Tagged fitting

Alterations to jeans

I haven’t updated in a while. Been meaning to do that, since I’ve got several things to share, but I haven’t felt like writing. I’m here now though, because I’m excited and wanted to share.

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’ve been complaining for a while that my jeans don’t fit properly. I’ve tried different brands, in different styles, supposedly intended for different body types. I already know that I can’t wear skinny jeans, because thanks to the amount of walking I do, I’ve got pretty muscular calves, and there’s no way I’m getting skinny jeans over those suckers. I live on a hill, and of course, everywhere I go is uphill from home, so I’ve got muscular thighs too.

So-called “curvy” jeans are a joke, because they’re supposed to fit women with a larger hip to waist ratio than a standard fit, but guess what? These are curvy fit jeans.

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Look at my tattoos! Oh wait, you’re supposed to be looking at the terrible gap…

Look at that gap! It is pretty significant, and causes no end of discomfort. Why? If I don’t wear a belt, my jeans constantly fall down, and I’m always grabbing my belt loops to hike them back up, only to have to repeat the process thirty seconds later. Yes, I could wear a belt, but they’re terribly uncomfortable after a while, because my jeans still want to fall down (they seem to get hung up on my calves), so the belt ends up digging in at the top of my hips. I’ve tried higher rises, but I really don’t like them. These jeans are a mid-rise. And they look nice, so it seems like a huge shame to get rid of them when I know that every other pair of jeans I try will result in the same fit problem.

For the record, my hip to waist ratio is not huge. It’s only 8″, but the combination of having to fit my muscular legs plus the hip/waist ratio means I have to buy jeans a little big to fit all of that.

I tried this tutorial, because it looked really helpful, and it was AMAZING. I tried it first on a pair of Gap boyfriend jeans that are great for springtime, but have such a huge waist gap that I can take them off without unbuttoning them (they are almost too small for my calves though). I figured that if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t be too heartbroken. Guess what though? Now they’re the best fitting jeans I’ve ever owned.

Until today, when I altered my Silver Suki jeans. They’re even better than my Gap jeans.

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My cat and birds are almost hidden now. The yarn ball is entirely hidden. Properly fitting jeans hide my tattoos! Not sure how I feel about that… LOL!

See that? The gap is gone. Waistband alterations are life changing, I tell you. I used to hate wearing jeans (I love the look, but they’re uncomfortable when they don’t fit properly). Now I love my jeans.

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Peek-a-boo kitty!

They look a little tight above the waistband, but that’s because I’m squishy. They’re very comfortable, and don’t dig in.

The topstitching thread was hard to match, because you can’t buy this shade locally. I’ve looked, and my options are white, two shades of gold, and navy. Fortunately, I was able to find a greyish brown and a pale golden yellow thread that, together, are pretty darned close. You really have to look closely to see that the thread is different, and if you’re that close to my backside, we’re going to have a very interesting conversation. I have two pair of these jeans, and it took me about an hour and a half to do the alteration on the first pair. I took in the waist 4″. Crazy, right? They just look and feel so much better now.

The only issue is that they’re a bit hard to get over my hips now, because the waist is so much smaller, but I did the alteration on jeans that were fresh out of the wash. After wearing, they stretch out a little, so it’ll be easier. Even if they didn’t stretch, it’s not that big of a deal. I just need to wiggle a little.

If you don’t have the skills or tools to do this yourself, definitely ask around, because properly fitting jeans are something beautiful. Heck, if you’re local and I like you enough, I might even do it for you.

A trio of Sewaholic Oakridge blouses

I found these great fabrics on sale at Fabricland in the fall, and knew they’d be perfect for Oakridge blouses. I already have two with the bow, so I decided to make things easier on myself and do the version without the bow.

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This first one is quite possibly my favourite, because the fabric is so unique. It reminds me of a Monet painting, specifically Waterlilies. You got your first peek at this fabric when I posted my machine sewn button tutorial. Excuse the creases in my skirt, I wore this outfit for a job interview this morning. Wish me luck!

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I loved this fabric too, because it is so difficult to find autumn colours. I love orange, and I thought I’d never say that. I still remember the adorable peach dress I had in eighth grade. It suited me really well, except for the colour, which was far too light for my complexion, and resulted in me looking pallid and ill. I generally prefer reddish or rusty oranges, and this fabric has both. I loved that the dots are random and imperfect.

