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There’s a new colour in my wardrobe – and I think it’s here to stay.  I made my first green item in 2019, a pair of linen Teddy Pants.  They were followed by a pale green and white pair of Kana’s Standard pants and an LB Pullover in the same fabric, but that’s as far as that incursion went.  Until this year…  I fell in love with a Monstera print, olive green and ecru, and just had to have it!  What would I make with it?  Why another Olya Shirt – of course!

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Olya Shirt and Kew Pants

No pattern or fitting adjustments or changes from the last time, I’m pretty happy with the pattern on me.  The only thing that would change would be how the fabric altered the finished look and shape of the shirt.  So far my favourite is the black and white graphic print Olya, it’s soft but has body.  The striped one is a fairly heavy viscose, so it hangs more.  This viscose challis is soft and drapey and feels fabulous!  I bought it from The Rag Shop at the end of May.  Knowing that we’d be away for the last week, I asked that the shipping be held back so that the parcel would arrive after the May Bank Holiday.  It worked, and I had pretty fabric to add to my holiday purchases on the wash line!

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The fabric was lovely to work with, and I knew just what to pair it with on the bottom half!  While in St Ives, I bought 2m of a cotton/linen blend, the colour is a pale beige – the result of two colours woven together, white and beige.  It’s got body and no drape, but it is perfect for trousers.  I decided on the Kew Pants from Style Arc.  I’ve made then only once before and thought that this fabric would be great to hold the shape of the cocoon leg.  I made the 14 this time, the waist of the 12 is just too snug.

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I altered the angle of the front crotch line and curve, and took the inseam in by an extra cm, made the front look much better.  The waist fits properly now and the cropped ankle length and width works better in the bigger size.  The curved hem detail can be a little tricky to get nice looking on the inside.  The pattern instructions have you simply fold under the seam allowance and topstitch in place, but it really isn’t a nice finish.  I cut short pieces of off-white bias binding and used them instead, pressing in a tight curve first.

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These are such cool pants, I love that they sit nicely on the waist and the rest is loose.  The pockets are a good size, perfect for a phone, mask and card wallet!  I rarely use a handbag these days, not needing cash means no need for a proper wallet, all I need is plastic.  Pairing the black and white Olya with the black Kew Pants I made last year looks great, so I was keen on repeating that with these two projects.

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I love these two items together, tucked in, tied in front or simply left loose, they’re comfy and good looking!  Being beigey-cream, the trousers slot into my wardrobe perfectly.  I love the addition of green in the wardrobe this summer, I have a RTW green and ecru tee bought in Padstow to add to the mix, and am planning a plain olive tee soon!

The Kew Pants

Here I am, still sewing trousers! This is the end of the 3m of black cotton twill I bought in London in October, all that’s left are small pieces that I’ll use for pouches or to patch together for a bag or something. This time, I’ve made the Kew Pants from Style Arc. I chose this pattern because I liked the slightly cocoon shape of the legs, and the interesting dart detail on the hem. According to the size table I should be a 14, but knowing that the Teddy Pants fit really well in a size 12, I went for the 12 again!

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The toile revealed that the size was fine, I just needed to shorten the back crotch curve by 1-1.5cm. That’s all!! I didn’t even need to shorten the leg length, and that’s a miracle in itself! After making all the bits and pieces in the toile material, I knew I would be needing to make a lot less bulk in the pocket area, so cut the bags in a cotton and only did the facing and coin pockets pieces in the cotton twill.

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This pattern sits with the base of the waistband on the natural waist, so I guess people will say they are high waisted. The fit is good, I like not having to hoik them up during the day! I have a pair of Burda trousers that also sit on the natural waist, but the waistband is one long straight piece, unlike the Kew Pants waistband which is curved. It’s still one piece, but that curve means it has a little more give – the Burda one is slightly snug as the day goes on. Also, the Burda pattern I made is the size 44, the biggest in the magazine’s non plus-size range. I am able to make the 42 in patterns that do not sit on my “waist”!

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So, back to the Kew. There are two back trouser pieces, adding to the shape. This means you have extra opportunities for fitting. The pockets in the front look really big in the drawings, but are perfectly sized in real life! I French seamed the bottom pocket seam for neatness – and strength. I really like the pockets, they are great for stuffing a phone and mask and card wallet into, and still have space for hands!

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I changed the fly zip by adding the fly facing to the front piece when cutting out, this eliminated bulk in the zip area. All the pieces were overlocked before I started sewing, I like this done first so there is less fraying going on while I’m trying to sew. I bound the curved section of the front leg at the hem before I sewed the dart, it’s made it a bit bulkier than I’d like, but I didn’t like the idea of just turning the narrow hem inside.

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One thing that has shown up in this fabric is that I need to take in the inside leg seams a bit, and maybe adjust the crotch seam, there are some wrinkles that would indicate that there’s too much fabric there, front and back. Funny how it didn’t show up in the toile! Anyway, it’s not affecting me wearing them everytime they’re back in my wardrobe, so maybe I’ll just leave it….

I have made a start on the gorgeous viscose fabrics I got from Rainbow Fabrics, there’s another Asuka Hamada blouse with the ginormous sleeves on my sewing table!