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.

Thursday 3 October 2019

Summer Pants and Cheesecloth Tops

I have wanted to make these trousers for a while, I made a wearable toile (or test garment) and I am so glad I did! 

I also wanted to make some Cheesecloth Tops and I hand dyed some of a plain white fabric to make them with . More about that later

This is a fabulous outfit and I absolutely love it, but it was not without its problems!

Problems are just puzzles to be solved in my opinion and I enjoy the creative thinking required to sort them out.

This is the Pietra Trousers by Closet Case Patterns . I have made the Ginger Jeans many times and love them so much that I made five pairs!

The pattern has comprehensive and easy to understand instructions and the size charts are accurate on all their patterns

The front went together very nicely and easily. A very nice design touch are the pockets which are set into the sides and have a very flattering slant.

 I used my overlocker to neaten all the inside seams.
The fabric I am using is a piece from my stash and it is a cotton twill. As I said, this is a test garment and I may make the next pair in a heavy chambray or a linen which would be perfect.
Linen fabric is available on this link , which is what I am using for my next pair Linen fabric

What I didn't realise when I bought the pattern is that the back is elasticated. I knew that I wasn't going to like it but I wanted to see exactly what it looked like on me before adjusting the pattern.

I stitched the centre back seam and put the waistband on, just tacking it in place to enable me to insert a piece of elastic.

Using safety pins I pinned the side seams and tried them on.

I do recommend you using safety pins when trying garments on, they are much safer as I found out the hard way

I tried them on and they were HUGE and the elasticated waist did nothing for me whatsoever. I did suspect this would happen so I was prepared with a back up plan

I re-cut the back completely , removing a lot of the width all the way down the sides. I added two darts and inserted an invisible zip.
I pinned them together again and sucess!!
I nearly always take trousers in at the sides by the way.
The finished trousers now fit snugly and on me at least are more flattering than an elasticated back. You may prefer them, many people do.

 The troubles did not end there though. I wasn't paying enough attention when I was overlocking the side seams and unfortunately got some fabric tucked behind the seam I was finishing .
Sadly when fabric becomes trapped in an overlocker, the fabric comes into contact with the cutter and it makes a hole.

I am certain we have all done this at some point but what can we do about it?
One option is to cut the pattern piece out again and insert new fabric.
Depending on where it is it may be possible to disguise the cut with a trim or a pocket instead. As I didn't have any more fabric , a pocket was my best option.

Luckily the hole is just above the knee and is perfectly placed for a cargo pants style pocket.
But first I needed to reinforce the hole by stitching fabric over it on the right side.
I then made a simple pocket with the top slanting just the same as the main pocket above it.

I don't want the pocket to be used really and so I added a jeans button to remind me. I echoed this button with rivets on the main pockets

So, a fit which didn't do anything for me, and a hole in my fabric could have been a total disaster. I was able to think calmly and sort out solutions to both.

I am now really happy with my trousers and as I have already altered the pattern to my liking I am ready to make another pair, this time in some vintage linen which I acquired.

To make the tops I bought a long piece of muslin or Cheesecloth. I cut it into three sections leaving one white.
I dyed one piece with coffee and another with saffron to give me subtle colours.

Muslin is inexpensive and starts at £2:99 per Metre, do look at these  Muslin fabric

I didn't use a specific pattern , any t-shirt pattern is suitable because you are cutting on the bias to give the garment the necessary stretch.

As the fabric is very sheer I cut the fronts and backs twice but left the sleeves as one layer.
Please note that everything must be cut on the bias .

I also added touches of machine embroidery to the outer fronts of both tops

On this one I used the saffron dyed fabric underneath the coffee coloured fabric and made the hems uneven so that flashes of the saffron would be seen

 This top is all white with random circles of silver embroidery on the front.
I also cut the front lower than the other one and made it looser.

It is important to remember that bias fabric, especially this very lightweight one stretches a lot. So it is necessary to stay stitch the neckline in particular to keep it in shape when sewing.
To make a neat neckline join the shoulder seams on both laters. I used french seams throughout. Then place the fabric right sides together and stitch the necklines together. Turn right sides out and press. Understitch on the inside to hold the facing in place.

Then stitch each side seam separately, join the layers together at the armcyce and sew the sleeves in . You will therefore have both layers joined at the top edge and the armcyce but free everywhere else.

Hem each layer separately.  And that is all there is to it.
I really love this outfit. It is cool, practical and very summery.

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Happy sewing