Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School Spirit Refashion

One of our neighbors has a daughter who has just moved up from the Elementary School (where Myra and Logan attend) to the Middle School. She passed down a couple of tee shirts to Myra, but they were a bit too large...
I considered just taking them in at the side seams, but the neckline was slightly off the shoulder and the logo was weirdly placed on her chest, so I decided to completely remake them.
I thought a baseball style tee would be cute, so I used Ottobre 04/2013-12, which I've made for her before. I accented with white to make the logo stand out.
For the main body of the shirt, I sliced the original shirt at the sides, then removed the sleeves and cut the shoulder seams. I did my best to get the fabric on grain, which was impossible in front since the logo has to stay level, but I think I got the back pretty close.
The white fabric is Chez Ami interlock. It makes great binding fabric, since it is so stable and has excellent recovery.
Since I didn't need the sleeve fabric for Myra's new top, I decided to use them to make Summer a tee, along with a tiny scrap of white rayon jersey so she and Myra could match.
Summer's top was made using Simplicity 4702. I lengthened the top 1/2 inch and slimmed it about 1/4 inch at the side seams. Summer has a Model Muse body, which is taller and slimmer than Barbie's Belly Button Body. I also made Summer's Bermuda shorts, using a tracing from the pants the Divergent/Tris doll wears. I shortened them to hit just above the knee and slimmed them slightly at the side seam, again to fit the Model Muse body.
Myra likes her new shirt very much, and especially loves that she can match Summer! She told me that she wants me to make all her dolls new shirts. Sadly, there are no more sleeves! We'll have to wait for the next Myra make.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #4: School Age Boys!!!

I know I am not the only Mom who has bemoaned the lack of good patterns for boys, particularly those in the "in-between" ages.
Fortunately, the Perfect Pattern Parcel has our backs. They have put together a collection aimed specifically at our school age guys!
Pattern Parcel #4
A complete wardrobe, all on one shot. And, as with all the Pattern Parcels, you name your own price and you can choose to allocate a portion of your purchase price to the charity Donorschoose.org to help classrooms in need.
For my guy, I went with the Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns.
Logan is an active dude, and he prefers his clothing comfortable and easy fit. As we're moving into fall weather, sometimes the tee shirts and shorts that he loves are just a little too cold for the nip in the air, so a light jacket is just what he needed.
The Zippy Jacket is just perfect for that. It's a simple style, designed to be made from mid weight knits. I used a 12 ounce Chez Ami interlock and it could not be more perfect. It is soft and comfortable, but keeps Logan cozy.
While the jacket itself is simple, the pockets are all fun. The rounded openings are bound and the pocket bag is stitched down from the inside, which is a great opportunity to use the decorative stretch stitches on your regular sewing machine.
Or if you have a coverstitch machine, you can use it for the entire operation! I used my coverstitch binder to bind the pocket openings and then stitched on the pocket bags from the wrong side with a three thread coverstitch, so that the looper threads were exposed on the right side. I love the sporty look!
Another great feature of the pattern is that the zipper goes all the way up to the top of the collar. If it's windy or chilly, you can zip it all the way up, but it has a great casual look partially unzipped.
Logan prefers it slightly unzipped, so he doesn't feel choked at the neck. He likes to have the control over his comfort.
As for the fit through the body, it really is perfect. I made Logan the size 7/8. He is turning 8 next week, and he's pretty average sized for his age. The sleeves are an excellent length and the cuff is snug enough to keep them in place and cozy. The waistband is also comfortably snug.
I did make a few minor changes to the pattern construction for reasons of personal preference. The pattern instructions for the attachment of the cuffs, collar and waistband all include zigzag topstitching. The pattern method does result in a nice smooth inside finish, but I personally dislike the look of zigzag topstitching. Instead, I stitched the waistband and collar facings onto just the inner seam allowances, and attached the cuffs via the alternate method in the pattern, which is the "usual" cuff method I generally employ.
The other change I made was to add interfacing to the zipper area at center front. I really think a zipper is easier to insert in a knit with a bit of interfacing for stability. I used Pro-Sheer Elegance in black. It's light enough to have no affect on the hand of the fabric, just make zipper insertion less fussy.
The end result is a great jacket that Logan and I both love. He loves it so much that he tried to sleep in it the night after I made it, and he's been wearing it nonstop since. Logan is pretty picky about his clothes so that is an epic win.
Buy Pattern Parcel #4
Head over to the Pattern Parcel site and get your own! And don't forget that if you spend over $26 on your parcel, you'll get the Knight Hoodie as well.

