Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fehr Trade 103: Duathlon shorts

It is incredibly frustrating looking for RTW plus size exercise gear. Its hard to find for starters, usually the tops are baggy and shapeless, the leggings all fit oddly and sit way too high up on my waist that's if I do actually find any that do fit....Enter the Duathlon shorts. This is my first fehr trade pattern and I've got to say I'm impressed. As drafted the waist is higher at the back than the front so for once I didn't need to add to it. Plus I am in love with the contrast side and built in pocket!
I printed this out and somehow I ended up printing it out too big plus I used a beautifully stretchy fabric which meant I had to take the sides in by a total of 8" per leg and shorten the legs by 4"!

Since I hadn't sewn Fehr Trade patterns before, I basted them first so it was pretty easy to unpick the side panel and take in the black fabric. I scooped out the crotch by about 1/2" front and back. Because it didn't print properly (which was my fault, I did print the test square first so not really sure what I did!), I don't really know what I ended up making size wise. I think its about a sz L with a size XL waistband height and I cut them off at knee length.

I go the fabric from the remnant table at GJ's discount fabrics, its a cotton lycra but is nice and thick with a matte finish. I really regret not getting more because it is just great, feels just like Supplex. the contrast is a digital print ponte from the clearance table at Spotlight.

The best bit about these leggings are the pockets. I have an iPhone 5 and it fits in perfectly, snug enough it doesn't move at all (when the phone is pushed down to the bottom of the pocket it sits about an inch under the opening, I just have it poking out here so you can see it).

Anyway, great pants and the daughter has put in her order (which is always a good sign, lol!)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Burda 6011: Bella jeans


I really enjoyed reading the project sewn this year and I loved how they didn't just sew a garment they had to sew an outfit. So when I finished the Lekala jacket I decided I needed a nice pair of pants/jeans to go with it.
I wanted these as more dressier jeans so did the top-stitching in black thread rather than a contrast thread and didn't put any rivets on.
Adjustment wise, I used my pants block to lower the front and raise the back. The pants are drafted with a very high waistband, they are meant to sit higher than your natural waist. I lowered this to sit at my natural waist. I drafted a separate back yoke too, the pattern comes with the yoke built into the waistband but I wanted it to look more like a normal jean yoke. I'm going to make the yoke a bit shorter next time though, I'd like the pockets to sit up another inch higher I think.

In an attempt to use up my zippers I matched the zipper to the colour of the pocket bags.

It has elastic in the waistband again (2.5" elastic because the waistband is so wide). I've been wearing them for the last couple of days and they haven't stretched out at all.
I'd forgotten how comfy wideleg jeans can be, especially with the elastic waistband, might have to make another pair I think!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lekala 4329: Finished jacket

So I kind of skipped ahead on the sewalong and finished my jacket!
The jacket is meant to be worn with a belt but I liked the look on me better without it so I pressed the collar flat and added a press stud as well to keep the collar in place.

Alteration were all listed in the last post. Fabrics used were a poly crepe for the main and a poly satin for the lining.

I'm really happy with the fit, the drapey fabric caused me a bit of grief though. I had a lot of drag lines on the upper sleeves which I think were caused mostly from the drapey fabric. I interfaced the upper part of the sleeves, inserted sleeve heads and shoulder pads and while they aren't perfect its a lot better than before.

On that note, I interfaced the collar, sleeves, front and hems, but with this fabric I should have interfaced the back and the whole peplum too. I think it would have made the peplum sit a lot nicer.

I have a feeling I put the collar on the wrong side, but too late now to change it!

So some thoughts;
I loved the fitting and sewing process, and I really enjoyed taking my time with it. Sewalongs always push me to spend that bit more time on a garment and not rush through. I like Lekala patterns, I'm still getting used to the adjustments needed but I like the convenience, range and price of them. The instructions are very lacking, they don't seem to be translated very clearly into English and include no diagrams. It doesn't really matter on a top or pants but on a jacket like this it would have been nice to have more details. I highly recommend checking out the sewalong posts for extra help/clarification if you are looking to make this and don't have much experience with sewing jackets.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

NewLook 6048: The Avengers dress

We had a very quick day trip to Melbourne recently and I managed to duck into a couple of fabric shops. The kids each picked out some fabric in Rathdowne, the daughter picked out this Avengers one which was meant to be boxer shorts until she realised she could have it in a dress instead!

