Sunday, October 14, 2018

In the Folds pants part 2

I have finished the top to go with the wide leg pants, so that as an outfit this will be a both a maxi dress alternative and a jumpsuit alternative. I used Simplicity 1430 (originally bought to make my ill-fated trousers). The only modifications I made were to lower the bust dart and shorten the body by a couple of centimetres.

A pillow makes a reasonable mannequin here, so you can see the front neck detail 

Close-up of the back neck detail
Unfortunately the weather this weekend has reverted back to winter, so it may be a while before I get to model this in person.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

In the Folds wide leg pants - part 1

I have been thinking about palazzo pants for a long, long time - at least two summers now. I finally decided to make some after In the Folds and Peppermint Magazine put out a free wide leg pants pattern. And I'm really happy with them so far (having not worn them yet, apart from for fitting purposes).

I went to the Fabric Store and found this fabric, which I've already used to make my vintage dress (about two posts ago). It's such nice fabric (100% cotton, white asterisks on a textured navy background) that I decided to get another 3.5 metres. The plan is to make a sleeveless top from the same stuff, to wear with these super-wide leg but fitted at the waist and hips trousers - for a jumpsuit effect but without the bathroom-related impracticality. I reckon they will also look good with other, short and sleeveless tops.

Having an almost straight up and down figure, I cut a size C from hem to hip, then widened out to size E at the waist. I also added 2 cm to the back and front crotch curve, tapering to the inside seams at the knees. I have needed the latter adjustment in previous trouser patterns and thought I could always take these seams in if I didn't need them here. But it looks and feels fine with these adjustments. I also removed 4cm from the crotch length.

I wanted these to be full length as I'm not sure that a cropped wide leg would look very good on my short stature, so I didn't make any length adjustments. This worked out perfectly.

Also I left out the back darts. Instead, I took the sides in by about 1-1.5 cm at each side from hip to waist.

Its possible I could have just cut a straight size D and needed less taking in at the sides (but have a narrower seam at the waist).

The fit in the end is great. As soon as it's warm enough I'll be wearing these out and about with short tops! And posting a photo of me wearing them!

Household sewing

In preparation for the ban on single-use plastic bags that is coming (soon, I can't remember when exactly), I replaced a couple of our household essentials:
Our plastic peg holder completely fell apart, and I wasn't keen on buying another crappy bit of plastic so I sewed this out ofsome stretch cotton originally made (badly) into a skirt. The handle loops around one of those hooks that attach so effectively to belt loops

The plastic shopping bag we'd been using to hold re-usable cloth napkins (basically cut up rags) was used for rubbish collection so I made one up in scraps left over from my Tamarack test jacket.
And while we are looking at things that are brown and round -
Mushrooms on the roadside in spring? What the heck?!

Something came between TLM and her Calvins

I've been sewing up a storm. Last week I got out a sewing pattern for kids' Calvin Klein jeans (bought for $1 from an op shop) and a pair of jeans I'd made for myself two years ago (which I didn't wear because I kept having to hitch them up) - and made jeans for The Little Madam.

Thankfully TLM is no clothes snob. She doesn't care whether I buy her jeans from Just Jeans, Farmers or The Warehouse, And she was pretty pleased that I made her some jeans. The fabric is super stretchy, which she likes as that makes them really soft and comfy.
I re-used the patch pockets from the original jeans, so they're massive on her.

By the time I was done with the resizing, the front pockets were quite high so I had to re-do the coin pocket

They were a bit loose around the waist so I inserted some buttonhole elastic and sewed on the belt loops from the original pair. I might use buttonhole elastic next time I make trousers for myself!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

On reaching THAT milestone

It looks like I have finally stopped needing to pollute the world with used menstrual products.

Of course, TLM is likely to pick up the baton in the next while (I give it a year), so I guess it's not really getting us closer to greenness!

What's it to be - hair or weight? Neither.

For the last two years I have experienced weight loss (and I'm talking about a difference of half a dress size to one full size) coinciding with hair loss, followed by weight gain and hair re-growth.

At first I thought the weight was caused by actual effort on my part, and the hair loss was caused by the weight loss.

But last autumn I shed both hair and body fat, yet I hadn't made any significant changes to my diet exercise. But there was still link between going bald and being able to fit into smaller jeans than before.

