2016 has certainly got itself off to a tedious start with problems on multiple fronts. Amazing, I have managed to sew inbetween events of this week.
The first event was that our drains blocked up on New Years Eve. The emergency plumbers arrived and we got the drains partially running, with the situation to be looked at in the New Year - there seemed to be a blockage further down the line, but no-one could find the boundary trap to the main sewer. Apparently this part of Newcastle is notorious for lack of records, and also people just tend to bury the sewer area. A vent was found, but the pipe there did not seem to affect the drainage situation at all. Over the next few days of digging, we established that it was better to lay a new drain and redo a proper connection to the sewer. The old plans were well and truly outdated, and I gather from DH, who owned the house before I came onto the scene, that no-one had ever managed to find the sewer connection to the main sewer. This of course astounded me, being the neat Adelaide girl that I am - everything is neat and orderly in Adelaide and you can locate boundary traps just by pacing - from memory about 1 metre out from the house and then the trap is the other side of the boundary. Not so here. I even found out that the house behind me has the main sewer line underneath it. I think I am more astounded by that than I am about the cost of our problem. Which is not inconsiderable, by the time the garden is dug up, concrete cut, drains laid and a new connection established. I will believe we have success when we finally do. In the meantime, life is a bit tedious with limited use of water and lots of use of buckets being emptied in the garden. I hand wash what we need. So really, I am camping at home
At the beginning of the week, I knew little of the story outlined above that was unfolding. What I did know was that it was very wet. managed to have over 3 days of solid downpours - and I mean, downpours - with flooding on most roads. Areas nearby were flooded and evacuated.
I planned to go to work on Monday but decided it was far too wet - I know what happens now, and roads can be cut. So I stayed home and decided to sew my first garment for 2016, a pair of black rayon pants, totally in blissful ignorance of the extent of the drain problem.
Now, don't the trousers look great? The RTW shirt looks awful - I didn't realise it was such a poor fit until I saw this photo. Still, it proves what I often say - my worst fitting me-mades are a better fit than RTW garments on me.
I used a Simplicity pattern :
I used size 10 in the Simplicity pant- the pattern claimed the finished hip measurements were 37 inches. I thought this was about right for my 33/1/2 inch hips. The pants were straight leg/slightly bootcut so I knew they would be flattering with nothing to fit on my slim legs.
I usually do a muslin, but after studying the pattern pieces, decided to use the crotch to waist part of Vogue 9067 , a pant I recently made that fits me nicely in the crotch and through the rise to the waist. In effect, this redrew the crotch curve two inches below the original crotch and added extra to the waist and for a wider casing. I used 1 inch elastic instead of the 1/2 inch specified in the pattern. Effectively, by lowering the crotch I raised the hip line 2 inches - which works perfectly as I am petite and my hip line is 7 inches from the waist, not 9 inches which is what the pattern companies use as the hip line.
I also shortened the pants by about 1/1/4 inches over and above the alteration outlined above. The pants were quite long, but are designed to be worn with heels. I wanted mine to be quite a bit shorter to wear with flat sandals - and in our wet climate, I prefer slightly shorter in summer.
And, I added in seam side pockets.
And the results are perfect:
|Hip curve in the right place for once|
|Flattering from the side|
|And look at the back:)|
Now, you may be wondering why I opened this post with a picture of a black top over white pants.
The pants some of you already know as they are a McCall's pant, blogged here. The top is new and is another version of New Look 6273, blogged here.
It was made from the leftovers of the Black Rayon Simplicity pants. I had a 2.5 metre piece, and although it is sold as 112 wide, I measured it and it was 120 wide. A bit of judicious placing of the pants pattern on the fabric saw me with nice pieces to do something else with - I mean, I worked this out before I cut the pants out, and as soon as I saw the possibility of another garment, decided to use lawn in the pockets of the above pants. I did have to put a seam in the front of the top (flat-felled for a nice finish) and cut the lower strip on the crossgrain which does impact on the perception of the colour for this piece:
I used lawn for my facings, as I think it helps to stabilise the neckline. The pattern uses binding. I meant to cut extra on the sleeve as the pattern uses binding and I prefer a narrow hem. But with plumbers coming and going all the time, I forgot and had to use binding. Now, the binding I can get is not very nice - hard and stiff, so the sleeve does wing out a bit:
And, instead of a thread loop at the back of the neck, I made a nice little bias loop:
And the finished top:
And the costings as per my 2016 goals:
PANTS: Black Rayon, 2.5 metres Spotlight Sale $7.99 per metre : Au $19.98
Simplicity Pattern, RRP $19.99 *
Elastic, $1.75, Cotton Lawn, $1.00, Thread/Needles $4.00 allowed.
* I usually do not pay full retail price for patterns, but wait for sales. I am going to cost at full retail price though because I can't remember what I paid, and anyway, that is the supposed value of the pattern.
PANTS TOTAL: AU $46.72.
TOP: Black Rayon Leftovers and Pattern already used therefor "free" this time around.
Lawn and Interfacing, $1.50 allowed, Binding $1.00, Thread/Needles $4.00 allowed,
Button, $1.00 to replace (it was from my stash).
TOP TOTAL: AU $7.50.
That's it for this week - next week has quite a few challenges - the Practice opens again on Tuesday with no telecommunications. We have been out since December 20th, and were promised lines back on the 8th January. They were not. The battle continues. Not good enough, Telstra. So what with that and the drains, the start of 2016 has not been good :)
All for now, luckily I have a couple of 2015 garments still to post, because I think sewing is going to be a little slow for the next couple of weeks!
I hope life is more settled in your part of the world:)