Friday, July 18, 2014

Sewing for L: a chambray shirt and some not so summery pants

Pattern: Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt
Fabric: 100% cotton Robert Kaufman chambray (used here and here)
Notions: interfacing, white thread, 10 buttons
Size: 2T
Pattern: Oliver + S Art Museum Trousers
Fabric: leftover piece of brown corduroy, scrap of fabric for waist band facing
Notions: coordinating thread, 1 button
Size: 2T
Another Sketchbook Shirt (I believe this is my 5th!) and a new pair of pants that are perhaps not the most summer friendly, but well, we do get those occasional chilly days, and they should still fit so as to get lots of use this Autumn.
I had planned to make this Sketchbook Shirt shortly after I made L's Nature Walk Pullover for KCW Spring 2014 but it got put off until now! I made the shirt with view A sleeves, added button tabs as in L's linen Sketchbook,  and sewed it up with version B's band collar. I decided against putting a pocket as I wanted it to stay quite airy, with simple lines.
I made my usual flat felled seams which were a pleasure to sew (yay for cooperative fabric!) and so satisfying to look at once finished, especially knowing that it makes for a sturdy shirt. These Sketchbook shirts get worn several times a week!
I really surprised myself during the making of the shirt by finding myself really, and I mean really, enjoying the process of blindstitching the collar down. I'm really looking forward to having more handsewing to do!
The pants were a bit of an experiment. I had pulled out a bunch of fabrics that could potentially look nice with L's newly made chambray shirt and asked my husband to pick out the one he liked best. He came up with a small piece of brown corduroy. I believe it was about 75cm long with all sorts of weird shapes and cuts into it. Challenge! I was able to make it work with the nap always in the same direction but I did have to encroach on the seam allowances in a few places, which I had to keep in mind for later while sewing.
I modified the front pockets because I found that in the first two versions of the Art Museum Trousers I made last year (not blogged), the pockets gaped quite a bit. I rounded out the pockets and I also chose to apply patch pockets to the back instead of welt pockets for a more relaxed look. The patch pockets I used came from the Fieldtrip Cargo Pants pattern, also by Oliver + S. I particularly like the patch pockets on these! (The pockets are lined up even though they don't look it in the picture.)
I finished most of the seams with flat felled seams again because these are going to get a lot of active wear! Everything was really smooth to sew and I once again did a narrow line of stitching at the top of the waistband to prevent the elastic from twisting. The only part I didn't enjoy, as usual, was putting the elastic in. Ugh, bodkin, please hold onto the elastic!
My husband was really surprised when I showed him the finished pants and asked me if I had really sewn them up from that small piece of fabric or had I rather gone out and bought them. I'll take that as a compliment and I must say that little L looks adorable in his new outfit and as usual, I'm so glad to see that they work perfectly for him, lettting him move, stretch, jump and who knows what to his heart's content!
I'm ready for more sewing for L with Kid's Clothes Week Summer 2014 edition right around the corner and I look forward to seeing everyone's amazing projects!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sewing for L: Chambray Shorts (and a tee)

Pattern: Oliver + S Sketchbook shorts
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Chambray (used here for a Nature Walk pullover), leftover cotton voile for welt pocket bag
Notions: interfacing, button, contrasting darker blue thread, 3/4" elastic
Size: 2T
Pattern: Oliver + S Schoolbus T-shirt
Fabric: Old t-shirt, leftover scrap of bicycle interlock for embellishment
Notions: clear elastic, coordinating thread, twin needle, interfacing
Size: 2T

More t-shirts (I made a total of three but I'm only showing one here...I'm sure the others will pop up in other posts) and a pair of chambray shorts for my little boy. It's quite warm now and I'm replacing L's long sleeved shirts and some too short t-shirts from last year with some better adapted warm weather apparel. Both of these garments were made at the very beginning of June so they have already gotten considerable wear.

