Saturday, 17 September 2016

Sloane + Jeans

It's been all about comfy casuals around here of late and this is one of my favourite duos: The Sloane Sweatshirt by Named Patterns and Burdastyle 6798 boyfriend jeans.

This is the second Sloane I've made and what I learned from the first is that I like it a bit longer than drafted so I lengthened this version by 5cm.

My  Sloane is made from a super thick and snugly Marc Jacobs Merino knit from The Fabric Store. I've given up searching for elusive matching ribbing for my knit projects. My go to is the wrong side of the fabric and I reckon it looks pretty good!

I've also made these boyfriend jeans before which I absolutely love so I didn't change a thing on this pair. I chose a thick dark denim with no stretch from the fabric store.

These are comfortable and classic basics and while they're not at all fancy they still feel luxurious thanks to top quality fabric.

Do  you guys enjoy making and wearing basics?



Pattern: Sloane Sweatshirt by Named Patterns
Size: 34
Fabric: Merino knit from The Fabric Store
Mods: Lengthened by 5cm and hem band lengthened


Burdastyle 6798
Size: 34 waist, halfway between 34/36 hips, 36 leg
Fabric: Denim from The Fabric Store

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Odd Pants

Well helloooooo! It's been a while. I've had a few technical difficulties with both my sewing machine and my camera, plus I've been insanely busy with you know - LIFE. Everything is sorted now though and I even have a new (second hand) overlocker which I'm stoked about!

Ok, now that the excuses are out of the way lets talk about these trousers. I was very tempted to buy the Tessuti Demi Pant when it come out but then I remembered Vogue 8712 that's been languishing in my stash so long its now out of print. Rather than fork out for a new pattern, then spend an age printing, cutting and sticking I shopped the stash. And with the money that I saved I bought the Annie Dress pattern ;)

Ordinarily I'm not much of a Marcy Tilton fan - her designs are just a bit too off-beat for me but this is one of her more conservative creations and it has a bit of harem pant vibe which I'm rather partial to. I chose black fabric to tone down any potential wackiness too. It's a thick cotton drill from Drapers and I think the lack of drape is perfect for this pattern as the pants hold their shape nicely.

I chose View C which is a similar shape to A and B (I can't see what the difference is between A and B?) but is markedly more complicated. It features a fly front, in seam pockets. Flat front waist band and elasticated back waist band, back and side seams, and front and side ankle shaping panels. Theres a fair amount of top stitching too which meant they weren't the fastest sew. I would definitely recommend A and B for beginners.

As usual I went down two sizes from what's recommended for my measurements for Vogue patterns and the fit is perfect. The length has to be taken out of the leg before cutting as you can't hem them once their done. I compared the pattern pieces to some pants that I already own and decided to take 6cm out of the leg. I'm happy with the length but they're not quite as short as on the pattern cover. Next time I might take out a couple more centimetres out.

When I first put these on my man-friend deemed them "odd". Hmmmmm, I'll take that as a compliment. I recognise that this silhouette is not going to be everyones cup of tea, but I have to say that these are my new favourite pants. They're super comfy and practical and despite the fact that I'm not exactly long of leg I find them strangely flattering. I really resonated with this post from Bombazine and I too have been enjoying alternatives to skinny jeans. Here's to more odd pants!


Pattern: V8712
Size: 8
Fabric: Cotton drill from Drapers Fabrics
Mods: None
Verdict: Love
T-shirt: Ensis Tee, blogged here

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Wide Leg Love

All hail the return of wide leg pants!

Back in the 90's I was a firm believer in the wide leg look. In fact I'd scour Christchurch second hand shops for "vintage" (back then they were simply termed "old") wide leg pant patterns and made pair after pair of multi-coloured waistband-less, fly-less, pocket-less baggy pants with badly inserted side lapped zippers. They were cool though and I'd often get stopped in the streets with people asking me where I got my pants. Ha! Thankfully my sewing skills have improved somewhat since my Uni days so these are a more refined version of that look.

To reunite with my silhouette of yesteryear I used Simplicity 2562 (Version B) which I shopped from my stash. This pattern is sadly out of print which is a shame because it's a goody but this pattern looks similar. These are from the Amazing Fit Range and there were options for slim, average and curvy. I went with the average version and went down one size to a size 10 based on measurements. Although I know I need to go down two sizes with Big 4 patterns I still like to err on the side of caution. I have a deeply rooted aversion to muslins so basically everything I make for the first time is a wearable muslin.

The instructions are great as would be expected from a pattern that promises an amazing fit. I love the construction order of these pants too, in fact I'm going to make all my pants in this manner from now on. Towards the end you baste fit the pants and tweak to perfection before proceeding to sew the waistband. I ended up taking the waist in to a size 8 and left the legs as is. After seeing these photos and wearing my pants around a bit I reckon I could have cut a straight size 8 for a more fitted look. But I'm still digging the relaxed vibe of these pants.

