Another shorts hack

Anyone spot the deliberate error?  My short posts went 1, 2, 4  and that was not because I’m into doubling, but rather because I missed a pair out.  When we went looking for shorts inspiration last summer, whilst the Girls favourite were the scalloped hem ones, I rather liked these ones with a gathered hem and tulip pockets from Ottobre 03/2017.

They also didn’t go up to her size, so I hacked these too.

I used some red linen left over from trousers I made myself and I reckon I did a pretty good job, right?

I had the benefit of having the Ottobre pattern piece to hand and I used this when hacking the shorts. I started with the City Gym Shorts pattern again, which is the white paper on top, the pattern I ended up with is the brown underneath. This first pic is trying to show you that the crotch seams are the same on both patterns. Also there is a little extra wedge on the inseam at the front (left hand pic). I was following the lines of the Ottobre pattern.

Then I kind of swung the pattern out a bit so that the waistband line of the city gym shorts matched the angle of the waistband on the Ottobre ones and used the width of the City Gym Shorts waistband and traced down the side seam from there. This creates extra fullness which is then gathered in by sewing a casing and threading a drawstring through I was just kind of making it up as I went along. Also, like on the scalloped shorts I straightened the edge and lengthened them slightly. The extra length is to allow for the casing.

IMG_0070

As on the scalloped shorts, the order of construction needs changing around, sewing up the side seams first so that you have a nice flat surface to attach the pocket too. For the pocket I just used the template from the actual pattern. You cut two for each pocket, sew them right sides together leaving a gap, then turn them. The top zig zag portion is topstitched before they’re sewn on.  The elasticated waistband is just done like the City Gym shorts

City Gym Shorts part 4

So, after failing to make my daughter some scalloped edged shorts last year, this year I finally got around to it.  I traced the next size up of the City Gym pattern, cos whilst last years pairs still fit her, she does still keep growing and had pointed out to me herself that they wouldn’t fit forever. Whilst I was at it I added 2″ to the pattern length at the lengthen line (on both front and back pieces, obviously) and straightened the edges to lose the signature curve at the bottom. I also added pockets as before.

IMG_0077

Construction wise, I started with those front hip pockets, except this time around I sewed the opening right sides together before grading my seam allowance, understitching and topstitching, as I wasn’t using bias binding.

IMG_0076

Then I sewed the fronts to the backs along the side seam. I chose to use a 1/4″ seam allowance, like the pattern suggests for the crotch seam, and figures that way I didn’t have to add any extra seam allowance (when constructed as per instructions, that side seam is made by overlapping the bias bound front and back edges).  It was even narrower than my usual 1cm default. I finished by zig zagging with my overlocker foot on my sewing machine and topstitching the seam allowance down.

Next up I drafted a facing piece the width of the bottom of the short leg and about two inches deep and cut two of these out. Then I folded over the pattern piece paper doll style (after folding over the seam allowance) and cut out an arch.

That gave me a scallop template to trace onto my facing. I hemmed the other side of my facing before pining it to my shorts and stitching along the scalloped line. Then I trimmed, turned the facing and hand tacked everything in place so I could give it a good press.

IMG_0081

Finally I unpicked my tacking and topsitched the edge of the scallops. Then  I added a second line of scalloped stitching, mainly to hold the top of the facing in place as I wasn’t liking the other options I could think of to do that (either a straight line of machine stitching going across, or hand finishing on the inside). I’m rather pleased with how they turned out.

img_00821.jpg

After that the shorts finished up pretty quickly, sewing the crotch seams, inside leg and adding a waistband.

 

I’m pretty pleased with the result, which definitely has some growing room, and I don’t think you’d guess what pattern I’d used, they look so different from the original.  She is more reticent with her feedback, but as she’s wearing them the day after they’re finished I’m taking that as a win. She even was persuaded (just) to read standing up for a minute so that I could photograph them.

 

City Gym Shorts – parts 1 and 2

Last summer, The Girl and I went through her wardrobe to see what gaps there were and we noticed a shortage of shorts (so to speak).   So, we sat and went through my Ottobre magazines and she picked out these scalloped edge shorts from 01/2017.

