Sewing Japapese in January – Part 3

 

On a roll here!!  This time I’m using the Clean & Natural book and making the puffed sleeve pullover, pattern S.  It’s a loose fitting top with boat-neck(ish) that finishes mid hip and has a yummy, puffed sleeve.  The fullness in the sleeve is at the hem, rather than the sleeve head.  This book has a handy size table and the pattern sizes are S to LL.  I graded the LL up two sizes, going by the body measurements and the finished measurements of the top.  Remember, I don’t like too baggy…

 

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I toiled the pattern in some remnant cotton sheeting and made the following conclusions.  I needed more ease across the bust and length of about 2-3cm.  I also wanted the top to finish at the length it was un-hemmed.  So I needed an FBA of 3cm and to lengthen the top 3cm.  The sleeves are ok, finished at the right place and weren’t tight at the hem.  On creating the dart and FBA, I rotated it all out and am left with a no-dart top, just like the original.

Fabric is newly in the stash, after being bought last year at the NEC in March/April.  To be fair, I’d sort of allocated it to this top from the beginning, I just never got round to the grading and tracing and toiling last year.  The cotton is a woven gingham check, black and white.  I thought it would look pretty good with all the linen trousers in my summer wardrobe, and now I’m thinking it might be worn in the winter with a long sleeve layering tee underneath too…

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Construction is fairly straightforward, I overlocked everything first, and used ordinary seams.  The seam and hem allowances have to be added, by the way.  The facings are interfaced with fine sheer fusible.  The sleeve is pretty big, and only just fitted on the width of the fabric!  You gather the long curved of the oversleeve onto a pleated straight undersleeve.  This is what creates and holds the puff.  That’s the only time consuming part, gathering and evenly spreading all the gathers!

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I like how the back looks here, as if I’ve used a contrast neckband.  Maybe that’s the answer.

I had a quick try-on before hemming and decided it was too long!  I’m blaming the fabric here, the pattern.  It blinded me…  So I duly chopped off the 3cm I’d added to the length and turned up a 3cm hem.  Then I popped it back on over my head and – whoa!  I shouldn’t have done that…  I probably didn’t need to remove the whole 3cm.

I also had a problem with the neckline.  On the toile I didn’t add the facings and I was happy with where it sat.  On this garment, with facings added, it was too high!  I don’t like feeling crowded against my neck, and the other issue was all that pattern!  I think I could have done with less.  So I decided to change the shape of the neckline in the front, put the toile back on and drew a scoop to the depth I wanted and transferred that to the gingham.  I added seam allowance and chopped again.  Then I realised I didn’t have enough fabric to cut new facings.  Not going well, right?  Anyway, I cut bias strips and sewed them together and made a bias trim for the neck.  I actually like this better than the original facings anyway.

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I think there’s just tooo much patterned fabric here for me.

As it’s ever so slightly chilly here in the UK this week, I decided to wear it today with a long sleeve scoop neck tee, and I rather like it like this.  I think it would also look good with a rounder neck tee, or even a floppy poloneck.  I also think it needs slim fitting pants, looks good with the Birkin Flares, not so pretty with pleated, fuller trousers.  It’s the second Japanese pattern that hasn’t turned out quite the way I had imagined in my head.  I know I’m not the same shape and size, but I thought I was picking patterns that are similar to those I like in the Burdas, so I was hoping they’d come out the same too.  Guess I’ll be sticking to the trouser patterns! 😀

 

Sewing Japanese in January – Part 2

As far as the resolution “take it slower this year” goes, I’m not doing that well…  I’ve made three garments and two toiles, mended/fixed/altered a bag full and I’ve got a LIST for the month that really should be quartered.  Ah well, if I can’t have fun in January, when can I have it??

So, the next garment in the sewing from Japanese sewing books saga is another pair of Kana’s Standard trousers from the first book.  I had intended to use the wide leg pattern from the second book, I graded up two sizes, toiled and fitted (it worked perfectly!) but when it came to laying the pattern on the fabric, I didn’t have enough.

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Kana’s Standard trousers B-a

The fabric I wanted to use has been lurking in the stash for a long time.  I’d bought it from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon years ago in the remnant bin.  It was 1.8m, pinstripe navy English wool, but with a problem.  It was labelled as a second, and I found the flaw straight away, running the full width of the fabric about 15cm in from the one cut end.  I figured I could deal with that, depending on what I was making and bought it anyway.  Then followed various attempts at fitting various patterns onto the fabric, which, it turned out, had more flaws than the one I’d seen in the shop.  There was another flaw running the full width about 30cm from the first one, as well as two holes about 10cm in from the selvedge on the opposite end of the fabric.  So nothing fitted, even though I tried.  I thought I could get this pattern to fit, heaven knows why, it’s a wide leg pattern, needs length!!

