Easy Self Drafted Maxi Gore Skirt And More

Self-Drafted Maxi Skirt in Jewel Tones

Self-Drafted Maxi Skirt in Jewel Tones

I’ve been under the weather, so I’m bringing you this post of a self-drafted skirt as well as a jacket and tank made to go with it. ¬†I hope the content still is helpful to you and that you can be inspired to draft your own simple pattern for a maxi skirt.

The inspiration for this post came from watching a clothing designer on QVC, a shopping network show on television.   The designer had created one simple knit skirt design and offered it in six different fabrics.  I was swept in because of the maxi skirt, the simple gore construction, and the multitude of looks created by changing up the fabric.

It occurred to me that it wouldn’t be that hard to copy. ¬† If I did a few calculations, I could draft a simple gore pattern, multiply it by six, add some elastic, hem and voila! DONE!

I got to work by gathering my supplies.

1.)  Tracing paper (I use medical paper)
2.)  Measuring tape
3.)  Pencil or pen, marker
4.)  Paper cutting scissors
5.)  Yard stick or long ruler
6.) ¬†Fabric (approximately 3 yards of 60″ knit for a maxi length)
7.) ¬†Elastic to fit waist measurement ( I use 1″, but you can use whatever width you want)

*Since my hips are my widest part, I measured them first.  If your waist is your largest measurement, measure that first and use the same calculation since the skirt will drape from there and clear your hips, giving you plenty of ease.

Steps:
1.) Measure Hips. ¬†With your measuring tape, take the first measurement of your hips plus 2″ for ease. ¬†This number will need to be divided by 6. Example: Hip measurement = 46″ + 2″= 48 divided by 6 = 8.

Hip Measurement divided by six

Hip Measurement + 2 divided by six

2.) ¬† Start drawing the gore. ¬†With your long ruler or yardstick, draw two parallel lines the distance of your answer (side seams) ¬†Mine is 8″ including the 1/2″ seam allowance. ¬†The 8″ will be the width of each gore.

3.)   Measure the length of skirt.   If you have a favorite maxi skirt in your wardrobe, use it as a guide to determine length.   Take a measurement from your waist to the floor to get a rough idea of the length you want your skirt to be.   I like mine to hit at the ankle so that it is long enough for heels and can still be worn with flats.

4.) ¬† Add 2″ for hem and elastic fold over to your length measurement from last step. ¬† I use 1″ elastic, but you can use whatever width you want. ¬†Just allow for that amount for the fold over measurement at the top of your skirt. ¬†Continue to draw the lines from the waist down and flare out to make the gore. ¬†I improvised on the width and size of the gore at the hem line. ¬† Since I wanted to be able to keep the width narrow enough to fit on 60″ fabric, the gore sweep needs to stay less than 15″ wide. ¬†Once you draw the first side of the gore flare, fold it in half and draw the other side to match.

Measure the length of skirt. Take a measurement from your waist to the floor to get a rough idea of the length you want your skirt to be.

TIP*  I used this picture below to see the different shapes of gores.  In this case, since I am doing the math for six simple gores, I think mine is closest to View B.

Gore shapes for inspriation

Gore shapes for inspiration. ¬† I’m using View B

5.)  Draw your grain line.  This is easy.  Draw the opposite side of the gore and draw the grain line right down your center fold line.

You are done with the pattern.  Now it is time to lay it out on the fabric, cut it out and sew it up!

TIP*  Fabric requirements: I think knits work best here.  I have used poly spandex knits because they have great drape, pack well, and maintain their shape.

Here are some other versions I have made:

Once you have crafted your own gore skirt panel, you can complete this skirt in less than two hours, maybe less. I like these for the no-wrinkle factor, quick make and they are surprisingly cool in the summer even though the fabric is poly/spandex.  I bought the fabric at my local mill end store (SAS Fabrics) where they have rolls and bolts of ends sold at a discount.  I think I paid $2.99/yd for each of these pieces.

Fabric Requirements:¬†¬† I prefer 60″ knits with some recovery for this skirt. ¬†I bought 3 yards to have enough to lay out two lengths of the skirt plus extra for a tank top.

Fabric Layout: ¬†If your fabric is a true 60″ wide, you can fold the fabric with one selvage folded to the center of the fabric, and the remaining fabric left to be a single layer. ¬†On the folded area, place your gore and pin the grain line perpendicular to the fold. ¬†Cut out gore. ¬†You will end up with two cut gore pieces. ¬†Move pattern piece to the single layer area, parallel to the folded area you just cut and cut one more gore. ¬†Now you have three. ¬†Repeat for one more set of three gore pieces. ¬†Once you have 6 gore pieces, you will be ready to sew them up.

Sewing:  With right sides together, pin and stitch two gore pieces together from the hem to the waist.  Repeat six times.  Measure elastic to to your waist, cut, and sew to form a circle.  Quarter the elastic and skirt with pins.  Pin elastic to skirt with all quartered pins lining up.  Zig zag or serge around top edge of fabric to top edge of elastic, stretching while sewing.  Slowly work around entire waist. Turn down elastic towards skirt.  Stitch elastic down to skirt.  Turn up hem as desired.  Done!

Loes Hinse Tank and self drafted skirt

Loes Hinse Tank and self drafted skirt

MaxiSkirtJewelTonesBackIMG_4518
The tank top is from Loes Hinse’s #5305 Tank Dress Pattern. ¬†This is a simple tank with turned under edges.

Tank Dress Pattern, Loes Hinse Patterns

Tank Dress Pattern, Loes Hinse Patterns

On to the Jacket:
The jean jacket is a out of print (OOP) Kwik Sew 2895. ¬†I love this patterns and have made both short and long versions. ¬†It is not boxy. ¬†There is a slight curve at the waist which is visible in the drawing of the longer version, but is also present in the shorter version even though the line drawing doesn’t show it. ¬†I made it out of a light to medium weight denim.


The only thing I don’t like about the pattern is the way the facing and collar meet. ¬†I haven’t figured out a way to make it look better other than to re-draft the facing and have it meet the shoulder seam. ¬†It doesn’t show when worn because it is turned under so I just go with it.

I have kept making the jacket because what I like about the jacket outweighs what I don’t like. ¬†Below are some other versions from this pattern.

MaxiSkirtJewelTones2IMG_4512

So since my favorite pattern is OOP, here are some other options.  A stylish jean jacket design by Gertie, Butterick 6390.

Gertie Jacket, Butterick 6390

Gertie Jacket, Butterick 6390

Another alternative is Butterick 5616.

