Sunday, April 6, 2014

Some Not-Quite-Right Shorts....and a Just-Right Rowe

It's been longer between posts than I planned, partly because life got busy for a while there, and partly because I've been a little unsatisfied with my recent makes. It's all very well calling the not-quite-right projects "learning experiences", but several in a row can be a bit disheartening, huh? And hard to get excited when it comes to posting about them...

The reason for this make's "not-quite-rightness" is entirely my own fault. The pattern is Pattern Runway's Sweet Scalloped Shorts . My measurements corresponded exactly to the ones listed for the S size, so since I was using the chambray left over from my shirt  I decided to forgo any muslin and just hope for the best. I told myself it would be good practice for making the "real" ones, and also for pants/trouser making....but secretly I was really hoping that they'd just magically work out fine. (Anyone else done that? I'm not the only one, surely??) And...they're ok. Probably more successful than I deserved, actually.



They're wearable, and that chambray is sublimely soft and comfortable. I just wish I'd put the effort into making them really good :(


First welt pockets in the back, there! I had a bit of trouble getting the corners perfectly squared, but maybe that's a matter of practice. They're not easy, after all!

I've been really struggling to pinpoint exactly what adjustments are needed. The fact is, apart from some comfy RTW jersey running shorts (which I do everything except run in), I almost never wear shorts - certainly not tailored-style ones - so I'm not entirely sure what constitutes a Good Fit. I'm fairly sure not this though:



 Apart from that, the rise feels a bit long, evidenced by the massive amount of excess fabric when I sit down:


Perhaps they're just too big all over. I'm wondering about just going down a size, or even two...it'd be so nice to have an easy solution! 

I'm wearing them around the house, but I'd rather they were a bit more versatile than that. On the plus side, I got to squeeze out the pocket lining pieces from my carefully hoarded scraps of my giveaway dress. I love this fabric...



The pocket bags for the back welt pockets were completely humbling. I still have no idea how to do them. I tried following the Pattern Runway tutorial, but it was like reading Swahili. I can't tell you how much better I felt after reading Sew Busy Lizzy  had the same trouble... In the end I made it up as I went along, and while they may be technically incorrect, they are doing the job they need to. So all's well that ends well, I guess.




As for the top (see first photo), that there is my fourth Rowe top. Oh, how I love this pattern. I took out the 4cm or so from the width of the sleeve this time around, and it's now exactly right. I want to play around with the neckline next time and see if I can make it a rounded scoop one, rather than the V. I attempted hemming with a twin needle - I saw somewhere that you can use a bobbin of thread up against the usual spool and thread the needle with both strands, but this didn't work at all. The threads kept tangling above the needle eye and snapping.

Can you use a twin needle on a normal machine? How?? Any suggestions gratefully received!




21 comments:

  1. Thats a real shame about the fit at the back & the rise as these look so gorgeous! I love the chambray, it looks so soft, and the scallops are a really nice detail. I'm not sure what you mean with the twin needle but this guide to using one might be handy, I'm sure this us what I referred to the first time I used one - http://www.astitchingodyssey.com/2013/07/how-to-use-your-twin-needle.html

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    1. Oh, that's BRILLIANT, thank you so much!!

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  2. Although they might be "roomy", the shorts look wonderful! If I managed to make shorts like those (with welts!) I would be really happy :) They look so comfy!
    I have no skills with twin needles I'm afraid, so can't offer any advise there.
    Kathryns link look great, I'll be saving that one :)

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    1. Isn't it great - I want to go and jump on the machine immediately! The comments look really helpful too.

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  3. I'll be very interested in seeing how you alter you nxt pair for fit. Shorts are on my to-sew list for summer, but like you I don't actually wear them very much currently. Overall a great wearable muslin! well done!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I'll probably put off the next pair for a while though - it's definitely autumn sewing time here now...

