Liana Stretch Jeans, 2 ways

As mentioned in my Fancy Pants intro post, having read Allie Olson’s review of the Liana stretch jeans I knew I had to try them. So I used my November UpCraft credit to purchase the pattern and started setting aside fabrics and inspiration images.

When one of my favorite sewing buddies, Jen, visited in December, she gave me this incredible green RL brushed twill.

GAVE.

I asked her 3 times if she was sure, because it is so good.

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So I cut into that scrumptious stuff almost immediately. And I’m here to tell you I really like the Liana pattern.

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The mid-rise is perfect for me. I love that the pocket stay feature means the pocket bags don’t constantly need to be put back in their place. The Liana pattern does come with 3 leg shapes, but I’m a major skinny leg fan (so I’m not sure when I’ll be trying the straight or boot cuts, but I love that they are included).

thank god for sew alongs

thank god for sew alongs

One very interesting part of the construction was the waistband. The instructions call for twill tape to be basted into the seam allowance of the band’s upper edge. I was a bit baffled and needed to consult the sewalong for more images.

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Now, I didn’t see interfacing anywhere in the instructions, but I was concerned about the stability of the button and buttonhole so I fused a couple small pieces inside the band before closing it.

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I did adjust the back of the pants at the center back seam to eliminate the gape I always get. I’m a fan of basted-fitting every pant since stretch and behavior of every material varies quite a bit.

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My favorite hardware comes from Citron Jeans on Etsy. I noticed the washable paper patches in Kenji’s selection and decided to give them a try too. They come in a pack of 5, but I found cutting them in half still maintained a good size patch, so I’ll be able to make 10 patches from one bundle.

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Ultimately, I’m really happy with how this muslin pair turned out.

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I had my doubts about the waistband method. I can say, though, after multiple wears and washes it’s great. Maybe you already knew Kennis was a genius? I’m (regrettably) slow to catch on.

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I also wanted to talk about my Anthropolgie-inspired pair.

I decided to rise to the Fancy Pants challenge and cut into some Cone Mills denim for the first time.

velvet ribbon source-  SuchGoodSupply on Etsy ;  denim  sourced from LA Finch Fabrics

velvet ribbon source- SuchGoodSupply on Etsy; denim sourced from LA Finch Fabrics

I added the narrow strip of velvet ribbon to the pants front pieces 1” from the the outseam raw edge before assembling the front pockets.

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Then I joined the fronts and backs (with yoke) at the outseam. This is a slight departure from the pattern’s construction order. I wouldn’t recommend this construction order if you haven’t first sewn and made any necessary fit adjustments to the pattern since the outseam is a common seam to adjust for hip and waist fit.

With the side seam finished, I added the second ribbon just behind the side seam.

My edge stitch foot was my ally here.

My edge stitch foot was my ally here.

Finish assembling the pants and voila! FANCY.

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I honestly wasn’t sure about the velvet ribbon when I was in the thick of making these jeans. But I reasoned it would be easier to remove the ribbon later than to add it after the fact.

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And the fact is I love them. Lots.

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Certainly, you all were right that Cone Mills denim jeans are the fucking best. THE END.

Sew Fancy Pants Spotlight: LA Finch Fabrics

LA Finch Fabrics has been enabling my fabric buying since 2015. Their shop used to be like a dirty little secret, but the news of their awesome sauce spread through the sewing community and I’m sure you’ve heard of them by now. (If not! Definitely join their FB group and follow them on IG.) Josie, Leslie, and the gang frequently run giveaways and sales.

I probably check LA Finch Fabrics’ site once a week to check for new stock. Since they are located in LA, as one might deduce from their name, they are often able to scoop up designer ends and deadstock. Those unique fabrics sell fast fast, often cannot be restocked, and are frequently listed in their End of Bolt section.

Now, since we’re sewing our fanciest pants this month, you’ll want to head straight to the bottomweights.

I think you’ll find (I checked last night) they have a good stock of Cone Mills denim, the Cadillac of denim. Of course, they also have ponte and other drapey wovens which you would want if you’re planning to sew various trouser or culotte styles.

If you haven’t already, head to Jen’s post today to enter to win a shop credit!

May's #LetsSewThisTogether Inspiration

I never do this, but I got so excited about May's #letssewthistogther theme that I decided an inspiration post was in order. If you know me, you know I'm not the planning or pinterest board type. That's just how eager I am to get started sewing white pieces for my summer wardrobe.  Let's begin with these white crops from J. Crew-

White cropped Lander Pants, no!? I have so many heart eyes for these.

I don't actually own the Lander Pants pattern, but it calls for non-stretch fabric. I may sub the Birkin Flares pattern here (I've made them once before) which is designed for stretch denim and just do the slight mods for the patch pockets and straighter legs.

LA Finch Fabrics (our sponsor for May!) has 2 white stretch denims in stock. They both sound yummy.

Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Amber (@soisewedthis)'s recent top in eyelet is completely just-go-ahead-and-copy-that-for-myself material. I mean it just screams perfection! She used Butterick 6100, but I'm tempted to use the Hey June Key Largo (again).

 

I have been known to covet eyelet so I've got a few options on that front in my stash already.

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This one is available from LA Finch-

Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

While we're talking about eyelet, check out the back of this raglan sweatshirt-

I'd use the Lane Raglan pattern (sized up and boxier) since I have it in my arsenal already or the Linden Sweatshirt pattern.

I need to double check if I have some white French terry in my stash, but if not, I'll grab this one from LA Finch-

French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

How about this $278 gem from Anthropologie?!

I mean Farrah is close enough for me! (And I already own the pattern and have sewn it.)

I think I even have some white cotton lawn in my stash...

 

Check out Tami (@sewsophielynn)'s tester version of Farrah in white swiss dot!

Her blog post has lots of photos and more details on the pattern.

 

A white version of the Evergreen jacket also sounds like a fun project. I've probably already bitten off more than I can chew with the projects listed above, but just maybe!!!

 

 

I hope you'll sew some whites for your summer wardrobe with Jen and I in May. We've got a couple prizes to give away, so be sure to use the #letssewthistogether tag. Details here.

New Favorite Halifax

Does every new thing you make suddenly become your new favorite thing? It happens to me almost every time. (I'm excluding my Stubborn Sewist makes, naturally. I don't want to talk about those.) 

Anyhoozle, I sewed another view of the Halifax hoodie pattern last night (finally). I previously played with view E because I love the diagonal side seams. I used some luscious modal French terry from La Finch fabrics, one of the fabrics chosen for February's #letssewthistogether. 

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Now, I know it's March, but February is short and I had a bit of a sickness come over me in February. I was bitten by the No Fear New Jeans bug that spread rapidly after being introduced by Closet Case. I'm digressing as per usual.

Back to my new favorite Halifax!

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I lined the hood and the pockets with a light weight white sweater-y rib.

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This made the pockets a bit bulky where the zipper is attached, but I'm still very happy with the overall outcome.

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My favorite detail is the twill tape used to finish the zipper. I honestly wasn't expecting this because I'm guilty of not reading through the pattern instructions before starting a project. So it was late last night when I got to the steps for installing the zipper and, well, this was the twill tape I had on hand. I love it. It's details like these that really make making your own clothes rewarding. (One word of caution on this twill tape. It's the first time I've used this particular one in clothing so I can't attest to how it holds up with laundering.)

I would love to get some personalized twill tape to use for future makes. Wanna recommend a vendor (from etsy, for example)?

And I love how it fits! I cut a straight size small after sewing several in size medium and finding them pretty over-sized. (Body measurements- bust 36", hips 40".) I also find that the shoulders are a tad wide for me on Hey June patterns, so I shave 1/2" off the armscye.

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I used a two-way jacket zip, because I think they're fun and they add a little bit more bling.

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ready to wear inspiration

ready to wear inspiration

I think the only other little tweak I'd do for my next one is to make the bottom band one continuous piece instead of having seams at the side seams. And I do plan to make another one immediately. I've got some brushed poly with extra lycra that's very similar in fiber content to a rtw hoodie I received for Christmas.

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Thanks for stopping by!

You Only Turn 38 Once

Hey! It's my birthday!

I'm 38.

Thanks!

Now you only turn 38 once, so I asked my favorite fabric enabler if she might like to make my birthday extra special this year. Boy, oh boy, did she deliver! So just because it's my birthday, we're having a fabric party. There's no cake, just fabric.

(Fun fact: I don't even like frosting.)

If you already know and love LA Finch Fabrics, you may skip to the bottom to collect your party favors. If need to join the Finch Addicts Club, read on. 

Now, there should be no doubt that LA Finch Fabrics is my favorite fabric source. I've been ordering from them since 2015 and practically all my apparel fabric comes from Josie and The Finch Team. Josie scoops up some really great overstock from the LA Fashion District. This means she's rescuing unused fabric from suffering the sad fate of languishing in giant warehouses of orphan textiles. It also means that you get an incredible price because often overstock fabric is sold off by commercial designers at very low prices since they have no use for their overage (think commercial destash). Ultimately, it means every time you buy from LA Finch Fabrics you're doing a good deed and adopting such fabric is on par with rescuing kittens and puppies from shelters. If you rescue enough fabric, you become an actual saint.* La Finch Fabrics also offers fabric from major manufacturers, namely Robert Kaufman and Telio (aka seriously good stuff).

*maybe I'm stretching here, but I'm not taking any chances that buying fabric might get me brownie points in heaven

Big stack of LA Finch. I might have a lot of such stacks in my fabric library.

Big stack of LA Finch. I might have a lot of such stacks in my fabric library.

Some favorite LA Finch makes from the past year-

And some yummy stuff I'm currently lusting after. 

