Narcisse Pants

I was gifted a copy of the the Deer and Doe Narcisse Pants pattern from the designers as part of Sew Fancy Pants month. As I mentioned also in my inspirations post, I had never really noticed all the great style lines and features of Narcisse. They are high-waisted (aka totally on trend) with in-seam pockets in the front, accent side panels, and welt pockets in the back, designed to be sewn with woven fabrics (non-stretch).

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I was instantly excited to dive in and bought some lightweight striped denim from Raspberry Creek Fabrics specifically for these pants and pulled some hemp ticking (sourced from La Mercerie) from my stash for the side panels.

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The construction order and methods were a bit different from many of the pants I’ve assembled before so I took my time and followed the assembly instructions closely. I know some sewers want to stick with what works for them (I’m looking at you, G) and seldom switch up their sewing repertoire, but I enjoy the process as much as the product. So I welcome new sewing adventures! Truly.

One of my challenges in making these pants was that the overhead lights went out in my sewing space. We still haven’t figured out why and we’re waiting on an electrician to come to the rescue. My sewing machine and several other outlets had power so I’d been working under lamps. All to say I had a little trouble with one of my welt pockets and I’m gonna go ahead and put the blame on the poor lighting conditions.

My issue was that I didn’t quite have much of a “triangle” at one end to secure and ended up with a bit of a hole. Some of my attempts to fix it made the situation worse. I finally decided to do some darning that mimicked the stripes in the denim and call it good.

before (with interfacing)

before (with interfacing)

after

after

I also had some fitting woes and nearly decided to give up on making these pants work. I think balancing the wide legs and stripes with my short-ish (5”5”) frame was where I was hung up. I tried slimming the legs a bit and then worked on the waist fit (perpetually an issue for me).

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Now, I haven’t sewn many non-stretch pants and I think I ended up over-fitting these a bit and maybe there’s a crotch or thigh fit issue I still need to explore (some photos show the fabric bulging in the front around the pelvis, and I’m constantly tugging the legs down). But they are wearable and I think they came out really cute!

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You might notice the new cardigan I whipped up to complete the outfit.

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The pattern is the Jenna cardi by Muse. I made the cropped length with short sleeves and a cuff which ends up being elbow length for me.

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I wish I had a layering tank in the right shade of navy blue for this outfit. I subbed in a long sleeve rtw bodysuit.

I used the same buttons on my cardi as my Narcisse pants.

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These pants even got the special treatment with a blind hem. #fancy

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I hope you’re joining us in sewing fancy pants this month. I’m having sew much fun, naturally! If you’re looking for the master list of sales, it’s here.

I’m open to recommendations for bodysuit or slim top patterns I can sew to wear with these. Let me know what you love. Adrienne? Nikko?

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!

Sew Fancy Pants Fabric Shops

We have 6 great fabric shops sponsoring week 2 of the Sew Fancy Pants IG sewing party!

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What that means is that you can expect a giveaway from each of them!!!

So be sure you’re tuned in to all the host’s feeds-

That also means I’ve got A LOT of fabric options to share with you, so I’m going to have a post for each one, starting Monday. In the meantime, many of these fine shops have discounts and coupons to extend to you, which I’m sharing below so you can start shopping for your FANCY PANTS now.

Use code FANCYPANTS for 15% off bottom weight fabrics through January 31.


Tammy’s curated selection of bottom weights are all discounted 25% this month (no code needed).



15% off with code FANCYPANTS (EXTENDED!!) though January 18.



Through January 31, use code PANT19 for 10% off.


Additionally, several other shops are also running promotions!

Imagine Gnats- SEWPANTS15 for 15% off all bottomweights through January 31.

Maker Mountain Fabrics- 15% off with code ‘PANTS’ now through January 13.

Merritt Makes has their organic cotton twills discounted 10% for the whole month.

Raspberry Creek Fabrics has 20% off with code ‘FANCYPANTS20’ through January 31.

Sewing Studio is offering 15% off with code ‘fancy15’.

UpCraft Club has Women’s Pants patterns discounted!

I’m always happy to answer questions if you have any.

Happy Shopping, Friends!

