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Being the mum of a tween girl, it isn’t an easy when it comes to choosing clothes. With a girl who has ever increasing opinions on EVERYTHING, we have frequently been at an impasse of what is ok to wear. Bring back the days where the biggest sartorial battle of the day was her wanting to wear a garish princess dress and cat wellies to the supermarket! (Note to former self: choose your battles!)
A particular problem with the tween sect is that a lot of clothes available for age 9+ are designed with teenagers in mind, and therefore often uncomfortably grown up. This is magnified further when the man you have children with is 6’4” and your children are always fitting into clothes at least two years ahead of their age group!
As we all know, sewing our own clothes allows us to choose style and fit. However many pattern designers aimed towards children concentrate on the under 8 group. This often leaves those of us wanting to sew for children (especially boys) over the age of 9 with woefully slim pickings.
Enter indie pattern designer Liesl + co. Their Oliver & S range cater for boys and girls up to 12 years of age. What’s more, they still look like children’s clothes. With careful fabric choices we might just tread that ever thin line of what our children want to wear and what we as parents will allow!
The fabric I chose for the Jersey top is a plain black cotton spandex from Sewalicious. This fabric hits that sweet spot between being thick enough to be stable for easy cutting and sewing, without being so thick that it will be bulky and hot. It has a good amount of stretch and excellent recovery. I used a tracing wheel and carbon paper to preserve the pattern as I plan to make some in other sizes.
For the culottes, I chose the stunning mustard colour medium weight cotton from Dashwood Studios. (Just look at those sausage dogs!) I was pleasantly surprised at how soft and drapey this fabric is while giving perfect structure for the pleats in the culottes. It would also make lovely skirts and dresses. It is an ideal fabric for a beginner to use, as it’s so stable, and behaves itself beautifully under the sewing machine.
I did have to shave some volume from the width at the hem of the culottes as the fabric is only 112cm and the pattern piece doesn’t fully fit. However, the bottoms are so wide that this in no way compromised the look of the garment.
The verdict: A lovely outfit which is playful enough to be suitable for a child, but in choosing black jersey, it instantly gives the style a more grown up feel. The Top would look great with jeans and the pockets would look ace with some of the embroidered patches.
I would definitely recommend the pattern from Liesl & Co, a wide range of which is available from Sewalicious.
My very good friend and I were given two tickets for the Fashion Week Festival and Catwalk Show by my generous daughter Amy and her business partner Nicki.
We attended on Thursday 22 February and what a fabulous day we had!
The catwalk was set out well and the seating enabled us to have an excellent view of all the fashions and models.
There were three sections:
This collection featured many fine pleats both in the fabrics and in the design. Patterns, spots and stripes were prominent as were bright colours, some florals and plenty of blue, white and peachy shades. Accessories were large sun hats and bags worn with ankle socks, block heel shoes and sandals. A lot of the garments were feminine and floaty.
In this section we saw designs that were more structured, some softened with flounces and others much more angular. Black, white and red was very prominent. Fabrics were often glossy or metallic with some sheers, whilst others were matt and dark. Stripes and spots still featured on some of the garments or the accessories. Shapes varied from very fitted and structured to full, oversized and flouncy. What was very evident was an asymmetrical look on both skirts and trousers, featuring frills and uneven hemlines. Again hats, ankle socks and large sunglasses seemed to be the order for this coming season. I even spotted a 50’s headscarf just like my mum used to wear. A lot of black and white brightened up with red.
Neon colours and loose-fitting casual style designs were the order of the day for the Cyber Sports section. Definitely designs based on tracky bottoms and hoodies but with a very visual take. Fabrics varied from soft and drapey to structured and metallic. Lots of ruching, flounces, logos and fastenings used as part of the design. Again, we saw several asymmetrical garments. Plenty of layering too in this section added to the casual look.
