Lander Pant in Japanese Cotton/Linen

I bought this Japanese cotton/linen lightweight canvas back in April from Stonemountain (now sadly sold out) and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to make with it. A simple sheath dress seemed like the obvious choice, but I felt like this amazing print had more potential. I played around with the idea of a two-piece setacular with a mini skirt and crop top, but again it didn’t feel quite right to me. Then one day I was going through my stash and I held up the panel to evaluate it again and it hit me: pants! I posted about my revelation on Instagram and got some well-meaning replies that maybe I should make a sheath dress, but I was determined to make some crazy pants. And then a couple months later (my sewing queue is long and slow-moving), True Bias released the Lander Pant and it was like the stars aligned.

My Refashioners 2017 project was my first run with this pattern and of course I used a fabric that Kelli probably did not intend for the Landers to be made in (silk!). This Kokka fabric is closer to what the pattern recommends, though it’s still slightly lightweight. I was super fussy about my cutting in order to a) try to get things lined up across seams and b) not have a big red cloud right on my ass. It was tricky and I ended up having to piece the waistband, but that’s no big deal.

You may have noticed that I didn’t include the patch pockets on the front. This is partially because trying to pattern match those would have been a pain, and also because I wanted a sleeker look in the front. I created these little (actually a bit too little) pockets in the waistband seam. Can I call them welt pockets? All I know is that I wanted them to resemble Kamm pants a bit and I think I accomplished that! (At least with the pockets, ha.) I also left off the belt loops to keep with that sleeker look.

Love that accidental airplane fly (get it?)

Kelli is an amazing pattern drafter and the proportions of the Lander Pant are absolutely spot on. I graded from a 6 in the waist to a 10 in the hips and kept the length as drafted for the cropped pant. I was worried about the back pockets being too big and square, but I think they look pretty great actually. The only issue I have is that the waistband is totally straight, so I have some gaping in the back and sides. I should have caught this before cutting and next time I’ll draft a curved waistband.

Other things to note: I used a dark green thread for topstitching and the jeans buttons came from Stonemountain (they’re the brass ones here). For construction seams I used light grey thread, which seems to work for most of the colors in the print.

Let’s talk about this print for a second, because it’s kind of the star of the show. It’s called “Cinema,” which I don’t really get because there’s nothing movie-related in it. There’s an airport, a beach, and a carnival, but no movie theater. Go figure. I love the colors in this fabric, from the dark green night sky to the pale pink sand. There are actually daytime and greyscale versions as well, but I prefer this one. I find the illustration style so playful and charming, and I usually don’t like any prints with human figures.

In looking up this fabric just now I learned that the original art was created through Chigiri-e, which is a Japanese papercraft that traditionally used hand-dyed washi paper. Wow!

I think these Lander Pants might be my favorite make this year. Though I’ve never made or worn anything like this before, they feel completely me. I feel like sewing has really expanded my capacity to wear bright colors and prints. I actually don’t remember the last time I made something solid black (my Kochi Kimono doesn’t count because it’s two-toned) and this is the most fun my closet has ever been. I fully encourage everyone to try making a pair of wild pants, whether they’re fancy (velvet?!) or just kind of silly (grass pants!). Go for it!

I have plans for at least one more pair of Lander Pants in the nearish future and probably also some pattern hacking/mashing with the Lander as a base. It’s just an excellent, excellent pattern with tons of potential.

Perfect fit on the booty!

Linen Jacket / Stretch and Sew 1007

At my previous job, one of my coworkers often wore an amazing cobalt blue linen jacket that belonged to her mom. I loved how effortlessly cool it looked and decided I needed to make something similar. I found the perfect pattern on Etsy by a vintage company called Stretch and Sew. As the name suggests, this pattern calls for woven or knit fabrics with 25% (or less) stretch. Which I ignored, of course, and went with this linen blend fabric I had on hand (I think I bought it for a Highlands Wrap Dress?). I also ignored the baffling instructions that say to stretch out the fabric as you sew…why???

The only modification I made was to lengthen the body slightly. I also went down a few sizes because I didn’t want much of an oversized fit. It wouldn’t button if it had closures, but I think it’s a nice fit for a jacket that’s meant to be worn open.

In the same week that I finished this back in July, I went on a short work trip to Joshua Tree that involved very long, very hot days. I’m extremely sensitive to the sun (pale problems), so I actually wore this jacket constantly. It was great! I was protected from the sun and still looked decently professional. Don’t ask me why I’m crouching so weirdly in the photo below though.

