Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

Do you like sewing pants?  I’m not the biggest fan.  It’s not even the pants, it’s the hemming – ugh I hate hemming pants.  I can never get it polished enough like a real tailor would.  Since I’m picky when it comes to sewing details this is one thing that stops me from sewing pants.  But guess what?!  I sewed up some pants! Haha

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

I’ve been on the hunt for a good pair of pants that I can wear to work all the time. My requirements include but are not limited to – stylish, comfortable and a comfortable waistband as to not irritate my stomach incisions.  I would love more functional pockets so I don’t have to think about where to put my phone when I’m walking around.  I also would love to find a great pair of pants that can fit into or over my Chelsea Boots – this is an ongoing life struggle. 😉

I tried the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers but the fit wasn’t quite right although I do love the look of them when they are not on me or when they are on me and I am not moving. Lol.  They have no pockets though, which I thought I would be okay with but let’s be honest…  I need pockets.  I avoid carrying a purse if I can and I’m a fast walker so pockets are key for keeping me on the go.

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

In comes the Eleonore Pattern by Jalie Patterns – a pair of easy to wear pull-on jeans for everyday or in my case the office.  My dear friend, Helen of Valentine & Stitch happen to write a blog post about these pants at the same time I was on the lookout for a comfortable, functional and stylish pair of work pants.  Serendipitous? I think so! Plus don’t they look great styled with my Valentine and Stitch Dune top?

Here’s the rundown of my Eleonore sewing adventure:

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

The Process:

I will not lie I was a bit overwhelmed by all the sizes available. It was a little hard to see where my size was but little did I know I could print this pattern by size.  When printing, I was in a bit of a rush so paying attention to those details went out the window! Once I cut out Size “S” I followed their instructions on how to make your Eleonore pants into skinny jeans.

See the image here from their blog:

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I was very concerned about this as I thought this opened up the opportunity to ruin a pair of pants.  Even so, I decided to take them in about ½ inch on each side.  I wasn’t sure if that was enough but I rather too much room than having to squeeze my calves through a tiny hole.

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

I chose a black ponte roma fabric from Stylish Fabrics.  Except for struggling to tell what the wrong side and right side are the sewing of these pants was pretty uneventful.  I read the instructions through before I even began and re-read them several times during the process.  At first glance, it seems like there will be a ton of steps but really it’s just that they have the instructions in English on the left side of the page and in French on the right side.  What a relief!  Furthermore, I love how they match each step with a figure number making it extremely clear.  No room for ambiguity which is perfect in sewing!

I also love the story behind Eleonore – it’s about a very picky daughter of 4 ½ years who needed the perfect pant to fit her needs which really ended up being the needs of all of us! 🙂 You should give it a glance if you’re thinking about sewing up this pattern.

The Fit:

 

So what’s the verdict – did they hit my criteria?  Yes!  Surprisingly I made a pair of pants that I love! Stylish, comfortable, they don’t bother my stomach incisions, they have sizable back pockets that fit my phone and they fit over my Chelsea boots. Woohoo!  I wish you could see the details a bit better but this black color is so rich that it’s too hard to tell.  They turned out well nonetheless. 🙂

The verdict on the hem:

Last but not least, the hem looks great.  They don’t give away that they are handmade which means I will be wearing them again and again.  I gotta say these are the pants of my life! 🙂

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

Happy sewing! 🙂

Feel like pinning? Click below to head over to Pinterest:

Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie Patterns

 

Piedra Dress by Seamwork Magazine

Happy New Year!!  Wishing everyone all the BEST in 2018! 🙂

Have you ever used the hashtag – seamworkmag on Instagram?  Well, if you do you could potentially be chosen as a Seamwork favorite for the month and win a prize!

Surprisingly, I was chosen as one of the three finalists for the month of November for my Aires Leggings.  I posted about my leggings for #bpsewvember and although I didn’t win the big prize, I won my choice of 2 yards for jersey knit fabric from their new fabric shop.

They had three colors available Dusty White, Pale Blue, and Terracotta.  I never sew anything up in white so I thought to myself this is a great time to step out of my comfort zone and go for the Dusty White fabric shown in the Seamwork image below:

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

What did I sew up with my Seamwork prize?  A Seamwork pattern of course!  I looked through the Seamwork pattern selection and at their suggestions on the fabric’s description page and decided to go with their knit tent dress aka Piedra.

Seemed to me to be a nice classic dress that I could add to my work wardrobe.  Although wearing a white dress to work isn’t always ideal it is a nice change of pace from my normal dark colors.