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  4. I made these shorts last summer and had the same issues with the instructions for the welt pockets. Yours look pretty good though! I like mine with tops tucked in and a belt, but they don't fill that "shorts and a tshirt" gap for me. Yours turned out really cute--I hope you find a spot for them in your wardrobe.

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    1. They're weird instructions, aren't they? I think these'll fill the wardrobe section of Garments You Can Wear and Eat Heartily In.. ;)

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  5. you're talking about a double needle like this, right?
    http://tinyurl.com/kmcjcpe
    (they do come in different sizes, this is just an example)

    You can use a twin needle on a normal machine, but since the "bobbin of thread up against the usual spool" method did not work, maybe you want to try a thread stand for the second spool (if your machine doesn't have one built in.) Something like this:
    http://tinyurl.com/kqru6js
    :-) Chris

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    1. Thanks Chris - I'll have to have a rummage through the accessories (currently sitting in sad and lonely state) and see if there's an extra thread stand. I never thought of that, thank you!

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  6. They don't look that bad. The fit might not be perfect but they look very wearable.mabd the pocket bags look good too! I think this is a pretty good first go, actually! Sizing down might be a good start for next time?!

    Still not tried a twin needle, although I do plan to soon. Will let you know how I get on!

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    1. I'll be waiting to hear! They are wearable (just), but yes, I'm absolutely sizing down for next time!

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    2. Hey - have posted today about how I used a twin needle. As Chris says above, I have a second thread stand or "pin" which sits on the bobbin winder. I found it worked first time for me. Have a look and hope it helps! x

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  7. Oh I'm feeling your shorts pain! I'm vastly impressed with your welt pockets! I think they look a bit big overall, and I think I've read the sizing runs a bit big..... But they look good in the picks apart from the big waist pic. With my machine I use the normal thread spool and my bobbin spool right next to it for my twin needling. My machine is very old though - sometimes the bobbin spool is in a different spot which might not work. Btw I have a style arc pattern that I got for free, size 8 in their sizing, that isn't my style - check out the Gail pattern http://www.stylearc.com.au/stylearc/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=571&category_id=8&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=45
    If you like it I'll send it to you. Send me an email or message me via le blog!

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    1. I knew you'd understand shorts woes! Oh, that's SO kind of you, and I would absolutely accept happily if I didn't already have that pattern! We must have ordered in the same month... ;)

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  8. They look like a really good, tailored pair of shorts. Congratulations on the fancy pockets and the hem! They seem just too big all over for you. Perhaps it was the difference between the body size recommended and the finished garment measurement that made them too big? Such a shame after all that effort you went to.
    I do hope you can use it as a learning experience - your next pair are sure to be closer to perfection now that you've had a good practice at them!

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    1. Thanks, Nessa :) I don't actually remember reading the finished measurements; I'll have to go back and check that. At least, like you say, it's a useful learning experience...

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  9. Aww, shame about the shorts, apart from the fit they look lovely! :)
    About the twin needle, it all depends on where the thread spool holder is on your machine. If it's vertical, then you can just stack the spools on top of each other. If it's horizontal, the threads need to be wound in opposite directions (or you can also place the second spool in a cup behind your machine and then thread it as normal). This article has pictures that explain really well: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-with-nancy/double-needle-sewing-tips/

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  10. Those shorts are marvellou despite the size. Maybe go down a size next time. Even so they really do look fab.

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  11. These shorts look really gorgeous on you! and I reckon it would be well worth just taking in that CB seam a bit, and the waistband at the CB too. I would definitely do it, it wouldn't take very long. I love the scalloped hemline!

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    1. Oh, and yes, you can use a twin needle on a regular machine. Just pop a bobbin of thread on the second spoke alongside the other spool and thread the machine with both threads; separating them at the little prongs just above where the needle slots in; one going to the left, and one to the right, then thread the eyes separately. I've never checked if I've wound them in different directions either, it doesn't seem to affect the sewing. Good luck!

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