Vogue 8859: Sweats!

Hard as it may be to believe, as long as we’ve lived here in the colder climes I have not owned a pair of sweats.  I know… I couldn’t believe it either.

When some lovely fleece-backed bamboo went on sale at Fabric.com I picked up a couple yards. The original plan was to make sweatshirts for Grandmeow, which I did, however this lovely lavender was just my color.  I couldn’t let it go.

There is some stretch to this fabric, but not a whole lot, so I needed to  use a pattern that wasn’t leggings, but also not pants.

Since this pattern had already been fitted, I decided to take a stab at using it.  Voilá!

Sewn with the serger and the cover stitch to hem.  I even put pockets on the back, just because I could!



Jalie 968: Genera

There is not much to say about this sew, other than with summer on the way, the jeans I’ve been wearing all winter were getting a tad tatty.  Time to sew up another pair.

Enter grey something-or-other fabric (cotton and X the unknown) from the local mill end fabric store.  A pattern that I don’t have to fit.  A Sunday afternoon with nothing scheduled.

Result:  a new pair of pants.  Yay!


IMG_3939I’ve been on a quest for leggings.

Unfortunately the commercial patterns I tried just weren’t working.  I don’t mind tweaking, testing, then tweaking again for pants, but for leggings?

It just seemed like a waste of material.

And I got tired of the failure.

Trying to figure out what I was doing wrong (knits are supposed to be forgiving, aren’t they?) I went out the wonders of the Internet – searching for leggings, and found this wonderful site:  So Sew Easy.

Not only does she show you how to make the pattern, there’s even a formula filled spreadsheet (in inches and centimeters) that will calculate what values to use based on the amount of ease you want!  How cool is that?

Armed with tissue, pens and a straight edge away I went.  These were the very first pair, and they fit like a dream.  I can’t believe it.

I see more leggings in my future.


Jalie 968: Basics

IMG_3665What can be better to sew than a basic pair of jeans?

Pretty much nothing, unless it’s a basic T-shirt.  Or basic something else.

And by basic, I mean a wardrobe staple that will get lots of use, using a Tried-And-True pattern that doesn’t require fitting, tweaking, muslins and the like.

That’s what this Jalie pattern (alas, now discontinued) has become for me.  It’s my go-to whenever I just want to sew, and not think too much.

There are notes scribbled all over the pattern envelope, and the actual pattern…  Let’s just say it’s been tweaked, taped and “adjusted” to account for it’s many years of use.

The fabric is (I think) from Fabric Mart or maybe it was Fabric.com.  Either way, it’s aged to perfection and long gone from inventory.  I would call it a mid-weight twill.  Not too heavy.  Not too light.  A real Goldilocks of a fabric.

IMG_3671I know, the front looks simple and plain.  It is.  The back, on the other hand, well, I couldn’t leave that unadorned, now could I?

Once again, Bobbi Bullard and her wonderful embroidery designs stepped front and center (or would that be back and center?) to provide the necessary bling.

The design set is called “Chain of Jewels”.  I would have put a link, but couldn’t find it on her web site.  I’ve had it for a while, so it may be discontinued.

I used a variegated Sulky thread for the lines, and a nice periwinkle for the jewels.  The rhinestuds are much closer in color to the periwinkle, they just don’t photograph that way.

These are sure to see a lot of wear once the weather cools down.

Marching to Marrakesh

IMG_3655Now that it is officially summer, the weather has been getting warm.  Not Cactusville hot by any standards, but toasty and a bit roasty too.

What better attire to don on these warm summer days than a pair of seersucker Marrakesh pants?  They’re great to lounge around in, but stylish enough to turn coyote heads when I saunter down the road to fetch the post.

What’s that, you say?  Yes indeed.  Even the coyotes around here have a sartorial opinion.  At least in my mind they do.

So, courtesy of Hot Patterns, another pair!  In fact, I think this is probably my sixth pair.  I know there are at least three in the current rotation.  Other pairs have worn out, or succumbed to the Great Stain Ogre in the sky.  This has to be one of their longest running patterns; I remember it was one of the first introduced in the Wong-Singh Jones line.

Anyway, nothing new with the sewing.  Made them the same as I’ve done previous pairs.  The fabric is great – a comfy cotton seersucker that is both cool enough during the day, and warm enough after sundown.  There are pockets, of course.  I even followed pattern directions, and stitched the pocket bags to the front, so no flopping about.

Nice & Breezy

Vogue 8859, Again

IMG_3626Second verse, same as the first

Well, not exactly.  I opted to make one small pattern tweak: reducing the upper crotch area by 3/8 inch.  One small sewing tweak:  inserting clear lingerie elastic into the crotch curve so it wouldn’t sag and bag during wearing.

Otherwise, these are the same as the brown pair, and will be much worn.  Fabric again from Fabric.com

Vogue 8859

IMG_3620This is a Vogue pattern designed by Marcy Tilton (of the Marcy & Katherine Tilton Sewing Barn).

The pattern envelope bills them as “almost leggings” meaning not quite pants, not skin-tight either.  I was hoping for a Goldilocks style of legging.

Obviously not.

What I did get is a very nice pair of lounging pants.

The pattern has a back yoke section, which helps fit those of us with a protruding patootie.  The legs fall straight, with a slight taper to the ankles.

I tissue fit the pattern, and amazingly, it fit pretty much out of the envelope, so I decided to leap into cutting “the good stuff” right away.  Everything was sewn on the serger then hemmed on the cover stitch.

The pattern shows some stylistic tucks / gathers in the knee area, which I opted to try.  Then ripped out.  While a check of the tissue showed this feature to land at my knees, once it was executed in the knit fabric, the tucks showed up around mid-calf.  Not the most flattering of locations.  I’m not sure if this is due to the lengthwise stretch of the fabric or operator error.  Either way, I removed them.

While I was hoping for a more legging-like fit (and may use this pattern as a jumping off point to create some in the future) I am very happy with the results.

The fabric is a medium / heavyweight ponte from Fabric.com.  They have it in various colors and fiber contents.  This one feels very soft to the hand which I attribute to the 30% rayon.