Well, that got away from me.

Oh, hi, September. I didn’t mean to take so much time off of here. Honestly, I realized about 2/3 of the way through the summer that I never hit publish on this post, as I’d meant to go back and try to get better pictures. Obviously, my life is not conducive to better pictures, so here I am just playing catch up with what I have.

I had decided to take a break from the chain reaction sewing in order to fill a badly needed wardrobe gap. During the temperature ping-pong match that is Mid-Atlantic spring and fall, I can sometimes get away with my flannel pants and sometimes get away with my shorts. But more often than not, I really just need some lighter weight pants! And all I had left in this category, after three pregnancies’ worth of stretching killed my RTW set, was a pair of falling-apart Sewaholic Tofino pants that I made during my newlywed year.

I had been intrigued by the Fortuna Pants in the Itch to Stitch Sew Beautiful book since I first saw them, because—confession time— even though I wear them pretty regularly around the house, I’m not a huge fan of the jogger style pants. Especially the ones with the cuff on the bottom, because they remind me of 1980s sweatpants. These, however, have a wide leg option, and that is what I decided to try out.

My fabric was a soft, stretchy jersey that I hacked in half lengthwise and made a wrap baby carrier out of for my firstborn. It didn’t get used much, because it was very cumbersome to tie up out of the house (like dragging on the parking lot), and I got a Moby wrap at a swap before my middle child came along. So I’ve had it stashed for close to 5 years. I made the size 12, with a few modifications. First, I added about an inch to the back crotch curve. The finished pants ended up rather high rise, so this probably wasn’t necessary, but it’s an adjustment that I often need. I also graded it in to a size 10 at the waist, which worked great. Finally, I modified the front to have the angled pockets of the jogger version, because I got spoiled by having pockets in the multiple Carolyn pants and shorts that I’ve made, and can’t go back to pocketless pjs.

Let me just say, these pj pants are super comfortable. I’m sure a lot of that is due to the fabric, but I’m really loving the wide leg. When I wear them, I can’t help feeling like I’m wearing glamorous 1930s loungewear instead of pandemic world stretchy pants. I also feel like, with the right fabric, these could be easily dressed up or down. Maybe some future orchestra pants, if I can find the right black knit? The one thing that I wasn’t entirely satisfied with were the pockets, since they bag out very easily when I put my phone in my pocket. But more on that later.

I had some of the baby wrap left over, so the next pattern I tried was Hey June Handmade’s Santa Fe top. I didn’t realize when I printed it that I was essentially assembling 6 complete patterns, so the prep took the last several nights of my 100 Days Project. But it was a quick sew! I knew I wanted sleeves on my pj top, so I only had enough of the jersey left for the contrast and piecing together the neckband. I paired it with a lightweight black jersey that I’d ordered in hopes of making a good basic black tee, but it’s not great in the opacity and recovery departments. Good enough for sleepwear, though!

I made a straight size L for this one, and believe I’ll be sticking with it for now. I did find the neckband a little unwieldy, mostly due to needing a lot more practice to do a decently straight edge stitch on my coverstitch machine. I’m guessing the sleeve bands were supposed to have similar construction and be half the width , but oh well.

Overall, I think both patterns are keepers, and have definite TNT potential. In fact, I’ve already made the Fortuna again, but as the shorts!

I did make a few little tweaks the second time. I wanted to give my pockets a little more stability, so I drafted a self-facing, and used that as a sort of lining/interfacing when I sewed them on. It’s not a perfect fix, but my phone does pull the pocket far less out of shape than in my pj pants. The binding was a little different as well, but that was more me accidentally sewing it on the incorrect side and then just rolling with it.

Finally, I made a faux cuff by basically flipping the hem to the outside. The fabric, a very soft French terry, is excellent for comfort, but the color combined with the style was giving me serious gym shorts vibes. So this was me attempting to be marginally more stylish than I’ve become. That being said, I’ve been wearing these quite often since I finished them. So, since I don’t have many shorts anyway, I think more will be in order when I have time and comfy fabric in more interesting colors and prints.