Overall it was an exciting peek into tomorrow’s fashions for the new season. It will be very interesting to see how the high street diffuses these initiatives. My take on it I think will be spots and stripes, flounces, large hats, bags and sunglasses. The look I feel will be 50s/50s vintage for a feminine look but still with the casual option of loose-fitting soft sports-style clothes. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
GET THE LOOK!
So here are a few suggestions of how we could all recreate the trends we saw on the catwalk using Sewalicious patterns and fabrics:
Named Clothing Ailakki Cross Front Jumpsuit In Cerise Pink Crepe Or Jet Black Double Crepe Fabric
Named Clothing Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress In Mediterranean Stripes
Named Clothing Sloane Sweatshirt In Daisy Bloom Cotton Jersey Named Clothing Astrid Wrap Pants In Chambray Dots
Named Clothing Helmi Blouse In Geo Gold By Sevenberry Peg Shorts In Turquoise Batik
Named Clothing Stella Shirt Dress In March Of The Lotus Or Pastel Roses
Nina Lee Bloomsbury Blouse…lengthen Into A Dress! In White Spots On Black Crepe De Chine Or Bubbles Viscose
Named Clothing Helmi Tunic Dress In Cerise Or Black Crepe
Named Clothing Stella Blouse Paired With Tilly & The Buttons Dominique Skirt In Polka Cerise Cotton By Sevenberry
When I first came across the Jiffy blouse DIY (on Pinterest, obviously!) I was beyond intrigued… It is the easiest premise for a blouse ever! And it looks beautiful on the model! The top is basically a rectangle, with a hole in the centre and ties at the hem, so you can wrap it and tie it round your body, easy peasy!
Step 1. Cut 3 rectangles. A large one at 70cm x 120cm, this will become the base of the top. I also cut two other rectangles at 20cm x 120cm and 5cm x 100cm, these will become the ties for the top. Note - When cutting I didn’t make my top 70cm wide. And ultimately it wasn’t wide enough and this caused problems in Step 10! So, make sure you make it wide enough to go around your body.
Step 2. Next you’re going to fold the large rectangle and along this fold is where you will be cutting the hole for your head. This is your shoulder line basically. I would suggest leaving the back portion slightly longer by about 10cm. You can see in my photos that I made my back and front equal length and it eventually ends up making the back look shorter.
Step 3. Fold this rectangle in half again long ways. If you can imagine it in relation to the garment you are making, it would be folding it along the CF or CB line.
Step 4. On this CF fold I then snipped 2.5cm from the top, and along the neckline fold I snipped 10cm along. I then cut out the area from the snip on the CF to this snip 10cm along the shoulder line, creating a hole for the neckline.
Step 5. Try it on, aka pull this hole over your head, to make sure you have made the neckline big enough. If not fold it again as I have said and cut it slightly bigger. I would suggest making small amendments each time until you get it to fit, as you don’t want to end up with a big gaping neckline.
Step 6. Double fold and hem all around this large rectangle to finish the edges. You can finish the neckline with facing like I have done, or with a double fold. Just whatever is appropriate depending on your fabric.
Step 7. Take one of the smaller rectangles you cut in step one. Fold it in half, right sides facing and stitch closed the ends and along the open edge.
Step 8. Then fold it in half lengthwise and cut.
Step 9. Pull the ends through on each so you have right sides out and press flat. Finish off the open end with a double fold, or by pressing your ends in and topstitching. Whatever you fancy. You will now have two identical strap pieces. Repeat steps 7-9 for the other smaller rectangle. Giving you two large straps and two thinner straps.
Step 10. Attach the thinner straps to the bottom on the front side of your large rectangle and the larger straps to the back side. And you’re done! Pull the hole over your head and tie up your top as I’m showing you above!
As you can see in my images I positioned my straps about halfway up my shirt to try and combat the issue of not cutting it wide enough as I mentioned in step one. I also had to gather my shoulders in to combat this error as it left me with some pointy, odd-looking sleeves!
I made my top up in a lovely 100% cotton fabric from Sewalicious called Sevenberry Spot. I love the fabric- very breathable and nothing better for a spring summer wardrobe!
