for the time being i will keep my old posts here at blogger, but i have imported all content to wordpress. please don't abandon me! to stay updated, head on over to my new space and follow me there. thanks!

—lisa g.
Showing posts with label sewaholic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewaholic. Show all posts

Monday, March 4, 2013

some bloggity business

there's been loads of discussion around the blogs about how much the blogger platform stinks. i feel as though i've been fighting with blogger since day one, whether it's about getting my posts formatted correctly, uploading pics, commenting (darn you captcha!), and just generally not working when i need it to. when i started this blog i wavered between blogger and word press and claimed my blog name at both spots. blogger won out because it seemed less confusing to set up and more customizable. basically i've regretted it ever since.

my fist blog-posted renfrew! shameful it's
taken so long, but i figure everyone is sick
of this pattern by now.

so i've decided to switch over to word press at some point when i have time to deal with that and hopefully it won't be too traumatic. i am concerned that, because this is a picture heavy blog, that those might get lost. and that would be soul crushing.

this is a nice drape-y rayon with a subtle sheen.
not great for hiding the lumps and bumps, but
it's super soft, so i'll deal.

regardless, i will switch and the switch will probably happen on a whim late some night after one too many glasses of wine... so if you wake up to some weird feed of mine in your reader, i'm apologizing now!

paired with my thurlows... it was only right.
i left off the sleeve and hem bands and lengthened
the hem to compensate and just cut the sleeves
where i wanted them and twin needled the hems.

also, i'm just wondering what ya'll do with your pictures in general. i take what seems like a bazillion pics just to get one or two where i don't look like a complete doofus. i try to make sure and delete the pics off my computer that i will definitely never use, but sometimes i'm in a hurry and think i'll come back to it later. guess what. i never do. 

the pattern's neck band was too long for this knit and it stuck out
all sorts of awkward. had to rip it out and redo. love that...
but now it's nice and profesh looking.

so now i have thousands of pictures of myself in iphoto, which makes me cringe every time i open the program because i HATE having my picture taken. i'm awkward, i don't photograph well, i'm super self-conscious, i don't know where to put my hands, ahhh!!!!

BAM! hand-made outfit!

right now i have to upload them to picasa first in order to put them on the blog. but it... takes... forever... and they're really hard to organize. i use flicker occasionally but only have a few pics there. i haven't come up with a good way of storing my pics, but i really have no need to keep them for the long-term if they're on the blog, right? i just don't know! what do you guys do????

—lisa g.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

thurlow in denim

for months i've wanted to make some thurlow pants, and i finally got around to it! i went with a denim because i found some for a great price. basically (not including the pattern) these pants cost me less than $10. that's a definite win in my book!

i measure a straight size 6, but when i used this pattern before i went with a size 4. there is still plenty of room for these to be comfortable, in fact i've already spent two full days wearing them. i love this type of pant because i can look nice without being dressed up.

it does feel weird cropping out my head
so i can properly show you my bum and
then posting it on the internet... but whatevs.

any changes i made are subtle. i changed the order of construction slightly, using the method i learned from the jalie jeans pattern. it allows you to construct the fly without having the back of the pants attached yet. once the fly is constructed, and the back pieces are sewn together, you sew front to back by sewing the entire inseam and then the side seams. i really like this for a few reasons. first, you can topstitch the crotch flat, you can topstitch the inseam, and you can adjust the legs as needed to get the fit you want.

my denim is a little heavy and bulky so i needed my seam allowances to be controlled as much as possible, hence all the topstitching. i was concerned that my topstitching would detract from the look, but you can barely see it because my fabric is so dark. fine by me!

i decided to go with a single inset welt for the back pockets. i felt the double welts were a little oversized and perhaps a touch low. i made the single welt where the top of the double welt would be, if that makes any sense. i used poppykettle's fab tutorial to make my pockets and they turned out perfect. i also added a button hole just as extra insurance against unsightly back pocket gaping.

