Thursday, May 21, 2020

Allegro Gardening Pants Hack

I recently listened to the Love to Sew podcast episode about TNT patterns, and today I'm bringing you one of my favorites!


I've made the Allegro Bottoms in shorts four times, and the skirt once, but this is my first stab at the cropped pants. I don't know why I waited so long! Please note, right after I made these, the pattern was updated with a slightly different fit and higher rise.


My very first pair of Allegro shorts were an XS and were made about ten or fifteen pounds ago. Last summer I batch-sewed three pairs and went up to a size S. For reference, my hips are 38". I adore the fit of these pants, they are just loose enough to be comfortable but not sloppy.


I needed a pair of pants to wear on our outdoor treks, and particularly while gardening. I seem to find myself in my garden in the middle of hot afternoons, no matter how often I tell myself to go out in the mornings instead. I'm always losing tools and knew I needed some big pockets.


I decided to order some lightweight poly stretch woven from The Fabric Fairy. I am a part of their promo team and thought it would be a cool challenge to use this fabric in an unexpected way. This is the kind of fabric that most people use for running shorts, it's that lightweight swishy stuff that dries quickly. This colorway is sold out, but there are lots of others here.


I added giant patch pockets on the side of the pants. I didn't really measure, just went with the largest rectangles I could cut from my yardage after cutting the pants.


The back pockets are rounded instead of the rectangle ones that come with the pattern. This is a personal preference that I think makes my butt look better!


I did not have 1 1/2" elastic for the waistband, so I stole a tip from Instagram and zig-zagged some 1" elastic to some 1/2" elastic. It's not perfect, but given the shelter in place order we were under at the time, I made it work.


I added 1/2" elastic in the hem. It was not a part of the pattern originally, but it is a part of the update.


I will say, I didn't love sewing this fabric. I imagine that people who sew a lot of synthetics would probably have an easier time than me, but I almost exclusively sew natural fibers. It took to pressing just okay. I was scared of scorching the fabric! It does hold up well to washing and the outside abuse I've already put the pants through. I love the finished product but I'm not in a hurry to sew with it again.


So there you have it, the perfect outdoor pants for sitting in the dirt, carrying super interesting rocks, or picking mushrooms!

The fabric for this post was purchased with a gift certificate given to me by The Fabric Fairy as part of their promo team. I purchased the pattern. All opinions are my own!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

North Shore Swimsuit

How many swimsuits does one land-locked Midwesterner need? Don't answer that.


The theme for May's Fabric Fairy Promo team is "self-care". To me, that means "sew stuff you like". I LOVE making swimsuits. I have way more than anyone "needs". Somewhere along the way I had to give myself permission to sew them because I like it, not because I need them. I try to limit myself to one per year, but that usually turns into two or three #sorrynotsorry


This year, I went with a new pattern, the North Shore Swimsuit from Greenstyle Creations. There are a TON of options in this pattern, I won't even try to list them. I've had a similar swimsuit pinned for a century and the North Shore seemed like the closest match I could find. I made the Deep V Full Cup Front, with a Pullover U Back. I cut the mid-rise bottoms but used wider elastic, so mine are not a great representation of the accurate mid-rise. My bust is 33" and I made the top in XS. My hips are 38" and I started with a medium, but they were too big. I cut them down to a small and they fit great.


This print is called Abstract Monarch. The last two years, my kids and I have raised monarch butterflies. It's fun and this suit reminds me of that. I like how it's abstract though, you might not know it's an homage to monarchs at first glance. I completely forgot to order any lining fabric, so I made due with some black and green solids leftover from last year's swimsuits (here and here). Construction was done with my sewing machine and I topstitched the elastic with my coverstitch.


I ordered my swim elastic from The Fabric Fairy as well. This was my first time trying "rubber swim elastic". It was a lot like sewing a rubber band. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing! We'll see how it holds up over time, but I did think it felt sturdier than the Dritz stuff I usually buy at Jo-Ann's.


I think this suit is super cute and turned out how I envisioned. The pattern directions were great and I could even recommend this as a first-time swim project. Now if we could get the leak in our hot tub fixed...