As I’m sure you’ll have heard if you’ve been remotely near Instagram, the much-revered slow fashion brand Elizabeth Suzann are sadly shuttering their business – but more happily made the generous decision to open-source the patterns for many of their garments. The patterns were temporarily made available by some enterprising sewists via Dropbox, but Elizabeth has now announced she intends to release the patterns herself at some point in the future, so they are no longer available until she does that. Edit to add: It was suggested that people who downloaded the patterns make a donation to a movement working to combat white supremacy. I picked StopwatchUK, the campaign for fair and accountable policing.
I’d never bought any ES clothing and while most of the styles veer towards too wafty/boxy for my tastes, I did get swept along in the excitement and tried a couple of the patterns out: namely, both the ‘work pant’ and jumpsuit versions of Clyde, which is largely and rightly famous for its delightfully scoopy pocket situation.
I first made a wearable toile in a horrid polyester, for which I did an Instagram story construction sewalong – there’s lots in my saved highlight about picking sizes and how I went about construction, so I won’t repeat it all here. Then I made a proper pair in this this light and crinkly (alright yes, wrinkly) ‘Flow’ viscose linen from Lamazi Fabrics – in the Cappuccino colour, although as you can see it’s actually significantly darker than the product photos – more of a Mocha imo.
I made my size according to the chart, an 8 in regular length, but my Clydes are fitting rather looser and baggier than the RTW version, probably because this fabric is loosely woven and drapey (my toile fitted more neatly). They veer a tiny bit hippy for my taste as a result, but I’m still wearing them a lot as they’re so comfortable. I have a thicker cream cotton to make one more pair as they sure are good for these stay-home times.
(My top is the discontinued Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank in leftovers from my Claudia dress! Love that I was able to eke something else out of that special fabric.)
I made the Clyde jumpsuit fairly rapidly afterwards, in an indigo enzyme washed linen from Ditto. I didn’t toile and this is the size medium regular.
The fit is generous and it isn’t sitting quite right on the top half where I’m more petite. I fudged removing some excess/gape from the princess seams but next time I’d cut a size or two down and pivot out some of that armsyce/neckline gaping.
I made a long, skinny tie belt as I didn’t think I’d like the shape without, but turns out I’ve been wearing it largely unbelted despite this perhaps being more ‘flattering’. See also: work at home lifestyle.
When I posted this on IG I grumbled a bit about my beef with linen fabric; namely that everyone else seems to love it yet I find it nothing but heavy, creasy and scratchy – even this supposedly enzyme-washed one. Common advice is that it softens up with washing and wear but to be honest I don’t wash my clothes very often – certainly not every wear – and I don’t really have the patience to wait for a fabric to get nice. I’ve been throwing it into the washer whenever I do a coloured load, which has helped a bit and it’s developing that nice worn-in effect along the topstitched seams. The comfort of the silhouette means I’ll tolerate the fabric, but I’m still far from a linen convert.
For two free patterns resulting in highly home-lifestyle-appropriate garments that I’ve worn a ton, I’m very happy with my pair of Clydes. I don’t know if it’s just because I know they’re RTW patterns but they definitely have the feel of well-drafted garments you’d buy in a store. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the official pattern releases to see if I can pick up more fabrication and construction tips.