21 augustus 2017

I Am Sorry To Report Dear Paris Is Burning After All

I recently returned from a short trip to Paris with Hanne, and have some pictures to show you! They are not the best ever since I forgot my camera so these were taken with Hanne's phone, and we were a bit too busy having fun to really put a lot of time into them... But hey!

It seems I had to get some basics sewing out of my system. It was also a necessity: my size has changed over the past few years and a lot of my wardrobe staples just don't fit me anymore, so I actually needed a few things (hence the recent solid jeans/tank tops/t-shirts on this blog). I had a small piece of black linen and felt like a pair of black shorts would be a great addition to my summer wardrobe. Last year I discovered I do feel comfortable in short shorts, but the ones I made then are all too big by now.

I liked the fit of the wide legged Kommatia pants I made earlier a lot, so I decided to just shorten that and call it a day. I like my short legs a bit wider (so they're not tight across the leg when I sit down or anything) and simply chopping off the pattern pieces at the right length did the trick! These are wide and comfortable, but not poofy.

Sewing these was really straightforward and even quicker than the long version (no long side seams, obviously). I decided to topstitch the pocket openings this time because even with bar tacks the pockets on my first version want to peek out! The hem on these is also topstitched, and so short it catches the bottom of the pocket bags, helping to keep them in place. The top is another Ogden cami (I made three of those by now, and brought some silver cotton voile that might become a fourth one, hoho) made from the leftovers from this dress. This time I made the original length! It's already been worn loads and even made an appearance during the birthday celebration of legendary Belgian singer Willy Sommers:

Don't ask me how I ended up there.
Anyway, back to the shorts! I thought just the black was a tiiiny but plain and felt like it could use a secret something something to make it more FUN, so I copied an idea I saw on the internet sometime and embroidered something on the fly shield:

Sorry to all international readers who will have no idea what this says, but it's kind of hard to translate. Me and a few friends have been saying this for years and Dutch-speaking people might understand why it's funny to put it there. This was embroidered on before the fly shield was stiched closed so it looks clean and tidy! Also: yes, I'm standing with my fly open in public. Guess where.

That's right! The things we do for blogging.

I had a blast in Paris. We were really lucky with the weather (the weather forecast was very pessimistic about the amount of rain we were going to get) and we spent most of our time walking around, meeting Lieke and shopping for fabric (I dipped into my tattoo fund and got some amazing stuff) and eating everything on our path. We also found some time to visit one of my favourite places in the world:

I'll have to start preparing my next trip soon, because me and the boyfriend are spending two weeks in Toronto and Montreal next month! If you have any recommendations (fabric stores or, you know, fun things to do) or want to meet up, let me know!

07 augustus 2017

I Will Let You Know As Soon As I Fall On My Face

This post title will make sense at some point, I promise.

So, I've had pants on my mind for a while. Wide-legged ones, especially. It's a silhouette I haven't worn in a long time, mostly because I wasn't sure if it looked good on me- a lot of high-waisted pants seemed to make my upper body look short and stumpy in a way high-waisted skirts don't (does that make any sense?). I also noticed that most patterns for wide-legged pants have pleats in the front, while I prefer the look of a flat-front trouser. And then I spotted Eleonore wearing something that was exactly what I had in mind! She told me she had used this pattern by new-to-me Kommatia patterns. I then dove straight in!

Well, not really. I had never made anything from this pattern company before and PANTS so I made a muslin first. My measurements put me pretty much straight into a size small and the fit was pretty spot on straight out of the package. I took a few extra cm out of the back to make it a bit more fitted, especially because I was making this in linen, which has a tendency to relax a lot with wear (which has happened. I would have taken it in more but it's very comfy now, so yay?). I also had what Eleonore called 'poofy crotch' which was sort of solved by lengthening the front darts a bit.

I have no pictures of the back of this because my photographer (Hélène) couldn't stop laughing when I told her to take pictures of my butt. Ah well! The instructions were very clear, although the fly front had me scratching my head for a bit. I just followed all the steps exactly and it turned out fine (and very nicely finished) but I feel like it might have been unnecessarily fiddly. The instructions also have you add a few bar tacks on the pockets after installing them, which I skipped because I wanted clean lines so I laugh in the face of bar tacks and topstitching, but I ended up adding them anyway because my pocket lining kept peeking out. Woops.

This might be my favourite blog picture ever. That kid is just thinking 'bloggers!'
Can we talk about the fabric? This is some really nice Merchant & Mills linen in a colour that's not black or grey or green, more like something in between. It's very smooth and soft and I was worried it would be too light and transparent for pants, but it worked out fine. I might add some belt loops to these to deal with the relaxing waistband, but these might just become a wardrobe staple!

Oh, and did you notice the top? It's a (cropped) Ogden cami made out of some black viscose I had around (technically it was a dress that rarely got worn so I took it apart to salvage the fabric). It's a very nice shape: loose and flowy, but the low back and front neckline make it be not-frumpy. I cut this out one evening, sewed it up the next morning and promptly made two more. This one is a straight size 8 (based on my bust measurement) and I did everything according to the instructions, apart from pinking the bottom of the partial lining instead of hemming it (I was afraid a hem would show through on the outside in this super drapey fabric) and hemming it by hand (no visible stitches on the outside!). It's a nice pattern that's really quick to sew and would make an excellent gift for others, since the fit is so forgiving.

Me and Hélène were taking these pictures while waiting for Laure to show up, and when she came by in the middle of our little shoot she thought it was hilarious and started to document the entire thing. So here's a rare behind-the-scenes look at blogging:

We had ice cream afterwards, so I forgave her.

Oh, and that title? I was making these and realised one of the main reasons I stopped wearing pants with wide legs: there have been at least ten occasions where one of my feet got caught in the other pant leg and I'd fall over. I'll never be a graceful swan.