Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vogue 8751: Grey Linen

More pants, I guess everyone is getting really sick of seeing them! I promise I will be sewing something else one day!

Same pattern as last time, I added the extra width (about 2cm to inner and outer seams) and in the end I decided that I can't quite get away with 3 buttons at the front as it means the zipper has to sit down too low so I cut the waistband back at the front which raised the zipper and got rid of the bunching I was getting with the last pair.

Other than the pink linen pants I've never actually owned linen pants, I've never even seen them in my size in RTW. I have read that the more you wash them the softer they get and that seems to be happening to the pink ones. The linen is a lot more comfortable than I thought it would be to wear, it has a bit of give and this one is pretty soft. As much as I love the bright pink pants I haven't worn them in public yet, so these are my sensible linen pants, lol.

I think I'm going to need to make my pants a bit tighter though, the last pair has stretched out a bit and so have these already, even with the stay tape at the waistband. This week I'm going to unpick the waistbands and tighten them up a bit, its annoying but I'd rather have to do this than make them too small in the beginning.

PS; if you live in Australia Lincraft is having a 40% off fabric sale (I think it starts next week for non-members?). I've been impressed with their bengalene but the ponte I got from there isn't wearing well, its pilled pretty bad.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vogue 8751: Pinstripe pants

So more pants! My kids are staying at their cousins house and my hubbie is on afternoon shift so I made these last night. The material is from the op shop, first good find I've had in ages! It's got a subtle pinstripe through it and has some stretch, I think it might be a polyester blend.

I've made this pattern a lot before but since using my pants block I've become a lot more picky with the way my pants fit so I retraced the pattern and used my pants block on it. The front looks ok in these photos but in real life I think the zipper is too low and it needs a little extra in the front rise as it bunches a bit when I walk plus I had to drop the rear crotch by a lot too which makes me think I may have made these pants a tad too tight in the hips so next pair I'll put the zipper slightly higher and add some extra width to the sides.
I used a polkadot cotton on the waistband facing and stay tape around the top of the waistband. I changed the pockets from in seam pockets and added a pocket stay.

 Even after getting the pants block and sewing all these pants its still a bit of crap shoot to get a pair of perfect pants, there are so many factors like material and adjusting the pattern properly that affect the finished pants. I have a real tendency to overfit pants too which I'm trying to break myself of.
I'm a huge convert of the pants block though, it just gives you that extra help before you start and the rest of the pants are so much easier to fit if the crotch area is right.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jalie 2908 vs. Sewaholic 1203

More pants, one bonus of having sewn so many lately is that I can insert a zipper in minutes, lol! But I am getting a bit sick of them and think I'll spend the next week or so catching up on my Mario Quilt-Along!

I loved the legs on the Thurlow pants and I liked the classic jean look of the Jalie back yoke and pockets so this is a bit of a frankenpattern - Thurlow legs and Jalie hips/waist. I used my pants block again, taking about 2cm off the inner and outer seams and lowering the back crotch slightly to allow for the stretch denim. I think I need to take a little out of the front crotch height with stretch denim next time.

The denim was really quite thick and springy so I had to use my walking foot as it wiggled a lot while sewing, that why I didn't do much topstitching either.

I did a 1" fisheye dart as I had a lot of excess back leg fabric on the thurlow pants and it smoothed it out really nicely.

The waistband is quilting cotton fabric (Its Joel Dewberry if anyone's interested).

Its definantly helped with the fit of these pants having a woven facing, the waistband is a lot more rigid and I had hopes it would stop them stretching out but after wearing them today they got a bit looser so I thought I'd add on this back belt detail I saw on a pair of RTW jeans. It helps, but next pair of jeans will have stay tape around the top of the waistband as well!

I'm actually pretty happy with these jeans, I feel like I have a good TNT jeans pattern now and I have some purple denim that's begging me to make it up (but maybe in a couple weeks, lol!)!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vogue 1051: Adventures in pants fitting - Fisheye dart

First version: I used my pants block and graded out to about a sz20. I had a lot of excess fabric at the back that even after unpicking the inner seams and pinning them together while wearing them, they still bunched.
So I ended up pinning out the excess in the back and transferred it to the pattern using Debbie Cook's fisheye dart method.
I unpicked the pants and managed to recut the back pieces so didn't have to cut new pieces which was good (but unpicking all that stitching and serging, that was bad!).

So the pics - this was before with the original pants pattern;

and this is after doing a 1" Fisheye dart;

So I wouldn't say a humongous difference but it is smoother and I didn't want to take so much out that they weren't comfortable to sit in.

