Thursday, March 7, 2019

Cupro Cropped Calyers

You guys, I'm really pretty excited about these pants.  They turned out almost exactly the way I planned/envisioned.  They go with a good chunk of my tops.  They represent an evolution in my style (I don't think there's any way I would have been caught dead in baggy, elastic-hem pants a few years ago).  And, they are the first finished item from my first-ever Make Nine.

These are the Calyer Pants from French Navy Now.  I tested the patter before its release about a year ago, and I wore my first version quite a lot during the spring and summer 2018.  But they were made of rayon challis, which I've learned isn't a sturdy enough fabric to withstand these thighs, and a few months ago, the fabric just gave out.  I've been plotting a new pair ever since.

Geeky fitting information: I am 5'8" and my current measurements are W33 H 43. These are an XXL with the front rise shortened 1.75" (it's quite long).  The pants initially came out far too big in the bum.  It was sag city back there.  So I took them apart and scooped out the back rise about 3/4".  I also took a wedge off the back inseam.  I'm not sure exactly how much I took out, but I think it was about 1-1.25" at the top of the inseam, tapering to nothing about 6" down.  I then took some of the length off the back inseam to deal with wrinkles I was having back there - maybe 3/4" - which made the front inseam longer than the back.  I eased the top 8" or so of the front inseam into the back inseam.  This helped quite a lot, but it wasn't the best fix.  What I really need is one of those horizontal fish-eye dart adjustments under the bum - but, sadly, these don't work so well after you've cut into your fashion fabric (trust me, I tried it, thinking maybe the seam wouldn't be so noticeable ... it was).

Sigh.  So they're not perfect.  But, happily, the back view of these pants looks much better in these photos than when I'm looking at my butt in the mirror. (And this never happens - I always think things look great until I see photos!)

After deciding that there were no further alterations I could try to de-sag the bottom of the pants, I pranced around in front of the mirror with the hems pinned up at different heights.  As drafted, the Calyers are full-length pants with no elastic.  I ended up shortening the pants about 3", and elasticized the hems to give them a bit more of a harem-pant feel.

This is a very nicely designed pattern.  I particularly love the pockets (and I'm not usually a pocket freak), and the topstitched inseams.  I just need to work out the fitting over my bum, and then I could see making another pair or two of these - maybe in a more colorful linen/viscose for the beach.

The fabric is 3 yards of Halston cupro/nylon/spandex twill (at least, that is what Fabric Mart said) - but I don't think there was actually any spandex in there).   I actually ordered 2.5 yards but got the end of the bolt.  Good thing, too, as I used the entire length of the yardage and only have a large scrap left.

I'm digging the casual, sandwashed fade of the fabric. It's very spongy, and drapey, and needed to be pressed quite firmly with high heat and steam through a press cloth before it would behave.

I don't think these pants will get that much wear in Bogota, sadly.  Although I was comfortable taking these photos on our terrace yesterday, 30 minutes later the temperature dropped and I had to get changed before taking the kids to story time and swim lessons. I changed from this outfit into jeans, boots, a knit top and a wool cardigan ... if that gives you any indication of the crazy daily temperature swings up here in the Andes.

But, as taking these photos has made me feel much better about the back view of these pants, I can't wait to take them on our next trip to warmer climes.  And that's about all I've got to say about this project.  As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time!

Friday, March 1, 2019

February 2019

This month we hit the half-year mark of our stay in Bogota.  We're a quarter of the way through and it still feels like we just got here.  And although I was thrilled at the thought of no winter when we moved, I'm finding the constant temperatures to be a little bit monotonous. Don't get me wrong; I prefer this to what's going on in much of the United States at the moment, weather-wise, but there's something weird about trying to teach my kindergartener about seasons through pictures instead of through experience!

I only completed two projects this month, but they were both pretty involved.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Denim Gallery Tunic

Before we packed up in Virginia, I paired three cuts of fabric with patterns and put them into clear zippered bags (the kind sheets come in) along with notions and thread. The idea was that they would be the first projects I would work on when I arrived in Colombia.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

January 2019

January saw a return of the sew-jo, fueled both by an island vacation and the fact that I got to meet another IG sewist in person.  Actually, I had met her in person, and had a few good conversations, well before discovering that she was a fellow sewist - our daughters are in the same Girl Scout troop.  So funny that we never discussed sewing, but I guess that's not something I tend to talk about with people unless I know they are interested.  Anyway, after making the IG sewing connection, we got coffee and had a real sewing chat and I found myself invigorated and scrapping to carve out some sewing time for myself both before and after our trip.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The sea of seven colors (and Simplicity 1887)

I'm a beach girl. Always have been.  I was lucky to grow up in a family that vacationed regularly.  Not anything fancy; we always drove, and it was pretty common that all seven of us would squeeze into one hotel room.  But we got to vacation, nonetheless.  For a period of my young life, we would alternate our summer destinations - one year by the sea, the next up in the mountains. At some point I convinced my siblings to make a full court press, begging for beach vacations only.  We were successful at some point in my junior high school life, and I've been going to the Outer Banks (on the Atlantic Ocean) almost every year ever since.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Gelato on vacation

We went on vacation, which meant that I got that have-to-sew-something-new-for-vacation itch. And it just wouldn't sit there and not be scratched.