ALENA and NICKI Show Your Stoff

Welcome to day two and my stop on the Show Your Stoff blog tour. We’re featuring  Zierstoff Patterns throughout the tour and I have a discount code for you below.

I’m really excited to Show My Stoff today, but before I jump in, please be sure to stop by today’s other Show Your Stoff bloggers.

Musings of A Seamstressmahlicadesigns, Anna’s Heirloom Boutique, FABulous Home Sewn

Tuesday teaser collage

Now, back to me. 😉

ALENA IG

The ALENA top was an easy pick for me with its slight kimono sleeve and high and wide neckline, both of which work really well to deemphasize my round shoulders and balance out my pear shape.

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Finding a match for ALENA did take some thought and I finally settled on trying the NICKI capris. My one try with rtw capris in the past looked pretty awful on me;  I know there’s some magic formula for where cropped bottoms should land, but I didn’t use it. I took a chance with what felt comfortable and am super pleased that the NICKIS look good on me.

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I made the ALENA in size 40 using 3/4yd of a very lightweight jersey knit from Finch Fabrics. The fit is perfect and the construction was quick and easy. My sewing machine is no fan of tissue weight knits, so I stabilized my sleeve opening with Pellon Knit-n-Stable before folding it over to hem.

A+N 2

I made the NICKI capris in size 36 using about 1 yd of a brushed poly from Sew Vagabond. Using the brushed poly was a bit of an experiment. I knew the fabric would give me some nice stretch but wasn’t sure how it would work for the pocket and fly details on the pant. It sewed up wonderfully. The faux fly and front slash pockets look neat and tidy and the stretch makes these oh so comfy. Take care pressing multiple layers though, it took a couple washings for the press mark to come out.

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I did make some of my usual adjustments for pants: adding a full seat adjusment and shortening the legs for my 5″3′ frame. I also topstitched the pockets closed and cut out the pocket bags. In the brushed poly I was getting pocket seams showing through.

A+N fun time collage

The ALENA is going to be a Tried and True pattern going forward and I have a plan in the back of my mind to do a pattern hack with the NICKI capris. In the mean time, I’m going to get good use out of this outfit for an upcoming trip to New Orleans and any other time I want to look smart this spring and summer (and secretly be really comfortable).

Thanks to the ladies at Zierstoff for supplying the patterns to enable me to make todays outfit, gving you a discount code,  and thank you for stopping by today.

Use code MahlicaDesigns30 to save 30% through the end of April.

Did you miss yesterday’s bloggers? Here’s the full tour.

Monday April 10- Anne-Mari Sews,  InspinrationTenille’s Thread, Sew Cucio, Embrace Everyday
Tuesday April 11- Musings of A Seamstressmahlicadesigns, Anna’s Heirloom Boutique, FABulous Home Sewn
Wednesday April 12-  Thread and ScissorsKaleidothought, Idle Sunshine, mahlicadesigns
Thursday April 13- Very Blissful, Sew A Piece of Joy, Zowie Zo, Nina MakesThread and Scissors.
Friday April 14- Tales of a TesterBless, by Tone; Life Sew Savory; Needles to Say, Adventures with Bubba and Bug
Saturday April 15- Musings of A Seamstress,  Anna’s Heirloom Boutique, Ronda B HandmadeGlitter in my CoffeeAnne-Mari SewsStitches by Laura; Tea, Dust and Stitches

As always, thanks for visiting the bloggers on the tour.

 

Birkin Flares

After making the Liana Jeans, I was questioning if it is worth the many hours it takes to sew your own jeans. I got some good responses to the question and decided that before I could decide that question for myself, that I really need to sew one or two more pairs. I want to see if I can cut down the sewing time and if I think I’m getting a better fit than store bought.

Birkin Flare IG square 2

Just as I was prepping to sew another pair of jeans, I won a Birkin Flare kit in the monthly drawing from IndieSew. Right away, I dove into making the Birkin Flares with some stash denim.

Birkin Flares

 

To the pattern I added a 1in full seat adjustment based on my experience with the Liana Jeans, shortened the Birkins 2in at the upper thigh adjustment line, shortened 2in at the lower leg adjustment line, and shortened 2in at the hem.

