Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Bolt of Gray Fleece, Granny Pants, & Underwear

Vogue V8778 Pattern - Took me about two hours to sew.
I think I might add some kangaroo pockets next time. It looks a little plain.
One would think that after completing the Weekender Bag, I'd be pretty tired of sewing this week. It's been the exact opposite! My fingertips are still a bit chafed, but I'm persevering. Hot off my Bernina today is the Katherine Tilton fleece top. A couple of things I did differently, I sewed the collar to the opposite side so it opens up on my right instead of left.  It doesn't really matter if you're not adding the zipper opening. I didn't add the sleeve inserts either. I couldn't find anything to match the fleece, and I prefer vest-like tops where I can layer a long sleeve shirt underneath.
Easy pattern for beginners. I only used three pattern pieces.
I could have gone down a size. I made it in large.
I bought this 10-yard bolt of fleece from Joann's Fabrics last February during a 50 percent sale. The whole thing was about $26 dollars. This averages out to $2.60 a yard. I thought I was getting a ridiculous steel when I got it, and from the outside, the fleece was really soft and cuddly. The fabric is cheap in price, and cheap in quality. What did I expect for $2.60 a yard huh?
I will probably be sick of this fabric by the end of Winter.
After sewing with it, I quickly learned how it can fall apart if there's any seam ripping involved (which I had because I sewed the edges to the collar neckline too long.) I couldn't really fix my collar error without damaging the fabric, so I did a work-around on the stitching, and it's not the "best" but it's not noticeable either. This fleece also deteriorates with any kind of strong heat, and I accidentally melted part of the collar trying to steam down the edges before topstitching. Of course I had to use the slightly melted side as the under collar.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on the G+ Community group about making some granny pants out of vintage polyester. What I really wanted was something super tapered like pencil pants. I remember wearing pants like this as a kid.  It's cute on kids, and then they turn into granny pants when you get older.

My challenge this week was remembering how to sew in a front fly pant zipper. I don't think I've done one in almost 20 years. I have been mostly sewing side zippers on pants, because I like the clean, flat pant fronts. But I'm looking to make some jeans and cargo pants soon, so I might as well start practicing. As usual, I couldn't figure out the instructions on the pattern.  But who should save the day? Sandra Betzina of course. Here is the tutorial I used online, and it's the BEST out there as far as explaining the process without stressssssssing me out. See her in action HERE.
I used a McCall's pattern for what looks like leggings, but view A, which is the bottom right in the picture below is actually PANTS!!! There are darts and a fly-front zipper. Who would have thought after just looking at these photos.
I think the next time I make these, I will use the legging pattern, which does not have side seams. But I did get the retro look, even though they don't look that great on. So I found someone who looked just like me but wearing a shorter version at the drug store. Hers had pockets, and I thought they were cute. And then I felt better about my granny pants.  :-)
Between the granny pants and fleece top, I decided to try my hand at copying RTW. I chose a pair of underwear that I've been wanting to copy since I saw the Hart's Fabric tutorial HERE.  These were hipsters, which I later adjusted the pattern to some basic briefs, AKA granny panties. Notice a running theme today? I had a t-shirt that was too small for everyone in the household to wear so I decided to use it as my muslin. No good...not enough stretch in the fabric. Wasting a perfectly good t-shirt made me sad.
The front is on the left. See where I taped a belly panel to turn it from a hip style to a brief?
I really liked this t-shirt, but it's child sized.

While I was about to make a t-shirt out of this super cute Paul Frank material, I decided to use a bit of it for my underwear pattern. There was definitely more stretch, but I have to see how it feels after I put in the elastic. It's now sitting in my "Waiting Pile" along with my corset pieces because I don't have the right elastic in my notion's stash. The giant roll of 3/8" elastic I bought off Amazon is actually rubber for bathing suits and too thick. Darn it! (I can't stand having uncompleted projects lying around.)
Yup...I copied and drafted this all by my lonesome.
One of the ladies from my sewing group will be around this weekend to help me with my corset. She's going to show me how to stitch a casing for the boning, and help me with cleaning up the fitting. I decided to do a pre-final version out of thin denim before cutting into my coutil. I still have to order grommet strips, lacing, and the busk. (Argh!) I'll be heading down to Lacis for the corset's steel boning after everything else is assembled and stitched. There's just so many components to organize.  I hope I don't get tired of making corsets after I'm done with this first one. 

I am using the Truly Victorian pattern for my corset.
I also re-shaped my dress form this week to see if I could get it more true to my body. It's okay, but I can't seem to get a true side seam. Making the taped dress form next year will probably really help. I'm trying to organize a class for that in late Winter. For now, I'm hoping the bodice muslin will help. Incidentally, while refitting the bodice, I noticed how my shoulders slope forward. I changed the shoulder line, and added the volume to the back bodice, and it looks pretty good. My body is probably morphing with age. 


I went through my stash again looking for fabric that I have not pre-washed. I found all my Shibori printed pieces I picked up this Summer on EBay, and two huge pieces of cool looking flannel that I've had for about ten years.  Just in time for pajama pants for the family!

After I was done with my projects, I noticed how full my scrap box was getting. There are pieces of material from every project I've made so far in this box. It's almost like a little fabric journal. Happy sewing everyone!