Thanks for reading lovelies. And let me know if you give this DIY a go!
Hello again everyone! I’m Trish, a sewist and crafty person from Ottawa, Canada you can follow me @floralsflannels to learn more about me.
I don’t know about people in other parts of the world, but in Canada during the dead of winter, lots of people travel “down south” for a week or two to soak up the sun. I do not happen to be one of those lucky people. As I sit here, in my toque, cozy socks, sipping on a cup of hot tea in -30 degree windchill (why do I live in Canada?) I’m dreaming of the sunny days yet to come! Specifically, I’m really looking forward to our upcoming trip to Ireland at the end of May 2018!
My backyard reality.
Booked on a whim, completely on credit card points, my husband and I are beyond excited for our tour of the Emerald Isle. We’ve got everything booked and planned – even almost down to the outfit.
A personal sewing goal I’ve set for myself is to bring a predominantly handmade travel capsule wardrobe with me on my trip. I’m vowing not to overpack (so. hard.), to bring clothes that suit the temperature and occasion, and to make the most of a coordinated wardrobe! Rick Steves, travel guru, said that if you’re not going to wear it at least 3 times – don’t pack it.
So the first question I asked myself – how exactly do I plan a travel capsule wardrobe? Here are the steps I’ve used thus far. So whether you’re heading to Florida for spring break or to the Alps for a ski vacation, here are some helpful tips and guidelines.
STEP 1: TEMPERATURE
The first step I took in planning my wardrobe was to take a look at the historical weather data for the time of year we’re visiting. Based off my internet research, unseasonably low for May in Ireland would be 3°C, (37 F), while an unseasonable high would be 21° C (or 71 F). Typically however, I should be preparing for weather in the 8-18 °C range (47 to 65 F). On top of that, a 30% chance of showers for our duration.
Just by that I know I can leave my parka at home, but I am going to need lots of options for layering (typically I’m always cold).
STEP 2: ITINERARY
Chris (my husband) and I have spent a lot of time planning out our itinerary and we have so many cool attractions and places we’d like to see. If I break it down to three main categories though, I need outfits for three major sets of activities:
Casual daywear for when we’re walking/driving around the major cities (Dublin, Belfast, Galway, etc)
Nice clothes for going out to dinner in
I needed to make sure my wardrobe takes into account all those variables, and that I would have pieces that could transition between activities.
STEP 3: COLOUR
The next thing I wanted to consider was which colours I was going to wear. I wanted to have an overall “palette” so that I could interchange items more easily within my wardrobe (hence, capsule wardrobe). I hummed and hawed about this for a little while, but in deciding, I considered:
What do I already have in my closet – colours and neutrals?
What fabrics do I already have in my stash that I would like to sew up for this?
What colours do I tend to gravitate to? Feel comfortable in?
What colours look good on me?
What shoes do I plan on wearing (good footwear = essential)?
After a couple of different variations, this is the palette I chose:
Blush pink, light blue, beige, navy and white.
I suggest picking 3-4 colours, and fill up the rest of the wardrobe with neutrals. Now. There are people who will advocate that you should pick mostly neutral colours. Or wear all black. To them, I say “Pish posh!” (that’s something British people say, right? Sounds way better in my head with an accent.) I almost never wear black. If black’s your thing – go for it, but if it’s not, don’t feel limited.
I love colour. I couldn’t live, not even for two weeks, with a wardrobe without colour. Another thing I advocate for (with caution) is patterns on fabric. As long as they fit with your palette, and you have some neutrals that would pair with it, Bob’s your Uncle. Whatever you choose, fill out your palette with coordinating neutrals (white, beige, navy, brown, black, grey, denim) and you’ll be all set.
STEP 4.5 FABRIC
I debated for a long time, what should come next in my planning – fabric or patterns? It’s a real chicken-before-the-egg situation, because how do you know what fabric you’ll need without the patterns? But how do you know what pattern to choose without considering appropriate fabrics for the weather?
