Monday, 18 January 2016

That was the year that was (the year of the trouser)

I've finally emerged scratched an battered from December's festivities. It's by far my favourite time of the year, though after a month of non-stop parties (and great company), I'll be grateful for any darkened or quiet rooms that might cross my path. People (even the ones you love dearly) are exhausting.

Somehow I managed to make a few Christmas gifts for the most discerning of loved ones:

Tap Shoe Bags
Tap shoe bags for 2 lovely teachers

Thread Theory Newcastle Cardigan Navy and Tan
A Thread Theory Newcastle Cardigan for B

2 Teddy Bears
2 teddy bears

2 Bird Ornaments
2 bird ornaments

Keep your eyes peeled in January (or maybe Feb at this rate) for a proper write up of the teddy bears and the Newcastle Cardigan, both of which were really engaging and rewarding projects.

tap shoe bag detail: lining and RSD tap shoes
More detail on the shoe bags

I also finished my last 2 pairs of trousers for the year at the tail end of November

Brown bootleg jeans

Rainbow trousers in a Liberty lawn fabric

The brown ones were a remake of Burda 10/2013 #126 Bootcut Trousers using my stamps fabric and a brown denim from Ditto Fabrics. I sized up to a 36 for this pair after my previous versions (34) were too tight. Again, still not bootcut!

The rainbow ones were a bit more special and deserve their own post in due course. I still have 2 pairs of "in progress" trousers waiting in the wings. I tried to dedicate a lot of time to trousers over 2015 and have learned a lot in doing so.

Firstly, I learned a lot of new things about fitting and patterns. Assuming that all clothes are some weird geometric 3D experiment, it's still mind boggling to imagine how a 2D alteration will affect the 3D garment once it's on a body. To that end, I'm still not sure why you'd ever need or want to make an adjustment to the crotch seam on a pair of trousers. A bit like my approach to armholes I guess: check the shoulder, the chest, the torso, but do not mess with the armhole unless you absolutely have to, and you know all of the follow-on corrections you'll have to do afterwards. With trousers it's best to check the wait, the hips, the height, the grain etc. I'd only want to directly mess with the crotch seam as a measure of last resort.

I've also learned a lot about finishing and detail, the factors that really make you feel like your project is a cut above everything else. A lot of this is RTW industry standards (it's one way to spend the tube commute) and expectations for trouser styles. This is the really nerdy stuff about reinforcements/bar tacks, where the top-stitching goes, appropriate pocket styles etc. I'm all about making it look as good as it can be. Part of the general trepidation about sewing trousers is probably based around the finishing and making them look "real" (and not like a pair of clownish pyjamas), moreso than just fitting.

Anyway, that was the year of the trouser.

I'm clearing out my textiles at the moment ready for 2016's theme. It's been really useful to look at RTW, me-mades and fabric stash all as the same thing for once. The holistic approach is going to be my guide for the year ahead. 2016 will be the year of the outfit.

My making usually takes on a bit of a delay between inspiration and finished item. The stuff I found really exciting and inspiritng in November should (hopefully) be ready before the end of March. And you know, some of that is pretty flashy and challenging. If I only make that stuff then pretty quickly I'd have no underpants or pyjamas. You know?

I liked making nothing but trousers for 3 months. I liked production-lining wrap skirts (it was efficient!) but it's time for a different approach because my old RTWs are slowly wearing out and the projects that were "just about good enough" aren't getting chucked out when they should really go.

Thinking in terms of whole outfits will (hopefully) mean I can balance the fun with the sensible and really make sure that professional/officewear is fit for purpose too. You see, I want to dress in a very specific way at work. I want my bosses to think I'm valuable so I want to dress like I'm valuable. It's cheeky- but why not.

2016 is shaping up to have some interesting sewing challenges ahead: more little'uns, more softies, more gifts, more garments, more pants.


1 comment:

  1. A very good idea to do 'aspirational dressing' It tells people that you consider you matter, and they only have to agree! Which they will. 'Cos you do!