Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Modern Sewing: Arenite Pants & Plantain T-Shirt

One of my sewing goals this year is to learn how to sew with knit fabric. While I have attempted a few small projects in the past, I never really knew what I was doing and I didn't take time to learn proper techniques. For a long time, my goal in sewing was to sew as much as possible as fast as possible! I have really slowed down the past few years and that has been a really, really good thing. Quality over quantity! It really has been such a huge leap forward for me and I feel like my projects now are much better than they used to be back when I sewed like crazy all the time. Now, I feel ready to tackle this mysterious area of sewing and to try to do it slowly and thoroughly and to learn as much as I can about it.

I love the idea of a handmade wardrobe and over the last year or two I have been thinking about the concept of capsule wardrobes and having a few staple items that can be worn in different combinations for different looks. I haven't had time to focus much on my own day to day wear. I hate spending money on clothes and even going to second hand shops is rare these days as I always have a number of kids in tow and limited time to look and try things on! So, my wardrobe has been pared down again and again til now I have a half dozen leggings in dark neutral colors, a few shirts and cardigans and a couple of skirts or dresses that rarely come out these days. The majority of these things are all many years old!

I don't love any of my clothes with the exception of my kaftan dresses - I do wear those frequently! For the past few months I've known that I'm at the point where I really need to replace most of my garments. In the past I'd make vintage or historical style dresses for myself out of quilters cotton and while the outfits were sort of cute, I just. . .can't wear those anymore. I hate the feel of stiff cottons and I hate wearing anything remotely tight. I got used to leggings or yoga pants during my last few pregnancies and stretchy, soft, drapey fabrics are now what I love! haha ;)

I bought some material over the past few months and kept it on a shelf waiting for the days when I'd have enough historic sewing finished I could focus on modern sewing. I finally had time to make a few things this past week while the kids were on Easter break. These were pretty quick projects and it was nice to take a very necessary break from hand sewing since my finger tips have become so raw lately that they were bleeding at the slightest pin prick.

So, I made a pair of pants from the new Arenite Pants sewing pattern by Sew Liberated. I have followed Meg's blog since she was Montessori by Hand and I have loved and been inspired by all of her sewing over the years. I was thrilled when she announced she was releasing this pattern this spring and waited eagerly for it over the winter! The day it came out I got my copy, had it printed at Staples and then waited another week before I had time to trace off my size and get to work on the pants. I made these in sz. 4 with no modifications as my measurements matched that size. For next time, I am going to go up a size in width and a few in length, I think! While these pants still came out great (I love all of the wonderful seam finishing techniques described in the pattern!) they are a bit short in the leg and I think I'd prefer a baggier fit since these do pull at the knee a little when I'm squatting or kneeling (something I do a lot of with little ones in the house).

I really love these pants and allowed myself the joy of throwing out one of my older and worn out leggings after completing them. ;) Then, I decided I'd reuse the fabric of the leggings and used it to line a sports bra I made using the Noelle Halter Bralette.

Like some other sewers who have used this pattern, my measurements matched the size M but I ended up  making the XS since the M was far too large. Even the XS is a little big, especially in the band but definitely still useable. The outer fabric is a thin grey knit and the lining is made from my old leggings. I did not follow the instructions given on how to sew this together and made it more like a sports bra than a fancy one. . .it's perfectly suited for me and my very plain, fairly active lifestyle though, and will wear well, I think. Since I have a super small band (28"! olord its hard to find anything in that band size!) I had to add a piece of elastic at the bottom of it to make it fit me better. Next time I'll take an inch off each side of the pattern and see if that helps with the band size. The finished bra isn't super supportive but perfectly fine for working out, wear around the house or use as a sleeping bra.

I made some new panties from the hipster pattern by Make Bra. While I have made a few pairs of underwear for myself a few years back (and actually still wear and use them!) it is time for new ones. I detest shopping for panties. They never fit right at all. My current store-bought ones are okayish but are baggy in the butt and the elastic at the top edge is uncomfortable. These test pair from the hipster pattern came out great and fit perfectly. I was thilled! I used FOE to finish the leg openings and top opening and these were so fast to make. Full butt coverage that isn't baggy, a waist edge that hits a few inches below the belly button and a smooth fit.

The last thing I made was something I was terrified of trying - a t shirt. But I really want to learn to make a good, basic t shirt since I wear them almost every day. This one is the Plantain T Shirt by Deer and Doe. It is fitted at the top and flares out in a swingy shape around the waist and hips. I don't find this style especially flattering but I was really happy with how easy it was to make and especially like the neckband. The scoop neckline is also just perfect! I love this neckline shape. The pattern comes with long or 3/4 sleeve options and my next shirt will use the 3/4 sleeve length. Now that I've had a little practice with this one I feel less nervous about my next one!

So. . .now I have a few new items for my wardrobe and they cost very little to make and took very little time to sew. I am now feeling excited about thinking about a few more pieces that I can make and wear frequently. I just purchased the Otari Hoodie pattern by Scroop Patterns and I need to make 1 or more before baseball games start on the 24th! That one will be a challenge for me - knit fabrics, a separating zipper and lined pockets! But I'm so very much looking forward to trying it out!


1 comment:

  1. Everything looks great, and very comfortable! I actually have the same fabric you used for the pants sitting in my stash right now, with plans to turn it into a dress soon :)


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