Monday, 27 March 2017

Grainline Grey Marl Driftless Cardigan

I'm really getting back into the swing of this blogging lark! (ooh look Grainline joke!) Its timely too, because i'm blogging another Grainline success! I know you know i'm obsessed with pretty much every pattern they've created and I was desperate to try Driftless, I loved all the different versions popping up around the blogosphere but i'd seen a cardigan in Mint Velvet, (a really great UK store, they focus on pale tones and high quality fabrics,) sadly the high quality part puts them right out of my price range, with a cardigan setting you back around £70 plus! I'd seen this one in store and immediately thought of Driftless. 
I knew the length would be a bit much for me and I do already own a darker grey cardi from ebay at this length. I went stash diving and found a slightly brushed grey marl jersey, I think it might've been bought at the Minerva meetup.
Excuse the teapot pose, I was trying to show the pocket in action, if you will...
One of the features i'd seen recently on a rtw cardigan was leaving the sleeves raw and letting the jersey roll. So thats what I did with this one. I like it as an effect, but it bugs the sewist in me, i'll live with it and see what happens... 
As you can imagine on a wearability scale, a grey cardigan is off the charts! It goes with everything, I'm particularly loving it with mint and pale pink. I already have two more cut out and ready to go!
What are your wardrobe heroes?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Triumph Over Sewing Fear: Deer and Doe Safran Jeans!

"Hey, look! Pants!"
 "What about them?"
 "Nothing... Just (I made) Pants!"

Is anybody else in love with the film Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium? I decided Edward Magorium, toy aficionado and avid shoe wearer pretty much summed up how excited I am about actually making a pair of wearable pants! (ok trousers, jeans or whatever you call 'em but still!)
This has been my sewing nemesis for a long ol' while. I've been stalking the blogosphere, cooing over perfect pockets and terrific topstitching! These my friends, are none of those things. Nevertheless I'm proud of myself for throwing down the gauntlet and giving it a go.
My main beef with trousers in general, are my laughably short, hobbitlike legs. Elfen lilithness, I have none. 
I didn't make any attempt to shorten Safran. This means the shaping at the knee and downwards are off... Way off... as in I had to cut them off because I'm so damned short! This is not a mistake I will make again as I have adjusted my pattern and I shortened at the correct place 14cm... 14cm!!! No wonder they look weird! Still excited I made them though!
I'm pretty pleased with the rest of these jeans. I used a remnant piece of denim I still had knocking about from an old Minerva project. (Denim skirt here if your interested, yeesh it needed a press!)
I would've used something with a bit more stretch, but I wanted to invest little in my first go as I anticipated the results to be far worse than they are. The fit is tight, but with the right stretch percentage, these would be comfy enough for daily wear. I also haven't washed these yet, so they have the potential to soften over time. I did wear them to a recent Fabric Godmother Open Day, helping out with the fabric cutting and I managed to bend and stretch without feeling uber restricted.
The fly was a bit of a baptism of fire on this one. I have done them in the past on a Moss skirt. But god knows how I managed to get the result I did. I used the Safran instructions initially, then Katie suggested a Sandra Betzina Threads video which I watched. I just couldn't get the fly flat enough to not gape open. I then invested in Heather of Closet Case Patterns Jeans Class. It all just clicked. I unpicked my threadknotted mess and tried it her way and huzzah it worked! I have to admit, the Sandra Betzina video was great, I just didn't offset the zipper as you would in jeans, but its worth a look to help with the process. Basting the front together was inspired!
This picture really shows my knee issues. I have what I affectionately call, carrot legs. They are wide at the top and narrow pretty quickly. When I make another pair i'm hoping I won't have to do too much adjustment. I pegged these down a little from the knee but I will make sure I adjust the pattern next time. 
A few whiskers, but I'm tilted here and I think the fit through the tummy and even around the back pleasantly surprised me. I may do a full front thigh adjustment, but I think the stretch factor in the next pair may help.
I loved the ingeniousness of the pockets on Safran. I am hesitant to call them jeans in a traditional sense. I think they would look amazing as work trousers in a nice hefty stretch drill. I'm calling these a denim pant. I ommitted topstitching on these. Primarily as they were my first try but secondly because I'd left my second machine at my Mum's. I have now retrieved it as I'm excited to embark properly on the Ginger Jeans Class. 
All in all, i'm calling these a win because hey! I learnt to make a wearable pair of pants and that is a huge personal achievement! 
What in your sewing life has been your nemesis project?

