I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Sunday 6 January 2019

Sew yourself some Croppped Pants and a matching Top

This is a Jaycotts.co.uk post using Simplicity 8391

This is such an easy outfit to make, with or without embroidery. It is suitable for beginners upwards.

Skills learned

Centred Zip
Positioning of embroidery/applique
Button loops
Zipper foot

When I first saw this pattern I wasn't sure if it would suit me or not. Wrong! I decided as soon as I tried it on that I love this outfit.It is perfect for holidays, flattering and easy to sew. I like the 3/4 length wide trousers, they are cool to wear in the sun - I like to cover up mostly and I want garments which are easy to wear and light to pack.
I have paired the outfit with a pair of navy wedges.

The pattern is by Simplicity and is available to purchase from Jaycotts Simplicity 8391  In the envelope are patterns for a top, skirt, pants and shorts, everything you need for your holiday in fact.
The fabric is from Minerva Crafts and is a linen look Cotton, Linen look Cotton fabric This fabric is cool to wear and very easy to sew.
The pattern shows the garments made up in cotton trimmed with eyelet fabric or lace, but I wanted to use embroidery on mine - of course!

If you are adding embroidery by hand or machine, or applique, you need to position it correctly onto your garment.
I chose a rope design which I wanted to add to the top and the trouser pockets. This is a very simple design from Ann the Gran.com some of the designs are free, others you need to pay for. Those of  you with a brother embroidery machine will know that brother have designs to download in addition to those stored on the machine itself.
I want to have a design running the length of the pocket so my first step was to measure the length needed and choose my design to fit ,tweaking the actual size on my machine settings.
you will notice that I have marked the cutting line but not finished cutting out.This just makes it easier to hoop.

mark the centre of the pocket and then mark where you want the centre of the embroidery to sit. I use a hole strengthener for this as they are easy to see and easy to remove.
I also take my tailors chalk and a ruler and gently mark a line parallel to the edge so that I could position the embroidery in line with the edge.

There are a lot of stabilisers to choose from. For this project I used GUNOLD Gunold easy tear stabiliser  with a temporary spray adhesive.
The area to be embroidered is to small to fill the hoop so I took great care to ensure that it was firmly attached to the stabiliser. I used a few links at the very edge in addition to the spray glue.
I used the embroidery hoop guide to position my fabric in exactly the right position, with my fabric markings matching the lines on the guide exactly. The circle is placed exact centre.

Once my machine is set up I can check that the needle is in the correct position and if it is the circle can be removed and the embroidery done. If not then the fabric or needle position needs moving a bit until you are satisfied that the embroidery will be in the correct position.
I chose a Brother Country thread 000 which is an off-white. Brother EmbroideryThreads  There are many more colours in stock than there are on the web site  so do ask if you have a particular shade in mind. Or better still call in for a visit!

I made sure that I altered the direction of my design so that it faced in the correct direction on both pockets.

I then did the whole procedure again and embroidered the sleeves.
Remove the stabiliser from all the pieces when the designs are done.

I am not going to talk too much about constructing the top as it really is simple to put together. The instructions and very clear. I cut out a size 12 which fit me quite loosely, perfect for summer garments. Please do take your own measurements and compare them with the pattern envalope . There is a really great size guide for patterns on Jaycotts web site Size guide for patterns
This photograph is showing the neck band being pinned in place before sewing.

To make the little loop which closes the back I used this fabulous product, it makes turning looks so easy. It is the Prym Turning set and I promise you that you will love it and will be looking for excuses to add loops to lots of garments.
Finish the top according to the instructions, but if you get stuck let me know and I will help you.

I want to concentrate on trousers because so many people are scared of them. I chose this pattern because the trousers are loose fitting and easy to construct. You may need to merge the pattern sizes from one size to another if for example you have size 14 waist and 16 hips etc. This is perfectly permissable and will ensure a great fit. I like my waist band to have a bit of room in it but I like a close fit over the hips. Luckily my pattern fit me with no adjustments but I feel that a lot of people may want to extend the waist line a bit, so do cut out a size bigger than you think and when it comes to fitting just take the pants in at the hips which is easy to do.

The first stage is to attach the front yokes to the trousers and press and turn them to the inside. This forms the front of the pocket.
Then the pocket lining is stitched in place. I used  my overlocker on all seams.

The pocket is now finished, it just needs a final press to turn the facing properly to the inside. Any top stitching should be done before the pocket facing is stitched in place.

The pocket bag has been sewn and overlocked. This strengthens the pocket and helps to ensure holes do not appear. If you do not have an overlocker then stich twice around the pocket bag and then zigzag around the edge.

Stitch the front leg to the back leg and then stitch the centre front and back seam. For strength once again double stitch the seam and then overlock or zigzag.

