Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: Thread Theory's Jedediah Pants





I sewed man pants!  This is officially my annual unselfish sewing, and it's for my husband. Ain't he lucky?!! I used Thread Theory's Jedediah Pants pattern for these. Last year I sewed him a really awesome pair of cargo shorts with a Green Pepper pattern that he wears all the time. The year before it was a button up shirt. What do men (generally) want in handmade clothes? I feel like it's to have the clothes look absolutely ready-to-wear, like they went to a department store and picked the garment up, not sewn by his (freakishly amazing) wife in their basement.  



These are 'slim fit' pants, something my husband generally isn't a fan of for himself. So after musling his actual size (halfway between 34 and 36), the fit was, of course, slim, The waist was a bit smaller then he liked, the calves were close fitting (I'd say his calves are average in size) and it was just small overall for his taste. So I just went up one whole size without a muslin and hoped for the best. It worked out quite well. They look so much like his RTW pants he wears already. I removed above three inches from the length, his inseam is a terribly average 32" when he buys clothing. I did just remove the length from the bottom as opposed to the "lengthen/shorten here" line on the tissue pattern.


To be honest, I think the waist ended up a tad large for him but he wears belts anyhow. He has yet to wear them to work, so we'll see how they feel on a normal day of wear this week. I used a light beige cotton twill from Fabric Mart, which folks have bought all of it up already, but there are some great options for these pants in the Twill category. This cotton twill here looks basically identical to what I sewed with.


I got wild and crazy. I used a cotton shirting with some decorative print on it for the pocketing. That stuff was from one of those lovely bundles I ordered some weeks back from Fabric Mart when I last placed an order.

Overall, the directions are pretty good for this pattern.  The last time I sewed a zipper fly was a year ago with those cargo shorts I sewed for him. I wanted my hand held through the process, loads of visuals and a video. And oh my goodness, there is a whole blog post AND video on Thread Theory's blog on how to install/sew the zipper fly. You can see the entire sewalong here.


I find pants sewing a relatively easy process. It took about 6 hours total sewing this final product up, including sewing, ripping and re-sewing the waistband (I lined it up all wrong, ugh!) I really like the details like the reinforced stitching on the pocket corners, the flat fell seams for added strength and the overall RTW look they have. Success!! Man pants!!!

Happy Sewing!!
~Kathy
Kathy Sews

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: Just in Time...a Summer Jacket!

I hope your summer is warm and sunny!  In my neck of the woods, it seems to be struggling to stay in tune with the date on the calendar....warm then cool, blazing hot one day and then a cold front from Canada sets in and bam, it feels like fall! This little jacket from Kwik Sew to the rescue!


I choose a rayon suiting fabric that I just love! It was heavenly to work with. I love how the checks/plaid is woven into the fabric, not just stamped on. Fabric Mart has some lovely suiting fabrics out there and I haven't been disappointed in any of them!


A photo bomber!  



Now, off to find a pattern for summer as a layering piece that coordinated with many pieces in my closet and Kwik Sew 3334 was the winning choice. I just love the bracelet-length sleeves and the notched collar. I thought it would be perfect. This little jacket took less than two yards of fabric so it was very economical to sew. I was very concerned about trying to match the pattern but since it is so small, it was super easy.


Of course I modified this a bit. But first an aside to explain my changes. I am taking a class on Craftsy from Kenneth D. King on making a jacket and he recommended a few things that I decided to incorporate. First was to staytape the edges of the garment NOT cut on the straight grain: for example, the armhole areas and neckline. I simply used HugSnug seam binding that I've had in my stash forever and it worked great. It didn't add any bulk to the seam, is invisible from the garment's right side and according to Kenneth, will extend the life of the jacket--score!
















This little jacket is unlined and I simply didn't want to just serge the seams. I decided to use a contrasting cotton for the Hong Kong finishes on the inside since I wanted a pop of color that could be visible when I moved just right and I think I achieved that! This bright orangy-yellow was also from my stash. I cut one strip for each seams and applied before constructing the garment. Seriously, this took about an extra 30 minutes and I think the results were well worth it! I even added the bias trim to the sleeve and jacket hemlines, although those to locations were added after construction.


I just love my little jacket! It is such a great layering piece and works well with so many other clothing options in my closet. I needed this jacket!



Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: A Convertible Skirt

Have you ever heard of a convertible skirt? It's a skirt that doubles as a strapless dress. The waistband is like a yoga pants waistband that folds over as a skirt, and then you unfold it and pull it up higher if you want to wear it as a strapless dress!

I've been wanting to try one for a while, and when I saw this gorgeous rayon knit at Fabric Mart last month, I decided it would be perfect for this project.  Here is it is as the dress on my dress form:



And here it is as a skirt on me!



The pattern is New Look 6379. It is a super easy pattern with just two pieces for the skirt- the waistband and the skirt itself. You can make the skirt straight or with the handkerchief hem, and I decided to try the handkerchief hem to have fun with the stripe of the knit. The rayon knit is very stretchy, so I did need to cut a couple sizes smaller than normal.



There is elastic in the waist, near the bottom where the skirt attaches to the waistband. This helps to secure it as a skirt, but does nothing to secure it as the dress bodice! I'm pretty sure that if I wore this as a dress, I would be constantly worried that it would be falling down. So, if you try this pattern as a dress, I'd recommend sticking with a fabric that has a high lycra content, and great bounceback- something like a swimwear or active wear fabric might be a better choice!

The hem looks complicated, but it really is all just straight lines that when hanging down, form this unusual hemline.  Here you can see a little more of what the skirt piece shape is:

But left to hang loose, it looks like this from the side:



I knew that I wanted to wear this with a black tank top, and found this pretty pattern in my Burda magazine from July of 2007. If you have this issue, check it out! It's a fun tank with a twist. I made it using a jet black rayon jersey from Fabric Mart also. I also made a white tank version, but it looked a little too pajama like, and I decided that I liked the black version much better.



The construction is very clever. The front has very long straps that you knot and then attach to the back.  You cut a second front piece that ends just below the bust, and this serves as a facing for the strap, neckline and armhole area of the front. Really, really fun to sew!



I did not hem the skirt.  With knits that don't ravel, hemming is completely optional. I think that the raw edge is a more modern finish, and goes well with the abstract art fabric design.  You can kind of see the stripe more clearly in the sitting pose here. 




Have you tried making a convertible skirt pattern? Although I probably won't be wearing this as the dress, I really do like it as a skirt, and will be making more! It's super quick and easy, and great for a skirt with a little something different.



Happy sewing!



Ann