New Clothes

The Escher Quilt finished last week, I started on some summer clothes. I’ve gained weight since I moved into the apartment, particularly this past year, and none of my summer pants fit me! None of them. The waists are waaaay too tight, but also across my belly the zipper has a hard time closing. So rather than trying to remake them, I decided to start from scratch.

Linen Pull-on Pants

A couple of months ago I bought one metre each of three different colour linen fabrics from Blackbird Fabrics (online) – nice weight, and I thought the fabric width would be wide enough that I’d be able to scrape out a pair of pants – well almost – I would normally buy 1 1/4″ metres for a pair of pants why I didn’t call and ask them to sell me the correct amount, I don’t know!. As it worked out, I was just able to fit in the fronts and backs and the front and back pockets but all facings and had to be cut from something else. With the red pair I had to create hem facings because the legs weren’t long enough to turn up; the mauve pair ended up somewhat cropped; the navy pair were OK in length. Because I intend to wear them with loose tops (I haven’t worn “tucked in” in a long time) I can get away with an elastic waist, pull-on pants.

I want to make one more pair but that will have to wait until the fabric stores here in town reopen – Wednesday, this week, I think – to buy some khaki/beige linen blend fabric.

In the meantime, I’ve turned to tops and dresses.

Top Recut From Dress

This top is a dress remake of the dress I made in 2014 for Benjamin’s Bar Mitzvah. 2014 – that’s a while back – the dress was just too small. I put it in the give-away pile and then decided to use the fabric as a “muslin” to recut the dress as a top to see how it would look in a larger size. Not bad. I can certainly wear it with white or red pants and a bit of jewelry and look decent.

I was using this garment as a mock-up for a longer casual summer dress. Working from a pattern I’ve had forever

I retraced the size 14 I now needed, carefully drafted neck “yoke” pieces (the pattern uses a neckline facing, but the neckline is a bit too large so I decided to add an insert (“yoke”) to make it higher, rather than change the neckline on the pattern) and I also lengthened the sleeves to close to elbow-length.

I had bought some viscose/cotton/flax/ print fabric a few weeks back with this dress in mind. Yesterday, I cut it out and assembled it.

Floral Viscose/Cotton/Flax Casual Summer Dress

I’m not going to be glamorous in this dress, but it’s going to be loose and cool and comfortable on a hot summer day (OK we don’t get a lot of those here in NS but we do get an occasional warm one).

I’m just about to make a second dress using some batik rayon I stamped myself in Bali in 2014.

Bali Rayon Batik

I purposely used two tjaps (stamps used to apply hot wax to the fabric) to create my design intending to use the “rectangles” as a border at the hem of whatever I eventually made. We stamped two “border” sections so I’d have enough. I came home with 5 metres of this batik rayon fabric – the dress will take about 1/3 of what I have – I’m going to try to border the sleeves a wee bit, as well, if I can.

That’s today’s project. I have more linen and linen blend, as well as rayon, fabrics in my stash to make several more garments but I really don’t need more than two dresses – we don’t get that many hot days here. So that fabric will stay put for another summer.

San Francisco 4

We hit the pavement running! It started last evening at 7:00 with our setting up – by the end of the evening everybody had a project underway.

Contemplating The Pattern Layout

This morning the cutting, pressing, sewing began in earnest.

Hard At Work

The Power Sewing Retreat with Sandra Betzina is all about fitting and each and every one of the ten women here has significant garment fitting issues. To learn to rectify them, we’re slashing patterns and rebuilding them, so that once cut out and stitched, whatever garment someone is making will hang correctly, not be too roomy (unless that’s the style of the garment), flattering.

Discussing Fit

Sandra has a lifetime of experience designing for Vogue Patterns, and she’s been showing women how to create well fitting garments for a very long time. Lots can be learned from watching how she works both with a pattern and garments in progress.

Pressing Fabric

I’m working on pants yet again – Sandra suggested I drop the front waist an inch below the test pair I made before coming which would allow the pants front to hang a bit better from my waist.

I adapted my pattern, cut the fabric, and then began assembling the front and back – pockets, fly front all stitched. Tomorrow I’ll sew up inseams, crotch seam, top stitch both, then stitch the outer side seams. I’ll finish be adding the waistband/back yoke facing and then a buttonhole and a button (along with hemming the leg bottom will see the job done – all before noon I hope…

Sharing Suggestions

It’s a highly collaborative group this year. Everybody is interested in helping one another, sharing equipment, discussing fit…

Tomorrow afternoon we’re going fabric shopping. I really must restrain myself because my suitcases were full when I came – not much room for new fabric and notions. I am, though, looking forward to seeing what’s available.