Floral Faux Jumpsuit

The aim was a matching floral faux-jumpsuit, my inspiration was summer garden parties, or perhaps the kind of ensemble that one might wear to an outdoor wedding in the summer. The fabric didn’t necessarily scream ‘Jess’, but I was also quite drawn to it, so perhaps it actually did call my name (but more of a whisper than a scream).

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Here it is with a half-tuck

Fabric: This Madison Viscose Twill fabric was sent to me by UK-based Fabric Godmother in return for posting my finished garment and tagging them on social media. The fabric is part of their collaboration with the Print Pattern Archive, this design came from a sample in a 1940’s swatch book and was printed on a silk crepe. I like the idea of re-printing old prints (there’s so many great wallpapers and decorative tiles in the world that need to be fabric)!

Working with the fabric: I noticed that there were some white lines on the fabric where it was cut when it arrived, so I decided that it needed to be treated with care. I serged the ends before washing, used a sharp needle and tried to avoid unpicking as much as possible. The fabric feels nicely hefty (it has a similar feel to 5oz tencel twill) but I’m not sure of the actual weight.

Yardage: I had 3.8m of 150cm fabric. Fabric Godmother did send me a little more than I had asked for, which was just as well since I ended up cutting two identical bag leg pieces (instead of mirrored pieces), even though I was trying to be very careful! I didn’t notice until I’d entirely constructed the front of the pants, so I ended up cutting one of the back legs and piecing together scraps to form the new crotch curve. You really can’t see it in the finished product thanks to the busy print.

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Here it is with the top tucked in, jumpsuit style

The pants: These are my Frankenstein’s Monster pants, which are Glebe Pants adjacent with a lengthened crotch curve. I can give no size information, because the pattern is so far from the original (literally made of different parts like Frankenstein’s Monster).

The top: How many changes can you make to a pattern before it’s really no longer a hack of that pattern and something that’s barely related at all to the original? The top here is the Ashton Top, which I’d made before, but this time I sized down to get a closer fit to my shoulders, did a small shoulder adjustment, scooped out and also dropped the arm hole to give myself more room for my arms (and to remove some excess fabric because of my narrow upper chest). I rotated out the bust dart at the hem to create extra room through the belly, and then I slashed and spread the back and front pieces until I’d created a lot of extra swing. So… at some point this pattern was an Ashton Top and what I’ve got here is the very distant relative that maybe couldn’t even be replicated since I shaved off paper, cut bits away and haphazardly slashed as I went. I did start with a Size 18, D cup though.

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Here it is from the side with the half tuck.

Plum frankenpants

I’m on a franken-pants kick at the moment, and I whipped up these buttery soft tencel pants with a slightly tapered leg.

This mulberry tencel is from Fabric Deluxe in Australia. This is about a 5oz tencel, but it’s buttery soft and has a slight peachskin or sandwashed sheen. I thought maybe it wasn’t heavy enough for pants but it’s actually delightful and I’ve been living in these since.

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This is my 3rd very wearable version of these Frankenstein’s Monster pants. My first pair was a wide-leg navy tencel and my 2nd pair were a bright spring green viscose crepe.

You might remember that I have some plum Willandra Pants, so I knew that this colour would pair really well with lots of things in my wardrobe! The Torrens Box Top I’m wearing is made from fabric that I bought a whole deadstock bolt of! Every time I wear it, I think ‘I really need to sew more with this’ because I love the delicate soft pink.

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I especially like this soft kind of monochromatic combo with my Sevilla Smith Ito shoes, but I’ve also worn it with my bright green sneakers for walkies in the park.

Green Monster Pants

I whipped up a new pair of Frankenstein’s monster pants and my intention was to make a top in matching fabric (for a faux jumpsuit matching-set), but I couldn’t decide on a pattern so the top remains a work-in-progress!

