Yes, I am well aware it is now Thursday. I forgot to push the publish button yesterday evening.
The Archer pattern was all ready to be cut out today, but in a last-minute change of heart I decided that I really need jeans much more than I need another button-up. The fact that I have ripped the knee of my only acceptable pair of jeans but am still wearing them to teach occasionally may have something to do with this shift in priorities.
Anyway, buying pants is just the worst because they either cut off blood flow through my thighs, or they require a belt and a set of suspenders to not fall off my waist. Initially, I wanted to use a pattern I found in one of my Knipmode magazines, but I turned to the internet for advice first. I was pleasantly surprised that in the year that I almost abandoned the sewing corners of the internet a wonderful jeans had emerged.
I took a long time to decide which size to cut, because as always my hips and waist are different sizes. It looked a lot more complicated to grade between sizes here than it is for skirts or dresses. Eventually I decided to cut a size 8 at the waist and grade to a 10 at the hips, with a little bit extra on the inner thighs to be sure. Hopefully I can get it basted together later this week, and see if the fit is alright.
This will be my first time sewing jeans, and I’m kinda nervous about it. Not about the technical aspects, but about getting the fit just right, and whether my machine will be able to deal with all those layers of denim.
One of my main sewing missions for 2016 is finding the perfect button-up sewing pattern, and although this one is not that yet, it is pretty good! I love the straight silhouette, and the fact that it has no darts whatsoever. The fit throughout the body is great, but I do wish the sleeves were just a tad shorter and tighter, especially around the wrist. Those crinkles you see throughout the body are a combination of the shirt having been in my bag for a few hours, and the fact that it was very windy!
The process from fabric to shirt was rather slow. From October 2014 to July 2015, the fabric was waiting for the perfect pattern, and from July 2015 until last week this shirt was in a box, completely finished except for the buttonholes and buttons. I had been putting off the buttonholes for months because my machine isn’t always the best at them. Last week I had a sudden burst of finishing energy (at 11pm, of all times) and I am very glad I finally got it over with, because I’ve been wearing this shirt a lot since it’s been finished!
The original design has a pointed yoke and patch pockets, but I decided to not include those because I was too lazy to create perfectly matched panda-pockets. Perhaps there is another version in the future that will include those details, because they do look very cool.
Just the Facts:
Pattern: Model 20 from Knipmode 12-2014 (€ 7,-)
Fabric: 100% Cotton, printed with pandas. Bought in Paris, Oct 2015 (€ 10,-)
Notions: Wooden buttons from Stephen & Penelope (€ 2,50)
Total Cost: € 19,50
Also, yes that is indeed a Morris Blazer in the second picture. I don’t often have a chance to take photos, so we decided to get that one photographed too. It does however deserve its own blog post, so that one will come later this week!
Pattern: Beyond Puerperium by Kelly Brooker
Size: Don’t remember exactly. Probably the 2nd or 3rd size.
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Glazed Pecan
I went to visit a friend’s fresh baby this afternoon, so I can now finally show this adorable little cardigan. The knitting itself was done a long time ago, but of course I did not sew on any buttons until the very last minute. It’s moments like these that I am especially grateful for my big stash of random buttons.
The knitting for this was done months ago; I started it back in June when she first told me she was pregnant. According to her due date, the baby was supposed to share my birthday (New Year’s Eve), but I’m very happy for him that he decided to come one day earlier. Although believing the fireworks are for your birthday is great, it’s a rather inconvenient birthday otherwise.
The original pattern is for a cardigan, but I changed it into a sweater by joining the body in the round after I separated the sleeves. I knit the three buttonband stitches together with those on the other side, and then simply worked in stockinette until the hem. Overall this was a very easy, quick knit and it looks adorable with the three different buttons.
My apartment is tragically lacking in good, natural lighting – especially after 4ish in the afternoon. This made it hard to take good pics of the materials for my Phoebe Dress before I cut into it. The pic above is quite accurate when it comes to colours, so it will have to do for now. The purple is a lovely, medium weight silk twill, and the grey is a thinner silk to serve as the lining. I’ve been way too precious about these fabrics for much too long… they have been in my stash for probably three years. I thought they were from my 2013 Paris trip (the only reason I remember when that was, is that I blogged about it), but the post with all the fabrics from that trip does not contain these fabrics. To my great shame that means that this fabric is probably even a year older than this. To my even greater shame, looking back at that post made me realise that I haven’t used ANY of those fabrics.
