Patrones Shorts

I was so happy when I got my first and so far the last Patrones magazine this summer, but when I took a closer look at the patterns, I got a bit put off with the fact that the pattern sheets only come in 3 sizes and if one falls in between of those sizes, the tracing can be painstaking. They offer sizes 40-44-48 and I found myself being 42. Just for your information, I wear RTW garments in sizes 36 and 38, so already the big number seemed scary enough.

In addition to the models I showed in my earlier post, I also instantly liked these shorts:

I got a piece of nice dark blue stretch denim from Estonia and finally decided to give these shorts a try last week. I traced size 42 and hoped for the best.

At first I tried to follow the instructions, but realized soon that instead of  brushing up my dormant Spanish (I managed to get myself to a pretty usable level for my Erasmus exchange student period in Canary Islands several years ago), I can do without them. So I continued on my own and thankfully didn´t have any problems whatsoever.

I was very pleasantly surprised with these shorts, because I think the fit is perfect! There is a difference of 30 cm between my waist and hip circumference which sometimes makes it hard to find pants that really fit. It is the typical problem of fitting at the hips and being too large at the waist.

I couldn´t believe my eyes when these shorts fitted me at the hips and at the waist without ANY adjustments at all. The best part is that when I sit, there is no ugly gaping on the back, so I don´t have to worry about publicly flashing my underwear.

The trickiest step was the topstitching. I definitely wanted to use a thick orange thread similar to the RTW jeans topstitching and a double needle for more professional look. But my sewing machine protested because of the thickness of the fabric and the whole process was very time and thread consuming. Plus, I broke two needles. Truth be told, I was pretty exhausted when I got this done. The rest however, was not complicated at all, so I will make these shorts again for sure, but not in denim. Or at least in a thinner kind of denim.

Instead of several smaller belt loops, I made three bigger ones which serve more of a decorative than practical purpose.

Here are my shorts:

I am not really sure which way to prefer them – either straight or with rolled-up hems? They seem to be wider than in the picture of the magazine, but since my legs are not exactly thin, I think that slightly wider shorts look better on me.

Another question – do you think I should also use orange thread for sewing the hems?

In order to reduce the bulk for the pocket, I used pink gingham. As it was the first time I made such pockets (I am more into dresses, as you know), I didn´t realize that this cute detail will not show on the inside of the shorts. I should have reconstructed the pockets in a way that the whole pocket would have been gingham and only the upper, visible part of it would still be denim. But instead of undoing the whole process so far, I decided to take it as a lesson, and let it be.

As the first encounter with Patrones patterns ended so well, I am really interested in making more of their garments, just to see if I simply got lucky or have I really found perfectly fitting patterns for me.

The blue suede shoes I am wearing are Logan Crossing, a lucky bargain from a year ago. They seem to be sold out anywhere online as far as I checked.

photo from polyvore.com

And last but not least, I have made progress on Stefania´s dress. She came over today for the first fitting and so far it looks promising. It seems I don´t have to make too many alterations and thankfully she was also happy with the length, because in my impatience, I had basically finished the balloon skirt of the dress and changing that would have been a lot of fuss.

Here is a small peek:

Birthday Girl

Today is my birthday!

Yesterday I met my friend Stefania in order to go fabric shopping. She wants me to make her a dress for her sisters wedding!  This is so important that I get anxious when I think about it and I have given her many warnings and no guarantees, because I am not a professional seamstress after all, everything I know has been self-taught and the pattern she chose is also not the easiest one can imagine. But I am keeping my fingers crossed and take it as a challenge.

Choosing the pattern and the fabric was fun. We did the first already in winter, because the wedding was supposed to take place last winter, but due to a sad loss in the groom´s family, it was postponed. Stefania described me her idea of the dress, I showed her my pattern stash and some patterns online, so in the end we ordered the pattern for her. It is Simplicity 4070:

She opted for the blue version, view C. The dress should not be too difficult, some pleating, some gathering of the hem and some seams for the bodice, but what makes me nervous, is the boning. I have never done it before and I don´t know how it will end up. I am thinking maybe to add a waist stay, which is another new technique to me, so I am excited to see how I will manage. Thankfully, the wedding will be around Christmas, so even if I mess up, there should be enough time to make a new dress or find a RTW.

The fabric we chose is the same quality as my “Wedding Dress”, but in royal blue and we also found a matching lining (on the left):

As Stefania wanted to get me something for my birthday as well, I told her that I would be very happy with a piece of fabric, and we got this thin knit in dark teal:

I am planning to make a dress from my “Drape Drape” book, joining two of my birthday presents into one project that way.