Hence, step 4.5
For fabrics, lots of things I considered:
Breathability – in this category, natural fibres really shine. Cotton and linen are lovely and breathable – but will wrinkle a lot. You might want to consider a blend with synthetic fabrics to get the best of both worlds. Wool is fantastic – a merino wool jersey would be dreamy, and a thicker wool or wool blend is great for cooler climates. For outerwear, Gore-Tex is both waterproof and breathable.
Wash-ability – not a real word, but a real worry when travelling. I’m planning my wardrobe under the assumption that we will do laundry at least once over the course of two weeks. However, there may be times that we might need to do a little handwashing. Either way- dry cleaning will not be an option, and my wardrobe will reflect that.
Wrinkle situation – one of my pet peeves is having all my clothes get wrinkly in the suitcase. Even if you iron it, if you’re wearing it several times, that gets to be a bit frustrating. We’re also moving from place to place almost every night, meaning it will be packed away each time (Pro tip: try the rolling method for packing your clothes!). Wrinkles, I’m sure are not a deal breaker for everyone. If you were travelling somewhere super warm, for instance, I’m sure you’d much prefer to be wearing a wrinkly linen kaftan rather than a polyester one. However, synthetic fabrics definitely win in the wrinkle category. Having the addition of polyester or nylon can make a fabric a lot less wrinkly (sidenote: viscose/rayon I find does get wrinkly). Knits, I find hold up well in a suitcase, especially a thicker knit like ponte di roma or scuba. If you are opting for a 100% cotton, why not try a cotton lawn? The longer, finer thread fibres tend to inhibit some of the wrinkliness. Find a balance on this (or fabric blend) depending on the climate and your tolerance for wrinkles.
Impermeability – Fancy word for – if you’re caught in the rain, how bad would that be? For example, I recently made a jacket out of viscose twill. If fabric could throw a temper tantrum, that’s how it reacted when it got wet. Again, synthetic fibres tend to be a little more forgiving and at times, quick drying, than their natural counterparts. Heavier weight fabrics, like canvas can be made more resistant to elements by adding wax. Wool will typically still keep you warm even when wet. I will be packing a raincoat still for sure!
Here are some Sewalicious Fabric/Pattern Recommendations:
Here’s where I really enjoyed thinking about all the different combinations of things that could be created depending on your colour palette. Like a slot machine of flat-lays spinning round in my head…
Which patterns should you pick? Although I’ve listed some above that might work, this was my process.
First, I made a list of what items I thought I should bring. This was my short list:
Two pairs of pants (for warmer climates, 1 pant, 1 short/skirt)
Already made: a super warm, handmade, cable knit wool cardigan
Store bought: A raincoat
Store bought: Two pairs of leggings
Store bought: Bathing suit (I have fabric and plans to sew one, but not sure if I’ll get to it on time).
Looking at this list, it’s quite ambitious. It’s quite probable that I might not be able to finish everything I set out to sew, but the nice thing is that if it’s not done for May, they’re all projects that I would wear in my day-to-day wardrobe anyway, and that I would want to complete at some point just to have my own, me-made coordinating wardrobe.
Now, as I crank up the heat in my sewing space, I have lots of fun sewing and travel adventures to look forward to for the rest of this winter!
Hi all! It's Holly here for another Sewalicious pattern and fabric review! I hope everyone is getting along ok so far with their 2018 sewing plans and not feeling the winter blues too much!
For this project I picked the Snow Leopard print crepe, I had my eye on this fabric for a while and spent quite a lot of time thinking about what to make with it, but decided to sew the Named Clothing Helmi Tunic dress. In the winter months I love wearing a tunic, tights and boots combo so this seemed the perfect option to try with this gorgeous fabric!
It's a lightweight crepe and ever so slightly sheer but lovely and drapey, and very soft - the print is gorgeous too and will be great to wear this time of year with a vest underneath and warm cardigan! I think this fabric is unfortunately sold out now but there are plenty more gorgeous crepes online here.
