Workin’ On It: Iris Shorts #2

So.  The shorts.  Ladies.  Muslin #2– still too small in the waist, and I’m getting this weird pooching out below the waistband in the back (forgive me– I can’t bear to post a photo on the internets).  I’m starting to think that part of the problem is that these are meant to sit a little higher than they do naturally on me.  I thought this could be a rise issue (maybe I have a low rise?  A high rise?  I don’t even know what the proper terminology is…), but when you look at the only photo that shows the rear view on the model, you can see that they’re a little… wedgified?

Excuse me, miss... your butt seems to be eating your shorts.

So yeah.  Maybe they’re supposed to sit like that, but I can’t really deal with that, so I think I will have to cut a size larger in the waist and somehow taper it at the sides (so the hips won’t be way too big) without screwing up the way the rise sits.  Sigh… like every project I’ve embarked on lately, these shorts have plunged me into a swirling abyss of fitting hell. OK, maybe that’s a tad bit dramatic, but sheesh, can’t a gal make anything a barrage of baffling fit issues?

Winner: Colette Patterns Spring 2012 Giveaway!


Hooray!  I’m so excited to announce the winner of the Colette Patterns Spring 2012 Giveaway!  I counted 97 comments total (one being mine, one a duplicate, and two from gals who didn’t want to enter), so out of 93 comments, the winner was #28, Jennifer of The Musings of a Dedicated Housefiancee!  Her makes are all so darling– be sure to check out her blog and stay tuned for her finished Iris shorts!  Yay!!

Workin’ On It: Iris Shorts

Hi, friends!  I hope you’re all well!  I’ve been having so much fun reading your comments on the Colette giveaway post (and I can’t wait to draw a winner!)!

So cute... but so tiny. 😦

Guys.  The Iris shorts have been soooo fun to put together!  I’ve been working on a muslin in every spare moment after work, and they were really looking cute!  I attached the waistband last night and… they’re way too tight to close around my waist!!  Waaaayyyy too tight.  I started muttering about the pattern drafting and stomping around the house until, just for fun, I decided to measure my waist AND… turns out I’ve added about 1 1/2″ inches to my waistline since I last measured myself.  NOOOOOOOOOO!  I guess it’s a relief that the error is on my end and not the pattern’s, but… I guess I will have to quit eating so many bagels!  So sad (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear or two last night…).

So yeah.  I’ll be cutting out a new muslin in a larger size (just to make sure it fits!).  And word to the wise, gals– bust out that tape measure every time you start a new project!

What are you guys working on?  Any fun weekend plans?  I’ll be frantically writing tonight for my last class tomorrow, then revising like crazy for my showcase Sunday evening, so I won’t have too much time to work on the shorts.  But I should have lots more free time after this weekend!

Ginger Freebie: Colette Patterns Spring 2012 Giveaway!

OK.  Take a deep breath.  Imagine yourself on a beach somewhere, breathing in the fresh, salty, ocean air… and not hyperventilating about HOW CUTE THE NEW SPRING COLETTE PATTERNS ARE!!!

It’s official– I’m in love!  I gave up buying anything sewy/knitty/etc for Lent (which, surprisingly, was AMAZING– I felt so free and easy and de-cluttered!), but when I saw that the launch of the new spring patterns was set for April 10th… after Easter… I knew I was doomed.

First up– the Hazel dress!  This is beyond cute, and I particularly like the striped version.  “Wait, Ginger”, I said to myself.  “You’ve already got the somewhat similarly-shaped Simplicity 2209.  Stay cool and don’t buy another pattern!”.  I fought the urge and forged ahead.

The Hazel dress (photo by Colette)

However… the gorgeous Lily dress— holy cow, it was love at first sight!  I can’t even be cool about it– it’s absolutely smashing, and I would feel like a seductive screen siren in this thing.  I feel like it might even make li’l ol’ rectangular me feel like a saucy hourglass-figured vixen!  Somehow I stayed strong and avoided temptation, but I think eventually I’ll have to cave and make this dress.  It’s just way too fab!