Because I have 3 metres of the main fabric, and I’m no longer very attached to it, I’m not going to make a muslin. I did a quick tissue fitting to see if there were any major problems, but I think it will be alright. I will, however, baste the whole dress together for a fitting before stitching it properly.
Based on my measurements (34/27/38) I graded from a size 2 in the bust to a 4 in the waist and to a 6 in the hips. This dress will probably be way too fancy for any everyday occasion, but the other day I had to go to a fancy party, and realised that I got rid of almost all my dresses. Hopefully this will be a good addition to my closet again.
Seeing everyone’s #2016MakeNine posts pop up on blogs and Instagram, has me inspired to do some planning ahead myself. These are the nine items that will probably appear in my closet at some point in 2016.
- Phoebe Dress by Colette Patterns.
The sewalong for this dress has just kicked off, and I’m excited to join it. Pattern has been printed and traced, and the fabric is ready to go.
- Archer Button-Up by Grainline Studio
My main quest for this year is the perfect button up shirt. Judging from all the pictures I’ve seen of it, this one might just fit the bill!
- Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio
I need some sort of winter coat for the coming winter, and I’ve been desiring a duffle coat for a long time. I have some plaid and some purple wool in my stash for this.
- Zinnia Skirt by Colette Patterns
I really like the small darts, and think this will look lovely a wide variety of fabrics.
- League Sweater by Veronik Avery
Can’t say much about this, other than that it looks awesome! It will be hard to find other colour combinations that work for this though…
- Watson Bra & Undies by Cloth Habit
Here I’m most likely to draft my own pattern instead, but as I already own this I might as well see if I can get this one to fit.
- Scout Tee by Grainline Studio
Even if I find the perfect button-up, I don’t want to be wearing only those all year. Especially for summer, this seems a cute, simple top!
- Cascades Sweater by Michelle Wang
Not 100% sure if I will make this exact sweater, or if I will design my own cabled sweater to go over button-ups, but some type of gorgeous cabled sweater will be created at some point in 2016!
- Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files
Although they’re last on this list, they’ve jumped to the top of my sewing queue after I ripped trough the knees of my only pair of jeans.
Behold! My first sewing FO in a long time that is actually wearable. I’ve worn it twice since I finished it last Wednesday, and I see a few more Paxson sweaters in the future. The fabric is also lovely, even though it seems to be mostly synthetic. It’s a thin knit that is slightly heathered. It reminds me of those stylish men’s sweaters, which I can never find in a size small enough for me. They had the same fabric in dark red, petrol and brown, so I might go back for another colour. I used only 1,5 metres (at 150cm wide) instead of the 2 metres that the pattern stated.
However, the total process was much longer than the 1 hour it states on the website. My time spent was something more like this:
- Cutting, taping and tracing the printed pattern: 1 hour
- Cutting the actual fabric: 0,5 hour
- Fighting with my serger: 1,5 hours
- Actually sewing: 1,5 hours
Usually, most of my problems with any sewing machines are fixed by simply changing the needle, so I thought to be proactive and change out my serger needles before even beginning. After 1,5 hours of swearing at the machine – or as I referred to it by that point “piece of junk” – I decided in a fit of desperation to switch back to the old needles, and guess what: apparently the new needles were not exactly the correct type.
Anyway, once I got everything to work the actual sewing was fast and painless. I made a size S without any adjustments, and I’m very pleased with the fit. The only change I will make to any future versions is to lengthen the sleeves by approximately 2 cm because they are just a bit on the short side.
Overall verdict: Lovely sweater that will get a lot of wear! It was the perfect choice to get back into sewing.
Up next: Wearable muslin for the Grainline Studios Morris Blazer in a black stretch cotton.
After a solid year of not sewing, apparently all it took to get back into the swing of things was one successful project. I haven’t yet managed to catch any daylight in order to take pictures of my first finished Paxson, but I absolutely love it. Hopefully it won’t be pouring with rain this weekend so I can get it photographed and blogged.
In the mean time, I’m getting excited about making many more versions of Paxson because it is exactly the kind of sweater I like to wear.
Rag & Bone Color Block Dakota Sweatshirt – Photo from La Garconne, now sold out
I found this sweater on Pinterest, and I think a colourblocked Paxson could be absolutely lovely. I especially love this one because it has neutral colours, but is exciting enough with the different panels. You can’t see it on this picture, but the sleeves of this sweater are also white on the underside. I’m not sure if I would include that in my version, but either way the pattern should be very easy to adapt.
Another idea I’ve had, but haven’t been able to find good pictures of, are contrasting shoulders – perhaps some type of leather together with a slightly heavier knit.