Hudson Pant - Part Un, deux, trois

The weather has been miserable and wet, and I have been side tracked by other crafty endevours instead of blogging. But the time spent on other crafty endeavorurs namely Pillowcases for Oncology Kids and on pinteresting woodworking stuff, has been spent in my very comfy hudson pants.

 The sun finally made an appearance this weekend, following the artic vortex we just had visit us. So I got off my butt, and out of my cough induced haze to take some photos.

So I've made three pairs of hudson pants in quick succession, all of which are going straight from the washing line and straight on to my legs, that's how good they are.

The first pair was in a knit fabric from Super Cheap Fabric in Dandenong, for $3.99/meter. The girl who used to update the facebook page I think must no longer work there, the shop is now twice the size and moved to the outside of the complex but still part of the shopping centre. 

I cut a size 2 as per my measurements, but ended up skinnifying the thighs, but the size was perfect from the knee to calf. I didn't use the contrasting panel.

The only other change I had to make was for the elastic. I had 1/2 inch elastic on hand from my grandmother's old sewing box, I actually have a spool of it, so I used it rather than getting the 2 inch elastic recommended, and it's held up well. But because I'd already cut the top band, I end up with a bit of a frill and had to sew above and below the elastic to make sure it didn't do that annoying turning inside it's casing thing. 

The top I've paired the pants with is another handmade item. A knit top based off a rather used-by-date but favourite knit top I bought RTW for $5.

I may have got too excited with the hi-low action on this top, and gone too low at the back again, much like my self-drafted kimono top.

My second and third hudson pants used woven fabrics, and I altered the pattern using the very handy tutorial on True Bias. 

The second pair was made from a mystery fabric, it's a bit static-y and thin, so not suitable for outside the house wear, but will make a great spring pair of pants for home, and in that vein I've paired it with a very comfy at home top. No matching required.

For the woven versions of the Hudson pants I followed the tutorial exactly and they turned out amazing. This last pair is my favourite, and they are usually worn very casually, but given their comfort they'd make an easy day to night transition.

The fine print of the rayon I used for this pair of pants doesn't photograph well, but I promised they are not so hard on the eyes in person.

TBH I had to dust off those heels, and the wrinkly but comfy turqouise jacket to put together the outfit above. Mostly the pants are worn like so: 

In keeping with using the 1/2 inch elastic, I shortened the height of the band of the pants, and the elastic hasn't twisted at all despite my not sewing it down. Can't recommend the hudson pant pattern enough. I have a grey sweat knit lined up for my next pair.

In case you haven't been on my facebook page recently (you should), this is what has been keeping my sewing machine busy:
Pillowcases for Oncology Kids, a great charity that provides handmade pillowcases to paedatric oncology patients for their unfortunately frequent hospital visits. I did initially try my hand at quilting, my grandmother made these amazing 60 degree traingle quilts for all her grandchildren, all 12 of us, plus some extras, and I love mine to bits, so I thought I'd start with a pillowcase, it's a work in progress.... I got side tracked by a 50% off quiliting fabric sale at Spotlight and ended up with a lot of new fabric. Somehow all the robot and marvel superhero fabric were already in my stash, I only meant to buy contrasting fabrics....The pillowcases have been a quick gratifying project, especially knowing they are going to a good cause, and they are great for stash busting.

 Happy Crafting

Simplicity 'Jiffy' 1364 Top

This is the top mentioned in my not so city gym shorts post that I left gathering dust for months awaiting some simple bias tape to finish the armholes. But once that fear was conquered this top has been a staple in the wardrobe.

The top is a from a reprint of an old Simplicity pattern. Aptly named Jiffy. It didn't take long to put together (minus the 10 weeks of waiting to insert bias tape). 

The sleeves just cap over the shoulder making it work appropriate.

A bit hard to tell from the picture above but I'm pointing to the diagonal darts that help shape the bust.  

Ignore the mismatched bias tape. I may have conquered my fear of inserting bias tape but much prefer to avoid making my own at all costs. I did make my own to make it match but then realised you wouldn't see it at all so fished some pre-made bias tape out of the stash. Also this was my wearable muslin, and the sun spoilt the delicate voile fabric whilst it was line drying on a hot day but I wear it all the times anyways.

The pattern has a button hole closure at the back to help you get the top over your head, but as with many others who tried the pattern I did away with this and sewed straight up the back with one seam. Next time I'll just cut on the fold to cut down on time even more.

Bias tape fear conquered. Much quicker than facings if you have premade bias tape.

I bought 5 patterns for $10 from Spotlight so this Jiffy top was a great addition, but even without the sale it's a great beginner pattern and wardrobe builder. 

Happy Crafting!

