Monday, May 28, 2018

Velveteen slouch pants, New Look 6216.

I try and post on Sunday, but yesterday just did not happen.  Not just because I was unlucky enough to get one of my sinus bouts and a very nasty headache and generalised aches, but also because I took photographs inside.  Why was this unlucky?  Well, I don't know if there was a technical reason, or if it was just one of those things one ascribes to the gods.

It may be due to the fact that we changed over the light bulbs recently  and my husband is not really that good at understanding colour and wattage. So the replacement light is now  a very gloomy warm white (aka yellow)  inside where I normally take photos.  Whether that impacted on the focus, or whether in my rather headachey and vague state I did not use the right setting (which would not be difficult given I never know what setting to use in any case- I am just not interested in photograpy and only take photos so I can show you photos of garments I have made...)

So, this morning I decided to venture outside.  I think normally I am just too lazy to do this, perhaps because I think I will have to take the tripod with me and set that up.  However, I found the green wheely bin worked well. Laziness always finds an efficient solution!

Anyway, on to the sewing.   Last week I made these trousers out of cotton velveteen - or so Spotlight claims it to be.  It washes beautifully with hardly a wrinkle, so maybe it has something else in it too.  I purchased this on a clearance table - it was $24.99 per metre, but I paid $8.00 per metre - I think I had to buy a minimum of 3 metres or whatever was left on the roll to get this price.  2.9 metres later, and I had this piece of fabric in my bag.

The Make a Garment a Month theme for May is May Flowers.  I was struggling with what to make, then I remembered this fabric.  I thought it would make a lovely pair of trousers for cosying up in on a cold winter's day or night.  In fact, I wish I had something like this for the weekend we recently spent in Sydney - a bitterly cold wind was blowing. We visited the Art Gallery, and these would be rather perfect for that sort of setting. Then we went for a casual meal out to celebrate my husband's birthday.  Again, these would have been perfect with my little red coat and black beret. Casual but romantically dressy.  And super comfy. With pockets.

I used my old faithful New Look 6216:

I have made this trouser pattern up lots of times now in all sorts of fabrics (see all posts HERE).   I use size 8, and raise the rise at the front to side seam one inch. The back rise is raised two inches tapering to one inch at the side seam.  I have a long rise and very short waist.  I am also quite rectangular in shape, so I need trousers to be a little above the waist so they do not fall down.  Not a good look without a top covering the mid section, but in blog photos I do not worry about this because I am showing you the garment. I omit the drawstring because that is not needed for a classic elastic waist pant - and I don't need a bulky knot over my tummy and tails hanging down. I also modified the pocket to a 2 piece pocket and used lightweight poly cotton for the pocket bag (the pattern has a fold over pocket made out of the fashion fabric - okay if you are using a cotton, but not a thicker fabric).

And of course, pockets.  I topstitched these - and ditto the side seams in a faux flat fell seam.  And hems echoed the look with two rows of stitching.

The pants look quite baggy and full in this soft fabric, but that does not worry me.  Secret pyjamas!  I will probably need to wear thermals under them in mid winter in any case.  As far as I am concerned, they just look comfy and cosy - and you imagine them with a nice mohair handknit jumper over them!  I should show you this worn over the  pants one day.   I think also I would use a slightly less bulky fabric for the worked in velveteen again- but don't these look nice all in the one fabric...

Anyway, quick pictures of the trousers - and doesn't the sun show up so much more than the flash. 

I guess this gives you the general idea.  I can't wait for a cold, wet, windy, horrible day so I can pull these on and enjoy them.  A nice cup of tea, some sewing, and cosy secret pyjamas in soft floral velveteen.  Oh, and black fluffy slippers.  Looks like I am set for winter when it arrives.

That's it for today, I hope to be back with more sewing  news next weekend.

Sarah Liz  

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Me Made May 2018 and Wardrobe Reflections

 Hello everyone,

Last weekend my husband and I went to Sydney to celebrate his birthday.  Despite my best intentions I did not find time to do a blog post last week.