Facings are a sateen again. On a side note I've been having a lot of trouble with my pants stretching out lately, and I think its because of using a stretch material for the facing. So next pants will have a cotton facing and hopefully that will stop it.
Be aware too that the front welt pockets are teeny tiny! I can't even fit my phone in them

This was not the best material for pants, its quite thin and stiff plus its showing wear already and doesn't drape as nicely as it needs to for these pants. The legs are a lot more flared than they seemed in the pattern drawing and a drapier material would look better I think.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giveaway winners!

Well, seing as I went back and got more of the silk thread this week I decidedx to give a couple more reels away so here are the 5 winners! (Do you like my high tech method of picking out the winners, lol!)

If you see your name and I haven't contacted you (Lyndle and Joyce in NC), just email me at suzybeesews (at) hotmail (dot) com with your address and I'll send them out :)

Happy sewing!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Simplicity 2224: Linen pants

So pink linen pants, doesn't everyone have a pair? Lol, I picked this linen/rayon blend from Spotlight, its a gorgeous fabric, I think it must be the rayon in it that makes it feel so soft. I used my pants block on a sz XL and made a couple of changes to this pattern, it has an elastic waist and no waistband which isnt a really flattering look on me so I changed it to have a waistband and only put elastic in the back and graded it in at the top a bit.

I flat felled the seams in the front and back and just serged the side and inner seams.

I'm still getting used to woven pants, they feel quite baggy and I'm not sure about the back of them, they look well, baggy. I'm not sure if thats normal for woven pants because I've never owned a pair before! But they are seriously comfortable and should be nice in spring/summer.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

1year Blogversary!

A huge thankyou to everyone who reads my blog, seriously when I started I thought it would just be a way to record my sewing projects for myself and that my Mum would be the only follower, lol, I never thought I would reach a few followers let alone 60plus! I am still stunned at the lovely comments and the support that the sewing community has given me.

I've really enjoyed having a blog, its nice to feel a sense of community and being around other people who actually care what a bound buttonhole is! It's helped me a lot with my finishing and I tend to unpick and redo if I need to, I always think I can't post with it looking like that!! And I'm also a lot more confident in photos now and am actually smiling these days (compared to my early posts when all I did was scowl!)

I thought I'd have a little giveaway to say thanks! I managed to score a heap of Guttermann silk thread on sale the other day (I won't say how many came home with me, other than it was lots!) So I have 4 lots of 2 to give away - its great for any hand basting and really nice to make machine buttonholes with!

So leave a comment for me (make sure I can contact you through it). I'm happy to post international and I'll pick some random winners next week.
Good luck!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jalie 2908: Blue denim

This is the second time I've made this pattern (first is here).
So, I used my pants block and cut pretty much a sz DD, grading in at the waist. I changed the waistband, making it double the height and curved and used a stretch denim I had in my stash.
They've already stretched out a lot from wearing them for these photos, they went from nearly too tight to falling off me! They really need to be taken in a lot now and they have a lot of bunching/excess fabric on the back of the legs. I haven't had that happen before and I'm not really sure how to fix it, or honestly if I can be bothered to. I know nearly everyone loves this pattern but for whatever reason I've not had a great run with it - I've never worn the first pair I made and I don't know that I'll wear these either unless I get excited and unpick them.....

On the positive side, I really like the construction method especially the waistband and zipper method and I like how they look like a real pair of jeans with the yoke and pocket style.

I used a polkadot stretch poplin for the facings.

The pants block doesn't seem to translate as easily into tight pants, I think if I was going to sew them a lot I'd make another seperate block but I do prefer my wider leg pants which work well with it. A lot of pants sewing seems to come down to the type of material you use and how much stretch is in it which is something I'm still learning how to allow for.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Simplicty 1783: Pants

Second pair of pants using my pants block! These are the 3/4 length pants from S1783, same pattern I used to make my denim skirt.

Since I was using stretch fabric this time (bengalene from Lincraft), I took 2cm off the inner leg seam and 2.5cm off the outside leg seam. It meant I cut about a sz 24. One thing to note about the pants block - I have found it so much easier to grade patterns up while using it which is fantastic if you don't always fit in the standard sizes.
The side seams are pulling backwards at the top again so I've adjusted my pants block to hopefully correct this on future pants.

I really like the square front pockets, the pattern has the opening to the side which I think is kind of strange, the first time I'd sit down in them my phone would fall out! So these open to the top.

Red sateen facings again (I've got a heap of it to use up so get used to seeing it!!)

The pants length was a little odd, I'm just over 5'6" and these hit just at my ankle, not long enough to be pants but not short enough to be capri's! I cut 6" off them and did a 3" hem to get them to this length. Next pair I make I'm going to add some length to make them into proper pants

I've been on the hunt for pants just like this for summer, they're surprisingly hard to find in RTW down here!