Sunday, October 29, 2017

Lutterloh 282 - 249 Second Pair

When I bought the black and blue checked ponte to make a pair of pants I didn't have the pattern with me, so I bought over two meters because I know that's what I need for a pair of jeans.  Of course I wasn't thinking that denim usually comes 45" wide and the ponte was 60" wide.  Therefore I found I had enough fabric left over to get myself a second pair.  To be fair I considered saving it to make a pair for daughter post-pregnancy but with her long legs there wouldn't be quite enough fabric.  I have another length of ponte, a charcoal plaid, that I may be able to work a pair for each of us out of if I plan for that from the beginning.

Anyway, I made a second pair of Lutterloh 282-249 with a couple of changes.  I am having a hard time seeing the fit on the first pair, because the fabric is dark and the lighting is not very good in my dressing room.  I changed the lightbulbs and saw that I have a fair bit of wrinkling under my butt, and that if I pull up the back of the pants the wrinkles are reduced.  I then slashed and pivoted to reduce the back seam by 1".  This definitely gives me a shaplier fit over the seat; even a slight wedgie.  So I am going to try and fine tune that for future pants.

I took comparison pics with these beige ponte pants I made some time ago.  I'm not sure if I used a Style Arc pattern or New Look 6977 as I played with both patterns then and have a black pair in each, and silly me didn't blog about it to have a record.  Anyway there is more of an angle on the back seam of the New Look pattern compared to the Lutterloh pattern, and I wonder if this is what gives the beige pair a better fit over the seat.  I also moved the pockets towards the centre seam by 1", which I think looks better.  I made no other fitting changes but these ones do seem slightly snugger than the first pair, which could be down to cutting accurate seam allowances (or not) when the pattern pieces don't have that built in.

Aside from shortening them to a 30.5" inseam (I think 31" is going to be my goal for inseams for now on), the other change I made was to use zippers instead of buttons at the cuffs.  I used Heat Bond to stabilize the facings and prevent stretching when sewing the zips on.  I really like the look (thanks for the idea Mom!) and I even got a few compliments when I wore them the other day.  With this 3" wide elastic waistband they are probably the most comfortable pair of pants I own.  I can see myself wearing them a lot and using this as my tried and true knit pants pattern once I sort out the seat fitting.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Lutterloh 282 - 249

I had traced out the back of this pattern earlier this summer when I was comparing the shape and size of three different pants patterns.  I was initially going to use this black and navy checked ponte to make another pair of Simplicity 1696 but in a knit, but I'm still not convinced that that pattern is fitting as well as I would like.  I finally got around to tracing the front of this Lutterloh one as it is drafted for a knit fabric and I could have a go at my first Lutterloh pants pattern.

I wanted to keep it simple so I eliminated the front pockets and I didn't include the fly zip figuring there was enough stretch in the fabric to make them as a pull-on pair.  I did topstitch the fly stitching but I used standard thread instead of topstitching thread, trying to keep it subtle.  It is subtle all right - you can barely see it! lol  I may go over it again with a topstitching thread, we will see.  I did make myself a little cardboard template for fly topstitching.

I did add a set of jean pockets to the back that I copied and reduced by 1/2" in each direction from Vogue 1204.

I ended up having to take the pants in 1" at each side to below the hips, tapering to the knees.  This could be a design change because of the pockets on the original version.  They were possibly intended to be a bit baggier than how I like to wear my pants.  There is no way to tell from the fashion drawing because the top of the pants are hidden by a long blouse.  With my alterations they  are not tight but they do skim my body.  They are definitely not as tight as leggings.

I made a one piece straight waistband as the Lutterloh patterns always call for, although I made my join at the centre back and tapered it in a bit like the yoke on a pair of jeans.  I used 3" wide firm elastic as the waistband facing to eliminate elastic lines and act as a bit of tummy control.  Credit for that idea goes to my Nygard leggings.  I sewed a contrasting thread in a long stitch to mark my 5/8" seam line.  Then I basted the fabric with the edge butted up against that seam line. Finally I sewed the fabric just inside the edge of the elastic with correct thread, stretching a bit as I sewed.