I could not resist making something more with this lovely chambray. I had been planning to make a pair of shorts for him and looked into my pattern stash for a shorts pattern and came up with the Oliver + S Sketchbook Shorts pattern. Once I have access to a printer, I'll try the free Sunny Day shorts from Oliver + S.
I shortened the shorts considerably, otherwise they would have reached about halfway down his lowerleg. I also decided to try adding some double welt pockets. I think I'll probably go back in and add a button on each welt pocket to help them stay shut better. I'm going to continue playing with pocket variations in future pants/shorts projects for L since they're so fun to make. I'm thinking a little welt back pocket with a pocket flap held shut with a button.

The shorts were a breeze to put together and I love the little details such as the pleats on the front and stitching an extra line of stitching at the top of the waistband, as suggested in the pattern, has so far prevented the elastic from twisting. I checked the fit on my boy and hemmed accordingly to make sure I got a nice length which is around his knee.

The t-shirt was just as easy to put together as before. I saved the rib knit from the original t-shirt and applied it as it had been on the original by attaching it first to the wrong side and then folding it over to the front, making sure the raw edge was folded under and  then stitching it in place. I used clear elastic to stabilize the shoulders.

The embellishment was a little extra since L is crazy about bikes. In fact all three t-shirts have bikes on them and he really loves being able to ask for his "vĂ©lo" t-shirts. His vocabulary is increasing exponentially as is his use of two or more words together. Very exciting!

He was just learning a new word here: "shell"

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sewing for me: A striped moneta dress

Pattern: Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns, version C (3/4 sleeves)
Fabric: 100% organic cotton striped interlock knit (I had 2m50 but I have a nice piece leftover)
Notions: clear elastic, coordinating thread
Size: xs

I finally made myself a Moneta dress and what better incentive than to select it as my June garment for the Make a Garment a Month challenge?! I'm so pleased I made this dress, or rather two dresses, since I made a test version out of a similar interlock knit and that version, after some tweaking, is quite wearable too.

The Moneta dress seemed like the just the thing for me - versatile, relaxed, comfortable, and elegant. After seeing wonderful versions like Lauren's from the Guthrie & Ghani blog or Mary's from Idle Fancy (Aren't the fabric choices just delightful? And I love the idea of pleating...must try that next time!), and seeing this beautiful interlock with fine stripes at my local fabric shop, how could I resist? 

I chose to make version C of the dress and initially, I thought I would make pockets since I tend to leave them out of garments for me. I did my test run (I'm hoping to get good pictures of that dress soon too) but decided against pockets for my second 'real' dress as I found that I didn't use them at all and the fabric was a bit heavy making them not quite as discrete as I would have liked. 

In terms of fit, there was some tweaking to do, especially for the sleeves and armscye. As you can see in the pictures, there was quite a bit of extra fabric in the sleeves, making unflattering folds. I reduced the overall width of the sleeve and reduced the armscye depth. Those changes seemed to work pretty well, leaving me with a comfortable sleeve with a bit of ease.

I also reduced the bodice to get a closer fit as the dress is designed to be worn with negative ease. I extended the neckline edge at the shoulder part of the bodice because I liked where it was sitting before turning it under and finished it with a twin needle. Otherwise, the length of the dress was just right for me with the seam line of the bodice and skirt at my natural waist and the length of the dress hitting at the top of my knee. 
I used the clear elastic technique as described in the pattern where one shirrs the skirt by basting the elastic in place while stretching it to fit. I didn't experience any problems with this method (I just had to be careful to not get the elastic twisted) and the elastic was not sticking at all to my presser foot so I have not yet tried gathering the skirt first and then putting the elastic in.
 I took the time to match my stripes, basting my pieces together first before sewing to assure the correct placement and I'm quite pleased with the result. The interlock fabric behaved itself beautifully, remaing quite stable and not stretching too much while sewing which helped a lot. I trimmed my seam allowances down a bit as the fabric is a little bulky and I finished my hems with a twin needle.
I like the dress(es) a lot and I'm glad I decided not to put pockets in this second version. I've already worn the dress 5 times since making it almost 2 weeks ago and I love how I feel in it - feminine and summery. I want to make another Moneta dress but using another version and perhaps a collar variation.