Pants

2017 Year in Review

The new year is here! With the new year brings a review of my past year of sewing. Usually it’s pretty surprising for me. I forget all the things I’ve made and how much I love things that I’ve only had for a short amount of time.

Sew My Style

This past year I participated in Project: Sew My Style. A monthly sew-a-long of different indie patterns put on by Bluebird Fabrics. You can check out everyone’s lovely makes using the hashtag #sewmystyle. I did fairly well at the beginning of the year and then towards the end I slacked off. All due to personal reasons though. Hubby and I were house hunting and did move! All that exhausting fun took away from my sewing time.  I still want to make the Anna dress from By Hand London, Stella Shirt dress from Named and the Yona Wrap coat also from Named. Here’s a shot of all the months I was able to participate in:

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2017 Make Nine

I also joined in #2017makenine. I was able to complete 7 out of 9. Pretty proud of that. I would have really liked to have gotten my red Thurlows made but I’m still fussing with the fit. I was able to complete: several Sorbettos, new handbag, failed Jamie Jeans (still looking for the perfect grey denim), Burda flares, Simone, pajamas, and a couple B5526.


2017 Goals

  • Participate in Project Sew My Style being put on by Alex from Bluebird Fabrics. This is a full year sew-along. I’m putting this out there now: Sorry March, but there’s no leggings in my future so I’m skipping that month.

You can see the results of this above.  I’m happy with the participation that I was able to complete. Several more things I want to make though. I do wear most of the items religiously. The two I really don’t wear too often is the pocket skirt (May) and the valley blouse (July) both from CaliFaye.  The valley blouse is so fussy and the skirt looks so bad on. Maybe that pattern company is not for me.

  • Use my fabric stash. I have enough fabric for 13 projects. Each piece of fabric has a pattern mate already chosen. Just need to sew! The only fabric I’m going to buy is for Sew My Style until I get through my stash.

I successfully adhered to this for about half of the year. I’m surprised I made it that far. I would have liked to have made it the whole year but I think we all know that was not going to happen!

  • Learn at least one new technique. There’s a lot of techniques out there, flat fell seams, Hong Kong seams, etc. Never thought to try one out and I think it would be good to expand my horizons.

I used flat fell seams! A lot actually. They’re so much easier than I thought and they look so nice on the insides. I really want to do Hong Kong seams but I need to find a project that I’d feel requires it.

  • Make more dresses. This is a simple one but I think a necessity. I have a lot of separates and I like the easiness of pulling one item out of the closet without a need to match. So it is on my list just to feed into my laziness.

This was so the year of dresses. I do think #sewmystyle really helped me out on this one. There were two dresses that were made just for that! I made a total of eight through the year. Two have yet to be blogged. Okay that number sounds pitiful but for me it’s good!

2018 Goals

I’m gonna keep them short and simple this year.

  • Coat/jacket
  • Red Thurlows
  • Home work wear

Everything!

To wrap this up, here’s everything that I’ve made! Have a Happy New Year!

  • Skirt/dress: 7
  • Tops/cardi: 24
  • Bottoms: 6
  • Bags: 4
  • Crochet: 5

Purple Thurlows

I seem to have boarded the Thurlow train rather late. But then again, I didn’t really start sewing my own clothes until about two years ago. I chose the Thurlow pattern by Sewaholic as my first fitted pants pattern. I have another pattern I bought awhile back but I couldn’t resist the Thurlow pattern after seeing some great ones from some of my favorite sewing bloggers.

I picked up the purple suiting at Mood in NYC. It was my only purchase there. I would have bought so much more but as I mentioned before, all the fantastic fabric is so overwhelming.

In the growing lists of firsts with this project, I made a muslin. I don’t make them. I feel no need for them with skirts or shirts because I’ll just adjust as I go. Probably not the best practice to keep. The muslin ended up looking like clown pants because I ran out of muslin fabric and used some weird yellow cotton I had in my stash. In other words, you don’t get to see it.

