Pants on Parade (aka Lander Bandwagon Goals)

Hello again, friends! This post has been in Draft mode since February!!!! First it was because I was working my way through ALL THE LANDERS, and then they got pushed aside for other projects; then there were photos to get (not so easy in the winter when your heart is set on outdoor pictures!), and then the post grew to over 2500 words because I am a technical maniac and I kept trying to edit it down and failing. O_o I try to give you details when I make adjustments or run into something that I think is noteworthy, but I also know that most people don’t like reading that many words in a blog post. 😦 So bear with me, this is a long post despite my best efforts!

As I said, today I’m sharing some pants–the US English version, not the UK English version, so you’re welcome. 😉 I started this post during construction of the first pair, and finally have photos of all 4 pairs–the final pair of shorts took me ages to get photos of! No idea why, but I lacked motivation.

So without further ado, here I am, jumping on the Lander bandwagon in rather spectacular fashion:

4.22.18 (1 of 58).jpg

Resting Bitch Face (Feel free to white-balance your monitors on my bangs and/or skin, LOL!)

4.22.18 (4 of 58).jpg

Crotch

4.22.18 (6 of 58).jpg

Back view

4.22.18 (8 of 58).jpg

Side

4.22.18 (17 of 58).jpg

Trying to look casual

4.22.18 (23 of 58)

Surly

4.22.18 (26 of 58).jpg

Rear view, complete with slight wedgie…

4.22.18 (27 of 58).jpg

Checking my wrinkled self out…

4.22.18 (22 of 58).jpg

Moody

4.22.18 (47 of 58).jpg

Shorts!

4.22.18 (49 of 58).jpg

Tight shorts…

4.22.18 (50 of 58).jpg

Cuffs!

6.30.18 (10 of 17)

Back view, minus the vacuum-sealed look… O_o

6.30.18 (12 of 17)

Hooray for #sewingleftovers

6.30.18 (13 of 17)

Jump!

Okay, so 2 pairs are shorts. But…

LANDER PANTS!!! You guys, I love them. I am mentally planning more pairs already!

As someone who plans to wear skinny jeans forever despite their “no longer cool” status and a general skepticism of OPPPs (Other People’s Pants Patterns), I admit that I was instantly all about the design of the Lander pattern. It struck me as a good balance between a 70’s style and modern trends. The shape of the legs isn’t too wide, either–I cannot handle WIDE pants. Obviously I made and wear my TPC6 trousers, but those have a very unique style and shape; they were definitely an exception to my rule(s)!

I cheated a bit with these Landers: I made them all out of stretch twill. Originally, the plan was to make View B of the Lander pattern in the wine color–it’s not my go-to shade of red or purple, but I thought it would make nice trousers. I only ended up with this many Landers because I thought it was a good idea to test the crotch adjustments I made by making a pair of shorts out of the colorway I liked the least–the tan. And then it kind of snowballed into, “Hmm, that went well, and tan trousers would be pretty wearable…” and “While I’m here, I might as well make the wine pair too, since that was the entire point…” and finally “Fuck it, I have so much extra fabric left that I kinda have to make wine shorts too…” shit-show of sewing the same thing 4 times in a row. O_o But at least I made use of my leftovers, eh?

Fitting Notes

As I mentioned, fit adjustments were most definitely made. Pants can be daunting to fit, partly because it’s labor-intensive to work out how your crotch is shaped in 2 dimensions. Luckily for me, I have a pants block made from my RTW skinny jeans (I am very, very lucky that many RTW jeans are capable of fitting my body well) that I can use for a comparison against any fitted crotchal region. 😉 (I didn’t do that against my TPC6 trousers because the crotch is not fitted against my body.)

Here is your periodic reminder that I am not a drafting expert by any stretch; I use my block because it is easier than fussing with someone else’s draft, and typically I am content to just work from that block without getting too analytical about a given crotch draft unless something is really, really appalling and obvious. Perhaps someone out there will feel that I am doing a disservice by just getting on with things that way, but at the end of the day I am only an expert on my own body and how I like clothes to fit it. I won’t waste my time analyzing something that I’m not even really using, if that makes sense. YMMV, of course.

ANYWAYYYYYY…

Most of my changes were made to the back pieces, which I expected. I started from a size 0 because it was the closest to my measurements. I forgot to get a photo of the back leg piece before I cut it up to match my block, but suffice it to say that there was a serious difference in shape!

The tan shorts were my guinea pigs; I took a big ol’ wedge out of the center back, and shaved a little bit off the front crotch as well. They fit GREAT until I had to wash them the first time (long story; the short version is they got dirty when I put the buttons in) and are now really snug. They also shrank vertically, so I spend a lot of time pulling them out of my labial region. 😦 The upside? I put the other 2 colorways of this fabric through a second wash and dry cycle before cutting things out!

4.22.18 (48 of 58).jpg

See? Tight. They’ve since relaxed a bit more and are fit for polite society…

I made a few adjustments to the first pair of pants versus these shorts, mainly for insurance purposes. The tan pants are looser in the waist and hips than I was originally aiming for (what can I say? I like stuff tight…), but I thought they looked pretty good–if slightly frumpy–so I left them alone. The wine pants are…tight. I definitely over-corrected after being slightly disappointed with the tan pair, LOL. Having very different waist and hip measurements makes pants a challenge when you like stuff tight and hate belts. There is a lot of wiggling required to pull up that wine pair of pants but I make it work!! O_o

A note on the rise and length: I am about 5′ 8.5″ and the Landers–and all True Bias patterns–are drafted for a height of 5’5″. Height and proportions are not the same thing, and I know that my extra height is mostly concentrated in my torso (and my giraffe neck). When I used to buy clothing, I never needed “Long” sized pants–just the “Regular” length. With all that in mind, I didn’t make any changes for length to the rise or crotch depth of the Landers (again, THANK YOU, PANTS BLOCK!), though I did take a smaller hem than indicated based on my personal length preference. Knowing how your body’s vertical proportions are distributed is vitally important in getting a good fit, and you can’t assume a pattern is proportioned like you are just because the draft height matches your own. (Case in point: I always need to lengthen bodices/tops, even on Named patterns, whose base height is nearly identical to my own.)

Finally, I want to reiterate what’s up with the wrinkles along the front crotch/pelvic area, particularly on the wine pants. My front thighs (and, to a lesser extent, hip bones) stick out further than my lower abdomen and pubic bone, which results in an excess of fabric over the center of my pubic/uterine region that manifests itself in these lines. This is a typical thing for me with snug-fitting pants, as you can see in the difference between the two pairs of pants in this post. (It’s also way worse-looking in photos than in real life, since most photos capture all kinds of shadows because I’m just standing there.) I have the same lines on RTW and self-made skinny jeans too–it’s not exclusive to the Landers.

The side-view photos show my thighs projecting forward.

4.22.18 (3 of 58).jpg

Wrinkles

4.22.18 (9 of 58).jpg

They do not look this bad IRL, I promise!

 

There are adjustments you can make to address this, if you are so inclined; personally, I find this not to be worth my time so long as the crotch fit is comfortable and the pants are wearable. I’m pointing it out (again) because I don’t want anyone to think I don’t know they’re there!

Other Adjustments

Aside from the fit, I did make some other changes to my Landers. I added 1.5″ to the hem of the shorts legs; I also drafted* cuffs for the shorts. The cuffs were sewn on 1/2″ above the raw edges of the shorts legs to get the length I wanted. (So that’s a net gain of 1″ in length, plus whatever the original hem allowance for the shorts was.)

*Seriously, it hardly qualifies as drafting: it’s a damn rectangle. 

This isn’t necessarily a fit adjustment either, but let’s talk about the back pockets for a minute. Unusually, the back pockets are graded in groups–there are 3 sizes you can cut. I cut the pocket commensurate with my pattern size, and I knew going in that they were designed to be oversized as a styling element. What I didn’t know was how the pocket size would work with the size of my ass…by which I mean it didn’t. At all. Behold:

0217181254.jpg

Pocket: 1, Butt: 0 (Also: note how nice these shorts were before I accidentally shrank them!)

