Saturday, July 20, 2019

Stripped Organic Jersey

This is another practical make. 
I bought this organic c. Pauli interlock in The Village Haberdashery. 

Check boyfriend's finger. He is a loose photographer!

I used my Universal T-shirt pattern for the trillionth time. 
Only thing to remark here is the neck, which I have made following Tilly & the Buttons instructions for the Agnes T-Shirt. I think it is a perfect method for jersey sporty neckbands. 
I am gonna wear this a lot. 

 Excuse my hair and appearance in general. It is Obscene Extreme Festival in the morning.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Volvo's Bed

This is a very special project, because it is not for me, but for a car, hahaha..
We had been planing and saving for some years to get a car big enough (but just enough) to sleep inside when we travel, or go to festivals. When we went car shopping, first thing we did was opening the boot and get inside. Karlos is a tall man, and he had to get comfortable laying down.
As soon as our XC60 arrived, I started to make templates for all the pieces I had previously planned in my head. It was march, and we had plans for the summer!
I started with the bed. This commercial bed was my inspiration. I made four pieces, to be stacked on top of each other when dismantled, to the exact measures the car had. 
I first made the templates in strong cardboard, and took them to my carpenter. We chose a wood 1 cm thick multi-laminate, and he cut the four pieces using my cardboard templates, although I decided only to use the top ones, the bottom pieces did not need the wood support since they rested directly and totally over the car platform. The top pieces needed a strong wood support because there is 20-30 cm flying on the air to the front seats.
With the wood pieces, I went directly to the foam shop. We chose 30 kg foam, 6 cm thick from the top pieces and 7 cm for the bottom pieces, to compensate for the wood they did not have.
I then took the pieces home.
All the fabric I bought was organic, cultivated in Andalucia and woven in Catalonia. For the bed pieces' jackets, I chose linen. 

I cut the pieces using the foam (glued to the wood for the top pieces), and made the darts and corners with pins directly over them. I sewed them with my machine, including a long zipper in every piece, and Velcro patches to easily attach and unattach the pieces together. It was intense work!
Next thing I did was the curtains. I made paper templates of every window, except the front one, which I directly bought from Volvo. I used the paper templates to cut two layers of thick cotton knit sweat, that went inside every curtain. 

These were sandwiched between two linen pieces, one bigger than the other, to make a self encased rim all around the edge, machine top stitched. I then made small round buttonholes with the machine, which I perforated with a screw, to insert suctions pads I'd bought in Amazon. 

The result was awesome! I could have used that cheap bubble plastic and aluminum foil, but the organic , dye free, natural coloured material was going to give us a nicer atmosphere inside such a small capsule we had to sleep in. And I am eco-friendly!

Next, I made the sheets with a natural coloured cotton twill. A bottom one with 4 elasticated corners, the top being wider than the bottom, and a top one with two elasticated bottom corners and a nice finish for the top.

I made two nice pillow cases with the same cotton twill, and a pillow bag to carry the pillow around the car (we had another already, so I simply copied).

All this stuff is packed with a linen-cotton canvas that we use as a base, tied to the front seats with the same ties we use to tie it together. I dyed this fabric with some black dye I had around, but it was not enough, and the colour resulted army green, which was even better. 

All the project cost around 450 euros because I was so picky with fabric, but the commercial bed (without the bedclothes) costs 650 euros, so I was still saving money.

We have slept in the car three times already, and we plan to sleep in it many more this summer. It is super comfortable for both of us, but as with a van or a caravan, your experience depends on your surroundings. Shadow is of crucial importance in summer if you go to sleep late at night and you want to sleep till mid morning. If the setting is nice, like in the Monte Urbasa camping, the experience is *****.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Jeans

 Finally, I've got them. The perfect jeans. Well, 99% perfect, haha! They are just right tight, and that is difficult to achieve. Fabric and pattern are just right. 
Let us record how they are made. 
First, I chose the best denim I could get. I had to buy it online, nothing similar in the shops around me (saaaad). I finally purchased this one, it is in the heavy side, but it has a real 10% stretch, it is 97% cotton and the colour is just right. 
That for the fabric.
For the pattern, it is a modification of my own drafted pattern. I own a pair of perfect skin tight Levi's, which I used to adjust my pattern. I simply put my toile pattern pieces on the jeans and marked the variations with a pen on the toile. Since the Levi's were tighter than the original jeans pattern, I had to take off from the crotch, the legs, the back yoke, etc.

I used the midified pattern to cut the fabric, but I left generous seam allowances becasue being them so tight, they had to be adjusted to perfection in the fittings. 

 I began with pockets (I love this part). 

I then used this tutorial to do the zipper, and it became perfect. Thanks, Close Case Patterns! 

Next, step, I made the back yoke and pockets, imitating the Levi's pattern in them. I am a total pirate!
I joined the front and back parts by basting them and proceeded to my first fitting.
I realized they were too tight, so I gave 1 cm to the outer seams. and tried them on again. Now they were almost good, at least good enough to finish the inside seam, which is self-encased. 
I machine-stiched  the outer seams again, tried them on. They were tight in some places, but not in general, so I marked with pins all the areas in the outer seams that I had to sew with more ease. 