It’s not SUPER obvious in my photos, but the pants have a double pleat on the front (so 4 pleats in total) and there’s 4 darts on the back to minimise some of the extra fabric that I inevitably get pooling in the small of my back. I had intended to make the front of the waistband flat (no elastic), but I sewed these up during a Muna and Broad Patreon Zoom Sewing Circle and I obviously got distracted because there’s interfacing in the front of the waistband, but also elastic.

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So after I finally hemmed this today, and lay them out on my bed to find some other things to wear with it to take some photos, I was very pleased to find that my radioactive Muna and Broad Huon Dress was a very close colour-match. They both paired well with this forest green Nullarbor Cami, and the final touch was these blister-inducing shoes which I are my go-to shoes when I feel like there’s no way to avoid being very dramatic anyway.

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The pants are made from rayon crepe from The Fabric Store here in NZ, this particular shade is Lemongrass and isn’t available any more. I’ve seen the Citron colour, which is similar (but more yellow/neon toned) and I like it’s radioactive qualities even more than this particular shade.

The dress and the pants have a striking similarity to the fresh spring growth that I’ve been very much enjoying in my local park, so I suppose I can say that this very bright ensemble is inspired by this very lovely time of year.

No idea yet about the matching top, but hopefully inspiration for that strikes before I get to summer!

Tencel Pants

I’ve been casually making and modifying a pants pattern (which is made from a mash-up of several patterns) for the last wee-while, sewing up a toile and then taking terrible mirror selfies of the fit before trying to think through how I could address the various bits I notice.

I’d been stewing on adding some width through the knees/calves on the pattern, and changing the shape of the front crotch curve to better accommodate my belly. Then yesterday I decided, in an unusual fit of inspiration/decisiveness, to add width through the front and back leg to make some wide-leg pants with a 2″ pleat at the front from the pattern. So added width at the front and the back and hoped for the best.

Basically they’re the Frankenstein’s monster of pants.

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I’d forgotten about this tencel in my stash, but I’ve rediscovered it and made it into pants in less than a week! It was all very fortuitous since I’d been thinking about some blue pants (and indeed, I’ve been on the hunt for blue tencel and have ordered some from Blackbird Fabric that’s a slightly different shade to this navy, which almost reads as black).

Pattern details: There’s a 2″ pleat on the front and in the back there’s 4 cute wee darts. There are elastic-waist pants, so the darts can’t be miracle workers, but they did remove some of the pooling I was getting in the centre back. Even with the pleats and the darts, there’s still plenty of room to get the pants over my largest measurement. The pockets are ‘Glebe Pants style’, but on future versions, I’ll deepen the pocket opening so that there’s more room for my arm in there.

I had thought that these pants were much wider than the Glebe Pants, but actually the legs are almost exactly the same width!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking. Or over-thinking. Perhaps I’ve been over-thinking about over-thinking. For the purposes of the blog, I’m going to tell you about the over-thinking I’ve been doing about fitting and how I’d let it kill my pants-making drive.

Working on various toiles of the ‘cobbled together’ pants pattern, assessing fit and then making changes to the pattern.. Well, it felt a lot like work and not at all like the fun and carefree sewing that I like to do.

Sometimes it’s handy to remind myself that there are plenty of fitting things that I have ignored and continue to ignore/deal with in RTW clothing. So, why can’t I give the same grace to my handmade clothes? Because every pair of pants that I’ve made has definitely been an improvement on RTW pants, but lately that hasn’t felt like enough.

It’s so easy to let your sewing hobby snowball into a fitting fest, or to feel like you should be really interested in and concerned about fitting. I’ve certainly felt a bit bummed that I don’t know more, not for my own interest, but more just to combat imposter syndrome.

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So my generally latent impetuous side snapped me out of my funk yesterday, and told me to ‘cut into the tencel without a toile’. Wise impetuous me knew that even if these weren’t the perfect pants, I’d still get something that I’d get a lot of wear from anyway! And although there’s plenty of unanswered questions and thoughts for the next version, I’ve got the blue pants I wanted!