The Lily dress (photo by Colette)

But when I saw the Iris shorts, I was overtaken by a force outside of my body that willed me to click away.  Digital PDF?!?!  Before I knew what was happening to me, I had bought and downloaded the pattern.  Luckily, this is a super practical piece, and I was looking for a nice shorts pattern just this week!  I’ll confess– I hate shorts.  HATE them.  Shorts are a sure-fire way for my legs to look weird and they’re either way too skimpy or way too frumpy (I don’t get it!).  But I work outside in all weather, and it just gets too hot to wear jeans on 90+ degree days, so I figure I could use a few pairs of cute shorts.  I gave up on my no-shorts vow last year and cut off my favorite pair of jeans in a fit of passion (what was I thinking?!  I must’ve been in the middle of a heat stroke), THEN I had a slip ‘o’ the scissors that resulted in what can only be described as khaki hot pants (don’t worry– they were never worn).

The Iris shorts (photo by Colette)

I have to say, I’m in love with the digital format!  It’s total instant gratification!  I bought it yesterday, printed it out, cut it out, and started cutting out muslin last night!  Also… the best part… I don’t have to bother with tracing the pattern (I feel too guilty just cutting out my lovely Colette patterns, and tracing is such a thoroughly joyless process for me that I often put off starting a project just because I’m dreading the tracing process so much!).  Plus, they’re a few bucks cheaper, so it’s win-win for me!  What are your thoughts on downloadable patterns?  Love ’em?  Hate ’em?  Ambivalent?

OK, so let’s get down to business.  Just because I’m behaving and not buying every single one of these doesn’t mean I don’t wanna share the love!  I’d like to give away your choice of the three patterns in either paper or PDF format.  Just leave a comment and let me know which pattern you’d like (and which format).  You can enter until, let’s say, Saturday, April 14th at noon EST.  I’ll pick a winner Saturday!  Yay!

Ginger Freebie: Colette Fall 2011 Pattern Giveaway Winner!

Hi, friends!!  I’m so excited I can barely stand it!  I’m hopping over to to select the winner for the new Colette pattern, and the winner is…

K Diane!  I’ll contact you directly to get your address and confirm that you still want the Peony dress pattern!  I really wish I could give a pattern to each one of you gals– I loved hearing what you would do with the patterns, and I know that each one of you would come up with something really fantastic.

Thanks so much for participating, everyone!  I look forward to seeing what you fancy pants makers cook up for your fall wardrobes!

Ginger Freebie! Colette Patterns Giveaway

If you’re anything like me, you might find your love for Colette Patterns reaching epic levels these days.  First they unveiled their fancy new blog makeover, then they announced the upcoming Colette Sewing Handbook, and then yesterday they revealed their Fall Palette Challenge 2011!  So imagine the peaks of joy I reached today when Sarai revealed the Fall 2011 collection!  Oh, boy, is it fancy and fun!

Have you SEEN these???  In a word: adorbs.

Jasmine and Clover (photo courtesy of Colette)

Tell me how I’m supposed to say no to this!  How cute is the tie blouse?  I’m not sure if I’m bold enough to wear the cigarette pants as they’re a bit more figure-hugging (or “snuggy”, as my mom would say) than what I usually wear, but dang if I’m not tempted to give ’em a try!


Peony, the new love of my life (photo courtesy of Colette)

I LOVE this dress.  The color is perfect, the style is so sweet, classic, and flattering, AND, it’s named after my favorite flower!  I need this in my life!

Sadly for me, I have a MASSIVE sewing queue going right now (did I mention that I am now making a bridesmaid dress for my sister AND a dress for my mom to wear to the wedding in addition to my own??), so I have to hold off for a bit before making or buying these.  BUT, I’m so excited about these patterns that I want to share a little love with YOU GUYS, so I’m offering the first ever Ginger Freebie!  Leave a comment below if you’re interested in winning one of the new fall patterns, and I will select a winner at random (with some sort of fancy robot computer generator gizmo).  Just let me know which pattern you’d like in your comment, and if you like, include a little bit about what you’re thinking as far as fabric, color, etc!

The catch: there is no catch!  You don’t have to follow the blog, subscribe, or wow me with your javelin-throwing skills.  You can pick any of the three new patterns, and I’ll pre-order it for you (international shipping is fine).  Let’s cut this off, oh, let’s say a week from today, Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 11:59PM EST, and I’ll draw a winner as soon after that as I possibly can!  Eek!!  I’m so excited!

Ginger Made: Cotton Candy Ginger Skirt

Here she is, at long last– Ginger #2!

I kinda feel like Ginger Rogers in these shoes!

I finished sewing her a while ago, but only finished up the hand-stitched hem last night (once again, a super slow process, but this time I couldn’t do a machine hem because I didn’t have enough thread left to wind a bobbin… I finished with about 18″ to spare!!).