Birkin Flares

My fit muslin came out so well, that I finished them out.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the fit of the Birkins. Next time I might make them a smidge longer, make them slimmer through the upper thigh, and look into changing the construction of the CB seam.

Birkin Flares

I was able to sew these jeans just a smidge faster and the process was easier the second time around especially since I didn’t have to do a ton of fitting to the muslin. Though I still need to tweak fit, I feel like I’m close there too. I’ve decided that I will continue to make my own jeans.

Birkin Flares

The Pattern: Birkin Flares in size 29.  1in Full Seat Adjustment, shortened 6in total. 3/8in seam allowance used at inseam and side seam.

The Fabric: Indigo denim from Fashion Fabrics Club.

Birkin styling collage

The Birkin Flares took 10.75 hours to make. I used 1 1/3yard at 54in wide denim.

Total cost $12          Fabric: $9             Pattern $0         Notions $3

Liana Jeans at the eleventh hour

I made jeans you guys!

Liana Jeans collage

I’ve never made pants or jeans before, so working through the learning curve of fitting was intimidating as heck and totally frustrating at points.

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I started sewing my muslin for the Liana Stretch Jeans last December (2015), got stymied with the fitting process, and put them aside for other things. I really wanted to get past my fear of sewing pants though, so completing a pair of jeans was a big sewing goal for this year.

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I’ll spare you the fitting trials, but I will let you know that I ended up using a full butt adjustment, taking a 1in wedge out of the back thigh to remove wrinkles, taking in the waist about 1 inch, and adjusting the crotch curve. I’m sure I’ll have to do these adjustments on any pants pattern.

Liana Jeans IG square

Now that I’ve knocked off one of my major sewing goals, I should be jumping up and down and giddy, but really I felt burnt out by the process.

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Pattern: Liana Stretch Jeans from Itch to Stitch. Size 8. Bootcut version, but I straightened out the legs because my fabric was not wide enough. The pattern calls for 25% stretch denim which is tough to find. My muslin fabric barely had 5% stretch and was tough to work with. My final version had 15% stretch and was plenty in my mind. If you’re having trouble finding 25% stretch denim, consider using 10%-15% stretch denim instead and buy enough to make a muslin. Itch to Stitch has a super helpful sew along that expands on the instructions, walks through doing a muslin, and gives tips on distressing your denim.

Fabric: 2yds x 52in wide of 10oz denim with 15% stretch from Girl Charlee (no longer available) and a fat quarter of quilting cotton.

I created a pinterest board with jean details if you’d like some inspiration.

The Liana Stretch Jeans took me 11 hours to complete, plus several hours invested into the fitting muslin. I’m hoping that can be cut that down by a couple hours.

Total Cost: $28.60    Fabric $13        Pattern $9.60      Notions: $6

Eleven hours. That’s a big number… and that’s what has me thinking seriously about if I’ll make jeans again. I’m trying to weigh if the time investment is worth the outcome vs. if I can swallow buying RTW and it’s implications.

Keep watching this space for the decision. A pair of Birkin Jeans was on my original plan, but I’m taking a little time to decide on my course of action.

Chi-Town Chinos #SewingDare by mahlicadesigns

A couple months back I took a #SewingDare from Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow. Gillian’s challenge: “I love your mustard skirt, and how it stands out against the neutrals in your wardrobe… so I dare you to make something else bright that can mix and match into your wardrobe!”

My stash is almost all neutrals, so I  grabbed the most colorful fabric in there and started brainstorming. Generally I’m not a florals person, but this cotton twill has moved between my stash and my giveaway pile so many times it’s a little silly. The challenge and the recently released Chi-Town Chinos was a good push to getting cutting.

Chi Towns front

I really like the chino style of the Chi-Towns and have put the skirt version on my Sew Everything list. I definitely want more of these shorts, but that will have to wait for Spring sewing.

Chi Town Chino shorts

The Pattern: Chi-Town Chinos shorts from Alina Design Co. in size 10 based on my measurements. The pattern includes a shorts or skirt version and four options for back pockets.

I liked that you get all the pattern pieces ready right at the start and that the single piece front pocket is nicely finished with facings and french seams. There is a lot of attention to detail that makes everything about the shorts a step above.

