I know I say this every year, but I am really really over winter. I mean it! I am so glad that I don’t live in a northern climate because I would not be able to handle that kind of weather ass-kicking. It’s been – what, maybe 2 months of actual cold here? Already over it. I just keep telling myself that if I can make it through March, then I’m golden. The weather will be warm after March. You know it’s gotten bad if I can’t even stand outside to take my photos. Enjoy this lovely view of my sewing room!
In the meantime, I’m introducing some springy colors to my wardrobe (and hair, hur hur hur), because sometimes I like to pretend that I can change things with my mind. Even if I can’t, the colors make me happy – and that’s a start, anyway.
So – behold! My new spring outfit of red and seafoam green. Some of y’all might find this suspiciously familiar, as I made a similarly-colored outfit 2 years ago for MSN (also: wtf? It’s been 2 years?? SHIT.). I really loved that outfit – no, I REALLY loved those pants. Sadly, they’ve gone the way of the Goodwill pile as they no longer fit (expect this mantra to be more frequent in future postings; I had a much-needed closet purge recently and there was a lot of stuff that fell in the category of ‘doesn’t fit anymore but I still want another one’), and I’ve been wanting to make a new pair for months now. The seafoam top also left in an earlier purge, so I knew I’d be making another top in the same color family. No shame.
Let’s see, where to start? Let’s start with the pants. These are my beloved Ginger Jeans, made in the high rise version out of fiesta red stretch cotton twill. Note to self: Mood was NOT KIDDING about this being a bright red. It’s practically neon. I didn’t like it at first, but it’s definitely grown on me. I do like this twill for trousers – it’s got a nice stretch, so they fit very tight without being uncomfortable. It was also really easy to work with – like denim, except not as thick.
One thing I didn’t consider when buying the fabric was what color to use for topstitching. Even though these aren’t actually jeans made of proper denim, I still wanted them to have the look of jeans (with the topstitching and such). I tried a few different red threads, and ultimately settled on a color that was about 2 shades darker red than the fabric. To make the thread thick enough to show the topstitching (since it’s not proper topstitching thread, just regular ol’ polyester that you use for whatever), I doubled it in the needle. I didn’t have two spools of this color, so I just wound a second bobbin with some of it. I know some people use a special triple stitch for this kind of topstitching, but my Bernina is pretty bare-bones and doesn’t have anything fancy like that, so I just used my regular straight stitch. Worked out just fine.
The pockets are lined with some Italian cotton from my stash; zipper is vintage, and the jeans button is from Pacific Trimming (I love those buttons, need to remember to buy more when I’m there next month!). I flat-felled every seam I could get my machine under, except the leg seams.
After making my first pair of Gingers (and wearing them to piecesss, argh, I love those pants!), I knew I’d need to make some minor fitting changes on the next pair. The crotch was shortened about 1/2″, and I also removed the extra wedge I’d added to the back crotch for butt room (as it was evidently making the thighs too large). These are not perfect, but they are much closer to ideal. The shortened crotch alone makes a huge difference in the fit; they feel much more comfortable now.
Ok, now for the button up! This is McCall’s 5803 (an OOP Lizzie McGuire pattern, ha!), which I’m so happy to see is finally working for me. After the fitting drama with the Liberty version that I made (which I still wear, but only if I’m having a very skinny day because LOL TIGHT), I knew this pattern would need some serious retweaking before I made it again. I compared with pieces to my TNT B5526 (which I feel is a good combination of fitted without being painted on), and retraced everything to include the neckline and arm holes from 5803, with the waistline from 5526. And hey – it worked!
The fabric I used here is a very lightweight dotted cotton seersucker that I bought from Mood NYC last year (here it is online, BUT it’s sold out. Sorry!). It was a remnant, so I had less than a yard to work with. I’m actually really surprised that I was able to eek a shirt out of such a tiny piece – however, it is pretty wide, so there’s that. I did have to cut the bias pieces (for the arm holes and hem) out of white cotton batiste, but that’s not such a big deal.
Since the fabric is very lightweight – bordering on sheer – I used French seams to finish everything. The buttons are from my stash – I like how they kind of look like huge polka dots :)
Finally – the cardigan!
This part of the outfit was actually an afterthought – I bought the fabric with no real project in mind (it’s seafoam green French terry, FFS. In my experience, when you find French terry – you buy it and ask questions later!); I just knew it would look good with the red pants. I originally thought about making a hoodie with the fabric, but while flipping through my PDF patterns, I saw the Jenna Cardi first. Boom. Done.
I can’t speak for all French terrys – as some of them can be quite drapey – but this particular terry was PERFECT for this pattern. It’s got quite a bit of body and heft, which meant it took to topstitching (and button holes!) like a total champion. It was also really quick to make – even with all the extra topstitching I added – which is a bonus because, after sewing jeans and a collared shirt, I needed a quick project.
I’m really pleased with my button choice! I bought these ages ago at the flea market, been hoarding them ever since for a good match. Think I found it!
Whew, ok, so that was the longest post ever! Sorry, apparently I have a lot to say about even the most basic pieces. With that being said, I think I’ve basically lost my mojo for sewing cold weather clothes at this point. Blech stupid winter cold blues! I think I’m going to start making booty shorts and swimsuits, weather be dammed!
Speak of which, I mentioned this upwards in the post – but I’ll be in NYC next month to teach the Weekends Pants-Making Intensive at WORKROOM SOCIAL. There are still a couple spots left, if you’ve been on the fence about signing up (c’mon, lemme grab your crotch, all in the name of learning. No, that’s not creepy at all.). I won’t be arranging a big fabric shopping meet-up this time round, mostly due to time restrictions, but if anyone is interested in joining me for a drink somewhere as an informal meet-up, let me know! Trying to get a head count :)
** Note: All fabrics for this project were provided to be as per my involvement with the Mood Sewing Network.