My entire ass cheek is obscured by the pocket!! (And yes, that’s with the seam allowances folded back.) Not a good look, IMO. Using lightweight cardboard, I made a template for a new size. I took about 1″ off the height and width of the pockets; they’re still slightly taller than they are wide, just like the originals, but now they don’t cover up my whole butt. (Just most of it. Sad, “butt” true. 😉 #buttpuns) Placement was tricky, as the pattern marking for the top inner corner got removed from the back shorts leg piece by my crotch curve adjustment! I got my back trouser leg pieces out and measured the original distances from the center seam (since I hadn’t cut the changes into the paper yet). Then I checked a pair of my homebrew jeans and decided that the Lander placement was close enough to work, so I slapped them on there and sewed them down. I think the size is good, but wish I’d moved them in about 3/8″ more on the pants.

Construction Notes

I didn’t really follow the directions when making these. (What a shock!) I didn’t line the front pockets–it just felt unnecessary, especially for a pair of casual pants. I made bias strips out of my twill and used them to bind the top pocket edges, topstitching from the outside to seal the binding.

The front fly is left until nearly the end of the construction order in the directions; I opted to do mine how I do my jeans, which is in the earlier phases of construction. I used my own method combined with the one from the directions.

I did try a new waistband construction method for all these Landers, courtesy of Amber @soisewedthis. Basically, you sew the facing side down first, and then when you topstitch from the right side there’s no worry about sealing the inside. IT IS AWESOME. Thank you Amber!! (I am still working on the front lower corners though–they don’t turn out so great for me.)

True Bias includes a pattern piece for making all the belt carriers, but I just made my own like I would for jeans. (I like a finished width of about 3/8″, personally.) My topstitching thread is Gutermann Mara 30, which is the same as the stupid tiny spools you can buy at Jo-Ann but which comes in much bigger spools (and in more colors) for less money on Wawak. 😉 (NAYY)

The pants are both View B, the cropped version. (Full length wide-leg pants are right out for me.) As previously noted, I did not make any height or rise adjustments to this pattern (again, my block is my savior), and I took a 2″ hem instead of a 3″ as instructed. I simply picked a length I was happy with, as cropped trousers are something I find to be tricky when it comes to finding the most flattering* hem length. But looking at the product photos from True Bias, I think mine are basically the same as the sample for View B.

*As I perceive it on my own body–YMMV

I used jeans buttons for the 3 button fly pairs because I like the look, and don’t own any other buttons that I’d want up the front of my pants. 😉 Shout-out to all my Instagram friends who helped me pick which color to use for the wine pants: you guys are the best! 😀

IMG_20180304_095115

Copper won, but gold wasn’t far behind!

Conclusion

Making these shorts and pants was a little bit of an adventure, but it was worth it! I love them all. It’s fun having a new shape in my pants wardrobe. I’d love a denim blue pair as well! As for the shorts, it’s great to have nice-looking pairs that double as office-appropriate on Fridays. 😀

And now, in the great “Mads” House tradition, here are outtakes and .gifs!

4.22.18 (21 of 58)

Testing a new photography toy

4.22.18 (7 of 58)

Coquette

4.22.18 (10 of 58)

Leap!

4.22.18 (56 of 58)

Had a little bonfire going, too!

4.22.18 (52 of 58)

Literally the closest I can get to climbing a tree…

4.22.18 (32 of 58)

Gotcha!!

4.22.18 (37 of 58)

Roughhousing

6.30.18 (16 of 17)

Doggo!

dancey

Had to do a #landerpantsdance for you

jump

Jumping, now in .gif!

Seriously, I aim to be the queen of .gifs in the sewing blogging world. 😉

Now that I’m caught up with long-finished stuff, I will be sharing proper summer sewing next!

It’s Spring, So Here Are Four Winter Things

Well, this post took me long enough, didn’t it? 😀

I don’t talk much about my non-sewing activities on this blog, as I’m fairly sure they’re boring. But back in January, I decided to audition for a 90’s alt-rock cover band and guess what? I GOT IN!!! I’m really excited–that genre has been a long-term love of mine from back when I’d sneak downstairs on Saturdays to watch MTV as a kid–but it’s been a lot of work. I have to learn not just the existing set list, but a whole host of other songs we want to add as well; then there’s the weekly practice, which takes most of an evening after work. I’ve had a really hard time adjusting to my new obligations when it comes to time management, so a top that I started for Jungle January took me until March to pick up again (and it was a FAIL–salt in the wound). Yikes! To be fair, I was also working feverishly on some hand-knitted birthday gifts for my bestie (2 pairs of socks and 1 cowl), so any spare craft time went to those items first. (And yes, they were delivered on time!) Here’s hoping I get used to my new extracurricular activity and make more time for sewing, eh?

So anyway, I had hoped to be sharing a leopard-print blouse–that I started in JANUARY–with you today. Unfortunately, I am still without a leopard print garment. 😦 Since M7436 is a big ol’ shirt, I didn’t bother doing any flat pattern measurements. Yeahhhhhh, my lats and shoulders were too big for the shirt. (Thanks, one year of varsity track and field!) I’m bummed, since I had been looking forward to this top being done after 2 months of not having time for it but badly wanting to wear it. Lesson learned: MEASURE SHIT.

To console myself, I jumped headlong into something else. I had bought some sweater knits–my first ever–on Fabric.com about 3 months ago and have been eager to use them. Here they are! (NAYY.) I have also been wearing the same busted-ass pair of Forever21 sweatpants for 5 winters (and falls…and springs…) now and was due for at least one new pair, so I bought some french terry knits from Urban Rag Trader (NAYY) for those. So while I meant to be showing you all 1 new thing, I have 4 different-than-planned things to share instead!

First up: M7471, View B!

Shirts and Sweats-7

A good depiction of the drape of the front.

Shirts and Sweats-8

Closer look at the front collar

Shirts and Sweats-10

Back wing-a-lings in action

Shirts and Sweats-6

We made the same face!

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure how this top would work for me–the envelope photo looks a little too oversized, but I loved the idea of it based on the line art. I picked View B because it had all the elements I wanted: straight hem, long sleeves, and no ruching. I am really, really happy with the finished top: it’s a winner! I don’t think it’s too much fabric at all, and the shape of the top is interesting and stylish (but very, very easy to sew). It also used a lot less fabric than I expected: I had 2 yards of my knit, and I still have enough left to use for something else! The key, I think, is to pick a fabric that drapes well; otherwise this top will look like you are wearing a pile of fabric in heavy folds. Just my $0.02, anyway.

Pattern Adjustments

The only adjustments I made to this pattern were vertical: it would have been a belly top on me otherwise! O_o (If you go to the pattern page on the BMV website, look at the model in the red top–that’s the one I made, and that’s about how short it would have been on me…no thanks.) I added 2.5″ at the waistline (which is marked on the pattern) and gave myself an extra 1.5″ at the hem; I only took a 5/8″ hem. I left the sleeves alone after taking some measurements and deciding they were fine as-is.

Construction Notes

Like I said, this top is dead simple to make. Just beware of the instructions: they have you baste the shoulders and necklines together, and then tell you to fold down the front collar at the fold line (after you’ve basted PAST it), baste that down somehow, and then sew the shoulder/neckline seam for real. DO NOT BOTHER WITH THAT. I blindly followed the directions to that point and then realized I’d be sewing the same thing twice, for no good reason. I unpicked my basting from the foldlines on up, folded the collars down FIRST, and then basted everything. So much simpler.

The instructions also have you sew the side seams before setting the lower sleeves…yeah, nuts to that. I put the lower sleeves in flat and whipped up the side seams and sleeves in one pass with the serger.

Next up is M7538, View A:

Shirts and Sweats-19

Front view! You can see the top overlaps due to my fabric being lightweight…

Shirts and Sweats-16

Back view, which is basically identical to the front (right wraps over left, etc.)

Shirts and Sweats-18

Boob crossover in action! Nursing or soon-to-be-nursing folks, this top could probably easily be hacked for access! (I am neither: just an idiot who plays with her clothes.)

Now if M7471 has flown somewhat under the radar, THIS pattern is one that got everyone’s attention when it was released. It BEGS to be color-blocked. So of course, I did the most boring thing possible with this awesome pattern and just used 1 color for the entire thing. Style FAIL. 😉

The only things I would change if I make this one again (and I think I will) are to add a little less length, take a wedge out at each upper back piece near the shoulder blade, change the shoulder seam slope just slightly (those two factors cause the shoulders to fall down during wear), and use a heftier fabric. I think my hatchi knit is a bit too lightweight for this pattern, so the crossovers at the bust show through and look a bit bumpy. But otherwise, I am happy with this one.