After removing the two white basting threads I flipped the elastic inside and topstitched with the coverstitch which would allow for full stretch.  It will make no difference now if the initial straight seam underneath pops upon stretching.  I think you can see on the edge of the waistband that the ponte is folded under but the elastic is not.  This elastic is too firm to be folded under, as most elastics likely would be.  This gave me a nice clean edge.  I then used the coverstitch to topstitch over the bottom of the waistband.

The elastic gapes a tiny bit at the top because it is stiff and because it is all one piece it is straight up and down over my curves.  Therefore, when I make my next pair I will do the waistband a little differently.  I will use the curved back waistband from Simplicity 1696 for both my front and back.  I will also cut the elastic in two pieces instead of one so that I can shape it at the side seams.  On a second look that is how it is done on the Nygard leggings.
They are quite narrow at the ankle and have four domed buttons.  Initially I was only going to sew the buttons on as a faux opening but I ended up doing it properly with an functional opening and working buttonholes.  I was going for pewter buttons but these are more of a chrome.  They are a bit blingy and I may end up swapping them out for something more subtle.  Also the pants are a bit on the long side.  I added 5/8" for a narrow hem to the length because I just can't believe that a pattern doesn't have to be lengthened.  This probably goes back to when I was a gangly kid and had to have extensions added to the cuffs of all my pants.  I ended up making a 1-1/2" hem to give me a 32" inseam and it could be shortened by at least another inch or two because of the narrow ankle.  I seem to have a phobia about having too-short pants, even when that's what the style dictates!  From what I can see in the fashion pic they end at the top of the back of her shoe.  With heels on mine come to the bottom of the back of my foot (top of the heel).  I *could* shorten them to remove the bottom buttonhole but I will probably live with them as they are.

So my final judgement?  This Lutterloh pattern worked as well for me as any other pants pattern does.  I still don't have the confidence to know what makes a perfect fitting pair of pants, other than I know it when I see it, usually on someone else.  I don't know if something should be tighter or looser or adjusted in some other way, and it doesn't help that I can't see myself walking away in whatever I am fitting.  You can only check out so much looking over your shoulder in a mirror and you certainly can't see how the garment moves.  Maybe I need a videographer to follow me around when I am sewing and fitting! lol

The top is Vogue 8815

I have made a second pair - here is the post for that.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Embroidery Projects

Waaaaay back in the day I had a pair of jeans that I hand-embroidered and embellished with love beads and star studs.  Remember those?  Well fast forward about 40 years and I'm at it again.  I keep thinking that machine embroidering on jean pockets means making new jeans, but it occurred to me that I can just embroider on a pair of jeans I already own.  I have had these basic Gap jeans for years so I thought they would be a good pair to try on in case things go horribly wrong.

This pattern is called Western Flair Pocket from Embroidery Library.  I just love the turquoise in it, although I want to do another pair replacing the turquoise with black.  I think White on white would work as well.

I was a little concerned about taking off the pockets and then reattaching them without it looking like a "home" job, but I had just the right colour of jean top stitching thread on hand and I think it turned out alright.

I hooped both pockets together in my larger hoop (6"x10") and used a can of Elmer's spray glue that I had on hand to hold them firmly to the stabilizer.  I am now debating whether to embroider something on the leg in the same colours.  Maybe some sort of flower or vine design.  What do you think, go for it or overkill?

I did a test sample of this German Shepherd following the colours that the pattern called for, but as you can see I have a purple and red dog.  I need to google other interpretations of the pattern to get a better colour pallet.
I am very early in the embroidery learning curve but I imagine the colours are off because the pattern was designed for a different machine.  The pocket pattern above, even though it is shown as a turquoise on the pattern site, shows up as a very dark teal on my machine screen and on my Brother program on the computer.
Finally, I decided my shop coat needed a little spiffying up so I added Wonder Woman to the pocket.  Yes, Wonder Woman is knitting! lol

Simplicity 2446 - Finished

Inspector 1 on the job

This post is a continuation from here.