Butterick 5616 Jean Jacket

Butterick 5616 Jean Jacket

Now it is time for the shoes….I keep thinking that this gladiator, heavily strapped-ankle wrapped look is going to go away, but every summer it returns with a new twist. ¬†These are navy IMPO blue suede cage sandals from Stein Mart. ¬†I found them in our local store on sale. ¬† I don’t think they are still available, but here is a similar pair. ¬†They are actually pretty comfortable! ¬†They zip in the back and the laces are adjustable to fit the width of my feet.
Navy CageShoes1IMG_4531

Navy cage sandals

Navy cage sandals

If I find some navy shoes, I’m feeling lucky because they seem so rare. ¬† Do you feel lucky when you find a particular color shoe on sale?

Do you have a favorite jean jacket pattern?  Do you have successfully sewn garments that you (after-the-fact) wish had some drafting changes?  Do you tackle your own drafting?

I would love to hear your successful discoveries in the comments below.

I hope you found this post helpful, inspirational and/or interesting.  Off to the next project.

Until next time, happy sewing!

-Dana

 

 

 

Denim Urban Tunic or Dress?

Urban Tunic, Indygo Junction

Urban Tunic, Indygo Junction

Yes, it looks like I am on a cowl neck dress tunic streak.   A recent post featured a McCalls 7020 cowl neck top turned dress that would make you think I have no imagination.  Really?  Another cowl neck dress?  But this one is slightly different.   It is a great jumper for grownups.  Pair it with a long sleeve tee like I did here, a turtleneck in the winter, or a tee in the summer.

My Inspiration:

The first time I saw this Indygo Junction Urban Tunic¬†made up was when my mom and I went to the Puyallup Sewing & Stitchery Expo. ¬†Amy Barickman, the creator of Indygo Junction, was wearing it a cute cotton paired with a white tee underneath. ¬† That is what sold it! ¬†I googled “amy barickman wearing urban tunic indygo junction” and found many versions of this dress. ¬†She looks cute in everything she wears. ¬†Here she is below, with Alex Anderson, at what looks like a quilt show promoting her line. Doesn’t she look great in this black and while version?

Amy Barickman, Alex Anderson

Amy Barickman, Alex Anderson

Pattern Features:

It is a simple silhouette in an a-line shape featuring bust darts, bias collar and back zipper.  Some features could be eliminated to change the look completely.   Consider the idea of using a smaller piece of fabric (a great fabric stash buster) and eliminate the cowl, zipper and pockets resulting in a perfect tunic or dress for the summer.

Indygo Junction Urban Tunic Line Drawing

Indygo Junction Urban Tunic Line Drawing

I eliminated the zipper, so I just slip it over my head.  An exposed zipper would be a nice feature as in the line drawing above.

I chose to not insert a back zipper

I chose to not insert a back zipper

What I love about a-line silhouettes:
1.)  Clean, unobstructed front view for prints and patterns
2.) Looks casual but dressier than pants
3.) Versatile: jumper, dress or tunic
4.) NOT body conscious.

If you’ve read my other posts, you know I love sewn down pockets….but not crazy about the little sway-back-wrinkle action going on when my hands are in the pockets. ¬†I might consider some fish eye back darts to take up the excess. ¬†The Badonkadonk strikes again. ¬†If I increase the width on the sides, it resembles a tent, so I purposely keep the width just enough to where it skims the lines of my body. ¬† I won’t be running away from this a-line silhouette anytime soon but I do need to consider ¬†how I’m going to keep the shape but get rid of the wrinkles.

This fabric is a soft denim with some heft Рmaybe an 8oz. (?) from my stash. Since I barely had enough fabric, it is a little short for me.  Tights are a MUST.  The bias cowl adds so much to the style and it drapes very well.

Urban Tunic Pattern

Urban Tunic Pattern

The bust darts look a bit high here (below) and no wrinkles like in the picture above.   Movement = wrinkles.


The next version will probably be in a fun cotton print with a tee for spring because I’m a copy-catter.

Goofing around...

Goofing around…

I am a fan of the Indygo patterns. ¬†I made up a trench coat pattern here. ¬†Be aware that many of the Indygo Patterns often recommend cottons or wovens rather than knits. ¬†Check out all of the new Women’s Clothing patterns on Indygo Junction.

On to another project.

Happy Sewing,

– Dana

McCalls 7020 Cowl Top Turned Dress

Cowl Neck top with Chico's necklace

Cowl Neck top with Chico’s necklace (old)

As I move into 2017 and take inventory of my lengthy list of sewing projects, I am reminded of the bloggers who took great time to review their versions of sewing ‘Hits and Misses’ of 2016. ¬† There seemed to be a plan from the start of the year to execute specific garments for their wardrobe. ¬†This requires organization and planning skills, which I admire. ¬† However, I am more impulsive. ¬†If I need a jacket, I make one. ¬†If I get inspired by a great pattern, I collect the fabric and necessities and get started. ¬†Maybe perusing blogs will inspire me to make something similar because I can! Allowing myself to be drawn into a creative swirl often results in garments that have served a practical purpose, ¬†a creative ‘itch’ that needed to be scratched, or because I needed some time alone to recharge in my happy sewing space.

Have you ever come across a pattern that just draws you in but you don’t know why? ¬†This simple McCalls 7020 pattern did just that. ¬†Maybe it was the fabric, or how it looked on the model or maybe it’s simplicity. ¬† Not sure. ¬†At first, I planned to make a top (View B) out of this to wear with jeans. ¬†But then I realized that I had enough fabric to extend the top into a dress minus pockets. ¬†I love the idea of pockets and I truly love them but only if they can be sewn down either to the waistband or directly to the front of the garment.

Cowl Neck of McCalls 7020

Cowl Neck of McCalls 7020

My favorite part of this pattern is the cowl neck. The pattern piece is weirdly shaped which is probably why it drapes so nicely. ¬†This fabric is a waffle weave Henley-like fabric purchased at my local mill end store. ¬†Since fabric content is a guess at that store, I would say it’s contents would be a rayon, cotton and poly blend.

( Side note about mystery fabric content: ¬†My rule is the Fabric Must Stand The Washer And Dryer Test. ¬†How will it survive? ¬†Sometimes the fabric improves with washing and drying. ¬†You may choose to launder the fabric differently into the future, but that first washing is crucial. ¬† The results of the washing may change the direction of the project. ¬†Is it softer? ¬† Does it have a new texture, drape?…etc. ¬†Remember that you are getting a great deal because there are NO FRILLS, UNKNOWN FABRIC CONTENT OR CARE DESCRIPTION. ¬†You are on your own. ¬†I happen to love this fabric challenge because my success rate is about 95%. ¬†Maybe it comes from years of working with fabric that I am confident that it will turn out. ¬†Like most things, practice makes perfect. )

Back to the dress РIt is a bit thin for a dress, but since I knew I would wear it with tights, it was fine.   I made up a size  M 12/14.