Sew Fancy Pants

A couple weeks back, Nicole asked me if I wanted to join her and Katie in an IG sewing party for January. I was like, well, ummmm. Fork yes. I love sewcial sewing and party is my middle name. (I mean, it’s sew much, but yeah. You get the idea.) And I said, we need to get Jen in on it because she’s awesome and we “sew together.”

So here we are! Nicole, Katie, Jen and I are hosting a month-long sewing party for FANCY PANTS! It starts now (get planning!) and officially runs January 1-February 3, and includes some FANCY PANTS DANCING.

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See Nicole’s kick-off post for all the glorious details! I am really, really, really, REALLY jealous I can’t win all the amazing prizes we have lined up to give away from our incredibly generous sponsors.

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Alina Design Co. Anna Allen Clothing

Cashmerette Helen’s Closet

Itch to Stitch Named Clothing True Bias

And that’s just the list of sponsors for the first week!!

Now, I wanted to talk about my FANCY PANTS sewing plans a bit and offer some inspiration for you.

I saw this pair of Buttoned Utility Pants and was instantly inspired to recreate them.

The buttoned ankle detail is just too fab.

So a slim trouser with welt pockets in the back and a bitchin’ ankle detail in a lovely maroon twill is my goal. I don’t think I’ll do the slash pockets in the front and will do a typical jean front pocket.

After reading Allie’s review and comparison of Ash and Liana jeans in November, I knew I needed to get Itch to Stitch’s Liana pattern. I have the same general fitting issues it seems Allie has so I think Liana is going to be great for me too.

I purchased some stretch chino twill in cardinal from La Mercerie during Jess’s Black Friday sale for this project. It’s a lovely shade of muted red and the quality is great, of course!

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I was gifted the Narcisse pattern by Deer and Doe, one of our fabulous sponsors. Admittedly, I hadn’t really paid much attention to Narcisse before, but once I took a closer look, I was smitten.

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It’s easy to miss that there’s a side panel detail. But hello! SEW COOL. And the in-seam pocket! Bangin’.

Actually, come to think of it, Narcisse has a lot of the same details as my Antropologie pants! I smell a mashing opportunity!

At any rate, I got some cool striped denim from Raspberry Creek Fabrics that I was thinking would be a good match for the Narcisse pattern.

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I’m also considering denim with corduroy for the side panels.

Stretch Corduroy from  La Mercerie

Stretch Corduroy from La Mercerie

Here’s a few more fun, FANCY PANTS inspiration pics-

Pattern Suggestions-

Kendrick modified with a button fly or cropped Lander Pants

Fabric Suggestions-

Tencel Twill Solid Bottom Weight Mustard

Tencel Twill Solid Bottom Weight Mustard

Jetsetter Stretch Twill Mustard

Jetsetter Stretch Twill Mustard

Stretch Cotton Twill- Ochre

Stretch Cotton Twill- Ochre

I mean-

Pattern Suggestions-

Narcisse, Wide Leg Pants (free option!)

Fabric Suggestions-

Woven Houndstooth Black/White

Woven Houndstooth Black/White

Or maybe cozy is your game?

Pattern Suggestions-

Ninni Culottes, Winslow Culottes with elastic waist hack

Fabric Suggestions-

Stretch Velvet Solid Teal

Stretch Velvet Solid Teal

Stretch Velvet Eggplant

Stretch Velvet Eggplant

CRUSHED STRETCH VELVET

CRUSHED STRETCH VELVET

I hope that’s got your sewing gears turning and you’re thinking about what FANCY PANTS you’ll sew to join us! I’ll be back for Week 2 of the FANCY PANTS Sewing Party with a full post dedicated to fabric. WHO DOESN’T LOVE FABRIC?

Mini Fringe

How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to test the pint-sized Fringe? There’s just no way I could skip it (even during December, aka the most frenzied sewing month of the year)!

Chambray sourced from  LA Finch Fabrics

Chambray sourced from LA Finch Fabrics

The women’s #fringedresspattern was my first testing experience for Chalk + Notch. I came away from that test with a new pattern that I loved and also gained the utmost respect for Gabriela as a pattern designer, business woman, and caring human.

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The mini Fringe covers sizes 12m to 12 years and has all the same details you love about the original Fringe Dress.