And I am not done with the presents yet – my dear Liise from Spain sent me five different shades of nail polish plus a nail file for my birthday! The best part is that there is a matching shade for the dress I am planning! See for yourself:

I told my fiance that the only thing missing from a perfect set now, is a pair of shoes 😉  He was not too thrilled as we really are running out of space in our house and my shoeboxes have a lot to do with it. However, I have these cute Tamaris booties (actually a gift (!!) from my mother from last winter) and I guess they would do:

Living in Estonia, I never thought I´d say that, but now, living in Greece, I am looking forward for some cooler temperatures to kick in so that I could wear all those knits and jerseys and booties!

And although it is my birthday, I am off to make the last stitches on my Burda colourblock dress now!

The Simple Things

My friend Mariliis really likes this song by Joe Cocker and it is true – the simple things are the best and we cannot do without them. So is with this dress of hers that we sewed together in the beginning of the summer.

She had found a beautiful fabric and wanted a simple dress out of it. Because it has been some time since she made anything, we worked on this project together just to get the feeling back. And I could feel some of the rare selflessness of a hobby sewist 🙂

As she described the dress she wanted to make, I remembered having seen the same style on Erica B.´s blog, from where I found the link to the tutorial by Mimi G. The dress is simple enough, but it doesn´t hurt having some help with the measurements for example.

It took us a few hours and the result is here:

The dress has two elastic bands to gather the fabric at the bust and waist and Mariliis created an interesting look by gathering more fabric one one side and adding a beautiful brooch to emphasize the effect. Simple!

Laura´s Dress

I don´t know what it is with the hobby sewists, but most of them seem to be selfish folks. Me included. Which means that we only like to sew for ourselves and doing it for others is not even half the pleasure, as Elaine, probably my favourite sewing-blogger so beautifully explains throughout her whole blog, The Selfish Seamstress. Seriously, her writing is so funny and her creations so to-die-for, that I would recommend reading her blog even if you are not that much into sewing.

Every rule has exceptions and so making the following dress for my former classmate Laura, was actually pure pleasure. I guess the fact that she kept me company, brought a nice cake plus a bottle of wine and is generally a nice person, helped.

And anyway, it was a great day – while I was stitching-drinking coffee-eating cake-chatting with Laura and Mariliis (another good friend of mine from school) we also watched the Olympics, namely the men´s parallel bars final, where we were not cheering so much for the athletes, but for my fiance Manolis, who was occasionally visible as well, as he was accompanying the Greek gymnast Vasileios Tsolakidis (who unfortunately was not as successful as he could have been). And the fun day was finished off with a bronze medal for Estonian discus thrower Gerd Kanter, adding to the pleasure of the silver the Estonian heavyweight Heiki Nabi got a day earlier in Greco-Roman wrestling!

Ok,  back to the dress now. It took me some effort to find the pattern online, since it is from Burda 2006-5 issue and clearly this is already so long ago that burdastyle.ru, not to mention burdastyle.de and burdastyle.com, have forgottten all about it. On burdastyle.ru I could only see a few random issues from 2006 and that´s it!

So I dug deeper and finally got what I wanted on osinka.ru, which must be known to most sewists, because one really doesn´t need to know Russian to navigate on the site (I am a living proof!) and get to the archive of Burda and a few other sewing and crafts magazines, starting from 2001!

Here is the pattern, Burda 2006-5 models 121/122:

I traced the pattern in the beginning of the summer, thinking it would also work great for colourblocking. But then Mariliis, who occasionally also makes a dress or two, used this pattern for a simple dress, similar to McCalls 6559:

It worked great for her and then Laura got all inspired and then all I got to do was steal the idea and make a dress for Laura. I can see myself end up making one for me as well, since it is super easy and flattering.

Mariliis´s version can be seen here (isn´t the fabric amazing?), maybe one day she will agree to model it properly for my blog as well 🙂 This photo is taken during our recent trip to Hiiumaa, the second largest island of Estonia, at a beach that was all ours that day:

I just used the pieces from the back side of the Burda dress, pinned them on the fabric more or less as one, cut and sewed. I had to take in quite a lot on the side seams, approximately 5 cm altogether, but I guess it was because of the elastic fabric and the unorthodox way of using the pattern. The armholes and neckline are bias-taped. Here you can see Laura in her new dress:

Some fabric close-ups:

The fabric is some kind of mixed lycra, very elastic. At the same time it feels really nice on skin (yes, I tried the dress on as well) and looks especially nice on tanned skin. I hope Laura will get a good wear out of it and that she will enjoy her new dress!