My son’s dog, Outlaw, was a bit bored, but still well behaved while we took some photos.

Are we done yet?

One construction change I might make for next time is to eliminate the center front and back seams and instead place them on the fold.  It would also save some sewing time making this an even quicker project to complete.   The center seams interrupt the pattern if using a print.

It makes sense in View C where stripes are featured.

Man, this is boring?  Fetch, anyone??

Here, you can see the front riding up. ¬†It appears I need a Full Bust Adjustment! ¬†Hummmm. ¬†I don’t usually need to make that alteration, but when I see the front hem line drawing up, it usually means that fabric is being taken up by a larger bust. ¬†I found myself tugging at the dress to keep the front even with the back.

My second change would be to make the bicep/upper arm circumference larger.  My goal was to have this be a looser knit shift dress all around, but the sleeves are a bit tight.

I will probably make this again but choose stripes instead and make a top and widen the sleeves to be more comfortable. ¬† Now that I’m thinking of it, I have some striped fabric in my stash that I could use for all of these changes. ¬†It would also be nice to add a slightly hi-low hemline to the top. ¬† Stay tuned…

These days, a loose style cowl neck is the closest I will be getting to a turtleneck. ¬† I don’t seem to need many layers year round while living in Arizona. ¬†This loose cowl also allows space for a necklace.

Please be a squirrel....

Please be a squirrel….

Using this same pattern, I loved seeing Mimi G Style’s hoodie. ¬†Have you tried this pattern? ¬†Thoughts?

Happy sewing-

Dana

Chiffon, Cotton, Ruffles and Dots

Simp2IMG_4609Yes, this post is going out just under the wire before we move in to 2017. ¬† This will conclude another wonderful year of sewing experiences. ¬† I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t have this great hobby/skill to rely on for a creative and useful outlet. ¬†I am grateful to my sewing group that meets regularly so that we can maintain our friendships, sharpen our skills and share information. ¬† There are so many patterns, techniques and challenges out there to conquer for 2017. ¬†I also can’t wait to discover more creative people, wonderful blogs, instructional tutorials and places to visit in the new year.

Moving on…..polka dots, chiffon and a hi-low hemline sum up this quick post. ¬† Oh, and a butt ruffle. ¬†Every once in a while, I’m in the mood for a polka dot print. ¬†I prefer a random or scattered dot, but this one caught my eye and seemed different because of the subtle cross-hatch design. ¬†While shopping at Walmart for other items, my cart mysteriously meandered over through the fabric/craft beading area (how does that happen:/)? ¬† I usually do a quick perusing over the fabrics and beads to see if anything is new or on sale. ¬†( I have learned over the years to keep my eye open for surprises everywhere. Some of my greatest finds were found in the most unlikely places! ). ¬†So, there it was. ¬† I immediately envisioned this fabric paired with black chiffon for the back-ruffle. ¬† Next would be the sewing pattern. ¬†Simplicity 1013 was the winner!

Big surprise…choosing black again when I have written about wearing more color here and here. ¬†I might as well give up trying to remove it from my wardrobe.

The necklace is old from JCPenny’s. ¬†I found a similar Crystal Starburst Necklace¬†from Banana Republic and the¬†Midnight Crystal Necklace¬†from J. Crew as possible alternatives.

Simplicity 1013, View C

Simplicity 1013, View C

I cut out View C in a size 14. ¬†Unfortunately, the cotton doesn’t have any stretch to it, which could have been an overall game changer for this shirt. ¬†The chiffon was from my stash, but any sheer black fabric would work. ¬†I wasn’t sure how the butt ruffle, butt flap, etc., would actually look on my rear. ¬†( A dark fabric, for sure ). ¬†Turns out, there is enough fabric to move freely and it doesn’t ride up. ¬†I was hoping it would fit as loosely as it looks on the slender models……..but nope.
Simp1013 5IMG_4558

Butt ruffle from the side

Butt ruffle from the side

As you can see, the ruffle is longer in the back. I think if it had been shorter, this pattern would not have caught my eye at all.

Simplicity 1013 with Bias Pockets

Simplicity 1013 with Bias Pockets

Here is a glimpse of the pockets I added on top of the sewn bust darts.   I cut the pockets out on the bias because I thought it would add a little interest with the subtle plaid hatching going on with the polka dots.    After the fact, my thoughts on the pockets:

A) I’m not sure I should have added the pockets since the fabric is quite busy.

B) The pockets flatten the dart a bit, defeating the purpose of a nice curved shape over the bust.   They also made the bust area stiff by adding extra fabric, creating this tent-like front.

C) I’m not sure they added any aesthetic or practical appeal to the shirt. ¬†I’m certainly won’t be putting anything in the them. ¬†Oh well, I will still wear it knowing that I’m not in love with the pocket addition.

Checking the fit by waving to my neighbor

Checking the fit by waving to my neighbor

I like the look of a fitted button up, but compared to knits, they feel confining. ¬† I suppose the next step would be to wear shirts that are bigger, but then it’s easy to slip down into Frump Land. This shirt fits a little tight through the shoulders and if I reach out, the sleeves ride up a bit. ¬†I might go up a size which I often do with fitted shirts. ¬†Another solution is to fold up the sleeves or turn them up and in place with the buttoned tab (view B).

Over all, it is a nice shirt and I will probably make it again.   I would consider making it again but make view D with the pleated back even though I have loads of patterns in my sewing queue.  If I run across another inspiring fabric, maybe I will give it a go.

A similar style shirt comes to mind; ¬†the Archer Shirt by Grainline Studios. ¬†The back ruffle seam is a bit lower which may not be suitable for my ample rump curvaceousness…

Archer Shirt from Grainline

Archer Shirt from Grainline Studios

The Archer has more pattern pieces overall and may not be able to be sewn up as quickly as the Simplicity 1013 shirt.

I may look for copy the fabric combinations on the pattern envelope for inspiration. ¬†The back piece on the Simplicity pattern only takes 5/8 yd, so it could be a feature for a fancy shear or busting out a small piece from your fabric stash….maybe a plaid?

Would you be willing to taking a risk on making a back flap ruffle shirt?

