Papercut SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings
This post is a two-fer! I made be a bit late but I have thoroughly jumped aboard the activewear sewing bandwagon.

This is my new yoga outfit: both the shirt and leggings are from Papercut Patterns.

Tee:

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings
I made the short sleeve, non-cropped version of the SJ Tee out of an incredibly smooth and soft rayon/lycra blend I bought from a now-defunct local store. The thin and light fabric works well for a slouchy tee (it has a slight 4-way stretch) but has surprisingly decent recovery.

I like the wide neckline because I hate crew necks digging into my neck and since you typically wear a sports bra while working out anyway, you’re not worried about fixing your shirt all the time and making sure you’re not flashing anyone.

The cuffed sleeves add some structure to the shirt and I think helps keep the shirt from sliding off your shoulders.

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

All in all, I love this simple pattern. The only thing I should have done differently was to shorten the collar piece by another inch or so. I shortened it a bit because my fabric has plenty of stretch, but knit collars are an art, not a science. The collar is a little floppy around center front but that’s ok, I think it adds to the casual, loose feel of the top, so I don’t mind.

Often times when I make a small but annoying mistake like that, I invoke my sewing motto: “Do I care? Not enough.” and move on…

Leggings:

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings
These are the mid length Ooh La Leggings sewn with some fantastic Supplex nylon lycra from Rockywoods.com. I bought a bunch of fabrics from that site on a whim just to check it out. This stuff has 4-way stretch with great recovery and is thick and dense enough to make good leggings. It’s matte, not shiny like lots of activewear fabrics, which I liked.

But seriously, I cannot recommend this stuff enough, especially for activewear sewing. It’s my new favorite thing. I only wish they had more colors!

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

I was concerned when the pattern called for lots of straight stitching and topstitching on a knit but this fabric has such good stretch that the straight stitching didn’t matter.

I used a twin needle for the hem and waist. I also lowered the waist by about an inch and a half, just as a personal preference.

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee and Ooh La Leggings

Another great pattern. I didn’t have to make any fitting changes and the fabric makes the leggings extra comfy.

Namaste, stitchers!

True Bais Hudson Pants #2

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Hey all of you lovelies! Thanks so much for all the comments on my dress. I was on vacation last week so I wasn’t able to keep up with comments as much without phone service.

Speaking of vacation I wore my first pair of Hudsons nearly the entire trip. Comfy *and* warm!

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I made this second pair the day before I left but only wore them a couple times (no cool nature pics with these pants, sorry).

The Goal: I needed more pants for my trip! And since I liked my first pair so much I decided to make a more “fancy” pair.

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The Pattern: True Bias’ Hudson Pant. I cut one size smaller than last time. The fabric I used was about as stretchy as my original version but I wanted a slimmer fit.

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The Fabric: This is a weird waffle-like textured knit from Joann Fabrics. It’s strange because it has a thin, mesh layer on the inside where the waffle indention points are attached. I think the outer layer is cotton and that mesh is poly. I haven’t seen anything like it before but I liked the damask look to the fabric.

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The Changes: I shaved off a little from the inner back thigh pieces. These are more like thick leggings than the “lounge” pants my first version was.
Also, no drawstring and no top stitching on the waist band. I was in a hurry to finish and didn’t bother.
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The Results: Honestly, I don’t often wear printed pants. Justin’s first response was “whoa” but he said he liked them. The lady at the hotel desk said she liked them, too, so I think they’re a win. I really like the fit. I think it makes the fancy style of them look even more sleek. As sleek as you can for knit pants.

True Bias Hudson Pants

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The Goal: I’m going on a road trip this month! A trip that involves several hours in a car and a lot of hiking at my destination. It’s also November and I notoriously own a grand total of two pairs of pants. Both jeans. Yeah, I need some more pants. Mission accomplished!

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(I realize black fabric is difficult to photograph so I upped the exposure on these pics to make the details easier to see)

The Pattern: The Hudson Pant, True Bias‘ first pattern (her second, the Sutton Blouse is out now!). I figured this would be a good pattern to use, it’s like a fancy knit track pant. Comfy enough for lounge wear (or extra long car rides), cool enough for everyday wear (like checking into a hotel after extra long car rides), and I figure it would be ok for outdoorsy activities (like a lot of trail walking).

Plus, pockets! Plus, ankle cuffs so no cold wind blows up your pant leg! Plus, stretchy waistband!

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(ugh, the cat hair! so much cat hair!)

The Fabric: For my first pair I knew I wanted something solid and plain, something utilitarian. But that doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. I found this French terry at Austin Fabric Co-op for $22/yd. Luckily this pattern doesn’t require much yardage.

Still, $30 for what are essentially really nice sweat pants seems like a lot for me. No regrets, tho, this stuff is awesome. It’s a rayon, cotton, spandex blend and it is won. der. ful.

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The Changes: None, except for one mistake. I sewed the button holes for the drawstring but then accidentally sewed the waistband on backwards and I sure as heck wasn’t going to seam rip out black serger thread on black fabric so, uh, no drawstring for me.

