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Surf to Summit Top Pattern - Out now!

Too cold for photos - just sewing instead!

18 January 2013, 13:23

As I write this, London is in the midst of the second snowfall of the year (if you count Monday’s over-hyped yet under-delivered snow, that is) and I’m bundled up in a full-body thin layer of silk (long johns), plus my wool foldover trousers, my bamboo turtleneck, two pairs of socks, and my Russian greatcoat for my 35min walk into work today. It’s nothing on the Pennsylvania winters I grew up with, but at least I feel prepared!*

The good news is that, while it’s freezing outside, my sewing cave is one of the warmest spots on the boat, so I’ve been busy!

Papercut Peter & the Wolf Trousers


The new trouser pattern from Papercut Patterns was burning a hole in my To Sew list, so I just had to try them out! I finished these before last weekend, but Saturday I was covered in mud (another cross country race) and Sunday it was freezing and I didn’t fancy a photshoot.

I did an awesome job lining up the seams on the side invisible side zipper, if I do say so myself!

I really like that they have you topstitch all the mid-leg vertical seams as well as all the yoke seams – that topstitching really makes the seaming stand out nicely. It also meant I actually finished a huge 1000m spool of black Gutermann thread! I thought those things were infinite!

I’ve not yet worn these to work (the tulip hems mean my long johns are visible in front, the horror!) but I can tell already they’ve got a nice fit throughout – I especially like the trouser hems and the hip yokes, though they do mean the pockets are placed further down the leg than I’m used to…

I’ll try to get some photos this weekend, even though the details will be lost in the dark brown stretch twill (hey, it was in the stash alright!?) I’d bought in Paris last Spring. I didn’t have any particular attachment to it and it was a stretch woven as per the pattern requirements, so I made these as a trial version (or wearable muslin if you prefer). I might fancy making these again in some stretch wool suiting in my stash from last winter…

Another Chic Sweatshirt


When my parents were visiting in October, my mom looked through all my recent makes and decided she’d like a chic sweatshirt for her belated Christmas gift, and she picked out a lovely lavender sweatshirting for it while she was here. Remember how lovely she looks in lavender? I think it was a great choice. For my gift, she re-taught herself to crochet and made me a wonderful hat in mustard wool I picked out. Hooray for our little skills exchange!

She tried on my sweatshirt, though, and decided it should be “two sizes bigger”, ie: a 46. The pattern only goes up to 44, so I had to grade it up. With multi-size patterns, it’s not too difficult – just measure the space between the lines, add that onto the largest size, and connect the lines at the corners. Here’s a good tutorial on grading up a pattern, and thankfully, this particular one happened to be the pink shaded pattern for this issue so it was easier than usual. It probably took me about 15-20 minutes to grade up all the pieces on the pattern sheet (of which there’s only 4!), then another 10 to trace them off, so it wasn’t nearly as painful as grading up a pattern that isn’t multi-sized.

Nishi helped at every stage of the process, too. Of course! I’ve got to watch her like a hawk, though, because she’s obsessed with pins and will pull them out of my projects if I take my eyes off her for even a second….

While I was tracing that, I also traced out the Matthew Williamson designer dress from that incredible September issue, too. I’m not planning on making it right away, but thought I might as well since I had everything out. I’m well-practised at tracing patterns but man! 14 pieces!! Most of that is because they’ve actually drafted nice lining pieces rather than making you create your own from the shell minus facings, but it means there’s a hefty amount of tracing work to be done.

Bra sew along

So with those two projects finished, my brain is currently occupied with the idea of tackling lingerie again, specifically bras. The impetus for this is the fantastic bra sew-along going on over at Cloth Habit right now, which features my new favourite Twitterer, Orange Lingerie, too (who is in the process of writing a lingerie sewing book right now! How excited am I??!?).

Lord knows I have enough lingerie sewing supplies to sew plenty without having to go outside for supplies (remember my lingerie sewing inventory?) and I really want to tackle the fit this time around, because I’ve never really been 100% happy with the bras I’d made, at least not as happy as the fit I get from RTW, and that annoys me.