This week I thought I would share with you my thoughts on Me Made May and what it has taught me about my wardrobe needs and the way I dress, and more specifically what I need to make.  I also decided that Me Made May is not really for me at the moment - mostly because this is a really strange month weather wise and I tend to just wear what works that I have to hand - mostly layers, because it can be cold in the morning and warm during the day.  Some days get very warm and I revert to short sleeve tops, usually worn with a cardigan in the colder part of the day.  Below I am wearing a me made t-shirt (remnants) and me made stretch cotton sateen trousers.

And last weekend it was cold, with an icy wind blowing so a me made coat was in order (I am also wearing a me made infinity scarf which does not show much in this photo but you can probably see it around my neck):

From this small selection of photos, it looks like a simple mix and match wardrobe composed of layers is my way of dressing.  For instance, this outfit was for a cooler day (well, about 19-20 degrees, but I feel cold usually, especially in the house, which is a bit on the cold side. Plus early morning and late after noon the temperature is about 10 degrees):

This outfit is a pair of pinwale corduroy trousers (Burda pattern) and a striped  layering t-shirt with collar (New Look, from memory).  It was originally a summer t shirt, but I never wore it in summer because the collar was too hot, as was the fabric. So now I wear it as a layering piece over an old t-shirt.  It gives the t-shirt a new lease of life and looks smart.  Today has been a chores day - including going out to the shops -  so this works for out and about and at home.

What I have discovered is that Me Made May is difficult for me to do on a daily basis because I tend to look the same on a daily basis.  My wardrobe is mostly basics and mix and match - much of what follows in my wardrobe photographs is me made, but there is still about 30% RTW.





Looking inside my wardrobe, it is obvious that I have a preference for basics in classic colours with a few brighter garments here and there. Summer tops do have more colour and pattern, but as you can see, my shirts are once again in plain white and blue.  I also have knit tops which I have not photographed - again, mostly in black!

I tend to wear mix and match separates with a  preference for trousers instead of skirts.  Although I intend to change that, because I do have lots of nice skirts.  Dresses get worn in warmer weather, but again, I tend to often wear tops and trousers - albeit light weight trousers.

For work, I wear bengaline or crepe trousers (black) with a shirt or top.  I usually work behind the scenes in my own office, but if I have to be seen, I tend to put on a RTW office type shirt. I usually wear a smarter cardigan, but will don a jacket when I need to pull more rank.

Jackets rarely get worn, but I think they are just too formal for a regional coastal town in NSW. I would love to wear them, but really, they look out of place here.  I do wear them when I go away to cities or to my hometown of Adelaide. 

I have also put on a kilo of weight, which I needed to do, so I have found my more fitted and tailored trousers are now too tight.  So from now on, elastic waist is the way to go - or if I do fitted pants, they will always be very alterable with wide seams.  And some of my clothes have recently gone because they are just not comfortable - very slim fit trousers, for instance, just don't work for me.  I don't like feeling restricted.   I also have a couple of tops I never wear, so they may get remade into bras.

Because I have also found the my most worn me made garment (along with my me made  dressing gown) is my Watson Bra:

So I will certainly make more of these, when time permits.

And looking at these photoes, it looks as though my style may be casual, but classic.  Elements of sporty and elements of gamin.  Elegant sometimes makes an appearance, but not this month it seems!  It all depends on what I have to do.

I also think a more thought out capsule approach to my wardrobe may be a good idea.  Of course, when I relied on RTW, choices were limited, so my wardrobe was also limited.  With some planning and using my rather large stash in a more considered way, I should be able to fashion a good capsule approach to dressing.  I like this idea, because I am a person who really does not want to spend a lot of time each day working out what to wear. 

For now though, I am concentrating not on Me Made May 2018 but on making some trousers for winter.  That is just around the corner.  Next year I will make a few layering tops in different colours that I can wear for Me Made May just so I can look a little smarter, and also to add variation to my wardrobe.  Not for Me Made May, but for myself. And that, I think, is what Me Made May is for...

