Wednesday, 1 October 2014

New jeans - Named Wyome boyfriend style

It's no secret that I love the Jamie jeans by Named. I think I've made six pairs of them now (not all blogged) and I wear them all the time. 

So when Named released a new jeans pattern, the Wyome boyfriend jeans, I couldn't help myself. 

This post is an analysis of my first two pairs of Wyomes - the fit, the tweaks and the future.

My first pair was in this lovely, but wrinkly, lightweight denim. The Wyomes are made from non-stretch fabric and have a slightly relaxed fit. This pair I made with no changes to the pattern. Well, at least I did at first.

I made a size 10 according to my measurements. The size 10 Jamie jeans are a great fit on me. These turned out to be a closer fit than I expected from the pattern picture - not tight, just less loose, if you know what I mean. I searched for the boyfriend-ness in the style and wasn't sure I found it. Still, I liked them and modelled my newly finished pair when my sister came over. 

I should mention that my sister is my biggest critic: "New jeans? Turn around....Oh...No...They are not flattering on the bum. The pockets are wrong, they're too low and too small. Hmm, and the front is too baggy just there so it gives you a camel toe when you walk. Good fabric though."

"Please say what you really think." I retorted (well I thought about it). "Don't sit on the fence. Oops, did I just fling your hot cup of tea at you slightly too roughly?" 

The problem was, as usual, she was right.

There wasn't much I could do about the front crotch but, when she'd gone, I ripped off the offending back pockets with their cute chevron stitching and replaced them with pockets from the Jamie jeans pattern. I used the Jamie pocket placement as a guide so they sat higher up on the back.

This is what I ended up with - Wyomes with no changes except to the back pockets (and a zip fly instead of buttons):

My sister deemed the new back pockets an improvement so, with renewed hope, I set about making a second pair.

These were made as a wearable muslin (I know, I should have done that the first time) so I used a piece of curtaining fabric picked up from Remida. It was lovely and soft, but terrible to sew as it didn't pass through the machine easily, resulting in uneven stitches.

I made the same size, but changed the crotch curve very slightly. The Wyome crotch is quite different to the Jamie crotch in size and shape so it wasn't possible to just copy the Jamie curve. I decided to compromise and took in a 1cm sliver from the bottom of the fly to the crotch point of the Wyomes. I think it has improved the camel toe issue, but there are still wrinkles there.

The back is unchanged apart from using the Jamie jeans pockets and placement. I added 5cm to the leg length so I could wear these unrolled. After trying them unrolled, I decided I won't wear them that way. However, I haven't consulted my sister, so this may change!

These are still not perfect, but I really like them. They are very comfortable and look good with a top worn untucked. I am pleased with the slightly relaxed style and love that they can be made with non-stretch fabric. It makes a great alternative to the many stretch jeans I've made recently. Although they are overall closer fitting than I expected, the fit itself is spot on at the waist and hips.

So what's next? A linen pair, already cut out and partly assembled. I'm hoping linen will give more of a relaxed feel. The next pair will incorporate some of the tweaks I've mentioned and I think I'm going to like them a lot. Will I show my sister? We'll have to wait and see. It might mean crediting her with the ideas for improvements and I couldn't possibly do that!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Long-sleeved tee with pleat - Burdastyle 03/2014#114

I stumbled upon a fabric sale a few weeks ago at a manufacturer of high-end dresses. There were lots of lovely silks and fancy fabrics on rolls as well as big boxes of scraps. Of course, I couldn't help but rummage in the boxes. I love a good rummage! One of my finds was this lovely, soft, printed jersey in black and beige. It's beautiful quality and cost around $7. I went through my patterns and decided on this long-sleeved tee from the March 2014 issue of Burdastyle.

Burdastyle 03/2014#114
The interesting thing about this pattern is the little pleat, centre front and centre back, at the hemline.

Giving the illusion of a penis and a tail when standing side-on. And when you've finished admiring that aspect, check out my new boots! Bought last week on sale at Seed, 60% off. Love these.

The pleat is actually quite flattering I think, as long as it's not viewed side-on of course. It adds a bit of interest to the top.

