Thursday, August 4, 2016

Variety of fabrics for raglans

          I am going to continue sharing my Patterns for Pirates projects, because that is practically all I have sewn this summer, on my journey of sewing up my wardrobe and not buying any clothes.
          There are two raglan patterns from P4P, the relaxed fit and slim fit raglans. There is also an "accessory pack" full of options that you can use on either pattern. I thought the relaxed fit was going to be the one for me. My waist measures two sizes larger than the rest of my body, and I do not like to have things fitting me snugly there. So I got the relaxed pattern, and made a shirt. I decided that I would make it reversible since I had decent yardage of each of two fabrics that I wanted to use and couldn't decide which should be the body and which should be the arms.

        I spent longer than I should probably admit thinking about the pockets. This is not the first time I have done this to myself. I finally have come to terms with the fact that it is not possible to make a reversible garment with side seam pockets in which the same pockets are accessible from either side of the shirt. Because if you are making pockets with a pocket bag on the side seam, being able to access them from the inside and outside of the shirt would mean that your hand would go right through the shirt to the inside when you reached in. I know this sounds confusing, but I feel like I need to put this in print so that I don't try to rack my brain figuring out how to make it work another time. I ended up making a pocket for the righthand side of each version of the reversible shirt.
       But do you know what is possible? Following the directions exactly as they are written. If I had done that and made side seam pockets that are sewn to the front shirt piece (which I wanted to avoid for some reason), then I would have saved myself a lot of trouble and ended up with two pockets for each incarnation of the shirt. 
        Anyways. The fabrics for this shirt are so soft, and I like it a lot aside from that striped cuff fabric.  Doesn't  quite match.  But  I am going to  say it works. Tie dye from my  dirty hippy box from Knitpop; floral from that long ago knitfix from Girl Charlee, stripe from JoAnn's.                                 

         I also wanted to use a raglan pattern to make myself a rash guard. I asked on facebook what people thought about sizing down the regular and many were adamant that the slim fit and regular are completely different patterns and that sizing one down does not yield the other. And then they had a sale, and I ended up with the Slim fit raglan in my cart along with a few other things. It seemed like the way to go for a rash guard. I did grade between sizes when I cut the pattern, and man this is why I sew my own clothes. It feels like such a miracle to be able to grade sizes and turn a pattern for something that I thought I wasn't capable of wearing any longer into something that I LOVE to wear. This is more of the nylon spandex I bought from Spandex House for all of our swimwear.
There's my rash guard. Fits well through the arms, shoulders etc. but is loose at the abdomen. 
I will have to get a picture of me twinning with Fern!

         I splurged on some merino wool from New Zealand Merino and Fabrics when we got our tax return. The shipping was steep, but that is to be expected since it came from the other side of the world. The conversion rate from kiwi $ to US was definitely in my favor though.  Both my husband and my favorite store, Ibex, is not a cheap place to shop and I had been looking for a place to buy merino wool so that I could try to make us some performance clothing items that would be on par with something we love to buy ready made. Also, I would like to buy merino products for the kids but really can't justify it seeing how fast they grow out of things. So this purchase made sense in many ways. I had been scared to cut into this lovely stuff though, until I practiced my ideal pattern on another type of fabric and got the fit right. I had been thinking that I wanted to make myself a regular fit raglan, but through sewing both of the previous shirts, I realized that when I grade, the slim fit raglan is perfect for me unless I am wanting to make a bulky sweatshirt style shirt.
         So I made a slim fit,
with a wrap around hood,

and side seam pockets as the pattern instructs

except that I added a zipper to one of those side pockets.

I also used the thumb hole cuffs and enjoyed seeing the way Judy teaches thumbholes. It was totally different than what I have done in the past.
 I love everything about this shirt. It would have cost big bucks if I bought it elsewhere and I got all of the details I wanted with a perfect fit. Not to mention the satisfaction of knowing I made it. Winning all around.