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This is the final blouse. Remember that I said a while back that when I find a pattern that I like, I tend to make several garments all the same?

I didn’t need to make any adjustments to the pattern, since I’ve already sewn it twice before. I did, however, use some cotton lawn for the bias binding at the neckline instead of cutting a bias strip out of my fashion fabric. The reason I chose to do so was that fussing with a skinny bias strip in a slippery fabric felt like torture to me. Because I skipped the bias strip, I have quite a bit of fabric left over, so I plan on making myself some Colette Sorbetto tanks, which I can wear with sweaters or blazers. Thus far, I’ve only made them out of cotton.

I’m pretty pleased with my new blouses, and my work wardrobe is really coming together. Now I just need a job!

Colette Phoebe Dress

Well, I’ve been avoiding posting this one because I was so excited about the pattern and my dress really didn’t work out very well. I’m just going to get this done and over with…

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It looks more or less okay from the front, I suppose. There are definitely issues though.

The neckline is way too high for me. I don’t like a neckline that comes higher than my collarbones, even if it’s a t-shirt. Why? Because I’m rather well-endowed, all that fabric just makes my bust look even bigger. There’s nothing to break it up. Maybe some chunky jewelry would help, but that’s not my style. The neckline needs to be lowered about 2″ in the front, and 1″ at the back, because it’s just a wee bit high for me there too.

The fit in the waist is good. The fit in the bust is good. The fit in the hips is okay. The fit across my tummy is terrible. This is more apparent from the side.

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Look at those drag lines! I have a bit of a tummy pouch, and that’s what is causing them. I blame my kids, but really, I need to exercise more and it would be less of a problem. There’s not a whole lot of room in this dress for my tummy. Because my tummy is bigger than this dress can comfortably accommodate, it is pushing up the waistline, causing weird wrinkles below the bust.

I don’t want to have to wear spanx, which might help somewhat, but I don’t honestly find them all that helpful. They do smooth out lumps and bumps, but they give me a sausage silhouette, which isn’t much better than lumps and bumps.

I’m not sure I’ll try making this dress again. It just needs too many modifications in order to work. I love the idea of sheath dresses, but with my tummy, I’m not sure they’re the most flattering on me. I’ll try this one again someday, after I get my tummy under control, but in the meantime, I have fabric for four more of them that I need to find other uses for.

Not every project can be a success, and this one definitely was not one of them. I’ll keep it on hand, just so that I don’t have to sew it again later if/when my belly is less pouchy, but this definitely is not a wearable dress.

The other fabrics I purchased are fine wale corduroy and lightweight suiting. There’s definitely enough for either pants and skirts, or dresses. I’m inclined to go for dresses, but I need to find the right pattern. I thought about the Sewaholic Cambie as an option, but it isn’t going to be suitable for the corduroy. I made one out of quilting cotton a while back.

I came across this blog post from Sewaholic, and love the finished dress, but Tasia’s body type is very different from my own. I’d end up with the same issue with the neckline being too high. I don’t like the back either, but the front is nice.

This might be a good option, because of the neckline variations. I find it frustrating that the pattern companies don’t list everything that is in the catalog on their websites though. I’d rather go through the patterns at home, then make a trip to the fabric store. Sadly, I don’t have anything in my collection of patterns that would be suitable.

Snowflake Sweater

I don’t often post about knits that just don’t work out, but I’m going to do so today. Some time ago, I fell in love with the Snowflake sweater pattern from Tin Can Knits (they’re local, woo!) It’s a fantastic pullover, with a nice lace yoke. I never wear pullovers, because I get too hot, but ever since I saw the sample in person at Knit City, I was obsessed with it.

Back in November, Knit Picks had a too-good-to-pass-up sale on some of their yarns. Specifically, Capra, which is normally one of their most expensive yarns. It’s a soft, squishy merino cashmere blend, and has a beautiful, subtle halo after blocking. Only the tumeric colour was on sale, but since I love Autumn colours, I snapped up eight balls of it, along with the wine colour, since I decided this was the perfect yarn for the Snowflake sweater. The funny thing about my colour selection is that I accidentally picked Gryffindor colours, which is the Harry Potter house I was sorted into when I joined Pottermore. It would be my accidental Gryffindor sweater!

As soon as my yarn arrived, I swatched and started knitting. The yoke lace is a little confusing, but I found the help I needed on the Tin Can Knits forum on Ravelry, in this thread.

