And Finally….

March 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been AWOL for a while now but really I have good excuses reasons. The first is the aforementioned two-week long ear infection. The second is that I went on my first ever vacation solely for the purpose of going Skiing and the third is that I was trying to catch up with my Danish class, after missing a week due to Skiing, and friends after a three-week long absence. See good reasons, no?

Skiing!

But while all this has been going on, sewing has also taken a back foot. Procrastination, why do you haunt me so!?! I am determined that I have to finish one garment at a time after spending my childhood surrounded by my mothers unfinished garments. I know it is something that is unavoidable in a busy life, where you get excited by new things and just have to start them before the excitement leaves, but I am trying my hardest to fight it. This of course means that the simple little fiddly bits at the end are tripping me up. I hate hems and topstitching but that’s all I had left to do until…

I bit the bullet and made today “fiddly little bits at the end” day. I had to pick up the girl I look after occasionally, from school and then take her to swimming. Swimming includes lots of fun time for her and three hours of “what to do time” for me. I knew just the thing! When I first pulled out the nearly finish garment, the father sitting next to me stared curiously, maybe thinking that it was clothes for my young charge, but then when I started taking out needles, buttons, scissors and pins, his stare became less curious and more bewildered. “But a teenage/20 year old-looking girl bringing sewing to do while waiting?!”. I could see and sense his gaze out of the corner of my eye and even when I actually looked at him, he continued to stare. I found it quite amusing. I enjoy bewildering people.

Despite this, three hours at the pool seemed like it was just the kick in the pants that this procrastinator needed and all hand sewing was completed. What to do time will now be renamed “fiddly little bits at the end” time.

5 buttons, one row of hand-stitching, a lot of staring and 2 hems later, I give you one pair of floaty, skirt like culottes!

Excuse the creases. They had been worn for a few hours at this point.

These have taken up MUCH more time than I intended but they turned out pretty great. I made a pair while I was back in New Zealand from an old culottes pattern that my Mum had in her stash. I shortened them and they instantly became my new favourites. All the femininity of a floaty skirt but without the obvious disadvantages they carry whilst walking in the wind. But after two summers, one of which was under the scorching sun of Italy and the other under the unprotected sun of New Zealand, they are now a very faded pair of culottes. I could also have put A LOT more effort in to making them so in some places, mostly on the inside, they are looking a bit ratty.

The clear difference between the inside and the outside

I drafted a pattern for the new ones from the old pair. I took measurements instead of tracing them as the pleats make them very hard to trace accurately. By taking the length, waist, pleat, dart and finished leg width measurements, I was able to draft a basic pattern. After three hours of playing around with it, including many “Duh, Amelia” moments, I had a pattern that worked.

The crotch length was the most difficult part. I usually make skirts and dresses so I’ve never really played around with the length before. I know from high school sewing class that my proportions are usually smaller than the pattern, except for one very obvious bust area, and I have to adjust accordingly, this is no exception, but does anyone actually know how to adjust it? I would love to be able to make shorts that don’t look like they would fit better on some low riding Hip Hop star.

I should have added interfacing in to the waistband as well but I didn’t have any on hand at the time and the translation google was giving me, was far from accurate. Instead, I faced it with a stiff satin fabric that I had on hand. I think it will do the job.

I managed to try out a new technique for hemming as well. Since I learnt to sew from my mother, I don’t really have any proper “techniques” so I tried out the rolled baby hem because it was a flimsy fabric. I liked this tutorial as it had a guide stitch to do the final row of stitching. It made things a lot more simple and the finish looks just as good as any other. I need to work on getting it as small as possible, as mine is a bit wider than that in the tutorial.

Rolled baby hem

Now, on to the next project. My boyfriend’s little sister is having a birthday in April so I think I will make her a dress. I made two skirts for the young sisters for Christmas and they loved them, so I think I will keep going with it. After these took so long, I have a plan to start now so they will definitely be done in time. I’ve probably jinxed myself by saying that but I will keep you posted!

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