Pattern Alterations

This is one of those tricky patterns for long-torso’d people. It clearly says, “No provisions made for above-the-waist adjustments.” So if you need that length, you have to figure out how to add it. My solution? Slice all the pieces except for the top ones along their horizontal centers and add 1″. I also added some amount at the hem, 1.5″ maybe? (Can’t remember, sorry!) It was definitely enough length, and I ended up taking a lot off the hem before hemming the top (it was covering my entire ass). There are a couple of spots on the body that are too long as well, so I’ll make further adjustments if there’s a “next time.”

I also went for half-length sleeves, hitting at my elbows. I thought long sleeves would be too much of this color on me, and with the low necklines front AND back, it wasn’t ever going to be a “keeping warm” shirt anyway. I also prefer shorter sleeved tops under cardigans and other toppers, so it was an easy choice. Since that length isn’t in the pattern, I just measured my arm to where I wanted the sleeve to hit and added 5/8″ hem allowance to that.

Construction Notes

Make sure you transfer your markings carefully–you’ll want them. The top looks like a bunch of twisted, overlapped fabric strips, but really it’s just clever pieced construction. Orienting your pieces is really the only challenge in this pattern, and even that isn’t difficult if you were careful from the beginning. I did opt to baste all of my pieces in place before serging.

I have mentioned this next bug-bear before (when I made my Jungle January dress last year), but I encountered a very bloated sleeve cap on this pattern: it was just way, way excessive for a pattern designed for knits. On top of that, they expect you to set the sleeve rather than sew it in flat. I’ve found McCall instructions for knit patterns to be old-fashioned; they will get you there in the end, but there is almost always a better way than they recommend. Food for thought…

And last but not least, 2 versions of the True Bias Hudson Pants:

Shirts and Sweats-24

Pair #1! (Photo was lightened somewhat to show the detail–black fabric is hard to photograph!)

Shirts and Sweats-27

Back view

Shirts and Sweats-28

Using those pockets!

Shirts and Sweats-29

Side view

Shirts and Sweats-30

Puppy time!

Shirts and Sweats-31

Blue pair!

Shirts and Sweats-32

Wayyyyyyy stretchier than the first pair!

Having made the men’s version of this pattern before, there isn’t much new to say about the original women’s version. The pattern goes together very easily, though I did deepen the pockets by about 1.5″ and omit the drawstring at the waist. I made the smallest size and cut the elastic to 7″ shorter than my high hip measurement (I made no adjustments to the waistband pattern piece for my size). My only issue is that the black french terry fabric isn’t as stretchy as I need it to be, so the ankle bands make that pair hard to take off!

I didn’t add any length to either pair–both my fabrics stretch on the grain slightly (or in the case of the blue one, about as much as on the cross-grain) and I didn’t really care if they ended up full-length or not because I don’t wear sweatpants except at home. I think I got away with it because of the stretch of my fabrics, because the Hudsons are designed to be dropped in the crotch, and because I have a small butt and short-for-my-height scrawny legs. I also wear these at my high hip, and not at my waist. YMMV, so check the rise and leg length if you aren’t sure!

So there you have it, 4 things! Hopefully I won’t be gone as long before my next post–I have some plans but that’s never a guarantee. 😉 Just in case it takes me a while, here are some cute Mulder photos to hold y’all over!

Shirts and Sweats-14

THAT FACE.

Shirts and Sweats-23

Happy model pup!

 

Selfless Sewing Extravaganza! Pt. 1 (aka A Man and His Sweatpants)

Hello everyone, and Happy Holidays! I truly hope that you all had a great holiday season, whatever you celebrate. And now the New Year cometh…where did 2015 go?!? O_o I’ve got 2 posts planned to show all y’all my holiday sewing for 2015–this is Part 1. You’ve been warned!

I have made Tom something for each of the previous 2 Xmas holidays, and decided to go for the Three-peat in 2015. But what to do??? His Cooper bag from 2014 would be hard to top (he still uses it every single day and adores it), I knew that. I almost gave up on the idea of making him something and instead resigning myself to the safe, store-bought option(s)–goodness knows he had PLENTY of ideas–but then fortune smiled upon me in the form of the release of the Men’s Hudson Pants from True Bias in November.