Once the lace was done, it was time to work out my bust shaping. I tried short row bust shaping, but the picked up wraps were incredibly ugly. Maybe a dark yarn would be okay, but on such a light colour, any imperfections show up and are obvious. I ripped back my bust shaping and tossed the sweater in time-out, until I could find a better way to accomplish my bust shaping.

I re-read Amy Herzog’s Fit to Flatter, but her instructions are typically for bottom up, seamed sweaters. It made my head hurt trying to work out the shaping on my top down, knit in the round sweater. I re-read Ysolda Teague’s Little Red in the City, and it was easier to work with, because she typically writes top down, knit in the round patterns, but I wasn’t really feeling the love on how she suggests that you work bust darts.

Off to the internet I went. Read the post from the Knitty Professors again, but it uses short row shaping as well as darts, and as I said before, I wanted to avoid that. After spending way too long searching, I came across a tutorial written by a Ravelry member named strickauszeit. In the tutorial, she discusses different methods of shaping a sweater bust, using darts, specifically in top down sweaters. Eureka! I did the math, and came up with my bust shaping. I posted the calculations on my Ravelry project page, if you’re interested.

DSC_4617Guess what? It worked like a charm.

Now for the bad news. I’ve come to accept that there’s a very good reason I don’t wear pullovers. They’re hot, and I can’t just take it off like I can if a cardigan gets too warm. We don’t want the decency police coming after me! Granted, I’d probably tell them where to go and how to get there, but that’s another topic. After all of the work I did to make the sweater work, I started having serious doubts about whether I’d ever even wear it. The more I thought about it, the more I came to accept that I wouldn’t. The sweater would sit in a drawer, with its nearly perfect bust shaping, and that would be that.

The other bad news is that I bought far too much of the wine coloured yarn, and not nearly enough of the tumeric. I could buy more, except Knit Picks is out of stock until April, which would mean that even if I did manage to wear my sweater, it wouldn’t be until October, at the earliest. The yarn would also be a different dye lot, which may or may not end up being a big deal. At this point, I completely lost my mojo and decided to frog it.

Is that the end of the story? Nope. A frogged knitting project, while not something I often write about, is not a failure by any means. I learned a lot on this sweater! I now have a bust shaping technique for top down sweaters that works! And I like the results! I also learned that if I have to do shaping on a field of stockinette, I should use a darker colour. Granted, blocking would have helped, but while blocking is magic, it doesn’t remedy everything. I also learned that my reality is that I overheat easily, and pullovers aren’t my thing. I do have a few pullover patterns in my Ravelry queue, but most of the ones I’m likely to knit can be modified using a steek, and voila, I’ll have an awesome cardigan!

Also, this yarn isn’t going into my stash, to be forgotten until I eventually find something to knit with it. Once I’ve gotten all of the kinks out of it, I’ll be knitting Caramel, which is a free pattern, and will be amazing in Capra. I guess buying too much of the wine colour was a lucky accident. It’s also a very forgiving sweater, because it’s draped, so no bust shaping!

As for the Snowflake pattern, if anyone I know produces offspring and I feel the desire to knit for the little one, I’ll reach for this pattern. I’m also really interested in modifying the yoke to make it a cardigan…Just give me some time, okay?

 

Pencil skirt FAIL

I wanted to make myself another couple of pencil skirts, because I like the look of them and their versatility, so I sewed some up about two weeks ago. I had made the black one a touch too small, so I remeasured myself and made the size I thought I needed.

The two skirts I made, both out of stash fabric, ended up several inches too big. I don’t know how I could measure myself that inaccurately, but it can happen. I suspect it was because I didn’t write the measurements down, and misremembered them. Pencil skirts are a real hassle to alter, so I offered them to friends, but unfortunately, the size didn’t work for anyone that I know. I’ve put them in a donation bag that we’ll be taking to a local centre that is collecting donations for Syrian refugees. At least they won’t be going to waste!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have sufficient brown fabric to make another brown skirt, but the poppy print cotton sateen had enough remaining yardage to make another two skirts, so I remeasured myself today and cut another poppy skirt. I even made sure to try it on when I basted the zipper, to ensure that it would fit (it was perfect). The zipper stuck a little bit at the waistband seam, but I thought “no big deal, I’ll just trim down the seam allowances and everything will be fine”.

broken zipI tried to zip up my skirt after completing the lining, and this is what happened. First, the zipper got stuck in the same place, about 1/4″ above the waistband seam… it wouldn’t go any higher. When I tried the skirt on, the zipper would unzip, but this time, it was STUCK. It wouldn’t unzip, it wouldn’t zip higher. I have no idea what happened to my zipper, because it worked just fine before I sewed the lining into the skirt. I checked to make sure the lining wasn’t caught anywhere. So I did what any frustrated seamstress would do. I tried to convince the zipper to get unstuck. That’s when the zipper teeth burst apart. I tried to fix it, got more frustrated, and ended up tearing the zipper tape. I just can’t cope with tearing it all apart and fussing with it, so the skirt went into the trash. I still have enough fabric to try again.

