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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jeans – or not?

I have never attempted jeans before, but looking at my stash – there is a lot of denim as well as other lengths suitable for jeans. As you have all seen on my Jacket post – my current jeans are in a sore need of replacement.

So I grabbed my stash of Burda magazines and found a pattern that looks a lot like jeans – although they were not named as such. It was issue April 2010 – 120.

Pants never fit me straight out – I expect many other people have the same problem – so I made muslins. This is my first one:

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I won’t bore you with all my adjustments. Instead here is my first pair of jeans style pants. They are by no means perfect, but I feel they are good enough to wear. I think I need a little more fabric across the front, and I also feel I need to lower the waistband a little more in the front. I would really value your comments regarding fit, as that is always my problem.

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I am happy with the top stitching – the design on the pocket is VW – a nickname my husband gave me meaning Viking Woman – not the car!!!!!!

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I forgot to give the centre back seam the jeans treatment – oh well, next time 🙂

I have a new Jacket

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I made this jacket as a test of the Butterick pattern 4610.

This pattern was included in the Craftsy class The Fashionably Quilted Jacket, which I enrolled in a couple of months ago. Now – I am not into quilting. In fact I have never quilted anything in my life, so why would I enrol in a lesson involving quilting?

I was really impressed with the jacket made by Mary Ray, which was featured in Threads September 2012 issue. The jacket was made from a mesh knit fabric, which I have in my stash.

So when I discovered that Mary Ray was actually running a class on making such a jacket, my interest was caught.

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I have sloping and forwarded rotated shoulders so I made adjustments to accommodate those issues. My right shoulder is also lower than the left – another adjustment, and finally my right shoulder blade is flatter and further forward than my left, so I had to take in the back princess seams by different amounts at each side. These alterations around the armscye meant that corresponding adjustments had to be made to the sleeve. It took me some time to figure out, but I am quite pleased with the end result.

I made a bound buttonhole, handstitched the patchpockets to the jacket from the back and fully lined the jacket with a navy bemsilk.

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I still think I have some a fitting issues on the back – see the folds below the arms? Even though I lowered the armscye on the back bodice after lowering the shoulders, I don’t think I took enough out. I inserted shoulder pads to even out my shoulders somewhat, but I think I could improve here. What do you think? I also now note a fold across the top of the sleeve when viewed from the back. How would I fix that?

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Sigh! I really would love to make myself some jackets, but I just can’t seem to achieve a good fit.

This fabric is from my stash, and although I started making the jacket before I joined the Style the Stash Sew Along, I will count it in. Two metres of wool/synthetic stash was used up for this make.

My total stash beginning of June 2013 was 167.7metres.
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My jeans have seen better days – I think it is time I attempt making a pair of new jeans. That will be a new sewing experience for me.

Happy sewing!