Ch- Ch- ChiTowns for the Ch-Ch-Changes blog tour

Ch- Ch- Changes blog tour graphic

The  Ch-Ch-Changes tour (hosted by Sewing by Ti) is all May long and my fellow bloggers and I are talking about changes to our sewing. Whether the change is a transition for the season, getting more organized, trying new things, reconsidering old things, or styling things.

At the begining of April my sewing plans and schedule reached their end and I’ve really struggled with putting together my next three month plan. It’s mid-May now and I still have almost nothing planned and find myself in a new place; finishing a project and then deciding what to do next. For this very organized and it’s fair to say regimented sewer, this is very strange and unsettling territory.

So I’ve been addressing the immediate. I’ve been filling wardrobe holes by sewing up some additional shorts for spring and summer. Sewing for the transitioning seasons isn’t a noteable change for me, but being less organized about it is a big change for me.

Yellow Chi Towns by mahlicadesigns 4

Yellow Chi Towns by mahlicadesigns1

On  a whim, I joined the tour and decided to make up another pair of Chi Towns to go with the Onyx shirt I made last year. I’ve had this mustard yellow linen I received from Sew Vagabond Shop in my stash waiting to make these. I sized down and made a few fitting tweeks to the pattern and viola. I’m thankful for another summer outfit and think I can use these mustard shorts with a lot of my existing tops.

Yellow Chi Towns by mahlicadesigns 14

With a trip coming up to warmer weather, I very quickly decided to make another pair of Chi Towns using a putty colored linen/blend from my stash. Other than having to fix the same spot on my topstitching 4 times, the second pair went together very quickly. I can see the benefit of sewing multiples of a pattern in succession. Perhaps I need to consider this when I get back to my normal routine.

Chi Town Chinos by mahlicadesigns label 2

Chi Town Chinos by mahlicadesigns 7

Chi Town Chinos by mahlicadesigns 2

Do you have any Ch- Ch- Changes going on this spring?

You can see what other bloggers on the tour have been talking about on the Ch- Ch- Changes themes. Please pay a visit and join the conversation.

Monday, May 8- Sewing By Ti
May 9th- Sewing By Ti
May 10th- Sewing By Ti
May 11th- Lilliepawillie
May 12th- Sewing By Ti

May 15th- Anne Mari Sews
May 16th- Mahlica Designs
May 17th- Ma Moose
May 18th- The Fairy Dust Bin
May 19th- Harper + Lu

Monday, May 22nd- Margarita on the Ross
May 23rd- Very Blissful
May 24th- Creative Counselor
May 25th- Doodle Number 5
May 26th- Ade Says

Sunday, May 28th- Sew Like a Sloth
May 29th- Anne Mari Sews
May 30th- Stitching and Making

As always, Melissa

You can follow me on instagram, Bloglovin, or by entering your email in the right side bar.

Chi-Town Chinos #SewingDare by mahlicadesigns

A couple months back I took a #SewingDare from Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow. Gillian’s challenge: “I love your mustard skirt, and how it stands out against the neutrals in your wardrobe… so I dare you to make something else bright that can mix and match into your wardrobe!”

My stash is almost all neutrals, so I  grabbed the most colorful fabric in there and started brainstorming. Generally I’m not a florals person, but this cotton twill has moved between my stash and my giveaway pile so many times it’s a little silly. The challenge and the recently released Chi-Town Chinos was a good push to getting cutting.

Chi Towns front

I really like the chino style of the Chi-Towns and have put the skirt version on my Sew Everything list. I definitely want more of these shorts, but that will have to wait for Spring sewing.

Chi Town Chino shorts

The Pattern: Chi-Town Chinos shorts from Alina Design Co. in size 10 based on my measurements. The pattern includes a shorts or skirt version and four options for back pockets.

I liked that you get all the pattern pieces ready right at the start and that the single piece front pocket is nicely finished with facings and french seams. There is a lot of attention to detail that makes everything about the shorts a step above.

Chi Town Chino shorts

The pattern and instructions have fitting built in, which is great for your first time sewing the pattern. The back pattern piece includes an extension that makes it easy to fit the waist and in my case a fuller seat. The instructions walk you through basting and fitting the back piece before you do your final sew.

I found I did not need the extension or need to do a full butt adjustment in my size, but I did have a lot of excess fabric in the back of the legs below my seat. I think this is an indicator that I need to size down and do a full butt adjustment for the smaller size.  I ended up removing 1 in at the inseam and side seam of the back piece only. I like the fit I have now, so I probably won’t experiment with going down a size.

Next time I will also adjust the front crotch curve. I find it scoops out just a little too much for me.

I’m pretty impressed that most of the fitting issues were worked out on the first try by following the pattern instructions.

ChiTowns back

The fabric: One yard of Cone Mills cotton twill and about a FQ of lightweight cotton both from inherited stash.

I’m pleased that the shorts do work with several tops, but honestly the jury is still out on this print. I’ll need to give these some wearing around before I decide if they are “me” or if they will be downgraded to around the house shorts.

Chi Towns feature banner

The Chi-Town Chino shorts took me about 5 hours to complete, including fitting and adjustments. I’m hoping to cut that down to 3.5 hours next time.

Total Cost: $13.75    Fabric $0 (inherited stash)        Pattern $12      Notions: $1.75

Happy Fathers Day! Star Wars Style.

June is for Dads

For Father’s Day I did something very special for my Dearest, I actually sewed something for him for the first time.

The idea of making something for my man has been out there for a while; but with him being well stocked on shirts and me saying no way to sewing him jeans, we were at a bit of an impasse. Thankfully what he recently requested was going to be an easy start into sewing for men, some pajama shorts.