I think I’m done with this pattern. Between sizing issues and frustration with the zipper (lining up those seams is not much fun, let me tell you), I just can’t say I’m enjoying this pattern anymore. It’s not a bad pattern, I’m just too frustrated to do it again. I’m not too frustrated to make a different pencil skirt though. The next one I’m trying is from Sew Over It, and it doesn’t have a waistband, or even lining, which means it will be much quicker to sew. I can always wear it with a slip if I need to. The only problem is that the pattern is from the UK, so it prints on A4 paper, so before I even buy the pattern, I need to find out what I need to do in order to make it work on letter sized paper. Page scaling isn’t an option, because then the skirt won’t fit.

Completed Minoru

DSC_4559 I finished my Minoru jacket last week, and have worn it every day since completing it. It has been difficult to get pictures of it though, given that it is dark by the time my husband gets home from work, so we took advantage of this morning’s beautiful weather to walk the dog near the river and get pictures of my jacket.

I didn’t change anything about finishing the jacket, other than making the interior pocket an inch deeper, to accommodate my phone, and serging the raw edges inside the collar, as the edges remain exposed inside of the collar and I didn’t want them to fray over time.

I’m quite pleased with the finished jacket, and wore it for the first time last Friday. It’s a very comfortable jacket – it doesn’t bind at the arms, it’s roomy enough in the bust, and has a really flattering silhouette. It even saw rain on Saturday, and I stayed nice and dry. There’s also plenty of room to wear my down underlayer with it in the winter, so there’s no need to buy a separate winter coat this year.

DSC_4563Would I make this jacket again? Absolutely. I think it makes a fantastic all-purpose jacket. It’s sporty enough for walking the dog and light hiking, but stylish enough to wear around the city or on your daily commute.

There are a few things that I’d do differently next time, however. The side seam pockets are a little too far to the back, thanks to the elastic at the waist, which pulls them away from the front. On my next Minoru, I’ll take the time to do the welt pockets I discussed previously but decided not to do.

The hood is really big. In fact, I don’t like it all that much. I’d make a different style of hood altogether the next time I make this jacket. The hood has a seam down the center, but I find that a hood that has three pieces fits better, and I’d draft my own hood in that style the next time around.

I’d also consider doing a tie belt next time I make this jacket, instead of the elastic waist. It gives you a bit more comfort when switching warm layers underneath the jacket, as it might be a touch snug with my heavier down layer.

Much as the elastic cuffs were a pain in the rear end, I’d leave them as is, because they look nice, and are comfortable to wear.

My pockets need some tweaking, as every time I take my hands out of them, the pocket lining pops out. Tacking them to the hem of the jacket will fix that problem though. I also didn’t make the bottom outside seam high enough when I sewed them, as the pockets aren’t really a secure spot to keep things. When I crouch to pick up after my dog, sometimes stuff falls out of my pocket (such as my phone, the day I didn’t put it back in the interior pocket).

I’m pretty happy with this jacket, considering it was my first time sewing this type of outerwear. Am I 100% happy? No, but I’d say I’m 90% happy, which is more than I can say for anything I’d buy off the rack! I’ll get a lot of use out of this jacket, and when it is time, I’ll definitely make another.

View all of my Minoru Jacket posts here.

 

Minoru, part III, in which I cut my fabrics

DSC_4502Since I’m satisfied with my muslin, aside from adding a little extra room in the bust, I went ahead and cut my fabrics today. The top fabric is the lovely teal Bemberg lining that I got at half price. I have extra, since I bought more than I needed, which is nice, because you never know when you are going to need lining. There’s enough left over to make another pencil skirt. The brown and black fabric on the bottom is my waterproof fabric, which I purchased from Peak Fabrics. It’s a two layer breatheable fabric, which means it won’t let moisture in, but it will let moisture out. As I mentioned previously, I bought the last of this fabric, and was worried about not having enough.