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The sleeve tab! Gently gathered skirt. Perfectly contoured hem. It’s all there.

And it’s a twirly delight, even in blouse length!

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You might notice this View A testing sample (size 18m) I sewed for my itty bitty 2 year old is a tad wide in the shoulders/ neckline. The thing is Gabriela noticed that right off the bat was was sure to perfect to fit in the testing process. How many designers have you encountered who would add another round of testing to be sure their work is thorough and flawless? It’s this impeccable attention to detail that really speaks volumes about her and her patterns.

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I look forward to sewing some mom and daughter Fringe dresses in the future, but I didn’t have the chance to do so just yet. December is such a hurried month as I mentioned before. Somehow, though, several other testers made it happen!

Alina

Emily

Katie

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Many more details and fabric inspiration in the official pattern release post.

Christmas Best

The days and weeks fly by so fast. I can’t recall exactly when I realized my daughter in pre-K would actually be signing in the school Christmas program; the major parts in the play were relegated to children in 3rd grade and above. I was expecting to have to dress my son, a 1st grader, in “Christmas best,” but I really wasn’t sweating his attire. I do know, however, it was precisely the morning of the day before the event that I decided I would make my daughter’s dress.

Now, it just so happens my sewing space was in complete disarray on this day. I was having the attic barn wood painted white to lighten up the rather dim space. As I interrupted the painter to pick out fabric, she asked me if I had looked around lately. Everything was draped in plastic for protection from the over-spray. We both chuckled. I grabbed the fabrics I needed, a small cutting mat and a rotary cutter.

I had recently sewn two of the Simple Life Pattern Company’s Wendy dresses as a commission for sisters in TX. (Sewing Christmas dresses is such an honor!) Luckily the smaller of the two girls is exactly my daughter’s size, so the pattern was already prepped. I cut everything down on the dining table, like old times before I had a dedicated sewing space, with a toddler at my feet.

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The main fabric joined my stash, from best I can tell, in the fall of 2015. I remember buying some and wanting more yardage, so I had my mom purchase another few yards in Salt Lake City and ship it to me. I also recall that she was a bit taken aback by the price of about $10/yard. I’m sure that was rather expensive back when my mother was sewing clothing in the 60’s and 70’s.

mom’s machine

mom’s machine

My mother passed away in the spring of 2016. I had pulled this Christmas fabric out with my other holiday fabrics each Christmas since then, but this was the first time I felt truly inspired to cut it.

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The bodice lining fabric is also a nod to mom. While the flowers more closely resemble zinnias, I like to think of them as red geraniums, mom’s favorite. This fabric was a short remnant from a mystery scrap pack and was exactly the height of the bodice and perfect for the job.

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I chose the accent fabric, a Cloud 9 glimmer solid, to coordinate with the only slider I had on hand for the belt.

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The slider is 1” wide, so I widened the belt to match and added some extra top stitching.

back

back

I used pearl snaps for the closures in the back. And while I was pressed for time on this project, I certainly didn’t skip the inseam pockets.

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As per protocol, I lined up the kids for a photo before the event. Since the oldest seems to only be getting taller, he’s sporting a Hastings vest from 2 years ago over the same rtw shirt he wore for the Dickens Christmas program last year. The youngest is wearing a Sunshine dress I made 3 years ago, a last minute closet find.

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I had hoped to get more pictures in better lighting today, but so far my spirited middle child has refused to indulge me. I did even iron the dress in my blissful naivety. I was however happy to find the headband I thought she had lost and the family photo I had tucked in one of her pockets last night.

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The belt I also thought she had left at the theater was found on the floor near our front door.

In lieu of more modeled photos, I took a few more hanging shots today. This one from our second floor hallway is my absolute favorite. The mid-century modern dresser in the distance was mom’s as well and is now used by my son, along with the matching bed.

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I really couldn’t be happier with how this dress turned out and I am looking forward to handing it down to the youngest and possibly their children someday.

We miss you dearly, mom, but your presence is often felt.

2018 Guest Blog Posts!

I wrote a few posts as a guest on some great sewing blogs this year and possibly neglected my blog from time to time. That is the beauty of the Maybe Blog, though. No pressure, you know? At any rate, I’m I’m linking to my posts across the webs here in a patting my own back exercise. #noshame

Woven Pixie Tee

Chalk & Notch’s Pixie Tee is as great in woven fabric as it is in knits.