Star Wars pjs by mahlicadesigns

The Pattern: Pajama Bottoms from 5 out of 4 Patterns is a free unisex pattern, comes in different options for length, pockets, and regular or low rise waist. I made the size medium shorts with a drawstring and no pockets. These run super long, so I shortened them by 3in.

The fabric: One of the many Star Wars cotton fabrics available at Joanns and similar stores. I knew the options for boyish fabrics at my local store was pretty sad, but it’s even worse for men. Yikes. I’m so glad my hubby digs Star Wars.

Star Wars pjs by mahlicadesigns

His opinion: They go on like a bucket, but I like the fabric.

Translation: There is a lot of fabric gathered at the waist. Next time, I’ll cut a smaller waist and grade out to the hip for a less boxy fit.

My opinion: I think he looks great in most everything. He’s the one and only for me.

Star Wars pjs by mahlicadesigns

Today I’m joining Ti from Sewing by Ti for the June is for Fathers blog tour. Take a look at her blog post today and her other posts this month to see what Ti’s been making for her man.

City Gym Shorts in linen

As the seasons change, I always have a few things that pop up as a semi-urgent need. What I’m needing right now are some warm weather pajama bottoms/around the house shorts. I confess I wear my pjs late into the afternoon sometimes, so I want them to look decent enough to answer the door in or make a run to the mail box in with out embarrassment.

City Gym Shorts by mahlicadesigns

My ideal plan was to use two linen skirts in my upcycling bag to give me a pair of black and a pair of oat shorts. The oat color skirt is MIA, so black it is for now.

City Gym Shorts by mahlicadesigns

I think I got a great pair of shorts that work for casual wear and comfy pajamas too. Win win.

City Gym Shorts by mahlicadesigns

For my next pair shall I add pockets?

City Gym Shorts by mahlicadesigns

The Pattern: City Gym Shorts from Purl Soho Size 38-40in hip. No alterations.

The Fabric: Upcycled linen an store bought bias tape.

The City Gym Shorts should take you about 2.5 hours to make; longer if you make your own bias tape.

 

Total cost: $3     Fabric $0      Notions $3       Pattern $free

 

Charcoal Shorts S1430 for Core Wardrobe building

I got lucky with a good fit on my Cobalt Shorts using simplicity 1430, so I decided to make one more pair in charcoal to fill out the shorts portion of my summer core wardrobe.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesignsToo bad luck doesn’t strike twice. I used a reversible bottom weight in a poly blend from Joann’s. Its a classic and more dressy looking fabric, but I had a harder time with fitting since it has no stretch.

Here are the shorts almost done.

Charcoal Shorts pullingThere’s a little pulling across the front and gapping pockets. From the side you can see the too tight seat is pulling at the hip which is distorting the front.

Charcoal Shorts pulling I let out the center back seam as much as I could for only a minor improvement. I was too lazy to unpick the side seams for a little more help.

Charcoal Shorts by mahicadesignsYeah, not as slimming as one would hope. I guess rear pockets may be in order the next time I feel daring enough to try pants or shorts again.

A few details:

Simplicity 1430 view D size 12. The pattern calls for 1 1/4yrd. For both versions I made used closer to 3/4 yrd.

I narrowed the leg by grading the width at the inseam from 5/8in at the crotch to 1in wide at the hem.

I spent a little extra time cutting out each piece individually to make sure the stripe of the fabric was lined up properly. I used a printed quilting cotton instead for the pocket facing to reduce bulk. (The wrong side of the fabric was a hounds tooth, interesting)

pocket detail

I made a small position adjustment so the top of the zipper would not peak out like on my last version. Next time, I need to take into account that a little wider zipper overlap is needed when using a thicker fabric.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesigns

Simplicity 1430 view D should take you about 6 hours.

Fabric $12*   Zipper $1.50*   Pattern from stash    Total Cost: $13.50

*Price after using discount coupons.

SewYourPatternStashSq213

Cobalt Shorts Simplicity 1430 Core Wardrobe part 7

I took a small jump into making pants by starting with a pair of shorts. I got really lucky that these ended up needing very little alteration, and a good thing too, since I have no idea what I’m doing on that score. I hope my next try later this year will go so well.

100_3910These shorts are Simplicity 1430. I saw Erica B work up a pair that looked really cute and took a chance. That was last September.

Things were going pretty well, I had just enough of this cobalt cotton sateen to eek out the pieces, I used this cotton batik from my stash for the pocket lining and it turned out cute,

100_3745fit was looking good as I tried them on frequently, I think I almost nailed the fly zipper,

100_3919then… I attached the waistband and everything got shot to, well you know.

Eek
Yikes

Sorry, should have given you warning about that pic.

I altered the width of the inseam seam allowance by grading it from 5/8 at the crotch out to 1in at the hem line. I don’t have skinny thighs, the pattern was just bulky there for me. I resewed that back seam many times trying to get a better fit on the bottom and just could not make it work. So my solution was to park the shorts in my UFO pile.

Now that spring is upon us, I decided just to finish them off and hope I lose a couple of pounds so they will fit better.

100_3916I don’t know why they fit better now, I don’t feel thinner (I don’t weigh myself), they just do. Lucky for me. Bonus, these are in a color I’m leaning toward for my core wardrobe.

100_3915A few details:

Simplicity 1430 view D. I thinned the leg width at the inseam and added 1in of length. This was my first try at a fly zipper and other than the zipper peeking out a bit at the top I think I did a pretty good job for a first time. I used a blind hem stitch and it was the right call with the cotton sateen.

I’d make this pattern again for shorts, but I think I’d have to thin out the legs too much for the pants version. I have another pattern I’m going to try for my first leap into pant making.

Simplicity 1430 view D should take you about 6 hours.