Summer pajamas, just in time for fall

Most of my August sewing time was dedicated to the continued restocking of my pajamas. My lightweight ones were getting particularly ratty, as they bore the brunt of both third trimesters and the most frequent nighttime nursing sessions. So I made myself two new sets, featuring some of my favorite things!

20180830_075432Since I’d already worked out the fitting adjustments for the Closet Case Carolyn pants back in the winter, I figured I’d keep rolling with that. Plus they have pockets. So I just copied the exact same backside adjustment when tracing out the shorts, and went for it for both pairs.

For the first set I finished, the most challenging part was forgetting to sew the back piece to the cuffs and having to unpick it. Oops. But it had also been awhile since I’d done a project with piping, so it was good to refresh my memory on how to handle that. The fabric is a quilting cotton that my mom gifted me last Christmas specifically for this purpose, with tea mugs all over.

20180830_075428The accompanying shirt is the tank version of the Sew Liberated Stasia tee, which I’d wanted to test anyway. I was hoping that I could have this one do double duty for wearing in public, since basic color tank tops are something I’ve found myself lacking in this summer. But alas, while this (rayon?) jersey knit is super comfortable to wear, it just didn’t have the right recovery, and adding the binding to the armholes stretched them out. You can see it a little better on the left side of the picture. Pajamas it is. That being said, I’m quite happy with the results otherwise, and will have to try this again with a less drapey knit. I think it just might be the basic tank pattern I’ve been looking for! I really seriously considered adding a stencil to the tee with a cute tea-related slogan, but it reached the point where I just needed to get it done.

20180831_090744For the second set, I made the Carolyn pajama top, which was new to me. It seems to fit very well straight out of the envelope (I made a size 14). The only changes I made were doing 4 buttons instead of 5 (I misplaced one during the sewing process and couldn’t find another in the stash to match), and swapping out the trim.

Flute pajamas close-up

When I went to Joann’s, they were completely out of white piping, and I didn’t want to spend my precious sewing time making plain piping. So I bought rickrack instead. It might have been too cutesy little girl on another fabric, but I think that it ended up complimenting my funky flutes well! The resulting scallops echoed the keyhole shapes in several flutes on the print very nicely.

20180831_090819Since this was a project I made in my mom’s sewing room and I didn’t want to rethread her serger, I did take the time on this set to finish the insides very nicely– French seams and hand stitching the facing to the shoulder seams and such. It’s another quilting cotton, and I was wearing this overnight before I took the pictures, which is why it’s a little wrinkled. It’s a very comfortable shirt to wear, though I generally prefer tees for sleeping. I’m actually quite tempted to try making one in a regular shirting fabric for everyday wear, though if I ever do that, I’ll definitely have to do something about that pooling in the back. The width across the back is good, though, so I don’t think it would be an issue for when I’m actually playing the flute and not just wearing them!

I’ve started my fall sewing now, but it’s still warm enough around here that I am getting at least some use out of these pajamas this season. I don’t think I’m quite done with this pattern yet, as I could use a pair of pajama pants that are lighter weight than flannel but warmer than shorts. But since I have other things to make that need to take higher priority, I seriously doubt I’ll get to it this year!

On a more personal note, since our two golden retrievers liked to photobomb me on here fairly regularly, it’s only fair to pay tribute to the one we had to put to sleep yesterday. The photo I have further up with the tea pajamas is one of the last ones I have of Malkin (the blonde retriever). We noticed back in April that he had a tumor growing on one of his front legs, but by that point, it was too late to try and do anything about it. So we’d just been trying to make him as comfortable as we could over the last several months. He took a turn for the worse this week, though, so it was time to end his suffering. He’ll be missed greatly, though, especially by Crosby (our redhead retriever) and Doug, who had both of the dogs before he met me. Rest in peace, boy.

