Easy pants and tops

I am working on different styles of pants in the hope that I will eventually have a set of block patterns for any type of pants I want to make.

This time I tried the Style Arc Linda pants.

This is the second time I am trying Style Arc and the first time did not go well. I attempted to make the Robin design, a simple top for summer, but the pattern didn’t fit me and there were too many changes needed to keep me going. It ended up in the scrap heap.

This time I had a lot more success I think.


The Linda pants are simple pull on pants made from stretch fabric. I had some lovely firm dark blue fabric in my stash – and there was just enough.

Instead of making a muslin – how do you make a muslin for stretch fabric when you only have woven fabric that you are prepared to sacrifice? – I cut wide seam allowances. My pattern was in a size 12, but apart from the waist, the pattern fitted quite well and the waist was easy to fix with the wider seam allowance.

The pattern suggests that you insert a wide elastic in the waistband, but that is optional. I didn’t have any suitable elastic on hand so opted to go without. I am now sorry I didn’t hold out. After wearing the pants a few times, the waistband has stretched a little and they don’t feel as secure. I think I will fix that.

I am also wearing a new top. This is Vogue 8323, which I have had hidden in a shoebox for a long time. It was time to get it out. I have a broad back and wide forward sloping shoulders which gives me a lot of grief when making any top or dress in woven fabric. Knits are so much easier to fit. I fit the shoulders first, allow a very generous side seam allowance and then pin it in little by little till I get a good fit. This pattern was easier than usual, as the princess seams gives room for an easy FBA. I am very happy with the result, although I think the waist still needs taking in.


Finally, I dug out a top that I cut out about a year ago and never finished. It was hidden away in a box with other questionable projects. I sewed it up and decided to add a collar to bring the neckline in a bit and to make it a little more cosy. The fabric is a sweater knit that looks very matted close up (which I no longer like), and the collar is from a remnant of cotton knit. I used Vogue 8771 which is a large loose design, so no fitting issues here. I added the bow to make it a little more interesting.


As I said – I don’t love it but it is nice and warm, so it will probably get some wear.

I used a total of 4.90 m from my stash.

PS: I ran my first ever marathon last Sunday week and although I didn’t finish in any fantastic time, I still managed to come second of women in my age group 🙂

PPS: How do you like my new hair style? It is meant to be straight, but all the blow drying and ironing only lasts a few hours before the natural curls kick in. At least it is soft against my face.


14 thoughts on “Easy pants and tops

  1. The look terrific! I also have a broad back, so I do the same thing…give wideness to the shoulders and begin to take in – top to bottom! Congratulations on your position in the marathon… pps: the hair looks wonderful – very chic! 🙂 m.

    • Thank you for your kind words Maria. As you also have a broad back, how do you fit woven fabrics to your body? I can’t seem to master this trick and am forever looking for assistance. Unfortunately I don’t have anyone around me that would be useful as a fitting assistant 😦

      • So far, no, I have not used woven fabrics…but do you have a body form? I find them quite useful 🙂

      • Yes, I have a body form but I can’t get it to look like me – perhaps I will post about my body form frustrations. It is quite a story and I am not there yet – far from it.

  2. Your pants look like they fit really well. Congrats on the marathon! Before you mentioned your hair, I was thinking how pretty it is 🙂

  3. Bravo! It all looks fantastic! Just a thought about knit muslins as I too had this cunumdrum. Because I find this to be a frequent issue, I found 2 solutions. 1) When I was looking for sheets at the thrift store to use as muslins, I grabbed a queen sized knit cotton blend fitted sheet. I used this for a knit tank dress and it turned out well enough to wear. 2) scour the clearance table for deeply discounted stretch fabric. I have a couple yards of puke colored lycra that I bought for a couple dollars a yard that will be perfect to muslin some stretch patterns.

    • Thanks a million for your suggestions Marjorie – I will definitely try that. By the way I absolutely love your quilt that is in the header on your blog. It is simply beautiful. I have never attempted quilting, but you are such an inspiration to me – maybe one day!

      • Stand by for applique. I have several projects that I am working on. In similar color ways to the previous!

  4. That is a very nice smart casual outfit. You look great. The Style Arc Linda pants are fantastic. I have made that pattern so successfully that I think I should use it as a TNT pattern from now on. In fact my next stash buster will be a black pair from my fabric stash.

    • Thank you Kathy. Have you used any other of the pants patterns from Style Arc? I would like a pair of dressier pants and was wondering if the Willow Slim pants would be worth a go? However, I am attempting to get a blok pattern using Sure-fit Designs, so I will see how that goes.

      • Linda is the only Style Arc pant pattern I’ve used although I do have another couple in the collection. I have looked at the Willow Slim pant myself and will probably cave in one day and get it. Good luck with Sure-fit designs, I have read good reports about them.

  5. I have also made the Linda pants, but bought the wrong size, so basically took them in all round. I am pretty happy with them now and they get a lot of wear. I have also made the Elle pants (which, interestingly, fit) and the Barb pants, which I don’t like overly. I noticed your hair immediately, it looks really feminine and I’m jealous of your natural wave!

  6. HI, finally catching up on your blog – you have been busy. I think you have done a good job on all of these garments – although, as you say, elastic does help keep things up. Well worth inserting, because these look like really smart wearable stretch pants 🙂

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