Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Things I've Sewn Lately: Sewaholic Thurlow Shorts

Generally, I neither wear nor sew pants. Being a pear, I have a difficult finding pants that fit and are comfortable. Plus, I have this weird thing where pants give me stomach aches if I wear them for long periods of time. My mama says I'm special. 

But, since I love Sewaholic patterns, I decided to give the Thurlow trousers a go. 

I have a difficult time articulating how much I love these shorts. Hint: It's a lot. 

I was so darn proud of myself after I made these, you guys have no idea. 

I was more apprehensive with this pattern than with most, but the envelope measurements, which haven't failed me yet with Sewaholic, put me at a near-perfect size 8 for these so I traced out the pattern. I'd never traced a pattern before, but it made me a little more confident not to have to cut into my $18 pattern for an experiment. 

The fabric I used for these is actually a cotton-poly bedsheet from the thrift store. (Cheaper than muslin!)

I made a few mistakes -- in the picture above you can see the waistband got a little wonky -- but overall, these turned out very wearable. So wearable, in fact, that I wish I'd done a classier seam finish than pinking, but oh well. 

These were also my very first welt pockets and I think they came out passable. They're much better on my second pair, though. I think welt pockets are probably one of those things that get easier with practice. 

I didn't realize this until after I made my second pair, but I think I did the waistband and fly backward. I kind of like it the way it is -- all of my jeans have the fly on that same side -- but I will need to take a closer look at the pattern when I make my third pair and, if nothing else, lengthen one waistband piece and shorten the other.

Other than that unintentional bit of alteration, these fit really well straight out the envelope. I made no fit alterations.

I didn't have any fancy hooks and eyes for this pair, so I just used two buttons from my button collection. Fun fact: As a child, I collected buttons and I still have my collection, which mostly consists of single buttons. Perfect for pants, but not for much else.

These shorts are great for hanging out with the dog in the backyard and teaching her about the deer she needs to keep away from my garden. 

They're also perfect for things like the Grand Prix of Baltimore, which is where I wore these. They're so light and lovely for hot days. And, bonus, they don't give me stomach aches!

I highly recommend this pattern to all my pear-shaped ladies out there. I'm not afraid of pants anymore!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Things I've Sewn Lately: Butterick B 5748 -- New Favorite Dress!

You guys, I have a new favorite dress. 

This is the second Butterick reproduction pattern I've done, and I'm in love. As with most Big Four patterns, the trick with this pattern is to sew from the finished measurements. I did an 8 at the bust and graded to a 10 at the waist and the fit is lovely. (For reference, if I had sewed from pattern measurements, I'd have done a 12 graded to 14 -- holy ease!)

Since this is the first go-round for this dress, I made it out of a cotton-poly blend bed sheet from the thrift store -- well two bed sheets, really, since it's a fully lined dress.

The construction for this pattern, incidentally, is very very simple. I pulled this dress together in two nights.

The best part is the low scoop back -- I love to show off my back, and the higher front neckline paired with a low back is one of my favorite looks.

The skirt is a full circle, so this does take up a fair amount of fabric, but I love a circle skirt for wearing ease. They're just so comfy. Sitting on the ground cross-legged in a circle skirt is never a problem!

The one adjustment I made was to slightly change the zipper. It was supposed to be one of those side zippers that has a few inches of garment above the top of the zipper, but I think those make it really annoying to get dressed, so I made it open all the way to the top of the armhole. I also used the Cambie method and stitched the lining to the zipper, so the dress is very clean inside -- and would be completely reversible if the lining wasn't shorter than the dress fabric! ;-)

I think next time, though, I'd just go with a center back zipper. I wore this dress all day yesterday and the underarm zipper was annoying me by the end of the day. 

The one sadness for dresses like these is that I find them infinitely more comfortable than, say, my jean shorts. But whenever I wear stuff like this, people always comment on how dressed up I am. Does that happen to you? It always makes me really self-conscious. 

In general, though, I think this is a perfect dress for summer and I highly recommend this pattern -- just don't forget what I said about the ease!

Have you made any of the Butterick repro patterns? What did you think?