Pajama-rama

This is really a catch-up post, since this is what I spent most of January and a little bit of early February sewing. One of my #2018makenine goals was the Carolyn pajamas by Closet Case Patterns, because my sleepwear stash was in really rough shape! Especially my winter pajamas, since everything was either falling apart or horribly stretched or just too small now. So I’ve replaced all but one set with some brand new pajama pants, plus some knit tops.

IMG_5644 First up, the plaid pants. I actually bought this flannel to go with a Doctor Who-themed Christmas tee, not pictured here. The pants overall were pretty simple to make, especially since I just used black thread for all three pairs and knocked them out assembly-line style. The hardest part was probably just cutting this pair out, because of the plaid matching, but I think it went pretty well. The top that I’m wearing with this one is just a store-bought knit shirt that I used to wear at my garden center job, but never really pulled out for everyday wear. I don’t know why, it’s a perfectly serviceable black shirt, but it works well for free pajamas.

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I did have to make two adjustments on here. The length was oddly long on me, so I just chopped a couple inches off of the hem. The less expected one was that I actually had to adjust for my backside. When I was tracing them out, the crotch curve seemed kind of short to me. So I took some measurements, decided that it might be best to add some length to it, and quickly looked up how to do that. I think it was a good choice, because I’m pretty sure I’d tear these up in awkward places sooner if I hadn’t. (Hi, Padawan!)

Also, can I say how nice it is to have pajama pants with pockets? Let’s be honest, life with kids means that sometimes I don’t get my pjs off before mid-morning, so it’s nice to have somewhere convenient to keep my phone.

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My second print is navy with some lighter blue sunflowers, and for the top, I went with the Sewaholic Renfrew. If it looks a little saggy in a few places, it’s because of the drape of the fabric. It’s one of those bamboo rayon blends that is probably all wrong for the structure of this top, but oh so comfortable to sleep in. Mostly, I wanted to do a wearable muslin so I could sort out my new sizing, after the complete disaster that was the basic black nursing tee that I made last summer. I’m happy to say that this worked out much better! I ended up going down another size, and grading in another size around the waist. So I’m feeling much more confident about my chances of success, next time I decide that I need a quick knit project and want to use one of the knits I’ve been hoarding for this pattern. Yay, I have one of my favorite TNTs back again!

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Since actually taking pictures of me wearing things is generally the thing that stands between me and more frequent blogging, I decided to let the floor model the last set. It’s this adorable cartoon London-themed print, and I paired it with a cotton-poly interlock that had been in my stash for ages. The top, of course, is the Plantain tee, since apparently that is what I make for something like every third project right now.

 

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Seriously, how cute is this fabric? It has Union Jack teapots!! No TARDIS, but the Anglophile in me is still quite satisfied, and ready to curl up in these to read some Brit lit while listening to the Beatles or something. Hmmm, the next book for the book club I’m doing now is set in alternate universe England…

This definitely won’t be the last time I use this pattern. Especially since my summer pj collection also needs an update, and I got Christmas fabric to make 2 more warmer weather sets! Including one with the actual shirt from this pattern. I’ve got two summer-specific projects that I’m in the very early stages of tackling first, but watch this space.

So now I’m only one project behind on sharing finished things. I just need to get pictures first…

My 2018 Make Nine Plans

I did participate in the #2017makenine thing that was going around on Instagram, and it worked really well in helping me to prioritize my sewing this year. Out of the nine projects I picked, the Archer shirt is the only one that I just didn’t get to at all. And I was still able to work in a few projects that were more wants instead of needs. It took some thought, but here is the #2018makenine that I finally settled on:

My #2018makenine was hard to narrow down, and there’s a lot of planned projects that I had to leave off. But if I go with what will give me the most wardrobe boosting powers, I have: 1. A knit maxidress. 2. A Fumuterre skirt. 3. A Stasia dress and/or top. 4. Pajamas, because I need to replace virtually all of mine. 5. A swimsuit/rash guard, because I don’t have a functional one and I’m tired of sunburns. 6. Two Wild Things coats, because it’s pretty much the cutest thing I can get away with #sewingforboys. 7. The Archer shirt, attempt 2. 8. The Lander shorts, though I still need to buy this pattern. 9. The Appleton shirt hack. I already have stash for 1, 3, some 4, outside of 6, 7, 8 if I do denim, and 9. #sewingplans

A post shared by sewadagio (@sewadagio) on

 

(The actual picture doesn’t seem to be showing up, at least on my computer. So just in case, here’s the link.)