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But I was determined, this time the fabric was getting used!  So I pulled out the pattern for  trousers B-a from the first book and did a little tetris around the flaws.  I had to shorten them by 2cm to their original length to fit the legs into the area between the end and the first flaw, and cut really close to the fold, shifting the pants pieces as far from the selvedge as possible to avoid the holes, but I managed it!  The pockets fitted into the 30cm between the two flaws, as well as one of the waistband pieces, and the other waistband piece fitted between the first flaw and the end of the fabric.  DONE!

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I overlocked all the pieces before starting to sew, and then it was easy.  The pattern instructions are easy to follow from the diagrams, I’d already added the required 1cm seam allowances & 4cm hems when I traced the pattern.  So on Sunday, while hubby was working checking drawings, I was happily making a new pair of trousers.  Now, if you remember, the corduroy pair I made last seemed a little too roomy.  So to combat that, I decided to increase the seam allowance to 1.5cm on the inside leg seam and from the base of the pocket to the hem on the outside seam.  This wool is not as stiff as the cord, but I like the more streamlined look.  Makes me wonder why I graded up two sizes! 🙂

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But that takes you into the realms of fitting, and what you personally like.  The pants are supposed to be baggy, and not necessarily sewn in a stiff fabric like corduroy.  The thing is, I don’t want them too baggy on me, so I slim them down.  I have the same issue with the tops in these books.  If I actually graded up to the right size and proportions, I’d feel like I was wearing a massive tent, I just don’t like that amount of baggy.  Even though it looks great on other people, and in the books.  I can do baggy, just not tent.  That’s why I never use the Burda Plus patterns.  They’re just too big, too long and too “cover everything over”.

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Anyway, I digress.  This is my third version of this pants pattern, I might venture in to the shorter versions and maybe the jumpsuit version in the summer.  It might be nice for wearing on the allotment with a Basic Instinct Tee underneath.  Even the “dungaree” version might have legs 😉  So – so far, the purchase of the book has been vindicated by the use.  Especially if the toile for the gathered sleeve blouse works!!

Sewing Japanese in January -Part 1

So, by the title, I am hoping (planning) on there being more than one post of a Japanese pattern this month.  I had a little re-think of one of the tops I posted about last time, the viscose for the Sailor Top in the Simply Sewn book.  I think it’s going to be too drapey, so I’ll be re-thinking and digging though the stash to see what else I can find for that.  I also just may have found fabric for the wide, cropped pants from Kana’s Standard.  Just need to be sure the pattern fits on the fabric!

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Gown/Jacket E-a from Kana’s Standard

But – I have made the first item!  Woo!  I started with the Gown/Jacket E from Kana’s Standard.  Why that one?  Because I had planned on making it last year, the fabric’s been hanging around since 2016 and it looked quick and easy. What else could you want for a sewing day on New Year’s Day??

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Gown E-a in reversible double gauze

It turned out to be very easy to make, and relatively quick.  I didn’t rush it, there is an awful lot of double turning of long hems and edges to keep it all neat and tidy.  That’s because you really do see the insides while you’re wearing it, so it’s got to be done properly.

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Spotty, inside and out! Decent sized pockets too.

The instructions are all in Japanese, but the diagrams are pretty clear.  Once all the pieces are traced – main body, sleeve and pocket, you need to add seam and hem allowances.  So that’s 1cm for seams and 4 for hems and edges.  The main body is one size, with an option of size 9 or 13 for the sleeve and armhole.  I went for the 13.  Now, in hindsight, I could/should probably have added 2-3cm on the fold to the centre back.  I think it would have helped to have had extra room in the back portion of the jacket.  I’ve made that note on the pattern pieces for the next time.

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The “how to make” part in the book.

Order of construction is simple, make the sleeves, make the pockets, sew the pockets on at the marked placements, sew the sleeves into the armhole and hem everything.  Done! 🙂  I’d love to make this again in a soft, washed linen.  I found this shop on Etsy with lovely looking linen.  And Daughter no2 has looked accquisitorially at it already!  It used just under 3m of the double gauze I had in the stash.  It came from Organic Cotton Plus as part of a prize package.  I have a bit leftover which I think I’ll use for a kid’s outfit of some sort, there’s not enough for a grown-up!

