Wool pants

[WARNING: This post is laden with photos! And very little text, so feel free to skim.]

These are my new favorite pattern from Ottobre. They are the “froggy” pants, size 104 cm (roughly a 3-4t I think.) I do love Ottobre, and while their directions are scant, their patterns never fail to deliver (and delight!) And, as usual, I always forget half way through tracing the pattern to add seam allowances. So my pieces are a bit wonky, but with additional markings the pants came together so quickly I made two in two sewing sessions (maybe 5 hours for two pairs of pants.)

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

The fabric was from stash, as all my clothes are this year. No new fabric for me until I empty my shelves a bit more. I am hoping to be able to buy fabric in 2015, early winter. However, how I yearn for silk jersey and wool jersey! I feel like a  predatory animal looking at GorgeousFabrics.com and perusing fabrics at my local stores (I am able to buy notions, like rivets! So I am feeling super lucky! And less like a wold, hungry, forced from the woods into humanity, lurching at every sewist’s fabric stash with a glint in my eye…. Anyway. The fabric is a delicious dark blue wool, but it does have a bit of a nap and some strange horizontal pattern to it. The more I worked with it, the more it reminded me of furniture. This is why I fear I must not buy fabrics online. Too many disappointed purchases. The wool is excessively soft, and durable, and will be great for my climbing toddler as he tumbles around the playground. I used some scraps of flannel as well, as you will see.

Now, let’s show the insides first.

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

The front has articulated knee panels, and I lined them with flannel for extra padding. I regret not adding actual plushy fleece or something. My kid is in the bruising stage of growing up, although I doubt any amount of padding will help. Coordination is a skill, and I wish I had more myself. You can see I faced the waistband as well, more for cuteness than anything else. And while all the edges are serged with white, the seams are sewn in a matching dark blue so the thread won’t show at seamlines. The fabric was extremely thick, but something in the wool was not just fuzzy, it was not unraveling, it was… fuzzing apart. If that is a thing? Lots of bits of fuzz all over the place.

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

The knee panel I stitched to hide the edges and have smooth lines, hiding the raw edges inside, kinda like when you sew underpants panels. This is not in the pattern, I just made it up. YAY for sewing!

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Here I changed the light sensitivity to show the details of the inner “mock fly” that I copied from some RTW pants my son wears constantly. I was so pleased with how it came out! Just a couple inches and with an elastic in the back of the waist band, it’s perfect! I couldn’t be happier. I love making s*** up when sewing. It brings me joy to problem solve!

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Here is the top view of the waist. You can see the elastic in the back, and my half mock fly. The directions call to sew the elastic to the outside of the pants as well, but I have no luck in that. Every time I attach elastic to a waistband that isn’t a knit fabric, the waistband gets all mucked up. And tips readers? I have an elastic stitch, a triple zip zag, for attaching elastic, but it doesn’t seem to help. So instead I just attach the elastic, far too throughly, at the ends, and once in the middle back, and call it good.

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

The articulated knee panel from the outside, and a close up of the fuzzy napped wool. This is very close to the true color of the wool as well, a rich blue. It reminds me of old military uniforms, which inspired me to add some fun silver rivets and button. Do you see the wood grain on the silver button below? It’s more from grandma’s magic button stash. I added two rivets to a super tiny angled pocket on the leg too. I was going to add even more, but decided little metal rivets would just scratch up slides and swings and all manner of playground equipment.

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Again, this “froggy” pants pattern is super fun. The front bellows type pocket on the thigh is super fun. The pattern suggests velcro and I may add snaps later but for now, my kid ignores all pockets on his clothes. The large flap and pocket even holds my iPhone5, so it’s pretty roomy. Maybe soon he will start collecting things? If you sew for little people, do you add all the finishing touches like rivets and pockets, knowing they will be ignored?

I know my child wasn’t feel up to snuff today, and I insisted he try them on anyway. I bribed him with my chalk marker.”Parenting win!” I told myself, but really, a total fail at any decent photos.

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

More failed attempts at cute pictures, but you can see my stash in the back corner as he stands on my cutting table.

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

Here are the front of the pants, in all their glory (Can pants be glorious?). It was so great to work with wool and flannel on these cold days. Fall is cold and grey and wet this week, and you can see my giant mug of Bourbon St. Roiboos in the photos above. I live to drink this in winter, and am searching for new chai tea at home to try. Anyone have any chai favorites that is a dry tea bag and not a liquid?