Metallic Kaufman linen and Art Gallery cotton for the lining. LOVE.


I added a little something to the back of this Cheyenne. All the details, my favorite tools for sewing button-ups, and my tips for success are in the guest post.


Another Pixie tee hack, this one for cooler weather. So cozy and very simple to add a cowl. Gabriela even has a downloadable reference for the mods.


Pleats make everything better! Right?


This one is probably my favorite, but maybe I say that about every fresh-off-the-machine make. ;)

Hey June Brunswick Pullover

My heart skipped about 4 beats when I got the opportunity to test a pattern for Adrianna, the genius behind Hey June Handmade. It’s hard for me to think of an HJ pattern that I haven’t sewn.

Let’s talk Brunswick!

I made a size 10 as per my high bust measurement of 35” and 39” hips. Brunswick is certainly oversized, as you can gather from the finished garment measurements, and has a dramatic drop shoulder with several interchangeable style options.

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The perfect fabric was waiting right in my stash, aspiring to become something amazing. It was actually slated to become a Love Notions Whistler (which I have never sewn), but I’m really glad Brunswick came along at just the right time.

Enabler Alert- They have navy and coral too.

Enabler Alert- They have navy and coral too.

At any rate, this chunky double knit has a little bit more stretch (about 30%) than suggested for Brunswick, but it’s quite stable.

I opted to sew the hood and side plackets.

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The side plackets are a little more involved than the details on a basic sweatshirt, but that’s (part of) what makes Brunswick great.

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I lined the hood with a delicious End of Bolt sweatshirt fleece from LA Finch Fabrics. (Pro tip: really great goodies in the Finch EOBs just waiting to be rescued. I pretty much start all my fabric shopping there.) My cut was only a tad bit more than a yard. You better believe I laid out my pieces in hopes of making a full sweatshirt from this stuff, but I had to stop deluding myself and just use it for the hood.

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I still need to find just the right lace or drawstring for my hood. I’m possibly a bit obsessed with the details on Brunswick.

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I used 4 oversized (30mm) wooden buttons on the side plackets. Love that pop of Rifle Paper fabric.

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I slimmed the sleeve body from the elbow down and removed 1.5” from the cuff width as well. This is fitting modification is outlined in the pattern alterations section.

The final pattern was modified slightly from this testing version; there’s an added cropped cut line (1.5" shorter), the sleeves were shorted by 1", and the cowl (alternate view) was widened by 2" in both directions.

helpers gonna help

helpers gonna help

Here’s some Brunswick rtw inspiration from around the webs to get you inspired-

It is, of course, completely up to you and your fabric whether you choose to size down or make an oversized Orb of Comfort (TM) as Adrianna intended. I do recommend finding a cozy knit with not much stretch and going for the gold, though.

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See Adrianna’s Brunswick release post for more details and go ahead and leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Linen Bryce Cargo Joggers

I only started sewing pants and jeans this year and let me tell you how incredible it feels to wear outfits that are top to bottom self-sewn.

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My hack of the Bryce Cargos was borne from my desire to recreate a pair of ready to wear (rtw) linen pants I have. These pants have a zip fly, cargo details, darts for waist shaping in the back, and a jogger-style elastic cuff.

I had (somewhat foolishly) tried using a woven jogger pattern first (Tierras), but of course there was a lot of extra fabric and ease, so they could be pulled on. I often need to grade the waist of my pants down to fit my waist (or up to fit my derriere, depending on your perspective), so naturally, I can get a better fit with a more tailored style.  

I really wanted to make sure the welt patch pocket detail on the rtw pants was a feature on my recreation. Take a closer look at how cool they are.

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When I asked Adrianna, the beauty and brains behind Hey June Handmade, if she thought the Bryce pattern would work for non-stretch pants, she enthusiastically said it was very possible, because she had already done it! (But hasn’t shared them yet.)

While I was making my stretch twill Bryce Cargos, I laid my rtw linen pants over the unaltered pattern and could tell I was on the right track already.

