Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Black 'Ultimate' Trousers

Black trousers....em...difficult to photograph
Have you sewn a pair of 'Ultimate' trousers yet? I've finally got round to finishing my first pair. I can now see why everyone's loving them! I bought the pattern through John Lewis with their very handy Click and Collect service.

So, how did I get on with trousers for normal height people? Basically I measured all the important bit and compared with the pattern envelope, which extremely helpfully gives you the finished inside leg measurement, hurray! not all patterns do this. I added 1" to the length of the rise and a total of 6", yes that's six inches, to the leg length. Just to be clear, I split this leg lengthening to 3" above the knee and 3" below the knee.

I chose a 97% cotton 3% lycra fabric, to me it seems like it's bordering on a denim and would be suitable for jeans. I just wanted a little bit of stretch for comfort plus the benefit of better recovery in bum and knee areas.

These are fitted trousers with a side zip and waist facings. There's nothing complicated about them apart from getting the fit right, something that's worth spending time on. I did and it paid off.

View of the insides!
The body fit is good but I feel the legs could be cut in a size smaller next time, and yes there will be a next time for these trousers. The only thing I need to alter is where I add the additional leg length because I don't feel like I've added enough length above the knee. I find it really difficult working out where the knee is on the pattern, any ideas how to do this 'cos I'm a bit stuck? When I'm walking, I can feel the upper thigh dragging a bit so I wonder if the length from body to knee is just a smidgeon short? That's my best guess so if anyone knows better, please let me know.

Reasonably good darts & waist facings top-stitched
I'm wearing these trousers today on their maiden voyage along with my Julia cardigan and it's great having an almost complete me-made outfit. Love it! So it's a good sign that whatever is wrong with my leg lengthening isn't putting me off wearing them. I like neat, simple trousers like these so I will make more of them, in fact there's the stone coloured version of this fabric at home, just crying out to be made into a pair! Anyone else got a pair of Ultimate trousers made for the summer?

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Me Made May 2015 round-up

Just the last few days of Me Made May 2015 to blog about and it's been great. I've thoroughly enjoyed participating in it and want to do it again next year! It's made me wear some things that I hadn't worn for a while. It was a bit of a chore at the start to remember to take a photo each day but then it just became a habit. I almost miss it now. Here's what I wore the last few days of the challenge:

Flowery blouse and hey, it's the magenta scarf!

This was Saturday's outfit, plus a pair of RTW jeans. No magenta scarf!

And the last item was this top. And another afternoon of sewing. Great!

So, was it successful? My pledge was:

I, Joyce, of The Story Sew Far blog, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2015. I endeavour to wear 4 me-made items each week for the duration of May 2015.

Yes, I did it! And I'm quite proud I managed it although I knew there would be a lot of repetition. I also managed to wear other me-made garments, my nightshirt, pyjamas, black fleece, navy fleece, Vogue jacket and Yona jacket, but didn't photograph them for Me Made May 2015. Sadly, yes, the weather is still wool jacket weather!

Holes in my wardrobe:

  • trousers
  • tops
  • more blouses as I enjoy wearing my flowery
  • I suppose some skirts but I don't feel they are really a priority
  • more jackets for spring and autumn
  • winter pyjamas
Better get sewing, then!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Short PJs

After last year's holiday when we went to very sunny Spain and sweltered in 44 degree heat (even the Spaniards were wilting!) I decided to make some shorts pyjamas for this year's holiday. Well, actually, confession time, this is also a refashion of a partly-finished top, shoved in the bottom of the sewing box from last year (unblogged).

Both fabrics are 100% cotton. the top is a slightly thicker cotton and the shorts are cotton poplin. I used the shorts pattern from the Kwik Sew 2811 pattern I used for these pyjamas . They are simple elastic waist shorts so nothing complicated and very quick to sew. I added about an inch to the length of the legs.

The top was the re-fashioned item. I had cut out a kimono sleeved, very simple shaped top and even got as far as sewing up the shoulder and side seams and attaching the neck facings. Then stopped. I just didn't like it. Sometimes you just get that feeling, don't you? I then shoved it in my sewing box and left it, waiting for inspiration so I could decide what to do with the fabric. Then the pyjama inspiration! I took the partly finished top and cut out a New Look pattern I already own. I can't find the pattern on the New Look website so it's probably out of print now.

So, the top has a scoop neck which has gathers at the front neckline, for about 3" or so. I decided I couldn't be bothered didn't want to sew facings for the neck and armholes so I used some black satin bias binding I already had to finish those edges. For the body hem I cut rounded edges for a more sporty look, you know! I sewed 2cm from the edge, turned twice and pressed before machine stitching the hem. There aren't any tailoring techniques used in these garments! They're for summer holidays and let's face it, it rarely gets warm enough in Scotland to wear these.

It's been satisfying sewing up pjs that I will need and also using fabric and patterns I already have. And I've used an unfinished garment stuffed at the bottom of my sewing box!