Friday, August 19, 2016

School Clothes.


Hello, readers! Sewing has been SLOOOOOOOW around these parts, and blogging even slower! Apparently August is a slow sewing month for me - I complained about this last year, and my reasons then were very similar to my reasons this year. It's hot and my kids' drawers are pretty stuffed, so making garments isn't high on my list. My fabric stash is out of control and the WIPs are mocking me. This year, I broke my foot, and although I am getting around pretty well now (I hope to be out of the boot next week), it has put a damper on my machine sewing (I've been doing a lot of hand sewing, though).

But Joe starts back at school (1st Grade!) on Monday, so I kicked myself out of my sewing stupor and knocked out a couple of basics for him: two t-shirts and a pair of mustard yellow shorts that I cut out for him last month (this was one of the WIPs mocking me).


Isn't he a dreamboat? Anyway, shirts! (You can see the other shirt I made here.) These were stashbusting Safari Raglans, using some leftover scraps from other projects (like here). This one uses a really lovely Valorie Wells knit in a swirly pattern. I pieced the back in order to use up the last of this fabric. Instead of cutting the piece on the fold, I cut two pieces, adding some seam allowance down the center back. I always feel so virtuous using up every last scrap of a fun fabric! As usual, the only modification I made to this t-shirt was to add a little length to the size 6


Now that I'm a parent, I realize that part of the reason for "school shopping," or, in my case, whipping up a few new pieces for my kids to wear before the new school year, is to psyche the kid up a little bit for the new year. Joe isn't exactly pumped about starting school again. He's a shy kid, and change is hard for him. As parents, we are emphasizing the positive (seeing his friends again, having a nice new teacher) and hopefully, once the dust settles, he will become quite comfortable in his new situation. But it's fair to say we are all feeling a bit anxious about the transition. 

But he has a new Darth Vader backpack and now some new duds, so that helps a little bit. I feel better knowing Joe is wearing something I made him, so maybe the ritual helps me as much as it helps him!

These new shorts (you can see them flat here) were inspired by this pair of Mini Boden shorts, and were also a good stash-busting project, using up a small piece of gorgeous golden-mustard linen and a very small piece of striped knit. As I mentioned in my last post, my kids are currently obsessed by all things "golden" - while this linen is not a metallic gold, Joe accepted it as "golden" enough to be exciting and acceptable for a new pair of shorts. Since my love of "glorious yellow" is well know, I am only too glad to sew mustard yellow shorts for Joe!

Of course, if you hadn't guessed yet, my starting point was the Oliver + S Sketchbook Shorts. Why mess with something I know works for Joe? As with my last few pairs, these have a knit waistband for added comfort. This time I created a functional but also comfortable drawstring waist by making buttonholes at the center front of the shorts, and threading teal cording sewn to an elastic panel at the back, through the waist as well as a tube of solid elastic. That way, the drawstring can be tied in a knot, but does not prevent comfortable wear and movement. I also sewed a little teal piping on the pocket openings.

I rolled the shorts up for this photo shoot and to imitate the Boden shorts I was inspired by, but they can also be worn at full length, which is a bit below Joe's knees. 

The linen makes these shorts extra comfortable and breezy for summertime. We get some of our warmest weather in September.


I have some other plans in the works for Joe, including his long-requested "golden shirt." Hopefully I can get back into a good balance of machine and hand sewing soon. I have to say, hand sewing is calling my name lately! But I love seeing my kids wearing and enjoying the things I make for them as well. As usual in life, I suspect there is no true "balance," there is only trucking along doing what I am drawn to do and have time for!

Do you make back to school outfits for your kids? Does it help them feel better about their first day back to school?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A "Golden" Birthday Dress for Maggie.


Hi everyone! Where is the summer going? A month has flown by without a blog post. I have some good reasons for that, which, if you follow me on Instagram, you know all about. We went on two trips (a short road trip to LA and a longer visit to see family in the Pacific Northwest), work has been crazy, and wait for it ... I broke my foot! Yeah, I was just traipsing down a grassy slope at Codornices Park in Berkeley and put my foot down on an indentation in the ground and felt a slight crunching sensation. It is the sort of motion you've done thousands of times in your life and you always manage to compensate in some way, no problem. But this time the stars aligned, and crunch. OUCH! Don't do this, people. Having a broken foot is not fun and definitely puts a damper in your sewing (although I have done a lot of work on my hexie quilt).

