Tag Archives: Trousers

Yet More Ardens!

If you’ve seen my previous pair of linen colour-blocked Arden Pants, it will come as no surprise that I am here sharing another pair! My sister seems to like blue as much as I do, as there were three different shades of blue (the third one is in the next, and final pair I’ll share). I decided to pair this denim-blue with navy as I figured they would be easy-ish to match tops to.

Unlike the cream and pink pair, I split this pair front and back. This involved some pattern tetris to get all the pieces to fit as the pieces of fabric were kind of a weird shape. I ended up cutting the leg pieces out one at a time to make sure it all fitted. There was no weirdness needed with adding seam allowance to the waistband like with the last pair.

I could also follow the instructions as written this time, as I didn’t need to change threads more often to do both front pockets, then both back pockets. I did, however, have to change threads half way around the waistband (as I had to on all 3 pairs, just in different places), and half way around each leg hem. That was a little fiddly, but I’m glad I made the effort as I think it would have looked odd to have had one colour running all the way around – it would have stood out whichever colour I chose!

As ever, I made the size 6 with no fitting changes, aside from a deeper hem of 6cm.

I have to say, I love the side view of this pair! If you just saw me from either the front or the back you wouldn’t think anything odd, but then bam!

Wow, I took a lot of photos and don’t really have anything much to say about my millionth pair of Ardens!

Do you have a real go to pattern that you’ve made loads? I think I’ve got other patterns I’ve made quite a few times, like the Kalle or Archer shirts, but I don’t think I’ve ever made so many of a pattern in such a short space of time! I made 4 pairs in total this Summer, to add to the 4 I made last year!

I didn’t think I’d get much wear out of my Summer Ardens as the weather was kind of crap in August when I was sewing them, but then I forgot September is always lovely and warm!

More Ardens!

When I wrote about my black Arden pants, I think I mentioned that I had some other pairs planned/made (I can’t remember where I was with them), so hopefully it’s not too much of a surprise that I’m writing about another pair now! And they look like 2 different pairs, depending on which way around I stand! I love them!

My sister made a load of linen dresses last Summer and had some fairly large pieces leftover, which she very kindly gifted to me. Though there wasn’t enough of any of the colours to make a whole pair of Ardens so I went with colour-blocking several pairs, trying to pair the colours together in the best way across the 6 colours.

To cut the pieces out, I laid one colour on top of the other and cut out as I would have if the fabric had been one length, folded in half. The only change at the cutting out stage I made was to add seam allowance to the ‘cut on the fold’ edges of both waistband pieces, as they had to have half in each colour sewn together.

As with all my other pairs, I made the size 6 with no fitting changes, except a larger hem of 6cm.

I also deviated slightly from the order of the instructions, so I didn’t have to change thread colours more than was necessary (my sister had some matching thread of each colour left, too, bonus!). I did the front and back pockets of one colour, then repeated both on the other colour – the instructions obviously have you do both front pockets, then the back ones

I made sure where there was top stitching, to match the colours – so this meant changing half way around the waistband and when top-stitching the inner leg seam. Thankfully the hems were fine – one of each colour!

I really do love the Arden pattern – and I’ve made it so many times now, I don’t even really need the instructions! As I mentioned I’ve got 2 more pairs to share coming up, and some other makes I managed to squeeze in before I moved house last week.

Anyone based in Oxford fancy a sewing meet up?

Double Gauze Arden Pants

I seem to keep making patterns in pairs – and especially Helen’s Closet patterns! I made 2 Blackwood Cardigans and 2 Elliot Sweaters. I guess I often must also buy fabrics in pairs!

And the Arden Pants are no exception! I haven’t bought many (if any?!) patterns in absolutely ages but when I saw the Arden pants, I knew the pieces of double gauze I’d been hoarding in my stash since last year would be perfect! I initially thought about making one colour into trousers and the other into a top but I’m so glad I made them both into trousers – I have plenty of tops after my Inari-making binge (1, 2, 3)!

The fabric was from Fabric Godmother last year when I left my previous job in June. They actually still have both listed though only the navy is currently in stock – the navy is here and the mustard/gold is here (but out of stock atm).

This was my first time working with double gauze and I found it okay. It does kind of wrinkle up loads when you pre-wash it and then I read some stuff about how it’s up to you how flat you want it ironed to before you start your project. It’s supposed to have a bit of texture so I ironed out the worst wrinkles and went from there. I have heard double gauze can be a bit shifty – because there are 2 layers which slide past each other – but I think because this was a relatively simple pattern it worked fine.

I made the size 6 and made no fitting adjustments apart from taking up a 7cm hem in total as I wanted them to graze my ankles. I did find the fabric had a slight tendency to ever so slightly stretch out a little when being top-stitched (like on the edges of the pocket openings) and I didn’t do absolutely all the top-stitching the pattern called for because I wanted a looser, breezy vibe, rather than having that jeans-style stitching. I did top-stitch the crotch seam, though, to strengthen the seam that will get the most strain!

 

I slightly had to fudge the back pockets because of my shoddy cutting-out skills! When will I learn to take more time over cutting out shifty fabrics? At this point probably never! 😂

I also discovered that double gauze (or this double gauze specifically) frays like a bitch! I over-locked everything to make sure the trousers weren’t going to just disintegrate as soon as I wore them twice!

I would definitely recommend this pattern if you’re looking for a nice, stylish but relatively simple first foray into sewing trousers/pants. The construction is very similar to the Hudson Pants but it has a higher rise, which I much prefer. I love my Hudsons but I wish they came up a little higher on my waist (obviously I can adjust that if I make them again). They are also super comfortable because of the loose fit and the elasticated waist.

My only regret with making these Ardens is that I made them probably too late in the year to really get any wear out of them until next Summer. Here in the UK we have now entered the, like, 8 month period where the weather is shit and I’m cold ALL THE TIME. Although I’ve made all the things since the beginning of lockdown, I think I need more cold-weather options so I’m not quite so grumpy for the next few months!

Do you have a favourite easy to wear trouser pattern? I think this might be my new fav!

 

 

Black Crepe Evelyn Trousers

A while ago (I can’t remember when) I backed Sugardale’s kickstarter campaign to launch her first 3 patterns. I bought the Evelyn Trousers and Dungarees, especially liking the trouser version. I finally got around to making the pattern up during lockdown, using this black crepe from (I think) Sewisfaction. It was definitely the wrong fabric choice for this pattern – it would be much better with something with more structure.

I made the size 2, based on my waist and hip measurements (both measurements matched the size 2). I did have to take them in around the whole crotch seam, especially on the back, where I always get pooling.

The design detail about the Evelyns I really like is that the zip is hidden in one of the pockets. The instructions were really good for getting this right, too.

I was thinking of giving this pattern another go as I do like the pleats and the turn-ups (which I left off this version because the fabric is too drapey). I did see a little while ago that Trista, the designer behind Sugardale, posted on Instagram about the Black Lives Matter and it was not good. She got a lot of flack then posted an apology. I just looked her up and found a statement on her website to say she is stepping away from the sewing community and she has deleted her instagram and website. Sadly I don’t, therefore, feel right about making this pattern again. (I had already cut the trousers out before this all happened). I want to use my (tiny) voice here and on Instagram to highlight pattern companies where I can stand behind their ethos. And where, like me, we have a lot to learn I think the key thing is to listen and educate ourselves and not run away from difficult conversations that question our privilege.

I made these trousers to kind of replace this Simplicity pair I made a while ago where I forgot to pre-wash the fabric and they shrunk on the first wash. They have also faded quite badly, and they are the smart trousers I wear for playing in the brass band (though it’s a moot issue at the moment!). I bought the fabric a while ago to make replacement smart trousers so I’m glad I do have some new smart trousers if I ever get back to playing in a group.

I did sew the button on too tight. So these are reeeeeaaaaallly snug on my waist! I just need to move the button to slightly loosen the fit on the waist. Other than that the fit is good.

I do love how deep the pockets are!

What are your favourite pattern companies which you really stand behind supporting? I have pledged to only buy new patterns which are size inclusive (and I think the only pattern I’ve bought since is the Arden Pants by Helen’s Closet). I’m also going to only buy patterns from companies who have spoken out in support of Black Lives Matter.

 

 

2018 in Review

Another year is over so I’m recapping what I’ve made in the last 12 months. I thought I hadn’t made as much in previous years, but I made 5 dresses, 4 sweatshirts (2 for my friend’s daughter), 2 Cleos, 4 Pairs of trousers, one of which was part of my Socialite Soiree suit, 4 shirts, and a coat. Plus I made a Freddie Mercury outfit and refashioned a bunch of things into a Miss Fisher outfit. Phew!

Here is my final Make Nine 2018 progress – I made 5 of them, which I think is the most of any Make Nine I’ve come up with. I still didn’t yet make jeans. 2019 will definitely be the year I finally tackle jeans! I made my Honetone Coat, Carnaby Dress, Ebony Dress (twice), Blaire Shirt and Portobello Trousers.

The thing I’m proudest of making this year (as I mentioned via the #myproudestmake hashtag) is my Honetone coat. I really took my time over it in February and I’m really glad I did. Apparently there is some really cold weather coming in January so this will still get lots more wear this Winter. I kind of want to make another coat, but I probably don’t need one.

My second favourite make from this year was the suit I made to wear to the Sewcialite Soiree. I made it in record time, (unlike my coat) because I left myself, like 3 full days and 3 evenings to make it in. The Joe Jacket came together really easily and I definitely want to make another one, in black and white houndstooth – if anyone has any ideas where to buy some suiting in houndstooth, let me know!

One of my favourite makes was my cropped Kalle shirt. I definitely want to make more Kalles. I did wear it quite a bit this year as we had an unusually long Summer.

2 things that I wore way more than I anticipated were my 2 Cleos. Though sadly I wore the mustard one to work a lot and when unloading a delivery from a van I got a big black mark on it, which hasn’t come out yet. Happily I have loads of mustard corduroy left over from my suit so I’m going to replace it – I think that will be one of my first makes of 2019.

Pretty much my only refashion project (except adding a hem band to a cropped Inari tee) was to make my Miss Fisher outfit for The Rafashioners. The coat will definitely get lots of wear in Spring and Autumn when it’s not too cold.

My love affair with shirts continued – I made 4, 3 of which were from patterns I hadn’t used before. (Clockwise from top left: Blaire, Honeycomb, Melilot, Kalle)

I also made 4 pairs of trousers – and I have lots more plans for more trousers in 2019. (Clockwise from top left: Persephone Pants, Simplicity 1696, Portobello Trousers, Mercury Trousers). I really want to make more Persephone Pants next year so I’m on the lookout for good fabric.

I also made 5 dresses last year, which is a lot considering I don’t wear them super often now I work hulking fabric around all day. Dresses aren’t the most practical of garments. I love the Laurel I made – definitely a good rediscovery of a forgotten pattern in my stash. (Clockwise from top right: Inari Tee Dress, Carnaby Dress, Ebony Dress (blue and gold))

Also this year I ‘launched’ my Hundred Years Wardrobe project – to sew something from each decade of the 20th century. I also completed the first project – this 70s Freddie Mercury Zandra Rhodes outfit. Sadly I didn’t dare wear it to the cinema when I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, which was amazing!

This year I joined my local brass band, and a swing band, playing the cornet/trumpet which I played for 10 years while at school. I went to their big Christmas concert last year and the year before and last year I finally plucked up the courage to talk to the band leader and then I played at the Christmas concert this year! I also spent rather a lot of money on a set of mutes so I made some storage bags to keep them from getting bashed and scratched.

The other thing I wanted to do in 2018 was to do some knitting and to make my partner some clothes. I basically didn’t do either of these for 51 weeks of the year – I have actually done some knitting over the Christmas break. I’ve been finishing a jumper I cast on probably 3 or 4 years ago!

All in all this was a pretty good year for me – I did plenty of sewing, played lots of music and got a new job which I don’t hate. My partner turned 40 and we went away for a weekend. And I’ve tweaked some stuff in our flat so it looks nicer and works better – and I’ve been clearing out cupboards this holiday season, which has been really satisfying! I finally renewed my passport and went to visit one of my best friends, with my other best friend, in Germany finally, which was really brilliant. I always feel stupidly pleased with myself when I manage to fly somewhere on my own!

I’ve also had quite a few periods of feeling low and uninspired this year but I tried to be kind to myself and not get annoyed at myself if I didn’t sew for a couple of weeks or blog as regularly as I might have liked. Sewing and blogging should be fun hobbies so if I didn’t fancy doing them, then I didn’t and I feel good about that.