Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vintage Pattern #4

You may remember that I pledged to make five vintage patterns from my stash this year. By my fuzzy accounting, this is number 4. It's Simplicity 3937 from 1961 (or thereabouts). It isn't one of the original suspects that I listed in my pledge post, but, hey, flexibility is good.

I found this pattern in an antique store in Grass Valley. At $2.00, the price was right, and I was attracted by the square neck blouse. I'm a sucker for a square neck.

Cute square neck blouse
I'll call this version a wearable muslin. If I make it again (and I might - see above about being a sucker for a square neck) I'll pinch out about an inch in the front neckline. If I'm not extra careful with my posture I have a bit of gaping there. Plus it would bring the straps in a bit in the front, giving me better bra-strap coverage.

Front view, standing straight with shoulders back
I used some cotton that I got probably 10 years ago.  I'm sure it's grateful to finally be made into something so it can enjoy the occasional day outside the fabric closet.

The pattern is a Misses size 14. The bust is a 34, which is close to me, but the waist is 26. As if. I lowered the bust darts about an inch, and I waited until the end to decide about putting in the waist darts. I did add them per the pattern in the back, and maybe half what the pattern called for in the front, and I think the fit worked out OK. 

Back view, with 5 buttons disappearing into the print
You can't see them in the photo, but the blouse is closed with five buttons running down the back. I thought having the buttons in the back was a cute design feature while in the planning and construction stages of the project. I had a few minutes of concern after I finished. It looked like I'd created a top that would require me to hire a lady's maid to dress and undress me. As it turns out, I can wriggle in and out with the top 3 buttons closed, and I'm still flexible enough to do up the bottom 2 buttons while I'm wearing the dang thing. Note to self: sign up for that yoga class.

So four down and one to go. I have my eye on a sleeveless dress pattern I found at an antique mall in Salina, Kansas.

My review is on here!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wharf to Wharf

The only real sewing hook in this post is that I ran this race while wearing my running skirt and Fehr Trade running bra (both of which felt great).

The last Sunday in July is the running of the Wharf to Wharf, a race from the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf to the wharf in Capitola, 6 miles south on the bay. It's a small town race, but it attracts a pretty big crowd because it's a beautiful course and we always have Goldilocks weather; not too hot and not too cold, but just right.
Me and the sis. We run this one together most years.
You can see above that I'm wearing a gold bib number. That meant I had a chance to win the raffle for a free trip to run the Wharf2Wharf in Waiheke Island, New Zealand in January. A nice lady named Danielle won instead though.

There were 16,000 registered runners and 55 bands along the course, which winds right along the water. That's more than one band per block - every kind of music you can imagine and all of it very inspiring. The first place female (Kenyan, natch) won in 30:17:44. I was more like 83:15:22, but I had a great time.

I brought my camera along, so here are a series of snaps from the course. If you ever plan to be in Santa Cruz at the end of July, this is a super fun race to run in. You have to register quick though. The race sold out in 19 hours this year.

The starting line at the wharf by the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Pipes and Drums by the river

The Great Morgani in his flamingo outfit

The banner says it all. These guys were great.

The yacht harbor, running over the bridge

Sons of the Beach Ukelele Band

The chefs from The Crow's Nest always bang their giant pots like drums to encourage us runners

Running along the beach by the yacht harbor

San Jose State Pep Band

Emergency provisions

Watsonville Taiko  drummers

And the finish line! Home for coffee and danish with a job well done.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Same Old Same Old

I have been sewing, just not on anything new and exciting.

Reminder not to take photos in the afternoon - the sun is just too bright
This is a washed out picture of my new seersucker Burda pleat-neck blouse. While I was at Hart's getting elastic for my Barb pants I was overcome by a sudden need for a seersucker blouse. Possibly because I was imagining sipping an iced tea by the river in Ashland while wearing one. We're heading up to Oregon for a short vacation mid-August - can't wait!

The fabric looks white when photographed in the late afternoon sun, but really it's narrow aqua and white seersucker stripes.

Close-up to show the aqua stripes and my little square buttons
This is the fourth time I've made this pattern now and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. I'm almost 100% sure that I'm putting the collar on right-side-up and I know that I need to curve the side seams in an inch about 5 inches down from the bottom of the arm scythe.

close-up of pleated neck with right-side-up collar
This is one of the first patterns I ever traced from a BurdaStyle magazine and I'm pretty sure I failed to accurately transfer all of the information. I like the pattern well enough that I think I'll go back and re-trace more carefully and add in my few tweaks at the same time. I have some green cotton with multi-colored polkadots that may find itself made into Pleat Neck Blouse #5.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Style Arc Barb and Still More Knits

I finally tried my first Syle Arc pattern and I have to say I'm a believer.

Front view
The Clothing Engineer very kindly pointed me to a joint promo by Style Arc and Threads Magazine offering a free PDF download of the Barb stretch pant pattern. I'm the kind of gal who does not look a gift horse in the mouth. I hopped on over and signed up right quick.

Side view
Style Arc offers their patterns in a single size only. I decided to go for the size 8, even though my hips would put me in a size 6. I didn't want the fit to be too snug. The 8 matches my waist (more or less).

Rear view
What a happy surprise to find they sent me the size 6 and the size 10 as part of my bundle! Instead of printing out the 6 and the 8 and trying to merge them, I just went with Plan A and used the straight size 8.

The PDF was set up differently to what I've seen before. The pages printed so that the pattern lines overlapped at the bottom and the right edge of each page and it wasn't necessary to trim the edges to match up the pattern lines. Does that make any sense? I could just lay the pages out and tape them together with no sicssors required. I had to be a bit more careful to line things up because the print lines didn't go all the way to the edge of the paper, but the whole taping part went much quicker.

Top tucked in so you can see how high the rise is
Looks like I've hemmed these a bit too long. I was traumatized as a teenager by a pair of too-short pants so I still struggle with hemming issues. Otherwise they came out just as I hoped they would; slim but not skin tight and really comfortable to wear. The waist comes up to my true waist, which is just the height I prefer. I could see myself wearing these pants with a shirt tucked in - something that is almost never the case for me with an elastic waist. The pattern calls for 2 inch wide elastic, so the waistband sits nice and flat.

I've admired StyleArc patterns for some time now, but hesitated to put in a order because I wasn't sure of how their sizing would work for me. With one size per packet you don't have much fudge room. Now that I've tried them out, I feel like I can order with confidence.

My pattern review is over on here.

And, in other sewing news, I made a quick stop by Backstitch over the weekend and gorged myself on more knits. 

Deanna with my pile of goodness
I feel a tee shirt orgy coming on.