The Low Down

Piedra is knit tent style dress that was designed with the changing seasons in mind.  It is a perfect mild winter dress especially for warmer climates where our winters are not terribly cold but there is still a chill in the air.  It pairs perfectly on its own or with tights.  I paired my Piedra dress with a long necklace and my wearable toile of the Seamwork Jill Coatigan.

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

The Process

I started sewing up my Piedra dress about a week before Christmas.  I was really hoping to wear it for the holidays but it didn’t work out that way.  I decided to use a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine but found that the feed dogs were stretching out the fabric.  At first I thought maybe a good press could take care of it but I was completely wrong.

So… no Christmas dress for me! Oh well… the other issue was that although I cut Piedra out in an XS it was much too big and I needed to refine the size.  But what was going to be the point of cutting this fabric to fit me properly if I didn’t have a machine to sew it up with properly??

There is always room for a Christmas miracle right?  Well, Christmas morning I received a Brother Lock 1034D from my very sweet husband. Problem solved! 🙂

In order to fix the stretched seams which at the time was the back seam, the sleeve caps and one side seam I just cut the seams away.  I evened out the side that I never sewed by cutting to match the other side then I sewed this dress using my new overlock machine!  I adjusted the feed dogs as I felt this fabric was a bit on the stretchy side and by the end of Christmas I had my new dress!

Piedra by Seamwork Magazine

(Side Note: I wish I had some “process” photos but unfortunately I haven’t been able to sew with natural light with the time change unless I do all my sewing on the weekends so no “process” photos for this post!)

Hiccups

  • Besides stretching my seams, I messed up on the neckband a bit.  The directions tell you to sew the neckband seam to match with the right shoulder seam.  I didn’t like how this laid on my shoulder so I ended up cutting the neckband out with a rotary cutter and moving the neckband seam to match with the center back seam.  I think it looks a lot cleaner this way but that is just my preference.
  • Another thing that didn’t work out so well is the back of the sleeve cap pops out a bit too far.  I needed to narrow this area on the pattern before I cut into the fabric as it is just too big for my frame.  Luckily, it isn’t noticeably in the front and if I pair this with a cute cardigan or jacket it covers it up just fine.

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Recommendations

  • Seamwork’s sizes run a little big so if you are on the petite side I would recommend making a toile or doubling checking your measurements against their chart.
  • If your fabric is on the stretchy side use an overlock machine if you have one.  I absolutely LOVE the Brother machine my husband bought me for Christmas!  I wish it was in my life sooner! Lol!
  • Sew the neckband seam to match the center back seam.

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Happy Sewing in 2018!

How to Sew Underwear Using Your Fabric Stash

Hey All!  I had the opportunity to share a post on how to sew underwear by copying a pair of RTW undies and using leftover fabric in your stash for Sewalicious.co.uk.  I’m sharing the post here on my blog but don’t hesitate to head over to their site and check it out! 🙂

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How to Sew Underwear Using Your Fabric Stash

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I’m very excited to share my first guest post for the Sewalicious blog!  We are going to do things a little differently and blog about a really fun idea to downsize holiday fabric waste.

As sewist you all know what it’s like to have several pieces of fabric leftover that just aren’t big enough to do anything with.  Well this won’t work for every piece of fabric but it might for those stretchy knit fabrics.

Today I’m going to give you a step by step guide on how to sew underwear using your RTW knickers as a copy all while tackling your fabric stash. (You can use one of the many underwear patterns available online as well – many are free!).

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Fortunately, I was lucky enough to use this gorgeous Traditional Floral Cotton Stretch Fabric from Sewalicious.  Hopefully you will have some gorgeous Sewalicious fabric in your stash too!

Step One:

Find yourself some stretchy knit fabric and if you have some picot elastic even better!  Mine is from Tailor Made Shop.

Step Two: 

Dig through your drawers for your favorite pair of undies (of course not just favorite – make sure you still like how they fit!)  Try to use fabric that has similar stretch to these for a good fit.

Step Three: 

Take out your tracing paper and a pencil.  I use a roll of medical paper and sometimes kraft paper but any paper will suffice.  Place your knickers down with pattern weights of your liking and trace your underwear.  Make sure to trace the front, back and lining.  Be sure to trace the front and back piece by separating them at the seam.  My seam is in the back so that will be where I draw a horizontal line to match both sides of the back pattern piece. My front pattern and lining pattern are one piece but I will draw a line on the pattern piece to indicate where the lining begins so I can also use the lining area as my guide to cut out a lining piece of fabric.