Rayon twill in beige, navy, and bordeaux. These would be great for the Chalk and Notch  Joy Jacket currently in testing .

Rayon twill in beige, navy, and bordeaux. These would be great for the Chalk and Notch Joy Jacket currently in testing.

Black stretch denim. I'm thinking  Ginger Jeans .

Black stretch denim. I'm thinking Ginger Jeans.

Black and grey striped rayon spandex. Great basic tee such as the  Union .

Black and grey striped rayon spandex. Great basic tee such as the Union.

Charcoal melange double knit. It also comes in mustard. This fabric wants to grow up to be some cozy sweaters, maybe the new  Sunday Everyday Sweater .

Charcoal melange double knit. It also comes in mustard. This fabric wants to grow up to be some cozy sweaters, maybe the new Sunday Everyday Sweater.

Vintage floral crepe de chine. I'm gonna be honest. I'm not sure I can cut this one.

Vintage floral crepe de chine. I'm gonna be honest. I'm not sure I can cut this one.

I have mixed feelings about highlighting the end of bolts section of the site. These are my absolute favorite. Generous and very usable cuts (often 2-3 yards) of last chance goodies at really, really great prices.

 

Without any further ado, here's your party favor-

*  Everybody must buy their own fabric    **Oprah does not sponsor or endorse this post.

*Everybody must buy their own fabric

**Oprah does not sponsor or endorse this post.

30% off at La Finch Fabrics!

It's only good for my birthday, today, January 30th, 2018.  

CODE: HAPPYBDAYLONI

(Code is single use per account.)

You know you get free shipping if you spend $75, right?

And because Josie is the most generous fabric peddler around, she's offering one $25 gift card too! This is the kind of frosting I can get behind. To enter the gift card giveaway, use the rafflecopter below, leaving a comment on this post telling us which LA Finch Fabrics you've got the heart eyes for. Giveaway runs now until midnight (Eastern) on February 5th, 2018.

Thanks for celebrating my birthday with an LA Finch Fabrics party!

Fringe

The ever so lovely and talented Gabriela of Chalk and Notch released her new women's pattern, the Fringe Blouse and Dress, last week. I can genuinely say it was an absolute pleasure working with her in testing.

The Fringe is designed for lightweight woven fabrics and accommodates sizes 0-18. There are two neckline and sleeve length variations with optional sleeve tabs. The bodice is relaxed with waist darts for gentle shaping and optional waist ties for a more fitted effect.

Gabriela's instructions are thorough, yet concise and the illustrations are clear.

I tested the button up blouse (view A), using a vintage sheet for a muslin. I cut size 12 (40" bust). The pattern pieces all went together like a dream and it was instantly one of those favorite make kind of sews. The type you want to sew over and over because they just work.

very wearable muslin

very wearable muslin

The style is the perfect balance between fitted and relaxed. The result is effortless style.

I loooovee it. The face is for my bipolar remote. This day, it was either taking no photos or 100 burst shots.

And the curve on the hem is just right.

Most of the seams end up being enclosed, requiring minimal finishing otherwise.

After I knew I loved the fit of my muslin, I made another version in a lovely rayon from LA Finch Fabrics. Truth is I had a one yard cut of this rayon in my stash for probably a year. When Fringe came along, I knew I wanted to use this, so I was really lucky to find some additional yardage. (Thanks for saving the day, Josie!)

AND I BOUGHT MYSELF A REMOTE THAT WORKS. (If you're in the market for a bluetooth remote.)

Yes, my sewing space floor is that fancy schmancy jewelry store blue. :)

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It just so happened that another awesome tester, Indu, made a stunning Fringe dress from the alternate colorway of this rayon. Seeing her perfect version made it clear that this fabric was the right pick. Check out her rendition.

I had to sew up the other neckline as well. (If you're keeping count we're on Fringe #3!) View B is completely without closures and just pops over. I'm just going to go ahead and say it's the most stylish popover I've ever sewn.

This fabric is an exclusive design printed on rayon challis by Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

I used a solid navy challis from my stash for the sleeves (which are view A's, just cuffed) and added a four inch band to the hem by extrapolating the curve of the existing skirt piece.

I had some fun with the facings on my rayon versions, using quilting cotton instead of interfacing the same rayon. This amount of stability for the facings was just right and very easy to work with.

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And then I made one more! (That makes 4!)

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Don't you love the eyelet? It was also sourced from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and can be found here.

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You can see my sleeve tab hiding in there. I wasn't sure how this modified sleeve was going to hang so I added the tab as per the usual construction, but found that I preferred this sleeve straight. I just cut those buggers out after I realized they were visible in my pics.

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So there you have my four versions of Fringe, all top length really. I haven't played with the dress yet or done any major hacking, though I've got several ideas.

If you read this far, you deserve a treat! I've got a copy of the Fringe PDF pattern to give away! (Winner can pick another Chalk and Notch pattern if they have already purchased Fringe.) Thanks so, so much, Gabriela! Enter via Rafflecopter below.