Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Gertie Pedal Pushers

Pattern Description: 
Butterick B5895 - Pedal pushers with pockets and rolled cuffs.  My first "Patterns by Gertie!"

Pattern Sizing:
I traced off and cut out the size 12 (26.5/36)  My actual measurements: 29.5/39.

Fabric Used:
Dark blue denim reminant from Fabric Outlet

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Deepened the darts in the back to narrow the waist a bit. Moved the zipper closure over to the side.  I may replace the hook closure with a button at some point in the future.

Used some left over quilting cotton with a Japanese print instead of self-lining the pocket.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. I imagined that the front bit with the pockets would be difficult but it was SO easy.  Everything fits together perfectly. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Love the front detail and the SUPER easy pocket. (...and I never like pockets!)

As usual, with a modern pattern, I sewed up one size smaller than my actual measurements and it's still a titch big in the waist.  This is after I deepened the darts by a half inch each.  Damn waist to hip ratio!  OH well.

Absolutely HATED the back zip.  Did nothing at all for my bootie and created some pretty horrid gaposis (verging on plumber's crackosis) when I sat. Sigh.  I was much happier after I moved the zip to the side but I've still got some gaposis going on back there.  As it is now, my best and most authentic pin-up (read: granny) pants peek over the top a bit in back when I sit.  (Yeah, that's right, I gots no shame.)

This is a bummer because pin-up granny pants are the best thing ever under trousers. They don't make underwear lines, they erase tummy bulges, and I think they help to create a more vintage silhouette. Luckily I have a slightly less authentic pair of grannies that don't peek over.

Next time I will raise the waistline and deepen the darts even more.  I think that will help with the gaposis and also make them look much more like real vintage jeans.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, with alterations for a better fit.  This is a super easy pants pattern with a nice retro look.  I'd like to make an ankle length pair and a pair of shorts. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Sort of.  I imagined that the waist would be a smidge higher.  As you can see in the photos below it hits just below my natural waist. Next time I'll adjust for that.  Also thought that the legs would be narrower, especially at the bottom cuff.  I may narrow them later as, at the moment, the hems definitely look better flipped up.

There are elements to these trousers that I really like.  In particular the pockets are delightful.  I think that, over all, I like the fit of my tried and true 60s pants pattern (Simplicity 4401) a bit better and will continue to use it for slacks.  For banging out a quick pair of knock-about jeans, tho, this pattern is pretty easy and pretty cute.


And that's quite enough photos for one post!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stashbusting Can Be Groovy

Even though I've pretty much stopped buying fabric, my stash keeps growing.  I always say yes when someone is cleaning out a storage space and wants to give me a few yards of this and that. There is always some really good stuff in those bags of discarded fabric.  There is usually also some stuff that is really not my style but that I will probably never get rid of because, well,  it turns out that I am a fabric hoarder. Le sigh.

So this year I am making a concentrated effort to sew more often and to sew from the stash and to use up the fabric that I think is hideous challenging.  I'm also going to try to use up some of the fabrics that I love so much that I am afraid to cut.  I mean, it's only fabric, right? Riiiiiight....

It is sort of like eating your veggies, stash-busting.   It's not that you don't like peas and carrots, or you wouldn't have selected them in the first place.  But when everyone else is nomming cake and licking frosting off of their fingers, the peas and carrots can seem a little unappetizing.  Still, veggies are good for you so you come up with ways to make them more appealing.

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes a fabric that you really thought was icky looks much better when it's made up into something totes adorable.  For example, this is a super stretchy moss green faux suede with an embroidered pattern all thorough it in teal blue and light green. Yikes, right? It's pretty terrible.

I don't remember who I got this from so, if they are reading this, I hope they don't take offence.  I'm sure they loved it when they bought it and their vision for what it could be was obviously clearer than mine. But every time this floated up to the top of the stash pile, I'd think, "WTF am I ever going to use this for?" Recently it ended up on top again and I decided that it was time to figure it out.  

Whatever I made had suit the wackadoo vibe of the fabric but still be something I'd wear. It also had to be pretty small because I only had just over a yard of it.  My choices were limited to...oh, I don't know, lederhosen and a matching vest (tempting!) or a hippie mini dress.  I went with a mini dress from 1970.

I chose this pattern because it's pretty groovy with that way out collar and the lacing in the front. Embroidered faux suede is nothing if not groovy, IMHO. 

There was barely enough fabric to cut out all the pieces so I had to get pretty creative with the layout.  It wouldn't work unless I shortened the minidress quite a bit from the get-go.  After a little measuring and a lot of eyeballing, I decided that I could take about four inches off the skirt length (these patterns are always much longer than the illustration would have you believe)  but I'd have to give up on the possibility of a proper hem.

I was a little worried about construction because the collar seemed like it would be extra fiddly, but this dress went together quickly and without incident.  A zipper was unnecessary because the fabric is so stretchy.  Hooray!   The only thing I don't like is how thick some of the seam joins ended up and that the sleeve facings don't want to lie flat.  The hem problem was an easy fix: serge, fold, iron, and top stitch flat.

And peoples, despite the fact that I did not love this fabric at all when I started, I gotta admit, this dress is supa cute!

 It looks great in the dining room AND the living room.

...and it makes me feel like Fay Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair.

Which is a pretty groovy way to feel.