16 October 2014

Sewing Update

Life's been a little busy the last couple weeks. We had a trip down to Seattle for Thanksgiving and E. suddenly sprouted a bunch of new teeth. I took a class at Knit City the weekend before Thanksgiving, which was marvelous, but I didn't bring the camera so I've no pictures from the event. I've managed to do some sewing but I keep forgetting about the blog. I have good intentions, but we know where those lead.

I have signed up for KCW Fall 2014, so next week I'll be doing more sewing, accompanied by more blogging, but here's what I've been making over the last month:

Charles Pants

I signed up to be a tester for Compagnie M.'s newest pattern, the Charles pants. E. now has a pair of adorable Charles shorts. She's on the short side, so the shorts are on the long side. Not a bad thing, in my opinion--I lean towards knee-length shorts myself. The Charles pattern is adorable--there are two length options and an overalls option. I love the buttons on the fronts of the pants, and the contrasting colour waistband and pockets. I put in the back elastic waistband option and did some fancy top-stitching with one of the options on my sewing machine that I hadn't tried out before. The fabric I used was a dark blue corduroy I'd found at the thrift store and a red plaid flannel that was in some leftover scraps from a friend. The 1-year-old size did not use a lot of fabric at all--not even a full meter! Possibly not even half a meter. I wasn't measuring to see how much I used up.

E. in her Charles shorts, back view
The pattern was fairly easy to follow, and none of it was much of a stretch for me. I haven't done a lot of buttonholes on my new machine, and it got grouchy on the last one because I hadn't switched to a new needle yet, but that was the biggest hiccup. E.'s shorts are a little large in the waist, despite the adjustable waistband, because this was the test pattern. I wasn't able to stay in for the second round of testing, and I haven't yet tried out the new version of the pattern (on the list for KCW next week!), but I have heard that the waistband is a better fit now. Of course, she just had a growth spurt and is now taller and skinnier so I may need to add an extra buttonhole or two into the waistband elastic when I make it next week.

Charles pants from the side front, with E.'s camera face.

Lotta Dress

Yes, I'm on a Compagnie M. kick. I bought Lotta, Mara, and Louisa last month. Then I tested Charles, so I have that one, too. I still need to get a hold of some cording so I can make piping for Mara, but Louisa is on the list's for next week.

I made Lotta last week over a few afternoons. It came together quickly, but it had a couple firsts for me. I took the plunge and learned how to do an invisible zipper. I highly recommend the zipper mini-class on Craftsy (and no, I don't get paid for that, I just think it's pretty cool). I went out and bought an invisible zipper foot for my machine. It happened to be on sale at the nearest fabric store when I went in, so that was a lovely coincidence. And of course, installing an invisible zipper is much easier than I thought it would be. Even installing it with a lining is easier than I thought it would be. I also did my first blind hem. Again, not as hard as I thought it would be.

The fabric was a striped plain-weave that I got when my grandmother was getting rid of fabric. I don't know what it's made out of--I just know it's machine-washable. The lining is a blue broadcloth, again from the bag of scraps (like the plaid in the Charles shorts). I used orange buttons on the neckline and pockets. I had to shorten the bodice and the skirt. I didn't bother taking the bodice in, so she can wear long-sleeved shirts underneath the dress this winter more easily.

She seemed happy enough with the dress. At this age, I think she likes it when she grabs it and runs around the room with it (that means she really likes that old tank top I use as a pajama shirt). It's hard to tell. She still hasn't discovered that stuff can go in pockets, so once we've had that revelation I foresee E. using this dress to carry a lot of rocks around.

E. in her Lotta dress at the beach.

Next time I make the dress, I'm doing different sleeves, just for fun, and maybe moving the neckline notch up just the tiniest bit (no more than 1/2 a centimeter), since it's a bit deep on E. Curse of the tiny child.

My list for next week includes a Louisa dress, a pair of Charles pants, a cape, and a vest. We're going hobbit for Halloween this year, so the pants, the vest, and the cape all figure in to that. I just need to find something woolly and green for the cape and maybe something brown for the pants (or I'll stick with the navy corduroy; not sure yet). The vest will be reverse-engineered from my favourite cashmere cardigan. I've finally given up darning the underarms, since a new hole sprouts whenever I put it on. I have something that may work for the pants lurking in a box, but I think I may need to take a trip to the fabric store for the cape outer fabric. Might be an excuse to finally check out Fabricana, now that it's actually nearby. I've heard marvelous things about it. And on that note, it's probably time to stop blogging and start cutting out pattern pieces.

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