The pattern comes with two variations: a blouse with full length sleeves, D-ring detail at the cuffs and a little back cape addition, or a tunic style dress which has a mardarin style collar, a covered button placket half way down and curved hem skirt. I decided on the tunic dress as it's a slightly more basic design and as the fabric was quite slippy - I thought I'd probably have enough challenges!
I have to admit to not washing this fabric before starting (very naughty sewist!) but I have washed the garment since making it up and have had minimal shrinkage issues. It was lovely to cut even if a little slippery, to combat this I got it all lined up, then stuck the sides (apart from the fold line) down with some tape to help keep it all in place whilst I cut away.
This was my first time trying out a Named Clothing pattern and I have to say it was very straight forward with some excellent, easy to follow instructions. They seem quite lengthy but it's important to read all of it as it explains exactly how to print the pattern and initially (in my haste) I actually ended up printing the whole thing wrong!
I looked at the final measurements of the tunic and decided to cut out a size 6, the only alteration I made to the pattern was to shorten it by 8cm at the level of the hip notch. I then just redrew the curves of the side seams.
The images in the instructions were also very clear and I came across no major problems sewing the whole thing together.
The collar I stitched first, as I'm relatively new to collars I wanted to spend plenty of time getting this right. It was a little fiddly (mainly because of slippy fabric) getting the edges of the collar the same shape but I got there. The next fiddly part was the covered button placket but again the instructions were great at taking you through it step by step. I used two widths of seam tape interfacing to strengthen the button stand instead of 2.2cm wide interfacing and I think this worked really well! I didn't want to waste time finding that specific interfacing size or cutting my own down into long strips so this seam tape interfacing was a great alternative!
After this was done it was pretty much plain sailing, I took my time attaching the collar and when topstitching it down I unpicked parts a couple of times until it was perfect but overall it came together really nicely.
Once the top and bottom were attached I had a quick try on and found that the length was perfect but the width of the tunic was quite wide and looked a bit too baggy on me. So I decided to place the tunic on top of a shift style dress I already own to see the width difference and then take my tunic in a few centimetres each side from there.
I ended up taking it in 4cm each side at the waist (2cm seam allowance) and grading it out to the underarm and hip level of the tunic. This just gave it a bit more shape which I think looks better.
I also decided to make a tie belt out of two long strips of fabric I had left over - if I feel like having a more fitted look!
The only other thing I did differently was to omit the very top button. I didn't think it really needed it and as I chose quite weighty gold buttons, I thought it would end up weighing the collar down too much!
I'm really pleased with how my tunic came out, I love the button detail at the front, the curved hem and above all I think the fabric is gorgeous! I will be wearing this a lot this season and for many more to come!
I would highly recommend this pattern, it's a real any season garment and could be made in a wide variety of rayons or crepes. Alternatively, give it a go in a cotton lawn for a simpler make and to get to grips with the collar and button placket if you're nervous!
To keep up to date with my recent makes you can follow me on instagram here!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while some of you are thinking about the big date night or maybe dreaming about chocolates or flowers, we are thinking about sewing over here!
Sewing up pretty things that is - like a sexy camisole or a sexy nightie or maybe even a nightgown.
Well for today’s guest post I will be hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top aka a camisole pattern into a delicate and romantic nightie/nightgown using Burgundy Peachskin fabric from Sewalicious - rich color, soft texture and beautiful drape! Absolutely perfect for this project.
This pattern calls for a lining but I opted out and cut the pattern without it, leaving one front piece and one back piece. I then decided how much length I wanted to add to the camisole to make it into a nightie while adding a little extra just in case things go wrong. (As we all know in sewing we can’t always be certain when hacking!). I decided on adding 14 1/2 inches to the hem of the camisole. This would give me the option of have a short sexy nightie or a longer romantic gown. Moving forward, I took out my trusty medical paper and taped my pattern down then measured out 14 1/2 inches down for the new hemline. I used my curved pattern ruler to give some subtle shape to the skirt.