as i mentioned in my last post, i adjusted the fly extension piece so that my waistband would line up correctly and everything would be in it's proper place. i ended up trimming off the extra seam allowance in the back. as i said before, my denim is fairly heavy and it was just creating unnecessary bulk. i fit a straight size 4 so i think in the future i'll just trim the excess out to begin with.

hammered in a shank button. p.s. the dritz jeans buttons suck
big time. gonna have to find a different brand, these are
nearly impossible to get in!

i added 1" in length and they are just a touch long for wearing flats, but i figure they'll shrink up as they get washed. i can always adjust the length later as needed.

as i've said before, this is a GREAT pattern. other than tweaking maybe the front crotch depth, i really have a good fit. hopefully i can get around to making another pair (or two or three or ten) because i could really use more pants!

okay, if you don't hear from me for a while it's because i've been buried in snow. we have 18-30" (45-76 cm for you metric types) of the stuff coming our way tomorrow through saturday. blizzard! so, i'm off to stock the pantry...

—lisa g.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

it's not just you

guys, i've done a lot of un-selfish sewing lately, so it was time to sneak in a piece for myself before starting another dress shirt. i decided to make some denim thurlows. yeah, i blatantly copied not only the online sewing peeps who have made denim trousers, but even my own little sister who made a pair recently, sent me pics and generally rubbed it in my face that she made super awesome pants. really, they were so cute i just couldn't help myself anymore. i had to have my own. there's a fabric store nearby called sewfisticated (don't you just adore the name?) and every time i go there they have loads of bargains. they always have a table full of denim for $2.50/yd, and on my last visit i just couldn't pass it up. the denim they had was a little heavier than i would have preferred, but i think it still works just fine.

now, i made thurlow shorts way back when and when i did the fly, i noticed the fly extension seemed to not quite be in the right place. but i went along, leaving it as it was. then when it came time to put the waistband on, the waistband came up short. i assumed i just messed up somewhere. i made a quick fix, and all was good.

so this time around, i carefully followed the directions, and lo and behold—same problem. ah-ha! it wasn't me. it was gasp a flaw in the pattern! this time, i searched reviews because surely i wasn't the only one who came across this problem. nothing. then i asked my sister and yes! she too had the same thing happen to her. i have seen whisperings of waistbands coming up short, so i'm here to say: it's not just you! this time around, i decided to rip out all the stitching, take out the zip and start over. p.s. one of those little razor blades makes super fast work of stitch unpicking. a regular seam ripper would have taken me an hour; razor blade, less than two minutes. believe me, re-doing the zip was much less work than it sounds.

i know we all have a proclaimed love affair with sewaholic patterns, but for the sake of anyone making this pattern and having fly/waistband issues, i will stand here and be the one to let you know that there is indeed a teeny tiny mistake in either the fly extention piece or the directions. fortunately, it is a super easy fix.

if you need what you are sewing to look exactly like the directions, trim 5/8" off the width of the fly extension when you go to finish the long edge (or trim it from the pattern piece to begin with). after, you can continue following the directions and illustrations as they are.

please note that i reversed my fly to the
standard zip up with the right hand layout

if you are confident enough to have yours look slightly different, sew the zip at 5/8" in from the facing edge instead of lined up with it. then when you sew the zip and fly extension to the pant, line up the edge of the zip tape (instead of the edge of the facing) with the edge of the pant. i kind of like the facing to extend beyond the edge of the zip tape to minimize bulk, so that's what i did.

all in all, it's not a big deal. i do wish sewaholic would put a little note amending the pattern either as an insert or on the site somewhere, especially since we're talking about the fly. many people are using this pattern as their first try at pants and we're all assuming that we have erred somewhere. i love sewaholic and tasia is an absolute dear who works very hard and delivers an outstanding product, but just a teeny tiny little amendment would be fab.

again, my zip is reversed from how the pattern is written
that's just how i roll

that's my PSA for the day. carry on.

