Friday, June 28, 2013

Winter in June

Winter is Coming.

Yes, I am aware of the fact that we've had multiple days of warm, humid, rainy weather in Chicago with no sign that it will drastically cool off anytime soon.  What better time to sew up a pair of winter-themed lounge pants!

Blue Flannel Tofino Lounge Pants

I've actually had the fabric cut out for a few months. I had the privilege of being a Tofino pattern tester earlier this year. At the time I had thoughts of making four of five pairs of Tofinos, but that was before I got sidetracked with life and other projects. This week I needed a break from over thinking my Hazel muslin, and this project fit the bill.

Pattern: Tofino by Sewaholic

Fabric: Blue snowflake flannel from Joann Fabrics, purchased piping, and thick blue knit fabric that I had lying around for the belt.

Construction notes: I cut out a size 8 with no additional modifications. They're lounge pants. I don't need to get fancy with them.

I'm absolutely in love with the piping detail. I think it makes the finished pants look so professional.

Tofino Lounge Pants Piping Detail

On a bittersweet note. I used this same fabric earlier this year to make my grandmother a house dress.  Unfortunately she passed away back in February, shortly after I gave her the dress. I happened upon the same fabric on clearance at Joann Fabrics. It brought back a lot of good memories, and made me remember how much she loved the dress, if only for a short time. I wanted to make a little something for myself out of the same fabric in remembrance, even if it was something as simple as lounge pants.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My New Fabric Design!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was working on a couple of fabric designs and was going to have them printed out on Spoonflower. It was something that I had wanted to do for a very long time. I also mentioned that I was having a few doubts on my first pattern, not because I didn't like the design, but because I wasn't sure if it would be something I would wear.

I just received my first order in the mail a few days ago, and I'm so excited!!!! I love it! Forget everything else, I'm just so proud to see my own design printed out.

I even have my own listing!

Redbuds and Chickadees

Thoughts on the quality and process: I'm really impressed with the quality and clarity of the print. It may be difficult to tell from my photo below, but trust me it's good. The colors are very close to what I saw on my computer screen.  I've noticed with other services (photo printing) that the colors tend to vary, especial when using purples. I'm guessing that the color calibration of my screen is similar to Spoonflower's. The design was also very crisp, with no bleeding.

I'm also pleasantly surprised with the fabric. I ordered a fat quarter of the most inexpensive Basic Combed Cotton, and I'm pretty impressed with the quality! I only wish I had ordered something fancier.

Here is a photo of actual fabric, and please excuse the poor quality. I am again without my good camera, and now also down all of my editing software because my laptop needs a new hard drive. (When it rains, it pours around here.)

I think I'm going to take back what I said about not wearing this print. In right fabric, and right pattern, I think it could work. I'd love to try ordering this in organic cotton knit and making a pair of lounge pants/shorts. Or, maybe the cotton voile and making a cute little top?

I can't wait to get my laptop fixed so I can continue work on my second design.  :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finished Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale

My new camera charger finally arrived! It officially beat the return of my good camera from downstate. And, I was finally able to get my finished Lonsdale photos. (Unfortunately, now my computer with all of my photo editing software is on the fritz, and trying to use Photoshop in safe mode is a pain! Oh well, the show must go on.)

Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale

Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale

Here are the details:

Pattern: Sewaholic's Lonsdale

Fabric: 1 3/8 yards of yellow cotton eyelet from Joann Fabrics. I'm so proud of myself for getting a Lonsdale out of this. The underlining was white mystery fabric from Vogue Fabrics and the lining was combination of assorted white muslin fabrics.

Size and modifications: I cut a size 6 at the top and scaled to an 8 at the waist. I also made a swayback adjustment and pinched the bodice in a bit.   I made these modifications about two years ago when I made my first Lonsdale (back in my pre-blog days), and blindly followed the pattern this time. Luckily, it still fit perfectly!

I did not have enough fabric for the slash pockets. I really love that design feature, but it did need to be sacrificed. Instead I used the Cambie pocket (View B), but any pocket would work.  In hindsight, I should have checked out Sewaholic's tips for using less fabric.  She suggests making facings for the pockets as an alternative, and I probably would have had enough fabric to do that.

Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale

I also had to piece together a few pattern pieces since I was working with so little fabric.  The fashion fabric straps were just too long to layout in one piece, so those are pieced together. The same went for the lining and underlining. I used up a lot of muslin that was lying around, and feel pretty happy with myself for doing that.

Interior of Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale

Finally, I had to shorten the skirt quite a bit in order to get it to fit on the eyelet. I used the View A skirt pieces, and then shortened by another 4 inches.  I'm very happy with the results.  Still long enough to make me feel comfortable, but short enough to feel very summery.