Except when I measured up they didn’t go up to her size. So whilst I pondered over how to hack them, I made up some City Gym Shorts from the free pattern from Purl Soho. She only just fit into the largest measurements for the largest child pattern, so I used the smallest adult one instead. As they were a trial pair I  was determined to use something from stash and I just squeezed them out most of a fat quarter of fabric that I had only used a couple of strips from (for a communal quilting project, I was the turquoise row). I had to piece one of the back pieces at the top to make it work but in the end that is mainly hidden in the waistband seam allowance. I trimmed them in satin bias binding (which looked ace at the time but has pilled with wear).

IMG_0056

The result?  She loves these shorts, declaring them her Peacock Shorts of Power (apparently when wearing them she can control all the peacocks in the world, not a superpower that had ever occurred to me).  She wore them All The Time and moaned when they were in the wash. Not bad considering that I was worried she wouldn’t wear them at all as the background of the fabric is black. Anyway, I said we could go back to the shop and buy some more of that fabric and I’d make her a second pair, maybe with a different colour trim. But of course, they didn’t have any more of that fabric left in the shop, so after a long time, she finally chose some navy blue fabric with bears, foxes, dear, birds, squirrels and rabbits on instead. She was particularly taken with the gold highlights I think.

Second time around I hacked them to have pockets, I was rather kicking myself for not doing this the first time to be honest. I just freehanded a pocket pattern piece that fit the fronts (making sure there was seam allowance included on that long curved L shape) and used that to cut my pocket piece.  Then I folded the corner of that piece over to make my pocket facing pattern piece and folded the front pattern piece over the corresponding amount to make the the pocket opening before cutting out.  I had a mere sliver of fabric left after cutting out and one of my pockets is pieced and one of the facings is cut crossgrain, it was so satisfying to make this work with negligable waste.

Once everything was cut out I attached the pocket pieces to the front along the opening wrong sides together then finished with bias binding (satin again, this was too soon after the first pair to realise it wouldn’t wear well). Then I sewed my pocket piece to the facing, finished the seam allowance, then tacked the pockets to the front piece at the top and side within the seam allowance. Then I proceeded as normal with construction, and voila.

Pair number two were nearly as successful as the first ones, but aren’t quite as popular despite the fact that you can control Even More animals in them AND they have pockets. Sometimes you just strike it lucky first time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pale imitation

So, a couple of months ago I saw Kelly’s awesome skirted leggings and thought now there’s a solution to the Leggings Aren’t Outerwear disagreement The Girl and I have.

IMG_0014

So I made a pair and felt kind of meh about them so never got around to blogging them. (Yesterdays post reminded me cos the leftovers ended up in my new knickers).

On the advice of Kelly (she is a generous woman) I curved the skirt portions out a bit going down the side seam and made them lower at the centre than the sides. The side seam curve worked well but with hindsight the hemline is far too curvy.  (On the plus side, note my dots and crosses paper (1 inch grid) that came as packaging with something non sewing related orderd online. I have ironed it out and am repurposing it).

IMG_0018

The skirt hem is turned and zig zagged, which would’ve been easier with a less pronounced curve. And it has a tendancy to flip up in the middle – the resulting duck tail look is not a favourite of mine. I wonder if this is the curve, or the fabric (a nice jersey, but not anything as fancy as the Haci sweater knit that Kelly used).

IMG_0017

The skirt is then basted at the top to the leggings before adding some kind of hem band, or in my case, this rainbow elastic. I was pleased how neatly I sewed it on at the time (the blue and orange zig zags just melt into the background stripe colour as planned) but overall the look screams “Home made” in a “could do better” kind of way to me.

So yeah, without wishing to sound too negative, these fall firmly into the “room for improvement” category to me (the fit of the leggings isn’t that great either). However, The Girl does not seem to share my reservations and has been wearing them, and they do cover her bum, so maybe I will just need to make a new pair that fixes my grouches and puts these into the Wearable Muslin category.

Turning Out T shirts.

