Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Parasol Trousers

These are my Parasol Trousers, a brand new pattern from Ensemble Patterns. I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for the trouser portion of this jumpsuit/trouser pattern. It was my first time being a tester and I truly enjoyed the experience. Being on a schedule is not typically my thing for sewing, but it did push me to power through the fitting process, and helped me to continue my journey to understand pants fitting and get a great fit on my body.

Ensemble Parasol Trousers

Celina of Ensemble Patterns and Gabriela of Chalk and Notch released two sewing patterns in tandem. This one from Ensemble and the Orchid midi from Chalk and Notch. They are designed so that you can "create 3 different top options, 4 bottoms, a choice of 2 waistbands and so many ways to make it your own." What a great idea! You can read more about the pairing here

Ensemble Parasol Trousers

Once again I went with this kind of funny cropped length that I have heard described at 7/8 length and I am loving right now. Someday I will probably look back and say, those are so 2018, but I'm ok with that.

Ensemble Parasol Trousers

When I started making this pattern I really didn't think these were my style. They are dressier, or more professional, than pants I usually wear. But I am so in love with these pants now! This version is a wearable muslin in a lightweight (maybe too lightweight) chambray. Since I got such a good fit I will definitely wear them. I got them a little tight so I plan to make this exact fit again in a stretch denim or twill and I will utilize some contrast topstitching to really show off the great style lines and pockets that this pattern feature.

Ensemble Parasol Trousers

Parasol Trousers: Size 4 at waist grading out to an 8 at the hips
Loves: The pockets, the clean waistline with no waistband, the wide legs , the style lines and design with no side seam, and the fit in the butt
Dislikes: None!
Adjustments: Low butt, swayback, narrowed the front and back seams by 1/4", took in the waist and round pubis. Keep in mind that I made the tester version 1 and many of these changes might not be necessary for me now.

My measurements
Upper Bust 34"
Full Bust 36"
Waist 27"
Hips 39"

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

McCalls 7445 Meets Celestial Top

I am deep into pants fitting territory over here. I finished these McCalls 7445 trousers a few weeks ago. They aren't perfect and I have learned more about alterations that I may need since finishing these, but they are still a major accomplishment for me.
  Celestial Top and McCalls 7445

This pattern jumped to the top of my to sew list back in the spring and then languished in the unfinished pile waiting on a waistband and to be hemmed for ages. Along came the Celestial Top, their perfect mate. Once I finished this top I knew I had to finish these pants to go with it. The pants have a serious 70's vibe that I'm digging.
  Celestial Top and McCalls 7445

You can see that I have some extra fabric around the front crotch. I need some kind of adjustment there. I think part of my problem was that I did not make a muslin and then decided to shorten the rise by cutting them off at the top/waist area. The length should have come out lower down around my hips. I think it needs more that that though.

Celestial Top and McCalls 7445

I cut a size 6 in this pattern because I was using a very stretchy denim from Joann. McCall's would put me at a size 12. This isn't a very high quality denim, though I do love the color. I consider these a wearable muslin and would really like to perfect the fit and make another version with a higher quality fabric.

Celestial Top and McCalls 7445

I did get a pretty good fit in the back by using the center sew line, which I think would equate to a slight low butt adjustment. My only dislike about the construction of these pants was that there is no fly guard. It isn't fun when you zip up your tender belly! Maybe I made a mistake but mine ended up without one. This was my first time doing a zipper fly but I think these need more reinforcement. I really enjoyed how well made the button fly is on the Lander Pants.

Celestial Top and McCalls 7445

My Celestial Top was a spur of the moment make. My friend Gretchen has been sewing more and I sent her a link to Pattern Fantastique's website thinking she would dig their patterns. Next thing I knew she was making this top and suggested we sew them together. I dug these two hand dyed linens out of my stash (dyed and gifted by my mom) and proceeded to make my new favorite top.

Celestial Top and McCalls 7445

I changed the construction a bit and cut a full lining for the yoke rather than a facing. I used that to totally enclose the seams inside the upper bodice. I prefer this over the pattern instructions, but otherwise I adore this pattern and will definitely make the maxi version at some point. I will do another post sharing some construction tips for this top soon.

Celestial Top and McCalls 7445

How gorgeous is that fabric? Thanks mom!
My generous mother also surprised me with a new to me Bernina for an early birthday/Christmas gift. It is a dream to sew with and I feel so lucky. I haven't made any buttonholes yet but that is the part I am most excited about. My old 70s Bernina was tricky to get a good buttonhole with.

Celestial Top: Size 8
Alterations: Full yoke lining, enclosing seams around yoke and sleeves. Cropped even more than shortest version.
Love: The design
Dislike: The original construction that leaves lots of exposed seams.

McCall's 7445: Size 6 in stretch denim
Alterations: mistakenly shortened rise from top of waist.
Love: The pockets and the wide legs
Dislike: Lack of a fly guard and the fly construction.

My measurements:
Upper Bust 34"
Full Bust 36"
Waist 27"
Hips 39"

On the pants fitting front I have also been working on a good fit with several muslins of the Persephone pants, yet to be finished. I also just finished my first pattern testing with a pair of trousers that I am very happy with for Ensemble Patterns. After years of being scarred by pants fitting I am finally getting over that fear and am so excited to make all the pants!