May your 2017 be filled with successful sewing endeavors!

-Dana

Simplicity 2153 Silly Putty Jacket

Tried and True Simplicity 2153

Tried and True Simplicity 2153

Am I dating myself if I ask you about the color of Silly Putty? ¬†You know, the dirty, well-loved Silly Putty after it has been used on newsprint a few times. ¬†Looks a little gross, but it provided lots of fun for me when I was a kid….and there is interesting history of the gooey stuff to read¬†here. ¬† And if you can’t get enough, put in Silly Putty in Google images to see the many playful uses of this stuff.

The dirty, well-used Silly Putty

The dirty, well-used Silly Putty

Anyway, when I see this pinkish-brown color I think of Silly Putty and I happen to love it.   Here is another version from the same pattern green jacket I made here with a few changes.
I absolutely love this OOP Simplicity 2153 pattern.   It is still available for sale on various sites on the web.  I have plans to make this up in a khaki twill fabric to have a safari-like vest or jacket.  My favorite part of the jacket is the length which means my hands fit comfortably into the pockets and that it covers my rear.  A definite plus in my book.

Bum Coverage

Bum Coverage

The fabric is a linen and rayon blend, which means that it gets a rumpled look but it breathes well. It is also lightweight, which is important for layering and living in the desert.   If I need more warmth, adding a scarf usually does the trick.

Silly Putty Back View

Silly Putty Back View

In the above picture, the jacket looks like it has white splotches all over it, but it is just shadows.  It is roomy without looking too big.  I made a size 14.

Below is an up close shot of the pockets with the selvedges sewn around the tops of the pockets. ¬† This was a different approach than with the olive version. ¬†I tried to achieve a worn in look that didn’t look too formal or fussy, not that this would ever look like a formal jacket, but I wanted to be able to pull out of the closet, put it on and go.
Pockets IMG_4383

Collar Ties

Collar Ties

Above, you can see that I used the selvedge and incorporated it into the pocket and collar. ¬†I always look at the selvedges of the fabrics I purchase and see how they hold up during the laundering phase. ¬†If they survive and have an appealing look, I experiment with ways to include them into the garment. ¬†The collar contains elastic in the outer edge and is sewn to the ties. ¬†I won’t be cinching it up so leaving it this way just makes the collar stand up, stay in place and ready for wear.

Inside elastic casing with bias tape

Inside elastic casing with bias tape

I purchased my zipper for the olive jacket and this jacket from ZipperShipper. ¬†They have a great selection, good prices and fast shipping. ¬†I guessed on the ‘medium brown’ color knowing it wouldn’t be a perfect match for this weird shade of brown, ¬†but it works and the quality of the zipper is great.

Elastic casing made with bias tape

Elastic casing made with bias tape

Something I repeated from the olive green jacket was the elastic waist casing.   I pulled the elastic to a comfortable measurement, attached the ties and then knotted them.  This means that I can grab the coat and GO.  No fussing about with a fidgety waist drawstring.  I can always count on the elastic gathering evenly.

Possible accessories

Possible accessories

If I want to add a little more interest, I have a me-made necklace I made out of acrylic beads or a scarf to pair with it.

Optional additions

Optional additions

Finished product

Finished product

There is a reason why a M-65 Army utility jacket like this has been so popular over the years for military, fishing, hunting and fashion.  I get it!  It provides pockets galore, no-fuss practical style and if you happen to sew, it can be made up in many types of fabric.  If you happen to be interested in the history of such a jacket, here is an article worth reading.

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing.

-Dana

 

 

Rust and Navy Knit Tunic

Front Long View 618WIMG_4356[1]In the spirit of early fall and pumpkin season, I whipped up this Butterick 5925, a Katherine Tilton tunic.  Have I mentioned how I love it when the end of October rolls around and brings a little chill to the air?   This is the consistent time of year in Tucson when sweaters and coats are realistic to wear.  I happen to love it (I probably should be living in a cooler climate).   I also love this top because it is easy to make, uses up some small knit remnants for the accents and is very comfortable.

FrontMid ShotIMG_4348[1]
The long necklace is thrifted from a local bookstore Рa little unexpected find from an unusual place.  It is jasper and hand knotted.  I think I paid $12.
As you can see from the line drawing, there are many ways to combine fabrics. ¬†I chose View B but left off the pocket. ¬†I didn’t want to add any bulk at the hip and have the stripe fabric be more visible. ¬†The contrast I chose was simpler than Katherine had designed for View B, where you can incorporate 3 fabrics. ¬†I shortened the sleeves to a 3/4 length which is a year round length for me AND allows for a little visible arm candy.

Back view of pattern

This style shirt and the use of different knit fabrics allow for so many options. I had no fitting issues, except for the neck band which is always tricky so that it lays flat. You know, a neck band that is not too tight, not too loose = SAGGY. Yuck. ¬†In the words of Michael Kors, “Becky Home-Ecky”. ¬† ¬†No preventable saggy necks. ¬†So what to do? ¬†¬†I haven’t figured out the perfect formula for the knit neck bands. ¬†Online classes and various teachers have suggested three-quarters of the neck circumference should be the neck band length, but that doesn’t always work due to the amount of stretch the fabric may have. ¬†If it is a low stretch, like Ponte knit or matte jersey, the neck strip will need to be longer in order to stretch around the neckline and still lay flat. ¬†Super stretchy fabric will be shorter in length for the neckband. ¬†I find pinning it and distributing it as evenly as possible around the neckline works best. ¬† Basically, I have to experiment every time. ¬†I like to jot down the length on my instruction sheet to a have reference info for the future.

Up Close Agate NecklaceIMG_4380[1]

Here is another jewelry option.  Earrings are from Payless Shoe Source!! Can you believe it? Never underestimate the gems that can be found in unlikely places.  The necklace is self made with agate tubes and spacer beads.

Necklace VerticalIMG_4407[1]Below, the side view shows how a triangle piece adds great interest (often called a gore).

Here is the Google definition pertaining to fabric:
…°√īr/noun
noun: gore; plural noun: gores
1. a triangular or tapering piece of material used in making a garment, sail, or umbrella.
verb
verb: gore; 3rd person present: gores; past tense: gored; past participle: gored; gerund or present participle: goring
1. make with a gore-shaped piece of material.
“a gored skirt”

Side ViewIMG_4364[1]

IMG_4361[1]

CoverProHemIMG_4405[1]

This is the cover stitch hem I did using 4 different threads with my Janome CoverPro machine. As you can see, the three threads show on top.  The fourth thread color is on the underneath side.

