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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Spy Duo

These were a long time in coming, but finally my spies-in-training have their essential wardrobe piece: the trenchcoat. They and Dad snuck to some spy-supply shops (Goodwill, dollar store, and Target) to sleuth out the rest of the essentials.

Suspicious side view.

Mysterious back view complete with pleat and storm flap.


The pockets are curious and it took a while to decipher the instructions. They're essentially welt pockets secreted by upside down flaps, so the hands can slip unnoticed into the pockets when the flaps are unbuttoned.


The clandestine cuff-straps.


The stealthy gun flap. The button is a bit of a double-agent serving both the gun flap . . .


and the fully buttoned lapel. Here's agent #1: the serious one.

And agent #2: the comic one.


Red flannel lining for agent #1.

Green flannel lining for agent #2.

I added two covert inside pockets in each coat - great for (temporary) storage of those ubiquitous self-destructing messages.


Sources:
Twill: fabric.com
Flannel: Mill End Textiles
Buttons: cleaner's supply
Pattern: Ottobre 4-2009-27 (Roger M. Trenchcoat)







Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Medieval a la lycra

The next big project I'm working on requires a ton of interfacing so, naturally, I ran out of interfacing. So, with an eye to using up some "what was I thinking fabric" and making Sara her long-promised costume, I decided to have some fun with a medieval dress until I could
go interfacing-shopping.This was an awfully quick project since I just modified the Raglan Sleeve shirt I just made (Ottobre 6-2008-13) into a dress. I left the sleeve hems ungathered, took in the waist to 1" bigger than Sara's measurement, and lengthened the hem to floor length. I also squared the neckline, added some lace and a belt cut out of jersey.

Other than modifying a modern pattern, I stayed true to medieval tools and techniques: serged seams, serged rolled hems, elastic thread, a stretch needle, and fabric with a 10% lycra content.
This is the first time I've used a stretch needle. When I was shirring the sleeves, the ballpoint needle was skipping stitches like crazy, but I got perfect stitches when I switched to the stretch needle. Amazing.

Here you can see the shape of the dress.



Brown cotton lace and shirred sleeves.




Rolled hem.





The belt is a long strip of brown slinky jersey.






Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sundry Stripes

I guess I've been de-striping my stash lately. These two are both chez ami fabrics: the blue and white is interlock and the pink and purple is cotton/lycra.

This is a quick and fun shirt to make up (Sweet 'n Cosy Raglan Sleeve Blouse from Ottobre 6-2008-13). The details aren't time consuming, yet they add a lot. The arms are shirred with elastic thread and the sleeve hems are gathered with elastic.

Sara's very pleased with her new duds and they match her new navy cords.


The shirred sleeves are medievalesque, which gives me half a mind to extend the pattern into a dress, and leave the sleeves ungathered in a bell shape. Quick costume? Maybe not in striped cotton/lycra, though.








Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hedgehog Britches

I have a lot of fall/winter wardrobe plans for Sara but, not surprisingly, with life and all, they're coming along slowly. I made this quick pair of pants in response to, "Mom! I'm just dying for pants!"


I used chunky navy corduroy and added heart-pockets. You may (or may not) remember that I did pretty much the same thing for the mariner Ikea curtain pants. Instead of button embellishments, this time we have a spiky pink hedgehog (pattern courtesy of LollyChops).


Sara's proudly showing her handmade purse. It started as a doll blanket, but something went awry and it was modified into a purse.

Sources:
Pattern: Elastic Waist Pants (Ottobre 4-2004-23).
Wide wale corduroy: http://www.fabric.com/.
No-roll waistband elastic: http://www.cleanersupply.com/.
Purse and applique fabrics: the scrap bin.




Sunday, October 10, 2010

Waldo Stripes and Jeans

Can you tell I'm all blogged out from Self-Stitched September? I've been doing lots of things besides taking photos and blogging, and that's a nice change.

Here we have a combination hand-picked by an 8 year old. I think the swaths of red in the sleeves help tone down the insane stripes. Alex was drawn to this fabric online once when I was shopping a Chez Ami sale. He finally gets a shirt from it a year later. The pattern is one I've made several times before: Reko Raglan Sleeve Tee (Ottobre 4-2008-26).


And it wouldn't be made by me if it didn't have a little growing room, eh? I would have liked these jeans to be a little slimmer, though. I usually reduce Ottobre patterns two sizes in the width compared to height. Here I cut a size 134 height and 128 width - although his width measurements really put him in a toddler size 104 (about US 5).



