I wasn’t going to do any sort of 2018 retrospective. I especially wasn’t going to look at my 2018 Make 9 list. I was sure that I completely missed the mark. I hadn’t thought about my list in, oh, 7 months or so, except for the nagging sense of guilt I felt about not making as many pairs as pants as I hoped.
Juniper Pants – 2018 was supposed to be my Year of Pants. It wasn’t.
Ginger Jeans – I made these! And then never blogged about them.
Boxers – Got stuck sourcing elastic.
Some sort of denim skirt – I made most of one, Ginger, but I sewed the invisible zipper in too closely (who knew this could be a problem?!) and it doesn’t zip past the start of the waistband. I’ve ignored it for months.
Lander Pants – I made a muslin and it was so, so bad I was put off of pants completely. I’m still working up the gumption to deal with the mysteries of a crotch curve.
A mixed bag, to be sure. I don’t look at this and feel good about the things I’ve made, I feel bad about the things I haven’t. Unmet goals weigh heavily on me. I won’t be repeating this experiment; its specificity doesn’t jive with my more lackadaisical attitude towards making. Or maybe I need to reframe it and conceptualize it as a direction or theme for the coming year rather than a than a to-do list. I’m still learning about what I wear, what I feel good wearing, and what I make, and I hope I’m getting closer to a Venn diagram of the three that’s a single overlapping circle. I pecked a bit at putting together a Make 9 for 2019. I couldn’t commit to 9 patterns to sew, but it did help me realize a theme for 2019: developing and making a work uniform.
After all that hemming and hawing about… well, hemming, I stopped trying to be fancee and a perfectionist and used a narrow zig zag to hem Moneta. And you know what? It looks FINE. Even better, it’s FINISHED.
Size: Small at the bust and shoulders graded to medium at the waist and skirt
Fabric: Birth Organics Wink Knit
Everybody and her sister has already made a Moneta and for good reason: easy to fit, easy to wear. This dress feels like a leotard which makes me feel like I’m playing secret dress-up.
I have friends who swear by knit dresses but I don’t remember feeling comfortable in one since college which was long ago enough that I’ve become someone who uses terms like “since college” as a way of referring to herself as if in the third person. This dress is something of an experiment in personal style. Will I reach for when getting ready in the morning? We’ll see!
I used a party invitation an excuse for making this dress even though I wasn’t sure we would make it that party. A fitted dress was on my sewing list, I already had the pattern in mind and the fabric on hand, and maybe I thought if I acted like it was a given that we would be going that it might improve our chances. I could at least make sure I had something to wear even if I couldn’t control the financial, familial, occupational, and other personal conflicts that ultimately prevented our attendance.
I kept working on my dress while watching airfare climb without ever dropping. Even after sending regrets I kept working on my dress because I was in deep and aren’t there sometimes really cheap last minute bargain prices? I finished up the dress the morning after the party, probably at the same time that the party honorees were hosting brunch for their out-of-town guests that beat the nor’easter that grounded all flights on the date I had hoped to be traveling.
Pattern: Belladone by Deer and Doe, View B
Fabric: Gertrude Made for Ella Blue Fabrics, Outback Wife, Barkcloth, Elaine Navy from fabricworm.com
Size & adjustments: It’s complicated.
A summary of my pattern adjustments:
Started with a size 40
1″ small bust adjustment (from C to B)
Shortened horizontal bust darts and moved them up
Moved vertical bust darts towards side seams
Moved skirt pleats to match relocated bust darts
1/2″ forward-shoulder adjustment
1/2″ gaping neck adjustment (I wonder if I could achieved better results more simply by doing a square shoulder adjustment. I have some wrinkles on my left shoulder in particular that I think the square shoulder adjustment would help)
Lengthened the back .75″ and the front 1.25″. The added length to the front is misleading because the small bust adjustment takes away length.
