After completing the 52 Made On Monday pieces earlier this year and then finding lots of extra time as I started taking some leave from work, I began, finally, cutting out and making some clothes from the multitude of fabrics I have in my stash. Whilst I have a cupboard full of cotton fabric for my quilting and textile art endeavours, I also have a cupboard full of fabric for making clothes…….
When I was younger I used to make all my clothes, however, I have since lapsed into only making individual items on rare occasions. Now that I had more time, I found myself wanting to do something different and hence the clothes making began…..
As I began, I remembered how I hated cutting out…….. It is really hard to sew something without cutting it out! Hard to believe, when I love cutting up bits of fabric for quilting and textile art. Cutting fabric with the rotary cutter and ruler for quilting is very therapeutic. So is cutting out shapes for applique…..
Cutting out clothes patterns (it seems) is very stressful for me. So I was determined to perfect a few key patterns, re draft them as required, to ensure a perfect fit in order to take all the stress away.
I have perfected a pattern for a simple top, 2 jackets and a slim line pair of ¾ pants. Perfect as we come into spring……
The first jacket I made was too big in the shoulders. I amended them using a large fold and making it a feature. This feature made the shoulder more stable and created a fitted look without the use of shoulder pads. I have since worn the jacket a couple of times and will continue to wear it through spring as it is very light weight.
The second jacket was tricky as the fabric I used was thick and extremely stretchy, however, some of the mistakes I made ended up being very nice features. I seem to do that a lot. A simple pattern ends up taking a lot longer as I try and fix a part that doesn’t fit very well. The effort was well worth it as I love the fabric and am happy with the finished product.
The front panels were way too big…. Not sure how that happened, I think I was trying to adjust the sleeves based on the first jacket to ensure shoulders weren’t too big…. Back ended up being perfect but not the front.
I fixed it by putting two big tucks across the front panels near the base of the collar – cut off the excess fabric and made it a feature seam…
I also finished the seams of the jacket with a patterned stitch. The front of the jacket is a little warped due to the patterned stitching causing it to stretch, but I think I kind of like it that way…..
I certainly learnt that when dealing with extremely stretchy fabric you need to use interfacing if you don’t want it to stretch. Live and learn!
I used that lesson on the pants I recently made. I amended an existing pattern in order to make slimmer fitting pants. I went too far and made them too tight around the calves. Again, not being one to give up and trash all the hard work…. I undid the side seems. I hate using the quick unpick or seam ripper, but seem to be using it a lot lately…..
I didn’t want to leave the big gaping side panel as it was, so decided to shorten them further and use some machine embroidery on a panel insert. Embroidered pants seems to be in at the moment. I made sure I interfaced the fabric before I used a patterned stitch and am fairly pleased with the result. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear them.
I made sure I amended the pants pattern slightly before I cut out the second pair from a fabulous fabric I found that has an embossed type pattern on it.
I now have two pairs of ¾ pants I can’t wait to wear……. Happy Sewing until the next instalment. Cheers Cora.