DSC_4503After walking the dog, I made a pot of coffee and started laying things out. I started with the lining, because honestly, pinning into my waterproof fabric made me a little anxious. There’s no room for error when you’re working with waterproof fabric, because every hole you make in the fabric is a place that will let water in, which defeats the purpose of sewing with this type of fabric!

Once my lining was cut out, I laid out my outer shell pieces. Surprisingly, I have quite a decent amount leftover. Not enough to make another garment, but enough that I could have been a bit more generous with my layout.

As you can see in the photo, I pinned very close to the edges of the pattern pieces. This pattern is sewn with a 5/8″ seam allowance, so I pinned within the seam allowance to make sure that I didn’t make any holes in the exposed fabric. When I sew, I will have to keep this in mind. It will make pinning the gathers rather challenging, but I’ll get through it.

I decided not to make welt pockets on my jacket. Why? Because of the waistband elastic. I would have had to place the pockets uncomfortably low in order to make the welt pockets look nice, since I didn’t want them in the gathers of the waist elastic. I am going to skip the zippers on the pockets, because I’m making them nice and deep, and I can put my keys in the inside pocket, so they won’t get lost.

The only pieces I haven’t cut out yet are the casing for the elastic and the inside flap to keep rain from coming through the zipper. I’m going to use the facing piece to cut it, since it will give me the right length, but I haven’t worked out how wide I need it to be yet. The elastic casing will be cut out of nylon mesh lining, which I’m also using for my pockets. This will reduce bulk at the waist. I could use the lining fabric, but I think the mesh will be easier to work with.

Okay, enough talk. I’m off to sew!

 

Business Professional

I needed a skirt for a job interview recently. I do have a couple of nice skirts that I quite like, but I’ve put on some weight, and they don’t fit. I went shopping, but unfortunately, I’m very averse to spending $70 on a plain straight black skirt! I was completely shocked by how much they want for something so basic. If it costs that much, shouldn’t it make all of my lumps and bumps disappear?

No? Rats.

I decided that rather than buy a skirt that costs far more than it is worth, I’d go out and get some good quality fabric and make a skirt that costs less and fits better than an off the rack skirt. I found some wonderful wool crepe suiting at Fabricland in the clearance section, so it worked out to be only $6 per meter. Not only that, but Bemberg lining was half price that day, so I treated myself. Bemberg is worth the price tag – it’s nicer to work with than nylon, and is more comfortable to wear.

I didn’t have a pattern in my stash, since I decided that a pencil skirt would be just the thing, so I went online and found a really nice, simple pattern with an invisible side zipper and a nice inverted box pleat at the back, rather than a traditional kick pleat. Want to check out the pattern? Click here!

DSC_4497After an afternoon of sewing, this is what I ended up with. It’s hard to take full length pictures of yourself in an apartment, so forgive me for cutting off my legs and head. Oh, and my left elbow, too.

I know it’s not all that thrilling. Mostly because it is just a plain, black pencil skirt… and yes, it’s a bit on the small side. I tried it on, and found it too big, so I took it in. Maybe a little more than I should have. See all of the pretty drag lines across the hips? Yup. Too small. Oh well. It’s comfortable, and doesn’t make me look matronly like the $70 skirt I almost settled on at the mall. I promise, the next one I make (and there will be another one) will be the correct size. I have some nice black cotton sateen with big red poppies on it, which would be amazing sewn up into a pencil skirt.

DSC_4498I decided that just having one interview skirt was insufficient, but my wardrobe is somewhat limited at the moment, so I decided to make yet another black skirt, but in a different style. Again, I turned to indie pattern designers. I thought that the skirt on the Sewaholic Cambie would make a fantastic skirt, so I printed off my pattern, and cut out the necessary pieces to just make the skirt.

I made this skirt a size smaller than my usual Sewaholic size, because it’s made for a pear shaped figure, and I didn’t want it to be huge in the hips. Well guess what? I could have gone down another size smaller than I did, because it is still a bit big in the hips. It’s very comfortable though. I used the existing waistband piece, and simply folded it over. Yes, it’s a very narrow waistband, but I usually wear this skirt with one of my Oakridge blouses (my favourite is the teal one) and it covers the waistband. I have plans for more Oakridge blouses, since they’re so very wearable.