This is the perfect travel jacket and it has really become a staple in my wardrobe. I love the big patch pockets and the satisfying weight of this linen/rayon blend. I’d love to make another in a bright colored linen—maybe red or a great bold blue like my former coworker’s jacket? I’m thinking a longer one that’s slightly bigger with a tie belt would be fantastic.

Linen Jumpsuit from Kwik Sew K3389

Jumpsuits have definitely been having A Moment for the past couple of years, thanks in part to the minimal cool-girl style of brands like Ilana Kohn, Black Crane and Horses Atelier. I’ve always liked jumpsuits, but never tried them out because I didn’t think they would look good on my curvy and definitely non-statuesque figure. Thankfully, I realized that I was being stupid and I should just make what I want!

“Jumpsuit” covers a lot of ground, from totally baggy and sack-like (see the afore-mentioned Ilana Kohn) to super form-fitting and tailored, with all kinds of other details that make them all totally unique. I wanted something that was more like a flight suit or mechanic’s coveralls, very workwear inspired. I couldn’t find a pattern that fit my vision (McCall’s M7330 is close, but I didn’t like the waistband/fly situation), so I decided to start with Kwik Sew K3389—a true coveralls pattern. Perfect, except that it’s a men’s pattern!

 

I started with the smallest size, which actually wasn’t a bad match for my hip measurement. The first modification I did was to remove the extra opening near the side pockets that gives the wearer access to the pants he would be wearing underneath. Since I wouldn’t be wearing these as coveralls, I didn’t want any easy access to my underwear! I wish I could give exact directions on how I got the rest of the garment to fit, but it was really just a lot of pinning, taking in the sides, and raising up the waistband by a good 3 inches. The chest pockets from the original pattern became the back pockets and I used snaps instead of a zipper in the front.

I’m incredibly happy with how this turned out! The booty and hip area fits amazingly well considering that I didn’t know what I was doing and I think the good fit there makes the overall slouchiness a bit less sloppy-looking. The linen is European 100% Linen in charcoal grey from Fabric.com. I bought a bunch of this stuff a while ago and I’m glad I waited to make it into something, because it was perfect for this project. It’s nice and soft after washing, but still has a little weight to make it appropriate for bottoms.

I get a ton of compliments whenever I wear this and it makes me feel really cool. It also satisfies my butch/femme balance because I can dress it up with a scarf and heels like here or wear it with my beat-up Converse and feel like I’m off to go paint a house or change the oil in a car. (haha, as if I know how to do that!!) It also has further proven that Sewing is Magic because I didn’t think I would look good in something like this and probably would have never bought a RTW jumpsuit like this (also because they’re like $400 lol) but I think I look pretty damn good ok!

Speaking of jumpsuits, have you seen the new one by In the Folds for Peppermint Magazine? It’s totally dreamy and I think I’m going to have to make one. And it might have to be made out of my photo backdrop! It’s a super lush silk hand-dyed by my amazing friend Ailee (of this dyeing adventure). Wouldn’t it look beautiful as a jumpsuit?

Where do you stand on jumpsuits? I love that I can get dressed in one garment, but I hate that I have to basically get completely undressed to pee!

From Flora Dress to Vogue V1247 Skirt

About a year and a half ago I visited Japan and of course made a stop at Nippori Fabric Town. I was fairly new to sewing, but fabric addiction hit me early so I came back with a suitcase half full of purchases from Tomato. One of the pieces I picked up was this medium-heavy weight linen blend (I think) with wide stripes in beautiful muted colors. For some reason, I decided this thick fabric would be great for a sundress. I picked the Flora Dress from By Hand London, did a botched FBA and foolishly made a gathered skirt. I wore it maybe three times because it was too hot, the invisible zip was uneven, and the bust did not look good. So it sat languishing in my closet and I mourned the loss of the fabric to such unskilled sewing.

Apologies for the grainy photo!

But a year later, I realized that the gathered skirt was not such a bad decision at all, because it meant that I had a big rectangle of fabric ready to be reused! I had already made the famed (and unfortunately out of print) Rachel Comey Vogue 1247 skirt once in some denim also from Japan and it turned out great, so I decided to make another at the expense of my terrible Flora Dress attempt.

