Friday, July 30, 2010


This summer I've been working to make myself the basics of a wardrobe (hence all the basics you've been seeing). And now I finally have the ultimate basic necessity: jeans.

These are Burda 9-2009-113. The magazine shows a bohemian print version, but I'm fresh out of bohemian prints. I'm not ruling it out for the future, though, he he. The pants have a front yoke, with front pockets starting below the yoke. There are darts in the back, but no pockets. I like the look of the topstitched front pockets and yoke.

I've worn these for two days and the denim has not stretched or sagged at all. The fit is quite good and they are very comfortable, but if I had known the fabric was quite so...stable...I may have given myself a bit more room in the back for appearance's sake. In another fabric I'm sure it'd be perfect.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Play Ball!

Before trying any other raglan sleeve patterns, I thought I'd try drafting one to compare the fit. I used directions from Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear. The raglan-sleeve adaptation is based on the same basic tee sloper/block I used for top #1 and top #2. I hadn't perfected the shoulder fit in the basic sloper, but went recklessly ahead with the raglan sleeve version anyway.

One weakness of the book - and probably other drafting books/methods - is that shoulder slope and position/rotation aren't accounted for (although width is). In his book, Shirtmaking, David Coffin uses a simplified draping method for fitting the shoulders and neck. Even though I really avoid doing muslins in general, I might break down and try doing a little draping (sometime in the distant future). For example, Coffin has you drape fabric cut from an existing pattern piece (yoke, bodice front, sleeve, etc.) to determine where you need to reshape or dart.

Well, here is the result of the raglan-drafting effort. You can see the fit is much better than my Ottobre versions, probably because the shoulders here are wider. I'll probably continue to tweak the shoulder fit, but I'm very happy with this comfortable shirt.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Apple Linen, White Cami and Gratuitous Baby Pictures

Now for a colorful remake of the natural linen tunic I made earlier (Burda 7-2010-122). I'm really liking the color of this one.
I might, just might, make myself yet another version in blue.

You can't see it, but underneath all that green I'm sporting this white "Rose" camisole/tank top from Ottobre 2-2009-1. I'm pretty happy with the fit, but if I make it again, I'll lengthen it even more (I already added 1" to the hem) and will raise the front neckline about an inch. It's a little lower and floppier than I'd like which means it doesn't serve its layering purpose quite as well as it could. However, it's easy and very quick to whip up, so it's a good basic.

The baby foot is not included in the pattern.

Baby feet have been busy at our house lately as Molly, at 16 1/2 months, has been taking her first tentative steps this past week. Also in the last week, she's doubled her vocabulary with the addition of "uh oh" and a few vital animal noises AND, to the delight of all, has been cutting all four of her 2 year molars.

One of her favorite toys is this denim jumpsuit-clad doll from my childhood. Why don't they make things like this anymore?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Little Summer Basics

You can see our porch is still wet from the thunderstorm that just rolled by. Now we have a nice break from the heat for a photo shoot.

Now that summer is half over, I've finally made Sara a couple of summer basics. The top with the squarish neckline is the "Funky Sisters T-shirt" from Ottobre 3-2010-31. Both the neckline and the sleeve hems have binding and the sleeves are slightly gathered.

I made these capri pants once before for Sara, but the waist was so low she couldn't tolerate wearing them. I added two inches to the waist this time around and the fit is much better.

I like all the detais in these little pants - waist darts, side vents, and side zipper. The pants are the "Audrey Capri Pants" from Ottobre 3-2009-17.

I got this fabric from a while ago. It was called something like "denim-look linen-look poplin". So it's doubly fake! But I like it and may use it for pants for myself, too.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cargo Pants

Phew! These took a week and I'm glad to be done with them. I took my time with them because I knew any 'abnormalities' in the details would be glaringly obvious. Now I'm ready for any hiking I might need to do.

As I was setting my son up with the camera, he said, "I'm going to take a full-sized picture. I'm tired of taking pictures of just your lower half." Very funny, honey.

The pattern is Burda 12-2009-116. The details are great and, as I said, time-consuming. I really like the fit of these and plan to make them again without the pockets. Can you see the interesting curved seams in the sides and back?
The side pockets are right in the side seam and the buttoned flaps are necessary to keep them from gaping and showing most of the pocket lining. I found this out the hard way when I thought I'd make the pocket more accessible by attaching the flap decoratively to the front side of the seam. It pulled forward and showed a large swath of floral orange cotton. Oops. Lots of seam ripping involved there.

Giant "bellows" pockets. What should I put in them? If I take my cue from my boys, I'll pack them full of rocks. There's a cargo pocket on one of my boys' shorts that is completely full of rocks. The shorts have been sent through the wash at least a half a dozen times and I've left the rocks alone curious to see if someone ever takes them out. They're really clean by now.