Step Four: 

Once completed remove your undies from the tracing paper and smooth out your traced lines with a marker or pen then add seam allowance. 1/4”-3/8” should suffice on all sides – remember you’re adding elastic to the waistband and leg openings so your seam allowance depends on the width of your elastic.  I’m using 3/8” wide picot elastic.

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Step Five: 

Cut out your new pattern and lay out your fabric.  Place your pattern pieces on the fabric following the direction of most stretch (I’m cutting on the bias) then cut.

Step Six: 

Measure the length of the waistband and leg openings to determine how much elastic you need for both then cut. You will have three strips of elastic.

Step Seven:

Time to sew! Using an overcast stitch sew the raw edge of the narrow side of the lining.  Take the front piece, the back piece and the lining and sandwich the front piece between the two with the wrong side of the front piece facing the wrong side of the lining piece.  Sew the three pieces together using a zigzag stitch then overcast stitch the edge.  Press the seam toward the back piece then using a zigzag stitch, sew the seam allowance to the back piece.

Step Eight:

Flip the front piece and lining piece so that the wrong sides are facing each other then baste the lining edge to the front edges.  Using a zigzag stitch, with the right sides of the front and back pieces facing each other sew the side seams.

Step Nine: 

Sew your elastic to the leg openings and waistband.  For picot elastic, line up the straight edge of the elastic with the right side edge of the leg opening.  Make sure the smooth side of the elastic is facing the fabric and the soft side is facing you.  Sew using a zigzag stitch.  Flip the elastic inside so just the picot edge is showing and sew in place using a zigzag stitch.  Repeat for the other leg opening and the waistband.

Step Ten:

Flip your knickers right side out, press and enjoy!

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Viola!  Now you have a pair of holiday knickers!

If you like this idea head over to my Pinterest page and “Pin It” to your favorite “Sewing” Board!

How to Make Knickers

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over ItI have been slowly putting together a work wardrobe but I had yet to add pants to my collection.  I saw several cute versions of the Sew Over It Ultimate Trouser on Instagram so I thought I would give it a try. 

The Low Down

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The Ultimate Trouser is meant to be simple pattern for advanced beginners.  There are only four pattern pieces and an invisible zipper.  It is a slim-fitting trouser that hits the ankle although you can make it shorter or longer depending on your taste. 

Materials

  • Your choice of woven cotton, corduroy, wool crepe, or denim
  • 9” invisible zipper

Purchased from

DTLA

The Process

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The Ultimate Trouser is meant to be sewn up pretty quickly.  I was intending on sewing this up over the week before I had major surgery but life had other plans.  Instead I sewed this up over several weeks as I wasn’t physically capable of sewing for a good portion of November.

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

It was a pretty simple pattern and the directions were just adequate.  Based on the measurements I sewed this up in a UK size 10 – this ended up being way too small for me to my surprise.  I ended up having to undo the center and side seams and use the seam allowance to make the appropriate adjustment.  This also threw off my invisible zipper installation which did not turn out so well.  I also chose fabric based on the recommendation which means there was no stretch so even though they fit when I sit down my body is very constricted by the fabric.  One source of disappointment was the pant hem.  I need to work on my technique or something because they truly give away that they are handmade.  They also do not taper below the calf to the ankle as nicely as all the images on their website which just makes it feel like a standard men’s trouser to me.

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

All in all they look nice on the hanger and they look okay on but they are not nice to wear.  I made a few style adjustments in my photos so that they are wearable but I’m not really sure when I’ll be able to wear these as I can’t imagine wearing these for hours at work. 

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I’m not sure if I will give these another try but I think I would like to use fabric that has a little stretch instead.  I definitely wish they would list an appropriate stretch fabric in their recommended fabrics. It also really bothers me that they do not taper correctly.

Hiccups

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

  • Wrong size
  • My invisible zipper isn’t invisible enough

Recommendations

  • Double or even triple check your measurements
  • Leave enough seam allowance in case you have to make adjustments
  • Try a fabric with some stretch for a more comfortable fit

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

Happy Sewing!

If you feel like pinning please do!  Click below to follow me on Pinterest!

The Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It

Tracy Bee Top from Seen and Sewn Patterns

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Tracy Bee Top Sewing Pattern

I had the chance to connect with Areille of Seen and Sewn Patterns over Instagram and was able to see her efforts into creating and launching her first pattern – Tracy Bee!  That is quite a feat so I was definitely impressed.  We got to talking and Areille so kindly gifted me her pattern that I will be reviewing here and hopefully inspiring some of you to try out for yourself!