  1. 1. McCall’s 7350, a dress pattern that I bought recently. I also found a great ITY print on clearance at Fabric.com, which made snagging 5 yards to make the more dramatic maxi version that caught my eye affordable.
  2. Deer & Doe’s Fumuterre skirt. I was gifted a lovely cotton print with this earthy, abstract leafy type print to give this one a go.
  3. Sew Liberated’s Stasia dress. Or maybe top. Or both. I do have a few yards of a print from a couple Christmases ago that would be a good candidate for the shorter dress, but I feel like the top has more TNT potential as a basic fitted knit top. I just might test it out on one of the pajama sets.
  4. The aforementioned pajamas. The Closet Case Carolyn pajamas are pictured, and that is a pattern that I got for Christmas. I’ll start with just the pants, since I have a few lengths of flannel that are enough for that but not a full set. Since I also need some hot weather things, a set or two from the Grainline Lakeside pajamas that I’ve had waiting in my pattern stash are also likely. Though I was given fabric to make the more summery version of the Carolyn as well.
  5. The swimsuit. I picked the Jalie picture that features both the rash guard shirt and the briefs lined swim shorts that I’m eyeing. I’ll need to purchase both patterns and fabric for this one, so this will be a main exception to my plan to buy as little fabric as possible, except where needed for specific reasons.
  6. While I can easily think of more patterns that I still hope to make for myself, I do want to make sure I get to this pattern before the boys are much older. This is the Twig & Tale Wild Things coat, pictured in the dinosaur option. I have a piece of this weird khaki-ish corduroy that I probably got 10 or so years ago, and am strongly considering dyeing in 2 pieces to make the outside of whichever animals I decide on. I’ll likely need to get linings for this as well.
  7.  The Grainline Archer shirt, since I didn’t get to it this year and it does have useful TNT potential, once I make a few changes from my last version. I have a plaid flannel that’s been sitting around waiting for that one.
  8. True Bias’s Lander shorts. I still need shorts since the ones I made this year didn’t work out, and I got the pattern for Christmas, along with a fun piece of crosshatch denim to make them. I’ll probably do a test in something less interesting, though. I’ve got enough plain non-stretch denim, and I think my days of non-stretch jeans are over, so that will be a good stashbust.
  9. Cashmerette Appleton, as a wrap top. I have a piece of ITY in my stash that I had been thinking would make a good one, so I was delighted to read that Jenny made the instructions for this hack available on her site– now I don’t have to take the time to figure it out myself!

I have so many projects in mind that I would also like to tackle this year if I can. It was actually really hard for me to narrow this list down, because of the much longer one I have! I’d love to make myself a new dress for Easter this year, because I’ve been either pregnant, nursing, or leaving the hospital just after giving birth for the last 3 of them, and wasn’t able to have any fun with my outfit. (If I hadn’t given up that ninth spot for the boys, this probably would have been the last pick.) I recently bought this adorable kids’ toy pattern that I would really like to make up for the boys’ Easter baskets, too. I have a couple of  more involved jacket patterns that I’ve been plotting out for a couple of years now, and other patterns that I’ve been hoarding that have had to get pushed to the side, like the Ginger jeans and the Sew House Seven Tea House dress/top. I have knits that are begging to get turned into Plantains and Renfrews, and the Ebony tee to try out. And that’s not even the whole list! But aside from the lack of pants, I think this group has some good mix and match potential in the silhouettes, as well as some good standout pieces. So here’s hoping that I’m not being overly ambitious, and here’s to happy sewing time in 2018!

