Wednesday, 17 July 2013

FO: Simplicity 2258 shorts

It's hot here and has been for over a week...for the -last week I felt I really wanted to wear shorts.  Skirts are great but not so good when I have spend  lot of time on the floor playing.  My favourite shorts are in the loft, don't ask, it's a long dull there was some sewing serendipity and luck at play this weekend when the dark blue fabric sent to me last summer by Jessica, met with a pattern that I nabbed in Phillippa's giveaway. How great is that?  It's a riposte to some friends of mine who dismissed sewing clothes as "too expensive"  - these shorts cost only a couple of pounds to make if I account for the ric rac trim and elastic from my stash.
I had initially planned trousers from Jessica's fabric but then started looking at shorts a while ago.  I loved the Ruby shorts from Burdastyle .  I know, I know, all the cool sewers made these several years ago....I never promise to be uptodate!   But I felt a bit to old and tubby tummied to be able to wear them.  When I saw Phillipa's Simplicity  2258 pattern in her recent giveaway, I immediately asked for it and was very pleased when it arrived as it has good potential for adaptations.  It also has a skirt and cropped trousers in the pattern.  The knee length skirt appeals to me.  So, here are some brief review type facts:
Size: UK 10 - cut out, no alterations
Fabric and notions: dark blue linen look sent by Jessica
red giant ric rac from stash and red buttons also gifted by Jessica
Time taken:  Cut out on friday, sewed up on saturday, hemmed, buttons on and tabs sewn sunday morning
Worn: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday....can you guess how much they are filling a wardrobe gap in our current UK summer?

The pattern is only 5 pieces, including tabs for the hem and a nifty pocket lining/yoke piece which is folded after attaching to the pocket front to create a yoke and lining in one. 

At first I was stumped, looking for a separate pocket lining piece...then the penny dropped as I re-read the instructions.  Maybe I am too easily impressed but I thought this was a clever one piece pattern design and an idea I may copy in future.

I had the oversized red ric rac in my stash and used it on the pockets to add a bit of colour. I used vintage style red buttons on the tabs.  You can't see here but the buttons have pretty flowers painted on them.  As you can see I have had my little white legs out coated in factor 50!   
A massive thank to Jessica and Phillipa...I am just loving my new shorts......if you don't read their lovely blogs you should check them out! 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Sew liberated jeans: a review

I finished sewing my jeans two weeks ago and have been busy wearing them.  I have tried to gather my thoughts about the pattern here.

  • Fabric used: 2 metres of stretch denim from fabric land.  2 metres was plenty with enough left over for two bags.
  • Instructions:  The instructions were clear but disappointingly the pattern lacks a sizing chart....I like to have a sizing chart, I also like charts giving finished garment measurements.  I went online and used Sew Liberated's size chart from the FAQ section of their website. 

  • I found the instructions clear and easy to follow.  There is a code to a video tutorial but I didn't use it. 
  • I checked the pattern against my favourite skinny jeans to give me a better idea of the sizes.  This was useful as I would have cut too big otherwise.  Thank you to Maryall for the tip.
  • I cut an 8 which is a UK 10.  It is fine round my waist and hips but I ended up taking the outside leg seam in an extra 6/8th of an inch to make them properly skinny jeans in my eyes. I started the new seam at mid thigh and graded in.  This was after three days wearing, washing and pinching the jeans in with my fingers, muttering to myself and staring at other skinny jeans examples. 
  • I didn't exactly follow the instructions - I found it more effective to do a batch of pinning and pressing, then a batch of machine stitching, rather than pin, sew, press pin, sew, press. 
  • I am quite short (5 ft 3) and have short legs, I did not have to shorten the leg at all, so if you are tall or taller than me watch out if you make these.  I think a tall sewer could easily end up with unintentional cropped jeans.
I think sewing something as utilitarian as jeans is fulfilling my sewing plans to create a wearable functioning homemade wardrobe.   
Are these "mommy" jeans?  Is that a derogatory term?  Um, well, they are kind of.   The elastic waistband instead of fly and button is a quick cheat in sewing terms and in making them fit.  There is something about elasticated waists...a little voice tells me they should be the preserve of the over 60s and under tens.  But in reality they work, they are functional and I am wearing them almost every day.  They have given my extensive homesewn patterned top collection a new lease of life.  Sewing them has given me a confidence boost in the realm of sewing jeans and I am fully intending to move on to sew a pair of jeans with a zipped fly etc  in a while.  But first I have cut out and pinned a red pair of sew liberated skinnies, in a more summery red denim.