I read through the instructions several times before beginning. These instructions are not made for someone that has never made pants before so beware first timers. Luckily, Lladybird has a sew-a-long on the Thurlows. I found it so helpful! Big thanks to her and her awesome self.

sassy pants

Here’s the finished product. Beautiful purple pants! I’ve wanted purple pants for years but never found any dress ones for work. They surprisingly look great with a t-shirt.

thurlows side

I adjusted these pants after I had them completely done. That meant tearing out all kinds of stitches then putting it all back together. Why did I do this? Two words: saggy crotch. It looked like I was trying to smuggle something in there. And of all places. Really!?! All I needed to do was take out some space from the waist to make them tighter and sit higher. I still think there could be more adjustments made to the fit but screw it! I’m happy and I’ll wear them.

double welt

Continuing with the firsts, double welt pockets. They don’t look too bad for my first try. I probably should have practiced but whatever. Guess I should have used the lint roller a little more heavily. Also, not sure why it looks Barney purple in this shot.

thurlows back

They fit the booty. This is the part I was worried about most. I think this where making the muslin helped.

slash pocket

Slash pockets. I have one pair of rtw pants that have slash pockets and I love them.

pocket lining

Speaking of pockets. Check out my pocket lining. That’s black with shiny, glittery pinstripes. That came from my fabric stash from many years ago. I may have used it on a purse.

FYI, no I’m not one of those people that need my phone every second of everyday. It acts as the remote for my camera. So expect to see it more often if I can’t get better at hiding it.

Palazzo Pants Tutorial

These pants were a long time coming! 1) procrastination got the best of me 2) there were a few other projects I wanted to do aka avoid making my first pair of pants 3) I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But I was so rewarded.

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So I’m a bad little kid at heart and when I was raiding JoAnn’s red line fabric 50% off sale I looked for a palazzo pant pattern with no intention of buying it. Really what I was looking for was a little help. How much fabric am I going to need? How wide should the leg be at the bottom?

I found pay dirt! Couldn’t tell you about the pattern, who made it or any other details but you’ll find a quick tutorial below so deets on the pattern are not necessary. I made mental note of the yardage (2.5 yds), 33 3/4″ circumference and off I went. I bought some great rayon fabric. It’s bright, it’s flowy, and it screams HELLO! I was instantly excited.

Let the pants making process commence! I used a big roll of paper, a pair of jeans, yardstick and a pencil to make my pattern. I made sure to grab a long pair of jeans because I want to wear heels with the pants. Fold the pants in half at the crotch area and lay it in the middle of your paper. Trace around the pants.

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I found the center of the leg at the bottom and made a mark 16 7/8″ to both the left and right. This gave the 33 3/4″ width at the bottom of the pant leg. Make a line connecting all three marks.

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From the butt and crotch, extend a line down to the new pant leg width. This is a quarter of your pants with no seam allowance. I added 5/8″ marks all around the pants, and connected the dots. Insta-seam allowance!

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The waistband of the pants I did separately. You need two pieces of fabric the width of your elastic (I used 2″) plus 1 1/4″ for seam allowance on each side. The length is your hips plus the 1 1/4″. Gotta be able to get the pants up over your behind ya know?

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Down to cutting… Take your fabric fold in half width wise and then length wise. One long side should have two folded edges the other long side should have 4 layers. Put the butt side of your pattern along the folded edge. Pin it down or however your normally tackle a pattern piece. Carefully cut it out. You should have two pieces.

Sew up the inseam on both.

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Flip one pair right side out. Put the right side leg into the wrong side and sew together the crotch.

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Take the two waist pieces and sew them together along the length. Sew the width together to create a loop.

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I sewed the elastic to the waistband so the elastic didn’t move about. For this you have to stretch the elastic as you sew.

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Attach the waistband to the pants. I sewed the right sides together for the outside then hand stitched the inside down. You can stitch in the ditch but it never comes out looking nice for me.

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Lastly, hem the pants. I sergered the edge, folded over twice and top stitched. I didn’t have to finagle with the length because the pants I used were the perfect length.

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One adjustment I did make to all this was, I added two front darts to the pants. I was getting this saggy crotch thing from too much fabric gathering. I also took some length out of the waistband otherwise the two pieces wouldn’t have matched up.

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Look at the awesome width to the legs. It nice because the flare starts from the waist so the only fitting you really have to do is to the waist.

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See no butt hugging. Rayon soft and flowy drape.

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I think that is the “Are you getting this?” face.