That's it for this week, until next week, wishing you all the best, wherever you are,

Sarah Liz

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Confidence Pant...another pair, New Look 6216.

 These pants may be the confidence pants now, but I can assure you this is not how they started life early this week.

I was feeling very jaded and in need of a break, so decided to have a week off.  I still managed to batch the accounts for the last month, attended to a few other work related matters, and went into the office yesterday afternoon!  The joys of being a self employed couple.

Of course, I had delusions of sewing grandeur pertaining to all the things I was going to make.  I started and ended the week with making these simple pants...the delusions have well and truly been put into their place!

I woke up on Tuesday with a corker of a headache, but this did not deter me from cutting out these trousers.  Once again, I used New Look 6216:


This pattern is designed for wovens, but I wanted to try them out in a stretch cotton sateen.  I have a a pair of baggy stretch sateen trousers, which I have worn to death...they must now go firmly into the dirty jobs box.  So I wanted a replacement pair, because sometimes you just want relaxed and comfortable, not fitted and constraining.  

I have already made this pattern up in wovens, and last week I made it up in a knit fabric.
(if you want to see them, you can click on the link on wovens, and knit fabric)

I had a remnant of houndstooth stretch cotton sateen, purchased from Spotlight.  It was 1 metre in length, and 127 wide.  Barely enough, but I know I can about cut a pair of trousers from this width if I take care, and if I can top and tail.

The side front was going to be a contrast, as was the waistband, because there is no way I would have got those out of the 1 metre.  And I like the contrast effect. I used a stretch cotton sateen in black for these - out of my scrap box.
I happily topped and tailed, and then realised that the pattern had a nap. Duhh!  I blamed my thumping headache, which to be sure was not helping.  And I had checked before, and had not noticed the nap.  I think this is because the pattern is so busy.

Then I realised I had not added the extra inch front rise grading to 2 inches back rise.  I had not cut the front at this stage.  I usually chalk the extra onto the fabric - I only have a note to do this on the pattern.  Duhh, Duhh.  

Decide to bin the project...

Okay, deep breath, take a tablet for the headache.  Expectation effect at least might work on easing it.

Put on kettle, make a cup of coffee.

Decided I was not  going to waste all that effort,  and I questioned whether anyone would notice that the front and back legs had the pattern running in different directions.

I decided no, the fabric was so busy, that they would see only the overall effect.

Decided to cut a yoke piece for the back legs, and cut the front with the extra one inch added.  I found another piece of cotton stretch sateen in the scrap box, a heavier weight than the side front and waistband, but it works well for the back yoke.

I also altered the pattern as the cotton sateen was too heavy for double backed pockets. I redrew the pocket piece into a separate side front and pocket bag piece.  I used a white poly cotton for the pocket bag.  I thought this would look better from the front, as a black lining may have shown through.

After the trousers were complete, the pockets bagged out a little too much for my liking, even though I had stayed the curved edge.  So I did some very definite and slightly longer than normal bar tacks - and now the pockets do not pouch out and catch things.

Sewing was a bit of a trial.  I had a stiff, sore back, which is not the best for sewing.  Still, the distraction is good for soreness!  So, I decided that perfection was not needed, and kept going, with a few wobbly seams.  By now it was clear this was not a project in perfection!

And last night, after I had finished work, I spent the evening finishing them.  It was a very good evening!

And, then I tried them on.  I loved them straight away.  I have no qualms now about putting my old sateen comfy pants in the clothes for chores box.  And today I happily wore them, and three people waved me across the road. This is unheard of in Newcastle, so I think the eye catching and confident pattern did the now I call these my confidence pants!

The usual front, back and side views!  I am wearing an undergarment here, not really a stylish look, but really, I want to show you the pants:

(the label on my underthingie is poking out...I did that last week as well...must watch for this in the future!).

That's it for this week.  I am not sure what my next project will be, something simple, I think.  Simple and comforting.  I feel like that sort of garment at the moment.  I'll go and see what the remnant box holds...

Until next week, take care everyone,

Sarah Liz