—lisa g.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

YEAH!!!!!! a REAL shorts/pants pattern!!!!!!

so in case you haven't jumped on the sewaholic bandwagon (and really i was feeling as though i was the lone holdout...) the thurlow is the one to splurge on. after making up my blue shorts a couple months back, i was pretty meh about the complete lack of pant patterns that have all the bells and whistles of a normal pair of pants: fly facings, fly extensions, welt pockets, etc. and literally as i was composing my blog post for those shorts, my email chimed announcing the thurlow.

prayer answered.

seriously. it was as if the sky opened and angels sang. at least the voices in my head did.

even though i was mere tweaks away from fitting my bottom half with the mccalls 5391 short pattern, it was really a sense of screw you mccalls... a little gal in canada did it BETTER! that made me abandon the mccalls and immediately purchase the thurlow. when it comes to patterns, i'm more of a wait-for-the-$1.99-sales-at-joanns person than a splurge-over-$20-on-a-pattern person (my colette patterns, while i love them, have all been gifts). but i figured, this is a staple that i will use for years to come. unlike a dress pattern, which may or may not ever see multiple versions (though i'm completely in love with the cambie and totally want it now!) this pattern will be repeated. in fact, i would spend more than $20 for a pattern like this. 

sorry, my pics are basically awful. too sunny, and it was
too hot to bother retaking in a better spot.

just so you know, you may cut out (or trace) all your pattern pieces and be completely dissuaded by the sheer number of pieces. but, each has it's place and purpose so soldier on my friend! it will be worth the effort. so, what are all these details i'm talking about? you know those little strips on the inside of your rtw pockets? the pocket facings? included. welts (along with fantastic directions)? included. separate fly facing piece? included. fly extension? included. and yes, these things ARE a big deal. why? mostly, longevity. while i love my blue shorts, i can tell that not having all these details, and just having the straight turn and burn waistband will decrease their life.

when i finally had a chance to start sewing up my thurlow shorts i even skipped the muslin. e gads! i didn't have time, plus i was able to pull out my mccalls pattern pieces for a little comparison. so i wasn't going completely blind here. my measurements were a perfect 6 but decided to cut a size 4 based on pattern ease and comparing to my other shorts. turns out, the 4 fits me perfectly. not a single alteration was needed. even that back seam with room for adjustment, i sewed on the original stitch line. sheer unabashed joy!!!

yes, i realize my elbow is sticking out in a very awkward way.

i made only minor changes to the pattern, mostly just cosmetic. since i wasn't making "dressy" shorts, i made them out of a nice weight twill and opted to topstitch things like the pocket opening edges, side seams, the crotch seam, parts of the waistband, around the welts, even down the back darts. this gives the shorts a little more reinforcement for every day wash and wear. also, i opted to french seam the pocket bags of all the pockets. i see this in even the cheapest of rtw shorts/pants i have so i figured why not. since it only takes a few extra moments to do this, it is worth the effort. and, lucky you, i photographed my process so you can do it to. this should be my next post, if you're interested.

last thing i added was a little patch of the twill on the inside of the waistband where the hook is. i made it to line up with the fly facing, not thinking i should have made it long enough so that the inside button could be sewn to it also. i just stitched this piece on, then zig-zagged over the edge so it sits flush without added bulk.

lastly, i went to hem them intending to have the cuffed look and for the life of me i couldn't figure out how to do that. seems i can breeze through double welts and fly construction only to be confounded by a cuff. so i cut off a few inches and hemmed them as normal (and later it dawned on me that the instructions were not cryptic, and i figured out what i should have done. doh!) oh, and i couldn't be bothered to add all six belt loops (i hate doing belt loops) and settled for five.

oh... and i reversed the fly to zip from the right, not from the left. just a preference of mine (and every pair of pants/shorts i own...). it's easy to do: whenever a pattern piece says to cut from the right side of the fabric, just cut from the wrong side and it will all be reversed.

why hello there

i love this pattern!!! the fit is incredible, and i can't wait to make more shorts and pants with it. i had no trouble following the directions (except for the cuffs... my bad.) so if you're new to pants, you should still be able to work these out. at least, don't let the number of pattern pieces scare you off!

—lisa g.