Chi Town Chino shorts

The pattern and instructions have fitting built in, which is great for your first time sewing the pattern. The back pattern piece includes an extension that makes it easy to fit the waist and in my case a fuller seat. The instructions walk you through basting and fitting the back piece before you do your final sew.

I found I did not need the extension or need to do a full butt adjustment in my size, but I did have a lot of excess fabric in the back of the legs below my seat. I think this is an indicator that I need to size down and do a full butt adjustment for the smaller size.  I ended up removing 1 in at the inseam and side seam of the back piece only. I like the fit I have now, so I probably won’t experiment with going down a size.

Next time I will also adjust the front crotch curve. I find it scoops out just a little too much for me.

I’m pretty impressed that most of the fitting issues were worked out on the first try by following the pattern instructions.

ChiTowns back

The fabric: One yard of Cone Mills cotton twill and about a FQ of lightweight cotton both from inherited stash.

I’m pleased that the shorts do work with several tops, but honestly the jury is still out on this print. I’ll need to give these some wearing around before I decide if they are “me” or if they will be downgraded to around the house shorts.

Chi Towns feature banner

The Chi-Town Chino shorts took me about 5 hours to complete, including fitting and adjustments. I’m hoping to cut that down to 3.5 hours next time.

Total Cost: $13.75    Fabric $0 (inherited stash)        Pattern $12      Notions: $1.75

Matilda VS. Sloan leggings: Pattern Showdown Series

Welcome back to VS.

A series here at mahlicadesigns with the aim of pairing similar styles against each other in a friendly showdown to see which pattern better suits me, all while working through my pattern stash. (Overview here)

Today we’re switching gears over to leggings.

 

 Sloan leggings from Hey June Handmade

Sloan VS. Matilda 3 square collage

Matilda leggings from Spit Up & Stilettos (download)**

Sloan VS Matilda 1

The Sloan leggings (view B) are a contoured legging with a shaped waistband. Sizing options are included for petite, regular, and tall in addition to the regular, capri and 3/4 length style lines. I used ponte knits with just a little stretch, so I chose my size based on my hip measurement.  The pieced waistband gave me the opportunity to colorblock my front waistband to use up some smaller scraps. I have a few fitting adjustments I’d make to remove a little poofiness from the front rise and a little bit of sag below my bottom. I’m pretty sure that using the suggested stretchy fabrics with recommended smaller size may eliminate these adjustments.

Sloan VS. Matilda 3

The Matilda Leggings are a basic silhouette with rectangular waistband. The rise on these is really short, so I added 1in front and back and would add another 1/2in to the back next time. Only two pattern pieces makes it quick to cut out and quick to sew; but only one piece for the body makes it more challenging to adjust the fit. I probably need to do a full bottom adjustment, but will only be able to adjust the rise to accommodate.  The pattern also seems to be proportioned for a uncurvy shape. I used a standard jersey knit. (See a more thorough review here).

Sloan V Matilda 2

Now let’s compare

Instructions.

Sloan: Thorough and easy to understand instructions with good diagrams. Good tips on picking your correct size and fabrics. I appreciated the tip on adding elastic to the waistband.

Matilda: Straight forward and easy instructions with pictures. The sample in the pictures are in black fabric. Not very helpful, but even a novice sewer can do these with out the pictures.

 

Fit.

Sloan: Size Large based on hip measurement and fabric with little stretch. Other than the fitting adjustments mentioned above, the fit is comfortable and nicely shaped. I may make the waist band shorter next time. It just seams a little out of proportion on me.

Matilda: Size medium. I found them to run a tad small at the hip and not as fitted from the knee down. The rectangular waistband feels a little loose. I would recommend fabrics with 25-50% stretch and good recovery.

Style.

Sloan: Good seam lines, nice shaping, multiple lengths, and color mixing options. A modern look ideal for casual dressing or athletic wear.

Matilda: Good basic legging.

Investment.

Sloan: 1.75 hours to make, fabric $6, pattern $6.95*, about 1.5yd @ 60in wide

Matilda:  1 hour to make, fabric $8, pattern free, about 1yd @ 60in wide

Opportunities.

Sloan: Color blocking galore, but I really wouldn’t want to mess around with the pattern’s design lines

Matilda: Significant time investment to adjust fit and pattern hack.

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For me, the Sloan is the winner. They just feel comfortable everywhere, the pattern is well designed and you can do so much with it.