Honig Garden Party Dress

I love scrubs. I love not having to think what to wear in the morning/afternoon/night time. I love wearing my comfy memory foam runners to work and not being judged for it. And thus my drive to sew work clothes (and really any clothes) has steadily declined with no place to wear them, and the idea of having to forsake my blanket fort on the couch for the sewing machine just seems to hard. Damn you winter.

This dress was made before all the laziness of winter and a sea of blue scrubs set in. But the photos which were taken yesterday have been a real struggle, I was too lazy to find my stockings, yet another benefit of scrubs, no stockings needed and it was freezing.

The dress was made from Honig Design's free garden party dress, a split front dress with pleat skirt details. I would definitely recommend the pattern. I love the triple pleats on the skirt, which are actually more tucks. But gorgeous all the same, not too poofy (?puffy), but gives the dress the fit and flare shape I love. 

I had to skinny-ify the sleeves and had trouble setting them in so they sit a bit awkwardly, but that was more due to my trying to alter them on my dress model who has no arms. 

As per usual I also added in pockets, because what is a work dress without pockets? I also raise the front slit to a more modest area for work purposes. 

If you need inspiration, there are a bunch of versions of the garden party dress found here. The dress has a great basic shape and I will definitely be using it in the future.

Happy Crafting!

Free standing fabric storage bin tutorial

I was listening to the radio the other day, and the hosts were saying how we all basically live in a state of mess at home until someone visits and we make an effort to clean up. That's basically how life is at the moment. The rain and cold, despite it not being winter has resulted in blankets, pillows and jackets all over the couch, coffee table and desks; which all subsequently get shifted to the floor when we need to actually sit or use the furniture as furniture. The big issue being the questionable cleaniness of the floor that said items reside on. Between odd work hours, lots of rain, and a muddy, long haired dog, it's very questionable. Hence my latest project. 

There are lots of great tutorials out there for fabric bins, but most of them involved interfacing and/or a great deal of measuring and cutting. This was a quick gratifying project to use up some of my fabric stash and I only had to do one bit of difficult math, and even then google did it for me. The best thing about this project is that the storage bin is freestanding thanks to a nifty everyday household item.

Starting with a rectangular bit of fabric you will need to measure the long edge; this is going to be the circumference of your circle. 

Using a calculator of your choice, mine being Google, I figured out the radius of my circle by entering in the length of my rectangle of fabric as the circumference. 

As with a circle skirt, the usual way I trace a circle onto fabric is to tie a piece of string onto my chalk pencil and then to measure and cut the string to the size of my radius. I fold the fabric into quarters, use my finger to anchor down the end of the string at the centre fold (where the pin is), and trace my 1/4 of a circle around the fabric. Cutting along this line will yield a circle the size of the rectangle length.

The first bit of sewing that needs to be done is attaching a strip of contrasting fabric to the top of the rectangle and sewing, then fold it over to create a band and sewing. You can skip this step by just folding down the top of the rectangle. The trick is to leave a gap to feed the wire through.

Back to the main fabric. I used hemp fabric, and given the loose weave, I used two rows of zig-zag stitches and a single line of straight stitches for security. You need to sew the short edge of the rectangle, good sides together. 

Using lots of pins, you now need to attach the circle to the rectangular tube. The best way to do this is to mark the circle into quarters, and the same on the rectangle edge so you can match these points and pin the rest in between. 

Sew up the edges with a zigzag stitch. 

This next step is what is going to make your storage bin free standing. A wire coat hanger.

Using a pair of pliers to straighten the coat hanger. 

Using the gap left from sewing the band, feed the coat hanger through. Using pliers to secure the ends in a twist. 

I was to lazy to sew the band shut as I left a small gap, and I didn't fancy wrangling my sewing machine around a coat hanger. 

Now I have a place to put all my blankets and pillows. Now to keep the rest of the house tidy. 

                                                          Happy Crafting!

Salme Sonja Upcycle

So this is my last Salme Sonja version for a while, mostly because of the cold weather, coldest April in Melbourne and all that, not because I love the pattern any less after three versions.

This is not exactly how the Salme Sonja free pattern project picture looks like on Burdastyle, but the halter-esk bodice looks great with the looser fit top. 

The fabric that I used for this top was rescued from one of those dresses you get overseas on holidays, because you know, you're tourist. I think I wore this dress all of once. 

I managed to get a fair bit of fabric once all of it was unpicked, and the best part was that it was already hemmed, and the sides were overlocked.

I drafted the facings for this top off the front and back bodice pieces. This top is actually quite similar to one of Salme's patterns so I won't post a tutorial.

Even though I never wore the dress much I've worn the top multiple times.

It's great tucked and out and the best part about the fabric is the directionality of it. 

I finished the back of this top with a button loop closure but I didn't really need to as I never open the button loop to get the top over my head. 

If you haven't already check out Salme, or the pattern, or need some inspiration check out my previous curtain fabric version, or my 2 piece peplum version.

Happy Crafting!