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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Firetruck Wardrobe #1

Now that our leaving is drawing closer, I'm beginning to think about what clothes to take with me. We just went on 2 week trip with our truck, so I got a pretty good idea what I'm missing and what I should leave behind. Below is something I wore quite often in the evenings. That's some ugly pattern mixing right there :) The sweater is one of my favourites though, and the jersey pants are so comfortable for camping.

So let's see what items I'd like to have, and what options I have for sewing them myself!

I don't really wear shorts at home, but I don't mind wearing them when we're camping. I have one pair at the moment, bought in Spain this spring. I had to radically alter them to make them fit (something I've never done before with RTW), but I liked the print and I had the time. I already have both patterns for the Thurlow trousers and DixieDIY's Movies in the Park shorts. I really like that last version Caroline showed. Not so much the pleats per se, but the option to use a less formal fabric.

Skirts & dresses
I'd love to have a long flowy skirt. I have a maxi dress but it kind of gets in the way when getting in and out of the truck. Megan Nielsen's Cascade skirt would be perfect for this. What I'd like to try is taking out some fabric, give it the volume of a 1/2 or 3/4 circle skirt. It might get off grain a bit, we'll have to see. It should be a light fabric anyway, I'm thinking a rayon blend of some sort. It can't take up too much space! I also finally altered my summer dress from last year: I heightened the waistline and re-hemmed it (pic is pre-hemming). I'm so glad I did, wearing it feels great. The fabric is soft and flowy, a 100% rayon. I think this will be the best choice for summer garments, as you don't have to iron it and I will obviously have no space to hang my clothes.

A jumpsuit has been high on my list for a while. I've actually already drafted one on my own measurements on a 1/5 scale, based on Salme's Playsuit pattern. And I've got my fabric ready, too (Liberty Tana Lawn!). All I need to do is decide how low the legs will be. I'd like them 3/4 or full length, but that makes me look like a carrot because of my big hips. Unless I make the legs really wide, and I haven't got the fabric for that. So I'm thinking I should stick with short like the playsuit.

Well thats what's on my list right now. I've got a board on Pinterest to gather inspiration, too. It will probably get longer and the items I will actually sew will undoubtly be less than planned. I don't think I'll be able to get back on track with the Pattern Magic Project for a while, either. These last two months are going to be incredibly busy with making patterns, preparing the truck, getting rid of all our stuff and finishing my algae job. All very exciting stuff though, so no complaining here :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Birthday pants

Stefs birthday was coming up and since he rarely buys himself new clothes and I like to see him wear something else sometimes, I made him pants. On his actual birthday, because two years ago he made me promise to always give the present on his birthday, not after. Not an unreasonable request considering I waited more than a year to make his birthday shirt. I wanted to learn how to draft a men's pants sloper, so I drafted these pants on his measurements.

They're based on my McHammer pants. I made those for myself but gave them to Stef because he was wearing them more often than I was. At the first fitting session the waistband turned out to be at least two inches too big. I had drafted the sloper for his waist and then lowered the waistband without measuring the circumference at the place the actual waistband would hit. When I do this on my own patterns it always works, but men ofcourse don't have hips like we do so it's possible that they actually have smaller hips than waists.

I really tried to give it the best finish I could. The waistband is interfaced, all the seams are flat felled or topstitched and I added an extra closure next to the button to make it all as durable as possible. Stef's theory is that clothes should accomodate him instead of the other way around, so he'll never consider moving in a different way because a seam might rip or there might be a stain. Something I (we?) do quite often. I got to try the buttonholes on my new machine and I have to say they're very neat. I love love my new machine, it's steady rythem, the lack of noise overall, all the handy features I never had before. Oh, this is also the first fly front I made! It was surprisingly easy, but then again this fabric is easy to work with. It's a 50-50 cotton linen blend.

There's some improvements to be made: the back pockets are a bit too small, and the crotch is a bit too low. Which was intended but I think I'll heighten it next time anyway. Next time I'll also interface the fly front and both waistband pieces. And use a bit heavier fabric, also for durability. I think these might become the blueprint for shorts I'll be making for years to come! His next request (next to the unfinished Negroni) is "chill pants that are also stylish". Hmm, I'll have to ponder that one for a while...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Jade Skirt

It's time to tell you some more about our first pattern! It's getting tested right now, so I'm crossing my fingers that it won't need major adjustments. The sooner it's released, the better, right?

The name
We've been thinking long and hard about pattern names. I wanted some kind of theme and I also knew I did not want women's names. There are too much of those around already. For some reason I really wanted to have something to do with geology because I wanted to honour the fantastic 5 months we spent in Norway last year. But geological terms are not... well... non-geologist friendly I'd say. Eclogite, mylonite, anorthosite... not really names anyone would be likely to remember. Then I came up with gemstones: these are known, easy to pronounce, and they're also rocks! We'll not be getting too cute with it though, don't expect a pattern called Diamond. It also has to sound cool, right.

There are two versions, a mini and a mid-thigh length. I started out with the mini, but when I did a survey about the skirt a lot of people requested a longer version. I was reluctant in the beginning, I didn't think it would work as well. But I'm so glad I listened to you guys, I love the longer version and it makes the pattern attractive to a lot more people!
There is also an optional exposed zipper included. With most stretch fabrics it's not necessary to add the zip, but I'll do a post on this later.

Four sizes
It will be available in four sizes, ranging from EUR 36-42 or US size 8-14. My size charts is numbered 2-5 because the charts does not correspond exactly to the official sizes. I've chosen to do only four sizes to start out with. The next patterns will have the full 1-8 size range. When we're venturing into paper patterns later, it's very much possible that we'll redo this skirt in a full size range too.

It comes with detailed instructions, including diagrams to illustrate some steps. There will be extra (video) tutorials on the new blog to show you how to fold it and to explain difficult steps such as inserting the zipper.

It will be available on a 'pay what you want' basis with an option to get it for free. If you choose to pay something for it, you'll be contributing towards our ability to continue working on our next pattern. We're also aiming for paper patterns, which are a very costly affair. Instead of paying, another option is to exchange the download for spreading the word about the pattern and the company through Twitter of Facebook.

I've said this a lot, but now I can be sure when I say it won't be long before it's available! We're aiming at early August, if all goes well. Leave your email at our new website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to be the first to know when it's released!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Belgian/Dutch Blogger Meetup!

Hey guys! I'm writing this in English in case anyone lives in Belgium/Holland but doesn't speak Dutch: Anneke is organising a blogger meetup in Belgium somewhere this month! Stephanie, Inge, Joost, Jo and ofcourse Anneke will most likely be there too. I'll be there if I can and the more the merrier so if you'd like to join us, email annekecaramin(at)hotmail(dot)com and check out the dates here. Awesomesauce!

Not to leave you with a pictureless post: here's a sneak peak of what's coming later this week: