Remodelling Summer Pants

You get up one day and decide today is the day to swap out the winter pants for the summer ones. That was this morning – however, I knew I would want to do something with the fit in the back of all eight pairs of pants which I’d made last summer.

I tried each on, pinned a dart to get rid of the fullness under the bum. Then I dug out some thin cardboard and drafted a template for the dart.

All of the pants were made from a palazzo pants pattern – with modifications as I went along – the legs got narrower, some ended up cropped, the first pair had the side opening used in the pattern, but second pair on I changed to a fly front.

I figured out a system for doing the alteration – I turned the pants inside out, pressed along the centre back, marked 6.25″ from the lower waistband seam, positioned the template, marked the dart seam with a fabric marker or chalk, then stitched it. Pressed the dart toward the centre back, turned the pants right side out and pressed along the seam. Done!

The pants fit so much better than they did.

Now to incorporate the shape and depth of the dart into the back of my jeans pattern, as well as the palazzo pants pattern. I think I have the dimensions of the “dart” just about right now.

“Stacks” Quilt

21 blocks done so far. Each block consists of six 2″ strips of a colour joined to a white; making a 9.5 X 9.5 block (finished size will be 9″ square). The strips for the remaining 14 blocks are stacked beside my machine ready to be assembled – this will be a 35 block quilt – finished size at least 45″ X 63″ – that’s without a narrow border which I may do.

At the moment I’m thinking about reversing the direction of one block in each column for contrast, but if I do that I will want a narrow sashing (probably in white – not sure about that yet) between the columns. Until I am able to lay out all 35 blocks I can’t begin creating columns – since the design is still fluid.

More to come. Haven’t given any thought to the back yet!

Jean Jacket

Just finished – Jean Jacket (Vogue 1036 – Today’s Fit/Sandra Betzina). A lot of detail, edge stitching and top stitching, lining, but not difficult to construct. I made a couple of modifications: In the original, the sleeves had a flare – I made the sleeve straight from elbow to wrist; the outside pockets are more decorative than useful (too shallow to hold my keys, for example), so I added two interior zippered pockets (credit card in one, cash in the other).

Photo on 2015-05-20 at 8.46 PM

Photo on 2015-05-20 at 8.46 PM #2

The fabric is a cotton twill with a tiny bit of lycra (the bolt in the shop said “fabric content 100% unknown – as were all the other sample fabrics on display). Great for a light spring jacket.

Oh, and Sandra suggests snaps for the front, I used buttons (I couldn’t find any heavy duty snaps in navy – all that was available in town were various metallic colours and I wanted the navy to blend with the flowers).

IMG_4946(Hidden zippered pocket between lining and front facing.)

Black & White Tunic

The fabric I bought in San Francisco – a striped knit. The pattern from Safe-T-Pockets T-Shirt Trifecta. I wanted the stripes to align on the diagonal seam and they did. Yeah! There is a small hidden pocket (with an invisible zipper) in the diagonal seam – that’s a trademark feature of all Safe-T-Pockets designs. This top will be a useful summer garment – with the white pants it’s both a casual or dressy outfit. Didn’t take long to whip it up. The neckband and cuffs intentionally add contrast just in case you thought I hadn’t planned that – I did.

bw tunic-front

bw tunic-back

Back Garden

Two weeks ago, when I got back from San Francisco, the deck was finally free of snow, although the patch of grass between the deck and the back garden bed still had a couple of inches remaining. It went within a week. Last Saturday, a sunny warm day, I moved pots around, picked up my broom and swept away the debris. Monday, I cleared out the dead remains of last year’s planting from the containers so the new perennial growth could come through – chives, hosta, coral bells, even the peony, all survived beneath the snow. The maple, yellow birch, dogwood – all originally volunteers – are in bud. My clematis is showing lots of new growth, and I can see I’ll have a good display of blooms on both rhododendrons!

Today, I planted some ajuga reptans (bugle weed), echinacea (last year’s planting didn’t survive), and pansies (all can handle the still cold nights). The other day I happened to see some pink wax begonias – couldn’t find them anywhere last year so I bought a couple of sets – since it’s too early to put them out, I’ve stuck them in my covered basement window well where they are protected from the low night temperatures and still get light during the day. It won’t be warm enough to transplant them to containers for at least another 10 days.

I’m now on the lookout for a second small peony. The canna lily last year was gorgeous – I hope to find one again this year. I should be able to buy a hibiscus at the Superstore garden centre in a couple of weeks. Then some million bells or verbena for the three pots on the fence. A pink mandevilla would finish off the planting nicely!

I love this time of year – finally being able to work in the garden, watching everything growing. Looking forward to five months without coats and boots. This is living in Canada!