Friday 25 January 2013

Soft winterdays

Today it's grey and cold, a very unpleasant combination. I figured I would cheer myself up with some pictures I took two weeks ago. It was cold, sunny and just gorgeous. A week prior the temerature had risen to above zero (very unusual for the time of year), then it just dropped to -15 again, and stayed there. So the frost grew on every single little branch of the trees, and covered every brick on the buildings. When the snow came it caught on the frost and... then the sun came.
It was beautiful.

On my way to work at 7.40, the sky began to lighten along the horizon. 

The view from my officewindow a little while later. 

 The pink horizon glimting thorugh the branches.

Love how the sun hit one tree full on, making it glow light pink in contrast to the shady white of its neighbourghs.

During my lunchwalk... 

Sky and snow-covered river

Sewing? Oh, yes, I've done a bit of that last weekend, but none during the workdays. Too many evening-meetings =( I'm happy to say the sweatpants are finished and I'm halfway ready with a blouse. Hopefully I'll feel a bit more energetic tomorrow, and I'll be home during daylight-hours, so pictures will be taken.

Have a great weekend!

Love, Erika

Thursday 17 January 2013

Why am I drafting trousers? And a weird fitting solution

Seriously, this past weeks I've been asking myself a number of times why I'm drafting block patterns for a pair of trousers. Why is this a mystery? You see, all I really wanted was a new pair of sweatpants... (Are you as confused as me right now?)

My favorite home-wear is a comfy pair of sweatpants. Please don't kill me now I've admitted that! Of course there are lot's of days when I'll wear a cute jerseydress/skirt instead, but somedays just calls for sweatpants, couch and TV. After many years of appreciated service, my only remaining pair of sweatpants is barley in one piece (workout-wear is not included here, I don't wear those around the house. Except after working out =) ). I need a new pair so I can answer the door without changing clothes!

I've thought about just buying a new pair. Then I found a lovely, cheap, heavy sweatshirtjersey a few years back and I thought "Hey, I'll just sew a pair!". But I haven't, and it's finally dawned on me why. I have patterns aplenty, somewhere in there I must have a basic sweatpants pattern. Or mom def has! However, with all other patterns I've tried, I've had the exact same fitting issues as I have with RTW. Wouldn't it be prudent to assume the same would be true for sweatpants? Meaning the groin would be a bit too tight, the entire pants would either want to climb up to my natural waist or they would be huge, the waist would be very uneven and the front higher than the back, making the pants unbalanced.

What has been the best answer to my previous fitting issues? Block patterns! Solve the fitting once and for all, and then the hard part is done. For good. The rest is just style alterations =) This is where it's still - despite the story of how I got to this point - a bit bewildering: so in order to sew sweatpants I'm drafting a pair of fitted trousers. Que?! Still not sure what I was thinking about...

It's exiting though, as it's my first attempt at making women's trousers! I've been reading up, and isn't it amazing how complicated trouser-fitting is? Legs - they go straight up and down, don't they? Apparently not... =)

I traced the block pattern by hip measurment and altered the waist to fit.

First toile, worn over dark thights for decency's sake, short as I knew there would be huge fitting issues. Problems: waist to low, groin seam too short, pants pushing against the front thighs.

An image of the pattern alterations made after the first toile, they're hard to see on the actual pattern. I've raised the waist, added to the fronts groinseam to accomodate my thighs, added to the back groinseam to accomodate my hips and added a wedge in the center backseam at lower hip level. I've also made the outside seam on both front and back a bit wider over the thighs.

I knew I would need to compensate for my inwards-slanted knees so I shifted the lower part of the pantlegs 1,25 cm in.

Second toile, after changes. I'm getting somewhere, but maybe with the addition to the groinseam I hadn't needed to raise the waist.

The black area was removed, the blue added.

New patternalterations: The waistline back to where it started. The backcenter seam was now a bit tight, so I scooped it out at the curve and added a wedge to the back groin seam where I deemed it most needed =)
The front is starting to look pretty good, at least to my inexperienced eyes (tips and suggested corrections are most welcome!). Or as good as pants in a boring colour and an unflattering style can look =)

My main issue now was these huge diagonal pull lines from the outside of the thigh to the inside of the knee, combined with the center front being off-center with 1,5-2 cm. I tried all sorts of tricks, until I finally was so frustrated that I grabbed hold of the fabric and started lifting/pushing/pulling the fabric around until the fabriclegs hung straight. The solution is one I haven't seen mentioned anywhere, but it looked like this:

The black shaded area is what was removed.

I took out a wedge, 1,8 cm at the inside seam tapering to zero at the outside seam. Tha wedge is at a straight angle to the straight of grain. Done on both front and back, and it worked!

Sorry no pictures of this, but I've altered the pattern to sweatpants, the fabric is cut and I'm finally set to go!

The last pictures shows the difference between the original and the final block pattern.
Hopefully back soon with pics of comfy homewear =)

Love, Erika

P.S. I've made some changes to the blog layout... Using a new, wider template, added pages for finished projects and a longer "About me"-text. Please let me know if something's not working correctly or if takes forever to load!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Sewing of 2012

At the end of a year I tend to wonder; what on earth did I actually sew during this year? So I figured I'd do a little re-cap in pictures of 2012's sewing! I've grouped them together in types of garments, without consideration to when each piece was created. There are links to the original posts, however; some of these were never properly blogged, only mentioned during process.

The wovens:

The jerseys:

Wow! I knew I'd been more productive this year than previous years, but seeing it lined up like this was really fun! I like that the projects spans different categories, materials and seasons. There are some pieces I really wish I had finished during 2012, but I'll have to take them with me to 2013 and make them a priority.

The big New this past year was jersey sewing. Jersey is fast to sew, easy to care for and comfortable to wear. I can only wonder at how long it took me to gather up the courage to try it! Seeing as these pieces are extremly wearable (save the first top, that I'm considering throwing away) there is a bunch of jersey sewing planned for next year =)
Besides sewing more jersey tops and dresses, next year I also hope to delve into lingerie sewing... Slips, tap pants, bloomers, knickers... I'd also like to sew with silk (yup, have been gathering up the courage there as well), and maybe do a couple of tailored projects as well. And sewing bags of different sorts! So many ideas! =)

Happy Sewing 2013, to all of us! =)
Love, Erika