Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pinstripe trousers

Well, I still haven't taken pictures of the finished wool dress, but I just came upon the pictures of these pants that I made over the summer and never got around to posting. These are another pair of pants made from the ever popular Simplicity 3688. I've used the pattern before for a pair of suit pants (which have recently been passed on to a friend). I've worn these a couple of times. I really like them, and they are very comfortable, but I wish I had added about half or three-quarters of an inch to the crotch length so the waist would sit just a tad higher. I have an ever so slightly higher natural waist, and these don't quite hit me at the smallest point. 

I didn't photograph this, but they also have some bright purple hem tape finishing the inside of the legs. They are very comfortable and great for work. I can't remember what the exact fabric content is, but it's some polyester-rayon-lycra something or other I think. Anyway, because of that they don't need pressing. I'll have to touch up the creases now and again, but that's not much work. It's easy to reset them with the stripes as a guide.

As usual, I hand picked my zipper. I have a zipper foot, but I've just really come to love hand inserting zippers. They just look so much more polished and neat, and it's much easier to work on curves like this hip seam in particular.

Due to the fabric content there is a bit of puckering that happens at the point of the darts that I couldn't eliminate completely no matter what I did to them. They flatten out a bit when on the body, but either way they're not so noticeable as to be distracting. I have a tan fabric with dark brown pinstripes in my stash that is destined for another pair of these. I may go ahead and raise the waistline a teeny bit on those so that they sit where I'd prefer. However, those have gone on the back burner for a while, since I've got some much more time and labor intensive projects in the works right now, but more on those later. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

1960s dress for fall

I haven't been feeling great and therefore haven't been very productive for the last several weeks, but I've finally gotten back into some sewing and am nearly finished with the 1960s dress I started ages ago. I have gotten a bit farther than is shown in the pictures, but it gives you an idea at least. I hope to have the dress finished by tomorrow so I can wear it for a brunch and movie date with my wonderful Mr. S. He's got the day off and we haven't gotten to go out in a month so we're going to make a day of it tomorrow. We are planning on going to see Lincoln and from what I've heard it should be a good film. It's hard to lose with Daniel Day-Lewis. Anyway, back to the dress. 

Just a reminder, this is the pattern I'm using. 

I'm making the full skirted version (as you can see), but will be using the three-quarter jacket sleeves instead of the short sleeves, to make it more winter appropriate. I have also dropped the back neckline into a shallow "v". I like the look of the high front neckline with a lower back neckline (in case you haven't noticed). The fabric came from a friend's mother's stash. She passed away and they gifted us with a lot of her fabric when they were cleaning out her house a few years ago. It was all very nice wool, much of it vintage pendleton. She also left notes on a lot of the fabric telling how much she paid, what year, etc. This particular yardage is a lovely, lightweight wool with a beautiful hand. It was 54 inches wide and I had about 3.5 yards of it. She bought it in 1994. It was originally priced at $40/yard, but she got it for 60% off (and I got it for free!). The colors are a bit different than much of what I have in my wardrobe, which is nice, but they work well enough that it will still coordinate with my sweaters and jackets. 

I have taken a lot more care with finishing on this dress than I tend to usually. Partially because I felt the fabric deserved it, but it also tends to be a bit ravely and I wanted to be sure that all of my seams were enclosed. I made french seams in the bodice and skirt, and bound the waist seam and the back skirt closure with self bias binding and was very careful in tacking down my facings and so forth.

I had just enough of this peachy-orange lace hem tape in my stash to finish the hem as well. Not only did it save me a little extra pressing, but I also like having it as a fun, hidden accent on my dressier garments.

The skirt wasn't attached yet here, but I now have that attached, the zipper, hooks, thread loops and snaps installed in the center back closure, and have finished the waist seam as well. All I have left to do is make and attach the sleeves and it's all set!

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!
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