So this time I want to try again with non-foam cups – either Elan 350 or two different KnipMode bra patterns in my stash (or I may revisit KwikSew 330), and use the collective wisdom in the Sew Along to hopefully get things totally right this time!

It’s strange, there must be something about the cold – somehow I always tend to sew pretty lingerie when it’s cold out! Last January it was my first Ruby Slip!

Cold & frosty


There may be a slight diversion to my lingerie sewing though, in response to the cold – it’s gone from mid 50sF to below freezing in a matter of days here and now I’m considering sewing up a quick pair of running leggings in that Cold Gear fabric Cidell found. My Suziplex pairs are fairly warm, and my legs tends to warm up quickly on a run, but it would be nice to come home and not have beet-red thighs for once!

The cold has also meant the first wearing of the Russian greatcoat for the year – it’s so much bigger on me than when I made it 4 years ago! I guess when you drop weight gradually and without any “diet” mindset, you don’t really notice until you have a direct comparison like this. It was surprising, anyway.

Belated gift


Oh, and since I had the flu for most of December, Pip and I postponed our gift exchange until recently. How well does she know me – she gave me Drape Drape 2 (in English!) and some navy stretch twill from Ditto that I’d been coveting!

And of course, some chocolates!

*I am also one of those crazy people that went for a run this morning in the fierce wind and cold, though it hadn’t started snowing yet at that point.

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Comments:

  1. You are pretty sewing busy!%))
    We have now -15C, and it will be colder. I should buy some bias to finish my dress but I don’t want to go somewhere in such cold%))


    Sveta    Jan 18, 01:47 PM    #
  2. Hi Melissa,

    If you need any help fitting your bra, let me know!

    Regards,
    Norma


    Orange-Lingerie    Jan 18, 02:08 PM    #
  3. i am so impressed that you went for a run! looking forward to seeing your trousers when it stops snowing!


    Sew Little Time    Jan 18, 03:11 PM    #
  4. Love it! You have my dream life!


    Kristonlion    Jan 18, 04:58 PM    #
  5. Yes, do come and join the bra sew along! It’s a lovely group, and Amy & Norma are wonderful.

    Where in Pennsylvania did you grow up? I grew up in Erie. Some mighty cold winters there for sure.


    Andrea    Jan 19, 06:26 AM    #
  6. I have that Mathew Williamson dress done and I love it. I know its a lot of pieces, but the fact that the lining and facings are separate makes it so fabulous. I color blocked it and I get tons of compliments when I wear it!


    Becki Chitwood    Jan 19, 03:05 PM    #
  7. Looking forward to seeing your Matthew Williamson dress, Melissa. I have made a muslin of it ( not something I normally do, but know I should) and the fit was almost perfect. Result!


    — SHEREE    Jan 19, 04:40 PM    #
  8. Interesting blog as usual. Your mentioning the bra sew-along reminded me I really should finish the pattern I bought from
    VeraVenus [rather than just having done a mock up in calico(muslin)]. I worked with an American young lady a few years ago and ‘knickers’ for ‘panties’ was one of the British English terms she just couldn’t bring herself to say, but that’s okay as either term can be used in the UK. I’ve also got some mega-boring stuff to do, like putting elastic in the bands of some of my slacks that where the waistband HAS gone slack.


    — Patricia O    Jan 19, 07:02 PM    #
  9. Hi Melissa! Glad you got the impetus to try a bra again. You can crack it! I totally know what you mean about winter and sewing lingerie. (Although it’s 75 today in TX, who’s complaining…)

    Can’t wait to see what you turn out!


    Amy    Jan 22, 02:29 AM    #
  10. I’m following along with the bra sewalong posts, but will be sewing a little later (I didn’t get myself organised in time…), I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the sewalong – so far it seems so thorough and helpful!


    Dilly    Jan 22, 04:48 PM    #

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