What I learned trying to piece together a pattern with too little fabric:
1. Non-directional prints are your friend. Or, just don't be too picky about matching patterns.
2. Omit or modify pockets.
3. Splice together long pieces. No one will notice and the sewing police won't haul you away.
4. Shorten the skirt.
5. Keep your fingers crossed that the hack job you're about to do actually works.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Random Ramblings

I finally have a finished Lonsdale to show, but no camera! I'm waiting to see what arrives at the apartment first - my husband with the good camera he took on an out of town project, or a new charger for my not so good camera. The race is on. My poor Lonsdale deserves a much better fate than being subjected to camera phone pics.

In the meantime, I'm curious to know if anyone has used Spoonflower ? I've just designed and ordered my first print, and am currently working on a second. Has anyone ever ordered from them or had their own designs printed? How was the experience? Were you happy with the fabric?

I'm actually fascinated by the entire design process. It's been a balancing act between trying to come up with a print that I like but also a print that I would wear and could see being made into a finished garment.

I think I missed the mark a bit with my first attempt, a bird and flower motif. I'll post a picture of it when it arrives. I very happy with the design, but see it as more of a quilt/home decor/lining fabric, if that makes sense. I'm still pretty proud of myself, more so for "breaking the seal" so to speak, and actually placing the order. I had been holding off for so long. And, I suppose that not all fabric has to be "garment appropriate", but that's really what I'm most interested in right now.

Which brings me to my second design. I'm currently working on a border print, inspired by 1800's hand painted pearlware. (It's not as random a topic as it sounds, but I'll save the origin story for another day.) This one I can definitely see as a dress - a Hazel actually.

Good news for me is that my Hazel pattern just arrived in the mail today. By the time I've made a muslin, and probably made my previously proposed white eyelet version, I should have my newly designed border print ready!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Home Stretch - Lonsdale Progress

Almost finished!

Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale In Progress

I'm so happy with the progress on my Lonsdale.  I just have a few tasks remaining: cut out and sew a skirt lining because the eyelet and underlining is still too sheer for comfort, sew the zipper and hem everything.  Depending on how much sewing time I can fit in today, it should be ready in another day or two.

I recycled and pieced together all I could from muslin that I had lying around for the lining and underling. I still did not have enough for a skirt lining and had to make a trek to Joann Fabric. I know, poor me had to go to the fabric store.

I'm so glad I did! There was a 50% off sale! (I know, when do they not have a sale?) I was so appalled by the evil conditions that the fabric was being kept in that I had to liberate some from Joann's. (And by evil conditions, I mean it wasn't home with me yet.)


White Eyelet

I usually try to stay away from all white because I'm afraid it will get dirty, but I just couldn't say no to this! I've been staring longingly at the Hazel's that have been popping up in the blog world and think this would be perfect for one.  Check out the amazingly blue eyelet Hazel made by Gail at Today's Agenda, or the white embroidered Hazel on the Colette blog.  When the time comes, I'll be underlining this with the light green fabric pictured above.

Also, I this beautiful Swiss Dot needed a good home.

White, Red and Blue Swiss Dot

I'm sure I've seen this fabric on at least one blogger's site already. (I'm sorry I can't remember where, but I remember it being beautiful!)  I don't know what's to become of it yet, but I think I might be starting a Lonsdale phase. Or maybe another Cambie? Or, can I squeeze a Chantilly from this?  So many choices, which is such a good problem to have :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just Takin' My Time, Sewing my Lonsdale

Quality sewing time has been kind of hard to find lately. Between being super busy at work, house hunt and most important, trying to spend time outside enjoying summer, I haven't made much progress on my Lonsdale.

I'm still plugging away on it, trying to do a little bit every night or two.  There's not much to report, but tonight I finally finished the bodice:

Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale Bodice

I underlined the yellow eyelet with white mystery fabric. (Is it cotton batiste? Is it some poly blend? Who knows, but I sure do love my mystery fabrics.) Only problem I found was that it was still too sheer.  I was originally going to use that for the lining, but instead chose to piece together the lining from left over muslin I had lying around.

It's become a game.  How far can I get before I break down and go to the fabric store? I think it might happen soon. The skirt might be too sheer for comfort without another layer.

Also, how amazing would a dress this color look with say a robin's egg blue belt?  I must find or make one to go with this!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beating the System

What's this?

Yellow Eyelet Lonsdale in Progress

Why, it's just the start of my Lonsdale using my 1 3/8 yards of yellow eyelet.

#Winning  #PatternHacks  #BeatingTheSystem