Yay, we’re starting the blog off with a TMI!
I spent basically the last half of last year trying to get a pair of pants finished. I started drafting a sloper, which is of course the best thing to do when you are a mediocre sewer and haven’t really made anything that fits yet. It didn’t go well. I should have expected as much, since my skirt sloper also didn’t work out.
Anyway, after the failed sloper(s), I said to myself, “Self, what you need is to alter an existing pants pattern like a normal fucking person. Maybe something that doesn’t need to fit too well.” I found a ’40s repro pattern for some trousers that fit the bill, but then fitting them turned out to be much more painful than I was hoping. Long story short, I finally finished those pants last week, but I’m not sure enough about their fit to wear them in public yet without getting a second opinion.
After that madness I wanted something quick, easy-ish, and that nobody else would have to see.
I’m kind of a Craftsy addict, and bought Beverly Johnson’s “Sewing Panties: Construction and Fit” class sometime last year, partially in preparation for sewing all my clothes as I’ve been meaning to do for awhile, and partially just because I’m a Craftsy addict. This is a really great class if you’re at all interested in making underwear – she goes through drafting a pattern and sewing a basic (waist-high) pair of underwear, and has some variations if you want a lower waist or french-cut legs or whatever. I usually wear french-cut in RTW because ~*freedom*~ but I was not up for making any alterations to anything before getting the basic pattern fitting.
The drafting itself is fairly quick and painless, but it’s never been the drafting that has been a problem for me, it’s fitting the drafted item.
After the drafting I cut everything out…
… and basted it together as instructed. I didn’t take a picture of the initial basted construction for fitting because I was too excited that they fit. I know a huge part of this is that it’s a stretch fabric but holy cow I was excited. I thought I was almost done at that point, but of course the hardest part was yet to come.
Sewing the elastic was not super easy. I have a terrible time with elastic and with knit fabrics in general, and this one was slipperier than I probably should have started with but I couldn’t resist that fabric!! Captain America underwear, man.
Basically all the cutting and sewing for this could easily have been done in an afternoon by someone more experience than I am. I had to rip multiple seams because they puckered strangely, and getting the elastic and the stretchy fabric both to play nicely was more than I could take at one point, and I came back the next day to turn the elastic under and stitch it again. I used a simple zig-zag for the first stitch and a multi-stitch zig-zag for the turned elastic seam.
They’re not perfect – there are wavy seams on some of the elastic, and I’m fully aware of my shortcomings in stitching a straight line, but I’m gonna grin every time I put them on. I can probably make two more pairs from the fabric I have leftover, which will be great practice on that damn elastic, too.
In non-underwear items (and non-sewing items) I started a pair of socks for the Yarngasm Box o’ Socks KAL. It’s leftover yarn from the pair I made for my brother-in-law for Christmas, which is Kraemer Yarn’s Saucon Sock in Navy. This yarn is great, but I knit so loosely that even on size 0s I felt like the fabric wasn’t as tight as I wanted it. (They recommend 2s to get 7.5 st/in, but I was getting 5 st/in on 0s.) I bought a pair of 000s just after Christmas and am using those instead. (About 7 st/in on those)
I was originally going to do a simple rib all the way down, but I decided I wanted something fancier and worked up a quick cable pattern using the gauge I was getting. (Of course the cable is likely to change my gauge… shhhhh I’m hoping for the best)
Pretty terrible shorthand that is just meant to remind me what I was thinking. Dashes and black spaces are purls. Vertical bars are knits. Cables are cables, etc. The box is around the pattern repeat. Should hopefully be a nice little chain going down the sock with some weird spacing issues because of the 3/4 purl inconsistency between pattern reps. *shrug* It’s socks, it’s knitting, it’s all good. I have way more stress around sewing than knitting, probably because knitting is less permanent (just frog it if you fuck it up) and I’ve been doing it longer.
I haven’t been working a whole lot on the socks, but I’ll have to get cracking if I want to get them done this month!
Goals for next week
- Make a plan for the next few sewing projects. I still feel like I need something relatively easy to put together to regain my sewjo.
- Start the next sewing project, whatever it is
- Get through the heel turn on sock #1