Wool Pants from Ottobre pattern, by Bird and Bicycle, size 104cm

 

Well, good for you to making it through this giant picture post! I am happy to know you are here, and read/looked all the way. What are you finishing up making for “Sewing in September” month? I spent the last two weeks mostly secret sewing, and then a couple toddler pants, and I have plans for a zip jacket with the exact same fabrics used in these pants, but I don’t know if I can get this all done in two days.

Love,

MaLora

PS: Also, a great discussion about #selfishsewing over at Gillian’s blog. It has a hefty amount of comments, but I found all of them valuable and a great read.

Lady Skater

When I first saw Katie’s lady skater I wanted one. As in, I need this! so, now, months later, I have one of my very own! The fabric isn’t identical to Katie’s but pretty dang close with a pale pink background. I am one step closer to creating a wardrobe appropriate to be in The Misfits!

Lady Skater by Bird and Bicycle, Kitschycoo Patterns

The dress was an easy make, maybe too easy?! I haven’t used clear elastic around a waist before and frankly, I dislike it. I am curious to see how it holds up over time. I didn’t realize the pattern repeat was so very obvious until I took these pictures.

Lady Skater by Bird and Bicycle, Kitschycoo Patterns

If I make this again, I will raise the waistline and lengthen the skirt. I will also not at all use cotton interlock. I made one from cotton interlock, after this cute leopard print one, and the darn fabric was frankly, sucked.

Recently a friend, a professional costumer, mentioned something about me and technical knowledge and drape and all I can remember exactly was that I need to learn how to drape muslins on myself as fit that way. So, instead of my usual nip tuck, I ignored all previous ideas about what I thought my “body fit” is and instead just sewed a muslin with almost no flat pattern alterations. All formal like, I basted and measured and tucked and took it apart and put it back together and carefully measured again and again. I was able to use the same fabric for three muslins because I just kept taking in and in and in. So who knew I had such a weird body?

Lady Skater by Bird and Bicycle, Kitschycoo Patterns

Does anyone else take your body measurements and then consider health? I have had back problems off and on my whole life. I have to alter all patterns with a sway back of at least 2″, and shrink the shoulders/sleeve height down usually about 1.5″ and what does this say about bone structure? I won’t deny the advantages. Lacking height in my shoulders makes my bosom look nice and perky when in fact, I am just short! Ha!

Sewing this up taught me a great deal about shoulder fit. And I can now take what I have learned and alter other patterns easily. In fact, doing this helped me understand what was wrong with my Ziggi moto jacket! So hopefully I can find some time to work on that this winter.

I don’t know if I particularly like the lady skater, but I drafted a great t-shirt from it, and learned so much sewing it, that I am very pleased. I do think this is a fantastic beginner knit dress, and would look better on people with longer bodies/more waist than me. I am forever learning about sewing. So my hobby keeps me in a whirlwind of pride and humility, discovery and challenge. It’s the ideal craft for me! But what about you? Have you been successfully challenged by your own crafts lately?

It took me far too long to post about this dress, and I have already made another one. I find they can be casual as in the above pictures, with flip flops, or more dressy, for the ever attractive date nights. Mojito, anyone?

Lady Skater by Bird and Bicycle, Kitschycoo Patterns

Franken-hack! The “Brontemisu”

I am so in love with the Bronte top by Jennifer Lawrence. I can’t rave about this pattern enough. It makes me feel feminine but it’s terribly comfortable too. It’s a quick make once you get a good fit, and takes barely any fabric! That being said, my second favorite pattern being the Tiramisu I knew, instantly, that I had to combine them. As soon as I saw the neckline of the Bronte, even before I owned it, the Bronte reminded me of a knit version of vintage styles kinda like Colette dresses. So I combined the waistband and skirt of the Tiramisu and part of the Bronte and voila! I will absolutely make more of these! Next time, with more gathers under the girls, if you know what I mean.

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It was an easy make, relatively. If you try this, and like me are too lazy to make a muslin (let’s hear it for lazy sewists! *hollah!*) absolutely use a drapey knit. Drape drape drape! This wouldn’t work so great in cotton interlock, for example. Don’t ask me how I know.

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I want more knit dresses! I have some beautiful florals in ITY but we shall see. It’s getting to be sweater weather, not clingy sexy drapey dress weather. What patterns do you like to mix together?!

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Ps: some days it’s just awkward to take pictures of yourself.