Anyone who has been following my blog for a while now will have very quickly realised that I am definitely a dress person when it comes to sewing. But in everyday life, I DO wear pants, shorts and jeans and not very often, but sometimes I actually do make these too! I haven’t had much luck in sewing well fitted pants in the past, so I am a bit wary of making them. Nevertheless, after a whole lot of dresses, it was time to make and blog something a little different.
Even though I am not your tallest person, I absolutely adore wide legged, palazzo and flared pants. Especially the 70s type. I know they look better on taller people than myself, but I still love them! I tried to elongate the legs of these as much as possible by making them almost down to the ground.
For this set, I used an original 70s pattern by Teal Traina for the pants and matched them with a strapless top using a modern strapless dress pattern by Kwik Sew, cutting it off about 25 cm below the waist.
My fabric comes from Tessuti in Melbourne – a beautiful linen/cotton blend in a navy denim look and white stripe. It has a great thickness and drape to it. The stripes are horizontal on the fabric. But I wanted vertical stripes on my pants, so I risked it and cut them out against the grain. I was afraid that the fabric would stretch or go out of shape while wearing the pants because I had cut it against the grain, but luckily, it seems to be holding it’s shape.
The pants were very easy and quick to make. They are darted into an inside ribbon waistband and I used an 18cm invisible zip in the back to close them off. No fussing around.
When it came to the top, I didn’t want the it to have all the stripes going in one direction and definitely not all vertical, because it would just be too boring. I thought it would make it visually more interesting if the stripes middle front and centre back were horizontal and the rest vertical.
The strapless top took a bit more time to make up than the pants. I cut the top using size S and should have known that it was too big for me from the last time when I used this same pattern for my Capri dress. But I was in a rush and thought better be safe than sorry if XS ended up being too small. I will know better next time!
To underline the top, I used a nice, old cotton bed sheet that I had put aside for lining. It had outlived its use as bed linen, but was still very good quality, fine cotton and a shame to throw away. I used two layers of the cotton bed linen as underlining and at first thought it would be too much, but two layers turned out to be a good amount to give the top a good shape and thickness.
I took in each seam until the top fit me in a snug way. Then I contemplated which type of zip to use. I couldn’t use an invisible one, because I wouldn’t be able to get a fitted top on and off without an open end zip. So I bought the shortest open end zip in navy blue I could find and was going to put it in the centre back. But the zip was too long for the back and I didn’t want to cut it and potentially ruin it. I was playing around with it in front of the mirror and by pure stroke of genius found that it had the perfect length to go in the front side seam. I hadn’t seen that before, so why not be different?
The zip was a perfect fit and even though I didn’t put in a hook and eye or button in at the top, it stays in place very well without opening.
To finish off the top on the inside, I didn’t line it but used bias binding to finish off the edges neatly. I thought there were enough layers of fabric in it already with the underlining and it didn’t need any more thickness to it.
After having a look at these photos, I realised that I would need to put some boning in the back of the top to keep any folds from forming. Sometimes you see things in your finished product that need improving after you think the job has been done! Not my favourite thing to do…
I think my new matchy matchy set has worked out well. It really was a very rushed job, but the fit is perfect and also very comfortable to wear.
I don’t know about you, but I really like matching tops and bottoms. They are a bit like twin sets of a different kind. I definitely have plans to make some more matching sets of tops and pants and also tops and shorts.
Now that the evenings are very long here in Melbourne after our winter time change, I plan to do lots of sewing. Reality is that after work and my regular running during the week, I am so tired that don’t get much done at all!
Keep smiling and sewing until next time (hopefully very soon)!
STYLING: hat – Borsalino, Rome, shoes – Windsor Smith, sunglasses – Carlina Square by Chloe, ring – Apart Fashion
LOCATION: Elmore, Victoria