Recently I have stayed in my comfort zone and made lots of T shirts, which makes sense as I wear a t shirt nearly every day. I stayed well within my comfort zone and have mainly been using tried and tested Maria Denmark patterns that I have already adjusted.  I have considered several new to me patterns, but at the end of the day, how different are t shirt patterns?  So I have stuck to the ones I know work but snuck a few tweaks in to change things up.

Dorsal Fin Indications

First up a Happy Holiday/Easter/Birthday present to myself of this Kirsten Kimono T shirt (already adjusted for full bust and sway back). A simple design, perfect to showcase some loverly holiday splurge shopping fish fabric. Bonus knickers and headscarfbandthingies made from the remnants (the latter of which my kids nicked).

I have more of this fabric in the green colourway earmarked for The Girl and I nicked a bit! There was some debate on the correct way up for this fabric, and we decided the bulge on the fishes indicated a dorsal fin and therefore went at the top.

Knit one purl one

Couldn’t resist this fabric in some of my fav colours and a knit stitch pattern. As a bonus it feels slinky and my family gave me lots of hugs wearing it. This is a hacked Birgitte Basic Tee (that I apparently only have dodgy phone photos of, sorry).


As per usual, I forgot to save the link to the tutorial I found. Basically, place centre of pattern piece at an angle to the fold instead of along the fold line. I think I added about 5cm each side (so 10cm) overall at the top, tapering to nothing at the bottom. Then I marked out double that length either side of the centre front and gathered it with clear elastic, that later ended up in the seam allowance (until I cut it out as it itched like crazy). Then I sewed on the neckband as normal, but couldn’t do my usual zig zag to sitch the seam allowance down so I did a stitch in the ditch with the stretch straight stitch instead, which didn’t look as neat as I’d like (the photo is pre stitching).

I eeked a toddler t shirt out of the left overs (spot the extra seam on the back) for the daughter of a knitting friend who was in the area. I used a pattern I made ages ago. The neckband looked to small once on though, and I know from experience that things that are tight getting taken on and off dont get worn, so I cut it off, thereby enlarging the hole, and added a new one. It also has a pocket on the front purely so I had an excuse to incorporate this sheep ribbon that I had a little of in my stash.

Feeling Blue

Sometimes you just need basics. This is another Birgitte, this time I raised the neckline slightly. I also lowered the armhole half an inch to try and get rid of the creases radiating from my armpit. This only had a negligable effect on the length of the armscyth so I left the sleevehead as it was. It does feel a little more comfy I think, but the creases are still there.

Irony Warning

And sometimes you need to make a statement. Another Birgitte, same armhole adjustment as last time, neckline moved even higher. My first time using iron on decoration which I bought online, they are really glittery 🙂 (and the fabric is more lush stuff from Kitschy Coo like the last two t’s, that this selfie really doesn’t do justice to).

IMG_0041.JPG

I feel I need to explain as this is not a comment on the latest Dr Who casting (that’s a fortuitous coincidence). Neither is it me pretending to be a gynecologist.

As a Quaker I would like to live in a world where titles aren’t used (George Fox famously greeted the King “Good Day to thee Charles Stuart”, which was a very radical thing to do). As a realist I know this isn’t happening any time soon (I tried leaving boxes unticked on forms as a teenager. They just assumed I was a Mr. These days digital forms wont even submit if you leave boxes unticked). As a feminist I object to the fact that my title changes with my marital status but this isn’t true for men. As someone who studied hard for 4 years, I’m proud of my PhD. So as a preference I use no title (my qualification is rarely relevant to the conversation), but if people insist, I like them to use my hard won “Dr”.  After all, with aspie traits running int he family it’s important to get things right 😉

So when a family member called me Mrs, LSH pulled them up on it, and the reply was “isn’t it techically Mrs Dr if you’re a woman”. No. No it isn’t. Unless, apparently, you’re German, but they use Mr Dr too. (Or more accurately Frau/Herr Dr.)