The facing has been interfaced with a medium to heavy weight iron-on cotton interfacing.Vilene cotton interfacing. It is important that you use the correct interfacing. A waistband needs to be firm enough not to crumple during wear. I prefer to use a cotton or a woven interfacing as they move with the fabric and give a good result. If you use a very cheap interfacing the result will not be so good and you will not be happy with how it wears. It is false economy to use a cheap interfacing for garments. See the whole range here Interfacings. When attaching interfacing use a damp pressing cloth with your iron and press the iron on one place, lift and move it to the next until you have attached all the interfacing. Don't slide your iron over the fabric.
More about pressing later in this post

One of the things I am told people hate sewing are invisible zips. They do require a bit of practice but once you master them you will be delighted with the result.
There are alternatives though and for this garment I am using an ordinary zip. There are different ways of inserting it and I am going to show you how to insert a centred zip. This is easy!
First of all choose a good quality zip in a colour close to your fabric YKK zips.
Suppose you cannot find the correct length? Did you know that they can be shortened very easily? Measure the length you need and go over that point a few times with several rows of machine stitching on top of each other. Then cut the end off below the stitching . And that's it.

Then tack the seam together using a tacking thread. Tacking thread is preferable to normal thread for this purpose, it is made from cotton and the fibres are rough which means that the tacking will stay firmly in place until you pull it out. Do try it, it really does make a huge difference Gutterman Tacking Thread
Once tacked press the seam open.

On the wrong side pin and tack the zip over the seam. The zip should be face down and the teeth centred over the seam opening. Make sure that the waistband seam matches on both sides.

Using a normal zipper foot, which should have come with your machine, stitch in a rectangle from the top of the zip, across the bottom and up the other side. You will probably need to release  the tacking in the seam at the top to be able to stitch past the zip pull. If you have not got a zip foot, Jaycotts have them. This is the foot for the Brother range of machines Brother adjustable zipper and piping foot if you need another brand then contact Jaycotts who will help you to choose the right one for your machine Contact details below.

That's my zip in place. Press it using a pressing cloth taking care not to melt the plastic teeth. If your zip does not finish exactly at the top of your trousers, or if your zip opens easily (YKK zips stay closed until you open them) you will need to add a hook and eye to close the very top.
Then attach the waistband facing. And press.

I top stitched both the top and the bottom of the waistband for extra strength and to hold it in place.

All there is left to do now is to finish the hem. Try the pants on and decide how long they need to be. 3/4 length trousers like these should be slightly above the ankle.
I used my overlocker ( Overlockers ) to finish the edge of the trousers.
Using a seam measure, this is the one I use, Clover seam gauge measure the depth of the hem all the way round and press the edge taking care not to scotch the fabric.
I use the fabulous little iron from Prym. Prym mini Steam iron. Don't let it's size fool you, this has everything you need in an iron and performs every bit as well as your large iron! If you are a person who takes a travel iron on holiday, then this iron is definitely for you.

You also need a pressing cloth. This is essential if you are to avoid scorching or otherwise marking your fabric. Prym pressing cloth I do like this one as it is transparent and makes it so easy to see what is going on underneath. Another essential are these finger guards Finger guards which help you to hold the fabric close to the iron without burning your fingers.

To finish the hem I decided to do a few rows of pintucks. I am always looking for nice finishing touches, it makes any garment look more original.
If you want to do corded pintucks then I have a blog post which shows you how to do them - My white lace pintucked blouse do take a look

You will need a pintuck foot and twin needles. Both are shown on this page Pintuck foot and twin needles
If you do not have a pintuck foot then you can obtain a similar result using just a twin needle, but take care to align your stitches up. The pintuck foot does make it easier.

After completing the first row along the bottom of each trouser leg continue with as many rows of pintucks as you want, it is better to have  pintucks along the whole depth of the hem to hold it neatly in place. You can see the slightly raised effect of the pintucks on the photo above.

These pintucks look so lovely don't you think? They add a bit of interest to a plain edge in any garment

Have you ever wanted to press a tiny part of a garment easily? I wanted to give the pocket a final press but did not want to leave an imprint on the fabric behind. To solve this I used this pressing glove Pressing glove which is so useful for this purpose and is also invaluable for pressing collars and cuffs and other small areas when you don't want to get your ironing board out.

This is my finished outfit. It looks equally great with the top tucked in or left out. The neutral embroidery means that each piece can be worn with other items. It can be worn as a casual outfit for sightseeing with flat sandals  or dressed up with heels for lunch. 

It is extremely comfortable to wear and the fabric being cotton is cool for warmer climates.

I did a slightly tongue in cheek video which shows you the outfit being worn. It reminds me of my much younger days when I did a spot of modelling, but that's another story!  The link to it is My YouTube video if the video does not show.

Jaycotts can be contacted here Contact Jaycotts. And reached by telephone during opening hours on 02244 394099  
Don't forget too that you can visit the showroom and test run the machines before you buy.

Thank you for reading this post. Please contact me if there is anything you would like me to clarify and don't forget to contact Jaycotts with any product enquiries and to place your order. Have you sent for your free catalogue yet? It's my favourite catalogue to browse through when having my morning coffee.


#croppedpants #trousers #machineembroidery #sewangelicthreads #sew #sewing #sewingblog #top #embroidery #cottonlinen #fabric