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I like the look of this jacket, I had in mind for it to be a light covering in late spring and the summer, especially when sitting in my garden and the breeze gets a little nippy.  But it would also make a lovely dressing gown, and at least it has pockets for your phone and morning biscotti!  I just can’t quite get comfortable wearing it.  Because it’s basically a rectangle with armholes and sleeves, it doesn’t sit on the shoulders nicely.  I end up with it wither hangind down the back or having to haul more of it up around my neck.  If anyone else has made this, please let me know how you manage to wear it comfortably!

 

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I thought, maybe it’s just because I’m wider than the pattern is meant for, so I tried it on Daughter No 2.  It does look better on her (in my opinion) but she has the same issue with getting it to sit and stay!  I have a feeling I’m going to need to make a couple of darts in the neck edge to give it some shape.  In a jersey or fabric that has more give, I think it would eventually form a shape over the shoulders, but this just isn’t.  And it’s such a shame, because we both love the gown/jacket.  It’s just not nice to wear!  And we both have a problem with the armhole, it feels like it’s in the wrong place, either too low or not low enough!

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But I have a feeling this garment will be going home with Daughter No2, although I like it – I just don’t think it’s me…

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Book Review – Kana’s Standard

 

I thought it might be helpful, if you’re inspired by some of the garments seen in the #sewjapaneseinjanuary hashtag, to go through the books I have and will hopefully be using using this month.  One thing this community sew-along has shown me is that there are loads of good books out there that I had no idea about!  I’d love to have access to a bricks and mortar shop so I can browse these offerings properly.  And do some serious shopping….   I’ll start with Kana’s Standard, the first book, as that’s what I’ve been using first!

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Kana’s Standard

The patterns are drawn to Japanese sizes 7, 9, 11 & 13.  There is NO size chart in this book!  Each pattern does have, however, a list of finished measurements for each of the sizes, so I combined that with the size chart in the Clean & Natural book, and checked online to figure out where I fitted (or didn’t fit…).  I worked out that I needed to be a 15-17, depending on how much ease I wanted.  And there is a lot of ease, especially in the tops!  You also have to thing about height – or length.  The patterns are generally drafted for a height of 1.6m, so if you’re taller, you’ll need length.

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All the styles overview

There are 5 groups of patterns, with variations.  Section A has two basic tops, on of which is on the front cover, and 4 dresses, which are variations of the tops.  B is pants, including a pair of shorts, dungarees and a jumpsuit.  There are 6 patterns in that section.  Skirts are in section C, there are 7 – the waistband needs to to be fitted to the measurement of the waist, but the skirts are full/gathered so all you need worry about after that is length.  Section D is camisole, you get a top and a dress there.  The last section is E, gown or jacket.  There are 3 patterns in this section, making a grand total of 24 patterns.  Not bad for £15.

So far I’ve made the pants B-a and the gown/jacket E-a.  I’m not a skirt person, especially a full, gathered skirt, so that section will be largely ignored by me.  But the tops interest me, the gathered frill on the sleeve on the cover pattern is such a simple addition, yet makes it more desireable.  Here are some of the photos of the contents.  If you decide you need more technical info, please pop over to this site.  It’s full of interesting info, help to translate the instructions, etc.  For buying Japanese books, I use this Etsy shop (no affiliate links!!!) because she has loads to choose from, is so quick to post out and is reasonable in her charges too.  I’d look in her shop before checking anywhere else.

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All the tops & dresses in Section A
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Pants – Long, cropped, shorts and a jumpsuit & dungaree version
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Skirt styles, including a reversable skirt and a wrap version (bottom left images)
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Cami dress & 3 versions of the gown

At the end of each section there are some “action shots” of the author and model styling the garments in different ways.

 

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Styling the tops & dresses
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Styling the pants
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Styling the skirts
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Stying the cami dress & top and the gowns

A Little Unselfish Sewing – Xmas Presents

 

I know it’s the new year and all, but I have a little catching up to do!  In 2017 I made quite a few Christmas presents, but this time I limited myself just a little bit.  I made two black tees for Daughter No1 who wanted some tee shirts that weren’t too fitted, and I went for black because you can always wear a black tee!  And because I already happened to have 3m of black viscose jersey in the stash…

 

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Renfrew Tee by Sewaholic

I chose to make a long sleeved, scoop neck Renfrew by Sewaholic first.  This pattern has been adjusted with a swayback adjustment already, and this is her favourite neckline on a tee.  The long sleeves are the perfect length with the cuffs on, and she likes the way it makes the tee feel a little like a sweatshirt.  I leave the hemband off this pattern when making for Daughter No1, the length is fine without it and she prefers it that way.