Graded bodice from size 40 at the underarm to 38 at the waist. Graded skirt from 38 at the waist to 40 at the hip.*
*I didn’t realize until I was trying to figure out what to do with the flappy ends of at the top of the invisible zipper** that I had been installing the zip wrong all along on all of my muslins. I was butting the edge of the zipper right up against the edge of my pattern piece, wondering all the time 1) how it made sense to sew a 5/8″ seam around a zipper that was being placed in at 3/8″; and 2) how in the world a 38 was fitting me when I don’t have a 26.5″ waist. Turns out you’re supposed to allow for that seam allowance when sewing the zipper in, duh. So even though I graded down to a size 38, once you add back in the seam allowance I didn’t take at the zip you’re back at a 40 and I was making things harder on myself than they needed to be. Honestly, making fit issues a bigger problem than they needed to be was the theme of this make, but that’s how I hope to learn.
**I still don’t know exactly what to do with the flappy ends since every tutorial I found assumed you hadn’t finished selvages, yet. I made do. It looks fine.
I lined the skirt with some blue stuff I picked up at Jo-Ann’s. I tried to use the same lining fabric to finish the armholes and neck, but it was fighting me. I used store bought navy single fold bias tape instead and hand-sewed it to the inside of the dress using the same blind hem stitch I had used on the skirt hem. I would like to face the waistband on the inside as well, but that’s another hand-sewing project for another day and since that’s an add-on I’m calling this one done.
So many muslins, so much adjusting, so much hand-sewing makes this my slowest fashion make yet. Worth it!
I thought a bag would be a real challenge. Working with hardware and whatnot seemed exotic. Sewing this bag turned out to be refreshingly straightforward, hardware and all. My only hiccup was that I didn’t understand what was meant by “heavy machine needle.” Two broken needles and a serendipitous trip to the sewing machine store later, I stood looking at the myriad of sewing machine needles trying to find the ballpoints I was shopping for when I spotted the jeans needles and thought, “I wonder if that’s my problem?” It was. Everything was easy peasy after that and I learned a little something about needle gauge and using the right tool for the job.
I bought this kit a while back. I like a good kit. Everything you need all in one place! Except not so much in this case – hardware is sold separately. I missed that salient bullet point in the product description. I admit I’m not a close reader. I also admit that I can be spendthrift when it comes to my hobbies. However, the additional cost of the hardware pushed this project to a price point I would have balked at if I’d realized. Oh well.
When we last spoke about York I had decided I should grade between sizes to get those shoulder seams up onto my shoulders. I was surprised to pull out the pattern and discover that there was only a negligible difference in the shoulder measurement between sizes. I took a half inch off the shoulder using a narrow shoulder adjustment and this is what I got:
I used to consider myself a dexterous person, but quarter-inch bias tape has upended that assessment of phalangeal adroitness. I was glad to kiss quarter-inch bias tape good-bye when I finished those bottle aprons and dismayed to read that York called for quarter-inch bias tape to finish the neckline. Maybe I misunderstand what is meant by quarter-inch bias tape, I thought. Nope. It just seems my fingers turn into sausages when working with it. After washing this top this happened:
I am afraid that the tie has frayed
I cut the ties off and sewed in a hook and eye. You might also note that I turned the bias tape entirely to the inside of the garment and used it as single fold instead of double fold because I just can’t with that stuff.
The hat is Beau Cloche that I made, golly, 3 years ago already. I love hot pink, but any pink makes me feel dowdy, even when it’s so bright it’s practically glowing. I combat this feeling with a more-is-more strategy. Making a dowdy pink hat? Put a gigantic dowdy bow on it! Making a dowdy pink shirt? Pair it with a dowdy pink hat with a gigantic dowdy pink bow! Post title is a quote from Hubs. It’s meant as reassurance. I think.
2018 Make Nine is everywhere, and why not? My aspirations this year are all about pants and fit. I intend to finally tackle the persistent problem of figuring out what adjustments I need to make to a pattern so that it fits the particular topography of my particular body. And Goodness, I need me some pants. Pants, pants, pants. I don’t have any that I feel good in. Not a single pair fits. Naturally.
In no particular order:
Juniper Pants – I need pants and these seem like a good place to start.