I love the idea of the original Hudson pattern, which is designed for women: the dropped crotch, generous hip room, and slim legs with no ugly elastic ankle casings actually manage to make sweatpants look cool. Not to mention the opportunities for contrast fabric use (or adapting them for woven fabrics), which can really make them into something acceptable to wear out of the house. Not long ago, I could never justify using my valuable and rather scant sewing time on something silly like sweatpants. (I’ve heard of some sewers who don’t want to bother with t-shirts or underwear, so I guess it’s the same principle at work!) But a pair of good-looking sweatpants that could be customized and elevated beyond the “sausage leg” varieties that are so often what we think of when the word “sweatpants” is uttered? THAT is an endeavor I can get behind.

For Tom, I had exactly ONE fabric in mind for this pattern: french terry. (It’s one of the suggested fabrics for the pattern–hooray!) It’s made the rounds in the sewing blog world this year in a big way, and it seemed like a good way to turn the humble sweatpant into something a little more luxe for my love. Combined with the cool vibe of the Hudson pattern, I felt like this was a great idea. In order to maintain secrecy, I taped my pattern together at my parents’ house while I was there for a night and took a “sweatshop day” off from work so that I could have some alone time to get these done. (Aside: it is also highly beneficial that I am The Do-er of Laundry at our house–pre-washing secret yardage is never, ever a problem.) I mentioned a couple of posts back that I am now the proud owner of a serger, and I was determined to use it for these pants:

IMG_20151115_142631 (1)

Juki MO-654DE serger!

I didn’t get into details before, but not only is this my first serger, I HAD NEVER USED ONE BEFORE. As in, ever. EVER. I decided to cut out the pants first, and then run some scraps through the serger to see if I could get the hang of it; worst case scenario was to use my sewing machine for all construction steps, which is how the Hudson instructions are written anyway. A few test scraps and 6 hours later, I had finished pants x 2, fully serged:

IMG_20151212_071740

Inside of Hudson Pants #1

Is my serging perfect? No, but it looks pretty legit IMO. The only sewing machine work I did was to baste things in place and to sew the buttonholes and drawstring casing on the waistbands. Even the ankle bands were attached using only my serger, which is a big deal for me. (Sewing things in the round is ALWAYS a free arm exercise for me–I’ve never done that type of thing without a free arm.)

When it came to Tom opening his gift (his ONLY gift from me), I felt really, really bad: turns out he got me a stand mixer for Xmas, guys. And I made him sweatpants. And I opened my gift first. The whole situation was decidedly Not Cool on the “Miss Manners Scale of Reciprocal Gift-Giving.” But once he realized I made the pants, he got SO excited. He actually thought that I went out and bought him sweatpants!! (I guess that’s a testament to the professional finish a serger can provide on knits, as well as the general fashion-conscious nature of the pattern itself.) And then he tried them on, and now they are all he wants to wear. 🙂 I now wish I had taken a chance and used some black ponte for the pocket bands and ankle cuffs and waistband on Pair 1, because he would have LOVED that and has already asked for another pair with that fabrication. And you can be sure that his not-divorced wife will oblige him…this time.

Truly, I LOVE this pattern. It was so easy to put together and the results are great and much more fashion-forward than your usual sweats. I felt that the sizing was appropriate vs. Tom’s usual RTW size as well, although I did follow True Bias’s advice and measure before choosing a size. I used the best-fitting pair of sweatpants Tom had in his dresser for comparison and settled on the size 32, which is his jeans waist size; the only adjustment I made was to add about 1/4″ to the inseam at the calf. I also cut the elastic so that the finished circumference was 28-29″, like his existing sweatpants. And now for photos! (They’re bad because *I* took them, so don’t expect much, LOL.)

IMG_20151220_155240

Goofing off

IMG_20151220_155330

Attempt at a side view

IMG_20151220_155337

Back view (he wears them a little low)

IMG_20151220_155704

The pocket details and side seam show up better here!

IMG_20151220_155629

These pants are great for Puppy Play Time, obviously.

IMG_20151220_155638

These two, tho…

So there’s Part 1 of my holiday sewing bonanza; coming soon, the story of a Girl and her Shark.

Supplies

2 yds french terry, this Etsy shop; I have about 3/4 to 1/2 yard left
2 yds french terry (same Etsy shop); different color, same amount of leftover yardage
2 yd bundle of 2″ waistband elastic, Joann’s
10 yd bundle of black drawstring cording, this Etsy shop
4 x  cones of MaxiLock from Wawak