Top 5 Misses of 2016

While I did have some things I made this year that I really liked, my output this year also definitely had its “meh” moments. So here’s the things that just didn’t quite work out as planned…again, all things made for me, and more or less chronological.

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IMG_3415 1. The pajamas that look like hospital clothes. I mean, I still wore them regularly enough, because they’re pajamas, and I needed them. And I guess they could be worse. But the tea dyeing experiment was a total fail, the pants are actually too long and I never bothered to fix them even though I’m constantly in danger of tripping on them, and the shirt is just a total frump fest. Definitely more the pjs that scream “I don’t care today” than the ones you wear to feel both cute and comfy. It’s sad, since my first pair of Sewaholic Tofino pj pants turned out cute and comfy. But at least I got some fabric out of my stash, right?

Appleton Dress

 

 

2. My first version of the Cashmerette Appleton dress. The dress itself isn’t too bad, though I wasn’t exactly happy with the wrap skirt and what felt like a lack of guaranteed coverage to me. Elastic makes it work, but I shouldn’t have to engineer internal straps just to be sure my basic knit dress will stay closed, you know? Honestly, I think the biggest miss on this was the fabric. I hardly ever wear red, or such a pinky shade of coral, and I’m really not sure what my brain was thinking when I picked up this coupon of fabric in Paris. Probably something along the lines of “la vie en rose.” I’m dorky like that. My machine deciding it hates hemming ITY didn’t really help. I wore it a few times, and I’ll probably wear it again once I can, but I still like my previously mentioned second version soooo much better.

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3 and 4 are both versions of the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee that I made this year. Nothing against the pattern, since my previous version turned out great and I still wore it a lot while I could this year. Both of these were also fabric issues, I think– the coral was just too thin and didn’t have enough give, which caused the neckline to go all wonky. And the ivory one was just a pattern hack gone wrong for the clinginess that the knit ended up having. Especially around my waist and hips. Again, I still wore both of these, and will probably continue to do so after nursing. At least, until I get around to replacing these two basics with something better. I have other priorities I need to get to first. (Or maybe I’ll just straighten out the hemline on the ivory one, at least. That might help.) My biggest frustration is really that this is supposed to be such a simple, basic pattern, and I screwed it up twice in a row.

IMG_4388 5. The hippie-esque shirt that was nearly the last thing for myself that I made this year. As mentioned in the post, it’s partially a victim of bad timing– I’ve outgrown it for now, and won’t be able to really give it a chance until I’m done with nursing the new baby. But this one also has much to do with the fabric itself, specifically the colorway. Beigey tan reeeeeeally isn’t my best look. But it was deep stash, and at least it’s out.

How did you all do this year? Anything supposedly simple that went very wrong?

The best laid plans, and so on

Yeah, my sewing has gotten off to a rather slow start this year! Between the reorganization project taking longer than expected, and the continuing saga of naptime issues (spoiler alert, he still doesn’t want me to put him down, even with that zippy swaddle thing from the last post), I was getting really concerned that I wouldn’t finish what should have been a simple project in time to tie it in with this month’s theme at The Monthly Stitch. I don’t manage to play along every month, but I was really excited about my idea for a garment inspired by a favorite beverage!

Only, it didn’t quite go as planned. I’m a little embarrassed to share this one, honestly. But not every project is going to be a winner, and I think it’s important to learn from the fails, too.

IMG_3340Obviously, my beverage of choice had to be tea. But I already have a dress with teacups on it, so my idea was to start working on this year’s goal of replenishing my pajamas/loungewear wardrobe, with the help of some tea dyeing. I had a piece of what I’m fairly certain was a bedsheet, which got passed on to me when someone destashed it onto my mom. I knew the effect of the dye would be subtle, since there was most likely some polyester content in the fabric, but I hoped that it would be just enough to bring out the tone-on-tone print.

So I got my tea brewed–not a brand I actually care to drink, of course– boiled the fabric in it for as long as we could manage to keep Hobbit happy, washed it…and ended up with exactly what I’d started with. Drat.

