back and it’s mirrored. I’m quite proud of all the matching that is going on. This means that the details are invisible, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment that I can actually plan stuff.

It’s been worn for the first time yesterday and it was quite enjoyable all around. No terrible scratching yet, so that’s terrific!

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Plaid Jumpsuit

So, in preparation for the Plaid Jacket, I browsed the internet to try and figure out if the sleeves came in full length in the pattern (they did not). During the search, I stumbled on this page from YoSaMi and I fell head over heels. Specifically with the tartan jumpsuit that she made from the top of the dress of Simplicity 1325 and the pants that come with the original pattern. Now, I did not have the pants pattern, but I did have the pattern for the dress. For the pants I used the pieces of the Swordfish Pants that were elongated to waist height.

The fabric was some plaid stuff with silver threads. The pattern was nicely small scale which meant matching it was not too difficult. I lined it with some white stuff with small flower things. This was probably not the best choice as it does show in some areas. However, I really like the way it turned out. I started with sewing the pants, including pockets but ignored the darts in the back as those needed to line up with the top. After sewing the top and attaching them together most of the way, I sewed in the darts in the back of the pants and added the zipper. As an afterthought, I added the loops to the back pockets and buttons to match the pull I attached to the zipper to get it off easier.

I wore it yesterday to a birthday and I really like it. I feel it is actually quite flattering (don’t tell me if it isn’t) and it’s quite comfortable. The only issue is that I’m still trying to figure out how to wear it. Decisions on what shirt to wear underneath and stuff like that. However, I don’t think that will stop me from choosing it as I really like it. We’ll see how it holds up to a full day of going to the toilet and getting it on and off in confined spaces…

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Plaid Jacket

At some point in the past I bought a coupon (between 1.5-2.0) meters of some form of loosely woven plaid stuff. I cannot remember fully why I did this, although I do remember thinking that I should make a jacket out of it. – Brainwave! After filling in the tags for this post, I figured out that I used ‘blue-purple’ once before, for the Double Duty dress, so I guess I bought it for that? – Fast forward a few.. months I think, and I finally pulled it out of the hoard to make a short jacket. The plaid is not balanced and attempting to match would be the death of  so I just.. didn’t. I did of course try to mirror the pieces that needed to be cut twice, by choosing the purple line that runs through as the central line.

The pattern I chose was one in Simplicity Naaimode 24 – also known as most of the elements of Simplicity 1325. Very few pieces, unlined and I wanted to test out those bones for the future. I made only one flat pattern change and that was to lengthen the sleeves by 10 cm. I cannot deal with sleeves that are not either full length or short, I need to have control over whether they are halfway up my arms or not. So I cut out the pattern (which took forever) and started sewing. Since the jacket was unlined, I bound some of the seams to make it look somewhat pretty on the insides too, see pictures above.


The instructions were quite helpful this time and I followed them fairly closely. The one other change to the original pattern was that I created a little more of a waist by taking in some of the fabric of the front in the side seams after finishing the remainder of the jacket. When I put it on at the end, I discovered that from the front it looks as though I actually matched the sleeves along the bodice, so happy accidents! Now I only need to convince myself to put it on every now and again.

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The Day of Three Shirts (part 3)

So the last shirt of Wednesday was I shirt pattern that had come in my possession after some extensive google translating. The pattern is 0880 from Papavero, Krawiecka bluzka błyskawiczna. I’ve had an account at Papavero for quite a long time, and in the past most of their patterns were free (yay!). Nowadays, they charge for downloading a pattern, so I needed to get my grabby little fingers on some Papavero credits. Queue me attempting, for the first time ever, to do a ‘world transfer’ from my bank account while google translating the instructions from Papavero and carefully attempting to pay 49 Polish Zloty. Two days later, it turned out that I was successful and I managed to buy this pattern and a few others, but you’ll hear about those once I start/finish the projects associated.

After what felt like forever trying to place the pattern pieces with as little owl-edge as possible, I succeeded. There are a few left over leaves in the side seams from the back pieces, but because I chose to use the wrong side of the fabric, this is barely noticeable. The remaining owls are going in the bin and this is another completed fabric. As for the project, I first sewed the sleeve hems, neckline edges and hems with the twin needle, and then I switched to a jersey needle for the actual sewing. I sort of tried to use the instructions, but in the end managed to wing it based on the pattern pieces and notches themselves.