These are classic jeans with a little twist on back pocket shape. The topstitching and rivets surely make them look less homemade...I hope! I added elastic in the entire waistband due to the extra 5 inches in the waist. That definitely bunches the waist up funny, but it would look funnier if the pants didn't stay up.



Sources:
Denim from Mill End Textiles.
Pattern: Loafer Jeans (Ottobre 1-2008-35).




Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pleats and pleats

Here we have some pleats to go with the stripes. I made these pants once before and Peter wore them until I had repatched the patches.

I think all the pleats and topstitching, plus the faux-fly look, are really an improvement on the elastic-waist pant. I did sew the knee pleats down from the inside because, in real life, they pouf out and certainly don't flatten themselves out again.

Sources:
Khaki twill from Mill End Textiles.
Elastic from Cleaner's Supply.
Pattern: Kalle Outdoor Pants (Ottobre 4-2008-24).





Monday, October 4, 2010

Jalie in Stripes

Yay, more stripe matching practice! I made this Jalie t-shirt once before for Peter with a dragon stencil. Last time I slimmed it two sizes compared to the height according to his measurements. It fit well, but maybe a little too well. This time I traced the next height size up (anticipating some increase in height this year!) and didn't slim it. Maybe it's a little too baggy now. I can't decide. His bulky pants don't help the look, though.

The sidelong glance...

Pattern: Jalie #2918 (toddler through men's sizes).
Fabric: Chez Ami interlock.


Ten Things You May Not Want to Know


Two lovely sewists, Liz from Lizards Little Luxuries and Sigrid from Analog Me, have passed this award to me.

In the midst of the pleasant background noise of happy children and a powerwasher, I'll attempt to think of 10 random things things you may not want to know about me and the 21wale household.

1. As you probably noticed, I have 5 lovely children, much to the amusement of the general public. I have fun seeing how many comments I get in any given outing. The standard ones are, "Are they all yours?", "Oh! 2 boys and 3 girls!" and "Oh, they're all so well-behaved!" (Strangely, I never get that one when the baby is yelling...). People who also have 5 (or more) children like to stop and tell me about our common bond. One time when we were packing the kids into the van, a van pulled up and a man yelled out, "We have 5 kids too! It gets easier!" Then he drove off. I also think it's funny when people walk by us, counting under their breath.

2. I have an unhealthy penchant for Twizzlers Nibs (small red licorice). I like European red licorice even better, and I search out red laces whenever I'm in Europe which, sadly, is not very often.

3. I enjoy playing the mandolin, guitar, violin, and uke, besides the piano and (of course) the recorder. I inherited this obsession from my dad, who even builds string instruments.

4. My alma mater let me have my 4 year education for free because I apparently showed great potential. I always wonder what they would think of my "successful" career choice (:

5. Despite being a great klutz, I've never had an interesting injury or illness. I'm not complaining.

6. I love eating (and even cooking) ethnic foods. That's probably because I'm from the Midwest, the land of bland, and my tastebuds got bored.

7. I hate shopping, which is a great reason to sew my own clothes.

8. My husband and I once (pre-kids) took a vacation to Iceland and Norway in January. Yes, that's the dead of winter, but you must know that roundtrip tickets on Iceland Air were $199 apiece. It was a great experience, if a bit chilly.

9. In another life, I might have been an anthropologist, a linguist, an astrophysicist, or a herpatologist. So hard to choose. Good thing I have just one life (:

10. The powerwasher sound is my husband cleaning out the basement. It's one thing to have a few mice and set out a few traps. It's another to spot mice sneaking around your sewing area every night while you're sewing and to be emptying traps every morning. So we've decided to go all out and solve the problem once and for all. We've lived in this house for six months, but I'm sure the mouse colony was here before us...We emptied our unfinished basement of all our storage, tore off the walls, and removed all of the insulation. There were burrows and mouse nests in the insulation, even in the ceiling. My husband sprayed a hospital grade disinfectant and is now powerwashing all the surfaces. Then we'll make sure all possible entry points are plugged. We've lost count, but we've disposed of about 20 live and 20 expired creatures. You probably didn't want to know that one...

Now I'd like to highlight a few blogs of inspiration I've recently discovered, in case they are new to you:

smoking needles

My Happy Sewing Place

Tanit-Isis Sews

Handmade by Carolyn

Ric Rac

Su Loves Sew

little el

Weekend Crafting

Quirky Threads

sew and so

yoshimi the flying squirrel

the wardrobe, reimagined

Jaime Sews
 

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