Farbenmix & Fledge Fashion Show

As much fun as I’ve had with the red plaid Cardiff pants, I was itching to do a less conservative pair. I think I accomplished that with these pants.

Both fabrics are from Joann’s and part of the fall juvenile apparel line. They are a heavier weight cotton, more of a twill than a quilting cotton but not quite that heavy. They’re just the right weight, though, to hold those pleats nice and crisp.

I made these before my minor sewing meltdown, although they’re not without problems. I’d wanted them a little longer than the red plaid pair, so I added a squint to the seam allowances here and there. Silly me added the length in the wrong place! For some crazy reason, I added to the yoke/saddle, which makes the rise longer. I should have added to the upper pants leg where it meets the pleated leg panels (and probably a touch of length to those panels, too). *sigh* They’re still cute and they fit, even if I know they’re not quite right.

I’ve got quite a few ideas in mind for this pattern and can’t wait to make some more. I think I’ll even make a pair for one of my nieces, who’s a bit of a rock-and-roll princess.

I’ve had the Farbenmix Kim pants pattern forever but never got around to sewing it. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I have a ridiculous number of patterns and a “to sew” list that grows by the hour. Part of it may also had to do with the fact that I get twitchy about sewing pants with lots of parts. No particular reason why; I just do. And there are quite a few pieces to this pattern. Oh, but look how fabulous they are! The fabric is again from Joann’s (seriously, there is such cuteness there, I can’t stand it) and definitely a pants-appropriate weight. I don’t mind using quilting cotton for pants but I think it really is better to use a heavier weight fabric, especially for fall and winter.

These pants run slim, which is great for my girl. I do think I need to trim the rise just a touch. It’s a little full for my potty trained Miss L. But other than that, they’re awesome.

The shirt, on the other hand, is a mess and a half. It’s the Zoe raglan tee, also from Farbenmix, and I really should have trusted my instincts when I was working on it. I did lengthen the shirt about an inch and a half, which was the right decision. So why I didn’t cut the ribbing for the neckline differently is beyond me. (For the record, I sewed this top around the time when all of my sewing disasters were happening.) I followed the pattern instructions for the ribbing size and sewing, in spite of the fact that I *knew* the ribbing was too long for the neckline and that I always get better results serging the neckline in the round than in the flat. And that’s how I ended up with a strange funnel neck look to the shirt. Kind of makes you wonder why I didn’t rip it off, cut a new one and fix it, doesn’t it? I’ve got no answer. What I do know is that I’m going to remake the shirt before the weather changes so my daughter doesn’t have to wear that hot mess out of the house. (I think I’ll repurpose this one for a pair — or three — of the That Darn Kat panties. She can wear them under the pants.)

Surrender

I’m going to take a break from sewing for the next day or two. Why? Because everything I have attempted to sew in the past five days has been a disaster. The Sewing Gods/Goddesses are talking and it’s time for me to listen.

You know, the whole blogging process is incredibly selective. No one sees my mistakes and disasters — or even knows they exist — if I don’t talk about them. I think it’s far too easy to get a skewed perspective about what I do when all I share are the successes. Let’s head into the Craft Addict Confessional and look a little closer at what’s sent me into temporary exile.

Exhibit X: I made myself the cutest skirt, sewn from a 2007 issue of Ottobre and made with the prettiest babywale corduroy from Joann’s. Only one problem: It’s two sizes too big. I could possibly wear it if I were willing to tug it down until it barely covers my bikini line. Ummm, no thanks.

Exhibit A: I bought an out-of-print Butterick pattern and decided to give it a whirl. Although the pattern calls for knit fabric, it also specifies the use of a zipper. I have no idea why, since the neckline appears to be plenty big enough.

Since it was my first attempt at the pattern, I opted to use a cute, expendable knit I bought at Joann’s, rather than one of my pretty (and spendy) finds I bought elsewhere. That proved to be a wise decision.

First goof: I flipped the bodice pieces when cutting them out. According to the pattern, the right side of the bodice is supposed to cross over the left. Not a big deal and I cut both pieces wrong, so it worked out.

Second goof: Because I changed the neckline (omitting the zipper down the back), I didn’t really read the directions too closely. Big mistake. After I coverstitched the entire neckline, I realized that I needed to cross the larger bodice piece over the smaller and topstitch them closed. Not as easy to fix but it actually turned out OK; I just crossed them and did a second pass with the coverstitcher. Didn’t notice until later that the smaller piece isn’t quite in the right position but that doesn’t really matter because of …

Third goof: I never checked the sizing of the pattern pieces against Miss L’s measurements. Not once. Which is why the dress is waaaaaay too big. See the rolled-up sleeves? That’s where they needed to be hemmed to fit her arms. Doesn’t matter, though, because the shoulders hang over hers by about two inches. The hem, however, is barely long enough.

Exhibit B: I’ve been itching to try my hand at a corduroy version of the Fledge/Studio Tantrum Feliz and, having made three of them, figured it was a good pattern to get my sewing luck back on track.

These cute cord coordinates were in my stash and I just knew they’d be fabulous with the pattern’s layering. I was going to love this dress!

Ha!

First goof: At what point did I decide to check the nap of the fabric? After I cut out the overdress. Ya know what? The nap runs the wrong way. Luckily, not a tragic mistake but still annoying. Too bad that wasn’t where my mess-ups ended.

Second goof: For some unknown reason, I decided to attach the ties to the outside of the overdress instead of the inside. It would have been good to realize this before I sewed, serged and topstitched the two seams. The smart sewist would have redone the seams from the bottom of the straps to the top of the bodice edge. Smart me decided to pull apart the seam just enough to cut the straps, re-sew the seam and re-attach the straps on the backside. That course of action left me with weird little bulky areas on each side of the bodice.

Third goof: And then I decided to place the ties too high when I reattached them. Which means the channels I stitched on the outside of the overdress are too high.

Fourth goof: Neglected to cut the elastic in the back channels short enough so I’m pretty sure the dress will be too big around the upper body for my sweetie.

I have enough of this fabric to make a second dress and originally thought I’d offer it in my Etsy. For.Get.It. I don’t even want to put this dress on L, much less make a second one.

Tonight, I’m going to watch some TV or maybe read a book. Maybe do a little drawing. And tomorrow, I’m going to play with some paper and Sealah Tape so I can finish a project (and tutorial). Because it’s just not fair to the fabric to be sacrificed in the name of stubborness.