        I continued on and have made one more slim fit raglan so far. I used the gorgeous purple dahlia on blue poly cotton spandex from Knitpop. It is a pretty basic shirt, but it represents everything I love about sewing. The print had been calling to me for a while. Some do that. It is interesting to me how different ones say different things to different people. As it is with all art. But the colors, the size of the print, the different take on the popular floral theme, I love it. I also love this pattern. The print is so exceptional that I knew I would use a fairly plain pattern that doesn't distract from the fabric. Also, while it may seem that the fit is not super flattering in photos, it is exactly what I want. I'm fairly square, so there aren't that many curves to accentuate, and I am tired of being asked if I am pregnant. I also love leggings and slim leg jeans, yet I lack tunic length tops. So this covers many categories for me, with the tunic length and graded out waist and again I LOVE IT. 

So there are my four raglans from this summer so far. 

I have some short sleeved versions planned as well.
Such a great staple item that can come to life in so many different ways depending on the fabric choice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Handmade wardrobe goals and P4P

         I tend not to make super specific New Year's Resolutions, because I have a hard time keeping them. I have yet to break the habit of destroying my cuticles for instance. I do like to think of goals that may span the year though, or things that I want to accomplish or hobbies or projects to work on. Somewhere around the turn of the year, Katy of No Big Dill was announcing her plan to not buy any new clothes this year. As I've been enjoying sewing so much lately, that seemed like a reasonable and fun goal to me. There is also a lot of noise about creating a capsule wardrobe. Colette has a series called the wardrobe architect which is totally worth checking out. I know I could benefit from this.
       I haven't really tackled both of those things though. Doing the capsule thing involves more purging than I have done yet. I will get there. In the meantime I have been distracted by pretty fabric and the idea that I want to be capable of sewing any item that I want in my closet. This has meant that I have been sewing with fabrics that are new to me. And spending money on said fabric. So that lead to a third goal for the year: to sew with patterns more often! Good patterns not only save time, frustration and wasted fabric, but they teach you new tricks and tips as you use them, and they are so worth it as I continue my journey of educating myself as a seamstress.
         This brings me to the other site I was alluding to in my last post; the other sewing related business that I am obsessed with. Judy Hale and her Patterns for Pirates. This woman has made a huge impact on the revolution of (mostly) women sewing their own clothes. Most of her patterns are for women, but there are plenty for girls and boys and even some in there for men. And these are reasonably priced patterns for everyday staple items that you will use constantly. They are great ways to fill in gaps or to make an entire wardrobe. There is also a P4P facebook group that is almost 24,000 members strong, filled with people that share their creations, ask and answer questions about the patterns and provide encouragement for other members in a way that is uplifting to see. So if you are thinking about sewing something for yourself, just do it. Join the P4P page, check out the coupons she has for facebook group members, and take the plunge.
         One of the most iconic patterns from Patterns for Pirates is the peglegs. This is a basic legging pattern which, it must be said, requires a fabric with at least 50% stretch in both directions. (This is one of the patterns with a FREE coupon code if you join the fb group). I am in love with it. The pattern has four lengths: shortie, biker, capri and full length.
         I have sewn three plus one: shortie, biker, capri and a version between the shortie and biker length.
Fabric from left to right: Knitpop cotton spandex, Girl Charlee Rayon Spandex, a poly spandex blend from JoAnn's, back to the knitpop again

I basically followed the pattern as written, except for making the blue pair at an in between length (which I prefer to the shortie). The one other modification was doubling the height on the waistband on the purple bikers. This was my first pair and I had heard folks say they like to do that to create a control panel. It does work as this I think, but looks pretty maternity if I get caught with my shirt pulled up! In any case, I like them all and definitely will be making piles more for fall. 

 So like a dummy, I cut two of the same piece of these  instead of mirror images. So I ended up making two pairs. And I ended up giving the other pair to my mom! She seemed psyched about them which was great. She is going to use them as her beach shorts for the summer. They are super soft, I want to live in them.

Paisley pegs, perfect!

Thanks for stopping by!