Once cut out, I overlocked the edges then sewed up the side seams with a straight stitch. I wanted a slit on both sides of the gown so I left 6 inches of the side seam open at the bottom. I pressed the seams open making sure to press the slits open as if I had sewn them.
I measured around the circumference of the top of the night gown to determine how much lace I would need then repeated this for the bottom including the slit areas.
Using a wide zigzag stitch I carefully attached the lace to the outside edges of the night gown being mindful of covering the overlocked edges. I repeated this for the hem and slits as well.
I tried my night gown on at this point to determine how long I would need to make the straps and what position I would like them to be in the back. (I advise having someone help you with this if possible). Once determined, I cut out my straps, lined them up where they needed to go and zigzag stitched them in place.
Easy as that! :) I think I’m ready for Valentine’s Day now… are you?
For the last couple of months I’ve been obsessed with hacking top patterns into dresses! As much as I love a cozy top with jeans, I rarely wear trousers in the house and if you run into me on the street 9/10 times I’ll be wearing a dress! Jersey and knit dresses are my go-to uniforms in the cold weather and so for my second Sewalicious Blog Post I decided to show you one of my hacks.
I’m sure you all know the Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline studio. It’s one of the most popular patterns for a raglan sweater and if you haven’t made one yet, I strongly suggest you try it! Hacking this pattern into a dress wasn’t a difficult task. What you basically have to do is hold the front bodice piece in front of you and figure out how much length you want to add (measure from the original hem to where you want the dress’s hem to hit you. Make sure you subtract a few centimeters because this dress has a hem band and it will add extra length). You will have to add the same amount of extra length to both the front and the back bodice pieces. Also, something very important is that if you have slightly larger hips –or your hips are the largest part of your body- you will have to make a few alterations to accommodate them. Hold the front bodice piece in front of you and mark where your natural waist is on the pattern piece. Then mark where the largest part of your hips is. Connect these two marks with a slightly curved line and you are done! I have relatively small hips so I didn’t have to do any extra alterations other than adding extra length to the pattern.
As for my fabric choice, I used this fabulous and very unusual knit fabric from Sewalicious. It is so soft and nice to wear, plus everyone thinks that I knitted the dress myself! The only problem I had with it is that my overlocker hated it! I have a very cheap overlocker who is rubbish at stitching thicker fabrics. I made the entire dress on it and it was fine when I was only stitching right at the very edge. The minute I wanted it to cut the fabric at the same time, it jammed! I broke two needles and I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown but I somehow managed to finish this dress!
I tried to be a good girl and pattern match the seams! I think I did pretty well except for a line on the
Which is now driving me crazy when I look at it (OCD alert!). Other than that, this is the perfect cozy dress for me, especially because I work from home. It’s not very fitted, so it’s easy to throw on in the morning, it’s warm and nice!
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this hack! I hope you like it, too!
Hello again! Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! I decided that after a super busy December I was in need of a cosy pair of Secret Pyjamas to snuggle up in on these cold January evenings. Bring on the True Bias Hudson pants!
I fell for this lovely soft pink harmony sweater knit and I really can’t emphasise how super soft this is!
I must admit when it arrived I was slightly nervous about sewing with it, as it’s the lightest, drapiest, softest knit I have sewn with, but I needn’t have worried one bit. Although it has an amazing 2 way stretch it didn’t curl or move when cutting out and even my temperamental overlocker loved it (much to my surprise!).
I usually need to add a little bit of length in the leg, being 5’8”, so I added 2” to the leg length on the pattern at about mid-calf. There’s nothing worse than trousers or pyjamas that stop just that tiny bit too short.
Otherwise the pattern was a dream, so straightforward to follow and a nice easy sew, partly on the overlocker and partly on my normal sewing machine with the walking foot. I did stretch out one quarter of the waistband slightly when pulling it taut to sew the elastic lines, but really not enough to worry about unpicking, just to be aware for next time.
I can’t tell you how soft and light yet cosy these are!
