Week 19: Manila #2 and Bra #1

Hey there! I made a bra this week! I’m going to cover everything non-bra-related before the cut, so you can easily stop reading at that point if you don’t want to read in depth information about (my) boobies.

Sewing

So the first order of business for the week was my second pair of the Manila leggings.

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I really love this pattern. I should definitely have done some pattern matching, because one of those roses gets cut off right at center front, but fortunately these are leggings, and I subscribe to the “leggings aren’t pants” school of thought (at least on me). That cut-off rose will always be under a skirt, haha.

One of the freeing things about being a mediocre seamstress is that you can’t do much worse than ready to wear when it comes to pattern matching. If it sucks, people will assume you bought cheap pants – not the greatest thing for them to think when you put a bunch of work into something, but at least they won’t secretly judge your sewing failure.

Hand basting the waistband didn’t quite save me this time – I still wound up with one side of the waistband not tacked down in the seam, and had to unpick it and stitch it back down. I realized when I was doing the petal cuffs this time though that pressing this material actually does work, and keeps it from rolling – so next time I use something similar I’ll try pressing the waistband before I stitch it. I’m also tempted to wear gloves next time I use this fabric – it kept catching on nicks I couldn’t even feel on my fingers and fingernails.

As a side project, I’ve been unpicking a pair of black corduroys that met a tragic end by splitting right down the butt while I was out and about. Now that I’m sewing regularly, I was like “ooh, fabric!” and started thinking about things I could do with the remaining good fabric. I figured a knee-length skirt would be a good candidate, and I made Selene awhile back, and although I need to fix some fitting issues with it, it has that center front panel that would allow me to use a smaller piece from the pants. Unfortunately, when I laid the pattern out on the fabric, it became pretty clear I wasn’t going to have enough:

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Of course Kaylee sat right on the clean fabric as soon as it came out of the dryer.

I might be able to tweak the back pattern to separate it into two pieces, but I think even doing that, there’s not enough good fabric left to cover the whole thing. The seat area has marks from where the pockets were, and the front pockets cut into my usable area on the front. I didn’t even bother to lay out the waistband pieces, because if needed I could have done the waistband in a separate fabric.

So, sadly, Selene is not going to work out for me here. I’m also questioning whether I can manage a skirt just from this one pair of pants at all. I might have to stash it and use it for a much smaller project, or as an accent fabric on something.

Complete tangent here: unpicking these pants was a really interesting experience. When I was a kid, probably even into my teen years, I assumed that ready to wear clothes were made entirely by machine. I don’t think it really occurred to me that real people could be making so many clothes, or that it would be so inexpensive if they were. Unpicking my inexpensive ready to wear pants reminded me that there are people behind the clothes we buy, sewing the same seams I’d be sewing if I made them myself. They do it day in and day out, on the same style of garment over and over again, and they’re paid substantially less than I am so that I can afford to buy a pair of pants that sort of fit me for less than $30.

Unpicking just felt like a weird sort of communion with the people overseas who did the sewing on them in the first place. This whole year of making all my clothes is at least partially to make me mindful of the process that goes into my ready to wear clothes, but this is the first time it’s really hit home.

OK, enough with the serious stuff, on to boobies!

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Week 10: Just socks

Short update this week because I didn’t really get all that much done – I’ve had a cold all week that’s sapped my energy. I did manage to get some knitting done, mostly because knitting involves sitting in one place and not moving a whole lot, and you can put it down to blow your nose or drink some broth.

Knitting

I’m still enjoying the two at a time socks, but I underestimated how long the foot would take – as usual. I made it about halfway I think.

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The only problem I’m running into with the two at a time socks is that I wish they were on a 60″ cable. My size 0 needles are on a 60″ cable and it always felt like overkill for a single sock, but I find that unless I’m very careful when readjusting between socks or while turning, I lose the loop between sides and have to find it again. (At least the pattern makes it easy.)
002Here’s a picture for those who don’t bother to do gauge swatches in the round for an item in the round. You’ll notice the top part has a way looser gauge than the bottom. That’s the heel I was complaining about last week. I haven’t done any official measuring, but it’s extremely clear just from visual inspection that it’s a much looser gauge. Same needles, just back and forth.

I mean also this week has been more stressful, so I’m sure that has something to do with it, too (thank you, two at a time socks, you’ll at least be matching in your weird gauge problems).

 

Sorry I’m not more exciting this week. Here, have a picture of my cat:

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Goals for next week:

  • Make pattern adjustments
  • Cut out fabric
  • Get socks to the toe decrease stage