I even had enough fabric left over to make a tank and infinity scarf.  I have a post about infinity scarves here.

Cowl InfinityIMG_4402[1]
Long Infinity ScarfIMG_4403[1]

The tank is from the Ann’s Cardigan post. I lengthened it a bit from the waist down so that it can be worn as a vest over a button down shirt or under a cardigan or jacket. The scarf can be worn with the rust boots, and a completely different outfit.
Here is the 8 inch slit on the side of the tank.

Side SlitIMG_4404[1]

So there you have it. Another completed sewing project and some jewelry to match.   I hope you will grab this pattern while it is still in the Butterick book and make one up.

On to the next project!
-Dana

Gray and Beige Equals Greige

Greige Outfit and Necklace

Greige Outfit and Necklace

Is there a neutral color that gets your attention every time? ¬†It may be certain shades of gray, tan or camel or a interesting combination of shades you can’t even describe. ¬†Well this is mine. ¬†I love this boring and funky color of brown/gray/beige. ¬†I bet many of you would call it something entirely different. ¬†It is another alternative to black, and a bit more complimentary to my coloring.
I scored the necklace at a local art fair and loved the combination of colored stones set in sterling silver.  Earrings are self made by adding a bead to a post finding from my stash.
Back to the outfit. ¬†I found the fabric at Jo Ann’s in the Famous Maker are which means it retails for $9.99 but eligible for coupons. ¬†I bought what was left on the bolt.

The skirt is a column skirt Рnothing special.  Just measure the length, add seam allowances for elastic waist and hem.  Measure around hips when sitting down and add 1-2 inches for ease.  I added a tricot stretchy lining since the fabric is see-through.  I copied the measurements of the skirt and made the lining just a bit smaller.

Tricot Lining

Tricot Lining

The pattern is from Sewing Workshop / Ann’s Cardigan and Tank. ¬†I noticed this pattern on Linda Lee on the Craftsy Sewing Fashion Knits online course in my personal Craftsy library. ¬†I think I have gushed over Linda before about her eye for color (and fabric) and the course if a great advertisement for some of her fabric and pattern choices as she describes some great techniques for working for knits.

Pattern Front 618WIMG_2729

Pattern Front and Line Drawing

Pattern Back618WIMG_2730

Quick back view to help you prepare

A quick look at the pattern shown here gives you and idea of what fabric type and yardage you’ll need.

Doorway618WidthIMG_2706

Pumps from Kohl’s (old)

Godet Featured618WIMG_2707

Back comes forward forming a godet (a triangle shape)

The magic of the drape of the cardigan happens at the hip line.

Hipline 618WIMG_2718

Side slit of tank top

Above photo shows the side slit of the tank.  Notice I left the hem edges raw.
Changes in the future I would make:The tank has a modern silhouette with the points but the length is a little short on me. I like the length with this ensemble because there is so much of this color and the proportions work out, but in the future, I will lengthen the tank by cutting the tank pattern at the waist and adding length there instead of the hem. That way, it won’t add more bulk at the hips. ¬†DON’T NEED THAT.

Here is an up close view of the tank neckline and necklace. ¬†The neckline is turned under and sewn with two rows of top stitching. ¬†I love using two fusible tapes for the neckline: ¬†Design Plus Bias Fusible from LJ Designs This is used to stabilize and serge. Then I apply Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape¬†in the 1/4 inch width to help fuse the edge to the underside. ¬†Then, carefully top stitch. Don’t do this late at night or too hopped up on caffeine!

PS NecklaceIMG_2720[1]

Doorway2 618WIMG_2705

Happy with the results

The pattern is a bit pricey, but if you are a cardigan girl like me, the plan is to make many of these pieces to get my money’s worth. The fit is flattering no matter your size or shape. Just remember to purchase a drapey knit that highlights the cascading front. Do you have a favorite cardigan (or tank) pattern?

Small Black Capsule

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

I know that black is not one of my best colors, or so I’ve been told, but I can’t help myself. It is just too easy to work with and sew into great go-to pieces for reliable, pulled-together looks. With my fascination with capsule wardrobes, I have a Pinterest board filled with many variations of what constitutes a ‘capsule’. I’ve noticed some pins that claim ‘9 pieces, 9 outfits’. This doesn’t seem like a winning formula. I prefer the 12 items creating 96 outfits or some kind of math equation like that, ¬†stemming from my reading of Nancy Nix-Rice”s book, Looking Good Every Day: Style Solutions for Real Women..

From my daily stalking of Pinterest and book reading, I have learned that a ‘capsule’ begins with core pieces in one or two neutral colors consisting of interchangeable tops and bottoms such as pants, skirt, tank, jacket. Next, add in some coordinating prints in the way of tops or scarves, colorful linking jewelry connecting the colors together and Viola! Easy Breezy dressing. Another great source for capsules is the website Vivienne Files. covering clothing and color combinations galore.

I spend a lot of time planning out the right fabric with the right pattern and I when I am thinking about wearing pieces multiple times, I want them to go the distance and last from season to season.  Trendy pieces are downright fun to make and wear, moving in and out of the wardrobe. This was an effort to make some practical pieces that fit my lifestyle making it easier to mix with my wardrobe.

Here are three pieces I recently finagled out of 4 and 1/2 yards of 60″ wide fabric. The pants = 1 and 1/2 yards, top = 1 yard, shirt = 2 and 1/8 yards making for a small capsule with many possibilities. ¬†Due to careful pattern placement, I was able to squeeze more pattern pieces onto the 4 and 1/2 yards, when technically I was short an eighth of a yard. If I have a large expansive piece of fabric, I can usually be a bit more conservative about pattern placement and conserve fabric.

Here are the three patterns I chose: McCalls 6613, Loes Hinse Cruise Pants – similar, and Burda 8987 out of print (OOP). (A favorite tank pattern can be cut on the bias to recreate this idea.)
IMG_4093
The fabric is from my stash, pre-serger, because when I pulled out the 4.5 yards from my cabinet, I noticed that I had not serged the raw edges. I religiously do that now as I find it reduces the wadded up fabric disasters in the dryer. The fabric content must be a linen blend with a white slub thread running through it in a cross hatch pattern. It has great drape, is 60″ wide, resists wrinkling, and comfortable to wear. ¬†I can’t even remember where I bought it, but my tip is to buy the fabrics that feel great to your hand.

A few tips I can pass along when shopping for the easy care fabrics: Do they wrinkle when you do the squeeze and release test? How does it hang vertically or on the bias? Since buying fabric can often be a gamble, I look at content, care, drape (hand) of the fabric and it’s future versatility with other garments in the wardrobe. Will it go with at least 3 other items in my wardrobe when finished?

