Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Well tomorrow is the first day of May and I have joined the


Here is my pledge:

'I, Jean of , sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one me made garment each day for the duration of May 2014'

Zoe, from 'So, Zo...What Do You Know?' is again hosting this fun event. If you would like to find out more about the Me-Made-May'14 challenge, check out Zoe's Blog.

Last year, I enjoyed watching others partake in the challenge so this year I am being brave and joining them.

I have only pledged to wear at least one me made garment for each day during May. I hope this will help me identify gaps in my wardrobe and encourage me to sew more needed items, instead of flitting from one thing to the next without a proper plan.

I will photograph my outfits daily, but will do weekly posts, as I think this will be as much as I can manage with working fulltime. There will probably be lots of repeats as I don't have a huge me made wardrobe yet. I currently wear a uniform to work, but this is not compulsory and I have been toying with the idea of making my own set of coordinating outfits to wear to work so this process will help with the development of this idea, I am sure.

Let the fun begin...

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Style Arc Sammi Pants Success

Continuing on with my quest for sewing pants that fit, I have tried the Style Arc Sammi Pants.

Style Arc Sammi Pants
I made a straight size 12 with no alterations. The fabric was purchased from Spotlight a few months ago. It was labelled as Panama stretch suiting in Pewter. It really has no stretch to speak of and is very synthetic. It looked like it would be hard wearing and good for a pair of work pants.

To my utter amazement, these pants fitted me without any alterations to the pattern at all. Here is the description from the Style Arc website:

SAMMI WOVEN PANT:This is basic pant woven pant which sits just below the waist line, featuring a buttoned waistband which is contoured and a fly front.  A slight boot leg makes this pant very flattering.

This description is spot on. These are basic, but comfortable pants with a flattering cut.

Back view
I am wearing them here with my Style Arc Nina Cardigan blogged about here.

Close up of front showing fly and waistband with buttons.
Close up of back showing darts.
These were plenty long enough. There is a 4cm hem allowance on the pattern, but I had to take them up 7cm and that's to wear them with high heel shoes. I am 172cm tall (5'8"). I hand stitched the hem so it would be invisible.

Here are some photos of the inside:

The inside of the waistband was turned under and secured by stitching in the ditch from the right side. I usually have trouble doing this, but this fabric behaved very well.
I used a metal trouser zip and I followed the Style Arc directions for inserting the fly. I did have to read over them several times and scratch my head a bit but they finally made sense and it turned out really neat.
Underside view of fly. All seams were sewn on my sewing machine and then finished off with the overlocker.
The only issue I had with the construction of these pants was that I attached the interfacing to the waistband facing instead of the waistband. I didn't realise my mistake until I had completely assembled the waistband and went to attach it to the pants. As the two front pieces are different lengths, my error meant that the waistband was back to front. I had to recut and reconstruct the entire waistband (so annoying) but I have made a note on the pattern for next time.

I am pretty happy with my Sammi Pants.

I was running late for work so these photos were a bit rushed as you can tell by the look on my face.

Happy Sewing

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Style Arc Elle Pants

After a long absence from blogging...three whole months, I am finally back. Life has really been busy lately. My two youngest children have moved daughter finding herself a new job and moving to Canberra and my son was accepted into Sydney University and has moved to Sydney. I am now officially an empty nester. So proud of all my children and their achievements. My darling partner surprised me with a marriage proposal and a gorgeous engagement ring and we have been on holiday to Tasmania where we spent 6 days in the wilderness walking The Overland Track. Despite all these goings on, I have been sewing but no time for blogging so I have some catching up to do.

Style Arc have a growing reputation for their great pants patterns. I have really been wanting to learn how to make great fitting pants so I have bought a variety of Style Arc pants patterns to try, including the Elle Pants.

Elle Pants

Very tight Elle Pants

I chose a size 12 and used some stripy bengaline purchased online from The Remnant Warehouse. Boy did these turn out tight. I could barely pull them up over my hips and they are skin tight.

Front view showing way too much.

I certainly won't be wearing these in public. I was really surprised that they were so tight so I did some internet research. Lots of other sewing bloggers have commented on varying results, blaming the amount of stretch in the fabric used. 

Even though these are tight there is not too much wrinkling.

I compared my stripy bengaline with some black bengaline purchased at the same time from The Remnant Warehouse, and it didn't have nearly as much stretch as the black. I had assumed that all bengaline was the same, but apparently it is not.

Pleased with my stripe matching, shame they are too tight.

The waistline hit me at a very unflattering place, causing a huge bulge over the top. Despite this disaster, I did like the general shape of these pants and I was determined to make them work. So I made a second pair straight away using the black bengaline with more stretch.

These are definitely a more relaxed fit.
Not happy with all the wrinkles.

What is causing all those wrinkles.

The only changes I made to the pattern was to add 5cm to the top of the pants to raise the waistline so that it didn't cut my spare tyre in half. This has resulted in a much smoother fit around the waist.

Raised waist by 5cm

Woops...forgot to suck tummy in.

I would never wear these pants without a long top.

I have been wearing these pants all day and they are so comfortable. The skinny leg is a new thing for me...I usually wear a bootcut style in pants. I would appreciate any ideas for how to reduce the wrinkling in the legs. Now off to order some more "stretchy" bengaline.

Happy sewing.