The Fabric is a black and white pin stripe linen from The Fabric Store. It's weightier and more finely woven than many linens making it a nice sturdy fabric for pants but still with a lovely drape. My t-shirt is the SJ tee from Papercut Patterns which is fast becoming a favourite staple pattern.

I'm really enjoying having the full leg mobility that wide leg pants enable, as opposed to skinny jeans which I generally rip off my legs as soon as I get home. How about you? Are you jumping on board the wide leg pant boat?

Pattern: Simplicity 2562
Size:10, 8 at the waist
Fabric: Linen from The Fabric Store
T-shirt: SJ Tee in black knit from Drapers Fabrics
Mods: None other than taking around 6cm out of the leg
Verdict: Love! Will definitely make a size 8 next time

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Jutland Pants

Behold the most patient man in the Universe:

I'm feeling a bit sheepish to admit these are the first thing I have ever made this guy as I am a self confessed selfish to the bone. The guilt finally got the better of me this year though and I have somehow managed to tear myself away from my vast sewing queue to make these Jutland Pants by Thread Theory.

I purchased both the Jedediah and the Jutland pants and was eager to sew up a funky pair of Jedediah pants first but he was adamant he needed some heavy duty work pants. Personally, I would never be excited about making work clothes for myself that I knew were going to get destroyed, but each to his own.

These are variation 2 which has reinforced knees and ankles and cargo pockets, making them more tradesman friendly but a little bit more fiddly. But hey, at least I got out of making back welt pockets as this version has patch pockets instead.

Wayan fell into the size 30 measurements. As I have zero experience with man sewing and thread theory patterns I went with this but I changed the construction order (and thoroughly confused myself in the process) so that I could do a good fitting of the pants before the waistband was all done, dusted and impossible to change. They ended up pretty much perfect as I just had to take them in a smidge at the waist. These will be the first work pants that Wayan has had that don't need a belt to keep them up!

Being on the shorter end of the height spectrum **cough** I took 17cm out of the leg in 3 places for Wayan. This turned out to be a bit ruthless as I reckon they're a touch short but it's not really an issue as they'll be worn with work boots anyway.

I have to admit that these pants seemed to take for eeeeeeever and towards the end I was getting really REALLY grumpy. It seems there is only so much selfless sewing that I can take.

But all the effort was worth it because he says they're the most comfortable work pants he's ever had. Phew! Now I can get back to that queue...

What's your thoughts on man sewing? Do you do it? Do you enjoy it?


Pattern: Jutland Pants by Thread Theory
Size: 30
Fabric: Sturdy cotton from The Fabric Store
Mods: Taken in slightly at the waist and shortened considerably
Verdict: A winner!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Turia Dungarees

Despite the fact that the last time I successfully wore overalls I was four years old, I still couldn't fight the uncontrollable urge to buy the Turia Dungarees by Pauline Alice at the beginning of summer and try them out. Pinterest strikes again!

These are View B (the short version) which I made up in a nautical stripe denim from The Fabric Store.

I learned from other bloggers that only one side zip was necessary so that's what I did. Rather than turn in and topstitch the bib sections I used bias binding binding for a neater finish.

At 164cm I'm one cm shorter than what Pauline Alice patterns designs for, but I still have to have my straps at maximum length to keep the back riding up my bum and I also lowered the pockets 5cm. Does that mean I have a long body? I never knew!

From the front I think these are pretty good but not exceptionally flattering from the back, but I think that might just be an dungaree thing as there's no shaping at the waist.

As has been pointed out in other posts the back straps are not drafted to sit neatly against the back. Next time I'll definitely correct that.

Overall (haha, see what I did there?) I really like these and I've worn them quite a bit. The comfort levels are super high and perfect for a family camping holiday :)

So after a 33 year hiatus I'm successfully wearing dungarees again, In fact I'm hooked! I definitely want to make up a pair in dark denim for winter.

**shots were taken at Waikawau Bay, Coromandel New Zealand**

Pattern: Turia Dungarees by Pauline Alice
Size: 36, with a 40 length
Fabric: Nautical striped denim from The Fabric Store
Mods: Only put one side zipper in and finished most of the edges with bias binding.
Verdict: Super comfy and cute, I definitely see more of these in my future
My measurements: 164, 87, 69, 92

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

La Sylphide Dress

Just a little something to break the monotony of all those basics that I've been sewing lately.