Ginger #1 and Ginger #2 now totally have to compete for my love

The fabric is a brushed cotton twill with just a hint ‘o’ stretch (which I didn’t notice in my fabric store excitement… “OMGeezy, pink!!  A pink skirt!!!  Ahhhhh!!!!”).  I also didn’t notice that it was brushed twill at the store as the fuzzy side was tucked to the inside.  I’m not a huge fan of that texture, so I used it as the wrong side (I hate how the fuzzy side always seems to get little threads and things stuck to it– yuck!).

Pardon the bra straps! I'm a classless trollop!

I did the piping using Sunni’s tutorial, and it was a breeze!  I totally recommend this.  I used ready-made white piping, but I think I’m ready to make my own on the next project that calls for it.

Ain't she a sweetheart?

In bummer news, the waistband is a tiny bit too big!  I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that Ginger #1 was made with much thicker fabric, or if it’s due to my constantly-fluctuating weight (grrrrr), but either way it’s pretty annoying.  I don’t much want to tear out the whole waistband just to take it in a tad and then find out a few months and a few pounds later that it no longer fits, so I think I will probably let it be for the time being.  Also, thinking about the waistband too much kind of makes me want to tear it to shreds like a rabid badger, so maybe we should move on.  Shall we?

Standing just a little bit crooked...

Anybody else have a Ginger cooking?  I highly recommend this pattern– it’s easy, flattering, and really fun to make.  If you’re looking for more inspiration before starting yours, Lindsay just posted an adorable chambray version and Casey just made one in cowgirl-style denim.

Ginger Made: Strawberry Sorbetto Top

Voila ici le Sorbetto Top! It’s my first official entry in the 2nd Annual Summer Essentials Sew-Along. I’m vacillating between “Holy cow, I’m in love!” and “Holy crap, how did I screw things up so badly?!”

Here I am with Gus the Bus!

The good: The fabric! Mwah! I love it! It’s lightweight, sheer cotton that’s a perfect pink. I love the rectangular woven dots! Also, it’s just my style– comfortable, cute, and summery (plus it hides my bra straps!).

The bad: Ack!! Sunni’s Seam Finishing Week came one day too late! Stupid me, I didn’t realize that [zigzagging to finish seams] + [sheer, lightweight fabric] = extreme ugliness.  I’m not going to show you the inside of the garment– it’s way too embarrassing! There’s also a slight bit of weird puckering at the bottom of the side seams where it starts to curve out. Not sure what caused that.

The “meh”: The bias tape really forms a nice contrast (Wright’s 1/2″ Double-Fold in “oyster”, an unappealing name for a garment color, but that’s beside the point), but it seems a bit heavy for the lightweight fabric. It sticks out a bit from the garment instead of laying nice and flat, particular under the arms. I’m not really sure how to remedy this. Any thoughts?  Also in the “meh” category– fit issues! This is a seemingly simple top, but the style may not be instantly flattering on many people and may require some tinkering (or, in my case, three muslins!) to be wearable.

Squinting in the summer sun

On that topic, mods: I started out by cutting a straight size 2, which should have fit pretty well according to the chart of finished measurements. But the bust darts hit way too high and too far in, so I traced them on some transparent pattern paper, taped this onto the pattern about where I thought they should fall, and changed the shape of the pattern edge so the triangle thingy that pokes out between the legs of the dart was in the right place. This was my first time trying out bust darts, so I’m happy to have tried my hand at a new skill. Somehow I didn’t have enough ease in the bust, or really, all over (my finished bust measurement was 3″ smaller than estimated), so I added 5/8″ to the edge of both the front and back pieces, which did the trick. The armcyes were also way too tight, so I cut to the size 10 line, which worked. Finally, this top is crazy short. I added 2″ of length between where the 2C and 2D arrows meet on the back and the 6B and 6C arrows meet on the front.  I liked the length after this, so I added an additional 5/8″ to the bottom of the garment to reach this length after hemming it.

Look at the worn spot on my jeans pocket from carrying around my big fat wallet!

This pattern comes together really quickly, so it would have been really fast and satisfying if I hadn’t had all the weird fitting issues. Now that I’ve sorted those out, I’ll probably crank out a few more of these over the summer… and next time maybe I’ll try my hand at French seams or another nicer seam finishing technique.

Anyone else planning to make a Sorbetto?  How are your summer projects coming along?