Comfy Chic

Swoon scarf neck cardigan, Style Arc Sadie Pants

These are three of my favorite pieces that I’ve made recently! They may be “boring basics”, but I love them and wear them constantly.

First, the pants. These are the Sadie Pant by Style Arc, a pull-on pant with a flat front and a tapered leg with a hem split. I’d never made or worn this style of pant before, but I was looking for an alternative to my usual jeans, and I’d heard that Style Arc had a good pants block.

And it turns out they do! These pants fit me really well with no alterations. I was afraid the elastic-waist style would mean that they were baggy, but they’re actually quite slim-fitting. My measurements put me squarely in the size 6 and I have to do a little wiggle to get them over my hips, so keep that in mind if you’re grading between sizes!

I should also note that the length was perfect on me and I’m 5’4″, so taller ladies may want to lengthen them.

Style Arc Sadie Pants

Style Arc Sadie Pants

As with all Style Arc patterns, the instructions are very minimal. I had a little trouble understanding how the pockets are supposed to be formed, but I think I figured it out in the end.

Somehow I missed that the phrase “the elastic is a feature” in the description meant that while the front is flat, the elastic is supposed to be exposed around the sides and back. That wasn’t the look I was going for, so I had to do a bit of finagling to create a fabric cover for the elastic and sew it in place. In hindsight, I should have just lengthened the leg pieces at the top and folded them over to create the waistband.

The fabric is an absolutely heavenly tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. If it wasn’t so spendy I’d make all my clothes out of this stuff! It’s the perfect weight and drape for these pants and I love the feel of it.

So construction niggles aside, these pants are definitely a win! They’re super comfortable, but they still look nice enough to wear to work or pretty much any other occasion.

Style Arc Sadie Pants

Style Arc Sadie Pants

Swoon scarf neck cardigan

Next is the Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan. This is a free pattern that I downloaded years ago but have just now gotten around to making up. I really like the design and it was easy to put together – what took the longest was definitely hemming all those edges.

I used a ribbed sweater knit from Blackbird Fabrics (sold out), and it’s perfectly cozy – just what a cardigan should be!

Swoon scarf neck cardigan

Swoon scarf neck cardigan

Swoon scarf neck cardigan

Swoon scarf neck cardigan, Style Arc Sadie Pants

And last but not least is the Sew Over It Silk Cami. I’ve been needing a woven tank/camisole pattern for a while, but I could never decide which one to get. Joining the SOI PDF Club and getting to choose a pattern is what finally convinced me to try this one out.

I almost always have to make upper body fitting adjustments, so I made a muslin first. I ended up shortening it by 1/2″ above the bust and used a 3/4″ seam allowance when joining the straps. I also took 3″ off the bottom at the center front and back, blending to 1 3/4″ at the side seams (so the hem curve isn’t as pronounced). So basically a lot of shortening all over!

The fabric I used is a really nice mid-weight rayon crepe from The Fabric Store – it feels very high-end.

The only other issue I had is that the facing pieces are a bit larger than the cami pieces. Maybe I’m missing something, or I made a mistake cutting the pattern out? I’ve already make a second version of this cami where I trimmed down the facing pieces to match, and they definitely lay inside nicer.

I like that the instructions give you a really nice finish with an all-in-one facing and French seams. I also like that there aren’t any darts so it’s quicker to sew. I’m really happy with the fit now, and I’ll definitely be making more of these!

Hope you’re having a lovely spring!

<3 Lindsay

Flint Wide Leg Pants

Flint Wide Leg Pants

Last fall I had the opportunity to test the newest Megan Nielsen pattern, the Flint Wide Leg Pants. I was excited to try them out because it’s a style I’ve been curious about but never worn. And it turns out I like them quite a bit! They’re fun and swishy to wear, and I think they create a really cool silhouette.

Flint Wide Leg Pants

Flint Wide Leg Pants

They remind me of ’20s-era Oxford Bags, as well as this super-stylish David Bowie (and fam) photo shoot:

David Bowie, the pop star and song writer, whose wife Angie three weeks ago presented him with a baby boy, which they have called Zowie. *** Local Caption *** retromusic

The fabric I used is a poly-blend suiting from Style Maker Fabrics. Michelle kindly helped me pick out an appropriate fabric, and I think the weight and drape is perfect for these kind of pants. I’m always wary of polyester, but this fabric feels great and looks high-quality.

When I was testing I wasn’t sure if the pants were meant to be full-length or cropped. I cut them out as-is and they were definitely long enough for full-length pants on me. I figured I’d wear those more than cropped pants so that’s what I did. It turns out they are supposed to be cropped, and the pattern pieces have been shortened by 2″ in the final pattern, although if you’re around my height – 5’4″ – you’ll probably need to shorten them more than that.

The pants ended up being just a smidge too big, which was probably to be expected since my measurements are a bit smaller than the size I made. I do wish Megan Nielsen would expand their size range – only having five sizes is a bit limiting.

Flint Wide Leg Pants

Flint Wide Leg Pants

The pattern was really straightforward to construct and didn’t take too long at all. I think it would be a good intro to pants-making since it’s a looser fitting style and there’s no fly zip to deal with.

