A Little Bit of Sunshine

I’ve been waiting to take photos of these two garment since just after new Year, in the desperate hope that I’d be able to get photos of them outside in the sun somewhere, but life kept conspiring against me. Picnics were rained off, or I was unable to attend, or it was too cold to wear shorts…eventually I decided to just photograph them in my sewing room as usual! Of course, once I did that the rest of the day was stunningly sunny, so I could have got my outdoor shots if I had been willing to bribe someone to take the photos, but never mind! You’ll just have to use your imaginations.

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These are some more of the things which I sewed during my stay at home sew-a-thon over New Year. I’ve made both patterns before, the camisole is the Ogden from True Bias (see versions one and two here), and the shorts are the Grainline Studio Maritime Shorts. I made my first pair of Maritime Shorts two years ago, and I think they may have been my first ever go at sewing trousers. I still wear them, but they definitely have some fitting issues! I knew they weren’t quite right when I first blogged them, but I wasn’t sure where the problem was originating, or how to fix it…

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When I went back and looked at the photos from that post, I thought that probably the problem was not enough length in the crotch curve in the bum of my original shorts. I laid the back piece of the maritime shorts over the back piece of the Ralph Pink Panthea Shorts (because although I think there are some serious issues with that pattern, those shorts fit my bum well). The crotch curve was definitely longer on the Panthea shorts, so I traced it off, blending into the original Maritime curve about half way up.

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That’s the original underneath, with my modified version sitting on top. It’s such a tiny difference, but it really has made a huge difference to the fit and comfort of the shorts. I also added an inch to the hem of my traced version, and them added another two inches to the hem when  I was cutting out, as I remembered how short my other pair is!

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The other major modification I made to the shorts was to remove the fly front, and put an invisible zip in the side seam.

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This is a modification which I shamelessly stole from Sarah over at Fabric Tragic, and it’s such a good idea! Not only does it remove the hassle of sewing a fly (I know, I know, it isn’t that hard, but it can be a fiddle), but it gives a nice smooth front which I think I prefer in shorts, especially when I’m wearing looser tops. It was easy enough to do, I just sewed straight up the front crotch, and cut the waistband on the fold (at the CF mark instead of the edge of the pattern piece, otherwise it’ll be too long!). Then it was as easy as sewing the invisible zip in the side seam, all the way up though the waistband.

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The fabric is another Cotton + Steel/Rifle Paper Co. collaboration, this time in a cotton/linen canvas, again from Miss Matatabi. I really love this one, I think it’s so pretty, and the colours in the print fit perfectly into my wardrobe. I used some more of the spotty lining remnant which just keeps on giving for the pockets (I’ve lined a blazer and a skirt with it, and used it for a few pockets, and there’s still some left!), I like the combination of floral and polka dots. I have a metre of the flora fabric left, I’m trying to decide what to make with it…

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I dont really have anything new to say about the Ogden Cami, I love all of my versions! this one is made up exactly the same as my other ones, but this time I used some linen from The Fabric Store rather than soft drapey rayon. I like the different silhouette that the crisper linen gives the camisole, and it’s nice in the heat to not have something that sits against my skin. I love the colour, I was really happy when I realised that it was the same colour as the seed pods on the C+S fabric. I also have some of the same linen in pale pink, I think I might make it into a shirt dress, if I don’t run out of summer!

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Summer uniform (for a Grainline fangirl)

So far I have spent 2015 eating, watching the cricket (come on Black Caps!) and sewing up a storm. It’s been very pleasant! Wellington has been hot and humid for the past week, so I decided it was definitely time to make myself some shorts. During the post-thanksgiving sale period I bought myself a copy of The Maritime Shorts pattern from Grainline Studio (along with the Linden Sweatshirt pattern, expect to see that sometime soon!). I’m still a bit scared of making trousers, as I don’t know where to start with fitting issues, but I’ve always had such good results with Grainline patterns, and the Moss skirt fits me really well, so I thought I’d give them a crack.

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I’m definitely glad I did! The fit is spot on, and they came together beautifully. All the fabric came from my stash (thank god, its overwhelming my sewing corner a bit at the moment!), I originally bought this khaki cotton drill to make a bag out of. Its nice to wear, but it creases like nothing on earth! I ironed them, sat down for about 10 minutes and then took these pictures, and look at the state of them!

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20150107-112344-41024185.jpgObligatory bottom pictures, sorry about the blinding glare from my pale self…

Looking at that last picture, it does look like theres a bit of pulling towards the inseam. I wonder if thats always there, or if its just the way I’m standing?

I made these exactly as instructed, except for adding 2″ of length to the hem. I originally planned for them to be cuffed, but I actually really like the length with them uncuffed. If (when) I make them again, I might add another 2″ so that I can cuff them! I used some floral cotton from my stash for the pockets, they make me smile when I put them on. I bound the outer leg seams in the same fabric because I thought it would be cute to have that little glimpse of the binding at the cuffs, but now it’ll probably never be seen! It was still good practice though, I’ve never done bound seams before. I have discovered how much I hate making bias tape…so tedious!

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I also whipped myself up another Scout tee, just after the epic frustration of my silk velvet adventures. I really do love this pattern, can it be counted as a tried and true pattern after three iterations? I was stoked to find this DKNY lace in the remnant bin at The Fabric Store, after waffling about how expensive it was to buy off the bolt. I had just enough for the tee, though sadly I was about 3″ short of being able to cut the sleeve hems along the scalloped selvage and escape hemming altogether!

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Its all french seamed, as I was a bit worried about sewing over the ‘holes’ in the lace, and the sleeve hems are just turned up 1/4″ and stitched. For the neckline, I didn’t want anything harsh like a strip of white bias tape, so instead I put a line of stitching at 1/4″, which eased it in slightly, and then ironed it over and stitched it down. Its really nice and close fitting, no gaping at all, which I’m sure is down to the initial line of stitching. I’m counting on the lace not fraying, or I’ll be in trouble! If I had some sheer mesh or something similar I would have used that to cleanly bind the neckline, but oh well! I love the scalloped hem, its so pretty.

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I’ve been wearing these two items so much! The shorts have been worn every day since I finished them (except for today, since its a bit cooler), and I’ve worn the tee several times (again, not today because its in the wash). They’re both such simple, basic pieces, but they suit my lazy holiday lifestyle perfectly.

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Hope you’re all enjoying your holiday, if you’re still off work, or that your first week back hasn’t been too much of a shock to the system if you’re already back!