I was short on fabric - again - so made the sleeves mostly black, from a scrap of viscose knit, with cuffs made from the main print. The neckline is also black.

I finished the hem and sleeves with a stretch stitch on my sewing machine. I usually use a twin needle for hems as I like the finish, but I find that the stitches often pop undone after a while. This was an experiment to see how the different hem stitch looks and holds up under pressure.

This was a pretty simple top to make. The hardest part is working out how to fold the pleat, which did take me some thinking. After that it's smooth sailing. This top is so comfortable and, thanks to the lovely fabric, quite stylish I think. I can see it being very well used until the weather warms up.

Worn with ponte pants (pointy pants if you turn me sideways!).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Lisette traveller dress - Simplicity 2246

I've been noticing chambray dresses here and there on the internet and suddenly I had a burning desire for one. I chose Simplicity 2246 as the picture looked pretty much exactly like the dress I wanted in style and fabric. Yep, zero creativity for this one!

Simplicity 2246
I looked in my stash and, sure enough, there was some chambray left over from the last time it was in fashion. When would that have been - the 80s, 90s? I love it when I've held on to something and it comes back into fashion!

This dress was straightforward to sew. I made size 12, one size below my measurements, and it's a good fit apart from the shoulders being just a tiny bit tight across the back when I put my arms forward.

I only had just enough fabric so the sleeves had to be elbow length and I had to leave off the collar. As it turned out, I quite like the simplicity of the collar stand without the collar and I'm happy with the sleeve length. The button panel and hems are topstitched with white thread.

I love the chambray and I'm always a fan of shirt dresses. It's funny how this fabric was so 'out' that it languished in the cupboard for years and now I just wish I had a bit more to make something else!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Biker-style ponte pants tutorial with free pattern pieces

So, you saw my ponte pants and want to make some of your own?

Let's do it!

You will need approximately 1 metre of ponte fabric, a leggings pattern* and a printout of my additional pattern pieces for the quilting and knee detail (download free here).

*I used the Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings pattern and modified it as described below. You can use your own leggings pattern or make one by tracing a pair of leggings (remember to add seam allowances).


The Virginia leggings pattern has no side seams. You need to create some by folding the pattern in half lengthwise (see below) so the two crotch curves match up as closely as possible. Open out again and trace separate front and back pieces using the fold line as the new side seam. Don't cut it out yet. Next you need to add at least 1.5cm all the way down each of the long leg seams (inside and outside leg). This is because ponte knit doesn't have the same amount of stretch as leggings fabric. Larger sizes may need to add more leg width. 

Check your printed knee and quilted pieces against your leggings pattern. Add width if necessary to match your leggings width. 

Cut out all your pattern pieces, including the printed ponte pants pieces, from ponte fabric that has been folded with selvedges together. Take note of grainlines and direction of greatest stretch.

With the two front pieces right side together sew the crotch seam using an overlocker, zig zag or other stretch stitch. Repeat for the two back pieces.

Mark the placement of the quilted piece on your front leggings pieces. Mine is marked in white chalk 27cm from the top of the side seam. Adjust yours as necessary depending on your size. Hold them up against your legs to check placement.

Fold over the top 1cm of the quilting piece and place it on the leggings front piece level with the chalk mark you just made. Pin in place.

Topstitch along the top edge of the quilting piece. I chose to use a straight stitch and stretch the fabric as I sewed so the resulting seam has some stretch. You could used a triple stretch stitch instead but I find it to be less neat than a straight stitch. You can see the seam being stretched as it is sewn below.

Using your sewing foot as a guide, stitch quilting lines through the two fabric layers all the way down the quilting piece. Remember to stretch as you sew. I moved my needle to the right to get stitching lines approximately 1cm apart.

This is the finished quilting. Don't worry if the sides are a bit uneven.

Fold the edges of the knee pieces over by 1cm and place them so they overlap the quilting pieces by 1cm. Pin in place.

Topstitch along the top and bottom edges of the knee piece, stretching as you sew.

If you fancy pockets, add them to the back leggings pieces now. I used the pockets and placement from my Jamie jeans pattern and topstitched them in place. If you don't have a jeans pattern, use a pair of jeans as a guide.