Be sure to also check out the other talented sewists taking part in the Pattern Parcel #4 Tour!
Friday, August 22 casa crafty || Lulu & Celeste || Keep Calm and Carrion

Saturday, August 23 Max California || Amanda Rose

Sunday, August 24 little betty sews

Monday, August 25 Kadiddlehopper || Radiant Home Studio

Tuesday, August 26 La Pantigana || Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts || Friends Stitched Together

Wednesday, August 27 Make It Perfect || Modern Handmade || GYCT Designs

Thursday, August 28 Needle and Ted || Mae & K || Mimi's Mom

Friday, August 29 Pienkel || Once Upon a Sewing Machine || Friends Stitched Together

Saturday, August 30 FABulous Home Sewn || Gray Skies || The Crazy Tailor

Sunday, August 31 Nine Stitches || Max California || Oliver's Fancy || Friends Stitched Together

Monday, September 1 a happy stitch || lady and the gents || Our Family Four || Swoodson Says

Tuesday, September 2 verypurpleperson || Things for Boys || The Crazy Tailor

Wednesday, September 3 Our Family Four || Rebekah Sews || a happy stitch

Thursday, September 4 Sew a Straight Line || la inglesita || Made by Sara || Knot Sew Normal

Friday, September 5 Knot Sew Normal || Gracious Threads || Sofilantjes || Max California

Monday, August 18, 2014

Burdastyle 08/2010-108 slim pants

Pants are one of those things, you know. You need them in your wardrobe, but fitting them; well, it just ain't always fun!
I made these as a wearable muslin of sorts. I really am happy with the Jalie jeans pattern, but it is for stretch denim, and I have a ton of bottomweight fabrics without stretch that I would like to turn into pants. This particular piece is a heavy-ish non-stretch denim that has been in the stash for quite a while.
So I went hunting in the pattern files and pulled out this Burda (08/2010-108) It is extremely basic, with front and back darts, side seam pockets and back pocket flaps - no actual pockets back there. There is a shaped waistband and front fly zipper.
This extremely flattering shot gives you a glimpse of the higher rise, and waistband. You can see the itty bitty front darts. I usually despise front darts, but they work in these pants. I did make the waistband a smidge wider by adding 5/8 seam allowances and then only sewing 3/8. This gave me an extra half inch or so, which was enough to justify an extra snap. I like the look of doubled snaps, and they feel very secure.
As far as fit goes, I actually made very few changes. Other than widening the waistband, I scooped out and raised the rear crotch hook slightly. I compared it to my Vogue 1059, which I've made 3 times with good results. I did eliminate the side seam pockets. These pants have very little ease at the hip, so the pockets gaped horribly.
Sadly, that means that the pants have no pockets, which means they are unlikely to become a favorite pair. I thought about adding rear welt pockets, but since I wasn't sure I was going to be happy with them, I didn't want to waste the effort.
And when it really comes down to it, I'm still not sure how I feel about these. They're comfortable, fit well and are serviceable, but I don't love them. The shape of the leg feels a little dumpy to me, and I can't decide why.
I think I'm going to have to wear them a few times and decide if I'm going to use this pattern again. I do like how clean the lines are. Maybe I just need to alter the fit of the leg?