My OWOP and Finished Object

For Tilly’s One Week One Pattern challenge, I decided to use my Blank Canvas Tee.  I wear them all the time anyway since I started working from home, I have plenty of them lying around from muslining and because it’s a quick way to make a new top from little fabric.  This is Saturday- errands and the park with Lila and chores.

Another day, more time spent quietly at home wearing my super-comfy lightweight linen Strawberry Alarm Clock pants.  This BCT is made of bamboo- it’s slinkier than the cotton ones.  I also made it from a larger-than-my-bust size and took in the side seams, hence the big drapey sleeves.

I wore this Tulip Tee for most of the day Monday, but changed into shorts to go out and about.  The skirt is a double layer of cotton jersey, unblogged.

Another day, another soft tee and relaxed Jean Ross pants in organic cotton for being mommy and making patterns at home.  This one is also bamboo, and another from when I was first playing with the pattern.  I’m not a huge fan of the red and the purple versions of this tee, but they’re good for around the house.

That said, I think they can be “smartened up” with skirts and heels.  This is a favorite skirt of mine, made three or four years ago.  I grew tired of it but couldn’t deny the fabric was still good so I put it away for the best part of a year.  I pulled it out recently and I’m definitely feeling the love for this skirt again.  It’s a printed cotton pique.

The Birds on the Wires Tee again, this time worn with an unblogged pinwale skirt.  It’s comfy and I’m trying to use it to figure out how to make non-gapping front pockets.  It’s a work in progress, but I think I’m close to a breakthrough.

On Friday, when I was working on lace insertions of all kinds and finishing off the top I’ll show you tomorrow, I cut another BCT from scraps of linen-cotton jersey and stitched her together.  I love clothes from scraps!

It’s just a plain t-shirt with some lace detailing.  The lace on the side front connects to the line of lace at the back- simple but effective.  For this BCT, I went down a size from my full bust measurement (I fall between two sizes).  It’s snugger, but not too snug.

I like this pattern because it’s basic.  I can play with it.  And I can sew a new top from scraps of another top in less than an hour.   And the lace makes me happy.

Tomorrow: Spinalace Top!  It’s washed, worn, styled and I’m happier with it than anything I’ve made for some time.  Then I want to do a few posts on simple pattern alteration, because I have had several emails about how to play with seamlines on a knit.

Do you read CraftGossip?  Anne featured the Blank Canvas Tee recently, she’s so lovely!  Thanks, Anne!


Organic Cotton- Because It Feels Divine

I love working with organic cotton.  My husband is an ecologist; we were both brought up to believe in the importance of conservation.   So for me, organic cotton is a no-brainer consumer choice- almost a requirement; expected.

When I bought those first few meters of organic cotton bottom weight canvas, I pre-washed and ironed as I would for any cotton.  –Now that I know organic cotton wovens better, I would recommend several wash/dry cycles because it tends to shrink slowly over time.  I usually throw a length in with my towels several weeks in a row.

Organic cotton handles like regular cotton, initially feels like regular cotton, and even smells like regular cotton but it’s a completely different fabric.  As my husband wore his shorts made from organic cotton, and I noticed the fabric changed nature over time.

Noooo… I’m imagining it, I said to myself.  I continued to use organic cotton when I could find it, for everything from hats to Blueberry Parfait’s midriff to my beloved Jean Ross pants.

Those pants have worn very well.  They’re not what I would call “smart” for work, they’re more like the softest, coolest pair of jeans imaginable.  They live in the “sweat pants” or “blue jeans” slot in my wardrobe.

After several years of sewing with organic cotton, I know it’s not my imagination.  Like linen and hemp, organic cotton ages spectacularly well.  The fabric changes over time.  It becomes almost plushy, or “buttery.”  Smoooooooooth, soft, delicious and surprisingly hard-wearing.  The “warm fuzzies” from wearing an ethical fabric is far outstripped by the delight of this soft fiber against my skin.

Information on the ethics:

Information on US Organic Cotton

Why Organic Cotton

Have you worked with organic cotton?  How does it behave for you?  Do you notice the difference?  Where do you like to buy your organic cotton?  I like Funky Fabrix and NearSeaNaturals, but a simple google search shows me the market is exploding so I’d appreciate some leads!

(I added t-shirt pattern sizes 40V and 45V today.  “Birds on the Wires Tee” is rather cumbersome, so I labelled these “Blank Canvas Tees” because it’s shorter and describes a purpose of the design- to showcase pretty fabric!  That’s how I’ll refer to the pattern in the future….)

Edited to Add, December 31, 2012: Check out this post for a great online shopping guide to eco-knit fabrics.

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…)