I then re-stitiched those areas. Perfection in the next fitting.
I also used CloseCase patterns to learn how to make a goo waist band, and it came out perfect again!
Time to fisnish the side seams (zig-zagging and top-stitching them turned backwards), bottom seams, and belt loops.
Finally, button and buttonhole. 
This is the best method to get the perfect jeans: use some pattern as a starting point, modify it by rubbing-off some old jeans that fit you well. 
I am going to do the same for my partner soon...

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Dark Blue Flowery Drapped Dress

This is a dress for a 50th wedding anniversary dellebration. For a family reunion.

I've had this fabric, bought in a cheap remmant store in Lleida, for years sitting in my stash. It seems cotton with lycra, like a cotton sateen, but that is only my guess, since it bore no label. The feel is great, a gorgeous printed cotton with good stretch, but for years I had no idea of what to do with it. 
When my auntie and uncle's celebration approached, I had one of those brilliant inspirations. I'd make a classic 50s dress, with a tight bodice, confortable thanks to the fabric stretch, and a huge drapped skirt to the knees. I wanted to be feminine and ellegant, but also modest.

I used the bodice pattern of my blue dress, taking 1 cm at the centre front, 1 at the sides and one at the back (x2). At the first fitting, I though it was too tight, so I gave them all back except for the one at the centre front, but now that it is finished, I think it could be tighter. Anyways, when doing something that tight, it has to be adjusted tryinn it on in the real fabric, becasue every fabric and pattern calls for its own fit. 

For the skirts, I used two rectangles as wide as the fabric was, and that was more than 3 times the waist measurement.  
It is a very comfortable, ellegant and beautiful dress. I plan to wear it a lot. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Pink Corduroy Mini Skirt Modification

 Well, this is a story about a salvation. 
I found the Pink Pinafore not very becoming and it threatened to be a dead piece in my wardrobe. 
One day I wore a green corduroy mini skirt I love, and I decided to give the pink corduroy a second life, transforming it in a mini skirt. 

I used the straps to make the waist band, and the back upper part to make the pockets. 
I cut it in the middle front and applied a zipper. 
And that is it. This fabric make me fatter than I am, that was the problem to begin with. So, if I use it in my lower half, which is more conatined, the effect is not ugly... 
I have doubts about the flare, it may be too much... my hubby thinks so and he has good taste... but for the moemnt, I leave it like this... I have time to reduce the A-shape.
Now, I love it!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Saraste Double Gauze Shirt

 Wonderful pattern (and book) and gorgeous fabric. I found it in a local shop and I fell immediately in love. Some weeks later, when I bought the book Breaking the Pattern , I saw this gorgeous shirt pattern and I had a match.

The process has been smooth and nice. The book is gorgeous, all the patterns are special  and I have plans from some of them in the near future. Now that I have tried my first one, I can say the pattern is awesome. The neck has a nice weird curve that made me suspicious at first, but once finished I realized it was cute and perfect. The idea of the gathered piece attached to the waist is original and very becoming, and the rendition of it is spot on. Princess seams, darts, sleeves and cuffs are also perfect. 
I made the size matching my measures and made no modification at all.

Regarding the instructions, I did not follow them much. To begin with, I took the 1 cm seam allowance off the tracing paper all around the pattern pieces, I pinned them to the fabric (1.5m x 120 cm war VERY tight), cut it leaving more or less seam allowances depending on the area and proceeded to mark it with tailor tucks. I then basted the upper bodice for the first fitting and I saw it was perfect, in the bigger side, which was OK for me, being it a woven fabric, and being it for work, I wanted to make it comfortable to wear. 
Long sleeves are from a pattern variation, and they match perfectly this one, which had short sleeves.

The fabric is a double gauze attached together by small threads, which can be cut because they are integral to the weave. So I decided to fell all the seam allowances after discarding the idea of making it reversible, with small checks in one side and bigger ones at the other.

I wore it at work and I was really happy with its feel. Being it 100% cotton, it was soft and breathable, but warm with the double layer of fabric. 
I a proud of this one... 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Stripped Cotton Rib Bodyshaper

This is a simple and practical project. One of those you repeat again and again, because it is a basic base in our wardrobe. I love these tight bodices that go under pinafores, dungarees wool pullovers and jackets... I wear them half of the time in winter, and I have a collection in different colours. 
I found this fabric in Tygverket shop, Stockholm, in our last holidays. It was a tubular piece of ribbed stripped cotton. The measure of the tube was just my torso, so I put it on in my dress form and cut the neck, the shoulders, the armholes and the crotch areas with my scissors directly. 

Then I used the sleeves from my bodyshaper pattern, which I constructed from Aldrich's book.
All in all, a success. It is comfortable, sweet to the skin, tight but with very good recovery to the stretch, despite being 100% cotton, thanks to the ribbing structure. I love it!