Everybody’s Talking about my Tight Pants (S8222)

I made jeans! And they turned out pretty okay.

This was quite an involved project and if it wasn’t for the Sudoku Wardrobe I probably would have let this remain a WIP for a long while. I ended up having to seam rip a few times (which is my least favorite) and McGuyver as solution for my button, but in the end I am happy with my wearable muslin.

Pattern Review – Simplicity 8222

Pattern Description: Mimi G’s design for skinny jeans. Includes three options for the back piece to fit slim, average, and curvy.

Pattern Sizing: 6-14. I went with size 14 average.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. While there are a lot of steps to constructing the jeans, the instructions were very clear. I did do a few things differently (noted below) and I also didn’t interface anything, as per Angela Wolf in the Craftsy Class “Sewing Designer Jeans.”

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was looking for a classic skinny jean and I think this pattern is a good starting point. I like also the Mimi G has a sew-along for this on you-tube with videos for each step. I did go watch the video for the fly because I was nervous about that. It actually wasn’t difficult to put together, however I will change the design of that area for my next make.

Fabric Used: Stretch denim (97% cotton/3% spandex) in a dark indigo blue color from Hancock’s, so it’s been in the stash for a while.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Quite a few actually, and I’ll likely make some more in the future as well.

What I changed:

  • Front Pockets: I used a one piece lining design for the pockets as instructed by Angela Wolf. This includes a french seam on the inner edge of the pocket and the entire side of the pocket is attached to the side seam. It also reduces bulk since I used a light quilting cotton for the pocket lining.

  • Side seam. The side seams are the last to be sewn (before attaching the waistband) and when I tried them on, they were too loose! And this was after I had already decided to stitch with a 3/4″ seam (rather than the 5/8″) called for. I wanted it to be very fitted throughout. Also, I had about a 2″ gape at the top of the center back. I guess by booty is more curvy than I thought? Anyway, I ended up taking apart the side seam and cutting of 3/4″ from the back leg at the side seam. I also cut a bit of a triangle dart shape at the top of the back side seam (the CB was already top stitched so I just took it of the sides) taking 1/2″ at the top and grading out to 0″ at the hip.

  • Belt Loops: The belt loop piece was 3″ wide and the instructions said to fold it twice (4 thicknesses!). Instead I used 1 1/2″ wide and folded it in 3. I cut the strip from the selvage so I didn’t have to finish the edge…just fold and stitch.

What I will change for the next time:

  • Fly overlap: I don’t like the way the fly is designed. There is only the standard 5/8″ seam allowance on the right side so even though you scoot the zipper teeth over by 1/4″ it still peaks out … especially since these are so fitted and stretch around my body. I think I’ll add a wider seam allowance just on that part so I can tuck the zipper in a bit further.

  • Button troubles: This has nothing to do with the pattern and everything to do with my inability to use a hammer. I tried and failed to attach jeans buttons 3 times! in the end I tore a bit of a hole in the waist band where the tack was so I ended up doing a bit of a patch job with interfacing on the outsides and then a regular button over the top. Not the prettiest, but usable.

Inside of waistband at front. Patch behind new “regular” button.

A bit of interfacing behind the button.

  • Lower front waistband: I’m not sure why but on me the waistband slopes up in the front and reaches my bellybutton. On the back it is just right. I’ll have to play around with the pattern and likely lower the center front by about and inch and then grade out to meet the back at the side seam. Or, maybe I should take it out kind of like a dart being folded out only lower along the center front (mid-zipper maybe?) to maintain the shape of the waistline curve. Not sure…I’ll have to think about it. I think if the waistband cuts across my mommy tummy it will help keep it a bit tighter there…plus be a bit more to my preference.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I plan to sew it again in white denim making the changes listed above as well as making it more of a cropped pant. I’ll have to compare the changes I already made to the shaping at the side seams and decide if I need to go down a size. I’ll also have to be sure to compare the stretch in the denims to see if maybe I don’t have to tighten it as much. I do recommend it (with the slight note above for the fly) but it is an involved process to construct so keep that in mind.