 Trim any excess fabric from the edges of your quilted and knee pieces then sew your leggings together with an overlocker or stretch stitch. I like to sew the inside leg seam first, matching the crotch seams, then the outside leg seams. Add the waistband, hem the lower edge and you're done.

Hooray. Ponte pants!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Ponte pants and another Briar t-shirt

Ponte pants. Ponte pants, ponte pants!

With quilting and knee patches.

Up until a week ago I didn't even know I needed these and now I can't get enough of them.

I liked them so much, I made another pair in black (a bit looser fitting). 

I've lightened these pictures to show the detail.

So comfortable.

And then my sister saw them and requested a pair....with back pockets.

So, here's what happened. I was chatting with my sister and she mentioned that she'd seen someone wearing ponte pants and how great they were and how she'd asked where this person had bought them from and this person said she'd bought them three years ago and they were no longer available. She chatted on a bit more but I wasn't really listening. My mind latched on to the words 'ponte pants' and careered off imagining what such things might look like and, more importantly, how I could make some. I knew immediately that mine would have a slight biker look. When I got home I googled some images and found my inspiration:

My inspiration was this ebay listing
I decided to use the Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings pattern as the basis for these and draw up some pattern pieces for the quilted area and knee patches. I created a side seam (this leggings pattern doesn't have a side seam) and widened the legs a bit to account for the limited stretch of the ponte.

And THEN, I drew up these pattern pieces all proper like so I could make a tutorial and include a download so anyone who also feels that they must have ponte pants can have them tooooo!

But you will have to wait until tomorrow for the tutorial and download. Also, the download will only be my quilted piece and knee piece. The Virginia leggings pattern is copyright, but you can get your own from here or use a different leggings pattern or even trace some of your own leggings and make your own pattern. 

So let's get that leggings pattern ready and tomorrow we'll make some ponte pants!

Oh yeah, and I made this t-shirt with the Megan Nielsen Briar pattern. Stretchy at the front and sleeves, woven at the back with a pleat for movement (described here).

 Oh and one more very exciting thing. Burdastyle recently asked for nominations so they could compile a list of the 50 best bloggers for sewing enthusiasts. AND I MADE THE LIST!!!! I can't believe it. Thank you so very, very, very much to whoever liked my blog enough to nominate me. I'm just happy that anyone wants to read about what I've made. Burdastyle now wants people to vote for their favourite blogs from the Top 50. There are some really great blogs on the list, so it's worth a look.

Until tomorrow xxx

Friday, 5 September 2014

Vogue 1313 in scuba knit!

I've been wanting to make this pattern for ages and I finally got my hands on it. Rather unadventurously, I made it exactly like the picture on the pattern in black with off-white side panels. However, I didn't emulate the startled pose of the model, who looks like she's trying to regain her composure after slipping over.

Here's the hilarious pattern photo:

Vogue 1313
I made the dress in size 12, a size smaller than my measurements would indicate, and the fit is good. It's a very comfortable dress that is not tight-fitting. I used black scuba knit from Spotlight with off-white ponte for the sides. I'm wondering if scuba knit is the same as neoprene, does anyone know? Anyway, it was lovely to sew and is very nice to wear - warm, but not sweaty. I bought a fancy zip from Spotlight too, nice and silvery.

It's hard to see the details of the dress with the black fabric, but there is decorative shoulder stitching, enhanced by the addition of fleece scraps on the inside. The seams are all topstitched too. The fleece backing on the shoulders added a lot of thickness which made it difficult to insert the neck and arm facing. Next time I would heavily trim the fleece to help this issue. The facing is made from a thin knit fabric to reduce bulk.

The only other issue I had was that the zip, despite being the recommended length, was slightly too short for the opening. It would look nicer finishing right on the neckline.

Otherwise, this was an easy dress to make and I do like that optical illusion that slims the body on both sides!

Looking at these pictures, I probably should have put on some more delicate shoes, but this is how I've been wearing the dress during the winter, with a jacket of course. Now spring is here I'll be daring and try it with bare legs!

I love this pattern just as much as I knew I would. The loose fit, the stretch fabric, the zip, the drop waist and the slouchy pockets. It's very me and I'm happy.


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