Saturday, September 13, 2014

striped ruched maternity skirt

My new motto in life is: "embrace the bump". I've definitely hit that stage of my pregnancy where the bump is obvious & (in my opinion!) cute. I'd bought the Ruched Maternity Skirt pattern by the fabulous Megan Nielsen a few months ago & I'm so glad I did. It really makes getting dressed in the morning pretty easy, in a stage where finding things to fit is a bit hard! The beauty of this pattern is that this skirt covers the bump. Which means I can wear non-maternity tops (that wouldn't otherwise fit) very easily by tying a simple knot in them. 

A few notes:

  • I bought the PDF pattern and it goes together SO easily- only two pattern pieces (there's a third only if you add the optional frill)
  • I cut a size medium, and with this fabric is a great fit. Like Megan mentions in the instructions, you need a pretty stretchy knit fabric for this make (minimum 40% stretch & she explains how to figure out what % your fabric is). If your knit is a bit stable, I'd definitely go up a size. 
  • The fabric is a lovely Cotton Viscose Lycra from The Fabric Store. Well, that's what I think it is. I bought a whole heap of knit fabrics in their recent sale & trying to remember exactly what everything is is a bit of a nightmare. I need to take photos of the fabric tags when I go shopping. What do you do to remember??
  • Construction was super easy & super quick, thanks to the great instructions. I serged the side seams, then just used a zigzag stitch for the waistband & hems & ruching elastic. 
  • The heavy-ish fabric means I might find this a bit hot as it heats up here in Queensland. I'll just chop to to a below-waist skirt, which will also be great once bebe is here.

I can't wait to try a dress-hack with this pattern. I think it will be my go-to uniform as the days are getting hotter.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

denim jedediah shorts [for him]

I've sewn for me, for the kid, for the dog, for the house. But so far, I haven't sewn for him (except for fixing those hems, split seams & buttons). It was Fathers Day on the weekend so it was time to tackle Sewing for [big] boys. And of course for amazing mens patterns, there are only two words: Thread Theory. 

Seriously, Morgan & Matt are on the money. I love everything they've released so far. Their designs are classic and on-trend at the same time. I whipped up the Arrowsmith undershirt a few weeks ago (unblogged) in Merino Rib for a cold-climate holiday, and found their patterns to be great. Easy to print, use & sew. I knew from all the reviews out there that the Jedediah pants would be no exception. Prior to adding the waistband I asked J to try these on for fit. His comments from the first were "these are so comfy". He wore them all day yesterday with the same comment at the end of the day.

  • I started these while J was away, so I wasn't able to get his measurements. I just cut the size he would usually wear: The size 36 fit perfectly.
  • Fabric is more of the stretch denim from my Jamie Jeans & Anima pants. I used it as a wearable muslin. It's pretty rubbish fabric, but it's easy to sew with (not too thick, a tiny bit of stretch).
  • I made the shorts version, and initially was planning the cuffed version, but didn't like the lighter "wrong" side of the denim breaking up the darker "right side" colour. 
  • I serged all the seams, using binding as an extra for the bottom 15cm of the outer leg seams (as I originally was going to use the cuff), and also for the inside of the waistband.
  • These were a JOY to sew. Seriously, every step. just. worked. I used the instructions mainly, checking the sewalong posts just to make sure I was doing the right thing. 
  • BUT THE FLY. Oh I know it's crazy to get so excited about putting a fly front in. I've sewn a few pair of Maritime Shorts and every time I make a fly front I am as confused after as I am before, I just sort of fluff my way through. I will be using the amazing video from the sew along for all future Fly-insertions (guys & gals). It looks so easy. And it is!
  • I also LOVE the waistband instructions, binding the inner waistband edge, not turning it under. It makes for less bulk, not to mention a 100 times easier to topstitch from the right side and catch the underside. Another feature I'll be using in my next pair of (my) shorts.
  • I used a light grey thread to do a bit of extra topstitching detail - on the belt loops, around the fly, waistband, pockets & hems. I love the bartacks - my first time I've actually legitimately tried to do them. I think they just add to the professional finish. The whole make gives a totally professional finish.
  • What else can I say - these could be my best make EVER. Seriously, I'm so happy with them. And so was J. 

Will be giving the Strathcona Henley a try next! (Aussies - I bought the 3 Parkland patterns - Shorts/Henley/Cardigan) for a sale price at Stitch 56 - worth a look!)