Sloan 7

*$6.95 was my price through Up Craft Club for the Sloan leggings.

**Spit Up and Stilettos has rebranded to Sadi & Sam; a kids pattern company. Sadly for us, all their free womans patterns have disappeared from the internet. Sadi & Sam have given me permission to share the Matilda pattern with you. Download Here.

Matilda Leggings from Spit Up and Stillettos

I’m pretty sure I mentioned earlier in a post about my Core Wardrobe that I would never wear leggings. I loath that people wear them as pants and I did leggings (stirrup pants back then) in middle school so…

Tonic 2 Tee hack by mahlicadesigns

So here are some leggings I made. Yup, never say never. In September, I joined in a challenge from the facebook group, Sew Alongs & Contests to sew four coordinates. For the challenge I made the Matilda leggings, a skirt, the color blocked Tonic 2 Tee you see above, and a self drafted wristlet. (Watch future posts for details)

The leggings were made to wear under skirts, but are already in heavy rotation around the house as a slightly less frumpy option then wearing my pjs past 10am. (Ah, the problems of a stay at home mom)

Matilda legging by mahlicadesigns

Just a few thoughts on the Matilda Leggings pattern:

This pattern is seriously short in the rise. Without the 3in waistband you’d be a little indecent. I added 1in to the front and back rise and will add another 1/2in to the back rise next time.

Matilda leggings by mahlicadesigns

I made a straight medium according to my measurements, but am feeling a little like a sausage around the rear end, so a little adjustment is needed there. There’s also a little extra room around the calves to slim down.

Matilda legging by mahlicadesigns

Caption: Earlier photo shoot with longer hair

If you are tall you’ll need to add some length to the legs also. I’m 5’4 and the length is perfect for me. I measured the inseam at about 27in.

matildas closeup 2

I picked up 1.5yd of this fabric from the red tag shelves of Joann Fabrics. (Of course I can’t find it online to link you) The right side is a grayish blue with a faded denim look. I used the wrong side, as it was so much cooler and in my Core color palette. I’d say it’s a medium weight knit with good stretch.

Matilda leggings close ip

Caption: I thought I set the..

These went together so quickly I was a little stunned. How often do you get a project done, cut to finish, in one hour? Bonus: At my height, I only used half of my yardage, so plenty left to make the Tonic 2 Tee (to be blogged later) and more.

The Matilda Leggings should take you one hour to complete.

Fabric $8   Pattern $Free    Total Cost: $8

Charcoal Shorts S1430 for Core Wardrobe building

I got lucky with a good fit on my Cobalt Shorts using simplicity 1430, so I decided to make one more pair in charcoal to fill out the shorts portion of my summer core wardrobe.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesignsToo bad luck doesn’t strike twice. I used a reversible bottom weight in a poly blend from Joann’s. Its a classic and more dressy looking fabric, but I had a harder time with fitting since it has no stretch.

Here are the shorts almost done.

Charcoal Shorts pullingThere’s a little pulling across the front and gapping pockets. From the side you can see the too tight seat is pulling at the hip which is distorting the front.

Charcoal Shorts pulling I let out the center back seam as much as I could for only a minor improvement. I was too lazy to unpick the side seams for a little more help.

Charcoal Shorts by mahicadesignsYeah, not as slimming as one would hope. I guess rear pockets may be in order the next time I feel daring enough to try pants or shorts again.

A few details:

Simplicity 1430 view D size 12. The pattern calls for 1 1/4yrd. For both versions I made used closer to 3/4 yrd.

I narrowed the leg by grading the width at the inseam from 5/8in at the crotch to 1in wide at the hem.

I spent a little extra time cutting out each piece individually to make sure the stripe of the fabric was lined up properly. I used a printed quilting cotton instead for the pocket facing to reduce bulk. (The wrong side of the fabric was a hounds tooth, interesting)

pocket detail

I made a small position adjustment so the top of the zipper would not peak out like on my last version. Next time, I need to take into account that a little wider zipper overlap is needed when using a thicker fabric.

Charcoal Shorts by mahlicadesigns

Simplicity 1430 view D should take you about 6 hours.

Fabric $12*   Zipper $1.50*   Pattern from stash    Total Cost: $13.50

*Price after using discount coupons.

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