Thursday, 28 July 2016

Summertime Shorts

We've been having a heatwave here in Britain, and I needed some more shorts. I had what I thought was a pretty good pattern, but measuring the waistline I wonder how on Earth I ever managed to zip my un-stretched shorts up! I must have made some colossal mistakes when measuring or something because I've had to increase the waist measurement considerably (and, no, I haven't got that much bigger -- as if I could gain weight!).

The inspiration for these shorts is a blend of Audrey Hepburn's shorts in Sabrina, and some shorts I have already designed and made. They are quite short, but not hot pants, and I've flared the legs a bit since toiling so they will hopefully be a bit more elegant.


The initial fit (after adjusting the waist measurement on Illustrator) was pretty good. The waistband pokes out a bit at the front, but I think that's due to the fairly straight waistline on the front pieces. I've corrected that since. The waistline fits actually on my waistline all the way around. They're comfortable.

I did have a 1cm discrepancy on the inseam -- the back needed lengthening there, but now it matches the front. I think that may account for the funny fit on the toile.
I've since flared the back leg pieces so they don't cup the cheeks so. I was working off a photo of Audrey Hepburn:
Audrey Hepburn filming for the film 'Sabrina'
There seemed to be some variable camel toe on the front. It wasn't major and I wasn't sure what to do about it, so I've left it for now. We'll see if it disappears when I use proper fabric. :)


Front of shorts. I will change the pattern so that the pockets start farther from the centre front.

Back. I love how neatly this invisible zip turned out!

That caterpillar thing you can see is the hand-stitched bar for the hook and bar fastening.

Hand chain-stitching along the front pockets

The gusset not only makes these shorts so much more comfortable for cycling,
but it improves the look of the fit too!

The cuffs. I pressed them, but they still need a little help to stay up neatly, so...

... I hand tacked them up at the front and back of each leg.

I was going to have the back pockets match, but I like the lining (Liberty cotton) 
so much that I have it on show! And I used a serpentine stitch along the tops
of the back pockets, just because it's pretty. :)

The hems. Overstitched, herringbone stitched, and topstitched about 3mm
from the cut edge. I will increase the hem allowance on the pattern. :)

Front view

Side view with pocket

Profile view. A somewhat more discreet fit than the toile, I think. 
And I'm glad they didn't turn out to be 'flared'. :)

I'm happy with that fit. One day I will master the back view shot.

Outfit shot. I love this sweater from The Sweater Shop in York, 
and my boots from TKMaxx! I'm not being paid to say that. We'll unless
The Sweater Shop sees my photo and gives me 10% off my next purchase :).

All in all, I LOVE these shorts! They’re so comfy! They fit just right too.


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Lace-Blocked Tee

This is a 'quick' project that has taken me about a month or so because my guitar kept distracting me and begging me to play it ;). It's based on my TNT French Woven Tee pattern (self-drafted), but adapted to have a yoke-kimono cap sleeve, a separate bodice section, and the dart shifted higher up the side seam. I had the fabric in my stash from previous college projects and thought I'd use it up to make a nice summer top.
This was also an opportunity to try to improve my photography/modelling skills and as it is the middle of summer (hottest day of the year so far! Woo!) I could take advantage of the late golden hour.
Lace-blocked tee, front
The idea is that it looks like a bodice and tunic, sort of. A modern version, if you will, that doesn't look like a costume. :)
To begin with the sleeves were huge and I didn't like it. So I took them in at the shoulder seam and considerably reduced the length (about an inch or so). Regrettably I didn't think to take photos as I was too eager to change it and see if I could make the top likeable. Which I did, and I'm happy with it now. There is, however, one slight issue: the back.
Lace-blocked tee, back
You can't see it here, because I put the buttons on the wrong side (that's not the issue).
Lace-blocked tee, back 2
Because of the way I finished the opening, you can see the yellow placket. Ugh. (Side note, the bottom of the placket DOES NOT look like that in real life. This must be a very bad angle).
Lace-blocked tee, details 1
Now for details. The top and bottom of the 'bodice' part are edged with running stitches. You may remember this feature from my FMP at Bishop. This top's style continues from that collection. The neckline was finished by sewing stay tape along the WS, turning the s.a. under, and double-stitching. This allows for the nicest finish from the outside, I feel. The sleeves are hemmed similarly, but sans stay tape. Lace doesn't fray, so neatening the seams is optional.
I chose to make the sleeves kimono sleeves. I thought this would be best. It uses less fabric and gives a cleaner look to the top.
(PS. The safety pin is a political thing as a result of Brexit. It's to show that I won't be racially abusive to you, so you can talk to me. :) )
Lace-blocked tee, details 2
The top button is a cool decorative one from my button jar. The rest are clear ones. I like using clear buttons on light-coloured fabrics. I think it looks more expensive. (Gah! In all these photos the edges of the top don't line up! They did when I was sewing. I'm going to have to ask someone in real life how it looks!)
All in all, I'm quite pleased with this new top. It's comfortable to wear (as it should be, having been drafted from my TNT block) and it looks good.
-- Sabrina