Sunday, 27 July 2014

Thank you.

Thank you all so much for your advice about sewing with slippery fabrics: so motivating and inspiring. I'm pleased to say it has helped me to salvage the harem pants!

It was a lot easier once I got back to them. They are not the greatest sewing-wise (a little wonky), but they're oh so comfy.  Elasticated waists, how I love thee!

The main things I took from the advice were: lots of pins, baste well and go slowly! I'm also busy looking into starch spray, and sewing with paper, for when I work with my lovely new slippery and silky rayon fabric. But for now, here's the details of my practice refashion...

This was a very simple re-size.  I brought the sides and inside led seams in by an inch.  I managed to do the sides by using french seams.  The inside leg I just sewed straight, then used a zig zag to secure the edges.

I've tapered them in dramatically compared with the 80's original. I am looking forward to wearing them as they are so light and airy. Perfect for this heatwave we are experiencing.

I think they are pretty shapely, considering, but my husband thinks I look silly in them!  Arrggh! I'm going to wear them anyway, of course.

Thank you again for all your advice, The online sewing community is fantastic, and so supportive.  I love this bloggin' lark.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Abandon project?

Okay, this is a bit of a non post really I admit that.  But I felt I should be posting successes and failures. Although technically, this is neither, and is instead a story of giving up.

I needed a nice easy project that would fit in with how manic life is at the moment.  Last few days of the school term are coming up, though, so things should ease up soon.  Enter a simple refashion.

These are a pair of 80's Harem trousers in a size 20.  Easy job, I thought - take in an inch each side and again on the inner leg seam.

But I can't control the fabric!  It's a slippy-slidey thin rayon.  And it either moves under my needle, or gets pulled down to be chewed up in my machine.  Not sure what I am doing wrong.  I am cross, as I have just bought 2 metres of the loveliest softest drapiest rayon, and these pants were supposed to be my dress rehearsal for sewing it!

Any tips, peeps?   Think the pants might end up in fabric recycle, but I don't want my new fabric going to waste.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Simplicity 6842

Bit late in the day (or year) but I decided to join in A Stitching Odyssey's  vintage sewing pattern pledge!

The idea is that you pledge to actually sew up some vintage patterns, rather than just mooning over them.  Admittedly, it is phrased a little nicer than that! I have pledged to sew up three items this year.

This is the first of my vintage sewing pattern makes.  It is from 1975, and I think it looks great; the pattern is a little bit battered but it's intact. The little tabs on the neckline and the flared shape at the hem are rather fun and lovely.

So here is my attempt.  It is not great by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not terrible.

I've used a nice soft knit in a 4-way stretch. The finished garment is so soft and comfy, I may never take it off! I don't think it was a very wise fabric choice, though, as it was too stretchy.  The suggested fabrics were a little more stable: crepe, double knit, shantung,or wool.

The dress looks okay, but due to the stretch it was a bugger to sew. I used a walking foot for the sewing and this made it a little easier.  But I made mistakes - I forgot to stay-stitch first, and this meant the neck and armcycles are not perfect.

Luckily those little tabs take your eyes off it, so it is not too noticeable.

I stabilised the shoulder seams with stay tape.  The instructions didn't say to, but I'd read about it a lot on other people's blogs, so I gave it a go. It really helps keep the shape of the seam and stops the seam moving.

I think I may give the pattern another go in a woven fabric. This would make it much easier for me to sew, but I may need to tweak the sizing a little. The pattern was a size 12; not knowing how to down-size a pattern properly, I literally brought the pattern in by a cm all around. It worked (sort of) and it is at least a workable base pattern for tweaking in the future.

Given the slightly stretched seams, dodgy sizing and fabric choice, I'm not sure I should wear this out in public much!  The only trouble with that is... it is so comfy, and I feel good in it!  So I'll just have to brazen it out.  Either that, or wear it as a fancy nightie.