LAAAAAAME.

That was over two weeks ago now, and my foot is actually a lot better now. I'm walking around in a walking boot type thing (very sexy), don't need crutches anymore, and my foot feels better every day. I'm hopeful that it is healing really well and I will be able to walk like a normal person soon.

Anyway, back to sewing!




Several of my favorite little girls, including my dear Maggie, my little niece, and my BFF's daughter, have birthdays in June or July, so I tend to spend a lot of time in the summer making birthday dresses. This year I decided to be efficient about it and choose one simple pattern to make for all of the birthday girls. Since I loved sewing the Mori Dress by Elegance & Elephants and Maggie loved the lack of fastenings (so she can put it on without any help), I decided to try the Bohemian Baby Doll Dress, which is even simpler than the Mori and has been made up so beautifully by my friend Rachel at Stitched Together and others.

I resisted this pattern for a long time because it is so similar to the Geranium Dress, which I have made many times, but finally bit the bullet and bought the pattern because: (1) no fastenings; (2) cute curved waist seam; and (3) cute high-low hemline. Sometimes I resist very simple patterns, exactly because they are very simple, and I imagine I could hack another pattern to get the same effect. But in the end, I get a lot of use out of my most simple patterns, and it's nice to have the pieces all drafted for me. Considering the size range (6 months to 9 years), this pattern is a good value at $9.

I've already gotten a lot of bang for my buck, because I've made three of these dresses!


Here are the first two I made. The one of the left was for my little redheaded niece. I used a gorgeous Lizzy House double gauze that looks like a medieval tapestry. I love it because redheads + green dresses = all the Irish lass heart eyes, right? She loves it because ... unicorns, duh. Win win! The one on the right is for my BFF's daughter, who is a fair skin brunette with an interest in outer space. I chose this Cotton + Steel Mochi lawn in "plum" because I knew the color would suit her and the print reminds me of constellations and galaxies! I am popping that one in the mail today, and I hope my recipient likes it!

Anyway, Maggie's fourth birthday was July 9, and I always make her a birthday dress. I asked her what color or print of birthday dress she would like, and to my great delight and astonishment, she said she wanted a "golden" dress! She and Joe have been really into playing pirates and "gold" is their new favorite color. After two solid years of "PINK PINK PINK!" it was a struggle to look nonchalant when Maggie suggested a non-pink birthday dress! But I certainly wasn't going to argue with her! Over the past two years I have somewhat reconciled myself to sewing a lot of pink, but I would sure love to branch out to other colors as well!

So I took the kids fabric shopping, of course, and Maggie and I picked out a fabric from Anna Maria Horner's  "Loominous" line, a yellow with a metallic gold thread running through it called "Illuminated Graph Glow."


This fabric is hard to photograph, and photographs do not quite capture how much the metallic thread just glows in the light. This dress is truly "golden"!  I was a little worried that the metallic threads wouldn't be able to take an iron or might make the fabric tricky to sew with, but I am delighted to report that this fabric is lovely to sew and can take a nice hot iron. And it is sooooooo pretty! (Joe loved it so much that he requested a shirt made from it, and I actually went out and bought a little more so that I could do that for him.)

After I made the dress and showed Maggie, she expressed disappointment that it did not have any pockets. Her vision of the dress clearly included pockets! So I made a pocket using the pocket piece in this pattern (which by the way, finally fits Maggie well and I have been considering making her another one!) and applied it to the left side of the dress after the fact. Luckily this seems to have satisfied Maggie.

Four year old Maggie is so delightful. She is talkative and intelligent, fun-loving, and sweet on her brother. She and Joe are going through an intense phase with their stuffed animals - they take them everywhere and have a rich imaginative life with them.  We've done a lot of traveling in the past couple of months, and my kids are total troopers and have a lot of fun being on the road. While I do feel sad thinking that Maggie's babyhood is really behind her now, I must admit that my kids become more and more fun and interesting as they get older!



