Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!

I’ve been busy and I’ve had success! My Thurlow pants are a success and I love the fit of these shorts and am glad that I didn’t give up and instead made 3 or 4 muslins to perfect the fit. Not only did I lengthen the crotch length but I also altered the “centre” point where the front joins the back “under the crotch”!! I have tried to research this topic and can’t seem to find any hard and fast rules about the “correct” spot to have the “centre” so if anyone knows of any “rules” for this topic, please share with me. I’m considering adding a new page to my blog giving a tutorial on how I made the alterations that I used to get the perfect fit for me. Are there other people out there who are interested in seeing the various alterations I made to get to this stage? Who knows… it might help others too.

So I guess you’re all dying to see the finished result of my denim Thurlow shorts…. Denim being denim stretches/gives over time and unfortunately I didn’t photograph them soon enough so they’ve eased a bit and I probably should’ve worn a belt (which I can, of course, because I added the belt loops!). Personally I find the fabric a bit busy with all those tear holes that make it look like spotty denim, but I love the shade of the blue. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a plain denim in that shade so this is what I got… plus, it only cost me $4 per metre because the fabric was soiled (but it all washed out fine!!) Big smile on my face! :)

denim Thurlow shorts

Notice the plain denim welt pockets?? (made of the selvedge)

And the title of this post is actually relating to another project that I finished today. I made a cowl neck top (McCalls M6078) and I love, love, love it so very much. The neck line is just gorgeous and falls so nicely. The fabric is 95.5% Ray (I presume that is rayon) and 4.5% spandex… it has a lovely weight to it which I think helps with the way it falls. It will be interesting to see how other stretch knits compare with the same pattern.

McCalls M6078

A couple of changes I will make with the next top I make: make it one size smaller, change the hem line to a curve and do the hemming with a walking foot to get a flatter finish. Can’t wait to try it but have to work tomorrow and Friday so probably won’t be able to do this until the weekend. :( Oh, i wish I could sew all day!

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Thurlow muslin, take 2

Wow, adding 2cm to the crotch depth has made a world of difference to the rear fit of my shorts and I’m over the moon! See?

BUT, I’m still not happy with the fit at the front. Here is a very rough drawing of what I did to my pattern (sorry, it’s not to scale). You’ll notice that I added an extra centimetre to the centre front as it was a little lower at the front than it was at the back and yes, that portion is balanced now. :)

And here is how the front is looking now. In the photos it doesn’t look as bad as it feels on and I’ve tried a few different alterations but don’t seem to be getting anywhere to perfect the fit. It’s as though it’s not following my curve properly and I don’t know which way to alter it.

Do you see what I mean? **sigh**

Sorry, I was really hoping to be able to post finished projects but have hit a stumbling block and need to somehow get over it… any suggestions?

Note to self…

Next time you make a couture dress and have plans to wear it on a particular day make sure you have a back-up plan ready in case of bad weather!!

Melbourne Cup Day was today and the weather forecast said cold and rainy! For goodness sake, we’re in Perth, not Melbourne!! Yesterday was so cold and wet with thundery showers and I couldn’t see how I was going to wear my new dress with no sleeves. Tears fell as I had nothing else to wear and no suitable jackets or cardigans to give me extra warmth and I couldn’t just duck out and buy something as I was fasting so the only thing left to do was go door knocking and ask my lovely neighbours (who are all around my own age) if they had anything I could borrow. Hallelujah, Susan from two doors up had a cardigan with the right shade of green that I could get away with. Here’s how I left the house this morning:

Funny enough though, as I climbed into my car at 10:30 the sun came out and it was too hot to wear the cardigan in my car so I removed it. After 20 minutes (still driving at this point) I started to get a headache from the fascinator so that had to go too (I’ve never managed to wear headbands comfortably!). Anyway, enjoyed a lovely afternoon with a 3 course sit down meal, 2 fashion parades (one clothing and the other swimwear) and the whole time I was looking for design ideas that I could use in my year of sewing. Does anyone else do that? LOL I almost can’t stand how judgmental I’ve become now that fit is so important to me!. My horse didn’t come in but it was a fun afternoon.