I made a straight size 6 based on my hip measurement. I figured these are supposed to be slim fitting knit pants, not skinny jeans so I didn’t bother with any fitting. For a casual garment like this unless there are big major problems like too short crotch length or something it’s really not worth messing with. But if I really wanted to I’d probably adjust the back legs. A common issue I face with having stick legs attached to wide hips is excess fabric in the thighs.

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The Results: Well, I don’t think I’ve taken these things off since I made them. They’re great and super comfortable. I’ll definitely be making more, maybe even woven versions.

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(I ran out of pose ideas. I don’t really know what I’m doing here. Or what I’m looking at with those *crazy eyes*)

As for the pattern itself it was great. I had no problems with printing or understanding instructions. Illustrations and directions were clear.

This is a pretty simple pattern and a great way to jump into pants sewing if you don’t want to feel discouraged by crummy fit problems. Also, with so few pieces, I whipped these puppies up in a flash! Gotta love (relatively) instant sewing gratification.

Simplicity 1371 – Cynthia Rowley meets Vlisco

Simplicity 1371
This is probably the craziest outfit I’ve ever sewn…

The Goal: Let me back track for a second – I think we all have our limits to personal style, what we will or won’t make and feel comfortable wearing. For me I usually draw the line at loud, bold, high fashion styles and tend to stick to something more casual, classic, low key.

What was I to do when I saw this Cynthia Rowley design staring back at me from the pattern catalog? Something in me demanded that I make it even though I’d probably never be caught wearing a halter-style crop top with matching high waist pleated pants. I mean, the shirt even has an under-bewb window. I know some ladies would totally rock this look no problem, for me it’s more daring than I’d normally try.

But I loved it! And I figured, if I was going to sew, for me, an outrageous outfit I had better double down, go all in, and totally commit – so naturally I paired the pattern with a huge all over print that screams “look at meeeeeeeeee!!!!”

So this is my experiment in out-of-my-comfort-zone sewing, a fashion challenge to myself, and I think I might have succeeded.

The Pattern: #1371 is one of the more recent releases from Cynthia Rowley and Simplicity. Sewing her designs reminds me of when I first started making clothes using Built By Wendy patterns. The regular Simplicity offerings bored me but the BBW collection was much more my style. Any time there was a sale I’d snatch up all the patterns just to collect as inspiration. And now there’s a new designer who makes me want to collect every single pattern she makes.

I made views A and C just like on the model on the envelope (but without the frill on the crop top).

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The Fabric: Leftover Vlisco wax print from this dress. Even after making this outfit I still have nearly THREE YARDS left! If anyone has any Vlisco of her own and maybe wants to trade a yard or two leave me a comment.

This light weight, crisp cotton was the perfect fabric for this style.

The Changes: Since this was more of a “fun” project I didn’t make a muslin or many changes at all.

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I made a size 12 for top and bottom and both have a tiny bit too much ease. The only thing I changed for the top was making the neck straps tighter in back.

The pants are interesting, the waistband extends above your natural waist. The problem with that was the pants were slightly too big so they kept sliding down to make the waistband sit lower, this made the waistband pouf out at the top so I had to do some after sewing hijinks to wrangle the waistband to be more snug.

And the sliding down waistband in turn caused the crotch line to drop lower. You can’t really tell with the busy print but next time I think I’ll lop off a few inches from the top of the pants and attach the waistband on so that it sits more normally.

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Also with that very tall waistband the crop top hardly seems cropped at all. If I slouch there’s not really a gap at the midriff, in fact it kind of looks like a fancy jumpsuit when the shirt overlaps the pants. I’m sure the envelope model was taller than me.

Even with the waistband shenanigans the pants fit surprisingly well for a big 4 pattern. Pockets don’t stick out, legs aren’t too wide, this pattern might work well for some regular dress pants.

The assembly for the pants was your standard fare but for the top the instructions have you put together all the pieces in a very specific order. I did quite a bit of hand stitching because I wasn’t paying attention to the directions, ooops.

The Results: Ok, I have to admit I will probably never wear this matchy matchy outfit in public. It’s just too strong of a look for me but if I pair the garments separately with something less vivid I think I could pass for normal.

Here’s how I’d probably wear these pieces:

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This is my hi-low circle skirt (rather wrinkled). It’s high waist and a solid color making this a not bad choice for say, hanging out at a concert in the park on a hot summer night.

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And with a plain t-shirt and maybe a couple accessories I could make these my “party pants.” In case I have to go downtown to see a concert. Let’s face it, in Austin, if you’re getting dressed up you’re probably going to a concert somewhere…

Looks like my daring outfit might actually be wardrobe friendly, who would have thought?

So, I ask you, readers, what’s the most crazy, out there, attention grabbing garment you’ve ever made? Have you ever tried sewing something you couldn’t imagine wearing? What styles or prints make you wonder if you could pull them off with confidence?