After seeing the version I made for my niece on her and reading feedback from other people who have made this dress, I decided that it is drafted quite short (it falls well above the knee) so the only modification I made to Maggie's dress was to lengthen it three inches or so. It now hits just above her knees in front, with a longer hemline in back.


One challenge to summertime sewing and blogging is that the light is so harsh and bright during the day, and you don't get that nice late in the day light until bedtime! Therefore, these are not my very best photographs, because the sun was too high and the shadows too deep. But considering I've barely blogged at all this summer, it will just have to do!


I do love this photograph I took of Joe blowing on a dandelion puff. Somehow I feel like this pretty much captures the essence of summer. The colors remind me of the photos my parents took of my sister and me in the 80s and Maggie's expression just seems timeless. While the world is a pretty crazy place, there is something about childhood that never changes, and that is a beautiful thing.




Sunday, June 12, 2016

Me-Made-May Part 2.

Okay folks, I know we're already almost halfway into June (how the heck?) and I am working on other projects to share, but I do want to take a few moments to look at the second half of Me-Made-May (the first half is here) and my takeaways from the month.


First Row: (1) Zinnia Skirt; (2) Bess Top; (3) Bess Top and Everyday Skirt; (4) Lisette B6182.

 Second Row: (1) Brumby Skirt and Maritime Top; (2) Plantain Top and Linden Sweatshirt; (3) Lark Tee, Manila Leggings, Linden Sweatshirt; (4) Unblogged cream linen sleeveless Archer shirt.

Third Row: (1) Lisette B6182 with unblogged gold rayon challis Eucalypt tank; (2) Mabel Skirt; (3) Maritime Top; (4) Plantain Tank and Moss Skirt.

Fourth Row: (1) Plantain (hack) t-shirt, Everyday Skirt, Protect and Serve Apron; (2) Eucalypt Dress (shortened with elastic waist removed and sides taken in, removing pockets); (3) Linden Sweatshirt and Eucalypt Dress (again); (4) unblogged Eucalypt tank with unblogged Mabel Skirt.

For the better part of the first half of May, I was battling a head cold and the weather alternated between somewhat chilly and downright freezing, so I wasn't feeling very enthused about dressing in me-mades or posing for photos every day, to say the least. All I wanted was to layer up in warm and stretchy clothes, cuddle under my electric throw blanket, and feel sorry for myself.

The second half of May was definitely better - I was generally feeling more myself, and we had some gorgeous days towards the end of the month. It's amazing what a little sunshine can do! No shock, my favorite outfits of the month were mostly in the second half.

I do have a few takeaways from the experience, which will hopefully inform my sewing in the coming year:
  • I can basically never sew myself too many tops. My favorites are the t-shirts and the boxy rayon blouses, but I also really love my Archer shirts (despite the fact that they usually need ironing).
  • My most comfortable skirts are the Brumby and the Moss. If I'm going to make more woven skirts, I should use those patterns. Contoured waistbands just feel more comfortable and flattering than flat waistbands right now. As much as I love my high-waisted skirts, they feel a bit constrictive on.

  • I really love my Colette Mabel skirts, especially my stripey one. That was my third version of the pattern (never blogged), and I used wide elastic in the waist and a plain front in the longer length with the kick-pleat in the back. It's a killer skirt. It isn't quite as figure hugging as my seamed versions, and hangs away from my body in a really flattering way, while the elastic keeps the waistband where it should be. I believe I have completely debugged the Mabel for my body, and to celebrate, I bought some olive drab ponte for yet another version! 
  • I love my Maritime Top. Stripes are where it's at right now, and even though it's a little too big, it has a really cute, relaxed, boxy shape that looks good with everything. Need more.
  • I pretty much live in my Linden Sweatshirts on the weekend. Another great pattern I've made three times. I have been meaning to try it as a simple t-shirt, I need to get on that!
  • Although my Archer shirts are a bit of a pain to wear, because they require ironing, I feel really stylish when I'm wearing them. That pattern is a lot of work to sew, but I know I would wear more.
  •   I don't wear dresses very often, but I do like casual dresses for hot weekend days.
  • Some of my favorite garments, mostly made last year, were never blogged! How did I not blog that really great sleeveless Archer and my frequently made stripey Mabel? Ugh! I regret that now, it is really great to have that record of my alterations and changes (as well as whatever else is happening in my life). I am determined to do better this year, even if it means some short and sweet posts. 
  • And finally, I really do wear and enjoy wearing so many me-made items! Sometimes sewing for myself can be frustrating - it takes longer and it can be harder to fit things. While it's easy to focus on the failures, it is good to remind myself of the many, many garments that have not only worked, but made their way into my regular rotation. For all you sewists who are intimidated by sewing for yourself, my suggestion is to pick a nice t-shirt, boxy blouse, or elastic waisted skirt pattern, and just try it out! You may be surprised! 
Did you participate in Me-Made-May? What was your number one takeaway?