I decided to go ahead and start sewing anyway. The pants are the Sewaholic Tofino pattern, which I’ve made before, and will likely make several more times this year, because I like the way they fit me. I didn’t even have to make any sizing changes to accommodate the extra post-baby pounds! I made the piping and ties out of a remnant of solid brown left over from an old dress, thinking the brown might help tie in the tea idea. I realized closer to the end of the sewing process that I still didn’t feel comfortable with the color, and especially the thought of taking blog photos in white, somewhat see-through pants.

So I broke out more dye, this time in chocolate brown. Surely that would tint the cotton to a nice, tea-stained tan, right?

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Nope. It turned pink. Pastel pink, of all things. Which is my third least favorite color on the planet, when not occurring naturally outside. I’ve actually had this problem before with this color, but in the context of dyeing silk. I sure didn’t think a poly/cotton blend would act the same way! So, what to do? Though the half-finished tee from my refashion bin took the tea dye in a subtle way, the pants just didn’t read “tea” to me. And I will take a chocolate milkshake over strawberry every single time, so that wouldn’t make a good inspiration drink for me.

 

 

 

 

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Then I remembered that I had this “four red fruits” tea that I brought home from Paris, which is still around thanks to the cruel pregnancy trick of mostly not being able to stomach tea. It’s a black tea with strawberry, raspberry, Problem solved!

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A quick note on the shirt: I don’t really know what pattern it is. It’s one of two identical white tees that my mom started and didn’t finish, because she doesn’t particularly enjoy making clothes anyway and she wasn’t happy about how it was turning out. My original thought was to maybe recut it into a Plantain tee or something, but then I noticed that the side seams had been sewn already, and I was getting anxious to finish it up. So I just zig-zagged the neck binding and hems down as it was, though I did serge the sides and sleeves in a little because I was hoping to cancel out the dropped shoulder a bit. I’d also thought of maybe stenciling a teacup or something on it, because it’s admittedly boring. And maybe someday, I’ll do that.

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For now, I’m calling it good enough for pajamas, and happily moving on to the next project. Even though this looks like hospital clothes. Hopefully the next thing will turn out better. But at least I shouldn’t have any trouble with nursing in these pjs. (Note to self: Next time, take the time to make the Plantain.)

put a bird on it

IMG_1329There was a week or week and a half or so near the end of March where I had absolutely no time to sew at home– I had five rehearsals for various music things in 7 days (!), and all more in the northern part of the state. My parents live closer to everything I do than I do now, and I still teach there anyway, so I just killed the extra time at their place rather than lose the extra hour (and gas/toll money) driving home and back. The point of all this is that my mom is great, and not only let me use her sewing machine to construct these badly-needed pajama pants, she also let me raid her stash! I tried really hard to finish these in April, because it’s the one contribution to Pink April that I could have possibly had in my anti-pink stash, but didn’t quite make it.

To continue the running theme of Sewaholic patterns that I seem to have going on this year, these are the Tofino pants. The side panels didn’t really add a whole lot of extra construction time, and I like that I can mix fabrics. The added waistband piece vs. fold over and sew is kind of nice, too–I think the crotch depth of this pair is more flattering than other pj pants I’ve made. Plus once the top starts getting holes in the top but the rest of the pants are still in good shape, I could always just remove that piece and sew on a new waistband, rather than toss the whole pair!

IMG_1324Isn’t this bird print fun? I’ve had it for a couple of years. I originally bought it with a Sewaholic Crescent skirt in mind, since the pattern specifically says it works with quilt cotton! But in typical fashion, the print ended up being a much larger scale than I’d thought when I ordered, and I just didn’t think it would work for the skirt seaming, especially in the yoke. But it’s great for crazy loud pj pants! Of course, since I bought it for a skirt, I didn’t have quite enough to make the full-length pj pants. I didn’t want to make the shorts, because pants that were lighter than flannel but warmer than shorts were really what I needed. I seriously thought about cropping the pants to mid-calf to see if I could squeeze them out, but then Mom said she wouldn’t mind letting me steal a piece of her quilt cotton. I settled on this bright dragonfly print. I had to cut it on the crosswise grain to squeeze it out, but it still worked.

