Going to Santa Fe, New Mexico

More travel.  I’m going to Santa Fe, NM (LOVE THAT CITY).  Any recommendations for fabric stores?

Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

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Shorts! Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped, that is.

I met my husband a little over eleven years ago.  And eleven years ago this past week, we had a weekend date in Sedona, Arizona.  We went hiking, and I wore shorts.  When the pictures came back (!), I vowed that I would never, ever, wear shorts again (except running shorts while running).  My legs looked like sausages – the cut and length were all wrong.  I’ve stuck to dresses and skirts and pants.  And, yes, they make skirts and skorts just for hiking.

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Now I live in a climate that is summer for about 9 months of the year, and I’m better at sewing, so I’ve been contemplating making shorts that fit and flatter my body.  When Rachel posted her review of the Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped shorts, I was smitten.

Trouble was, could I make these work for me, when I don’t have Rachel’s long, slender legs?  I thought the scalloped hem would help lengthen the leg and not cut it off in an awkward way.  Upshot, I like the shorts – even if I haven’t seen a picture of me wearing them yet (always the test right?)

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What I liked:

  • Awesome instructions!  Well marked pdf pattern, making assembling the thing less of a pain.
  • That beautiful, faced scallop hem!  It really is easy to do and makes the shorts more upscale.
  • The shaped/contour waistband and directions for applying the waistband (new to me, led to a more professional result, less handwork).
  • Directions for adjusting the crotch depth.  Wow! what a difference.  I was skeptical of reducing as much as it recommended, and did 1/4 inch less.  This worked with the muslin (non stretch med-heavy twill), but my fashion fabric had stretch, so I should have followed their guideline. I made a medium, and this was the only alteration I made. I’m slightly larger than a 12 in Vogue, not quite a 14.
  • Good coverage on the bum, without being frumpy (again, I think the front scallop makes the difference).

What I did differently:

  • Not much.  No really, I pretty much followed the directions with two exceptions.
  • I used my own (well Lladybird’s) method to insert an invisible zipper.  I didn’t like the result using the instructions on the muslin, so I went back to the TNT method.
  • Left of the back welt pockets.  I couldn’t get them to work in the muslin, so I abandoned the idea.  I think I like the shorts better without, but I really need to learn how to do these.
  • The fabric, the last bit of a stretch tropical wool from Gorgeous Fabrics that I’ve used three times previously (two skirts, pants), is NICE.  The quarter inch top stitching is nice on the more casual twill, but for this fabric, it looked way more professional to stick with 1/8 inch edgestitching.

IMG_0004What I will do differently:

  • The zipper is currently inserted in the side seam with the pocket. The bulk of the zipper, pocket, and pocket lining (cotton batiste) means the zipper doesn’t lay flat.  It annoys me!   Next time I will do like Rachel and put it in the CB seam.

Wearability:

  • I’m traveling a lot right now, and wore these in Miami last week.  Black wool in Miami heat and humidity?   Perfectly comfortable.
  • They’ve stretched a bit, super comfy, but a teensy bit too big.  Just something to work on for the next pair.

I’ve been and will be super busy with work, so pictures and blogging are limited.  Wait, so is sewing.  I had planned to finish a silk tunic for these shorts, but won’t be sewing consistently for a while.  Once I get the top made, I’ll blog it and provide pictures of the whole outfit.  That’s when I will know for sure if the style really works for me!

M6612- Short floral t-shirt dress

Line Art
Line Art for M6612, from McCall’s Website

I needed something super-easy to get things going again.  I did make a linen skirt, but didn’t check measurements (new pattern company for me) and couldn’t zip it over my bumm (silly me).  I have also done muslins for a pair of shorts and a kaftan which are up next.  Enter M6612 – easy close-fitting pullover dresses with a variety of lengths, sleeves and necklines.  I’ve made view D before, and when I wore it the other day, I got so many compliments, I decided to make view C to warm up for the shorts/kaftan.  Here’s view D, which I made in a cotton lycra print from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I really love the green print on this version, and got really lucky with the placement in this case:

View D, made fall 2013 (not blogged).
View D, made fall 2013 (not blogged).

This time, I used the remaining floral ITY knit that I used to make my niece’s Christmas gift.  Easy to sew, no rolling, but a synthetic (not fond of synthetics).  The only fitting alteration I made was the same one I made to view D, which was to add 1.5 inches at the waist in length to accommodate my long torso (cut a 12 since I knew how close-fitting this was, though I’ve been cutting 10s in the bodice lately).

Pre-hem, late night trial.
Pre-hem, late night trial.

I pretty much followed the directions – though you don’t need them  – this is a super easy one night hit.  I did set the sleeves in flat instead of the way the directions requested.  I had plan to do the neckline, hem and sleeve hems with a double needle, but I got so much tunneling, I abandoned that idea.  Instead I turned a narrow hem and top-stitched it.

I encountered two sewing issues.  First, I had skipped stitches with my regular machine on the hems (you can see it in the neckline photo).

Second, I had a terrible time with control on the serger (Babylock 1034D). By control, I mean, maintaining a perfect 5/8″ seamline.  I was mostly wider, leading to a more snug fit than I would like.  The way the machine is designed, the easiest control over the seam line when serging is at 3/8″ seam. Does anyone else encounter these issues – if so, how do you compensate?

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The neckline.
The neckline.