Monday, May 30, 2016

Kids Clothes Week Part 2: Parachute Polo and Sketchbook Shorts.


Hi again! I'm here with my second installment from Kids Clothes Week. Although I was excited to make Maggie her Mori Dress, the reason I decided to participate in Kid's Clothes Week this time around was actually Joe. He needs warm weather clothes a lot more than Maggie does, and I have piles of fabric that I purchased with him in mind! Time to get sewing!



The shirt is the Oliver + S Parachute Polo, in a really lovely European knit that I got from Mabel Madison, which is an online store that sells European fabrics (like some of the great fabrics you see in Ottobre Magazine). I bought a couple of pieces this past winter, just to see what I thought of them (they're not cheap!), and I must say I was pretty thrilled with the quality of the fabrics I received. This blue and navy stars Stenzo jersey is really stretchy, but also very smooth and stable. It curls a bit, but less than some other jerseys, and washed up really nicely.


I used plain chambray for the pocket, collar, and placket. Lately, Joe has been saying that his favorite colors are "blue and gold" so I chose some golden yellow buttons. I love the pop of color and I am thrilled that one of my children has decided to embrace "glorious yellow"!

This was my first time sewing this shirt, and it is a satisfying, somewhat exacting sew. I would not say this was a good pattern for a beginner to sewing knits (or a beginner, period) - the combination of knit and woven fabrics in this pattern is pretty challenging. Sewing the collar onto the neckline is tricky! My neckline has a couple of small puckers that no one would ever notice, but even that took a couple of tries. Still, when I saw the cute collar all done, I got such a feeling of accomplishment and delight! It just looks so great! The polo collar really takes a basic t-shirt up a notch.


The top fits perfectly (this is a size 6 with no alterations). I tried Wonder Tape for the first time, to hold the hem in place while I sewed it with a double needle, and it worked really well! In addition to holding the hem in place, the tape stabilizes the stretchy knit and makes for a beautiful hem (even without a walking foot). I will definitely be using that trick again! I have learned so many great things from reading sewing blogs, and I wish I had tried this one sooner.


The shorts are my old stand-by, the Sketchbook Shorts, in a lovely textured Union Chambray from Robert Kaufman. It's a lightweight shirting fabric, and makes for a very light, breezy pair of shorts. These are Size 5 with a couple inches of extra length and a few other modifications - I straightened the pocket opening and used "gold" piping, and used a navy french terry for the waist, to make the shorts more comfortable for my sensitive boy.

Sometimes I think about trying a different shorts/pants pattern for Joe, but when it comes to this kid ... well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! After Joe saw these, he requested an "all golden" pair! I showed him some mustard colored linen, and he approved, so I'll be making another pair shortly!


As far as the reception, Joe isn't sure about the shirt. Specifically, he wasn't sure about the buttons and the collar. He's used to wearing t-shirts, and the buttons make this harder to put on and take off by himself (my buttonholes are a tad tight, I'm afraid). But he seemed to get more comfortable during this photo shoot, and hopefully the collar will soften and the buttonholes relax with a few washings. I hope so, because I love it and want to make more polo shirts for Joe, but only if he will wear them!

The shorts ... well, he hasn't taken them off yet. He wears his other knit-waistband Sketchbook Shorts frequently, so I feel pretty confident that these will get frequent use.

