crafts · fashion · Sewing

In which I talk about clothes I didn’t make, and those I haven’t made yet

Thanks to your feedback, I’m writing up an online fabric shopping guide.  It may take a few days, since I want to discuss the things that make shopping online so daunting, such as the myriad of fabric types and weaves.  In the meantime, how about I show you clothes I didn’t make?

I have the hardest time buying jeans.  I have literally not bought a new pair in five years, but it was time – I like to wear jeans with heels for going out sometimes, or to work, and my old ones were just not working for that anymore.  I went to the Gap and tried on literally all of their styles – no dice, I am between sizes there, and I’m pretty picky about styles too.  I went to department stores and tried on really expensive jeans, with no better results.  I walked by NY&Co and saw they were having a pants sale.  I went in on impulse, and found the first pair of jeans in years that fit me!

These are the flares.  I bought a petite size 6, because their petite sizes run true (I wear a 2 in their regular pants, and I don’t think I am a size 2… maybe in the top, but not the bottom. I wore a six 15 years ago, and I have not gotten smaller.)  My fitting issues are: I am pear shaped, and I do have hips larger than you would expect for my small frame (don’t worry for my body image, I’m not saying I’m fat, it’s just how I’m shaped!)  I have very skinny ankles and calves, and I can’t wear skinny jeans at all without looking like a stork.  I like bootcuts because they balance me out, and I like a midrise – not too high or low.  I have short legs, but I’m not a petite – this means that the crotch length on petite jeans is often too short for me, but regular jeans are really too long (and I hate the look of home hemmed jeans.)  These could perhaps be an inch longer, but I like that I can wear them with flat shoes – something I cannot do with my regular jeans.  I also think that we all wear our pants too long – I hate seeing someone’s shoes completely disappear under their pants!

I could perhaps do without the whiskering on the hips, but I’m awfully pleased with these.  They might have a touch of lycra, but they don’t stretch out as much as my stretch jeans do.  I bought 2 pair, since they were buy one get one free.  I had literally not shopped in that store since they were called Lerner’s NY.   I also was able to finally fulfill one of my summer lusts from their $8 clearance section!

Yes, I have a maxi dress, just in time for fall (oops!)  I love this fabric.  Olive or avocado green is one of my favorite colors, and it works pretty well on me (which might be because of the hair, because when I had other hair colors I looked like death in this color… interesting how your hair color affects what you can wear.)  I’m wearing this today with a cardigan.    I never did find either fabric or a decent pattern to make my own, but I’m happy enough with my 8 dollar dress.  I like it so much that I’m making a cardigan to go with it, so that I can wear it during September and not break my pledge – I must get as much wear in as I can before the cold weather arrives!

And finally, I have been sewing.

This Vogue pattern is from the late 60s.  I love the square neckline and the empire lines.  I’m making it from a stretch wool crepe (on the right, the dark purple) from Gorgeous fabrics, and I’m underlining it in a lightweight silk twill (on the right.)  I thought about not underlining, but I think this pattern really needs the structure in order for the a-line to stand out properly.  I also don’t want to wear the crepe right next to my skin, as this one is a bit – not scratchy exactly, just not pleasant!  The silk twill was ordered ages ago from Fashion Fabrics club, and was a disappointment – I neglected to read the part of the description that said it had a sueded finish, and that it was blouse weight.  I know better now, but since it was my fault I didn’t send it back – I’m happy it can get used here, and while it doesn’t match, I think the contrasting purples are rather nice.

I made a muslin of the bodice.  I thought that the drawing was just stylized, but as it turns out the bodice cuts off really high.  It’s not bad, but I’m going to lengthen the bodice to have the skirt start right underneath, at the empire line.  It will be more flattering I think.  Other than that, the bodice fits great.  I love how these old patterns are more reasonably sized – I took an inch out of the side seams, to match my bust measurement (31.5, smaller than the 32.5″ pattern) and it fits perfectly!

Watch for the fabric shopping post in the next few days!