Bonus Item

When I bought the “Mrs Dr” I noticed they had Alicorns too (I am adamantly informed that is the proper term for winged unicorns, who am I to argue with a 9 year old on such matters). So I let my daughter chose one (this is the rainbow holograph option). They must’ve printed it out the wrong size or something cos we got a second smaller one free.

The resulting AdvTee is now in heavy rotation, even if I’m slightly annoyed that I got a bubble at the centre front when adding the v neckline.

It has also prompted much discussion. Are Alicorns a species in their own right or the result of cross breeding between Unicorns and Pegasi? Are they born with a horn?  With Wings? Do they have nests? Are they mammals? Hours of fun for all the family (and innocent passers by, like the assistants in the sewing machine shop, and an old work colleague we bumped into).

Foxido?

What do you get if you cross Foxy Jeans Remnants with Seamstress Erin’s Presido Purse?

fox detail

+

Spotty Bag

=

A foxido perhaps?

A foxido perhaps?

With hidden pockets

With hidden pockets

and a foxy lining

and a foxy lining

scuse the goofy look, I'm trying to show you the tail/strap

scuse the goofy look, I’m trying to show you the tail/strap

This was supposed to be my accessory for the September Outfit A Long, but I ran out of time. The shame is that I didn’t admit this sooner, as bits of it are a bit rushed. It was much easier to finish it after the deadline once the pressure was off. (Actually, technically it needs a smidgen hand sewing to finish off, but I can’t be arsed am too tired tonight.

I took lots of photo’s whilst making it so could write a quick pattern hack/tutorial if anyone’s interested – let me know in the comments below.

(The red fabric is remnant from my jeans and its stretchyness caused some swearing when I was top stitching as it did want to stretch and create little fold marks so. Some left over white denim from Crystals jeans would’ve gone perfectly with it but due to the distance between us, I bought 1/2 m of some grey mystery fabric instead (figuring it was more practical than white) and picked up some cream flanged piping at the same time. The zips are all from my stash (the main one came off my old coat, the two front pockets came in a bundle of zips I bought from facebook and the shiny new one inside was part of my Curvy Sewing Swap Christmas present), as were the odd bits of black fleece and orange indian print cotton.)

All in all, a fun new hack of an old favourite pattern (I am too embarrassed to count how many times I have made the Presido, although this is only the second for me as my first is starting to wear out from overuse).

Summer Stripes

Recently I let The Girl loose on my knit stash to pick out her favourite. She surprised me with her choice, a navy and white stripe, normal t shirt weight, a bit slinky and drapey, nice quality. I’d bought a metre from my local fabric shop thinking of a t shirt for me.

Well, she wanted a t shirt. Then I said I could make a matching one for her friend with the leftovers. Then they decided they want dresses.

So, I started with my standard kids t shirt pattern (Simplicity 1571), age 7, extended it , flared it to an A line from the waist down, and added Kimono sleeves inspired by this tutorial (but guesstimated rather than measured) and generally hacked it into a two piece dress pattern.

High wire act

High wire act

The girl chose some turquoise ribbing for the neck binding and I ended up adding some to the sleeves too to finish them (they came out a bit narrow, so I cut the opening diagonally to increase room, and then they didn’t want to hem). She also chose a scrap of one of my old t shirts for a pocket (I didn’t think the main fabric would hold up to the weight of proper pockets but I wanted her to be able to keep a tissue about her person).

Finally I added 3 rows of shirring to the waist to give it a bit of shape. As I made the dress with growing room I put them a little lower than needed so that the top half is a bit baggy now and will grow with her.

A dress for having adventures in

A dress for having adventures in

Then, ta da, dress done. Onto the second one. Except I made a faux pas, I only had enough fabric for 1 1/2 dresses. Whoops. No problem, I went to buy some more fabric, except they sold out of this stuff really quickly apparently and there was none left. (Which is a shame as I was going to by extra for me too). We found some similar blue and white stripes in a slightly less drapey jersey though and with the same trim and a pocket from the same old t shirt it looks very similar.

spot the difference

spot the difference

Right, now to work out what to do with half a dress worth of fabric….
And also to figure out what to do about having used up all my storage on WordPress which means I can’t upload any more pictures. Eek.