black renfrew 2

 

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The second pattern I used is the Uvita Top, the free pattern on offer from Itch to Stitch.  I’ve made a few for myself so thought it would be perfect for her too.  Overall, it got the approving nod, but with a few requests for next time. (At least there will be a next time!)  I need to narrow the sleeves a fair bit and flare the side seams out a bit over the hips.  Not too long a list!  🙂

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Uvita Top from Itch to Stitch

 

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I also ran up a couple of Toaster Sweaters.  I know how much both girls like them, so made them one each using the fleece blankets from Asda, again.  I had bought two two-packs earlier in December, I needed the mustard colour for backing some quilted fabric I bought from a charity shop to make throws.  So I was left with two grey and white chevron blankets – perfect Toaster fabric!

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Toaster Sweater by Sew House 7

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Unfortunately, I did not check the direction of stretch…..  It ran (runs) perpendicular to the chevron pattern.  Now that’s something I didn’t even consider!  So I had already made Daughter No1’s Toaster with the chevrons running around the body, and against the stretch before realising.  Daughter No2’s chevrons run up and down, and the stretch is in the right direction.  Oh dear…  Nevermind, they still work.

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I ran out of time to make a tee for Daughter No2 out of the rest of the black jersey.  She was after a raglan tee.  I found one in a Burda magazine and will get that done this month – hopefully!

Sew Japanese in January

Who’s got their 2019 sewing plans started?  There have been a lot of “themes” going round in the last week or two of December to get us all started, and I’m keen to jump onto a few of them.  This one. however, will get me finally using those Japanese Sewing Books I’ve been hoarding.

I spotted the #sewjapaneseinjanuary hashtag on instagram mid way through December and I thought it might be a good way to start the new year.  It’s hosted by @bloglessanna & @craftyjane_makes & runs for the month of January.  I’ve got a few Japanese sewing books now and so far have really only made the trousers from the first Kana’s Standard book & the short jacket from the second book successfully.  There are many, many other patterns I’d like to try, some for me and some for the girls.

I have all the Pattern Magic books, but might to use those this time round.  There are plenty of others to use with patterns already available!  I will have to grade up a couple of sizes.  Starting with the Clean and Natural Book, I’ve always liked the bell/puff sleeve pullover top.  I have some black & white gingham with a 1cm square that I thought would look fabulous in that pattern.

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Clean & Natural
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Puff Sleeved Top

 

Next up are the Kana’s Standard books.  From the first one I still want to make the first top with the ruffle on the sleeve – A, the “gown” E and the cropped version of the pants B.  I’ve also loved the top on the cover, and it’s all because of that ruffle, there’s nothing fanccy about the rest of it at all!  I have a reversible double gauze earmarked for the gown, which I plan on using as a lightweight summer jacket.  I haven’t identified fabric for the other patterns just yet.

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Kana’s Standard, Book 1
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Jacket/Gown E
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Ruffle sleeve top

From Kana’s Standard II, I’d love to make another version of the jacket A and I still want to make the wide pants, E.  I haven’t allocated any specific fabrics yet, but I’m sure I’ll dig something up!  I also love the wrap dress on the front cover, but that I will have to grade up and toile carefully.

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Kana’s Standard, Book 2
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Wrap dress
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Cropped, wide leg pants

The gathered blouse from She Wears the Pants has been on the list to make for Daughter No 1 for a while, but I still haven’t made it, and I’ve always wanted to make the top with Epaulettes for myself.

Then there’s a book I’d completely forgotten about until I browsed the hashtag more thoroughly, Simply Sewn by Michiyo Ito.  There are a few good for me items in this book, but I’m starting with the French Sailor Top.  I like the shape, and have decided to risk it in a viscose, instead of a more structured fabric like linen or cotton.

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Simply Sewn

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I bought myself a birthday present on Etsy that arrived on my birthday itself (I only expected it sometime in the first week of January).  The book is 7 Basic Dresses & Modifications, by Aoi Koda.  I’d seen it on Instagram earlier this year in a post by @sewbusylizzy and it went on my “list of books to have”.  There are a few tops/blouses and a couple of dresses I really like.  Daughter No1 has approved one of the shirt dresses already.

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7 Dresses and modifications

The dress on the cover has been admired by all three of us, so it just might be found in each wardrobe soon!

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I’d like to make this as a shirt, in a lightweight cotton it’ll be lovely
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This is so simple and I can see myself wearing it. Might just change the wide sleeve hem elastic to a narrower one though.