I still have at least three meters of the wool suiting, so I’m saving it to make a pair of pants. I already purchased a pattern – since the Sewaholic Thurlow trouser pattern isn’t appropriate for my body shape, I decided on the Collette Juniper trousers. I like the wide waistband on these pants, and the leg shape.

Eventually, I will have a pretty fantastic wardrobe. I’d rather build my wardrobe out of handmade items instead of storebought, because for the most part, the fit is better (unless I make assumptions and rush through things, as I did with these two skirts) and the price is lower. It’s more of an investment in terms of time and effort, but I think it is worthwhile.

You may ask why I’m sharing these skirts if they’re imperfect, but that’s actually part of the reason I’m sharing them. Not every project is going to work out 100% perfectly. There will be flaws in either fit, or fabric choice, or maybe the style just won’t suit you. When you sew, you can’t return it if you don’t like the finished item. It’s a risk you take, but I don’t mind taking that risk, because of the sense of satisfaction I get from making things myself.

 

Minoru, part II, in which I sew a muslin

Sunday was muslin day! Exciting, right? Maybe not, but making a muslin is an important step, especially when you’re using fabric that is expensive, hard to come by, or leaves no room for error! Tasia at Sewaholic made a great blog post about making a muslin for this pattern, and it might be interesting to give it a read.

As for my muslin, I needed to make almost no adjustments to the pattern, which surprised me. My measurements put me in a size 16 in the high bust and waist (I measured over top of my down underlayer, and loosely, so there’s some wiggle room in my measurements), and a 10 in the hips. Remember, Sewaholic patterns are made for a pear shaped figure, and I’m more hourglass shaped. This means I always have to grade down in the hips with their patterns. This is a bit of a disappointment for me, because I’d really love to sew the Thurlow trousers, but they’d be a nightmare to adjust.

Anyway, once I worked out my size, I looked at the finished measurements and saw that there’s much more wearing ease in this jacket than I had expected. Even in the sleeves! My arms are about 13″ at the bicep, and the sleeves measured 18″ at the armpit, so I’ll have plenty of room. My full bust is 43″, and the bust of the size 16 is 47″. Again, plenty of room. No sleeve adjustment! No FBA? I’m shocked, actually, but this makes the jacket so much easier for me, so I’m certainly not going to complain!

I cut out the size 16, and graded down to a 12, because I wanted it a bit bigger around at the bottom, and I generally don’t like grading down that many sizes. Then I hunted through my stash for sacrificial fabric, and found two lengths of coordinating pink quilting cotton that I had purchased to make knitting bags and never used.

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Sewaholic Minoru muslin, photo taken with jeans and t-shirt underneath.

Here’s the end result. Yes, the muslin looks ridiculous, but I didn’t plan on making a wearable muslin, so I don’t care. I only cut the outside pieces, since I’m not worried about the fit of the hood, and didn’t need to bother with the finishing touches.

As you can see, the bust fits fine, but I think I’ll add another 1/2″, just to be safe. There’s plenty of room in the sleeves. The waist is a bit large, but that’s likely because I didn’t have 2″ wide elastic, which is what the pattern calls for.

The sleeves are about 1.5″ too long, so I will have to adjust the sleeve length, but otherwise, the fit is good. I may end up using a shorter piece of elastic, because the recommended length for my size doesn’t draw the jacket in enough at the waist. The placement is perfect, however. I tried the jacket with my puffy down underlayer, and it fits well with the down, so I’m ready to go forward with cutting this size, once I adjust the sleeve length.

DSC_4482I have yet to determine my pocket placement, but I’m hoping to make welt pockets like I had on my last rain jacket, which I handed down to my daughter since it doesn’t fit me properly anymore. I prefer zippered pockets on jackets, because I’d hate to lose my keys while walking the dog! I may get lazy, however, and just do side seam pockets using this tutorial. It should be fairly easy to add zippers, but my preference would be welt pockets. They’re fairly simple to do, it’s just the placement and angle that are a bit of a challenge.

There are a couple of things I’m going to change… I’m not a big fan of the way the waist elastic casing is sewn, especially since I’m making a waterproof jacket. I will sew an actual casing, rather than through the lining of the jacket. This way I can seam seal the casing, and stay dry. I’m also going to line the hood. As I mentioned previously, I’ll be adding piping along the raglan shoulder seams, as well as down the centre of the hood.

The only places that I can see seam tape being necessary are on the hood and on the raglan sleeve seams, as well as the underarm seams. The gathers at the collar won’t work with seam tape, so I will use liquid seam sealant.