The fabric isn’t really stretchy, so I’m hoping the neckline edge will shrink a little in the wash, although it is fine as is. I’m generally always impressed with the way the notches on Papavero patterns line up, and this thing fits pretty true to size, I think. Papavero publishes their patterns in a range of sizes, first height (I chose 156, I am 158), then size (I chose 36), then cup size (I chose X). The only small gripe I have is that the sleeves are fairly tight and I’m not sure how to keep the overlap from gapping, but I might just sew a few stitches to get that solved.

That was the end of the (epic) Three Shirt Day series, on to the next thing!

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The Day of Three Shirts (part 2)

After finishing the first shirt, I wanted to finally tackle some Owl fabric I’ve had in the hoard since.. a long time. It was a bit of grey knit, with four framed owls on it. This meant that some fabric would need to be wasted in order to get an owl centered on any garment. If I would turn the fabric around, the back would still show a little of the owls through, so I couldn’t really just use the wrong side either.

After some careful placement, I did manage to get the front cut out. At that point, I’d already decided that wanted to try and cut another shirt from the leftovers on the grey only. This meant that it took me at least an hour of putting down pattern pieces and picking them back up and putting them somewhere else to get what I wanted. In the end, I decided that I wanted to have another owl centered on the back of the first shirt so that was that. I hemmed the sleeves, neckline, and bottom (and the edges of the other shirt) before changing needles and sewing the shoulder seams and side seams. If the placement would have been easier, this would have been a very speedy project. On to the third part!

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The Day of Three Shirts (part 1)

So, today started of snotty – I have a cold, during my vacation – but I managed to get myself into action. I’d started planning a shirt yesterday night but I couldn’t get my brain around the limited amount of fabric. This morning, I started again. Initially I was debating between the shirt pattern with attached sleeves and the one with separate sleeves. After trying to fit them on the small piece of fabric I had left, it had to be the one with separate sleeves. I even had to shorten those to a previously used shorten line because they wouldn’t fit otherwise.

The fabric I used, was left over from the Forgotten Graduation Dress. After ironing the fabric flat again to get the most advantageous pattern placement, I cut out the pieces. The bottoms were not even, but I figured that I would find a solution for that at some other point in the process. I’ve now decided that whatever leftovers there were, they are destined for the bin. One more fabric ‘completed’.

I hemmed the sleeves first with a twin-needle, then sewed the shoulder seams. Next came the sleeves and then the sleeve and side seams in one fell swoop. I found a piece of fabric that was just long enough to bind the neckline edge. Lastly, I decided that I mostly liked the shape of the hem, the back was straight with a small diagonal edge and the front was completely at an angle with a bit of fabric added at the shortest side. I cut of the weird extra bit, which effectively made the shirt’s front and back on that side the same length. Yay, for happy accidents. Hemmed the bottom with the twin needle and called it a day! Or no, I decided to tackle the other difficult placement problem fabric I had in the hoard too. You’ll see about that later!

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Convocation Dress

Another event just happened. We opened the academic year yet again. This time, I had a dress that barely had any back. But it was too cold so I wore the magic Shrug? over it to keep warm.

It all started when I was looking for a pattern that would make a nice dress and would be interesting. So I searched through all my stash and found Knipmode November 2015 which contained dresses 7 and 10. I combined the sleeves from 10 with the body from 7. This was possible since dresses 7 through 11 all had the same bodice, just different sleeves, skirts and neckline treatments.

I finally managed to use a fabric that I had bought for an event like this. It’s some form of slightly stretchy woven thing with large floral print. I’m not generally one for florals, but this one was not dainty, so it fit me better. However, there wasn’t very much of it, so I shortened the skirt and did not make a full lining for the bodice, but improvised a partial lining. I attempted to do an exposed zipper for the first time ever. It was also the first time I tried a horsehair braid hem.

The main alteration was that I had to take the back in by at least 5 cm, I don’t know why. Apart from that, I think that the darts were all in the right places and the pockets are very nice. There is a snap on the top closure thing, since I didn’t want to make a button hole.

Cutting the pattern probably took the longest. I had put all the pieces on my fabric and it was not fitting on at all, so I shortened the skirt, which helped, and then tried to find the configuration which would save the most fabric. Then after sewing most of the pieces together, I had to cut out the partial lining. For some reason I was afraid of this, so that took a few days of gathering courage. Eventually I did manage to get my act together and put the thing together. Then some minutes of watching horsehair braid being applied and I went for it, which took some time at the television to hand sew and voila, a dress!

Bras are in danger of showing a little, but I have decided that it shouldn’t be too big of a problem. With the shrug over it, no one would be able to tell anyway. So far, it does wear nice, but it needs an under skirt of some kind if I’m wearing a legging. Shouldn’t be a problem next summer.

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