Wednesday, 30 July 2014

One funky hoodie

One funky hoodie. Two funky thumb holes. Three degrees outside. Yep, it is friggin freezing at the moment in Canberra. 3 degrees and it’s almost lunch time. In fact, it only reached 0 degrees at 10am! Minus 5 when I was supposed to meet the lovely Amanda from bimble and pimble for our Sunday run.  Let me point out the obvious - this weather is not at all conducive to run! As a result, my running program has been put on ice until it thaws out. Nevertheless, I made a funky, asymmetrical hoodie in an attempt to brave the outdoors.
My hoodie is based on Papercut’s undercover hood – and yes, I have made one previously (here). I decided to incorporate thumb holes in this one as my hands are frozen icebergs (although here’s a thought - I think I need an all-in-one gloves-hoodie – do you think people might stare if I made sleeves with fingers? I do understand the impracticability of this suggestion but I am still contemplating it. Laugh all you want, but there won’t be any cold air creeping in).
Not sure what's going on with the fabric pulling across my bust -
doesn't look like this usually (maybe a result of my running bra underneath?)
Back to the subject at hand - after studying a few of my other thumb-holed tops, I decided that I could replicate these by lengthening the cuff and creating the holes within the seamline. I really should have taken some progress shots as it would have been way easier to describe – sorry. Hindsight is a wonderful thing + this really was a bit of an experiment.
Haha - check out those bright white socks!
I should have coordinated my socks with my shoes. Next time!

So here’s what I did: I had already decided I wanted the lining fabric of my hood to be black, so I made a lining for my pocket in black too to tie it altogether. But more on the pocket later. I halved the cuff pattern and added an additional 2 inches of length on to incorporate the seam allowance and an additional 1 ½ inches of length so that the cuff ended just after my thumb joint. I overlocked the two pieces together so that I had a long rectangle (similar to the original cuff pattern piece but longer in the length direction). I then overlocked the edges, pinned and measured where I wanted my thumb holes. I decided on 3/8 inch from the fold line with a 1 ¾ inch hole. My first attempt I only gave myself 1 inch thumb holes and it just wasn’t enough. Anyway, after measuring it all up, I sewed up the side seams, leaving open the ‘holes’. I ironed the seams, and folded the cuffs with wrong sides facing, aligning  the holes. I then topstitched the holes (which was a tad fiddly as there aint much space). I sewed two lines of top stitching, the first just a few mm from the edge, and the next a few mm from that. I finished it off by reinforcing the bottom edges with a small zig zag stich. Finally, I attached the cuff to the sleeve as per the instructions, rotating the seamline 2 inches towards the top of the sleeve (rotating anticlockwise on the left, clockwise on the right). Voila.
Close up of the thumb hole.... wonky top stitching and all.

The pocket. This was really simple. I altered the pattern piece, cutting off the extra tringle sections as I wasn’t going to fold those pocket edges under. I then cut a lining piece, sewed the two pieces together (right sides facing), leaving the bottom edge unsewn. Turned the whole thing right side out, ironed, played with my asymmetrical angle on one edge, and top stitched the pocket down. I had originally thought to have two openings, but the pocket gaped like hell, so it top stitched the left hand side down. Asymmetrical goodness. Yeeha.
Asymmetrical pocket goodness
That’s it really. The rest of the hoodie is as per the instructions. I made this out of a thin merino wool so it is super comfy and snuggly. Now all I need is for the weather to warm up just a smidge so I can face the outdoors.

Oh, and I'm not sure about my choice of photo shoot for these pics. I saw this graffiti storm drain on the way to the gym and thought I'd stop for an impromptu shoot... thought it screamed "in the hood", but on reflection think it depicts "sad and homeless" (or maybe that's my lack of smiling). I'll aim for a happy photo shoot next time.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Hear me roar

After completing my third pair of Papercut anima pants and sending a pic of them to my sister, I received a message back from her stating I depicted a mountain lion. At first I was taken aback: I am not one that likes animal prints, in fact, I loathe animal prints. I also have quite an aversion to camouflage. I did hear someone refer to camouflage as a soldiers animal print (Red Foo on X factor maybe?). To me, camo should not be considered casual city wear – camo only belongs on soldiers as a strategy to hide from the enemy. Animal prints belong in the same category – unless you are trying to blend in on an African safari, animal prints are a definite no go. Hence you can understand my shock and horror when I received her message: ROAR. How did I get my fabric choice so wrong?

But then I had a thought: if I’m going to be any animal, a mountain lion is definitely one animal I’d like to depict. They are FIERCE. STRONG. TERRITORIAL. And a little bit SHY. In an instant, I decided to break away from my no animal print moto and wear these pants as hell, I am a mountain lion. I’m no meek little mouse. Hear me ROAR.
And so I’ve worn these pants out multiple times since they’ve been completed. I must admit to receiving a few weird looks from my work colleagues and the young, way-too-hip check-out chick at my local Coles, but screw you peeps – I am fierce.

Shall I say something actually about the sewing of these things? They are Papercut’s anima pants and they are my new favourite pattern. They are quick to sew up (once you master the waistband), and let’s face it, they’re funked up trackies. Plus, it doesn’t matter if you eat like a lion because these babies will stretch in all the right places. Score.

Sewing the waistband casing on
(without elastic - I leave a 2" gap at the back to
insert afterwards)
I did make a few changes to this pair. I decided to omit the top-stitching through the waistband and elastic as I liked the clean look of a straight black waistband (I looked at a fair few pairs of similar dressy pants in a Style mag (while at the hairdresser) and realised that the top-stitching seemed to be more prevalent on exercise pants). I also shortened the length of the cuff on these as my other pairs were super long. Oh, and I somehow made the faux fly face the opposite way, but that wasn’t intentional. 
Sewing the elastic together
(elastic pulled through the gap in the waistband)
That’s it really. I’m done now. I’ve made 4 pairs of these – the first my wearable muslin (a bright red pair that do not leave the house), my out of the ordinary pair, these ones, and a special slippery blue pair that are in a post bag making their way across the Nullarbor to my sister. As much as I love this anima pattern, it’s time to move on. What next? I just received a birthday package of French linen from my sister while she sauntered around Europe – maybe a French linen pair of Iris’s for my upcoming Bali holiday?

Oh, and a quick reminder about Papercut's anima comp in collaboration with the Fabric Store. The comp closes at the end of July so get your entries in.