Monday 5 November 2018

motivational sewing: skinny M7726 and a cropped sweater

Hey! Not wanting jinx anything, but getting that damn jacket done and off my sewing pile does seem to have loosened the blockage in my sewjo and I'm actually getting things done again! Bookending it with a couple of cool and/or simple motivational projects worked really well, and I have two of them to show you today. I've worn the shit out of my wide-leg McCalls 7726 trousers and I really wanted to make another pair. Given that it's November it's bound to start being wet and unpleasant soon, and wide leg trousers aren't the most practical for that, I went for the slim leg version. I haven't worn slim leg trousers in years so this was a bit of an experiment for me.

I'm still not 100% sure about how flattering these are, but they're so easy and comfortable that I straight up do not care. I've been gravitating to trousers way more than tights recently (though this may just be because I'm lacking in cold weather dresses) and I've been quite happily wearing these multiple times a week since I made them. The fabric is a crepe I bought from my favourite stall in Walthamstow Market, and it's got a really nice balance between weighty and drapey. It's also a great autumn/winter colour.

When I decided to make a different view of the same trouser pattern, I assumed that the only change would be using the slimmer leg pattern piece and the construction would remain fundamentally the same. For some reason, that is not the case. There's a whole separate sheet of instructions for the slim leg version, and they create the same effect quite differently. For the wide leg trousers, you make the pleats very early on in the construction process, then fold down the waist facing and slipstitch it down at the end. For the slim leg, you don't make the pleats until the trousers are basically completely finished, and you incorporate the facing into the pleats. I'm not sure why this is so different, nor do I know which version I prefer. On the one hand, sewing the facing into the pleats means no time-consuming slipstitching, but on the other, it's much easier to tweak the fit when you can flip the facing up and it's actually kind of confusing sewing the pleats last. When do you ever sew the pleats last?

I also discovered that the problem I had with the pockets on my last version was my own fault - I hadn't basted the pocket to the side seam in the right place, meaning that the opening was much longer than it should have been. My phone sits quite happily concealed in these pockets. These trousers just close with a zip and no fastening at the top, because I wasn't feeling well and completely spaced out on what I was meant to be doing, so there's nothing holding the fly closed at the top. That's not great, but again the sash covers a multitude.

After I finished these I didn't think I'd want a third pair. It's such a specific style and silhouette that I thought three pairs might be overkill, but since then I've worn these so often that I'm starting to think another slim leg pair might be a good idea. I quite like that I can't just whack on any old top with these - putting effort into my outfits is part of what helps me stay on top of my depression. I actually went back to Walthamstow this past weekend with the intention of buying this same fabric in a different colour, but the only other colour they had was bright-ass emerald green which is not the most versatile for trousers. Though obviously I bought a bunch of it anyway. You know me and bright-ass emerald green.

 I also made another one of the items of my sewjo-boost list:

This is another cropped sweater from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. This is basically the only pattern I use from that book, but at the same time I've never found a better pattern for casual sweater knit tops. The combination of length, shape and neckline just works for me. Tops with multiple neutral colours have always been my go-to, but I haven't made any for a while because I've been so focused on making one-piece outfits (also I put myself off making jersey tops because I kept trying to combine multiple patterns and not doing it right). I'm definitely having a trousers moment, though, so this will be incredibly useful.

 I made a few changes from the original pattern. I added a bit of shaping into the bust as a very lazy FBA, I extended the sleeves freehand, and I added some wide cuffs (a detail I always like). I did keep the original hand-sewn neckline and I think I always will - I know it's not the strongest finish but I like that it's free of visible stitching, especially in a fabric like this where you'd be able to see the colour of the thread every other stripe. I've tried putting a neckband into this pattern more than once, and it always changes the shape of the neckline which always results in me hating it.

(I also made another of these, but since it's exactly the same except plain black with short sleeves, I figured we don't really need photos of that as well. Also it's cold and I don't want to go outside with my arms out.)

Two things in one post and I'm still ahead of myself! Yay! Next up will probably be my Simplicity 1613 twist top, which is finished but also has two surprise holes in it, so I'll either have to fix them or buy an ostentatious brooch before I photograph it...


  1. Looks good! I love that color for fall too. And how interesting that the construction is different on the two views...

    1. Yeah, it's really strange! They don't explain the reasoning in the instructions and it kind of baffles me. Why??

  2. These are gorgeous on you, and the color is so strong and romantic.