Category Archives: Finished items 2017

Magical McCall 7445

You know it’s a true love sewing project when a) I peel myself out of bed a little early on a school day to photograph them in the semi-dark for the old bloggo and b) I want to wear them so much, I do so even on a highly weather-inappropriate day. It’s close to freezing here in London and here I am, flashing a bit of ankle in my snazzy new pants.

These are the wide-leg cropped pants (yes, more!) from McCall 7445, which I got – and is still currently – half off at Minerva Crafts. This is a design by Melissa Watson for the Palmer-Pletsch line, and I actually discovered the pattern via Melissa’s Instragram feed showing her own versions of the pattern. Look at her silk velvet pair in action – swoon! I made view B, which has an exposed front zip and a waist facing instead of a waistband.

Fun fact time – Melissa is Pati Palmer’s daughter, and in case you didn’t know Palmer-Pletsch are known for being the goddesses of fitting. They’ve written several books on the subject and pioneered the tissue-fitting system. An unexpected bonus of this pattern is that the instructions have thorough guidance on how to tissue-fit the pants and make common alterations – flat/full butt adjustments, sway back, crotch curve adjustments, that sort of thing. The pants also have a one-inch seam allowance on the side seams for easier fitting. I assume all of the Palmer-Pletsch line patterns have the same?

As it happens, the size 14 was basically perfect on me out of the packet – or they look pretty good to me, anyway – so I didn’t need to use any of the enclosed advice. After basting at the given one-inch I ended up shaving about an extra half-inch or so off the waistline but that’s it in terms of adjustments. My measurements are actually a little over a Big 4 size 14, but they come up typically large, and I was also using a fabric with a slight stretch, a fine needlecord from Croft Mill, which meant I wanted to get them nice and snug. I also took one inch off the length.

They came together super fast, a few hours on Sunday evening. Turns out exposed zip flies are the easiest ever! It sounds gushy but I just love every detail of this design. It’s pretty rare I make a pattern exactly as designed without fiddling around with it, but these really are the one. It makes sense I guess since Melissa seems like a super stylish lady from her Instagram feed… alright, now I’m definitely gushing.

Internal details (excuse the fluff, needlecord loves it!): I love the squared-off pockets, which I lined with leftover silk from my Helmi dress, and the sleek self-faced waistline. I’m gonna make another pair of these pretty fast in some olive green heavy crepe I’ve got in my stash, perhaps with a concealed size zip.

And they’re a second tick off the 2017makenine list, hurrah. Yay for pants that make me want to dance!

High waist Emerson culottes

Hurrah, I have a new project to post! I’ve barely sewn at all since early December to be honest. I don’t feel too bad about it because it was for a catalogue of good reasons: a pre-Xmas holiday to Mexico (which you can read about on my other blog if you’re interested), straight back into Christmas with family, my 32nd birthday a week ago, and also dropping my machine into the shop for a much-needed service. So, I’m back, fired up and inspired after spending some birthday gift money on pretty new fabrics with my #2017makenine list forefront of my mind. I’m glad to get one thing ticked off before the month is out.

(Apologies for the obnoxious phone-gazing in these photos by the way. I discovered my phone can act like a wireless screen and shutter trigger for my camera, but obviously then I have to look at my phone to take the shot. I think I’ll go back to the old remote set-up.)

I picked a simple project and a pattern I’ve made before to ease back into things: the True Bias Emerson culottes, a lovely pattern released by Kelli alongside the super-popular Ogden cami last summer. I never actually shared my first pair, but here’s a quick snap from when I made them.

(Ugh, looking at this makes me miss warm weather and tans…) This pair was made exactly as patterned from a lovely Sevenberry indigo cotton. I wore them a lot when it was warm and they were also perfect for my Mexico holiday. The only thing that bugged me was the rather low waist, which I find limits how I can wear them. They’re great with a cami but nothing works tucked in, and together with the pleats it created some slight crotchal weirdness.

No one wants crotchal weirdness, so in making them again I added two inches to the rise. This is pretty much as simple as slicing the pattern horizontally between crotch and waistline and taping in a strip of paper to make up the length. After doing that I cut out a little rectangle at the front side seam in order to slide the diagonal pocket opening back into place, so the shape of the pocket opening remains the same. If you don’t do this you’ll need to lengthen the pocket lining/facing piece to match the new front pieces. I’m much happier with how they sit now – the front looks nice and smooth thanks to the pattern’s smart flat-front-elastic-back waistband and I can wear all my silly T-shirts tucked in to my heart’s content.

I also cut the pattern down a couple of sizes between waist and hip to take into account the higher rise meaning a smaller waist measurement, but I still had to cinch the elastic quite a lot at the back to make it fit snugly. If I went any smaller I wouldn’t be able to pull them up over my hips though; ah, pear-shape problems. The non-lazy-girl solution would be to add an invisible zip to the side seam, but as it is I’ll usually wear them with a half-tucked tee so the slightly bunchy back is concealed.

They’re made in a heftier-than-usual viscose, a Man Outside Sainsbury’s Of Walthamstow bargain, which I actually used inside-out as I preferred the more subtle side of the ikat-style print. While the fabric is warm, it’s currently hovering close to freezing in London so baring any ankle skin is a pretty foolish idea. That makes it difficult to match up footwear; however once it gets back up a few degrees I’ll happily pair them with brogues or clogs and a flash of dashing white ankle.