Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's Spring at Fabricmart

I'm so happy to be back this month on the Fabricmart blog with my first spring projects, simple and lightweight black pants and a flowy and sophisticated print top.

Inspiration for sewing comes from everywhere and I'm thrilled (like everyone else) that I no longer have to organize stacks of torn out pages from catalogs and magazines but now can save anything that inspires me to my "I Wanna Make This" board on Pinterest, no papers, no mess.  And this outfit today is inspired by one of those pins.

The top is McCall's 7093, a brand new tunic pattern with different color block variations.  I made View A (without the slits) in this geometric viscose print from Fabricmart.

The top is a quick and easy sew and the only changes I made were omitting the slits in the front, taking in the sides 1/2", and adding black bias trim to the neck.  I used the wrong side of some black silk charmeuse I had in my stash.  It can be tricky to get bias trim to be even and I've found that if I ditch the pattern piece and make a free cut, I can have even binding. Here's how I do it:
  1. Cut strips of bias at least 1" longer and 1" wider than the neckline pattern piece.
  2. Fold fabric in half lengthwise and press.
  3. Using a ruler and rotary cutter.  Cut the folded bias strip down to the desired width (see photo).
  4. Cut bias same length as the pattern piece and add markings.

Yay!  Even bias strips = Even neckline trim.

I'm sure I will end up making this McCall's pattern over and over.  I always want to wear leggings but never have the right top to go over them.  Finally, I found the perfect blouse for leggings... longer in the back and shorter in the front.

The pants are from one of my "Tried and True" (TNT) patterns, Simplicity 1696.  Now, of all of my TNT pattern types, a pant pattern is most cherished.  A good fitting pair of pants is really hard to come by.

I've made these pants many times before, all with different variations, and this time I used this lightweight cotton twill from Fabricmart , deleted the slash pocket and added 4" to the length.  I ended up with a classic pair of pants that fill a gaping hole in my wardrobe. 

Spring has sprung and I couldn't be happier.  What's your first spring project?

And here's a gratuitous dog picture....he's my photography assistant!

Have a great day!  Diane - Gatorbunnysews

Monday, March 9, 2015

Burda 6933

It's taken me this long to finally make a pair of pants for my son.  Well, when he was little I used to make him pants, but I haven't made him any pants (aside from pajama pants) since he was five.  Clearly, I haven't earned my "Mom of the Year" t-shirt....yet.

So here they are!  My son's not a fan of wearing jeans, so I decided to make a pair of chinos from Burda 6933.  I originally decided to make him pants because he's a 29" waist and a 34" inseam and folks, that's not an easy find.  I'm able to find jeans in his size but finding chinos is a different story.  And...he was completely open to the idea for which I am grateful...and since he's 14, I'm also fortunate.

Friends, I want you to know there were no sewing notions or fabrics hurt in the construction of these pants AND I didn't cry but....this was one of those projects that just didn't go together easily.  The majority of my difficulties came with fitting the pants (I took them apart 2, 3 or maybe 4 times) because they are a very slim fit and very short.  

I made several changes to the pattern to make it work for him:

  • Added 4" to the length (he is tall) 
  • Added 1/2" in the seat and 1" on each side so he had a bit more room to move and sit down.
  • Widened the leg width from 11 1/2" to 13 1/2". 
  • Made the belt loops 1/2" longer.

They look great on him even though I was quite frustrated.  I plan on making them again and if you plan on making them, here are some things I would change:

  • Lower the welt pocket so it doesn't fall above the tip of the dart but over the dart (you can see in the picture above, the bottom of the dart falls below the welt.  It would look better and smoother below the dart).
  • Use this tutorial from Poppykettle for the welt.
  • Make the pant legs overall a little roomier.

Truth be told, I think I will be able to use this pattern again but I don't recommend this pattern to anyone unless you have some experience with pant construction.  We don't want any crying while sewing, right?

I have a gray pair on deck....wish me luck!