On another note, I finished my Thurlow shorts and love the detail of them but am not happy with the fit of the rear view. The waist and hips are fine and I love the pockets, the fly and the belt loops and I even like the cuffs but I’m so sad that the fit isn’t perfect yet. Never mind, I’ll try again and alter the pattern after researching what the problem is and how to fix it. These shorts are made out of a navy blue bamboo fabric and the pockets are lined with Japanese cotton lawn. Here are the pics:

Gosh, I didn’t think that pants were going to be this hard to fit. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I knew it would be challenging. Can you see how the fabric is bunching up in the middle of the rear view? Any suggestions?

Clover pants…

The weekend has been slow and it’s already Tuesday and what have I achieved? Well, I went out on Sunday to buy some stretch fabric (only 4% stretch) so that I could make up a muslin of a new pants pattern that I bought online from Colette Patterns. At Spotlight, Midland they had a rack of fabrics that were reduced down to $5 per meter and then for SUNDAY ONLY they had a further 50% off!!! Wow, surely there was something here that I could use to make up muslins in the right stretch for the pattern I was making…. and there was! It was printed, which is unfortunate because it’s a little harder to write over and see the alterations easily but at $2.50 per metre, I couldn’t complain.

Have you see the patterns from Colette? They’re so beautifully presented in a folder-like cover and when you open it, all the instructions are printed in a booklet format so you don’t have to unfold a huge instruction sheet that takes up so much room when you’re sewing and the pattern is neatly folded in a special flap at the back of the book. Love it!

Anyway, I traced the pattern out onto my mock fabric, tracing only the STITCHING lines and any notches, aligning marks and darts. I made sure to also mark in the GRAIN LINE and ensure that it was straight on my fabric too and then cut out the pieces (on folds so that i was actually cutting out an entire garment (not worrying about pockets or waistbands at this point)). When I cut it out I cut it out very roughtly leaving at least 2.5cm (1 inch) seam allowance. I sewed in the darts and joined the panels together correctly, without hemming or adding a waistband, and then tried it on for fit. Gee I wish I’d taken a photo because some major changes needed to be made but I was tired and it was late at night and seemed impractical to pull out the tripod and computer. Grrrr! That won’t happen again! Realistically I think you’d get a better look at how a garment REALLY LOOKS ON YOU if you take various photos because when we look at out rears in the mirror, we are actually distorting the way the garment sits so it’s not giving us a good view after all. Set your camera up on a tripod and learn how to use the custom settings. I set it to take 10 photos with 5 second intervals and probably do this about 3 times before i can see good images that I dare to put up on the net. Sometimes I’ve been known to take 80 photos (or more) before I’m happy with one or two. Take the photo of me in my pyjamas for instance (I wore them for the first time last night, by the way – very comfy!)… that took 120 photos! Most were out of focus or the lighting was bad. I finally figured out that I needed to set my camera to OVERCAST DAY in order to get the best lighting for my indoor photos. Phew! :)

OK, so back to my pants muslin: they were tight around the bottom and the rear of the pants was too low and too wide (I could fit my fist down the centre back). Trying to figure out how to fix this correctly was my aim and luckily Colette Patterns offer a few tutorials on how to adjust patterns and this is where I’m at at the moment. I’ve decided that I have a full bottom so have unpicked and ironed my panels in preparation of the “full-bottom-adjustment”. I’ve laid the BACK pattern piece on the table and cut it according to the instructions. Here’s what it looks like at this stage:

If you look closely you can see that I’ve actually stitched the stitching lines, darts and grain line in RED. And here are the adjustments I think I need to make although I must be honest and admit that I have no idea how wide to open the cuts I’ve just made. Might as well just trace it onto a new muslin fabric and start again. This time you’ll get photos of the after result!