Monday, February 15, 2016

Putting On My Big Girl Panties

And that's the only time you'll see that word on my blog!  It makes me feel ill every time I hear or say that word!  It's underwear only around here!

I mean, we only say that word.  I don't mean we only wear underwear.

That would be ridiculous in the below zero weather we've had this week.

Anypanties, did I get your attention?

A while back, I hopped on the knit fabric wagon and got hooked, thanks to the amazing patterns by Amanda at kitschycoo.  Her step by step directions with pictures are fantastic, but she's also some kind of wizard when it comes to sizing.  Everything I've made of hers has fit me exactly as I want it to, even the Barrie Briefs.  Underwear can be such a tricky thing with me.

The first pair of Barrie Briefs that I made were kind of a thick knit that made them feel more like bloomers for under a cheerleading or field hockey skirt.  I like them but I never wear them under anything I'd actually wear in public because they are too bulky.

I kept thinking about trying to make them with other knits, but I hadn't gotten around to it until this week, during the 4x7 Sewing Challenge from berrybarndesigns.  Give me a challenge and suddenly projects are flying out of my sewing machine.

I had these two shirts ready for the trash because both had met their demise. The blue one, which was one of my favorite colors ever, was weird from the beginning.  It had an elastic at the bottom because that trend was popular for about a minute, and the whole surt was pretty stretchy.  I liked the way it hung but I was never crazy about the elasticized bottom.

It didn't occur to me until this very second that I could have just pulled out that elastic and made a hem, but I bet it would have been too short.

I wore it for a family picture we took a couple of summers ago and a I wore it a few other times.  I looking at the color but then forgot to wear it often.  And then there were a couple of weird holes in it that I attributed to a) getting it from Old Navy and thus knowing it's poor quality and b) my other washing machine that loved to eat clothes.   I finally gave up and decided it couldn't be worn anymore with one of those holes being near the shoulder.

Sad because I liked it so much.

This shirt was also one of my favorites because the color is a pink I really love.  I got it at Ann Taylor Loft on a whim and liked it so much I got another one in a darker pink.

The top of it was kind of shirred with a thin elastic and one day, I noticed the elastic had given out so the shirring was loosening.  The whole top was starting to look askew and though I know my sister would probably have just fixed it, I decided I didn't love this shirt enough to take the time to figure out how to gather it and make it look like the rest of the neckline.   Plus, I didn't have any elastic cording to make it happen even if I did take the time to figure out how to do it.

Before I threw them out, I felt the textures and wondered if I could use them for something else.  They are both smalls, so I knew I couldn't get much out of them, but maybe they would be right for the Barrie Briefs.

I thought I could get a pair out of each.

I started to take out the stitching on the blue shirt and once I got the elastics out, I gave up and just cut them apart.  They didn't have big hems, so all that pulling out wasn't going to gain me much fabric.

I was thrilled to see some nice elastic in the bottom and cuffs of the blue shirt, so I pulled them out and will definitely reuse them.  I want to make a cover for the stool in my sewing room, so my brain is already trying to use that thicker elastic for that.

After some serious ironing, I laid out my pieces to see what I could get.  From one side of the pink
shirt, I could get one whole pair of underwear, but not the bands.  Since they were experimental anyway, and I don't really run around showing people my underwear (at least, not on purpose), I thought it would be fine and kind of fun to use the blue for the bands.  The blue shirt wasn't going to give me enough  material to make even one pair, so I decided to use it for the bands.  Plus, it had more stretch to it, which I wanted in the bands.

The white for the gusset was some leftover white that I had completely forgotten about.  I think I bought it for the bands for my first tank, when I took things much more seriously in the knits world.  I no longer buy separate material for the bands, which I know is not the right way to do things, but I can live with the necklines stretching out a little as they are worn.

Putting these Barrie Briefs together is a mind boggler for me, kind of like making sure when I make pajama pants, I get the U going the right way.  Luckily, there was no difference between the right and wrong side of this fabric, so it didn't matter if I had it flipped wrong.

Except for this.  If you look veeeeerrrrry closely, you can see the remaining size on the pink shirt, a size small.  This was meant to be on the inside, but clearly, I flipped it the wrong way.

Story of my life.

If I didn't have a serger, I wouldn't bother with knits, I don't think.  I know they say you can use a zigzag stitch, but I just don't think I could get the same stretch that the serger gives me.

I've made quite a few tops and dresses with knits, so I pretty much understand how the bands go in.  Still, I usually pre stretch and pin them because I don't want to put them in wrong and have to pick out serger stitching.

If you've never had the joy of having to tear out all of the stitches you made with a serger, you have no idea what seam ripping is truly about.  It's enough to make me think if I cut very closely to the edge, I could just start again.

With these, I tried putting in the bands without much except for the crucial anchor pins and it worked really well.  I  wasn't too worried because they were just recycled fabric underwear, not meant for the light of day.  But, it gave me enough confidence that I might try it with a top in the future.

I ended up with 2 pair.  These are boy cut briefs, meant to sit more on the hip bones than up at the natural waist.  The legs are also different from a typical brief.  It surprised me to see how much fabric they actually need.  When I first cut out the pink, I was sure they were going to be way too big, but they fit like they were made for me. 

These are much thinner fabric than my first pair, but I haven't tried them under actual clothes yet.  I think the serger seams are thick enough that you will see the lines and I won't like that.  But I'll be happy to wear them to bed or when I know I'm not going anywhere.

I can't show a picture of them on me because, well, you just don't need to see that.  But, if I make them into a pair of bathing suit bottoms like my sister plans to do, then you will see them whether you want to or not!

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