Alexandria and Jarrah

Happy Spring lovely sewing people! I’m back outside and I have two new makes to share with you … the ‘Named – Alexandria Peg Trousers’ and the ‘Megan Nielsen – Jarrah Sweater’.

Have you ever ordered some fabric online and loved it so much when it arrived that you instantly shelve all other project plans to make something with it as quickly as possible? Well that’s what happened to me with this gorgeous jacquard jersey from Guthrie & Ghani. It is so, so soft and so, so cute (I have a little collection of real life cacti so I already had a soft spot for them).

Straight away I knew which pattern I wanted to make with it – the Jarrah sweater. I’ve made this top before, I’ve even made this version before (with the tie waist) but in a plain pink fabric that made me feel like a freshly washed piglet.

One of these days I will remember to put on some proper shoes in the photos!

This time around I decided to lengthen the body a little bit. I know this is a very weird thing to do when you’re 5’3″ but I remembered that the previous version, once tied, tended to ride up and leave a little space above the top of my pants. If there’s one thing I CAN’T STAND in winter clothes it’s any access for a cold breeze!

I’ve made the funnel neck version too in the past and it’s a lovely pattern, both to sew and wear. It’s quick to come together and there’s nothing very tricky about it. Probably the most difficult bit is getting the curve around the ties to look neat. With this very stretchy jersey it was fine and I’m happy with the overall finish.

I paired the top with a pair of Alexandria pants that I made a week or so ago. I’ve made these before too but only in jersey so I was interested to see how they work in a woven fabric. (it’s one of those patterns where you can use either). The fabric is a sort of linen, I can’t remember where it came from.

Do you get inspired to sew things by people you see on the street, in a magazine, or on TV? I do all the time and it’s usually a pretty mundane look rather than something super stylised like the Pinterest suggestions I get served up. There was a scene in The Morning Show where a character was wearing some casual sort of sweat pants that I instantly wanted to copy. I didn’t bother pausing the TV to study the pattern or anything so these are probably nothing like the version I saw but I like them all the same. Sometimes the spark of the idea is all you need.

I didn’t shorten them as much as I usually would because I wanted to roll up the bottoms. I also tried to emulate a technique from the Closet Case Pietra pants (made three times so far and not blogged once!) where although they are held up by elastic, the front waistband is kept flat and all the gathering is in the back. I know I am not alone in loving the comfort of stretchy waistbands but not wanting to showcase that I’m wearing elasticated trousers (anyone else in the UK have a horror of looking like something out of the ‘Classics Collection’ in M&S?)

Anyway, this outfit is a bit off track for my resolution of sewing more smart and fancy items but as an ‘around the house’ set I feel it is a success. The only thing I’m less than happy with is the back pockets. I can never just do plain pockets as given in a pattern, I always have to mess around and put my ‘creative stamp’ on them. I’m vaguely aware that there are a set of rules regarding pocket size and placement for ultimate ‘flatteration’ and I’m pretty sure I have made the back as unflattering as possible. Probably they are just spaced too far apart … all suggestions welcome!

Until next time …. happy sewing!

Lander and Paola

Hello everybody.  Thanks for stopping by.  Today I have a whole outfit to talk about!

I’m pretty happy with the way this has worked out – I’m not usually very good at planning my sewing, I get distracted by the latest patterns and the newest fabric without much thought as to how they will fit into my wardrobe.  So to be able to wear two handmade garments together is a bit of a triumph.

I made these True Bias Lander pants a few weeks ago and I just love them.

The pattern is easy to put together and the instructions are clear. I didn’t make any alterations other than my usual shortening. I did draft my own back pockets though because I wanted them smaller.  I also had an idea to use the fringed selvedge at the top just for fun and I am very pleased with how it worked out.

I am way behind with this pattern because there are so many fantastic versions already floating around the sewing blogosphere and I can see why.  They are really comfy but stylish and I particularly like the high waisted fit and those deep front pockets.

I got these fab buttons from Amazon – they were really cheap and you get about a hundred all with different printed patterns.

I have sadly failed in my endeavour to be totally organised with my fabric log so I have no idea where this orangey/mustard material came from.  It’s a sort of thick linen, no stretch at all and a rough woven texture. You could probably make a very nice pair of curtains with it.  It’s perfect for trousers and I love this colour.  Wearing any kind of yellow near my face makes me look like a corpse but I really like mustard so yellow trousers is a good compromise.

The fabric for the top I got more recently so I can tell you it’s from Croft Mill and it’s lovely.  Soft and fine with a subtle stripey texture and it comes in several colour ways.  It’s a bit of a pain to sew with because it really rolls up at the edges but it’s very nice to wear.  The Named Paola top is very quick and easy to put together.

The only alteration I made was to add a narrow band to the bottom.  As many sewists have mentioned, the pattern is really short – that didn’t matter too much to me as I’m only 5’3″ anyway but I liked the idea of a band with the stripes going the opposite way so I added one. The arms are a bit long but I like that cosiness so I didn’t shorten them.

When I wear these and look in the mirror I really like the fit but in this photo they look a bit baggy in the back … my fitting skills are very basic so I don’t really know what I would do here – any suggestions are welcome!

I am well aware how ridiculous my bright green Crocs look here but I’m always too lazy to change my shoes when I take photos.

It’s so grey outside at the moment that I decided to try a new posing spot in the garden to catch a little bit of late afternoon sun.  I’m going to include this photo because LOOK AT MY HEAD!!  It took me longer than usual to run to the spot while the timer was going so I think I must have got there just as it went off. HAHAHA!