Sunday, March 29, 2015

Knowing when to quit

Ok, so I was working on another summer maternity project for the Vintage Pattern Pledge (and to give myself one more garment for the hot weather, but......things just aren't working out. I have had this 1950s pants/shorts pattern in my stash for a while and have always been intrigued about how they work, since they're designed for wovens and don't feature the gaping hole in front that many of the old skirt patterns have in order to make room for your stomach. I had enough denim left from my overalls to make up the shorts, more as an experiment than anything else. I wasn't ever super invested in having them be wearable, although that would have been a bonus. I got them cut out and mostly sewn up. Then I tried them on.

The front panels that extend out in order to overlap and cover everything up are doing something hella weird. I'm not sure if it's because of stretching not he curved edges or what, but it makes them poke out all crazy, and while shifting the waistband down a couple of inches at the front edges and then tapering the adjustment out to the side seams makes that stop, then it does all kinds of weird stuff to the grain at the top edge, and yadda yadda yadda. After letting them sit around for a couple of weeks trying to decide how to fix them I've decided I'm not going to bother.

My to-do list for the next ten-ish weeks is insane, and I've got PLENTY of other stuff to occupy my time with than trying to make a pair of shorts I'll wear for three weeks fit right. I didn't spend anything on the fabric, it took all of about an hour and a half of work so far. I'm not out anything. Chalk it up to experience.

1950s maternity pants and shorts sewing pattern

I've been working on a knitting project that I'm about 30% finished with (a mohair cardigan from GORGEOUS yarn that came from a local goat farm), and I've got a couple of other things I want to try and get finished this summer, which will require starting pretty soon since my sewing time is about to disappear almost completely. I've still got at least two patterns to get through for the Vintage Pattern Pledge, and I think I may start one of those in the near future. It's non-maternity, but I've used it before and I've got my alteration/fitting notes, so I'm pretty confident I can work on it without being able to fit it on myself as I go.

The brief cold snap we had this week finally broke and I took advantage of the sunny (although chilly) day to spend some time outside getting these puppies thinned and transferred into peat pots. I've still got a while before it's time to put summer crops in the ground, but I've got some cole crops in for the first time right now that I'm pretty excited about. We'll see how they do.

Hope everyone else is getting to enjoy some nice spring weather!

Friday, March 13, 2015

1901 Corset or "There's no such thing as too many bows!"

This has been sitting around for ages waiting to be photographed and blogged, but since I still haven't gotten the rest of the outfit all finished I just never seemed to get around to it. It's a nice little break from posts about maternity sewing though, so we'll just run with it. This was my first real corset making venture, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I like doing things that are super structured, and I love all the little fiddly details like flat felling seams, inserting grommets, hand stitching binding, etc. My mom thinks I'm nuts, but someone has to like that stuff, right? ;)

Anyway, it's the 1901 corset from Corsets and Crinolines. I really didn't have to make too many adjustments as far as size goes. It's been a long time, so I can't remember all of the specifics, but basically I just added seam allowances to all of the pieces and subtracted a little width from the hips so I didn't have to mess about with hip pads and things underneath. I can get a pretty good shape with a couple of petticoats and little bustle pad under the skirt. If I ever make myself another outfit of the period/another iteration of this corset I'll probably leave the hip width and go for hip pads to get that really extreme s-curve shape, but for now I'm happy with the shape I've got with this one. I hadn't originally intended on making it quite so flamboyant, but once I got started I couldn't stop with the springy, cupcake decorations. 

It's a single layer of coutil, with spiral and flat steel boning inserted into applied channels, so it's actually pretty lightweight. If I do make myself another one I think I may skip out on adding the seam allowances to the pieces, or at least make them smaller, because while this one fits, it's actually a tad on the large size. It laces all the way shut really comfortably with just a couple of inches reduction in the waist. It really needs to be about 2 inches smaller to get the fit spot on. I could probably make it work with the original corset measurements and some hip pads almost perfectly.

The yellow I used for the binding and the garter straps was bias that was leftover from the baby quilt I made for my son, and once I decided I wasn't going for all white, I figured it would be nice to use some stuff up as well.

The channeling on the inside is not perfect, but I'm happy with it for a first attempt. The couple of minor issues I ran into were mostly due to the fact that I wasn't marking things carefully while I worked on the two sides. I've actually got one more piece of boning to insert in the hip on one side, but I had to wait for a new bone to arrive and wanted to get the rest of it finished so I went ahead and attached the binding, leaving a little opening for inserting that piece once it got here (which I still haven't gotten around to of course). I also intended to floss the ends of the channels, but never got around to that either. At this point I don't know that I'll ever go back and finish that. I definitely want to try my hand at it on my next corset project (way down the road). The next one will probably be an 1870s style to go with the 1871 gown I have been planning on making for eons. When I'll get around to doing any of that I don't know, since I have to make ALL the underwear for it before I can start on the dress itself. I have the fabric, though, and that's what matters!

I'm hoping to be back with a couple more posts before the baby's born, but we'll see how things go. I'm going to try and squeeze in at least one more major sewing project before then, and I've got a sweater on my knitting needles right now. Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Simplicity 2475: Thinking of spring

I actually got this finished a week or so ago, but then I got sick (again) and we've had yet another snow storm since then so it's still been a little crazy around here. This is my second project of the year, and the second installment in my sewing for the 2015 Vintage Pattern Pledge. It's Simplicity 2475, which I was given in a large pattern stash (almost all children's and maternity patterns) by a friend when I found out I was pregnant with my first.

1958 maternity sewing pattern Simplicity 2475

The pattern is from 1958, and after making a version of a similar top the first time around I knew I wanted to make myself another one. They're super comfortable, and with a few more weeks of warm weather before this kiddo is born I wanted another lightweight top that wasn't skin tight. This is yet another 100% stash buster as well! The fabric is from the massive stash my mom and I accumulated (and still resides at her house), the bias binding is left from finishing all the seams in my Robson Trench last year, and the buttons were from a huge button stash that a friend of mine inherited when her husband's grandmother died.  I opted for view 2, but changed the welt pockets to patch pockets since this lawn is so light. I didn't want the extra strain on the fabric and was also concerned about the pocket bags showing through badly. Forgive the weird light. With yet another 8+ inches of snow outside, the already odd lighting available in my house is even worse.

1958 maternity top

the front curves of the yoke don't match perfectly, as the fabric was kind of a pain and I was tired when I was sewing, but for something I'm going to wear for 2 months I wasn't super concerned about going back and trying to fix it. 

Simplicity 2475

Simplicity 2475 Maternity Top 1958

The buttons, as I said, are some I got from a friend after she inherited a HUGE button stash. They're really pretty little pearl shirt buttons. I'm not sure how old they are. 

patch pockets in floral lawn 1958 maternity top

I'm really happy I decided to do patch pockets instead of welts. Not only were they much easier, but I like the little touch of green in the bias binding at the top. It helps break up the print a little bit. I've got a black and a pink pencil skirt I plan on wearing this with that both look cute, especially with a little sweater. I'm actually working on a wearable muslin of some maternity shorts out of leftover denim, but the front sections are doing something really weird because of the some bias pulling, so they've been put on the back burner for bit, but if I do get them finished they'll look SUPER cute with this. So summery! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last real push of winter before spring arrives. We've got pretty good temps predicted for the coming week, which will be a relief, but if it gets super cold again after that I may have to hide under a rock. Hope everyone else is keeping warm!

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