McCalls 6613 Palmer Pletch

McCalls 6613, View C, Palmer Pletch

The reason I picked this shirt was that I wanted a yoke and back pleat resembling a man’s shirt. ¬† I wanted it roomy and able to be worked as an outer piece (shirt + jacket = shacket? or jirt?). ¬†Anyway, I knew I would be giving up the bust darts, which are a favorite for me to get the right fit. I sacrificed that for the other features like those of View C which offers bias pockets and a bias front band. With a camera flash, this shirt looks like a charcoal gray, but it is black. Can you see the bias detail?
M6613
The sleeves are rolled up with a tab buttoned to the outside which is how I will wear the sleeves most of the time.

The tank is a V neck, seams to be more forgiving than the tanks I have cut on the lengthwise grain, and the armholes are drafted just right. Have I mentioned how much I love bias cut garments??

The pants are pull on with the addition of self drafted pockets placed on the outside, not in the side seam, and more toward the front of the pant. This kind of pocket adds NO bulk to the hips.

Now for some accessories. After reading Imogen Lamport’s Inside Out Style blog post on getting more mileage from beauty bundles, I realized that I have plenty of black/white/gold accessories that could be grouped together to make for easy selection based on what the day’s activities hold. The inspiration for Imogen’s post came from the book by Brenda Kinsel, Fashion Makeover: 30 Days to Diva Style. ¬† I provided the link to Amazon because it is available at a reasonable cost, has great tips and wonderful illustrations. ¬† It is just a jumping off point. ¬†Take from it what you can.
Here is a grouping that blends with my yellow hair a bit better….

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

Adding beige, gold, gray, cream to the mix

A dressier look with pearl cluster necklace from Macy's clearance table

A dressier look with pearl cluster necklace from Macy’s clearance table

This mixed pearl cluster necklace has a gold chain and is a larger scale piece, so I would choose smaller gold accessories.
I might put a white cardigan, or a black jacket with this combo…..

To see more about the accessories, click here to see the slideshow.

A warm red, gray, white scarf

A warm red, gray, white scarf

 Simplicity  short jacket with drawstring neckline

Simplicity short jacket with drawstring neckline

IMG_4083
This Simplicity 1621 jacket has no hanger appeal, but is actually pretty cute as a shrug/jacket.   I will post about this in the future as I have plans to alter the pattern a bit.  I want to leave the front the same but lengthen it to a cardigan length or duster.  The fabric is a linen look, which is a rayon/linen blend.  The front hangs a bit on the bias.  I finished the edges with a rolled hem.  The sleeves are simple;  rolled up thereby keeping the look casual.

For more ideas about accessorizing, see more on my post Accessories: Black/White/Gold/Silver.

Do you have some patterns in your stash or in the recent pattern books that could be made up into great capsule pieces?

Green Apples and Green Peas

IMG_4050 Before I get started, I feel I have some explaining to do regarding my “break” from posting. It is due to many reasons, none of which may interest you, but I have been doing home remodeling to one room in the house, which leads to much upheaval in the rest of the house. I am pretty disorganized as much of my fabric and patterns are still not at my fingertips. I have also been trying to figure out how to keep up on the posts, offer interesting sewing projects when sometimes I just want to sew and not think in terms of blogging about it. Believe me, there is a difference between sewing and sewing to blog about it. Since I do it all, I have been thinking about ways to stream line and ease the process. I also have such a extensive collection …(hoarder) of patterns, that sometimes I want to make those oldies but goodies that are out of print. Is that just frustrating to read about a fantastic pattern that is no longer available?? When other sewing bloggers do it, I figure I MUST have that patterns somewhere….

There may be more outfits on the mannequin just to speed up the post publishing, so here I am back in the saddle. I hope the posts will still be inspirational yet shorter and more concise. So I will start up with one of the beauties from an independent pattern company….

Here is the Midtown Trench Coat pattern from Indygo Junction. I would include a link, but sadly, it is no longer available. Bummer! I call it my apple green trench because it is that exact color. The necklace is self made from beads purchased at the Tucson Gem Show. Green agate the size of green peas. (More about the necklace below). It may not be the best color on me, but I spotted this fabric at Walmart of all places and thought it might be cute made up in this retro-inspired coat. ¬† It was cotton, 45″ wide and inexpensive. WIN! I thought it would be good practice (muslin) fabric to try out the pattern. It has a red slub stripe running though it which I wanted to feature on the bias cut cuffs and collar.

3/4

3/4″ Sleeves, Bias Cuffs, Side Seam Pockets

I think I like the back the best. The pleats add so much interest and resembles the back of a swing coat.

Back View, Midtown Trench

Back View, Midtown Trench

The line drawings show the slight differences. I chose to insert the pockets into the side seams, but the patch pockets look great, too. ¬†I made the shorter thigh length (32″) instead of to the knee. ¬†I wear it with dark denim and a tank.

Back view of the Midtown Trench

Back view of the Midtown Trench

Green Apple Trench, DIY necklace, Hobby Lobby Buttons

Green Apple Trench, DIY necklace, Hobby Lobby Buttons

Amy Barickman, the founder of Indygo Junction, partners with Mary Ann Donze to make these great patterns available. I have about 5-6 patterns of theirs that I want to make up. When I attended the Sewing and Stitching Expo in Puyallup, WA, Amy was at her booth wearing the Mod Top and Tunic, and she looked so cute.   There is nothing like seeing a sample made up to sucker me into buying the pattern!

Click here again to see the different ways this looks made up in cotton quilting fabrics. I suppose any other medium weight woven fabric would work. Check out the other patterns on the site. You may find something that you can’t wait to try.
IMG_4050Buttons are from Hobby Lobby, and the collar, cuffs and facing are interfaced. There is a slight princess line shaping down the front. The pleats in the back are sewn right down the crease (my choice, not on instructions) to help keep the edges sharp.
Necklace: I’ve been wanting a light green necklace for some time now. I spotted these beads and envisioned them in a simple, multi-strand collar style necklace. The cones and toggle were also purchased at the gem show.
IMG_4064

Green Jasper, 8mm

Green Jasper, 8mm

IMG_4067

18″ Five Strand Necklace

Do you ever get compelled by a color that works it’s way into your wardrobe?