I finished up my blazer the other morning.  I am quite happy with the final result.  It is definitely wearable.  I think the fit could have been a little more fine tuned but that is probably my perfectionism kicking in.  The length of the sleeves and the bodice are perfect, so I am glad I trusted my instincts and lengthened the sleeves that half inch.

I did really struggle getting this jacket finished because I was trying to add sleeve heads and shoulder pads with the lining already in place.  I was getting very frustrated and walked away from it more than once.  I initially bought some felt thinking it would give good support as a sleeve head, but as you can see in the pic it is too firm.  You could see the scalloped folds through the sleeves.  Of course I sewed them in place a couple of times before admitting they just won't work.

I finally used a piece of flannel I had on hand (pattern side in so less likely to show through) and it worked really well - not too bulky but gave some support.  The other mistake I made with the sleeves was to press them completely, but it turns out you should only press the seam allowances.  Again, it looks ok, but I think the sleeve tops would stand better if I hadn't flattened them out.
I will give the pattern credit for a beautiful turned collar.  I had no problem getting it to lay nicely.  I steamed the collar when finished and again I am happy with it.  There is one little hiccup where the right lapel meets the right collar but I may have another go at it with the iron to see if I can't get rid of that crease.  I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.  I do feel my lapels are a little too wide, which makes me wonder if there is still too much fabric across the front, although it fits well across the bust.  Or perhaps I just need to close them higher up.  I will need to consult with my sewing expert (looking at you, Mom!)

I tried doing my buttonholes with Bob (I had sewn the whole blazer on Bob) but after three tries (and ripping out three times) I turned to Phoebe who sewed perfect buttonholes for me.  It just goes to show how different machines can have different strengths.

Finally, I did topstitch the top of the pocket flap before closing up the lining.  This was a last minute decision but I'm glad I did.  I used Phoebe and her 1/4" stitch guide to get a perfect straight line.

Oh, and did I mention?  I got the job from the interview that the blazer was intended for.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Simplicity 2446 - Amazing Fit Jacket Pattern

Progress pic

I've had this pattern in my stash for a few years but never made it until now.  Crunch time came last weekend when I found out on Saturday that I would be having a job interview on Monday.  Now you may wonder why I don't have a jacket in my wardrobe to wear for a job interview.  Well as it turns out I am retired and wasn't expecting this opportunity that fell into my lap more or less out of the blue.  I wear a 14 in big 4 patterns, but my pattern is the larger grouping starting at 16.  Most of my Saturday was spend tracing and grading down the pattern, then making my usual length adjustment of 1" in the bodice.  I wasn't sure what to do with the sleeve, because after doing the math including 1/2" for shoulder pads it looked like they would be ok.  However, experience is that sleeves are often short on me.  I decided to add 1/2" to the sleeves to be safe.  Long story short, even after sewing until 1am on Sunday night I ended up shopping for a jacket first thing Monday morning for the interview because I didn't want to rush the finish and ruin the jacket (especially buttonholes - I already had to redo one on the cuff!).  Overall I am quite happy with the pattern, but I feel that for an "Amazing Fit" pattern it missed the mark on a few things.  I was working strictly with the pattern instructions, and they do give some good instructions on correcting some fitting issues, but I feel that more direction is needed on tailoring a jacket.  I have now got my Singer "Tailoring" book out (yes I know I should have done this ahead of time, did I mention the time crunch?) and I will read this through before finishing the jacket.  I'll post an update once the jacket is finished.

