Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cool Shorts for My Guy

With summer coming, I realized that Phin needed more shorts in his wardrobe. And since I have the perfect pattern for him already worked out, I decided that it would be no big deal to sew up two more pairs and just change around some of the details.

Remember these?

Front: Gusseted patch pockets with heaps of top stitching

Back: The most laborious patch pockets ever with pleats and flaps

Well, this time, instead of the labor-intensive patch pockets with all of their pleats, gussets, flaps and top stitching, I decided to convert the front pockets to slash pockets and the back pockets to just one double welt pocket. It should tell you something about how labor intensive the pockets on the first shorts were if a welt pocket is a time saving alternative.

So, here are Phin's two new shorts.

I sewed the seersucker ones first. I had to do a little experimentation with drafting the slash pockets. They ended up just large enough. And I should have made the pocket facing larger so that there would be no risk of the pocketing showing.

Also, Phin and I decided that the seersucker model should have cuffs, which I think is a fun detail that makes them look different from his other shorts.

Phin likes to put his wallet and/or phone in his back left pocket, despite being right handed. This strikes me as odd since I favor the right back pocket, myself. But maybe I'm the strange one? At any rate, the welt pocket is on the back left side and I used my trusty welt pocket method - Kenneth King's Designing Details: Pockets class on Craftsy. It really is a no-fail method IMHO.

Welt pockets outside

Welt pockets inside

The second pair of shorts are in a lime green cotton twill. They have the same pockets as the seersucker shorts, although the slash pockets have been enlarged just a bit for Phin's big paws. Again, I should have made the facing a bit larger.

Phin really likes the remnant I used for pocketing 

Slash pockets from the inside

So, there you have it. Two new shorts to compliment the originals. I think this is a pretty successful experiment in making three shorts from the same pattern, but mixing up the details so that they don't look like the same exact shorts.

The only other details are that I used my TNT fly method, also from a Kenneth King Craftsy class - Jean-ius.  All the seam allowances are finished by serger. I'll add that these two shorts are some of my most nicely and neatly sewn garments. The insides really look good!

And now here are some shots of Phin wearing the shorts. These are both after hours of wear and while chasing Taco around various yards - not wrinkle-free staged shots, but in actual use.

First, the green ones in our yard...

Not sure Phin knew I was taking this photo...

And here are the seersucker ones on Father's Day at my parent's house. Looking at all these pictures, I can't help thinking that this daddy thing really agrees with Phin, but maybe it's the shorts.

Taco agrees.

And we're out...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WIP's: Sewing Frosting! Woo Hoo Hoo!

I'm really giddy about my next two projects! It's been a while since I've sewn something that is strictly frosting. Yum! But my cousin is getting married in July, and so I've got a very special occasion to sew for.

The wedding will be a fusion of Indian and Western traditions to honor both families. During the daytime events, the women will all wear saris! Look, I bought a sari...

Sari mirror selfie

Really, a sari is just a whole lot of gorgeous fabric that you get to wrap yourself up in. What could be better? And since I probably won't have many - if any - occasions to wear one again, I can sew it up into a fabulous mini wardrobe after the wedding. But that's not what I'm working on now..,

My first project is for my sister. She bought a sari, but thanks to being extra curvy and busty was having some trouble finding a sari blouse (the top worn under the sari) that she liked. So, I am using the bodice from the new Cashmerette Upton dress pattern to make her blouse.

I'm excited for an opportunity to sew a Cashmerette pattern. Muslin 1.0 is sewn and we'll be fitting this weekend.  In the meantime I bought some mouthwatering gold silk taffeta that really goes well with the sari's trim at Mood to use for the bodice.

That is the trim in the middle. The sari is royal blue.

It's really difficult to photograph metallic iridescent fabric, but you get the idea that it is a luxe gold silk.

And then their is a project for me! The reception in the evening will be black tie optional. So, rather than a gown, I've decided to sew myself a lady tux. I was feeling inspired by these designer versions.

LtoR: Alexander McQueen, Nicole Miller, Jason Wu, Balenciaga, ASOS-Warehouse

I'm using McCalls 7366 for mine.

It's even got a cummerbund.

Isn't it fun and sexy?  

So, right now I am muslining. And I'm really amused by the fabric I dug out to use as muslin. It's black delustered satin. Very longtime readers will remember that once upon a time, I sewed yards and yards of this fabric into curtains for the high-ceiling-ed industrial space that one of my sisters used as her wedding reception venue.  I had to set up a sweat shop with my sisters and mom just to get the job done. The venue's owners liked the curtains so much they asked to keep some, but the remaining ones (45 yards worth) made it back to me where they have been used as muslin and in other projects... 

Like Hogwarts robes...

My little nephew who is now a teenager and is taller than me. 

Anyway, curtains muslin version 1.0 was a disaster. What I learned is that this McCalls pattern actually should be sewn according to envelope size and not the size I normally sew. I could barely get the trousers over my hips and there was no way they were going to close. The top also would not close in the back. The most meaningful information I learned was that I needed to add another 1.5" of length to the top so that it would actually meet the bottoms. I honestly can't remember the last time I've sewn anything McCalls that I didn't need to go down several sizes. 

I've gone back to the pattern to make length changes, and have already cut muslin 2.0... two sizes larger. And I've learned my lesson: always check finished measurements, even if you are fairly confident in your sizing.

I haven't decided on a final color or fabric for the "tux".  I want it to be very dressy, so I am thinking that it has to be a rich jewel tone or black. Any thoughts or suggestions?