I started to think - if I could choose, would I prefer to be thin and bald, or fat and have a full head of hair? I couldn't decide. It's so nice to be a size 10 (NZ size) rather than a 12. But it's so nice to not  have to wear a wig or hat or feel self conscious about my head's resemblance to a kiwifruit.

It turns out that not only do I not get to choose, but maybe this summer I'm going to be fat and bald. Because in the last week I have had to get out my fat(ter) clothes again, yet I still have almost no eyebrows (and very little head hair).

Friday, September 14, 2018

I'll blame it on the menopause

It had to happen sometime, so I'm not really surprised that suddenly and randomly I feel very hot when no-one else is.

Quite possible it's overheating my brain.

I wasn't ready for the massive brain fog I experienced right in the middle of  my Taiko class a couple of weeks ago. I had great difficulty focussing on what I was doing, which ws really unfortunate as we've been learning a drum routine that involves moving around the drums in a coordinated fashion.

Brain fog isn't not very good for coodinated mobile drumming.

While my memory isn't great at the best of times, I've decided to blame my subsequent Taiko disasters in this change-of-life event too.

Last week I actually felt like I'd made some progress in learning the routine, but this week my ego back back to zero. I'm kind of competitive in a way - I don't have to be the best, but I really hate being the worst.

"I wonder if we are allowed to be beginners forever" I joked to a fellow drummer (who only started this term but is so much better at it than me). In response, she said that maybe I could talk to our teacher about it...

So because I hate to be the weakest link in the Taiko chain, I'm going to actually practice, and but I don't mean just watching the video of the advanced class doing the routine. I mean air-drumming and moving around the room like a ghost dancer.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

In a universe where I am a standard size

That universe happens to be this universe, back in the 60's and 70's.

It's a half-size pattern - Size 14 1/2 for bust measurement 37". Half sizes are for women with narrower shoulders compare with the Misses sizes, a fuller hip, and a height of 5'3" or 5'4". 

I think they must be for womanly figures (ie a bust that has been affected by gravity over the years) because the french darts and bust darts end EXACTLY where they are supposed to on me. (In Misses patterns the bust darts usually stop a little too high for me even when I don't "petite" the pattern.)

It's quite roomy at the hips but this is only partly because I'm relatively narrow hipped (compared to my shoulders - not compared to other women my height!). It's got quite a flared skirt so that's all good.

I only just finished my version of this dress late this afternoon so I don't have enough light for a good photo. But I will post one soon.
A close up of the neckline 

I made view B in a nicely textured navy blue cotton with little white stars/flowers all over (actually this would be great fabric for a summer jacket). I started out with long sleeves, but when I tried it on I realised it gave off a modesty vibe that I wasn't after. So I shortened them to just below the elbow dart. I also made some self-lined round patch pockets, because I hate to miss out on pockets.  They and the neckline are top stitched in white.

A close up of one of the round patch pockets

I still had to shorten the dress by probably 3 inches, so it finishes above my knee. It's got to be short or the modesty affect prevails.

Normally when I sew something with sleeves in a woven, the damn thing doesn't fit me until I take the sleeves off again. This dress fits great with sleeves (though the sleeves don't fit that well into the armcye - but I always have this problem with Big Four sewing patterns).

Monday, August 13, 2018

OMG - TLM is a teen!

The Little Madam turned 13 on Saturday.


She's definitely doesn't fit the stereotype of a teenage girl though - doesn't care about clothes (as long as they cover her up), completely uninterested in boys, and doesn't shower unless we force her to.

Based on what she's into now, TLM will grow up to make a living in graphic novel-writing, stand-up comedy or Pokemon. We love her so...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

At last, a compost bin

We have what I like to call a compost heap in our back yard, though in fact it's just organic landfill. I knew that just chucking banana peels and old cabbage leaves into the designated spot wasn't likely to produce the stuff that keen gardeners love so much. But I thought it would be better than putting them into the rubbish bin where there really will be added to landfill.

At last we have a "proper" composting system. A bin, with a lid, ventilation holes at the side and a sliding door (for retrieving the finished product) at the bottom. Woohoo! no more discarded fruit peels going mouldy from all the rain, no more wasps and no more feeling embarrassed when the man with the mower comes around...