As with many of the Amazing Fit patterns they have 1" side seams to allow for adjustments.  In this case they have you baste the bodice pieces WRONG sides together with the seams facing out and then fine tune the fit.  I am not clear on the advantage to this, when you could baste it right sides together and try it on inside out for fitting.  This would certainly save time by just needing to reinforce the basted sewing lines once you have made your adjustments rather than having to deconstruct and then reconstruct the entire garment.  You mark your adjustments, take out your basting, sew it correctly (right sides together and seams on the inside) and trim your seam allowances to a standard 5/8".  This sounds good in theory, and I did everything as the instructions stated (including the whole deconstruction thing).  However, once I had the sleeves on and the lining sewn in I couldn't move my arms in front of me.  What had felt like a comfortable fit without sleeves didn't have enough ease to allow for movement with sleeves in place.  I was able to let out the two back seams 1/4" each but now am left with 3/8" seam allowances.  Let's hope they stand up to wear.

I had the opposite problem on the front.  I usually make a full bust allowance so I used the "C" bust pattern piece.  It fits fine across the bust and laid flat across the upper bust when fitting.  Once the sleeves and facings were in place, though, I had too much fabric pooling across the upper bust area.  I had to take it in 1/4" on the top part of the princess seams.  LESSONS LEARNED: All in all I think I would have gotten a much better fit from the beginning if I had basted in the sleeves before fitting.  Also, unless someone corrects me here, there is no need to trim the seam allowances in a lined garment.  The full seam allowances would have allowed for more fine tuning.

There is a fair bit of interfacing used in a jacket, and I used my interfacing without pre-treating it in any way.  Mom asked if I had pre-shrunk it, and I had never heard of this.  There is no mention of this in the pattern.  Well, my Singer "Tailoring" book talks about it and I will need to do this next time.  Also I didn't pre-shrink my fabric (I always do but this time I was in a big hurry).  This is important to do, Singer says, because the steam used in fusing the interfacing can shrink my fabric.  My lining was preshrunk because it was in my stash, and everything in my stash has been pre-shrunk.

I LOVE this lining!
The same fitting problems are there for the lining, but even moreso.  Store-bought jackets have a pleat in the middle of the back to give wearing ease.  I have gone back through the instructions and nowhere can I find anything about this in the pattern.  The cutting diagram shows the back piece on the fold of the lining just the same as it is for the fashion fabric.  As this is the first lined jacket I have made I wasn't aware of this ahead of time, so I ended up having to try and let out the back of the sleeve allowances 1/4" on top of letting out the 1/4" in the back seams as I did for the fashion fabric.  I am even more concerned about the lining seams standing up to wear.  LESSON LEARNED (from Singer "Tailoring"): Cut the lining back piece 1" from the seam line or fold; add 1/2" to front and back side seam allowances at underarm area of lining, tapering to waistline (or 1/4" each to side panels, front and back); add 5/8" at underarm of sleeve, tapering to notches.

I will give Simplicity credit that they talk about putting in sleeve heads, but don't really give much of an explanation.  They tell you how long to cut them but not how wide, and don't give adequate instructions IMHO for how to put them in properly.  I will do some research on this before moving ahead (hello again, Singer!).

I eliminated the side seam pockets as I was in a hurry and thought that I wouldn't use them as they look bulky when you put something in a blazer pocket.  After topstitching and ripping out the topstitching 3x on the faux pocket flaps, I left off the topstitching altogether and sewed the flaps down invisibly by hand from the back side.  LESSON LEARNED: Don't try topstitching when you are rushing.

Update:  Here is the blogpost for finishing the jacket.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Butterick 5493

For today's project I am revisiting Butterick 5493 which I first blogged about here.  If you scroll down on that post to the solid green version you will read about how I messed up the pattern and how I'm not happy with the shoulders that stand up away from my body.  I have enough of this green crepe left over that I can use it to make another one.  This will be a good comparision as I will cut this one on the grain as the pattern calls for and then I can compare the difference in drape.  I spend hours yesterday re-drafting the pattern.  First I traced out a fresh version.  This involved grading down because the pattern set starts one size above my size.  I must have bought this pattern in the very early days of sewing when I still believed that the body measurements listed on the pattern were what you go by.

