Wings and Things

It's been a busy week at work, the spring weather is finally showing up a bit! I haven't had a ton of time to work on anything, but here's a bit of  what I've been doing this week.

I think too often I buy really wild fabrics, and end up having to make pretty basically shaped garments out of them, because details would get lost, or be too overwhelming. A few weeks ago, I forced myself to buy some plain, cream cotton to maybe work on something with a more interesting shape.

 The idea started with seeing this McQ top with an extended 'flap' over the shoulder. I thought about how to extend the yoke of a shirt to create such a flap, then I started thinking about how it looked like little wings.

So obviously, the answer was to make a shirt with an extended yoke that was a little pair of wings. You can see the altered yoke piece up at the top here. I also had to cut the back armholes a little deeper to compensate for the narrower point where they met the yoke. 

I also made little shaped pockets for the front, just for fun. I used freezer paper like I do with my tiny hand applique to try and get the edges smooth. Worked pretty well, I think.

Attached yoke. The construction was a little weird, had to finish the sleeve hole edges before putting on the yoke. The inside yoke is cut straight across where it joins the body, only the outer one is shaped, like a cowboy-shirt yoke.

 On, I think the wing effect is actually pretty subtle--I was afraid it would be too costumey to wear normally. I promise it doesn't bunch like that normally, I think I accidentally tucked it into my pants.  

From the front, you just get the little 'flaps' like the original shirt. I didn't interface them because I didn't want them super structured, but now I'm think a lightweight interface might have been prudent. I made it pretty cropped, been getting into more unusual shirt proportions lately. 

 Also cut some vanilla short sleeved shirt pieces, just because I've realized I don't have many that I like/like the fit of. I've gained enough muscle at this point that quite a few were just too small and had to go into the donate pile.

 This fabric is so cute, but very busy. I attempted to match the diagonal stripes up at the center front and back (I cut two back pieces, rather than one on a fold) so we'll see how that goes.

In drop-crotch shorts news, when I took out my summer clothes from under the bed, I realized I had a few nice, drapey, oversized tees. I like this one particularly with them. I've also started making a few more pairs of weird pants/shorts, but no pictures yet.

Short Lace

As much as I've been enjoying making things for myself lately, I really haven't been doing enough textile experiments. I've been meaning to revisit needle/tape lace for a while, I wasn't really satisfied with any of the project I did with it. So just to get back into it, I did a little sampler to play around with stitches. I just laid down some twill tape and basted it to a thick piece of wool to stabilize it.

 It came out a little rumpled. Part of it was that I didn't put paper behind it, so I caught a fair amount of wool in the stitching. The other part was that I didn't put it in a hoop. I thought the wool would be stiff enough to not warp, but that wasn't the case.

 I like the finer meshes, and the 'woven' effect on the big square. You can also see I changed threads--the more off-white thread was softer and I think made for better-looking stitches.

 I've been really intrigued by all the loose, drapey pants and shorts I've been seeing around lately, but have had a difficult time figuring out how to make them work for me--any gathering around the waist is super unflattering because of the size of my legs. Starting with a bunch of images, these two (Comme des Garcons and Rick Owens) included, and an $1.50 pair of very large old-lady linen pants, I think I'm on to something.

I cut off the bottoms of the legs, and opened up the seams on the sides and crotch. I used the excess leg fabric to make a melon-shaped 'crotch gusset.' Unfortunately, due to limited fabric, I had to put a seam in the middle, which I think affects the drape a bit weirdly. If I make another pair, I'll make sure not to do that. I then pinned the sides up, put them on and carefully took in the side seams and added front pleats. 

I didn't have enough left over for pockets either, so the butt looks a little naked to me. I like the cuffs at the bottom though, gives it a little more structure.

Now here's the problem...I can't quite figure out what to wear them with? Loose top? Tight top? Tucked in? Or not? Most people seem to wear them with big drapey layers, but that's not really something I have much of...

 Trying things out. I think I need a looser tank top to make it work. I think the fact they are off-white is also a little hard to match up. I'd really like to remake them in either an olive linen or blue chambray.

I did pick up on my Dear Jane blocks. I had to take down the design wall, so it's harder to pick colors without seeing the previous rows. I have them charted out, but it's not the same. Row I, Blocks 3-6.

Knocking Off

Retail 'seasons' are so misleading. We're getting in tons of sandals at work, and it's got me all excited about spring clothing, despite knowing I've got a few months before it's really going to warm up. A brief two days of 50 degree weather also helped to fool me! But we've got snow in the forecast tomorrow, so it's back to reality. Oh well, doesn't stop me from making some new things to tuck away for warmer days.

 I've been seeing in a lot of stores a sort of 'jogger style' jeans, like these:

 Which in theory sounds awesome and comfortable. I decided to see if I liked the look with a pair of old jeans I had which weren't getting much wear.

I just popped an elastic cuff on these 511s. It sort of worked, but the pants are pretty tight and close to the ankle so it wasn't quite the look (not that I won't wear these still)

 So attempt #2, I bought a pair of size 42/30 weird acid washed old lady jeans. I recut them to my "loose short" pattern, widening it at the waist a bit. Ripped off the pockets, put new ones on, then an elastic waistband.

 I originally tried to put elastic cuffs on the bottom, but it just wouldn't come out quite right. I think part of the reason is that my calves are pretty large and the elastic gets caught up on it, it doesn't look right. Anyway, I just did a curved hem, a bit like athletic shorts.

So still not quite the look I want, but closer. I think I'm going to have to scout out some yardage, this sort of thing is hard to remake from other clothing because you need to start with a very big garment to squeeze the recut out of. They sort of look like these shorts, which were also on my 'rip off' list, although I think they are knit:

And lastly,

Not exactly an impressive reconstruction, but I did resize that gold lame shirt. Now I have a pretty perfect gold t-shirt. I managed to re-cut the shoulder area so it was less of a boat neck and more of a crew neck. One downside though--the fabric is weirdly warm to wear.

Now I'm back on a Dear Jane kick. Didn't get much done this weekend because it was filled with pro-wrestling, but I have a good schedule this week and my shoulder's bugging me again, so my workouts are cut a bit short, so I should be getting in some good sewing time.

New Materials

So my tacky baroque print shirt is nearly done. All that's left is buttons and button holes...which I've been known to put off for weeks and weeks. Hopefully it won't be that long. At least it's a short sleeve shirt, so I probably won't be yearning to wear it any time soon. Pretty pleased with the fit overall, and my 'fussy cutting' of the pattern worked pretty well.

 A month or so ago, I found a very 70's polyester button down with this amazing print. It was in kinda rough shape, one of the button holes was torn and the cuffs were frayed but it was $2 so I bought it anyway and it's been sitting on my fabric rack since. I decided to try and make a tank top out of it. The two front pieces were sewn together to form the back , and the large back piece (There was no yoke on this, you can see it's a one piece collar too) became the front. Despite no serger access I think it came out pretty well.  It's a little bit of squeeze getting my head through the neck though.

Now that I've got some respectable guns I feel like it's going to be a summer full of tank tops. Well, that and the fact that I'm hot all the time.

 I also got some materials from the thrift store the other day. The gold lame shirt I think will just get sized down, I've always wanted a gold t-shirt! The elastic mom jeans are hopefully destined to become something like the comfy jean/sweatpant hybrids I've been seeing around.

 The bottom picture is, from top left- white sheeting, bird-and-flower sheeting, some misc. fabric I already had in the middle, then two XL collared shirts, a mint and a gray to be cut up for fabric. Hoping out of this assortment I get 3-4 summer shirts. Didn't find any heavier weight fabric for shorts/pants this time around.