So far I have traced the gown/jacket, the puff sleeve top, top with sleeve ruffle and the sailor top.  I graded the puff sleeve top up two sizes, and the sailor top one size.  I don’t think I’ll need to toile the jacket/gown, it’s pretty much one size fits all apart from the sleeve and armhole.  I’ll get to toiling asap and we’ll see how I go from there!  But by the end of the month I certainly want to have made that double gauze up, it’s been stewing in the stash for too long…

So let’s see how it goes, let’s get our 2019 sewing off to a promising start, shall we?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Peppermint Crisp

 

I’ve finally made those darlings of the summer, the Peppermint Wide Leg Pants!  I was going to make them in the summer using a piece of turquoise linen, but chickened out and used that fabric for a TNT pattern instead.  But I stilll wanted to make the pattern so needed another fabric.  I have found these to be super comfy, and I’ve worn them loads since making.  They even made it to be part of the Christmas Day outfit!  Apologies for the creasing, photos only taken halfway through the day…  Real life! 🙂

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Peppermint Wide Leg Pants by In The Folds

My choice was the green denim I bought from Higgs & Higgs at the sewing show in London in October.  Daughter No1 had convinced me that I needed green jeans in my life, hence the fabric.  I started by tracing the G & H sizes, based on my measurements.  I needed the H for the waist and graded down to the G for hip down.  I shortened the legs by 4cm in advance, knowing my height and that of the “ideal” 1.7m tall Amazon for whom the pattern is designed.  I toiled the pants in a stiff, thick fabric rescued from the charity shop and realised I could size down!  They were too baggy, too loose all over.

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I then traced the F, using the waist of the G, and moving to the F by 7cm from the base of the waistband.  I didn’t re-toile, but got ready to cut.  Then I realised I might have made a bloop.  The fabric has stretch!  The pattern is designed for fabric with no stretch…  But by this time I really wanted these pants in this fabric.  So I decided to start with cutting the F-G, the waistband was interfaced on the cross grain so there was no stretch.  The pocket bags are cut in cotton poplin, leftovers from the lining of Daughter No1’s pink trench coat.  These helped to control the stretch across the front.  I cut a small facing piece like you do for a pair of jeans, from the green denim.

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What I should have done is cut a couple of patch pockets for the back.  I find it more comfortable to pop my phone in the back pocket than in a front one.  Now, on the subject of pockets…  These are HUGE!  I thought when  was tracing them that I really should reshape them to a more usual shape and size.  So when I do put my phone in there, it swims around.  I imagine I’d lose many a bit of loose change in these pockets, so I will be stitching a better shape this time, and changing the shape completely for the future.

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I decided to sew the side seams with a 1.5cm allowance, rather than the 1.2cm  allowed, to compensate for the stretch.  I checked them before adding the waistband and realised they were still to loose, I needed to get the negative ease levels up to make the pants look like the others made with no-stretch fabric.  So I took another 1.5cm off the outer leg seam and 1cm form the inner seam.  This seamed to work, so I sewed on the waistband and crossed my fingers.  It worked!  So I guess you could say I’ve technically made the E size??  I still had the F for the waistband, and the “E” came in by about 10cm below the waistband seam.

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I have to admit I got confunded by the zip instructions.  I decided to follow the instructions as written, but then got to a part when I realised it just wasn’t going to work.  The instructions are backwards!  Next time I’ll do the fly the normal way, and change the centre front seam to allow for additional width.  If you want fabulous fly zip instructions for jeans, read the Birkin Flares by Baste & Gather.  You cannot go wrong with those.  Anyway, I ended up unpicking much of what I had already sewn and topstitched in order to finish off the fly, but thankfully it doesn’t look too bad.

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I do like the shape, and the fit is rather good, despite my fiddling and the incorrect fabric!  So all this will be completely out of the window when I make the pattern again in the right fabric.  But for now, I’m happy – and even happier because the other half, who doesn’t really like cropped, wide leg pants on me, likes these!  I think it’s because of the fit at the waist and hip, so it’s not all baggy.

I love the colour, love the length and the width of the hemline.  These pants fit into my wardrobe so well, the colour give the blues, greys and blacks a little pop, just like those rust pants I made in November, and the rust corduroy Kana’s Standard pants I made in October!

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These pants have hit a record for me.  They are the 100th project I’ve made this year!  Since I started tracking my projects, I’ve never got this far, so Im pretty chuffed, although I think some in the slow sewing movement wouldn’t be as impressed!  So now I need a new challenge for next year – and it won’t be to see how many more than that I can make.

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