Once I had the fresh pattern drawn out in my size I made my bust adjustments; I lowered the bust point 1 1/2" and did a 1/2" full bust allowance.  I then added 1" in length at the "lengthen" line to accommodate my back waist measurement and another 1" at the hem as a fashion choice.  I want to wear it as a tunic over my green cammo leggings.

I basted it for fitting and the bust was too low - by an inch!  So back to the drawing board, I again altered the pattern by raising the bust dart 1".  I made that change on the garment and took it in at the sides from below the bust dart tapering in 3/4" at the waist and back out to the hips.  That was enough for one day.

Back at it today, I was test driving some new feet and decided to try sewing a narrow hem with the sewing machine on this top as opposed to the rolled hem I did with the serger on the first version.  It turned out beautiful!  Now I have to think about how I want to do the neck and armholes.  I'm not sure I want to use the store bought bias binding as that didn't work out so well last time.  I wonder if a facing would look better.  Hmmm...

Today I am questioning my decision to change the straight sides to more fitted sides.  Yes I know I like a more fitted garment but this changes the whole look/style of the top.  It doesn't hang as well and feels uncomfortable, like it is pulling.It would have been better shaped with darts, but again that changes the whole look.  I think I will remove that alteration.

I removed the alteration taking in the sides.  This gives me a looser, flowy top.  I only hope that the washable marker I used to mark my alterations truly is washable.

I ended up making my own bias binding using these directions from Craftsy.  For the record a 20" square gives me approximately 15 feet of 2" bias strips.  I then used this method to attach the binding, using two rows of stitching.  I pressed it well after both the first stitching and the second.

The shoulder seam lays much flatter on this version.

After this was all said and done I have a much better shell than the first version.  I tried to adjust the gaping shoulders on the first one and saw that the bust darts are much too high, and it pulled and twisted.  I think the bias cut wasn't working as well as I would like.  Version 1.0 is definitely a wadder, but 2.0 is a keeper, and I have an adjusted pattern I can use again.

V1 on the left, V2 on the right

To finalize this never-ending post, I thought I would post a comparison pic of the two tops; V1 and V2.  To be honest I think at first glance V1 looks more flattering on Gertrude here.  But a closer look shows that the shoulders are off.  Also the bust darts look correct on V1 but that's because Gertrude has a higher bust than I do.  V2 fits me properly.  V1 was tapered in at the waist.  I may still play with that on V2, because I do think it is more flattering.  And I think I prefer the curved hem shape on V1 as well as the serged rolled hem.  I love how my narrow hem turned out on V2 but I just think that V1 looks better as a tunic over leggings with that lettuce hem.  The necklines are different because I used the vee neck version and cut my own scoop on V1 and used the scoop neck version out of the pattern for V2.  The neck and armholes were bound on both versions, but V1 used commercial tape and V2 used self tape.  V1 was cut on the bias and V2 was cut on the straight grain.  I'm not noticing a big difference with how it drapes, but V2 is definitely more comfortable to wear.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Playing With Some New Feet

My mom brought over a bunch of generic feet that work with Bob, the new Brother machine.  That reminded me that I had bought a bunch of generic feet myself for Betty (the White) just before I bought Phoebe (the Pfaff).  So I hauled them all out to see what would work and what wouldn't, and to play a little bit.

This is a gathering foot.  I really don't understand how this one works, and clearly I didn't have it working very well.  It has a smooth underside that was hit and miss with whether it moved the fabric along or not.  I don't know if my fabric was too slippery - it is a crepe.  I would definitely need to play with this foot some more to get the hang of it.

This foot is a binder attachment.  It works with pre-folded binding.  I have other feet to try that I think fold the binding for you but I'm not sure if this one does - I'll have to play some more.  I used store-bought bias binding for this sample, and as you can see I missed sewing down the binding quite a bit.  I wonder if my binding needed ironing (it had been out of the package and was pretty wonky), or my needle position needed adjusting, or both.  There is a screw that adjusts the size of the opening for the binding; I may have had that too loose.  I definitely think this foot has possibilities.

