I haven’t made, or really worn, hard pants in quite a while, but this post caught my eye and I knew it was time to make some pants that didn’t include elastic. After I’d downloaded and printed the pattern, Open Studio reached out to offer a $100 stipend and the pattern in exchange for a review/IG post. They kindly sent their two other patterns since I’d already purchased the Shop Pant.
Based on my measurements, I decided to make a size 3. Aside from shortening the leg length 1″, I didn’t make any other pattern adjustments. Being out of hard pant practice, I knew I needed to make a wearable muslin and actually wear them to assess if I chose the best size, or if I just need some small tweaks to size 3.
After wearing them for a day, I think I need to grade to a size 2 at the waist and potentially shorten the front crotch (see crotch wrinkles in first photo). The intended fit of the waistline is high, but they fall down to my mid waist. Although they are VERY comfy to sit in, they’re just a wee bit too roomy.
I love the front pockets! They’ve got a fun angular opening and very deep, functional bags. Seriously super deep. My whole phone fits in there. I used a thrifted Indian cotton print for the pocketing and made it so the right side was facing the inside of the pants.
The fly constructions is straightforward, but I ordered a “jeans zipper” which is obnoxiously huge and kept getting stuck under my presser foot. If you want to sweat and swear a lot, order a #5 jeans zipper and you’re guaranteed a challenge.
The topstitching was interrupted by the zipper on both the fly extension and the fly front when I had to take the whole presser foot off my machine to zip it up. Quite annoying.
#5 jeans zipper (left), vintage zip (right). Look at how massive it is and this pic doesn’t even capture its girth.
I really love the barrel shape. I did an extra line of topstitching here to match the stitching on the butt pockets.
One construction step that I’ll be adding to future pants is attaching the waistband to the wrong side of the pants first, then folding it to right side to topstitch. No more having to redo the topstiching because you didn’t catch the inside folded edge of the waistband! Brilliant!
I do plan to change up the waistband construction a little since I didn’t get the crisp corners I can achieve with a different method. The right waistline must have gotten a little stretched out while I was sewing so it didn’t match with the band. I had to do some easing and got some annoying puckers because of that. Wild how it only happened to one side!
I really like this pattern and totally plan to make at least one more pair!
After two years of only going to 100% necessary inside places, I cracked and took an in-person workshop. There were a lot of bare faces, but us masked folk all gravitated to the same table near the open the door. I didn’t realize how much I missed making stuff with other people until the six hours had whizzed by and I felt super energized. Anyway, I’m really hoping we’re all healthy after spending so much time breathing in a room together.
The end product of marbling isn’t really my jam but it’s a fucking fun process. Wildcraft provided a beautiful little booklet with instructions for doing this at home.
Each participant was given a cut of pre-treated cotton fabric, one cotton bandana, one large piece of silk, and an individual marbling tub. Each table also had a larger basin to share and everyone rotated through doing one large sample in the big tub pictured up above. I had so much fun playing I only took three photos during the workshop so here’s a short video of what the process looks like.
Marbling really forces you to let go – you don’t really know how the paints are going to interact with each other, or which colors are going to actually show up on the fabric. Most of the colors I’m drawn to weren’t very vibrant once transferred to fabric.
Knowing I was going to have a lot of small cotton samples, I tried to stick with the same colors so they could be used in a mini quilt project, which I started sewing immediately at home.
I decided to cut up this blue piece because the fabric wasn’t great quality, I didn’t think I’d ever use it as bandana (its edges were finished), and I needed something to bind the wall hanging with. All of my other scraps didn’t quite work with the marbled fabric.
I just pieced the samples together and did a simple stitch in the ditch quilting pattern. The binding was machine sewn onto the front then folded and pressed to the back for hand-stitching.
I added little triangles to the corners so it can be hung on the wall and drilled some holes in scrap wood to mount.
I’m still very much in loungewear mode, so I whipped up these sweatshirts over the long weekend.
