August 2018 | Mismatched Buttons (A Monthly Journal)
A busy little bee getting ready for Spring
But this heading only tells half the story, because there’s nothing like a deadline to get shit done, and our trip to Vancouver meant I went a little crazy behind my machines! It started gently, with me promising myself that I’d only make a Sigma Dress, that’s all I need, I’m not going to succumb to vacation-sewing-madness.
And then the Carrie Trousers pattern was released, and I knew they would be perfect aeroplane pants—so they went on the vacation sewing list. And then I had a some fabric left over from the Carries that was just crying out to be part of a Two-Piece Spectacular!—so an Ogden Cami was added to the list! And it really just snowballed from there into some very typical vacation-sewing-madness.
But let’s rewind a little and recap an outstanding matter from last month: do I like my Guise Pants?
The End of Doubts | Guise Update
If you happen to follow my instagram account, you might already know that I’m in love with my Papercut Patterns Guise Pants. I had serious doubts about the colour for most of July and August, so they went into hibernation … until a day or two before leaving for Vancouver and I suddenly went, “holy crap I DO need these pants in my life!”
And I LOVE THEM. L-O-V-E them. (I love them.)
Luckily, because of some dogged persistence when I started the pants there wasn’t much to complete on them—which I largely did the night before our flight. I do have some fit issues with them: I measured a size large, but ended up cutting a size medium based on trying on Emma’s version (of Emma’s Atelier) and they’re still too big in some ares. I do often find this over-sizing a problem with Papercut Patterns, but although it’s not ideal at least it’s not the other way—you can always take fabric out of something that’s too big but you can’t add it to something that’s too small! (Please, do, take these as my personal fit notes and follow patterns as prescribed. I can only speak for my body, after all.)
Unfortunately when I lost my confidence in the colour of the linen, I stopped taking notes about the fit modifications that I made. The mods I do remember making were a full pubis adjustment (about .25”), plus an addition .25” out of the centre crotch seam. I took quite a lot out of both the inner and outer leg seams. I also used substantially less elastic than suggest to try take in the waist. As the linen has relaxed they’ve gotten even bigger so I think I’m going to have to go back into the waistband and remove both more elastic and also some of the fabric out of the outer leg and waistline. I also took about 4” off at the ankle to make them a more cropped length, but I think I’m also going to make some cuffs for the ankle.
I wore them loads while in Vancouver, and I’ve been worn them every day since we got back (except when they need a wash). This will be a TnT pattern for me, and while making my next pair I intend to make much better notes about the changes!
This linen is the heavyweight Pickle colourway of The Fabric Store’s exclusive colour range.
A Special Sigma Dress
I won’t dwell on this for too long, as I’m so proud of this dress that it is definitely in line for A Self-Covered Button attention. But in short, will you look at my Sigma Dress?
This beauty is made from a barkcloth called Charlie Harper Bird Architects that I bought from Miss Maude—ever the purveyor of exquisite fabric. I teamed this with some mustard linen bias binding from The Fabric Store for details on the neckline, sleeves and (when I realised the skirt was too short for my comfort levels) a sneaky little detail for joining an extra band of fabric to the hem.
I’m so happy with this dress, although I was terrified (in equal measure to my happiness) of wearing a white dress anywhere outside. I’m pleased to report it survived two trips into Vancouver City with no harm coming to it!
The Sigma Dress is a pattern from Papercut Patterns. This is the second Sigma Dress I’ve made. The first was a woolen one made a couple of years ago when I first started garment sewing again. I still love my first Sigma, although it was pretty roughly made and is, sadly, starting to fall apart a little. A winter-Sigma replacement is on the cards for next year. In the mean time, I’m reveling in this spectacular summer version.
And speaking of spectacular…
BAM! Two-Piece Spectacular!
It started with seeing the release of the Carrie Trousers from Sew Over It and deciding, yes!—these are the aeroplane pants of my dreams! Possibly within moments of SOI’s release of the pattern I was downloading it, sending it to the printer and scheming about how fast I could get fabric. I made them out of some Italian wool/lyrca blend from The Fabric Store, based on how resistant to creases the fabric was when I squished it about in store.