I love these pants and have already been looking at fabric for a couple more pairs, both for pyjamas and a casual daywear pair. BUT, in the meantime, I had enough left from the fabric length and a few scraps to squeeze out a pair of Mini Hudson Pants for my friend’s daughter. This really IS my favourite pattern! For her first size just 40cm of fabric will do. Perfect for remnants and a lovely quick sew (although a bit fiddly getting the overlocker into those cuffs- but not impossible!) Miniature versions are just so darn cute!
At 20 months old she doesn’t stand still for long so I managed to grab a snap while she was preoccupied with my light switch!
While we’re at it, who doesn’t love a little bit of matching outfits? And a couple of action shots as there was no way we were going to get a sensible pose!
So a big thumbs up from both Iona and I for the gorgeous soft fabric and to True Bias for such a simple versatile pattern – and in mini too!
We celebrated in style by sitting on the bed in our matching outfits blowing bubbles with Teddy…
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 sewists 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 take that leftover fabric and create a cute pair of knickers using your RTW knickers as a copy. (You can use one of the many underwear patterns available online as well – many are free!).
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” picot elastic.
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!
Viola! Now you have a pair of holiday knickers! :)
Happy festive season everyone! I’m kicking off my festive makes this year with a pair of skinny-flare trousers. My main aim with this design was to make something completely work appropriate, but with a change of top or shoes (or even just lippy) can take you straight from work out for the night.
I never tend to buy patterns (unless they are really unusual! Or vintage.) so in this blog I’m going to try and guide you through how you can take your favourite pair of trousers and use those as your pattern!
To start with I took a pair of trousers I have been wearing literally twice a week to work. Honestly I’m sure people are sick of seeing me in them. They are a stretch legging type trouser and I am going to use them as my pattern base. However I don’t just want to replicate these because while browsing Pinterest I seen the most gorgeous outfit that featured a skintight trouser with a slight flare at the hem and I need them in my life. So I’m going to modify my pattern to look like those! (See sketch above) I thought at first they would look best with a paperbag waist but I scrapped this idea quickly.
To get your front pattern piece you want to grab your favourite trousers and fold them so you are looking at the front, pinch in the centre of the crotch (where the four seams meet) and pull this out. Lay this flat and smooth it out, trace it and youl have your front pattern piece!
Repeat for the back
Super dooooooper easy right! But here are a few things to bear in mind:
You need to add seam and hem allowances ***CRUCIAL
The fabric of your favourite trouser. E.g. If they are stretch; the pattern you sketched out will not work in non stretch! Think about it- the pattern will have been made slimmer to accompany the stretch look.
Check the waist, seat and wide hip measurement against your actual measurements to make sure they will definitely fit.
After I traced out around my favourite trousers I extended the length and flared out the hem from the knee for the look I wanted. And they looked a little something like this:
My pattern was shaped in mega at the waist because I have a small waist in comparison to my wide hip. If I was to make this pattern up in anything that wasn’t stretch I would need to adjust it to have an extra inch at the side leg seams, but for this make I wanted that skin tight look.
I used the ‘Moss green stretch viscose’ as Nicki recommended it. She used it to sew up a pair of the Named Clothing Astrid Wrap Pants and as soon as I seen how they looked I knew I had to use the fabric. The colour is one of my favourite colours ever, definitely fits into my wardrobe and also gives off some festive vibes. I honestly love it- great quality, forgiving fabric to work with and holds its shape well. I used about 120cm length to finish of my trousers.
The waistband was an extra 3 inches grown onto the waist on the pattern, which I then overlocked and folded over. I stitched in a piece of elastic that was an inch less than the measurement on the waist, just so they sat tight to the waist. Without this the waist would tend to gape.
Finishing wise, I overlocked all finished seams, pressed in a front line, top edge stitched the front and back crotch and double stitched the hem. I did not add a zip shield because I didn’t want to bulk out that side of the trousers as they were so tight. I should also mention I stitched up in grey for a bit of contrast.
Really happy with how these turned out and now I can stop wearing my other trousers so much because these are my new faves!