This is the Seamwork Lex sans kangaroo pocket. I made a size 8 and reduced the length of both the sleeves and the body by 2″. The main fabric is a cotton french terry in the color ‘spice’ and the bands are a wide bamboo rib knit in the color redwood from Stonemountain. The rib knit is a bit too lightweight for this purpose, but it was the only stretchy fabric I had that sort of matched the french terry.
Daisy Chain Dale
This is the Dale sweatshirt, of which I’ve made three! See the color blocked one here. I made a size M with the long sleeves and no mods. The fabric is ‘maple’ sherpa and ‘toast’ 2×1 rib knit.
My quilt is done and here’s the post about it! Click here for part 1.
Since the first post, I decided to add another 15 blocks because I wanted all four corners to have a 9 patch block. With 98 blocks and a square throw shape, that pattern wasn’t happening. Plus once the top was all sewn together it was a smidge smaller than I wanted.
After the top was complete, I combed through my remaining scrap pile and pulled out all of the black and white fabrics since those seemed to be the most plentiful. Some of these ikats are from some of my first ever garment projects, which is pretty fun.
I waffled for a bit on how to bind this quilt. I started with wanting to use the greenish Calvin Klein bed sheet I’d used for my Tamarack jacket. Then I though about using the backing to do mitered corners. There was a brief time where I thought about doing prairie points to use up even more scraps but ultimately I went back to that thrifted bed sheet/traditional binding method.
I cut up the last of the bed sheet into straight of grain strips because there weren’t any curves that’d require a bias cut. I have a lot leftover which I’ll use to bind some small scale quilted projects. I really love this color.
Once the quilt backing was assembled, I realized I didn’t have enough space to baste the layers in my sewing room and would have to do this step in the basement. It took a couple of weeks before I got around to washing the basement floor.
For the quilting pattern, I wanted something that would showcase the blocks. A simple stitched in the ditch grid pattern was done and I love it. I had to move my sewing machine to my cutting table to quilt since my machine is usually up against a wall. It took a couple of days to quilt. I went too hard the first night and my hips were very angry from a long stand up sewing session.
I then machine stitched on the binding to the right side. To finish, I hand-sewed it to the back, which I did at the beach. I’d say this is the best environment for finishing a multi-year quilt project!
And here she is, my fourth quilt (see the others here). I ran around with it on the beach to celebrate.
There’s a new indie pattern designer to check out — Daughter Judy. Chelsea launched recently with four patterns and I immediately bought three of them!
I’m not in the brain space for pants fitting right now – even though I really need pants – so I decided to make the Barons Dress before diving into the Adams Pants. I really love the red photo sample and wanted to create something similar. I chose a 10oz bleached denim from my stash that even had some of the sun bleaching the red canvas sample has.
This top has lots of fun topstitching, a high collar, center back button closure, and 3/4 length sleeves that are more like full length sleeves on me.
Because I love pockets, I added some side seam friends. Here is a lackluster photo collage of how I did this.
Things I would do differently next time.
Make the buttonholes on the placket before installing. I used a 10oz denim so the seams were THICK. I can’t quite remember which two I made first but ultimately I had to change the direction of one set, so the top two are vertical and the bottom two are horizontal. Even with my compensation plate, my machine was struggling.
Use lining fabric for both sides of the pocket to reduce bulk.
I’d serge the side and underarm seams separately, then stitch, and then press open if I plan to use a heavyweight fabric again. I had a little woopsies with my serger on one side seam. It was a case of not paying attention and rushing, so please don’t give me serger tips – I know exactly what happened. The patch is pictured below.
I’d recommend this pattern for advanced beginner to intermediate folks who have a good understanding of garment construction. The instructions do kind leave some things up to the maker, which I’m fine with but might be a little frustrating for some.
