As many would appreciate our shape changes over the years and we find that a pattern needs to be tweaked more than it used to be. Gone is the day when I could whip up a pattern in an afternoon and only adjust the length. While sewing skills improve over time, I still struggle with adjustments for a full bust and curvy hips. But I now have a new friend, Hazel, who has come to the rescue.
Hazel is such a help, she tries on items any number of times without grumbling and doesn’t mind if it’s in various stages of construction or if she gets stuck with pins. Hazel is my new self-made custom dress-form.
I’d been thinking of a dress-form for some time and while I had considered a duct-tape version, I thought that there had to be something better. I came across the Bootstrap version when wandering through some favourite sewing U-Tube videos and felt encouraged to give it a go.
The process is quite straight forward. You select the type you want, enter in multiple measurements and, in my case, 20 minutes later I had a custom pattern for my own body double. The sewing took some time and the instructions are long but not difficult. Hazel sits very proudly in my sewing room and has been a great help with projects since.
If you are considering doing the same, below are the You-Tube videos that inspired me to give it a go and a link to the site. And before you ask I haven’t been sponsored; just sharing a good find with fellow sewers. Enjoy!
The construction process
Filling out her curves
Standing tall ready for action
How to Make
How to Make Detailed
My goal this year is to not buy any clothes for myself and to refresh my wardrobe with items that I like enough wear but also fit well and look good. I’ve just completed the first of my wardrobe basics; a navy pair of pants. You may recall in an earlier post that I decided to try out Butterick B5222 by Connie Crawford; it had been described by several reviews as a great pants pattern that suits all sizes and shapes.
Well I stitched the last stitch to them today and voila!! I’m pretty happy with the outcome for two reasons: firstly this is the first pair of pants I’ve made for about 20 years and secondly, while not perfect, I’m pretty happy with the outcome and know that I’m going to be happy to wear them.
The fabric (a poly-viscose from my Tessuti stash) was a dream to sew and they pressed up very nicely. I’m glad I did the muslin beforehand as I ended up making a few adjustments to the pattern. I like the fit around my hips and bottom and across my tummy; given the roundness of these areas a good fit has always been a challenge for me. I adjusted the back seam more that the pattern required and next time I’ll lower the top of the back; it sits a bit high. I should have adjusted the pattern further to take account of required length as I still needed to cut more off each leg and had to make adjustments so that the hem would sit correctly and this is always tricky. But given that pants with side pockets don’t always sit well on me I’m very happy with these.
My only criticisms are minor. Given that this pattern is specially designed for full-figured women’s proportions like me, I’m a little disappointed that so much information was included in the instructions for armhole, bust and shoulder adjustments – a bit odd for a pants only pattern. The adjustment guide for the crotch fit was good and for the back seam but there was really nothing for a round tummy. I would however use this pattern again.
End result: a nice pair of pants to wear to work that will go with a few of my favourite tops.
$44 for the fabric,
$5 for the pattern (a special)
$3 for the zipper
$3 for the thread
$0 for the button (stash)
Total of $55
BTW excuse the picture, not my best and doesn’t show off the trousers that well! Oh well.
Saturday was a wonderful balmy evening here and we had all the family around for a relaxed pizza dinner. We enjoyed being able to sit outside chatting and laughing without the usual January high temperatures. The night sky was very clear so the telescope came out to peer at the sliver of the moon and the stars. We had a good long view of the Int. Space Station as it passed overhead but moving way too fast to track with the scope. Jupiter was fantastic, as was the moon – a few wows and cools from both adults and children. Funny watching small children trying to look through the lens keeping one eye shut.
I’ve started sewing up my navy pants today now that the test run went well. It’s just a lovely fabric that I’m going to enjoy wearing. While I sewed I watched a doco-drama; Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with Words.
Vincent has been my favourite artist since I first saw one of his works at the NGV several years ago; I’ve never physically responded to a piece of art like I did that day – it took my breath away. I do so love his use of colour and the emotions he provokes in his work and he certainly captures a beautiful night sky.
Must get back to my sewing and get these pants together before we go off to the movies tonight to see the Secret Life of Walter Mitty; have you seen it yet? This will be my 2nd viewing as I really enjoyed it the 1st time. If you are a bit of a daydreamer I’m sure you’ll like it.
Have a good week