I can't believe Joe's kindergarten year is almost over! He has had such a great year. He has learned to read and write, has proven to have above-average math skills (no huge surprise there, but still!), and has made friends. He's still a shy boy, but he has really blossomed this past year. We feel really good about our decision to hold him back a year from kindergarten. He's a year older than his classmates (although it's not uncommon to hold kids back, especially kids with diagnoses or learning issues), but seems to fit right in socially and intellectually. Once we got Joe into his current classroom, with a wonderfully understanding teacher and a great speech therapist, the year just sped by, with Joe happy to go to school every morning and see his friends. That said, he is definitely over school these days, and it's a struggle to get him out of bed and off to school every morning. I think he's just really tired and ready for a break! We are all looking forward to summer vacation!


Seven years old! He is becoming a leggy, lanky boy, and has lost most of his baby chub, but luckily, he is more affectionate and loving than ever. This is a great age.


And that's a wrap for Kids Clothes Week, Spring 2016! Three garments for my kids, which isn't a huge amount, but it is definitely more than I usually make in a week (okay, so both outfits took more like nine days, but still)! Now I can get back to sewing for myself! (Although apparently I am committed to make "all golden" shorts for Joe.)

I'll be back soon with a round-up of the second half of Me-Made-May. It's been a busy month!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Kids Clothes Week Part 1: The Mori Dress.


Hi everyone! Have you been sewing for Kids Clothes Week this time around? It has been a while since I last participated, and while I can't say I sewed for an hour every weeknight this week, I did sew quite a bit more than I usually do on weeknights (baseline: zero hours), so that's good, right?

I fell in love with the Elegance and Elephants Mori Dress pattern the day it came out. If you've been reading my blog for even a short time, you know that I'm a sucker for little bodice ruffles and flounces. This design got extra points for ease, as it does not have any closures. Even so, I managed to resist for a short period of time, until I saw Rachel's Mori Dresses in progress (here and here).  Aren't they stunning? When I saw those contrast yokes with the double-gauze, I was toast. I bought the pattern, and started plotting my own (copycat) version of the dress.

Last weekend, I printed out the pattern and taped the pieces together. I knew I wanted to use this lovely magenta double gauze I have had in my stash for a little while now, but I wasn't sure what to use for a contrasting yoke (copycat!). Knowing Maggie's preferences, I was hunting around for something with some pink in it. Much to my delight, Maggie loved this little piece of Liberty of London I bought for a dress for her before she went through her ALL THE PINK!!! phase.

Maggie's pink obsession seems to be lightening up a bit (knocking madly on wood), and she is much more open to other colors. The pinky-purple flowers on this Liberty lawn were sufficient for her pink needs.

"HALLELUJAH!!!!" shouts this sewing mom! (Then looks around furtively and knocks on wood again, because the pink obsession can always come back ... )


Anyway, back to the dress. If you know the name of this Liberty print, let me know in the comments, I do not generally keep track of such things, and I was unable to find it in an internet search. It's really pretty and goes perfectly with the muted magenta double gauze. I lined the bodice in the double-gauze, so I needed only a small amount of the Liberty. The fabrics make this a really special dress.


I cut a size 2 with 3 length. It ended up seeming a bit large in the bodice, but the length is perfect. I used a deep hem so I could let it down later, and I am hopeful this will last through next year although it's a fact that Maggie is growing fast these days (I thought it would never happen! she's still really small for her age), so who knows?


This dress is fairly simple and straightforward to construct, at least until it comes time to line the bodice. At that point, the pattern guides you through a brain-bending method for creating a fully lined bodice with no closures that I will never be able to repeat! Let's just say I was pretty worried there, thinking there was no way I was going to be turn the bodice right side out afterwards, but it magically worked out, and the result is a really nice lined bodice. (There's a link to a video on the pattern that helped me through it.)


I took a little extra time (on weeknights!) to sew the bodice lining to the dress and hem it by hand. Such special fabrics seem to warrant slightly fancier finishings. I even made a cute little Liberty tag for this dress, forgive the cell phone photo and stained ironing board.