My zipper facing will go on the inside of the jacket, though it will depend very much on how much fabric I have left after cutting everything out. I am cutting it pretty close on my yardage, so it is possible that I won’t have enough for a facing.

I do have one complaint though. Usually, Sewaholic has excellent, very detailed instructions, but this pattern is lacking in that department. The instructions for the collar are unclear, and if you’re doing view B (without the hood), there are no instructions at all. They do have a sewalong on the blog, but without reading through all of the posts, the collar instructions wouldn’t have been clear. Not everyone thinks to look for sewalongs, so the written instructions that come with the pattern really ought to be more detailed than they are.

I bought the zippers and elastic that I need today, since Fabricland didn’t have what I needed. I’ll be cutting out my jacket shortly.

Up next, Sewaholic Minoru

I need a new rain jacket this autumn, because my old one no longer fits and I handed it down to my daughter. I was looking for a waterproof, breatheable jacket that was casual enough for hiking and dog walking, without velcro, that was lined. Do you think such a thing exists? I tried everywhere, and had two major problems… #1, I was looking for a style of jacket that is available in the spring, but not the autumn. Everyone had plenty of winter jackets, with removeable down or fleece liners, which made them much more expensive… I already have warm underlayers to wear with my jacket, so there’s no point in spending an extra $200 to get something I already have. #2, in order to get a jacket that fit me in the bust, it was too big everywhere else. When you added my requirements for lining (I don’t like the unlined jackets because they stick to your skin when you perspire), no velcro, and a colour that I like, I pretty much had zero options. After much frustrated shopping, I decided that the best course of action was to sew my own. Full disclosure, I’ve sewn outerwear before, but never with water resistant or waterproof fabric. I’m sure I’ll be relying heavily on this post on the Sewaholic blog, regarding sewing waterproof outerwear.

The first thing I did was choose a pattern. I decided to sew the Sewaholic Minoru, because the yoke gathers would make doing my full bust adjustment easy, since I wouldn’t have to add darts to the pattern (which would have led to more seam sealing). I also really liked the style of the jacket – it’s casual enough for walking the dog and even hiking, but still very flattering.

Once I decided on a pattern, I determined what modifications I’d make for my Minoru. First of all, I wanted to stay dry on wet days, so I had to buy waterproof breatheable fabric and seam sealing tape. I also wanted to be safe when I walk the dog in the dark, so I bought some reflective piping. The jacket doesn’t have any external pockets, so I will have to add some. I found this tutorial for adding side seam pockets to the jacket, but I really wanted zippered placket pockets, so that I don’t have to worry about losing things while walking the dog. I want to stay dry, but don’t want to spend a fortune on zippers, so I’m making my jacket with a flap over the zip. I could put the flap on the inside, since that should be sufficient in case of zipper leakage, but I may put it on the outside to cover the zipper. If I do, I’ll be using large buttons. I could use snaps, but I don’t always like the end result, and I’m unable to get more fabric if the snaps make a mess of things.

The next step was fabric, which was surprisingly difficult to find. I had to make things harder on myself, of course, because I really didn’t want a plain fabric. For whatever reason, the fabric absolutely had to have some kind of a pattern to it. After much searching, I discovered that Peak Fabrics had the best selection of patterned waterproof fabrics, and even their selection is limited. Other online retailers had camo fabric, but I am not a fan of camo! I bought some really nice chocolate brown and black textured fabric (I bought the last of it, so I can’t make mistakes), seam tape, and reflective piping from them. Their customer service was excellent, and I highly recommend contacting them if you are looking for performance fabrics. I bought Bemberg lining at Fabricland, at 50% off.

Today, I assembled my pattern, and will be doing my FBA. I will probably also have to add some extra to the upper sleeves, as I find that Sewaholic patterns are a bit snug in the upper arm on me. I plan to make my jacket a little on the loose side, so that I can put a warm layer underneath, rather than having a separate winter jacket. I also need to look into how and where to add the pockets. This looks like a useful resource.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to finish my jacket until later next week, because I need to make a trip to Dressew for zippers and wide elastic, but I should be able to make good progress over the weekend. Because I don’t have enough fabric to make any mistakes, I’ll be sewing up a muslin tomorrow, to confirm fit and pocket placement. Once I’m satisfied with my muslin, I’ll start sewing the actual jacket.