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Top Pattern Review

Tracy Bee is a fun swing top pattern that lets you explore your creativity from the handmade revolutionist Areille of Seen and Sewn Patterns!  Tracy Bee is a printable PDF pattern that comes in two versions – an A-line shaped top and crop top length with three sleeve options including long, short and sleeveless.  This top is visually striking with two triangle inserts near the shoulder and v-shaped back neckline.  This pattern would be great to dress up for the office whether you go for the A-line or wear the crop with a layering tank underneath.  You can easily dress this up for a night on the town or feel spunky while casually strolling around town.  The design opportunities are endless with the two triangle inserts!

Click on the picture below to order your Tracy Bee pattern from Seen and Sewn Patterns:Seen and Sewn Logo

Materials:

The pattern booklet recommends lightweight woven fabrics, quilting cotton, voile and rayon

  • Matching all-purpose polyester sewing thread
  • Universal needle
  • Marking pencil
  • Single-fold bias tape for the sleeveless option

Purchased from:

LA Fashion District

I purchased my fabric from Downtown LA of course… 😉

The Process:

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

The fabric hunt took me a bit as I wasn’t finding the inspiration I needed until I came across this sage green polka dot gauzy goodness just flowing in the breeze outside of one the fabric shops downtown.  It was hard to resist and after a bit of bargaining I got it at a great price!  I decided to go for black for the triangle inserts because they would match the polka dots and I want this top to be versatile.  These colors lend itself to that so it’s a winner for me!

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Tracy Bee is a beginner’s pattern so if you have experience with woven fabrics it is an uncomplicated sew. What you really need to pay attention to is making sure you cut out all the pieces correctly as there are several small pieces – including the inserts and the facings.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Tracy Bee has 11 steps.  I was able to complete this over a course of 5 days doing one step at a time.  It probably took me about 3 hours in total to complete from cutting out the PDF pattern to hemming the top.  It would probably take less time if you worked straight through and didn’t have a kitty trying to eat your thread and pins. Haha

First you sew up the darts.  I used to love sewing up darts in college!  It was something about getting the right mark every time.  I haven’t sewn a dart in a while so this was a nice treat.  I clipped all the notches as instructed but just to be sure I used my tailors chalk to outline where exactly the dart should lie so I could hit it as precisely as possibly.  I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped but let’s just blame that on the gauzy fabric shall we?

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Next up- you attach your triangle inserts to the front main fabric which is less complicated then it seems.  Then you attach your center front yoke to the inserts and the front main fabric which can be a little tricky to keep everything lined up so go slow.  I feel like I overestimated the seam allowance on the center front portion of the yoke and main fabric so it ended up popping out a bit instead of lying flat against my clavicle.  To fix my mistake I pressed it down and sewed on an edgestitch so it wouldn’t pop out.  That seemed to work out just fine.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Your next few steps are to attach the back main fabric then sew on the facing and complete the facing with an edgestitch so it lies flat.  Then you’re in the home stretch!  From here all you need to do is attach your sleeves, sew up the side seams and hem your new top! But take note that Tracy Bee has an asymmetrical hem and therefore you will need to pay special attention along your side seams to make sure you sew a clean rounded edge.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Now Tracy Bee is ready for action! 🙂

Hiccups:

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

I mentioned a few in “the process”

  1. The gauziness of my choice of fabric made my darts not as stiff and precise as I would have liked 😉
  2. I overestimated the seam allowance while attaching the yoke to the main fabric – a simple edgestitch was the solution
  3. To make up for my darts I had to use a little more seam allowance on the sides for the top to match up correctly

Overall, it didn’t take away from the integrity of the pattern as it turned out true to form!

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Recommendations:

Please use a stiffer cotton than I did!  🙂

Also, be sure to trace out your darts (especially the center line) on the wrong side of the fabric – this will help you immensely especially if you are new to darts.

Tracey Bee Top Pattern

Tracey Bee Top PatternHappy Sewing!