This is La Sylphide Dress by Papercut Patterns. BTW this is the 4th blog post in a row featuring a Papercut Patterns so obviously I'm a fan. My Papercut Pattern makes are some of my most utilised wardrobe pieces. I feel like they have a certain je ne sais quoi which makes them very wearable. What do you think of their new collection? It usually takes me a little while to assimilate a new collection and I'm not an impulse buyer so I haven't purchased anything yet but so far my favourites are the jeans and the sweatshirt. I'm sure I'll end up wanting everything once I see everyone elses makes!

This dress came to being because I wanted to make something a little bit fancy to wear out during summer but casual and comfortable at the same time. 

Aside from the hemming which is a bitch, the make itself is very simple. I ommitted the sleeves because I wanted to wear it in the height of summer and I felt it would have a more casual vibe sleeveless. To accommodate that I took a couple of centimetres off the shoulder and pinched a little dart on the pattern piece around the armscye. I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to alterations so I just hope for the best and this time it worked out fine :)

I've made this pattern before in the blouse version. I chose to make another XS which was a mistake because while that size worked fine for a blouse, for the dress it was a little big. I just took it in at the sides to make it effectively an XXS. All the seams are Frenched (I'm so fancy these days) and the sleeves are finished with bias binding which I hand stitched down because no matter how many techniques I use for finishing with bias binding I always end up with sticking up armholes or necklines. The only technique that I've found that really works is hand stitching.

There's nothing experimental about this make. The colours, the print, the pussy bow and the shape of this dress are all very ME and as a result I've already worn it heaps, which makes me happy :)


Pattern: La Sylphide by Papercut Patterns
Size: XXS
Fabric: Viscose from Drapers Fabrics.
Mods: lengthened skirt by 1cm
Verdict: Love!

Monday, 22 February 2016

White Tee Blue Jeans

When I first got well and truly bitten by the sewing bug a couple of years back I made up a whole lot of stuff inspired by Pinterest and fashion blogs that I've never worn. The cold hard truth is I don't live in New York, Milan or Paris. I'm a stay at home Mum in Suburban Auckland with a part time job in a cafe. My life is pretty, well, basic... (no complaints though)

Hence the heavy output of basics lately. The jeans are Burdastyle 6798 (which I first saw on What Katie Sews ) and my tee is the SJ Tee by Papercut Patterns. I made the cropped version of the tee to wear with high waisted pants and skirts. It came out a bit too cropped for my taste so I added a hem band for more coverage. I wont be wearing it with these jeans due to midriff over-exposure but you get the picture!

The denim is a Japanese beauty procured from what is fast becoming my favourite fabric store - Drapers. If you haven't been and you're in Auckland I highly recommend them for a small but diverse range of high quality and affordable bolts of heaven! The white cotton knit is also from Drapers.

Poor old Burdastyle get a lot of flack online but I'm personally a big fan. Their pants patterns seem to be a good fit on me if I size down based on the measurement chart (size 34 for reference) and now that I'm so used to their fly insertion technique it's my favourite method. That said I usually work with the patterns from the magazine so I was a bit unsure about sizing for these which are a paper pattern.

I made a wearable jorts muslin (in a free denim scrap from The Fabric Store- whoop whoop!) in  size 36 which I had to take in to a 34 at the waist but left everything else at a 36. My conclusion is they are similar sizing as the magazine but you just need to figure out whether you want a skinny jean or a baggier version. I wear these shorts all the time BTW.

Reading the blogs of perfectionist sewers is having an effect on me so I bound the pockets and waistband edge, flat felled the back crotch and inseam and did french seams on the side. I hear y'all on the beautiful insides thing but the main reason I did fancy seams was because I wanted these suckers to have rolled cuffs and I didn't want a single zig-zag on display.

I swear every time I use a fancy technique it turns around to bite me in the bum. I didn't realize that super fraying fabric (which mine was)  is not suitable for flat felling. As a result I have a dodgy hand sewn patch up job at the crotch at the seam intersection holding everything in place. Always learning, always learning. Or never not wabi-sabi. I'm really happy with the fit but I think for my next pair I might try sizing up everywhere except at the waist for a more slouchy boyfriend jean vibe.

Have you tried making jeans yet? If not what's stopping you???


Pattern: Burdastyle 6798
Size: 34 at the waist half way between a 34 and 36 at the hip/crotch, 36 leg
Fabric: Japanese denim from Drapers Fabrics
Mods: Raised back patch pockets. Used a lightweight poly/cotton for the pocket bag lining
Verdict: Love! 

Pattern: SJ Tee by Papercut Patterns
Size: XXS
Fabric: White cotton knit from Drapers Fabrics
Mods: Added hem band
Verdict: A bit tight around the sleeves and a bit short without the hem band. But I really like it.

My measurements: 164, 87, 69, 92