Finished Object: Jean Ross Pants

K.Hep pants sit close to nudity in terms of comfort, at least in my book.  I made these from Wearing History’s Smooth Sailing pattern, but my heart was with Jean Ross of Weimar Berlin:

I’m one step closer.   I wish I could slip a note in her hand letting her know that in 80 years another unsmiling brunette would find her photo and take inspiration.  I can’t easily remove the demon eyes, and don’t have the time to invest figuring out how.  So I’m possessed…

Pockets courtesy of Oliver + S Ice Cream dress.

The pants came out too big because I over-compensated for my fat holiday ahem in the alterations.  I’m not bothered and suspect that only the most critical eye would trip over my wrinkles.

I used an over sized loop and a leather covered shank button at the side.  With limited free time, I could sew like a mad thing or take excessively detailed photos.  Sometimes the photos win, but not this week.

Unbleached organic cotton, one of my favorite fabrics to work with.  It becomes soft and buttery, almost velvety with repeated wash and wear.  If I had to choose just one bottom weight to wear the rest of my life, I’d choose this.

My alterations:

I shaved off a little wedge in the CB waistband seam, added a little to the high hip at the side (for my muffin tops) and scooped out the bottom of the crotch curve.   I knew I was trying a scatter gun approach; it worked well enough.  The pants are comfy with no visible camel toe.  In the future, I might straighten the side seams and re-draw the grainline.  I’m indebted to SewistaFashionista and Sherry for your advice– it worked, I have wearable pants!

I must press on with my work wardrobe project (girdle jeans tomorrow from Burda 08-2009-106), but I’m already planning the Jean Ross top and knitted beret.  I finished the Smooth Sailing Blouse today, in a double gauze.  She’ll appear directly.

(Photos of these pants taken on a chair, though not necessarily as elegantly as others…)

Refashioned: David-Davina Shirt

This isn’t a fair review of the Smooth Sailing blouse, since I mis-used and changed so much about the pattern.  I’d like it to be a “Tried and True” blouse pattern eventually; making a TNT takes a deal of twiddling for a perfectly fit final pattern.  I refuse to expect anything other than imperfection the first time around.

Hindsight says:

  1.  Just because a 32″ high bust with a large FBA saves altering the back and usually works, doesn’t mean it will always work with every pattern.  I will try the pattern again, only cutting a 32″ for the back yoke.  Everything else a size larger.
  2. A 34″ high bust on the front is fine, I need to try making a 1″ FBA (which incidentally won’t over-dramatize the armscythe the way a 2.5″ fba will) and adding 1/2″ to the side seams at the bust.  I don’t usually add at the side seams, but for this pattern I think it would work well.
  3. Sleeve plackets to the back.  I  carefully cut the sleeves in order to keep the nicely made cuffs, and reasoned the plackets should go to the inside.  Note to self- double check RTW when in doubt.  I thought I could live with the backwards plackets, but they seem to throw off the sleeve’s balance.  I’ll cut them off above the cuffs and hem.
  4. Collar sits funny, but not in a completely horrible way.  See 1.
  5. Reminder: Haste makes waste.  Why did I not double check the waist length?  Waist sits just slightly too high.

All things considered, I’m fairly pleased with the end result- quite wearable.

Simplicity 4044 black linen pants, made a long time ago.   They’re comfy, smart, and cool.  I have them rolled up for gardening and as a prototype for the fishing pants I’m mulling over.  Like knickerbockers.

The scent of jasmine (on the bamboo screen) reminds me of my wedding day.  It grows here like honeysuckle grows back home.  I miss honeysuckle.  Silly bass-ackwards sleeves apparent here.  If it weren’t uncomfortable I’d keep them that way for laughs.

It seems many people re-fashion men’s shirts.  For me, it has to do with fabric price, quality and availability.  I simply can’t put my hands on some fine-quality shirt cotton for less than about $40/yd- even that is the cheapest, and with limited color choice.

I could pay usurous shipping and buy from the U.S.

Or I could carefully shop and turn high-end men’s shirts into charming casual wear for $8.50 a pop.  $8.50 buys two and a half 20 oz Cokes here.   (My own flawed but useful system of figuring out buying power anywhere in the world.)  I couldn’t buy an edible lunch out for $8.50.

Elbow sleeves- acceptable.  I rather like that length lately.  More coverage than short sleeves and I don’t have to roll them up.  (Though I rolled them up in that picture to show what they’ll look like chopped and hemmed)

Notice the wrinkles on the back, below the yoke, at the far left and right sides?  The gathers should hang straight down without pulling.  This is slightly uncomfortable (but wearable) and bothers me because I compromised the integrity of the design.   The next shirt will have a beautiful back.

Meanwhile, I found more shirt re-fashioning inspiration:

Shirt into Shirtdress


Like so many other sewing projects out there, inspired by Anthropology

Cute little girl’s dress, I’m sure I’ll try this

Homemade by Jill Dress (Why haven’t I seen her blog before?)

Ruffled Shirt, might try this one after I nail the Smooth Sailing blouse

Next: Shirt re-fashioning notes, cutting layout and pictures!

(I’m still working on the quilts, but I thought this little project might be more interesting than constant quilting pics.)

Finished Object: Short shorts! (And the wardrobe contest)

Oh man, it’s a slog and a half sewing and blogging and getting everything in order for the wardrobe contest deadline.  I’ll need a few days off after this.  These shorts are from Wearing History’s  “Smooth Sailing” pattern.  It isn’t actually vintage, but drafted by a master of the art of 1930’s sportswear.  I like it.  I thought the shorts would turn out longer and looser, a little dorky, but dorky they ain’t.

I don’t wear shorts, these are my only pair.  I feel exposed.  They do have a redeeming quality- vintage cut, tiny bit of fabric.  Good.  If I’m going to show some skin, I want it to be in an odd way.

I made them from a skirt that lived its life.  It had all these pleats in the front- I had to press it aggressively each time I wore it, and eventually stopped wearing it.  Then I noticed picky little construction things about it as my skills improved.  So I chopped it up for shorts.

(RIP old friend.  I can’t bear to spend any more time photo editing, so it’s dark.)

When recycling clothing, sometimes the seams from the old garment end up on the new one.  I decided to embrace it and not drive myself insane pushing for symmetry.

I’m not one of those who religiously matches overlocking thread at the best of times.  I use cream, white, or black.  Besides, I was screaming through this (about an hour and a half from cut to hem) and didn’t want to lose momentum by changing threads.

Like I said, they were a little snugger than I anticipated.  I used the correct waist measure, the pattern hip measure was 1.5″ smaller than my own measurement.  I trusted to ease, but there’s very little ease.  No problem, I gave myself some extra width by playing with the darling front pleats.

These are short as I made them.  Had I used the recommended hem allowance, they would be downright cheeky.

Bonus: Husband has a pair of shorts made from the same fabric.  So we have “matching” linen shirts and organic cotton shorts.  Wicked.  I’ll get pics when he lets me.

The pattern itself is very nice high quality, easy to read on thick white paper, in a huge ziplock bag.  I like good repros for just that reason- I can slip in pattern pieces and scraps of fabric easily.  The pattern is organized much the same way I would organize if I made a pattern, though I didn’t really follow the instructions.  It would be good for a beginner, I think the more you sew the more you develop your own ways of doing things.   I bought this for the pants and the blouse, they’ll show up sooner or later.

Finally! It’s all finished!  Master Review.  Do you like my composite?