Monthly Archives: April 2015

Named Alexandria Pants (and shorts!)

Further to my adventures with skinny jeans, I decided it was time to explore the non-bootcut style trouser in a new way 🙂 Enter Named’s Alexandria Trousers/Shorts – a pattern I fell in love with immediately and had to bump to the top of the queue.

The first version of these I made from a mystery fabric in my stash, what I thought was perhaps a linen. It frayed like the dickens and pressed well, so I was probably not far off LOL.

Alexandria-detail

(Here you can see the cool pleats that fold over the side pockets. Those are SO MUCH FUN to sew, and they give the garment movement and visual interest that I absolutely love.)

They turned out PERFECTLY except for some tightness in the calf (which I should have anticipated after the same thing with my Jamie jeans), alas, the first time I wore these, I knelt down to grab some shoes from the closet and RIIIIIPPPPPPP – out blew my right knee. (the pants knee, that is LOL).

I was pretty shocked, to say the least! We were on our way to do groceries so I figured, ok, I’ll wear them out for that, and then cut them into shorts when I get home, because it was probably the calf tightness that did it. But nope, shortly after I first sat down, RIIIIIPPPPPP – out blew the butt. Seriously LOL. THE BUTT. So serious, guys. I was super upset at the time, because I put a lot of work into finishing all the seams neatly, and pressing the pleats perfectly, but even though it’s a shame, it’s pretty funny now thinking about that fabric just blowing up on me LOL ^_^

So I took the opportunity to add some width to the lower part of the flat pattern, from the knee down; about 1.25″ tapering to 0 at the knee. And then I made the most comfortable, stylish black pants anyone has ever made, ever. Ok maybe not anyone, maybe just me 😛

Alexandria-black_pants

These are made from a lovely black rayon which is wonderful to wear, but was a pain to cut and sew. I admit, I was still traumatized over the amazing exploding pants, so I didn’t take as much care as I should have, and I partly botched the waistband, in true Amanda style, and wound up with a narrower waistband than called for, so I omitted the waistband ties, which is fine – I’ve been wearing them as a dressy-casual pant like in the above photo, or with socks and heels when it’s raining, which is always these days ^_^

I also made the shorts version, in a blush pink rayon, which I haven’t had the opportunity to wear yet, as our weather has been pretty unpredictable, and not quite shorts-time. Also hence the grainy indoor pics – I continue to lament my lack of a decent photography spot…. it’s really appalling.

Lola wants them because they match her nose ^_^
Lola wants them because they match her nose ^_^

Will I make these again? Damn straight – probably the next time I spy a fun print in a lovely drapey fabric – and since I wear the black ones all the time (ALL the time) I’m guessing I’ll probably have to make another pair of those too ^_^ 😀

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Papercut Bellatrix Blazer

So I made a blazer 🙂

 

Inspired once again by Anne’s numerous makes, I was turned on to the clean lines and versatility of this pattern.

Although I really like the short version, I settled on the longer version first, as the fabric I used was more dressy and i wanted it to be wearable for both office attire and with jeans.

 

I swear it’s pressed, but the fabric has a soft drape and texture, making it appear creased, which along with a burn test, makes me think it’s linen or a linen blend.

I’m showing it pictured here on Patience, as it’s easier to get a feel for the style lines and texture of the fabric when it’s sunny, and it was, fortunately, when I finished it and took these shots – but hasn’t been lately 😉 

I found it interesting that the pattern calls for most of the body to be interfaced, but I wanted to keep the softness of the fabric so I used a weft interfacing in a little lighter weight than my fabric. It was the first time for me using this type, and with all the steam required to press & shape these seams I feel like I probably should have pre-shrunk it because it shrank during application so I steamed the crap out of it before sewing so it wouldn’t cause me too much heartache later on. It still did, but not too badly 🙂

I also added a self drafted sleeve head for a little extra support.

The lining is a superb quality Bemberg rayon which is just a delight to touch and wear but as always, I despise sewing lining because Bemberg is notorious for misbehaving lol.

As for fit, I did two FBA’s; one and then another adjustment again after my first muslin. I adjusted the waist just the once but should have tweaked that as well the second time; that said, it fits with a hook & eye at the waist rather than a buttonhole so that’s fine. I also lengthened the sleeve 3″. These are all standard adjustments for me so pretty much normal 🙂

I would like to make this again, in the shorter version but I plan faster than I sew so may not happen anytime soon, as I have a massive queue, including wedding sewing lol 🙂

In other news, Me Made May is fast approaching and I’m taking the pledge for the first time! 🙂 I know I have really limited choices in lounge wear so I suspect that will be my biggest challenge but challenge is the whole point! I’m nervous but excited to see what I learn 🙂 Anyone else joining in? 🙂