Winter 2014 Pattern Peek

I wish my local Joann’s store was a little quicker on putting the latest pattern catalogs and pattern magazines out on display. ¬†I get all excited only to find the store hasn’t gotten around to putting any of the patterns in the drawers. ¬†What to do? ¬† Visit Hancock’s instead!! ¬† Pour over these pages and get your list ready!

The reality is that I have so many projects in the Que, that there really is no rush.  I will be plenty busy with life, work, chores in the coming days that I need to just breathe and wait a bit longer.

I won’t be reviewing patterns in this post but rather assisting in the planning for your winter sewing.
laptopgirlreading
Check out the latest VOGUE WINTER 2014 Patterns from some of the major companies.  I think I live in the wrong part of the country sometimes because I look forward to the wonderful coats and layering pieces for the colder months.  We have had such a long, hot summer in Tucson that I am ready for a change!!  No need to get in the car and drive to the fabric store just yet.  Due to the wonders of technology, feel free to flip through the pages of the mini catalogs and select your favorites.

Here is a quick peek at the McCALLS WINTER 2014 patterns for the chilly winter. There are holiday fashions, some for little people, and great outer wear and separates for my favorite topic–core wardrobe capsules.

How about KWIK SEW  I have a few winners from Kwik Sew over the years that I sew over and over. Since being purchased, they now offer tissue pattern paper instead of the old butcher paper. Also, the envelopes allow the instructions to be read before purchasing. Before, the old envelopes were sealed. They are priced somewhere between the Big 4 (on sale) and independent patterns.

There are some great Fall/Winter options in Butterick so here is a link to the BUTTERICK FALL 2014 patterns. I already possess the newest of these and can’t wait to get started. I think I will run out of cool temperatures before I finish my projects.

Let’s not forget our independent patterns. ¬† Here are a few lovelies for the colder months. ¬†LOES HINSE has designed a new jacket/cardigan called the Barcelona Jacket and can be found on the Casual Elegance website (shich is on my blogroll). It features a deep V neck and longer length and can be made up in a variety of fabrics.

There is also SERENDIPITY STUDIO Dakota Jacket that offers a great outer layer with a slightly vintage feel. I have ordered this and am making it up in teal velveteen. Can’t wait to see if it will work out. If you haven’t seen the array of Kay Whitt’s clothes, you are in for a surprise. She has a great eye for color and fabric combinations. She has a specific style that she pulls off beautifully.

Another great resource for a more ‘artsy’ or angular styled clothes is THE SEWING WORKSHOP. Linda Lee has a unique design style and these outer wear jackets can be made up in a number of ways. ¬†I am particularly curious about the new Chicago Jacket because it has a big shirt look and could be made out of light weight or heavier fabrics.

How about some Style Arc Jackets and Vests?  Talk about a great selection.  I have not used these patterns yet, but have read about some success stories on other sewing blogs.

If you are interested in a comprehensive list of independent pattern companies, click here.

Happy browsing and sewing!

-Dana

DeedleandThread in Boston Part 1

Somerville, Mass and surrounding attractions

Mural of Somerville, Mass and surrounding areas

Curvy SewingCollective logo
Curvy Girls Unite! Creative-folk and Sewers Alike!! Join me on a trip to Boston….well, through this post anyway….the wonders of the internet and this sewing-in-common thing amazes me. I am here in Boston as I write this post in my daughter, Shannon’s, apartment about to share with you why miles don’t matter when it comes to making connections these days. You don’t have to actually come to Boston to meet Jenny, but is sure was nice to meet face to face. Taking about fabric, sewing and fashion…Hoowhaah!

In anticipation of this trip, a few words were emailed to Jenny (one of the creators of CurvyGirlCollective) and before you knew it, there we were, drinking tea last night at a wonderful place in Boston called Flour Bakery in the Back Bay area ¬†sharing our sewing trials and tribulations! Oh, and on Jenny’s recommendation, I ordered the Spanish Gazpacho summer soup. Good thing you can order their cookbook for all the great recipes.

Flour Bakery, Boston

Flour Bakery, Boston

More about Jenny…..
light good
In case you haven’t hopped on over to this fun and funny sight (also on my blogroll), Jenny, from the wonderful blog, Cashmerette, shares her approaches to fitting her unique body shape. And let’s face it, aren’t we all rockin’ a unique body shape? She has her FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) down pat and knows the silhouettes that work for. ¬†I always admire women who are so clear about their styles and as a result, always present themselves in the best light possible. ¬†Jenny was wearing one of her magnificent wrap dresses she writes about ¬†in her blog.

Speaking for myself, this meet up was thoroughly enjoyable as I listened to Jenny’s perspective on what is lacking in the pattern world for curvy girls. Tents, moo-moo’s (mu-mu?), shapeless body bags are not well received by the body-positive crowd, so the challenge for me is to learn how create some silhouettes STARTING at a larger bust size. Sound good? Let’s skim the body, show some va va voom without going too hoochie-mama. Since I have a ‘D’ cup bust, I think I’ll start there. Stay tuned.

We also talked about the Curvy Girl Collective, which is a sight to visit and learn about the other ladies’ fitting issues. It is filled with tips, techniques, pattern reviews, tutorials, independent pattern companies to explore, and overall great information. There are photos of the victories Curvy sewers are having adapting and changing the available patterns out there that offer current, stylish, and flattering garments. Check it out for some inspiration.

Here is my take away: I encourage you to seek out at least one person in your travels who shares a similar interest and do the face-to-face meet up. You’ll be glad you did. Thanks, Jenny!

Now, on to the fabric. ¬†When I Googled ‘fabric stores in Boston’, I had quite a selection from which to choose.

Sewfisticated fabrics, Boston, Mass.

Sewfisticated fabrics, Boston, Mass.

Day 2: ¬†Today, we visited Sewfisticated Fabrics, which happens to be a discount store with a small but respectable selection of ¬†silks, linen, woolens, cottons, knits, home decor fabric, trims, notions, zippers, and some Simplicity and McCalls patterns. ¬†It reminded me of the the mill end store in Tucson. ¬†Be aware, you are better off knowing what you want and getting it yourself here. ¬†I didn’t get even a ‘hello’ even with a camera hanging around my neck. ¬†That was my experience, so take it for what it is.

Hunting for bargains in Sewfisticated Fabrics

Hunting for bargains in Sewfisticated Fabrics

I spotted a 60″ linen/cotton blend that looks like denim. Five dollars a yard. ¬†Yes! I took all of it which ended up being a bit over 5 yards. In turns of wrinkles, it laundered up better than I expected, especially because of its content. But remember, I’m a weirdo who finds ironing relaxing.