IMG_1326There really isn’t too much I can say about construction, other than they were easy, just a little time-consuming to get the piping sandwiched in well. They’re super-comfortable. I’ve been wearing these literally every single night since I finished. I think this may be my new go-to pajama pattern!

On a random note, every time I look at the print, I think of this song.Which isn’t a bad thing, since it’s pretty and it has a great flute solo in it. Yes, I will freely admit that I have a strong bias towards songs that feature my instrument!

 Stashbusting stats:

Total used up (from my stash): 2.5 yards. Plus some piping, though I unfortunately had to buy another pack because I ran out with one line to go.

And since I forgot to add it to my last post, total used up from the Plantain cardigan: ~1.1 yards.

Fairly quickie refashion

Working on Saturdays always makes me a little cranky. The good thing was that I got off earlier than I thought (ok, not so good for my wallet), so I decided to do some sewing. I’m more inclined to refashioning when I’m cranky, because then I get to destroy things first. So I took one of my more recent thrift store acquisitions and chopped it up a bit. (Picture-heavy post coming up.)

I liked the color of this dress. And oddly, I liked the ruffle at the bottom.

I also liked this cute matching belt. Unfortunately, even at its tightest, the belt is too big for me. Which was a pretty big factor in what I ended up doing with it.

The more I was looking at this, the less I could see myself wearing this as a dress. I thought about dissecting it solely for fabric, but I couldn’t really see it as a top of some sort either. So I decided to take it into a different and much more useable route– I’ve badly needed some more summer sleepwear this year, especially since one of my few pajama shorts is literally falling to pieces. (No surprise, since I made them when I was 15 or something.) So I decided to go for a nightgown-ish sort of thing.

First thing I did was take out the side zipper, and then cut the skirt off of the top. Then I sewed the seam back up…

Then I fiddled around with it to figure out how long a portion of the skirt I wanted to use, based it together (it was a sheer fabric over top of a lining) and chopped off the excess.

I took the back next, and ended up trimming off pretty much everything above where the armhole curve started, then made an elastic casing at the top.

Then I took what was left of the back, which was still attached to the front, and trimmed off a good chunk of the back to make some straps.

Then I turned under the raw edge and stitched it… I know it looks a little weird with just that part topstitched, but you can’t really tell on the finished product…

….because I made the straps all twisted up.

Then I sewed the straps to the back– the front was kind of a surplice thing, so it was in two pieces.

Then I sewed the top part to the skirt…

….and sewed elastic on top of the seam to try and pull it in a bit. I guess the elastic I used wasn’t super-stretchy, because there’s not a whole lot of give there, so I might replace it. Seems to fit ok though.

And here’s the finished result. It’s definitely much frillier than my usual pjs, and not the sort of top I’d ever wear in public because it’s way too low-cut and definitely has that maternity vibe. But I had fun making it, it was fun to experiment with a style I don’t normally do. It was pretty comfortable to sleep in, too. And even if it is kind of frilly and girly, no one sees me when I sleep anyway. So works fine for me!


Festive.

So I haven’t posted in a week or so, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy!
I finished these pajama pants last Saturday. And while most if it went together nicely, the elastic casing proved to be a bit more of a pain than anticipated. The first problem was, I didn’t realize until I got to that step that there was no elastic that was wide enough in my stash! So I had to run out to Joann’s (on the Saturday before Christmas) to get some. Thankfully, the line was not as long as I expected it to be.  Then there was the issue of trying to get it in– apparently I stitched the casing just a little bit too narrow, so it took me awhile to wrestle the elastic into submission. Even then, there’s a spot in the back where the elastic didn’t gather properly (right where I left the opening– I ended up just having to stitch flat over the elastic.) So not the most professional-looking pair of flannel pajama pants I’ve ever made, if the term “professional-looking” can be applied to pajama pants, but they’re done, and they’re very comfortable, and the flannel must be a really good quality because I’ve been wearing them for about a week and they haven’t gone all wrinkly on me from being slept in.