The back side looks much better.

This foot worked a little better for me.  This funky looking thing is a hemming foot.  I would need to practice more but I think I'm getting it.  After figuring out the narrow hem foot (below) I may be more successful with this one the next time I try it.

Here it is in action.  I think I've got the fabric in the correct location, with the raw edge just butting up against the left side of the slot.

Finally, the pièce de résistance; check out this narrow hem!  This is on the bottom of a sleeveless shell, but it would be perfect on the edge of a scarf.  I am showing a good closeup here because - well just look at it!

Here is a better view to show just how small that hem is.  I am really happy with this one.

I did have to try it a couple of times to get it right.  This pic shows my third attempt.  First I double folded a narrow hem at the beginning of the seam and sewed for a few stitches.  Then I manipulated the unfolded edge of the fabric in front of the foot into the slot and continued sewing.

The important thing seems to be keeping the fabric at the correct width; as shown here.  The fold should just butt up against the inside right edge of the opening with the raw edge just at the left of the opening.  When I did my second attempt I had it too wide and it left a narrow band of fabric sticking out of the seam.  I was able to clip it and use it anyway but with the proper feeding of the fabric at the correct width that wasn't a problem with the third attempt.

Still to come - I have a pintuck foot to try.  I recently saw a woman wearing a black shell with pintucks down the centre front.  I loved the look and may give it a go for my next sleeveless shell top.

The New Kid in Town

There's a new kid in town.  Strangely I haven't come up with a name for this one yet, so it is currently known as "the Brother".  Maybe I'll call him Bob.  It's formal name is the Brother Fashionista NQ3500D.  This is a mid-level sewing/quilting/embroidery machine.  It's the twin of the Babylock Ventura.  That "D" in the name stands for "Disney", and yes, there are 35 Disney embroidery patterns on it.  Bob came from the Nova Sewing Centre in London, formerly the Sewing Superstore where I bought Phoebe.  They still have the same great staff and it was a pleasure to once again deal with Ivana.

I've been thinking for awhile that I'd like to play with an embroidery machine.  I was initially looking at the entry level ones sold at Costco, but decided I would likely outgrow one of those pretty quickly.  They tend to only have small hoops to work with.  The brother goes up to 6" x 10".

I was wresting with going with this combo machine or the dedicated Janome 500E.  I would have saved a little money going with the Janome, and had a couple more embroidery functions such as jump thread cutting and a 1" larger hoop, but I really liked the idea of having a good backup machine.  This really is a good machine, with the built in scissors, a pivot feature, a knee lifter, and lots lots more! (you are reading that in a tv commercial voice, aren't you?!)  Betty (the White) is going up to Mr. J's to live so that if I have any mending to do for him I can do it there.

Of course I had to try out the embroidery function.  Machine embroidery is a whole new learning curve, although I did spend the entire weekend researching everything I could find about it.  First I did a flowered monogram on a washcloth.  Then I did a basic monogram on a towel, that I am not as happy with.  It sewed well, I'm just not loving the style.  Finally I embroidered a gecko on the skirt of a peplum top.  This one I love!

So I've barely come out of the sewing room since I brought the Brother - sorry, Bob - home the other day.  Phoebe (the Pfaff) doesn't need to worry, I'll still be using her regularly.  Mom brought over all kinds of generic feet that will work with the Brother, but I still don't have an edgeguide foot for it.  Seeing as I already have a couple of those for Phoebe, I don't see a need to run out and buy them for the Brother just yet.  With the edgeguide feet, the extended table and the IDT (built-in walking foot) I think Phoebe will still be my best option if when I do any quilting.

Monday, August 28, 2017

New Diaper Soakers

I received this message from my daughter the other day - "I forgot to mention again thank you for the new pads!  They work perfectly and are saving my shells big time."  Apparently the extra layers, the substitution of a plush bath towel instead of thin fabric store terrycloth, and the extra 8 square inches coverage are making a positive difference.