The fabric is a really nice stretch twill from Mill End Textiles. The buttons are from Cleaner's Supply, my new favorite notions source. They send me a weekly "reorder reminder". Ha ha.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yoga Pants

We had a bit of funniness going on at our house after my 9 year old (the photographer) thought I said these were "Yoda Pants".

These pants have nothing to do with Yoda and, if I'm being strictly honest, they don't have anything to do with yoga either. But they are extremely comfortable, so they're living up to their intended purpose. I don't know why in the world I hemmed them so long. It must have seemed like a good length at the time.

The pattern is a download from BurdaStyle: Corrine Yoga Pants #6021. I used a medium weight cotton lycra from Mill End Textiles (1.5 yards at $1.60/yd (with coupon) = $2.40).

There's a drawstring, but it's not really necessary. Well...maybe if you're doing yoga....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Raglan Lemons

In non-summer months, I pretty much live in long-sleeve t-shirts, so having a tried-and-true raglan-sleeve pattern will be very useful. Too bad Ottobre 5-2008-8 isn't it. The charcoal grey was my first attempt and I thought the entire neckline (including the tops of the sleeves) seemed very wonky. But since the whole top is rather tight, I thought that might be the problem.

So I went up a size for the white version. It's much more comfortable, but I think the neckline is even worse because it's no longer being stretched out. You can see how it's not lying flat and there are funny bumps sticking up here and there.
The following photos are for those of you who love assessing wrinkles: (I was depending on the good graces of my 9 year old for these detailed photos)...

Above: front shoulder.

Above: back shoulder view.
Below: view from the back.

I'll still wear these, but will move on to other raglan patterns. Once I get some mental storage space freed I will try drafting my own with instructions from Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hot Pantsit

Today's post is about shorts. I made the baby and the plaid top, too, but today we'll look at the shorts which are from the same pattern as the capri pants I made earlier (Ottobre 2-2002-40). I have that magazine issue in Finnish and its humorous name for these shorts is "Hot Pantsit". I used some leftover fabric to eke the shorts out of, and since I couldn't add length I used a hem facing instead of turning up a hem for fear they really would be short enough to warrant being called hot pants. They're not so short after all, though.

The fabric is a tight-weave inflexible stuff. It's very smooth, almost like raincoat material. It's not a twill weave, but I have no idea what else to call it.

We're about to go out shopping and I'm sporting the Swedish clog/sandals I bought last fall at a Scandinavian festival in North Carolina. They are Ugglebo clogs from JanSwede, the US distributor. I don't know exactly why, but the style I chose was brand new and the guy gave me a significant deal on them. Phew! Anyway, I love these shoes because, contrary to what you might think, wood and leather is extremely comfortable AND easy to walk in.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Linen au Naturel

I think this is the first time I've made something immediately from the current Burda issue. This is 7-2019-122, the 3/4 kimono sleeve blouse. This spring I got three colors of linen during a sale at Mill End Textiles and had a hard time choosing which to use for this top - blue or apple green would have been nice too. But, alas, I choose the subdued natural in hopes that it will match plenty of more exciting things.

This poor top was a comedy of errors in construction for me (ever have those days?) but it really is quite simple. There are no set-in or even raglan sleeves to slow you down. With kimono sleeves, though, the width of the fabric really determines the length of the sleeves. Hence the 3/4 length sleeves. Mine are even shorter than intended because I preshrank the fabric.

I really like this top. The easy fit of the arms and shoulders is super comfortable and the linen will be nice once we get past this heat wave. Maybe a blue or green version is in order.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two Piece Times Two

Don't you love fortuitous errors? (Once you get to the fortuitous part, anyway.) I forgot to add seam allowances to the leg openings of the suit I was making Sara, so I cut off the bottom part and turned it into a tankini top. The bottoms are a boys' swim trunk pattern with panels.

I left all the details off the swim trunks (piping, drawstring). I didn't even add waist elastic - they're pretty snug fitting right now. We'll see if they stay put in use. On the pink suit you can just barely see that the sides and tops are solid pink and the front and back are separate panels.

I really like the fit of both pieces - I think they'll be more comfortable than the original suit I had planned.

The top is modified from Ottobre 3-2009-38 (Seahorse swimsuit) and the bottoms are Ottobre 3-2009-40 (Seamus swim trunks). For reference, I cut the Seahorse swimsuit off just at the top of the leg opening and hemmed it from there, which gives the top plenty of length.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sporty Top

I can't believe we're a third done with summer! We have a lot of (mostly fun) things to squeeze in before fall hits.

This latest summery item is a tank top from Ottobre 2-2008-4. The magazine shows it in the "sport clothes" section, along with yoga pants. It has a sleeved variation plus some additional color blocking options. It took me a while to pick through my stash to find two solids I thought would look good together, but I think I like how it turned out.

It's a nice basic, has a pretty good fit and I like the shoulder coverage. However, after an initial fitting, I lowered the armhole 1 cm and it's still snugger than I'd like - an easy change for next time.

©2009 21 Wale | by TNB