I wanted them with a high waist, so although I cut them at a size 16, I used the size 20 top waist edge (if that makes sense). Even though size 16 is where my measurements place me, I’ve found the trousers are pretty huge all over. Raising the waistline may have caused some of these fit issues, but I have found this pattern is quite generously sized. (As above, please, though, only take this as my fit notes. I can only speak for my own body and in other of their patterns SOI’s fit has been a lot closer.) As with my Guise Pants I’m going to dissect the waistband and take some of that size out. However, I am really happy with them; they were elegant and comfy secret pyjamas on the flights, and they saw me through the last day of Vancouver day-tripping.
But while I was sewing up these trousers, my eyes kept roving to what seemed a reasonably-sized remnant of that Italian wool… Hmmm, could this be the moment to try the TWO-PIECE SPECTACULAR?! Why yes, yes it could.
Ever since I heard the term Two-Piece Spectacular I’ve wanted to make one, purely on the basis of the name, of being able to say, “Oh, this ol’ thing? It’s just my Two-Piece Spectacular”.
A lot of people have had great T-PS success, teaming various trousers with the Ogden Cami from True Bias. And as I’m probably the only sewist left in the world who hasn’t made an Ogden Cami, well why not kill two birds with one stone? The problem of actually not having quite enough wool was solved with some colour blocking on the back using some left-over tencel twill from my Jack Trench Coat (which, frankly, set me off on a-whole-nother tangent of, “Well, one Ogden might be lonely, and I have the fabric out already, so why not make TWO Ogdens for the trip?).
I’ll be honest, I’m yet to wear the Ogden, and therefore the Two-Piece Spectacular is yet to fully actualise. Because of the fit of the trousers, and also feeling like the Ogden is a little too voluminous, it’s just not sitting right. So I’m calling the Two-Piece Spectacular a continuing journey, and it’s going on my to be continued list.
And then the holiday sewing descended into madness. As well as cutting out a second Ogden Cami from the remaining cedarwood tencel twill, I also cut out a York Pinafore (from Helen’s Closet) from a beautiful soft chambray … on the Wednesday evening before our flight on Friday afternoon. Completely ridiculous. I had obviously succumbed to that which I promised myself I wouldn’t: vacation-sewing-madness.
Off the Sticks | the Finished Big Houndstooth Cowl
In calmer moments earlier in the month, I was very pleased to finish my Big Houndstooth Cowl, from Mel Clark’s Knitting Everyday Finery.
This is the Hellebore colourway of Union Fibre’s beautiful, squishy, silky-soft Chunky Weight yarn. It’s a 50%/50% silk merino blend, and I only have good things to say about this beautiful yarn, and Bonnie’s extraordinary colourways. Honestly, go check out her yarns and see if you can leave the website without wanting to buy one of each.
I used my size 9.00mm needles with the yarn doubled up, and otherwise knit as directed. I’m delighted to have a skein and a bit left over so I’m thinking of a matching hat, because twinsets, yes please! But, in all seriousness, the yarn is so soft and gentle, I think it would make a lovely, snuggly, soft-on-the-skin hat.
To Be Continued and Works in Progress and Lists of To Do and Mending Pile
Tweak the fit of the Guise Pants
Tweak the fit of the Carrie Trousers
Tweak the fit of the Ogden Cami
Keep working on my Ginger Jeans (which I didn’t finish during the jeans-making class
Finish the Kochi Kimono—it’ll be so useful for Spring!
Attach embroidered patch-pocket to my In The Folds Jumpsuit
Further visible mending on my RTW cardigan
And in calm, quite moments, enjoy a quiet little bit of Sarah K. Benning embroidery.
I think I’d like to tackle this mounting list of projects that need attention, tweaking and completing, so that might be a priority over the remainder of September. I’m going to put my second Ogden and my chambray York Pinafore on ice—they won’t be really necessary for a few months, but I’m still in desperate need of trousers. But I also desparately want to start my last jacket for this year’s winter, so my big project for September and October is a Kelly Anorak ... stand by, dear reader, for what I’m sure will be a project that kicks my arse!