Geez, I haven't shared a sewing post with you in a month. Totally not reflective of what I've been up to. Let's start with a simple tank-style woven top and altered jeans. The tank is a refashioned men's shirt (short sleeve button down and SOFTASALLGETOUT) and the jeans were a standard pair of bootlegged Banana Republic jeans I have not worn because the bootlegs never really worked for me.
It doesn't look like much, but the cool story about the top is that I decided to experiment with DRAPINGPAPERDIRECTLYONTOTHEFORM. That's right, no draping fabric, transferring to paper, creating lots of inaccuracies and imprecisions, etc. etc. I kept things simple and draped paper right onto the form, folded out one bust dart, etc. The draped paper pattern has a side seam that falls straight from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom hem, but I kicked it out for an a-line shape when I saw how much width from the original shirt I'd be wasting. Also, I am not sure how, but my bust dart is a bit too long. Darts are supposed to end 1" or so from the apex, and mine go nearly right up to said apex. I'll have to change that on the pattern for next time. I don't have nearly enough tunic-length tops so I am excited about the potential for this simple pattern. Oh, and there's a photo of the original shirt here.
The jeans are a whole different story. I attended a denim alterations workshop in June and started working on skinnifying and shortening the legs on this pair of jeans that fit like a glove around the waist and hips. The heat came and I never felt like cooking, I'd been vegan for a month or two but didn't have a good enough repertoire of recipes, and by the time I picked these jeans up to finish them a few days ago, they were super-loose around the waist and hips. *sigh* Now the leg width and length are perfect. So I'm hoping that in a month or two, when cooler weather arrives and I am eating 24/7, I can fit into them again. I wore them in the pics above but am not wearing them today.
I'm aware that the jeans don't look like anything special, but that's kind of what makes them so awesome for me. I've had legs too short for jeans for my whole life, and although I can get away with a regular trim and hem for denim trousers, I've always had the "home sewn" look with my jeans when I do that. I've resorted to abrading the new hem on my jeans with rocks and pumice stones before, but let's face it: the original jeans hem always looks best.
So first, I selected the side seam that was serged and not flat-felled to unpick the hem, just a couple inches on either side of the seam. I turned the jeans inside-out and re-drew a straight line from the knee to the hem, and then stitched along the line. I checked that I was satisfied when the leg was turned right-side out, and then I trimmed the new seam allowance and zig-zagged to "finish" it, pressed the new side seam, etc. Then I re-hemmed after skinnifying was complete. All looked good and I repeated for the other leg. There is a great photo tutorial for skinnifying jeans at Freshly Picked.
As for shortening, I have read about this technique for years and was so reluctant to try... the best photo tutorial I've found that resembles what I did is here. I did topstitch the seam allowance down in blue thread (that is a close color match to the jeans). Here's an up-close shot, but honestly, when you are a couple feet from me, you can't tell at all. They look like regular ol' jeans. Which is a good thing!
I signed up for Elsie Marley's Kids Clothes Week Challenge next week. Since I'm actually going to be out of town for most of challenge week, I'm going to sew for Louis this week and post my progress next week to sync with the rest of the participants. I still have a few updates to blog about, so this blog might see more of me the next few weeks -- as long as I can CATCHUPONMYPICTURETAKING. As a warm-up to the kids week challenge, I decided to work on some freezer-paper stencils for Louis (breakdancer, unicorn, and AstroBoy), strategically hiding some stains on the fronts of shirts. See you soon!!!