IMG_3920

The home decor wall, Sewfisticated Fabrics

The home decor wall, Sewfisticated Fabrics

Day 3/Last Day: Off to Grey’s Fabrics and Bead and Fiber

Bead and Fiber, SOWA Boston, MA

Bead and Fiber, SOWA Boston, MA

Here, a knitter, beader, fiber artist, would go crazy. So much to look at and enjoy.  Plus, it happens to be a really cool, industrial space with windows and brick all around.

Bead and Fiber Shop and Gallery

Bead and Fiber Shop and Gallery

Bead and Fiber items for sale

Bead and Fiber items for sale

There was such a great selection of beads, buttons, leather for crafts, stringing materials for kumihimo or other jewelry, woollies to make or buy, books, clay, yarns, jewelry closures, glues and adhesives, you name it! Check out the website to read more here about what they offer, and if you are in the area, maybe a class would be of interest???  Speak to either Andrea, Rhonda, Nicole or Bruce.  They will get you excited about some crafty project, for sure.

Craft Table in the middle of the store

Craft Table in the middle of the store

IMG_3894

I SPY: It doesn't get any better than this

I SPY: It doesn’t get any better than this

Shannon is getting a closer look at the collection of vintage chains, closures, trinkets, charms, etc., to adorn necklaces, bracelets, or any other speampunky idea you might have. ¬†You can see her money well spent on leather strips and metal closures to make her own bracelets below. ¬†Don’t they look professionally made?

DIY Bracelets from Bead and Fiber

DIY Bracelets from Bead and Fiber

Items purchased from Bead and Fiber and Grey's

Items purchased from Bead and Fiber and Grey’s

The items on the left are from Bead and Fiber.   After seeing a cuff covered in Fish Leather, I purchased some in turquoise to cover a tarnished cuff of my own.   I also purchased Crystal Clay, which is a two part epoxy.   I purchased the black for $10.00.  It looked easy to use.  Three reasons to like it:
1.) Cures without heat
2.) Molds like clay
3.) Adheres to all surfaces
I feel a tutorial coming on….
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of this clay available for purchase on the website, but I am sure the staff would help you with it over the phone. 617.426.2323
And, of course, I didn’t want to leave without my OWN leather bracelet, so I have a double wrap cognac colored leather strip here. Just takes a little glue…
Now, on to Grey’s.
Literally, these two stores are a stones’ throw from each other in the same plaza. ¬†Wasn’t THAT nice planning of them.
IMG_3913

Grey's Fabrics, SOWA Boston, Mass.

Grey’s Fabrics and Notions, SOWA Boston, Mass.

Inside Grey's--Hey, it's grey in here!

Inside Grey’s–Hey, it’s painted grey in here!

What a cute store! Higher end fabrics to use for garments or quilting or crafts, notions, and the Patterns! Wow, what a great supplier of some of the independent patterns out there, check out this wall:

Dear and Doe, Collette, Sewaholic, Grainline, and more

Dear and Doe, Collette, Sewaholic, Grainline, and more

They have a great website HERE to read more about what they offer. ¬†I couldn’t help myself, I bought the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern because of it’s great reviews, and some rayon 60″ Anna Marie Horner Fabric. ¬†In Tucson, rayon is my FAVORITE fabric to wear. ¬†I’m a sucker for it every time. ¬†Plus, I happen to love Anna Marie’s command of color and arrangement. ¬†Butterflies!!

Anna Marie Horner Rayon Fabric,

Anna Marie Horner Rayon Fabric, “Field Study #3”

IMG_3912
With goodies in our bags, we grabbed a little lunch at a nearby pub and then off to the airport. Goodbye Boston! ¬†It’s been hot, humid, and oh SEW fun.

Somerville, Mass and surrounding attractions

Mural of Somerville, Mass and surrounding attractions

Mom and Daughter, Boston, Mass., August 2014

Mom and Daughter, Boston, Mass., August 2014

Thank for stopping by. For more pics of Boston, go to another post here.

Skateboard Shorts McCalls 6973

PS CroppedIMG_3675My son came down to visit for the weekend and I whipped up these shorts for him. On a recent trip to my local mill end store, SAS Fabrics, I found this skateboard material and couldn’t resist especially since it is 100% cotton and my son lives in Phoenix. Enough of those polyester basketball shorts!! Yuck. Sweaty. Hot. Weekend fashion is not my son’s top priority, so I took it upon my pushy-self and made two pair of these for him.
PS CroppedIMG_3676The pattern offers a great cargo pocket detail. I added some hook and loop tape to keep the pocket closed so that the phone/keys/wallet won’t slip out when he sits down.

When my two sons were in junior high and high school, skateboards were used for their transportation. They have been known to even beat up a curb or two…anyway, I bought three yards. Isn’t it great? It resembles a camouflage print from a distance. I am always on the look out for kitchy-yet-masculine fabrics for kick around projects for my boys.

Below is the pattern. Read more here about the pattern. In order to help me pick the right size, I compared the width and length of some other favorite shorts to get the silhouette just right.
PS CroppedIMG_3677 There are other usable garments on this pattern. However, the shorts needed a little shortening, so here are some of the following adjustments I made.
1.) I measured the desired inseam on the leg to see where the finished length should be.
2.) Compare to length to pattern piece.
3.) Fold up or cut/lengthen.
Inseam PS CroppedIMG_3687
These were shortened by 2″, so the fold looks like it is 1″. Just remember that the fold is twice the amount of the desired length. For example, if you want to shorten by 1″, the fold will look like 1/2″.
Shorten2 PSCroppedIMG_3686
4.) Don’t forget to shorten (or lengthen) the back and front the same so that the inseams and side seams will match up. Take advantage of the notches on the seam allowance and use them to help with this step.
5.) When measuring the side length, allow for the separate attached waistband. I used 1″ elastic, and top stitched the waistband seam allowance down toward the shorts to secure it. I omitted the tie because I didn’t have anything in my stash that would work, and it wasn’t worth a trip to the fabric store to get something. Normally, I find this technique a bit bulky, but in this case, so I top stitched the waistband down onto the shorts and it helped keep the shorts secure at the hips. Overall, they were a success. So much so that he requested a second pair! I will be making a bag out of this fabric for my other son since he is not here in town to measure.

And last but not least is Outlaw, Sean’s dog who allows us to get our dog ‘fix’ without having all the responsibility. He is a Pit Bull/Boxer mix who is happy and tolerant of our constant hugs and harassment.
To read more about ideas for guy gifts, click here on a post I made that you may have missed.
Outlaw1 PSCroppedIMG_3674