Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Still More Pants of Perfection

Barely wrinkled after a day at the office.  The pants, not my face.

Presenting my newest Pants of Perfection: Purple!  These are the third pair I've made from Vogue 2128 and I'm still smitten with this terrific pants pattern. Normally I hate Vogue patterns as I find they unnecessarily complicate the sewing process but if you completely ignore the instructions for these pants, they are fabulous!  Good old Isaac Mizrahi.  That man can definitely design for women.

These beauties - pardon me whilst I toot my own horn - are made from purple chambray.  Let's stop to ponder that: purple chambray.  They are serious secret pajama pants.  They are nice enough for the office but am seriously reveling in the comfort factor of these pants. Ninja Pants!

I am my own PARACHUTE!

I picked up the fabric for these lovelies from Fabricland when we were visiting Chris' parents.  Chris always makes sure to factor in a trip to Fabricland for me.  Considering this one was a former roller rink, you can imagine the sheer volume of floor space available for fabric, fabric, fabric! It was so big that I only looked in the wovens section - specifically for linen and cottons for summer Phryne Fisher sewing.  I didn't even look in the knits or notions sections!  Those are for next time. :)  While I didn't find any linen that I liked, I did find large gingham in pink and yellow and, of course, this perfectly purple chambray.

The playhouse is perfect for posing!

Oh, man.  Chambray and I are like best buds now.  This stuff is so soft and lightweight and delicious to sew.  I whipped these pants up over the weekend in about 2 hours.  AND I was so clever with my pattern placement, I still have over 1 metre left.  Woot!  I used a 3\8" seam allowance and cheated a bit this time by using purchased purple bias tape as the waist ties.  But, I don't care!

Perfect purple pants ready to promenade! With a parasol!

OMG! Take the picture already, you weirdo! My face is killing me!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Modern 1920's Dress Revisited

Remember this dress?  That day has been the only day I wore it which is really a shame as the rayon challis is lovely to wear and I really like the print. There's nothing wrong with the dress; however, theory and practice seem to be at loggerheads here.  I did enjoy wearing the dress - as I said the fabric is lovely - but every time I moved around, the dress rode up and stayed put.  I felt as though I was constantly yanking the hem down.  Not comfortable.

I used the Staple Dress pattern and I do plan to make more versions.  Due to the delicacy of this fabric, I didn't think that shirring was a wise option.  However, I did need to update the feel of this dress, partly because it's not as comfortable to wear as I would like and partly because I really don't like a 1920's dress silhouette on me, modernized or not.

I was stuck for quite some time on what do do and even debated chopping it off into a top when I found this lovely photo from Dottie Angel.  Side ties! Genius!  It would keep the same relaxed style I liked about the dress but changed the fit to be more flattering and comfortable.  The dress no longer rides up! 


I searched high and low for the scraps from this project but they were nowhere to be found! It's very unlike me to toss large scraps, which means I obviously was on a cleaning rampage wanting to Clean All The Things!  So, I rummaged thorough my smaller scrap bin and found just enough leftovers from my Blue Ribbon Dress.


I sewed a simple rectangle for the front and back of the dress and attached it at the waistline.  I cut 2" strips of the leftover fabric and sewed them together, running them through my bias tape maker to make the ties.  After stitching the open side closed, I threaded them though the front and back and knotted each end.

Et, voila! A fantastic new look for a dress I really liked, now a dress I love.  I love the contrast of the royal blue polka dots with the floral and am very happy that I couldn't find the matching fabric.  This is much better. 

You're probably wondering if we're adding on to our house, given the backdrop.  We're not but Chris has been busily working away on an awesome playhouse for Miss G!  Not only did he design it himself (he can make actual architectural drawings!) but he is using almost 100% found/rescued materials. 

The playhouse measures 6' x 6' and will be fully weather tight, so Miss G and her friends can play in it no matter the weather.  It will have 3 working windows, a dutch door, and a small loft space.  I am seriously envious,  not to mention super proud of my clever husband.  No wonder Habit for Humanity was so happy to have him as a Crew Leader for 5 years.   I can't wait to show you when it's finished!

I'm also working on remaking some of my hand knits.  Do you make do and mend?  Have you remade any of your handmades recently? 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Sorbetto Top

Sorbettos of 2014

As I am sat here in my pajamas while writing this, my able assistant, Mrs. Singer, will stand in for me today.  No one on the Internet needs to see my pajamas or my Beaker-like bed head!  Now, we need to be a bit kind to the indomitable Mrs. Singer as she's having a slight issue with her waist.  It's off a bit which makes her list to one side.  It's not my garments, it's my poor model!

I love the Sorbetto Top.  If you haven't heard of it, it's a free download from Colette Patterns.  I think that it was exceptionally kind of Sarai to offer it as a free download as I'm sure she would be a member of Fortune 500 now with its popularity.  The Sorbetto top was the top downloaded pattern of 2011.

Teal crepe-backed satin with gathers

It's is one of the most versatile patterns in my stash and I use it make the bulk of my tops, although I have used it to make dresses - here and here.  It's easy to sew and very easy to customize.  I have made more versions than I can count - from casual to fancy - and it always seems to survive my occasional ruthless wardrobe cull. It makes me feel all over giddy to see my Sorbettos all displayed like this.  Rather like, I made these! Yay, me!

La Muse Francaise with self-drafted collar.

After my style change and keen interest in Phyrne Fisher's separates, the need for a comfortable and versatile pop-over top became imperative.  Phryne has a wardrobe full of pop-over tops and tunics in luxurious fabrics and I aspire to no less.  Sorbetto makes this easy and affordable as the sleeveless version uses a single yard of fabric.

Lovely yellow and red gingham.  I have a pink gingham one planned.

This year I've made a lot of Sorbetto tops and all, I am pleased to say, are on high rotation.  They are the perfect foil for both my navy and pink Pants of Perfection.  They also look great with my denim Meringue skirt; the single most-worn skirt in my handmade wardrobe (of which I need more).

Girly ruffled collars :)

As I said above, I have made more versions of this pattern than you can shake a stick at and have, consequently, really streamlined the process and the fit.  I prefer my Sorbettos without the front pleat and will sometimes gather the pleat section rather than eliminating it entirely.  I also eliminated the bust darts as I like the looser fit but also because I got so tired of shifting them around to have them fit me perfectly.  Lazy sewist says: Begone, troublesome bust darts!

Wardrobe staples in embroidered cotton gauze and embroidered cotton.

Sewing is empowering, don't you think?  No where in RTW do you have so many options to either add or leave off details.  Besides the pure enjoyment of it as an activity, having total control over my wardrobe is a heady experience.   Sorbetto will always appear in my sewing plans, no matter the season. 

What's your most versatile pattern?  Do you often customize the fit and style to get the look you want?