I'd only bought 1m (and its only 112cm wide) but she was determined to have a circle skirt so this is a 1/2 circle skirt squeezed onto the fabric (good thing she likes shorter skirts!). The bodice is a blue sateen I had leftover and the lining is a stretch poplin inside the bodice and a poly lining in the skirt.

Size wise, I made a muslin in a sz 14 and it was pretty good. I had to petite the back and take a wedge out of the side bodice and also take it in at the top of the front princess seam. Really I think I should have cut a size smaller and done a small FBA, I think it would have fit better and its what I'll be doing next time.

She badly wanted zipper pockets, I was originally going to do inseam zipper pockets but couldn't work out a way of doing them neatly so did them this way instead. It actually turned out pretty neat, I did the larger pockets bags that I like and it all sits nice and flat and secure.

It turned out pretty cute and now we are on the lookout for any spiderman/superman fabric so she can have more superhero dresses!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lekala 4329 Sewalong: Fitting

I've joined into the Lekala sewalong hosted by Lara at Thornberry. The pattern is 4329 and since Lekala has personalised sizes the theory is that we shouldn't have to adjust the pattern........except for me, lol.
I printed out and taped together the pattern this week. I used my measurements plus adding extra to the back, high waist and making the upper arm 17". Once the pattern was printed (and I checked the 4" printing square) I doubled checked the arm measurement and it was only 16".....based on that I decided to make a muslin.
Now while I really do like Lekala patterns my biggest issue with them is that they work off full bust and don't add an option for a FBA (though they do now allow for a narrow shoulder option and I really should have added that), so the shoulders were too wide on me.
Adjustments I made after the first muslin;
Added 2" to the bicep width
Added .5" to the back width.
Took in the waist 1" at the centre back.
Petited the bodice by 1.5"
Narrowed the shoulders by .75"
Raised the underarm by .75"

Here are the muslin pics,

Muslin 1 is on the left, I'm not sure how noticeable it is in the pics but the waist is too low which makes me feel really square and the shoulders are hanging off my shoulders. I didn't pin muslin 2 properly but the collar does sit like in muslin 1.

I still think the back could have a bit pinched out of my lower back but at least the waist seam isn't hitching on my high hips anymore.

Side view, Muslin 2 is sitting smoother

I raised the armholes by 3/4" so I'd have more movement.
This doesn't really show it well but I can move my arms forward a lot more in the second muslin.
So extra adjustments:
I've added a wedge to the centre of the lower back peplum, I feel like it isn't wide enough and is hitching a bit on my pants.
I've added another .5" to the upper back width and an extra 1" to the arm. I read somewhere once that you should never expect to have as much movement in a fitted jacket as you do in a cardigan which I suppose is true but I hate feeling binded in by a jacket.
I might get my hubbie/daughter to pin out my lower back wrinkles too.
Material wise, I'm shopping my stash. I picked up this dark purple poly crepe and a poly satin in the same clearing sale I got the zipper stand in. There is meters of both (about 6-7m) and they match really well. I've left the lower arms nice and wide too so I can roll up the sleeves and show off the lining.

So if anyone managed to slog their way through that can you pick up anything else that needs to be changed? Sometimes I can't see adjustments I need because I've been staring in the mirror at it too long!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Simplicity 1783 - Pants


We have been having a heatwave lately, had the hottest day on record a couple of weeks ago. I've never been so thankful to work in an airconditioned office! But it means I need more hot weather pants to wear.

Its funny how sometimes we find a TNT early on and don't appreciate it until we try different patterns! I actually muslined up the StyleArc Tori pant first but found the fit on the legs was terrible on me, my legs must curve in a lot and the Tori pant curves out so they got chucked and out came this pattern again.

Same as last time, I cut about a sz 24 adjusted with my pants block and the fabric is bengaline from Lincraft. I got rid of the waistband and instead used a fold over waistband. They fit really well and are so comfy to wear!

I added pockets on but since I'd raised the back height they are way too low, I used steam a seam before I topstitched though so those suckers are staying put! I've changed the pattern for next time to raise them buy a couple of inches.

I got a bit happy with the iron too and you can see press marks, they should disappear after a wash or two (hopefully)