Maggie loves flowers, and loves to pick flowers or herbs from our garden. The lovelies that she is holding in these photographs came from a package of California wildflower seeds I threw into the garden. Mostly weeds came up but there are some pretty flowers too. I see some Godetia and Clarkia here, I believe. Maggie is interested in the names of the flowers and seems to have a good memory for them. She loves to collect little bouquets and put them in water in the kitchen, keeping my kitchen stocked with jars of weedy little flowers. It's pretty great! Maybe she'll grow up to be a gardener and plant lover like her mother? You may chuckle, but I went through a hard-core gardening/wildflower/botany phase when I was in junior high and high school. While other kids were partying and experimenting with drugs, I was poring over field guides and books about English gardening. I almost majored in botany in college! (I ended up choosing anthropology, an even less practical career choice.) Anyway, if my children turn out to be huge nerds, they will have come by it honestly, poor things!


My beautiful little flower!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Me Made May Part 1.

Um, yeah, it is May 24, and I'm just now getting around to posting my round-up of the first half of May. So it goes! The first half of May was a bit chilly, and I wasn't feeling well for much of it, so warmth and comfort reigned supreme.


First Row: (1) Lark Tee; (2) Maritime Top; (3) Bess Top and Pleated Pencil Skirt; (4) Maya Top; (5) Lisette B6182, Linden Sweatshirt and Hemlock Tee

Second Row: (1) Lark Tee; (2) Archer Shirt and Linden Sweatshirt, (3) Plantain Tee (now almost worn out) and Linden Sweatshirt (drapey charcoal french terry, unblogged); (4) Mabel Skirt (unblogged, basic black ponte); (5) Josephine Top

Third Row: (1) Lisette B6182 and Mabel Skirt (striped ponte, unblogged); (2) Plantain tee (remake) and Hudson Pants; (3) Briar Tee; (4) Manila Leggings; (5) Moji Pants and Lark Tee

So far, I've managed to wear me-mades every day of May, only copping out and wearing me-made pajamas once (so far). With me not feeling well and the chilly weather, this year's Me-Made-May definitely feels harder than last year's, and I started to hit "selfie fatigue" earlier in the month. I am also paranoid that I am boring the living daylights out of my non-sewing-instagram-friends! But I really enjoy seeing everyone else's #MMMay16 photos, so I'm taking one for the team. Seeing how everyone styles their me-mades is really interesting and fun, and gives me so many ideas for more selfish sewing. It's worth it!

Takeaway of MMMay Part 1: I wear t-shirts every chance I can get. What about you? What are your most-worn me-mades?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Moji Pants.


Hi readers! I am here today to share my most recent make, the Seamwork Moji Pants. I've had my eye on this pattern since it first came out - I liked the casual patch pockets, the little cuffs, and the fact that this "jogger" pattern, unlike the Hudson Pant, was intended to be made up in woven fabrics like linen and chambray. But I was intimidated, because, um, PANTS! Even a casual draw string pant seems somehow harder and more complicated to fit than a skirt or a top, right?


Nah. It was really totally fine! Seeing everyone's cute casual pants this Me Made May inspired me to finally start this project. I really like linen pants in the summer - they are cool on hot days, but provide a little cover on cool days (i.e., perfect for a Bay Area summer), so I chose this dull red Kaufman Essex Linen from my stash to try them out.  I've been on a red kick lately. After measuring the inseam of the pattern and shortening my pieces by a whopping 4 inches to hit above the ankle (Justine warned in her review that they were a bit long on her and she is an inch taller than I am!), I had just enough fabric to fit all of the pieces of this pattern, with the exception of the pocket facings, which I cut out from a similar but not identical piece of red linen I had in my scrap bin (hey, I like linen, and I like red).


Essex Linen is really nice stuff to work with - it isn't as shifty to cut or work with as most 100% linen fabrics and it presses beautifully. It is also relatively affordable compared to 100% linen so I felt reasonably good about using this piece to try out these pants without first making a muslin .


I sewed these up in a straight size 10 (minus a lot of length as noted above), and I tried them on after I sewed the waistband on. At that point, I made an additional change - I narrowed the legs of the trousers starting around the knees, down to the ankles, and made a corresponding change to the cuff piece, to emphasize the tapered shape of the leg. It's possible I lost some of the taper when I shortened the pants so much. (At one point, I measured the width of a pair of tapered pants that fits me because I was worried the openings would be too narrow to fit my foot through! The width ended up perfect, and the pants are easy to take on and off.)