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Merckwaerdigh Pants MIX30

Morning Lovelies! I bring to you yet more underoos! This is the knicker pattern for Merckwaerdigh Mix 30. I have had this pattern forever and to be honest these knickers have been cut and sat in a bag forever! I finally got the courage to whip them up just before I endeavoured onto my Harriet Bra.
Merckwaerdigh are an interesting pattern company. They sell kits, supplies and their own pattern designs. I wasn't enamoured with the 80s styling of the pattern designs when I first found them. But the designs are sound and i've seen some amazingly beautiful versions of their patterns sewn up around the interwebs. Here is the pattern image for MIX30. I've been dying to make the bra but I'm not sure if I hacked into the pattern in my naive days and screwed it up. Fingers crossed I just added seam allowance.

The knickers i've made are the hipster ones pictured in pink and blue. They are deceptively high in those sketches and to be honest they sit much more naturally on me. I'd call them a hipster. The little hip crossover detail is a nice touch and worked really well with plain fabric and my damned crazy lace (also purchased a million years ago from their website.)

These remind me of my skull pansy blazer, skirt combo. Who knew i'd ever be able to say I could liken that fabric to anything else? Its crazy.
The pink elastic was out of necessity but actually I quite like a red and pink contrast. The back design incorporated the back of the lace, freefloating across the hip. I like this feature, but the stretch of the lace is not the same as the spandexey jersey below and so it pulls a little when wearing. Not uncomfortably so but I notice it.
I didn't really use the instructions for these as they are pretty self explanatory. I may make them again in the future, but right now I have some Evie La Luve and Ohh Lulu pants patterns i'm desperate to try. I'd better start clearing out my underwear drawer to make way!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Ode to Grainline... The Lark Tee

Oh Grainline, how I love thee...
Thats pretty much how my brain works whenever I pick up anything from Grainline ever. 
Everything i've made has been something that is staple in my wardrobe. In fact, I often find myself thinking why didn't I make more of those? 
Heres what I've made by Grainline so far in my sewing career:
Archer Shirt x 3
Tiny Pocket Tank
Moss Skirt
Scout Tee
and now I have another to add to the list! Lark!
Now we all know my love for a jersey tee is beyond all other kinds of love. I can whip them up in a couple of hours and wear them until they fall apart. I have several Renfrews and Plantains are in high rotation, some of which have been going for years! I didn't feel I really needed Lark for that exact reason, but then I decided to purchase it in one of Jen's rare pattern sales 
(Along with the Morris Blazer, Maritime Shorts and Lakeside PJs, watch this space for those soon!)
I love Grainline's drafting. They seem to fit very true to size, their instructions are clear and to the point with excellent diagrams and further clarification on the blog should you need it. Plus they really are wardrobe staples!
I will now admit this Lark is way to big... Why? I went with my old measurements and promptly forgot that i'd lost quite a bit of weight. Ooops.
This is still totally wearable. Truth is, I wanted to be cautious. There is nothing worse than sewing something too small and I treated this as a wearable muslin. I got tons of this fabric in a swap years ago and i've never used it because I wasn't sure it was "me" It seemed sort of overly girly. I'd wear each of these colours individually but I wasn't sure about them all together and floral.
Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised. I do wear this top, although its not the first thing I reach for every morning. The floral is not too overwhelming and I'm hoping it will also look nice with some grey jeans i've bought recently. 
The great thing about this pattern, as with the good old Renfrew, is that it comes with 3 different sleeve lengths, 3 different necklines and all of them are individual pattern pieces so you can mix and match to your hearts content. This is the Scoop neck, Long sleeved variation. 
(I like long sleeves pulled to my elbow when i'm warm,) 
but I can't wait to try the classy boatneck version.
Have you made Lark? Do you have 500 versions in your own wardrobe? 
I can see it going that way for me!