Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sewing for Summer in Cool Blues and Whites

I've been dreaming about summer sewing since the first hints of warmness came in on the wind this spring. The color palette was embedded in my mind... cool blues, whites, and stripes, all in linen. Blues the color of the Atlantic ocean-- just a bit moody, tending towards gray. A classic summer palette.

Interestingly enough, I have never owned a pair of white pants. NEVER. Always seemed a bit too risky. Khaki yes, but pure white, never. Adding white shirts to my wardrobe has made me bold... 6 months and counting, and I haven't ruined one yet. Maybe, just maybe, I can manage to keep a pair of white pants respectable for at least awhile.

I've had a rather large piece of natural colored Cone Mills denim in my stash for ages now... I had thoughts of dyeing it, but that hasn't happened. So, I made some of it up into a pair of Ginger Jeans

This is my now TNT jeans pattern, and it will be the 5th pair I've made. The first two had significant flaws, but the next two were pretty darn awesome, and I think the fit on this one may be the best yet. The toughest thing about jeans is that darn break-in period. If they're too small and they don't break in... that's the end of it. Lately I've been making them just a bit big, then having to go back in and take them in when they break in and end up too loose (which is a tedious task with jeans). So with this pair, I made them just a tiny touch tight. We'll see how that goes. 

You can read my other jeans posts here and here, but to summarize I've modified my pattern with a full bum adjustment, deepened the back crotch curve for additional butt fitting, and done a HUGE sway back adjustment. I interface the waistband with weft interfacing cut in the stretchy direction, which creates a nice firm but malleable waistband. 

New for this pair... I created a bit more space for my calves. I just widened the side seam a bit where I needed the space, but I might try a full calf adjustment next time, because I totally love the effect. I think that tightness in the calves might be encouraging my jeans to ride down over the course of the day.

I decorated these with copper hardware and gold bar-tacks. I added a little striped "label" over one pocket for a faux designer touch. 

I hemmed these jeans just a bit on the short side. I sort of hate the trend towards cropped pants because I hate having cold ankles for the 9 months of the year that it is chilly here, but I suppose white jeans are really summer pants, and I can wear boots in the winter. 

I made the pocket stays with striped linen left over from making the shirts. In certain lights, you can see the stripes right through the denim, yikes! I didn't think that was going to be a problem with denim, I would have expected it to be completely opaque. Next time I'd be more careful to use a light solid for the part of the pocket stay that is in contact with the denim. I also used the striped linen to do a bias tape finish on the waistband, borrowed shamelessly from the Sasha Trousers pattern. 

The shirts are all from the Liesl Classic Shirt pattern, you can read my post about the pattern here. I made these shirts with extra ease, for summer breezy-ness. The pattern only comes with long sleeves, but I'm experimenting with making a short cuffed sleeve. I think the sleeve on the 1/2 inch striped shirt is a bit long, but it can easily be rolled.

The blue striped shirts are both made from linen from the The light blue long sleeve one is made from a finer grade linen that is just dreamy, and I used real shell buttons that I bought in Italy. It has a wonderful casual, luxurious feel. I love the menswear vibe of the blue and white stripe, especially when glammed up with the white denim and a red lip.

I was noticing that some of the collars on the linen shirts I was wearing constantly all winter had puckered a bit. Not so much as to make them unwearable, especially since I usually wear them un-ironed with a bit of linen rumple. But it bothers me. I was using Fashion Sewing Supply's Pro-sheer Elegance Medium fusible interfacing, which they swear doesn't shrink, and I pre-wash all linen fabrics 3 times on hot with 3 times in the hot dryer. After sewing they are always hung to dry. Something has obviously shrunk though, because I can't think what else would cause a pucker like that on only the interfaced portions of the shirt. 

What to do-- use sew in interfacing! So these new linen shirts use sew in interfacing in the collars and cuffs-- Fashion Sewing Supply's Lightly Crisp sew-in. We'll see how that holds up. Using the glue-stick baste method, it is even easier to use than the fusible. I still use the fusible on the plackets though. I could probably switch there too, come to think of it...

I finish the hems with handmade bias tape. I just love the bias finish with the stripes!

The beige and blue shirt is made from a double gauze that I brought back from Rome. I'm not totally convinced on double gauze for summer, it seems rather clingy to me, but it is wonderfully soft. The buttons that I used are super-thin shell buttons and I'm sort of regretting using them, they pop open all the time. I guess I should have made the button holes just a touch smaller. I guess I could replace the buttons... but sewing on all those buttons all over again is not an enticing task. 

I actually made a second pair of white pants. These are 7.1 oz linen, with a knit waistband. My own pattern, so comfy. These will definitely be my go-to pants for lounging about this summer. I need a few more pairs!

Is anyone else in love with cool blues and stripes this summer?