Friday, January 15, 2010

Not-so-great whites and a little red Ottobre top

The weather has been atrocious this 'summer'. Perfect for sewing. Also perfect for curling up with a good book, watching dvds, or playing video games with the kids (are they still called video games?).

Despite all the other distractions, I have finished a spare pair of cricket trousers for DS. He's off to sunnier and warmer climes in Brisbane for a few weeks for a cricket tournament and needed a second pair. Reluctant to spend much on what is essentially a back-up pair of trousers, I went a-hunting in the stash and came up with 5 metres of white bengaline. I like bengaline to wear normally, but this is white. What on earth was I thinking when I bought it? Oh yeah, I remember - it was $2m on a clearance sale at Spotlight. :)

I haven't sewn trousers for DS in a few years so the next problem was finding a pattern. I settled on Simplicity 5362. By measurements DS just made it into the adult Small, but I've been burned by the Big-4 patterns and their sizing before so I attempted to tissue fit on DS.

There are two things to learn from this experience.
1. Don't try to tissue-fit on DS. Have you ever tried getting a teenage boy to stand still for fittings, let alone trouser fitting? I think I'd have better luck doing fittings on the cats; and

2. Don't attempt to make any pattern changes based on said 'fitting' whilst suffering from a fluey-type bug.

The tissue fitting, if we can even call it that, seemed to indicate that the waistband needed lowering about 4cm. DS also wanted me to change the pockets. Neither of these should have been difficult. I slashed the pattern, changed the pocket and decided to just leave off the waistband and do a fold-over elastic waist. I know you're all out there shaking your heads and saying "But that will take the waist too low...". What can I say? - Flu. :(

It was a moot point anyway because as soon as DS tried on the almost finished product (for all of about 2 seconds) it appeared that the waistband needed to be added. Easy enough to do, but now the pocket openings were going to be too big. It was about this point that I said 'stuff it', added the waistband and sewed the pockets partly closed. I mean, these are just for an extra pair for 2 weeks - they don't need to be perfect (which is good because... lol). Now the brain is functioning again I'm groaning in shame at these, but DS is happy enough. I'm even going to post a photo as a public sevice example of why flu and sewing shouldn't mix. The photo was the one and only shot I was going to get with a reluctant DS and camera batteries that died.

Still, the great white blunders did serve to wake up the mojo. Not enough for it to be jumping up and down, waving fabric and screaming "make this, make this", but more of a lounging against the door frame laconically with a "Yeah, guess that'll do" sort of way. (It occurs to me that my mojo description evokes images of James Dean. Quite what that says about me I'm not sure, lol.)

Anywhoo, I decided to clear the decks and tackle a few of the projects previously cut out and still waiting to get anywhere near the sewing machine. First on the desk was Ottobre top 01-2009-30 for DD2. This was cut out about 8-10 months ago in a size 134 and if I was doing it now I'd have made DD2 a 146, so I wasn't holding my breath that it would fit. Luckily it did. It was a pretty easy top to make, even with the shirring which I'd never tried before. For this shirring I wound the elastic thread onto the bobbin by hand and sewed with a long straight stitch exactly as Ottobre (and MeggieLulu) say to. The first picture shows the back of the shirring with the elastic thread; the second shows the front with the straight stitching.

However, even with stretching the bejeebers out of the fabric as I did the later rows, I did find the top shrinking to the point where DD can get it on and off, but I expect I'll get some mending to do. Next time I do shirring I think I'll try the zigzag over the elastic method.

One other thing I noted was that the instructions for the arm binding/shoulder strap says to "match markings on binding with neckline corners". I went with matching to the top of the neckband, but I think they would have worked better (and required less easing) matched to the bottom of the attached neckband/top of the body piece. Looking at the Ottobre photos the top does seem to sit higher than the one I made. Higher would mean DD could wear this without a top underneath. Neither of the two reviews here and here mentioned this so maybe it's just me and late night sewing.

At least these mean my stash stats are going the right way so far. :)


KID, MD said...

Cute top!! Looks like DD is happy with it. The pants look perfectly serviceable, and that's what matters, right?

Rhoto said...

To have TWO kids think their new threads are COOL... Good going, Mum!! ;)
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal (PR)