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!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Tartan Wool Rub-Off Dress

 I bought this wonderful tartan wool from Dïtto fabrics back in December, thinking about a long skirt, but when it arrived I realized I had ordered too little to make it bias as I wanted, so I finally decided to replicate a mini dress or pinafore I have and I love to wear. 
Well, I cannot say it has been a total success or that I am super happy with it. No. And that is a second semi-failure in a row... still the black wool jacket I did before is being a total success, I have a plan to recover the pink pinafore, and this own is not so bad. I will still wear it, I think. 
Well, I copied my old dress by the rub off method I learnt in this book. I do not know what it went wrong, but the bust dart were all wrong and I had to undo them twice. Finally, I put the bodice over my dress form and mad the darts there. I decided to make two bodices, one of them as facing, so the darts were replicated in this second bodice. I had also to correct the shoulders' seams inclination.

 Finally, there was another problem which I could not get rid of: the gaping of the neckline. It is not very bad, and i am probably the only one noticing, I have only to give the shoulder straps a tug outwards and it disappears, but it comes back soon enough. It is wrong and I cannot repair it,because I had cut the fabric at the shoulders when I noticed, at first fitting. 
And yet another problem, I do not like how it looks on me. My bust appears to be too big proportionally to my hips. I hate that. The bias cut skirt clings to my legs when I walk and I think it would be wider. 
What a pity of a dress, a gorgeous fabric gone to almost waste.
The truth is that I wore it at work and I was super comfy in it, so I will probably wear it, but somehow the rubbing off has not worked this time, and I have to make a mental note to be very careful and precise next time. And not to cut the neckline fabric completely until first fitting. 
That is all. 
I have a lot of trust put into my next project, so let us be 
optimistic and resilient!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Pink Corduroy Pinafore - A Failure Story

 Not all makes are successful. Sometimes they become art masterworks and sometimes they are a loss of time and money. Like in this case. 
I found this gorgeous dust pink corduroy in Soff & Still in Goteborg, in our last holidays. I though it would be perfect to replicate a black corduroy pinafore I made many years ago and I totally love.
So I dig in my pattern stash to look for the pattern and there it was, a thin tracing paper bundle with saying "pinafore". 

I enjoyed making it, felling the seams, topstitching it with pink thread, putting the buttons with the hammer... everything was fine... 
... until the moment of wearing it. It makes me fat, probably because of the colour, becasue the black one makes me look slim as a spaguetti. 
Why did I think I needed another version of the same piece? Only changing the colour is not reason enough to have a duplicated pinafore, becasue I will always choose the slimering one. 
So please, future me, learn your lesson. One piece of each is enough. So when you think, for example, that that wonderful Joni dress would be lovely in a dark blue velvet, remember: nope.
See The Pink Corduroy Mini Skirt Modification