And here’s a closeup of the fabric–a very cheery print! As it turned out, I had a long-sleeved knit shirt in my refashion pile that perfectly matches the lighter shade of green. I’d gotten it at the thrift store awhile back because I liked the color, but it was a bit big for me, so I had a thought to use a dress I’d found on the same trip that matched it well as a trim, and cut it down to size. But it’s been relegated to pajama use instead, which works for me– I’m silly enough to want the top half of my pjs to match the bottom half! Plus one thing out of the recon pile is always a good thing.

I also made this necklace for one of my cousins for Christmas. (She won’t see this post.) On my mom’s side of the family, for years each of the cousins has drawn another cousin’s (or occasionally a sibling’s) name, and that’s the one they buy a present for. There’s enough of us that it was just too much for the aunts and uncles to buy a present for every niece and nephew. Even though we’re almost all adults now, it’s still pretty much a gift from the aunts and uncles, but I wanted to contribute something this time. My mom’s been making a lot of bags like this one that I made several months ago lately, and she had the idea to make one each for the cousins that I and my brother picked (since both of us drew girls), and fill them with handy things. The cousin I got is still in college, so she got things like a pack of purse-sized notebooks, pens, a water bottle, snack food like chocolate and mini bags of popcorn, etc. And the print of her bag has butterflies on it, so for a fun addition, I made this very simple necklace to match–it’s just a chain with some iridescent beads scattered in it, and then the butterfly pendant. (My cousin who just started working as a nurse this fall got something similar, and my sister-in-law made her a scarf to go with it.)

Aside from that, I spent some time earlier this week decking my room with some of my ornament collection– I love my mismatched ornaments, because almost all of them were handmade or given to me by friends, so there’s memories with all of them. But I’ve never really gotten to use them, until this year. So this is what I ended up with:

It extends to the end of the hutch, too…a bit busy with my dvd collection in the background, but between the impromptu garland (a very thick piece of jewelry-making hemp that I’ve never been able to figure out what to do with, held in place by extra-large binder clips) and a few other places I found to scatter them, I was able to use nearly the entire collection. Since I’m still living at home, it was really nice for me to have a way to decorate my space that’s just mine, you know?

Anyway, that’s all for the moment….though there will likely be another post today, since I’m very close to finishing a project I started on yesterday!

Ahh….success.

I’m not completely done with the jeans muslin yet. But thanks to a brilliant suggestion by the wonderful teacher, Jen, the issue of weird wrinkles in the front around the crotch area seems to have been solved! So I just have to make a few more tweaks, and then I just might have an actual usable jeans pattern!

Aside from that, did some “real” sewing today. I cut out the first part of what will hopefully become a shirt inspired by the Anthropologie sweater I put in the last post, as well as a pair of new pajama pants from some wonderfully soft flannel. I did get those partially sewn together today–a nice quick project, since I’m not going to worry about seam finishing or anything on this one.

I also did a small wardrobe refashion. Some of you may remember these pj’s from a few years ago. Which I still love. But in the 2-3 winters I’ve worn them, I’ve learned that while those sleeves look awesome, they’re really not very practical for clothes to sleep in. Especially this time of year– all sorts of cold air gets in the sleeves, they get caught on things all the time, and if I want to throw my robe on over them, the sleeves don’t exactly fit. I also discovered while unpacking them that one of the sleeves had ripped pretty badly near the armpit, I guess from the weight of that fabric while going through the laundry. So while I was repairing that, I chopped something like 10-12″ off of the sleeve.

So this is what they look like now. Or at least as much as I can show with one arm shoved in a sleeve and the other holding the camera! (Also, please excuse the wrinkles–it was stored under my bed for the last six months or so.) I think it keeps the spirit of the kimono sleeve, but hopefully it’ll be much more wearable now.