Conclusion: Okay final product with great potential (with a few tweaks) to be a perfect jeans pattern.

Spring is Coming…I’m ready! (S2455)

It was still a bit chilly outside as we took the pictures of my latest top for the Sudoku Wardrobe Contest. But, the snow had all melted and I could just imagine that soon it will be warm enough to enjoy being outside. When it is, I’ll have a fun new top to wear!

Shows the invisible zipper in the right side seam.

Pattern Review – S2455

Pattern Description: Threads collection pattern set includes jacket, top, dress, and pants option. I used view C for the top. The top has grown on cap sleeves, two pleats at the neckline, and a neck band.

Pattern Sizing: 8-16. I cut size 14 but used 3/8″ allowance rather than the 5/8″ called for.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. Although the pattern envelope only shows the top under the jacket so there isn’t a really good view of it. It looks like the dress but cropped to the hip. Also, the fabric I chose was a quite a bit more casual than shown, but I think it works great as a light spring top.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I changed it up completely. The eyelet fabric I chose has quite large holes and I didn’t want anything peeking through so I decided to line the front and back (but not the neckband) with some super light cotton fabric that was shelved with the eyelet but has no stitching on it. Its quite sheer but does the job of providing a bit of modesty.

My stitching order was as follows:

  • piece the fronts and backs using the fashion fabric, leaving the right side seam open for the zip.
  • piece the lining using the white fabric, leaving the right side seam open for the zipper.
  • stitch the lining to the fashion fabric at the left armhole (the one that is complete).
  • “burrito” to stitch the right armhole…this is the one that was open at the side seams.
  • stitch the top inch or so of the right side seam on both the fashion side and the lining side.
  • insert the invisible zip and complete the right side seam
  • add neckband as instructed in the pattern. (although I didn’t interface it)
  • hem both lining and fashion fabric (with lining about 1/2″ shorter) using a narrow hem.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the fit of the pattern and the ease of construction. The side seams are shaped and there is a back seam that also adds shaping. I imagine if you didn’t add lining as I did it would be a much easier make. Also, I think this would be super cute in a knit fabric!

Fabric Used: Coral (leaning toward orange) eyelet from JoAnn’s and lined with a “blank” white eyelet fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a lining. I also decreased the seam allowance to 3/8″ for all seams except for the neckband which I kept at the 5/8″ called for. I also accidentally put the zipper on the right side seam instead of the left side seam but that doesn’t really matter to the appearance.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I love the way this turned out and can see this pattern being a TNT for a basic light top. As mentioned above, this would be super comfy in a knit fabric, especially the dress version which I have my eye on. 🙂

Conclusion: Awesome addition to my Spring Sudoku Wardrobe. I look forward to the weather warming up so I can wear it!

I said a Zig, Zag, Ziggity, Zag (M7360)

Another top completed in my Spring Sudoku Wardrobe! I’ve had this fabric for almost 2 years and had planned to make a top just like this but had never gotten around to it. Finally, with the great excuse of completing this wardrobe challenge I did it.

It’s a super comfy henley blouse with long sleeves, though I’ll likely wear it with sleeves rolled up and use the tab.

Pattern Review – M7360

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, pullover tops have neck band, half placket, back pleated into self-lined yoke with forward shoulder seams, no shoulder seams, French darts, hemline variations, and narrow hem. I made view C which has button tabs, two-piece sleeves, seam opening on long sleeves, button cuffs, rolled sleeves and hemline.

Pattern Sizing: 6-14, and I cut a straight 14 which is technically a size smaller than I should use based on measurements.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. I was most concerned about the henley opening, especially at the bottom, but I followed the instructions and all went all.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I think this is a perfect casual (or even a bit dressy) blouse! I might have to look at the other various including a short sleeve version and the longer hemline. I did find the marking for the buttonholes on the cuffs were set in too far, but it was too late for me to redo them. Since I’ll mostly be wearing this with the sleeves rolled up, it should be fine.