About two years ago I was busy making fitted cloth diapers and soakers for my granddaughter.  The other day Daughter asked me to make some more soakers.  Well, this is what you get when your mom is a packrat.  The first time around I made the diapers and soakers with brand new fabrics and diaper flannel - after all, it was going to be touching my precious grandbaby's delicate skin.  Fast forward a couple of years and it's all about the "what do I have on hand?" lol  This batch is made from leftovers from various jammy pants.

The only modification she asked for was to make them about 2" longer.  They seem to get wet in the front but not the back, so this time around I added an extra layer in the front.  The original ones had three layers.  The new set have flannel on each side and sandwiched in between are a layer of micro fleece, a layer of terry (from an old towel - much plusher than the new terrycloth I bought at the fabric store last time - and an extra layer of either micro fiber or micro fleece over the wet zone.  Once again there is a snap to help hold it in place.  I didn't bother with a plastic backing this time as it doesn't seem to do much good.  Maybe they will dry quicker without it.  I am hoping that these will stand up to an 18mo's needs a little better.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Wonder Woman! Lutterloh 298-225

Lutterloh 298-225

I bought this Wonder Woman flannel back when I first got back into sewing, about four years ago (Is that all?  It seems like so much longer!)  I've made myself a couple of other pairs of pyjama pants, in fact the first thing I posted about when I got back into sewing was a pair of self drafted pyjama pants.  But I have been sitting on this favourite piece of flannel, afraid to ruin it.  I finally cut into it today.

  The self drafted pyjamas I made back then were ok, although a little short in the rise.  I've also made pyjamas from Big 4 patterns, but they always seem to be so baggy.  And in all cases they never seem to be long enough, even after adding extra length.  They start off fine but then seem to shrink even after the flannel was pre-shrunk.  This time around, as I've been flirting with the Lutterloh patterns, I decided to give this one a try.  And I'll come right out and say it - I've never had a pair of pyjama pants fit me so well.

They are not too baggy yet plenty roomy enough to be comfortable sitting or crouching.  The rise is the perfect height.  And as far as length?  The finished length in the picture above is the finished length on the pattern as drafted with no adjustments.  I have never had a pattern that I didn't have to add length to.  I noticed this also in a pants pattern that I drew out but haven't made yet - they were plenty long enough.  I did leave myself 1 1/4" for hemming so that I can let it down in the future if I need to.

 I first basted them together to check the fit.  Then I sewed them properly, very similarly to a pair of jeans.  I sewed each seam first with a straight stitch and then serged the seam allowances with a 3 thread stitch.  I then double topstitched the seams over the front and back crotch as well as the inseams.  I did a single topstitch on the top section of the sideseams to the bottom of the pockets.  I reinforced the pocket opening with twill tape to prevent stretching.  The waistband is a separate band instead of just a fold over casing, and I attached that the same way - straight stitch, serge and then topstitch.  The pattern calls for a tie cord as well as elastic in the waistband but I just used elastic.  I don't usually bother with the tie cords in pyjamas.  About the only change I would make if making these again is I would make the pockets an inch or two wider.  They are deep enough, just a bit narrow for my taste.

This is the third pattern I have sewn from Lutterloh and I have to say that I am a convert.  The real test will be with a pair of pants.  I just have to decide which pants pattern to try first.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

More Circle Skirts

I made these two circle skirts for my 18mo granddaughter.  Aren't they adorable?!  Ok she's wearing it inside out in the above pic but still - adorable!  I used this tutorial which is what gave me the circle skirt bug in the first place.

I used foldover elastic for the waistbands even though I didn't fold them over because it seemed like a softer elastic to have against little one's skin and also because I was able to get a decent colour match.

Next on the agenda?  Well I am going to take a break from the sewing room for a few days but I want to draw up this Lutterloh pattern, 298-225.  I've been sitting on a length of Wonder Woman flannel for years and I think her time has come.

On a completely different topic there is a discussion on Pattern Review about storing your pattern tracings.  This is the back of my sewing room door.