Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My First Pants - SAFRAN by Deer & Doe

I. Made. Pants.

 Pants, yo. Pants.

This is the most proud moment of my entire sewing career thus far.

These are not only stylish and comfortable, but they are an absolute essential in my daily wardrobe. I cannot think of another garment I have made that will get as much wear as these. In the black fabric they are a little dressier, which means I can wear them for school. Teacher life WIN!

I had never given a second thought to making my own pants, satisfied with a drawer full of Loft's tall curvy fit jeans. However, when Deer & Doe offered me the opportunity to review and blog about their new pattern, I had to say yes. I loved the sleek front pockets and curvy high rise shape. And I love the fit of everything else they have ever drafted, so I had a lot of confidence that these would work out. And they did! The directions and illustrations were easy to follow, even that tricky fly. The finished garment looks professional inside and out.

Pattern: Deer & Doe Safran pants, view A

Size: 46, graded to 42 at waist
- Added 3/8" seam allowance at inseams and side-seams - after fitting, removed side seam extra
- Added 1.5" length at hem

Sizing Tips *My full/low hip measurement put me off the sizing chart, but with the stretch denim and a little extra room added at the seams, I had no problem fitting into the top size :) The design favors pear-shaped bodies, so if you are pear-shaped like me try choosing a size based on your high hip measurement instead.

This is a good post on how to take waist / high hip / low hip measurements:

One more consideration - my height (6') means that my high hip falls where an average height person's full hip would, which definitely affects the sizing as well. The standard measurement for waist to hip is 9" long, but mine is 13" - this moves where I need to add wiggle room

Fabric: Designer Black 8oz Stretch Denim from Cali Fabrics (I got the last two yards - sorry!)
Cotton/lycra with 20% 2-way stretch

Now, I know in the last post I committed to an easier, breezier blog style and this post may not seem to follow that ideal. However, these pants deserved a little extra special attention ;) As a compromise, I decided to post lots of pics, but not worry about editing them or scrutinizing the text too much. Baby steps :)

I plan on making another pair of Safrans very soon, with this cute star-print denim.

So, have you ever made pants? If yes, what do you think? If no, what's holding you back? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. and thanks for reading!

❤ Sally

P.S. Remember that one time I made my own pants? :D

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Breezy Blue Alder Top

Hi everyone! Today I've got a newly sewn top to show you. It is the Grainline Alder pattern, shortened from the dress, and made with a lightweight cotton lawn. It is easy, and breezy, which I've decided is going to be my new approach to the blog as well. I want to continue sharing what I sew, and connecting with other seamstresses around the world. I also want it to be quick and easy to create posts, so I am tuning the perfectionist tendencies WAY down. Hopefully this means a lot more of what I sew will actually get posted, albeit with less photos, editing and text. It can be a real time-suck to create "perfect" blog-posts and I would rather spend that time doing other things, like sewing ;) Oh! And enjoying my new job! Same position - Elementary Music Teacher - just in a new school and district. I actually wore this very top to my first day of orientation :)

Pattern: Grainline Studio's Alder Dress, shortened to Top
- Made once before as dress
- Size 8 all around, with shortened bust dart and narrow seam allowance at side seam for more room - didn't quite work and so I'll have to do a proper FBA next time :\ For now, the ever faithful safety pin

Fabric: blue and white "slub" print cotton lawn, from the stash (YaY stashbusting!)

Thanks for stopping by The Quirky Peach!

❤ Sally

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Slapdash Heart Dress for Valentine's Day ❤

Sometimes I get crazy and attempt to sew a dress the night before a special occasion.
Last night was one of those nights.

 This blue and pink heart print fabric has been in my stash FOR-EV-ER!
It is a super comfortable rayon lycra blend jersey knit fabric from Mood Fabrics.
And OMG I just realized they still carry it! Lucky you ;) Here is the link:

As much as I loved this fabric, I just couldn't cut into it without the perfect design.  Then I saw the Galena Midi Dress at Anthropologie (where all good sewing dreams are made ;) It had everything:

Mock wrap neckline, gathered / ruched waistband, shoulder detail, gathered skirt, in a KNIT fabric

I searched for hours for a pattern that would work. Then it hit me - I had a very similar pattern in my stash from a couple years ago for a woven (see that dress blogged here) and perhaps it could be tweaked to a knit dress! Knits are great for these make-it-up-as-you-go-along type sewing projects :)

Left: Anthropologie Galena Midi Dress - Inspiration   //   Right: Line Drawings of Simplicity 1801

So here is what I did to change Simplicity 1801 to the knit dress of my heart's desire ;)

- Cut a size 12 (same as for woven)
- Doubled length (up and down) of waistbands, then gathered to original length at side seams
- Cut front bodice as mock wrap neckline - instead of stopping at center, I continued the line until it tapered off to lower edge. Magically, these corners lined up perfectly at the side seams
- Omitted facings and finished neckline with a good old turn and stitch
- Added a second waistband on inside front, which was interfaced, to hold up the heavy skirt and keep it's shape, allowing outer waistband to have pleats/gathers.
- Randomly added the sleeves from the Papercut Rise Turtleneck, because it was laying on the floor and I needed a fitted sleeve pattern piece. Again, magically seemed to fit perfectly...
- The back was a bit of a hot mess - the gathers above the waistband did not work in this drapey knit fabric, so I added a center seam to the back bodice piece to get rid of the excess fabric. Also, I added a piece of thick elastic to the back lower waistband edge to help hold up the skirt. I couldn't interface it like the front piece and still pull it on over my head. It doesn't have the gathers across the waistband like I wanted, but it fits so yeah!

Left: The back of the dress   //   Right: How I feel about the back of the dress
It took a lot of puzzle piecing to make this dress work from the original pattern. Every stitch I made was a "will it, won't it" moment and surprisingly most of them worked! I am so thankful for the few year's of sewing experience that made this a success. I feel like as a beginner seamstress, I was way more prone to jumping into these last-minute type projects, but with less than stellar results. I think the longer I've sewn, the more cautious I've become to making something that wasn't "perfect". This holds me back a lot, especially in starting projects, and so I'm glad to have just gone for it with this one!

How do you feel about starting last minute sewing projects? Do you think this changes the longer you sew? Have you ever made a pattern for wovens in a knit fabric? Let me know in the comments below! And thanks for reading!

❤ Sally