Fabric Used: Navy and cream polyester purchased from Hancock’s about 2 years ago. It was always meant to grow up to be a top like this, but just took me a while to get around to it.

I think I kept putting it off because I was nervous about using such slippery fabric. I didn’t interface any parts of it (really bad of me I know) but I didn’t want to mess with the semi-sheer-ness of it. I did spray starch and iron the cuffs, neckband, and henley band which helped give the fabric a bit of body while I sewed. I’ll have to see what happens when I wash it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None! Although, the bust dart is a bit high for me so if I make this again I’ll have to lower it by about 1″ or 1.5″. Other than that, it’s a perfect fit!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I can imagine having a few versions of this top in my closet. I would definitely recommend it to others, although depending on the type of fabric you choose it may be easier if you aren’t a complete beginner.

Conclusion: Lovely and comfy top, perfect for spring!

Blue “Duchess” Jacket – M5327

The third item for my Sudoku Wardrobe challenge is finished and it’s super fun! I was inspired by the “Duchess” blazer which is basically a standard blazer with a unique hem on the back. I used a pattern already in my stash (McCall’s 5327) which had a scalloped back hem, and used view A with short sleeves because I only had a small amount of the stashed fabric I wanted to use.

Original “Duchess” Blazer costs $595!!!!!

 

My version used free gifted fabric, and thrifted pattern ($0.50) and 2 buttons. Total cost, about $5!!!

I wore it to church today with my bird shirt, tank, and skirt from my closet. This is my first outfit complete! Looking at it all together now, I sort of feel like it looks like something a flight attendant would wear on a really awesome Caribbean flight…Jamaica Air maybe?

Pattern Review – M5327

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket has princess seams, collar, lapels, flaps, shaped hemline with back slits and sleeve length variations.

A note on the sleeves…view A has short sleeves with lots of gathers on the cap and they are really puffy! I sort of feel like Anne of Green Gables in her puff-sleeve dress. 🙂

Pattern Sizing: 12-18 and I made size 14 which is technically 1 size too small for my bust/waist but turned out perfect. I prefer my clothes more on the fitted end and after checking finished garment sizes have tended to go down a size on big 4 patterns.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes! I really had to be creative with pattern layout to get everything to fit on the small amount I had but I got everything to fit. I only cut one layer for the sleeve and just turned the hem under (instead of having a double thick sleeve). I also cut the under collar and hem facing on the bias with a seam instead of fold, just so I could fit it on the fabric.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! I followed them exactly and it worked out great. There is quite a bit of hand stitching necessary to attach the front facing at the side and shoulder seams as well as stitch down the collar but it wasn’t to bad and I like the way it finishes the inside nicely. The instructions do recommend folding under and stitching the seam allowances to finish them, but I just used my serger.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really liked all of it. If I ever make this again, I think I’d add some length as I prefer my jackets longer, but with limited fabric, I just used the pattern as designed. I might also consider removing some of the puff from the sleeve for a bit of a more traditional look.

Fabric Used: Bottom weight twill gifted to me by a neighbor.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t include the faux-pocket flaps (just flaps with no pocket underneath). I also used two buttons instead of one because I wanted the center front to lay flatter when closed (though I’ll more often just wear it open).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Its a nice pattern for an unlined jacket, but with the distinctive sleeves and back hem I think I’ll try another blazer pattern to make a more traditional lined version. It was a great first try for me since it is unlined and rather simple to put together so I would recommend it (though I know the pattern is out of print).

Conclusion: Love the jacket and it will go great with everything in the Sudoku Wardrobe. This process got me excited about possibly making some more structured jackets in the future…maybe for a fall wardrobe?