I seem to be flailing around a bit lately, sewing-wise. I have been developing a stable of tried and true patterns, which is great. Most of them are Style Arc patterns, which have a fabulous fit. This has allowed me to start focusing more on design details and morphing the patterns into other designs.
So, what is my problem? I don't know. Maybe I am getting bored? Or maybe this just a regular mojo cycle - we all know how that goes. Am I confused by my style, resulting in Hamlet-like indecision? Or am I just frustrated that I often can't sew what I really want, because it won't work on my boobular figure? Maybe I just have too many clothes? (Though I have purged the closet.) I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's a bit of all of the above.
At any rate, it's been hard to settle on a project.
I actually started this project in early September. I know that because I started a blog post at the time and it had the time stamp of Sept 6th, 2011. I was very taken with lattice smocking, also called Canadian smocking, which I had seen a season before on some tops in Macy's. Then kbenco used it on a top and wrote a tutorial.
Being a visual learner, I watched various youtube videos and made some samples. I decided to use the detail on a pants hem. Because I wanted as few seams as possible, I used the Loes Hinse Oxfords, which are the best fitting no-seam pants pattern I have.
The fabric is 100% linen in grey with a thin cream stripe, from Fabrix. Using a stripe makes it a bit easier to create the grid you need for the smocking. I plan to write another post with a bit more detail on how I achieved the effect.
The reason this project went into the UFO closet for six months is that, after smocking one leg, I wasn't pleased. I wanted the smocking closer to the ankle and knew that if I'd tried to remove it to make it lower, the fabric would show damage. Then, I recently decided to pull them out and try them on again. And now I love the capri length! Just the thing for summer. If I ever experience summer weather, that is. :)
And speaking of Loes Hinse. This last weekend I was finally able to visit her store in Carmel. I had seen her speak a couple times, once at Artistry in Fashion and once at PenWAG, and had talked to her once about using her patterns with my bustline, but it was fun to descend on her store with four sewing friends. She had been warned that our group was in the area, so she brought some fabrics and patterns to her shop, which is so small that she doesn't usually have them available.
Despite the pouring rain, she was our first stop in Carmel. I helped her bring her fabric from her car, requiring two trips through puddles, but we were determined. (And, besides, my friend Sue volunteered me for the task. ;) ) We had a lot of fun groping her RTW clothing, in that way that sewists do, and trying her garments on.
'Twas a fun outing! I can also recommend the shop Findings, which carries vintage trims and buttons and a few fabrics, and Pacific Rim, which had fabulous, fabulous clothing.