The cuffs on these pants are a bit odd, only one layer but quite deep. I decided I like them best folded twice, like cuffed pants. I have been meaning to go back and tack them down like this, so that they don't unroll themselves. The cuffs make a cute detail that elevate these casual pants a bit above scrubs.

Finally, I added elastic to the waist as well as the drawstring, because I find drawstring-only waists to be uncomfortable and unflattering on me. I used 1.5" wide elastic, the widest I could fit in the waistband, and sewed the channels over it similar to the way it's done in the Hudson Pants. Then I threaded the drawstring through the middle channel, on top of the elastic. Threading the drawstring through the tiny eyelets and through the thick linen, on top of the elastic, was officially the hardest part of this project. I had to pull it out and start over several times, and it took some concentrated time on the couch in front of the television to get it threaded all the way through.

In hindsight, I am wishing that I had cut the drawstring in two pieces and sewed some more elastic to the back before threading it, but no way am I doing THAT again. Even with the elastic underneath, I feel like the drawstring gets uncomfortable when I'm sitting down or moving around a lot. Elastic rules the day!

I tried but completely failed to apply eyelets to the center front for the drawstring - I hammered them together, and they seemed to be fine, but they basically started to fall out right away. They just did not "grab" the fabric properly. I've also consistently had this experience with snaps. I can't figure it out! I am hammering them in as hard as I possibly can without destroying the snaps but they just never seem to have any staying power? What am I doing wrong? All you lovely sewing bloggers seem to put snaps on things regularly, but I have literally never once had them work out. I've heard mixed things about snap pliers, but maybe that's the key? Do tell! Anyway, after that fail, I hand embroidered eyelets using six strands of brick-red embroidery thread, and they look fine and feel really sturdy. That only took me a few minutes and I know they won't fall out.

I've read a recent review pointing out that the drafting of the Moji pants may be off, especially in the smaller sizes. Luckily this did not seem to be an issue in size 10, but it should be noted that I chose that size based on my waist measurement, and my actual hip measurement is smaller than the size 10 measurement (not a pear shape). Regardless, there is plenty of ease around the hips and waist for me in this size, but this is something you should be aware of if you are sewing up a smaller size.

Incidentally, these pair well with both of my new Lark Tees, so yay handmade weekend wardrobe! Yes, these are weekend pants. I think they're too casual even for casual Friday at work, with the drawstring waist and all. But I am sure I'll wear them plenty on weekends and days off.


Here's the back view. Yeah, they have a little bit of "mom butt" happening, but don't think it's going to prevent me from wearing these pants! I will be honest, when I first saw the back view, I was a little dismayed, but they don't look so bad in these photos. They are really comfortable and perfect for schlepping kids around on the weekends and doing "mom" things! Elastic waists are a trend I am embracing whole-heartedly! HA! 

Will I make these again? Well, I am already planning to make a shorts version for this summer! Maybe with some back pockets to break up the back expanse, haha.  I think this pattern would make perfect casual drawstring shorts in a lightweight cotton. I don't know that I would do another pair just like these pants, but it is pretty exciting to know that I have a couple of patterns for casual pants (these and the Hudson Pants) that fit me and are easy to sew up. The possibilities are endless! On the other hand, I have so many patterns I want to try! One of these days I am going to take on an actual, non-elastic waist trouser ... 

I have really enjoyed participating in Me Made May this year, and I love seeing all of your outfits on Instagram! It's super inspiring, and my list of planned selfish sewing projects has gone through the roof! I've also ... um ... bought a few new patterns! It's kind of ridiculous, because I also have a lot of plans to make more of the patterns I currently have, but it's impossible to resist! Hopefully I'll be back soon with a roundup and reflections on the first half of May (running late as always on the blog). 

Are you participating in Me Made May? What selfish projects do you have on your list?

P.S. I am planning to participate in KCW this Spring, because, why not? I have several kid items I want to make so this seems like a good way to motivate, although as usual I can't promise a full hour every day what with a planning commission meeting that week but I will make it up on the weekends. Hope some of you will join me!