Thursday, September 26, 2019

Olive Lander Pants

I've been sewing clothes for 7+ years. In that amount of time, I think I've made three pairs of pants that I would call a success. I can't even tell you how many failures I've had. I say all that to demonstrate that making pants is hard! Or, rather, fitting pants to your unique body has challenges, and it takes practice to get that right. That's why I'm so excited about today's finished item, these Lander Pants!

These are on the short list of successful pants. Sort of cobbled together as a wearable muslin with all stash materials, I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing the heck out of them this fall.

Last year, I ordered this olive stretch twill to make a pair of skinny Ginger Jeans. It was a whole big saga that resulted in a second order of fabric, a pair of bootcut Gingers, and some pants I wore maybe twice. Whomp whomp.

I had a lot of this fabric leftover and decided to see if I could squeeze out some Landers. The only shortcut I took was with the length. Instead of a 3" hem, it's only 1 1/2", because I was 1 1/2" short of what I needed for View B. I also removed 1" at the L/S line because I am 5'4". The fabric has slight stretch with 2% spandex, which wasn't enough for skinny Gingers, but is just right for Landers. The pattern is drafted for no stretch, so that tiny bit of spandex gives me a little wiggle room (literally).

Sewing this pattern is pretty easy. I thought the button fly looked intimidating, but honestly it's easier than a zip fly. Even the front pockets are more of a patch pocket than a traditional sort of jean pocket. There are back darts and 1" side seam allowances so you can fit more easily than jeans as well.

Personally, I'm kind of a pear shape with a mama pooch and sway back. That means I typically need wide hips, grading to a smaller waist, but with the center back scooped in, and the front not too tight but not too loose. As I said, it's taken me a lot of failing to understand that these are my fit issues, and a lot of trial and error to figure out how to fix them. The Landers have the added benefit of a straight, wide leg, so all you need to concentrate on is fitting the hips and waist, not the legs (a big part of my Ginger Jeans struggle).

I started with a size 8, graded to a 6 in the waist, with a size 6 waistband. I cut the waistband with a center back seam in order to shape it as needed. I ended up grading even smaller at the waist, scooping out at the center back above the butt and taking a wedge from the waistband. If you're not sure how your fit is going to go, I would suggest not cutting the waistband until after you fit the hips.

These are my first truly high-waisted pants. I forgot to interface the waistband so they have more give than they should, but I found them easy to wear. Styling is a little harder for me since so many of my tops are long, but I'll keep at it.

I'm very tempted to make a full length pair of these for the colder months. If you have a chance to make these up, go for it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Athletic Lace Hoodie

I am SO excited about today's post! It's been so fun to be a part of The Fabric Fairy blogger team. The group is very creative and I'm always inspired. A few months back, Sarah from Sewing With Sarah posted about a new fabric, a super cool stretch mesh/lace suitable for athletic wear (it also comes in black!!). She used it as an accent to a top and leggings. I wanted to try the fabric myself, but to mix it up and not directly copy Sarah. I settled on a hoodie and I think I've got a pretty cool piece!

The texture of this fabric is great, and since it's a mesh, it allows air to flow through it. It's 80/20 poly/lycra, so a stable stretch and recovery. To make the hoodie, I used the Sloane pattern from Love Notions. It's a basic pattern that easily transforms depending on your fabric. This is View A, with a slim fit and and shirttail hem. My bust is 33" and I made the XS. I made the S once before and felt it was a little baggy for the look I wanted here.

I did a lot of test sewing before I started working with this fabric. The seam allowance is only 3/8", so my ideal choice of French seams wasn't an option. I would have used my serger but didn't have four matching cones of purple thread (it's not a color I wear often). I ended up using a zig-zag stitch and a walking foot for most of the construction. The exception was the hem, where I used a slightly longer straight stitch. There is clear elastic sewn into the shoulder seams for stability. I lightly pressed all seams with a press cloth on low heat.

I hemmed the front of the hoodie a little more narrow than the pattern suggested, which meant I had some extra length that I could transform into a crossover hood. I also took advantage of the cool pointed motif that runs along the selvedge, and created a pointed cuff on the sleeves.

This is the most accurate color depiction

To make that work, I did narrow the sleeve from the elbow to the wrist. I cut around the pointed motif, and essentially faced it with scraps of the mesh, also cut from the selvedge. I wasn't able to sew the cuff into a complete circle, so instead I butted the edges together and basted them before sewing the cuff to the sleeve.

I love the cool superhero vibe of the pointed cuff! I made sure to sew a Kylie and the Machine label into the side seam so everyone would know it's one of a kind.

Some mornings, you want to throw on a hoodie but not be too warm or sloppy-looking. This hoodie fits the bill perfectly. I also ordered a swatch of fleece-backed knit to see how well it coordinated color-wise. I wish I would've just gone ahead and ordered yardage, because it's a great match for the mesh and it's warm and luxe. I predict a matching pair of leggings in my future!

I received a credit from The Fabric Fairy in exchange for this review. Fabric and project choice were my own, I purchased the pattern. All opinions are my own. 

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