denim

Alders for Spring

Hi everyone!

Lately I’ve been churning out Spring appropriate clothes in anticipation of warmer weather. Today was one of the first bare-legs days so far, so I twisted Ben’s elbow and we hit the streets to get pics of two of my newest Grainline Alder dresses.

Grainline Alder

This first one seemed quite popular when I posted an in-progress shot to Instagram and I think that’s all down to the amazing fabric, which is a gorgeous medium-weight cotton that I bought at Tessuti on a visit to Melbourne last month. It has a fantastic geometric pattern that I think looks quite cool broken up across the Alder style lines. With a full-on print like this I don’t think you can go past self covered buttons, so I had some made at Hawes and Freer. I like the way they blend in while still providing an opportunity for some extra print placement fun.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

For this view B version I cut a size four and lengthened the hem by about an inch, as well as raising the bust darts a little as they sit a bit low on me. Originally I sewed the pockets on but removed them after determining that too much was going on. I’ve been wearing this with my favourite new cardi, which has proved to be super versatile and is featuring in most of my outfits at the moment!

Grainline alder

My view A denim Alder came about on a bit of a whim, as its my belief that since sewing is my favourite hobby I’ll sew what I want, when I want, otherwise the fun might diminish! Anyway it was very enjoyable to make and I am surprised by how much I love the finished dress – I thought that I preferred the view A gathered style but I’ve really fallen for this one.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

The denim that I used for this is a lovely medium weight. I’m not sure if it’s technically denim or more of a thick chambray, but either way I’m into it. I used some nice black metal buttons that I got from a wholesaler, and I really like the way that they look with this fabric. Looking at the photo below I wonder if I should have played with the shoulder slope a bit, but I’m not too worried about it – I’ll definitely wear it even if it has some shoulder wrinkles.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

I used a scrap of Japanese quilting cotton for the inner yoke and the armhole bias binding. I love the way it looks!

Grainline Alder

I’m so happy with how these two dresses are fitting into my wardrobe, they seem to go with everything. Right before I made these I sewed up another view B Alder in a gorgeous dark navy cotton with a textured stripe, and it’s been on high rotation. I would show it here on the blog but I’m not sure that photos would accurately depict the fabric, and at this point I don’t think I need to blog a fifth Alder! You can see my previous two versions from last year here and here.

How about you guys, are you sewing for the new season?

Uniform (Ginger jeans)

It’s been a long time since my last blog post. I’ve been sewing, that’s for sure, but for whatever reason I just haven’t felt compelled to write about it. So, I have a backlog of projects to share with you.

 

Here are my two latest makes, a Scout tee and…. Jeans!

I made these, my first and only attempt so far, from a black stretch denim that I ordered from Girl Charlee while I was on holiday in the US. They are the high rise, skinny leg version, a shape that I am rather fond of in RTW jeans, so it felt like the obvious choice. 

 

I really took my time with these. I think I cut the fabric about a week ago, and over the past seven days have methodically basted, fitted, unpicked and re-sewn until I reached the point where I felt reasonably satisfied. For sure, they are not without fault, but I’m pretty happy for my first go.

Adjustment wise, I made a few small changes:

  • Took a wedge out of the waistband and yoke CB for my sway back
  • Shaved a good 6mm from the hips
  • Removed about the same from the upper inseam
  • Lowered the crotch about 1cm
  • Straightened the front crotch curve

I had really been dreading any crotch fitting issues that I might encounter, but ultimately it was reasonably easy to figure out which adjustments I needed using Heather’s great sewalong. Despite shortening the back inseam by a little bit and easing it to the front (this was suggested in order to help minimise back leg wrinkling), I still have several big wrinkles on the back thigh that are bothering me. As was pointed out in the sewalong, you’ll always have one or two or else there won’t be any sitting ease, but I wonder if there’s another way I could minimise them further? If you have any ideas then let me know.

The back pockets sit a bit low on me so I’ll raise those a couple of cm on my next pair. 

And another pair, there will be! 

The thing is, I used to be such a dress girl. These days, I much prefer jeans and a nice top, especially for work. We don’t have a dress code for rehearsals, so anything goes really, and although some days I have a distinct idea of what I want to wear, most days I would prefer to not have to think too much about it. My aim now is to build up a wardrobe of interesting basics that I can easily mix and match. 

Dress + double bass = not gonna work (unless the skirt portion is very generous in width). Jeans + double bass = yes. Mind blown.

So now I’ve got the jeans part covered. Enter the Scout Tee:

 

Why have I never made this magical pattern before? It’s such a good workhorse and I love it. I’ve made four already. This one is made from a luscious wool and silk blend that I scored from the remnant bin at The Fabric Store. It is gorgeous and I love it. Unfortunately, and despite my best efforts, I somehow managed to cut it off grain. This oversight irritates me no end, but oddly enough this imperfection has led me to feel less precious about it and will probably mean that I’ll wear it more. Strange but true.

Now I’m planning all kinds of variations on the Scout. For the next one I’m thinking hem ruffle.

Have you made either of these patterns? Do you have any cool ideas for Scout tee variations?