My favorite thing about these pants is the cross-over opening! I’d never seen that feature before. Basically, the left pocket opens up enough that you don’t need a zipper to get in and out. You can’t really put anything (other than your hand) in that pocket, but you still have a fully functional right pocket. I also love the look of the release tucks!

Flint Wide Leg Pants

Flint Wide Leg Pants

Flint Wide Leg Pants

Overall I’m pretty happy with these pants, and it was fun to try out a new style! I’m working on another new style of pant for me right now – the Style Arc Sadie. I’m using some gorgeous tencel from Blackbird Fabrics, so fingers crossed they turn out!

<3 Lindsay

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

This winter I had the opportunity to test a design from the new Named collection, and I chose the Ansa Dress, a modern and feminine cocktail dress!

I think the style lines for this pattern are so interesting! The raglan butterfly sleeves, the waist pleats, and the curved bust panel are all really fun elements that I’d never sewn before. It’s an untraditional take on a cocktail dress and I love that about it. The waist pleats are my favorite element – they provide the perfect amount of shaping and visual interest. And the lack of a waist seam means this dress is seriously comfortable!

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

As usual with Named patterns, everything came together really smoothly. I had a few suggestions for the instructions and they were all incorporated in the final pattern – it’s nice to see that Named really cares about the feedback process! The only pattern alteration I made was to shorten the dress by 2″. I probably should have shortened the bodice above the bust as well, as there’s some extra fabric there. I’ve come to realize lately that I often need that adjustment, but I haven’t gotten in the habit of doing it yet.

The fabric is a stretch silk satin that I picked up at Les Coupons de Saint Pierre a couple years ago. It was a three meter cut, so I still have enough left over to make a blouse – I’m thinking another Melilot! It’s really nice to wear and wasn’t too difficult to sew. It does show creases and puckers pretty badly though, which is especially evident around the zipper at the back. Ah well, I’m not too worried by it!

One thing I am really pleased about is how neat my neckline binding turned out. That’s a skill I’ve definitely improved on lately!

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Have you added any of the new Named patterns to your queue? I have the Reeta midi shirt dress on my list, and I also love the look of the Ronja dungarees!

<3 Lindsay

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Even though I’ve made quite a few Seamwork patterns and the Cooper backpack twice, this is the first time I’ve actually sewn with a Colette apparel pattern! I made this Selene skirt all the way back in July, so the construction details are a little bit fuzzy, but I do remember that the instructions were great and I don’t think I encountered any difficulties.

The skirt is made from some lovely raw silk that my grandma gave me. I decided to use some of it for this project, but I knew it would be a bit too lightweight for a structured skirt like this, so I underlined it with Kona cotton. Underlining really made a huge difference – it made the silk feel much more substantial, and it also keeps it from wrinkling too badly!  For the lining I used bemberg rayon.

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

This is definitely one of the best garments I’ve made in terms of finishing. Lining, underlining, lapped zipper, vent, hand-sewn hem… these all make the skirt feel very high-quality. This was my first time doing a lapped zipper, and I think it turned out pretty well! I like that Colette includes vintage-inspired techniques like that. The notched pockets are my favorite feature!

White’s hard to photograph, so unfortunately the construction details don’t show up too well! I lowered the highlights, so hopefully you can make them out okay.

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

The turtleneck I made toward the end of last winter. The fabric is a lightweight merino wool from The Fabric Store. I used Style Arc’s Alexi pattern and the fit is pretty good, although it’s a bit too big through the shoulders and bust. I also shortened the sleeves and the body by an inch or two.

I actually just made another Alexi turtleneck last weekend from Kaufman Laguna jersey, and the fit is much better and tighter, so I guess it just depends on your stretch percentage. The pattern says it’s “suitable for any stretch knit fabric”, so not a lot of guidance there. It is a great basic though!

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

I have about two yards of the raw silk left, so if you have any pattern suggestions that it would work well for I’d love to hear them! I think I’ll try dyeing it a darker color for whatever I use it for next.

<3 Lindsay

In the Folds – Ruffle Peplum Tank

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Hello again! As expected, grad school’s been taking up most of my time lately, so my poor blog’s been a little neglected. I’ve still been sewing though, and I have a small backlog of projects waiting to be blogged, hopefully over winter break!

I made (and photographed) this tank back in September. It’s a free pattern by Australian designer In the Folds, downloadable at the Peppermint Magazine sewing school site. As soon as I saw it on Instagram I was really into it, even though I’m usually not a ruffle person. I think the shape and proportions of this pattern are really cute and modern.

I whipped one up in a lightweight cotton from my stash, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s a fun piece to wear!

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Even though it’s a free pattern, the instructions are excellent. It was really a joy to sew – all the pieces fit together so perfectly. I was especially impressed by how well the V-neck bias binding turned out.

You can’t see it too well on mine, but there are shoulder panel pieces that would be great for color-blocking. Maybe on my next version!

The only thing I would change next time is to add just a bit more length. I feel like it’s a little too short to wear with my mid-rise jeans. I’m wearing it here with my high-waisted Gingers.

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

Ruffle Tank - In the Folds

I’ve been eager to try another In the Folds pattern, and ever since the Acton Dress was released recently I’ve had my eye on it! I imagine the wrap skirt version would be fantastic for holiday parties, and I think I have the perfect stash fabric to go with it…

Thanks for reading!

<3 Lindsay