Ooof this sweater. I had 3, or 4 false starts with this one and ironically the first try was when I was feeling super confident. Things were clicking – I’d memorized how to do M1Rs and Ls, I was getting faster, I was feeling accomplished… and then when it was time to try it on, I’d produced a sweater for ants. It was so small. My tight knitting was no match for this stable yarn.
After unraveling it again and starting another project, I learned how to loosen up and make a less dense fabric. I took a little break from it too.
Once I had my tension down, it knit up as quickly as other projects, but this was the first time I was forced to play yarn chicken.
After completing the body, I only had two skeins left. I didn’t love the instructed waistline, but I also didn’t hate it, so I decided to knit up the sleeves and if I had enough leftover, I planned to rip out the purlwise bind off and redo it with a couple rows of ribbing.
I did not have enough leftover and I had to shorten the sleeves by an inch too. So the waistline is what it is. I really love the texture on the yokes and upper sleeves and this yarn is super soft and somehow not as insulating as the other bulky yarns I’ve been using. I can wear it without overheating! Another thing I learned with this yarn is that its core is pretty untouched by the dye, so joining/felting ends together didn’t work out great. Because of this, there are some light stitches on the back (thankfully). The joins didn’t look that bad in nighttime lighting but they sure are focal points in daylight. Next time I use a yarn that doesn’t felt together nicely, I’ll add new yarn and weave in an end.
I had a little bit of this heathered gray french terry leftover from making my husband a hoodie last fall. There was enough to make myself either a pair of shorts or a sweatshirt, but I rarely feel super inspired to sew loungewear.
Then Daisy Chain Patterns released the Dale sweatshirt. I really like its high neckline with a beefy neckband and the short sleeve option. I took inspiration from the photo samples to have some fun with the bands.
Although I had enough light gray ribbing for all of the bands, I opted to use every color of rib knit in my stash. I think this look is fun an a little weird.
To color block the bands, I divided the lengths by 5, added seam allowance, stitched them together with a lightning stitch, and pressed the seams open. This rib knit is very stretchy, so I wasn’t too worried that the extra seams would impact the stretch.
My measurements put me at a size 10/M. I think I could have shortened the length by an inch or two for a more cropped look. The hem band is kinda hidden by the length folding over it.
I might make another color blocked one with leftover black sweatshirt fleece. It’s a good way to use up those tiny rib knit scraps.
I feel like this sweater really flew off my needles; it took a little over a week to complete. I’m more confidently fixing mistakes and I’ve got the magic loop technique down now too.
This yarn is so pretty, but holy hell does it shed. It’s on everything I own and it’s made its way into my mouth on more than one occasion. But it’s significantly thinner than the other bulky yarns I’ve been using and I really appreciate the drape of the final fabric.
The yarn is Loopy Mango’s Mohair So Soft in tiramisu, purchased from Close Knit. I made the size XS/S and used a little over 6 skeins. My current bust measurement is 38″ and the finished measurement for this size is 42″.
I followed the directions for the purling rows, but I’m a little unsure about the first row being so much closer than the others. If I make another, I’d probably space them out the same number of rows, or omit the fist one all together. The instructions say to hold two strands together for the neckline, but I totally didn’t read that part. Hoping it doesn’t stretch out too much with wear. Whoops.
This is the first project I actually knit a gauge swatch for, but I was too impatient to block said swatch. Whatever! It measured what it was supposed to and my knitting has loosened up! Have I blocked this garment yet? Nope. It went straight on my body. How am I supposed to wait?!
In the middle of making this sweater, I learned how to knit continental, which I thought I would hate, but I love it! The instructor in this Domestika class demoed continental in a way that my brain understood, so I thought I’d just try it. I can see how continental could speed up my knitting. Even though I think I prefer continental, I decided to finished knitting my Kelowna sweater English style to keep everything consistent and I need to finish the Trefann this way too (above).
I’m really proud of this make. It’s made me feel like I understand knitting. And because of that, I made a test swatch for the Louise Pullover!