By the grace of the sewing gods, I actually had enough in the skirt and my leftover scraps to manage fairly decent pattern matching across the front and back yokes. I didn’t get so lucky with the waistband, but I don’t mind. On my first V1247 I just serged the insides, but on this one I decided to go along with the pattern instructions and bind everything in bias binding. Handmade bias binding. I regretted that one pretty quickly and it’s not my finest work, but it does make for nice garment guts. I used the same Alison Glass batik fabric for the pocket lining and most of the binding, and then switched to another Alison Glass batik for the hem when I ran out of the first one.

 

The only pattern adjustment I made was to lengthen the skirt by three inches because as drafted it’s extremely short! Luckily I knew that ahead of time from the many, many other sewing bloggers who have made this skirt before me.

As all of those other sewists have said, this skirt is amazing and the pockets are genius. If you can get your hands on the V1247 pattern you definitely should! My pattern is actually traced from a friend’s, but I would love to get my mitts on the actual thing. But since it’s going for $75 on eBay right now (!!!), I doubt that’s going to happen and I should probably just spend some time tracing mine onto sturdier pattern paper.

“Linen” Dove Blouse / The Biggest Sleeves in the World

This is a (very wrinkly) Dove Blouse by Megan Nielsen and let’s be honest: this isn’t really my style. It’s a bit too “boho” (hate that term), a bit too trendy, a bit too difficult to wear. But I do have a lot of fun in this top because I love swishing my sleeves around! I don’t love getting them into my food or knocking over everything when I reach for something. I won’t get into it, but there were a lot of potential blue paint disasters at work today. This garment really takes some mindfulness to wear.

This is only the second time I’ve worn this shirt since making it a few months ago. It might get a little more play once it gets warmer, since jackets + massive bell sleeves don’t really work that well. And I may feel more comfortable in this deep yellow when it’s more sunny and warm. And maybe I should shorten the sleeves so that they’re right above my wrists.

I sound like such a hater, but actually I really love this pattern! It’s designed super well, fits without any fitting and has a lot of variation that I’m excited to play with. I think if I shorten it a bit and make the version with plain sleeves (maybe cuffed?) then it will be a winner. And I’ve started on a mega-hack to make a wrap blouse inspired by this NEED top, so it has a lot of potential for other projects.

The deets: I used a linen-like fabric from Joann that I initially bought for a Kielo Wrap Dress a while ago. I had a bunch of it, like 4 yards, so it was great for these giant giant sleeves. I stuck to the pattern exactly and everything fit really nicely and came together easily. I love a v-neck woven blouse and this one is really lovely thanks to Megan Nielsen’s excellent instructions. The hem facing is a little weird and requires a bunch of hand stitching if you don’t want to topstitch, but it ended up being fine and looks really clean. I also like how it weighs down the hem a bit, but you may not want that if you’re working with a floatier fabric.

Basically, this is a really amazing pattern that makes a garment not quite suited to my style, but I’m really happy to have a nicely fitted v-neck pattern I can use as a base for tops that work for me.

P.S. Of course I forgot to take any photos of the dippy back hem! Oops.

Farrow Dress in Composition Book Linen

When I first saw the Farrow Dress on Grainline’s blog I knew I would be sewing it up eventually. It took me a little while to figure out what fabric to use first though — draped rayon, cozy flannel, ultra cozy wool? It had been rainy and chilly for weeks in Berkeley, so I was leaning toward something soft and warm. But then we had a few days of sunshine and I came to my senses. Most of the year it’s warm and sunny, so why would I make a wool garment that I could only wear a few weeks out of the year? Linen it is then.

I found this great linen at Stonemountain and Daughter and bought the scant 3 yards left on the bolt. It makes me think of composition notebooks, but I think the fact that it’s linen keeps it from looking too childish. (Right?) I have enough left over for another small project and I was thinking an Inari crop tee.

I thought I wouldn’t have enough for the long sleeve version of the Farrow and the sleeveless isn’t really my style, so I went with short sleeves. Still summery, but I can wear it at work. I also shortened the overall length by two inches and brought it back to nearly work-inappropiate. Oh, and I completely forgot about the back neckline fastening until I was about to add the facing! I found that I didn’t need it, so I left it out. I guess I have a small head or something.

The construction of this dress is genius! I mean, duh pockets, but these pockets are amazing! You can tell how much I love them because in every picture I took my hands are in the pockets. I’m already thinking of ways I could incorporate this construction into other garments. Maybe a fitted skirt?

This dress is so comfy and I’m glad I got to wear it on the few sunny days we’ve had this month. It’s back to rain and next up is a wool jersey turtleneck. I’m hoping to finish it before I go to New York this month. Does anyone have any must-see fabric store recommendations?