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In choosing a size for non-stretch fabric*, I went with the size that fits my waist well (8) and went up 2 sizes (12) for the remainder of the pattern. I simply took the top of the pants in slightly to fit the smaller waistband.

* My fabric actually does have some some spandex in it and is described as having 5% stretch aka not much, so for all intents and purposes, let’s just say it’s non-stretch

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The basic approach to these joggers was to trace off (a big deal if you know me) the pants front (with the pocket facing overlaid to eliminate the slash pockets) and back, widening the legs straight from the hips and then to taper them slightly at the knee point. I eliminated the knee darts in the front, adjusting the length accordingly. At the hems, squared up the bottom 1.5 inches to become the casing for 1-inch elastic.

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The welt pocket pattern piece came directly from the original pocket pattern piece, folded on the fold line.

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The construction of the welt pockets was fun (and by fun I mean challenging) to figure out. I don’t have a lot of experience sewing welts, but after a few scrappy trials, I figured them out with the help of this post.

I’m not very interested in writing out all the details here. #sorrynotsorry It would have been a snooze-fest. I’m more than happy, however, to answer questions if you happen to have any.

After creating the welt pocket, it’s simply a matter of sewing the pocket to the pants front as a patch. Press the bottom and inside edges to the wrong side and top stitch the pocket in place.

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I think my end result is pretty close to my inspiration pair. They do sit higher on my waist, but that is good; the rtw pair is constantly falling down.

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And they have pretty guts.

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I love that these pants can be styled in a multitude of ways from a bit dressy to rather casual.

worn with a Cheyenne tunic

worn with a Cheyenne tunic

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modeled with a sweater knit Lane raglan

modeled with a sweater knit Lane raglan

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Now that I’ve tasted success with my $5 linen, I’ll be using some more expensive fabric next. I like the Avery linen La Mercerie carries and as well as this (sold out) rust colored linen from Blackbird. A friend picked up a very similar linen for me at Mood recently.

I found Emily’s tutorial on the Hey June blog while I was working on writing this post. Check it out if you’re interested in an alternative approach to Bryce joggers.

Tulip Hem Pixie

The crossover or tulip hem is a great way to add some interest to basic tops.

I followed Brittney’s tutorial on the Hey June blog when I made my first Lane raglan last fall.

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There’s plenty of ready to wear examples with the crossover in the front-

but I might prefer the crossover as a design feature in the back.

Pixie

Pixie

My approach to this mod is in keeping with Brittney’s, I’m just sort of, shall we say, lazy, so I don’t bother to prep any new pattern pieces.

My current favorite pattern to modify is Chalk & Notch’s Pixie tee.

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Cut all the pattern pieces for Pixie’s banded view-

  • 1 front

  • 1 front hem band

  • 2 backs (keep mirrored)

  • 2 back hem bands (hem band, lengthened, see * below)

  • 2 sleeves and cuffs

  • 1 neckband

Take your backs, keeping them mirrored (wrong or right sides facing), and create the hem shape using a dress maker’s or French curve (or just your artistic eyeballs!). You can also use a straight line for this, but I prefer a curve. I like to make the curve somewhat dramatic with the high edge being about 6-8 inches from the original hem.

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Keep your curve away from the opposite side seam. Otherwise, your front piece will be longer than your back pieces.

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*Measure the length of your newly created hem. It’s longer now that it’s cut along a slope. Your back hem bands need to be at least as long as your measurement. Add a couple extra inches to be safe. They will get trimmed later.

Attach the hem bands to the front and both backs individually without stretching the back bands. Again, we’ve added a curve to the hem of the back pieces, it is longer/wider than the original hem. The bands will sit flatter and look nicer when not stretched.

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After attaching the back bands, square or true them, using a straight edge inline with the side seam, removing any excess length.

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Layer one hemmed back piece over the other. I tend to prefer the left side crossing over the top of the right. You can baste (or lazily pin only) the shoulders, armscyes, and side seams together if you like. Treat this as a single piece when sewing the shoulder seams, setting the sleeves, and banding the neckline.

The assembly otherwise follows the original construction order.

Do take care when closing the side seams to align the bands.

I did ok ;)

I did ok ;)

You can top stitch as desired.

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Now you’ve got a wonderful, business in the front, party in the back Pixie.

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