Saturday, February 13, 2016

Vogue 9091 - Black Culottes

Every once in awhile I feel like I want something "different" in my closet. Generally I'm not super trendy, but from time to time an odd trend appeals to me. This time it was culottes.

I had a piece of black wool in my stash that was too lightweight for pants. Using it for a skirt was an option, but that would have left a good sized remnant that would be too big to toss and too small to do much else with. Since it was lightweight and had some good drape, I thought it could work for culottes. Plus, stash fabric seems "free" to me, so if it was a total bust not much was lost.


There are quite a few patterns for culottes available now. The one I chose was Vogue 9091. I prefer a yoke to a regular waistband. Views A and B are considered culottes and View C is considered pants. I chose to make View C, but shortened it by five inches. I also added a lining, but those are the only real changes.

Vogue 9091

This is not a complicated pattern. The pleats are deep and getting the markings correct is important. The only fitting issue is really the yoke. There is plenty of ease in the rest of the pants. When I cut out the lining pieces, I folded out the pleats on the front so there would be less bulk.

Vogue 9091

Being as this was a pretty simple project, I enjoyed taking my time on each step and doing it well. I put in a lapped zipper in the back. It's been awhile since I did one of those, but I wanted something sturdier than an invisible one.

Vogue 9091

The facing and lining are hand sewn down. I added twill tape to the waist seam so it won't stretch out.

Vogue 9091

The side seam pockets are a nice touch. Again, something I had not done in awhile - I prefer slash pockets in pants,

Vogue 9091

None of these pictures are that great so it's hard to give you an idea of what they really look like. I like the way they look when I move. They really aren't "conventionally flattering," but they're different, interesting, comfortable, and warm and for now, that earns them a spot in my closet.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rollie Pollie

We celebrated my younger daughter's 8th birthday in January. Eight! Sometimes in my mind she still looks like this. One of the things she wanted for her birthday was a bean bag chair. Her brother got one for his birthday last year and she likes to use it whenever he isn't.

I used Dana's Rollie Pollie pattern to make a bean bag chair that was a bit more interesting than one I could purchase. This was not my first time using this pattern. I initially purchased it last spring and used it to make a bean bag chair for a school auction. We used fabric paint and put the students' hand prints on the cut pieces and then assembled it after they were dry. It was a good project and brought in more money than I was expecting.

Rollie Pollie

The pattern and instructions are both good. I'd suggest reading through all of the instructions before starting - some things seem a little out of order to me, but it's all there. The only real change I made was to put a zipper in the insert and in the cover (instructions only call for one in the cover). It's good to be able to remove the cover for washing, but bean bag chairs almost always compress/deflate over time and I wanted to be able to refill it.

Rollie Pollie

In the pattern instructions, Dana gives ideas for filling. I used these "beans" (the price has gone up since I ordered). I ordered two boxes of them, but we only used half of the second one. My daughter wanted a little more squish rather than more fullness.

Rollie Pollie

The pattern is basically like a large beach ball - two circles on the ends and the rest of the pieces (4) look like footballs with a bite out of each short end. Assembly is not difficult, but the pieces are large. It took me awhile to find any note about seam allowance. I don't remember where it ended up being in the instructions, but it is 1/2" throughout.

Rollie Pollie

One end has a handle - helpful for dragging it from one room to another or for swinging it at your brother (not that that ever happens here). I sandwiched a piece of fleece in this one to give it some heft. I offered to applique an initial on the other end, but my daughter wanted it plain. On the one I did for the auction, I appliqued the school logo on one of the circles.

Rollie Pollie

The pattern includes two sizes - this is the large one. It is pretty good size and quite a bit bigger than my son's that we bought. It really produces a nice bean bag chair, but this isn't an inexpensive project. There is a whole lot of fabric between the insert and the cover, plus two looooong zippers, and then the beans. However, if you want to customize it to a child's preference or match a certain decor this is a nice option.

Rollie Pollie
side-by-side comparison: happy, comfy kids

If you have the space and have a kid that likes to flop on the floor or likes soft, comfy spots (my daughter was often dragging pillows and blankets into my sewing room to make a "reading nest" while I was in there) I'd highly recommend this as a project!

Rollie Pollie