Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fancy Pants and Vest

Oooh--pants, vest--let the Britishisms fly! Do you think that will protect me from being googled by those with untoward interests in lingerie?

No matter, I'm not modelling these on the internet. My tiny little torso form (which is completely flat on the backside) wears them just fine.

The camisole is Kwik Sew 3115. Fitting this super-simple piece over several iterations has been very interesting. I am so extremely narrow from underarm to underarm that the XS was still too wide across the upper chest. I narrowed the XS another 1/2". But since I have a reasonably full cup size, I then swing right out to the medium 2" down from the underarm seam. And the fullness just keeps on going...through the waist and the hip.

Made like this, a camisole (a type of garment I've rarely, if ever, worn due to poor fit) is surprisingly cute and comfortable.

The pattern includes a shelf bra, which I doubt I'd ever install. Instead this camisole is made with a front, a back and a little ruffled elastic trim at the neckline. The bottom is finished with a 1 1/2" stretch elastic trim.

The boy leg briefs are from Ottobre Woman's 5/2009 issue. This issue contained both a boy leg and a high cut panty, as well as a brilliant camisole with center front ruching and shaped seaming through the torso. Each is as well-conceived as Ottobre's patterns generally are. Short of fabric and inspired by the brilliant Sarah of Ohhh Lu Lu, I added a contour panel in solid black at the front of the pants, accented by a bit of the lace from the neckline of the camisole. I didn't want to carry the lace all the way down to the leg opening, as I thought the bulk of the trim there might rub, so I curved it out into the seam allowance midway down the front panel. The legs are trimmed in the same stretch lace as was used to finish the hem of the camisole.

The general notion of these underoos is that they will serve as bloomers under my skirts for swing dancing. I have a silly girl-crush on international Lindy Hop instructor and champion Jo Hoffberg, who recently commented, "Ladies, if we can't see your panties, you're not kicking high enough." This statement struck me as rather...profound. She was totally goofing around when she said it, but I still loved the notion of dancing boldly and energetically, confident in one's modest yet fetching under-accoutrements. 

Bloomers like this cover more than most swimsuits, and are only seen in tiny flashes as a skirt swirls up during a spin, yet the whole idea of it is still pretty saucy.

So here we have polka dot panties, inspired by Jo.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kwik Sew 3672: Knit Skirt

The skirt with the uneven hem attracted me to this pattern but, ha ha, that's not the one I've made (twice). View B is as simple as can be, but nice.

Kwik Sew's description:

FABRICS: Designed for two-way stretch fabrics with 75% stretch.
Suggested Fabrics: Cotton Lycra®, Nylon Lycra®, Rayon Lycra®, swimwear fabrics. Flared skirts fit slightly below waist. View A skirt has low-cut waist in front with lapped waistband and shaped bottom edge. View B skirt has wide waistband.

Not as sporty as the Kwik Sew photos and illustrations when worn with a blouse and heels!

This skirt is short as drafted. Not deceptively so: it's clear to see in the pattern photo. But when I made a first version (in a black lycra swimwear fabric), I found myself adding a circular ruffle to the bottom to increase the length. For this go-round, I added 2 1/2" to the skirt length. I also noticed on my first version that the hem was hanging much higher in the back (due to some...fullness there), so I did a 3/4" full seat adjustment to the back pattern piece for this one. Now it's much more level with much less tugging and adjusting.

Fabricmart was the source for the fabric (as it so often is), a modal/spandex blend of which I bought five yards. It's really a bit thin for a "bottom", but this skirt is destined for swing dancing duty so I thought I'd try it. It's super comfortable. I should have sewed the waistband smaller, though, as the soft fabric has a lot of stretch and I'd prefer it to feel a bit snugger around the waist.

I finished the bottom with an elastic net ruffle trim. It bounced around very satisfyingly during last night's Charleston class. One bohemian fellow I danced with told me my knee socks looked perfect for the kicks.

Here I look more like an Irish step dancer than a flapper, though!