Dune Top Pattern Hack by Valentine & Stitch

Fashion Sewing | Dune Top Sewing Pattern

***Valentine & Stitch patterns are sadly no longer available in the marketplace***

I think at this point you may have a suspicion that I love patterns from Valentine and Stitch… or maybe I wasn’t obvious enough!  I didn’t venture too much into knits until I started sewing up their patterns.  It’s really been great and has given me a lot of confidence in sewing stretchy fabric.  My most recent make was the Dune maxi which you can read about here.  My next course of action was the Dune top which was my intention from the beginning.  I even bought fabric for it way ahead of time!  I was planning on sewing it one weekend and realized that I didn’t have it printed out which lead me to stumble upon my Deer and Doe Plantain pattern which you can read about here.  I’m currently putting together what I think would be a versatile casual work wardrobe for the office.  I have two shirts down – Deer and Doe Plantain and I just completed two more of the Dune top.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Fashion Sewing | Top Pattern Review

Now, I did this one a little differently.  I created one Dune based on the pattern (you will notice that this fabric matches one of my Plantain shirts) and one I hacked!  Why would I hack a perfectly good pattern you might ask?  Well it really had nothing to do with the pattern but more so with my fabric options.  I wanted to sew up my second Dune in a lightweight gray jersey but I was short a few inches on my fabric.  Then I took out some extra black jersey knit fabric which I had plenty of but once I saw it laid out I thought to myself I need a little oomph! So I looked through the rest of my stash and realized I had some matching fabric in pink, purple and blue.  What could I do?!  Color blocking naturally 😉

The pink and black color block Dune was born!

The Low Down:Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Dune is a summery top or maxi dress from the lovely Helen and Rich of Valentine and Stitch.  Dune is a printable PDF pattern with the option of sewing the top or the dress with a round neck or a scoop neck. This garment is meant to be flowy and flattering as it drapes away from your body but still hugs you in all the right places.  You can sew your top or dress in a stretch jersey or light cotton jersey.  This is a very versatile pattern that can be enjoyed while hanging out at the beach our dressed up for a party or even dressed professionally for a day in the office.

VS logo

Materials:

Stretch jersey such as viscose or rayon jersey, bamboo jersey, and silk jersey OR light cotton jersey with a good drape or for a more stable fabric use a heavier weight cotton jersey, crepe jersey or a scuba

(*If you are using a fabric with less stretch, you may wish to lengthen the neck and arm bands slightly.)

  • Ballpoint needle
  • Twin needle (optional)
  • Coverstitch machine (optional)
  • All-purpose polyester sewing thread

Purchased from:

LA fash District

I purchased my fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric District.  I purchased my thread from Joann.com – Gutterman 10 and 307.

The Process:

Here is what I did-

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

I used my dress form and my first Dune to get an idea of how high I wanted the apex of what I will call the bottom portion of the top.  On the small sized pattern, I decided to measure down 7″ from the center back and 6 1/2″ from the back side seam then I connected the points.  For the center front I measured down 6 inches and 6 3/4″ from the front side seam then I connected those two points as well.

I cut the pattern on the new line and attached the pieces to tracing paper where I added a 3/8” seam allowance like the pattern calls for.  I trued the sides and cut the new pieces out.

I pinned the top pieces to the pink fabric and the bottom pieces to the black fabric.  I was sure to start my color block below the sleeves so that I wouldn’t have to deal with a multi-colored armband although I’m sure I could have gotten away with one color.

Next, I cut all my pieces out and sewed the two front pieces together and the two back pieces together being very careful at the apex not to have a weird ripple.  I then sewed everything as the directions explained.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

This probably isn’t something I would usually do but I really like how it turned out.  I am especially happy with how the color block seam lays and how the apex hits right at the bridge of my bust.

Hiccups:

My only complaint is that I think my fabric stretched a little too much around the neckline but I think pressing it was a good remedy.  This fabric is quite stretchy so some unwanted stretch is inevitable.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

My other hiccup wasn’t on this hack but on my first Dune top and that was because the fabric wasn’t as stretchy so the side seams pointed out a bit more than I was used to. This also became a problem when sewing on the neck and arm bands.  The directions state to cut your bands longer if you have less stretch in your fabric which I forgot about. Ultimately it turned out fine because once I wore it the fabric softened up a bit and the sides and bands became more flattering.

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Recommendations: 

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

One thing that I did was I trimmed the excess seam allowance from the neckband and the armband before I attached them to the bodice.  That way they would lie flatter and not get stuck under my presser foot which is a problem I tend to have.

Also if you do plan on doing the hack be sure measure where the seam line will hit your body best so it is most flattering.  Please use a ruler for precision!!

Otherwise have fun sewing up Dune!  You won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Tank Top Sewing Pattern

Happy Sewing!