SewHouse7 Free Range Slacks

Think spring…

After reading many reviews and examining photos online with a magnifying glass, I decided to try out this pattern. It’s really cute! I particularly like the narrow inset side band, not easily seen in the line art or photos, but it’s there, and wraps from front to back.

Check out the nice pockets as well…

The thing that appealed to me most is that, even with an elastic waistband, the silhouette is slim, not bunchy.

Hmmm – I cropped my head. It’s truth time – I’m letting my hair grow a bit. It’s agony. But in the end, as I age, I identify more with Diane Keaton than with Judi Dench or Jamie Lee Curtis. My hair is wiry and curly, so at the moment it’s also out of control!

Sewing notes:

  • I chose my size based on my waist measurement, the size closest to my hip size to reduce bulk at the waist. So a size 8.
  • And I made version 2, the cropped pants.
  • I sewed the pants up to the point of the waist treatment. Which is funky. The waist takes a prodigious dip at center front, leaving a very short front rise. I’m sure the low-rise look will appeal to some, just not to me 🙂 I decided to remove the piece seen below, leaving a level edge at the top of the pants. And I added a sewn-on waistband. If you sew the pattern, this will make more sense.
  • The result is a nice, clean waistband, with 1 1/4″ elastic, and pretty topstitching.
Fabric: Kaufman Brussels Washer linen in Pear

I really really like the result!

Ciao! Coco

True Bias Hudson Pants

I think it’s Hudson Pants season!

I haven’t made these for myself since 2014, and that pair was heavily modified to be more like a harem pant (it was before the Pattern Emporium Harem Pants came out).

In 2015, I made the Mini and Men’s Hudson for my grandson and son, they were a bit hit!

This winter I find myself freezing in thin leggings, and having seen several Hudson versions recently on IGram, the lightbulb came on. Finally 🙂

Fabric: Kaufman Laguna stretch jersey in Bonsai. Top: modified Cali Faye Gardenia tunic.

Sewing notes:

  • This time I sewed the size 12. Based on my measurements, I could go down to a 10, but I’m a bit nervous about slim-fitted britches of any kind.
  • In general, I don’t care for drawstrings, they’re fussy and get in the way of tops. I simply inserted 1 1/2″ elastic in the waistband casing.
  • The pattern is drafted for a 5’5″ frame and 28″ inseam. I’m just under 5’8″, 30″ inseam, so I added 1 3/4″ to the length. These pants are meant to land at the ankle – for slacks I would have added more.
  • Speaking of the ankle, I don’t care for a tight ankle band, so I added to the width of mine.
  • My only fit issue was a slight pinch at the crotch. I fixed it by extending the inseam at the crotch by about 3/8″, front and back.

Trivia: this was Kelli’s first pattern!

Of course I’ve made another pair already, in navy Laguna, and I’ve ordered some grey as well.

Parting note: I started my blog in February, 2012, it’s my 10-year anniversary! I was nervous as a cat, took down the post, the then re-published it in March. And in all that time, I’ve never been a decent photographer 🙂

McCall 6488

It has been a wonderful journey. Bye for now! Coco

By Hand London Jackie trousers

Oh boy! I love the way these Jackies wear, look, and feel! After a muslin (here) and an unhappy version in 100% linen, I hit the jackpot with Kaufman Brussels washer linen/rayon blend.

The difference between the linen and the linen/rayon blend is drape and hand. IMHO, with such deep pleats and wide legs, these pants really need to flow…not a 100% linen characteristic.

Sewing notes:

  • I stayed with size US8/UK12, which I chose based on my waist measurement.
  • I left all my cut pieces pinned to the tissue while I marked notches with small brass pins in the seam allowance. As I removed the tissue, I took the pieces straight to my serger and serged every edge. Just look at linens and they begin to ravel! It’s easy to remove unneeded serging – just find the needle threads and pull them out, it’s fun actually 🙂
  • I ditched the cuff, which is a simple matter of removing 3″ from the hemline. And I laundered the trousers before I hemmed them. The latter might seem like an extra step, but it removes chalk and pencil marks and refreshes the fabric.
  • The waistband is a bit narrow for my favorite belts. I added 1/2” to width of waistband pattern – mine finishes at 1 3/4” wide instead of 1 1/2” wide.
  • Caution: in the absence of guidance from the instructions regarding interfacing, follow your experience! I.e., interface the front fly extensions, fly shield (variously called a shield or a placket, how confusing), and the entire width of the waistband. And be sure to reinforce the bias cut edge of the pocket lining with a strip of interfacing or twill tape.
  • I made the recommended 5 belt loops, but I also made a slightly narrower additional loop. I always put this helper loop on my belted pants. It sits to the left of the fly and serves to secure the end of the belt – I’m just not into flapping belts…

Picture time!

Saraste shirt, from Named Patterns, post here

And after all that, the fit, notes, and so on, here is how I plan to wear these cuties…

Fabric-Store Noa shirt in Kaufman Brussels washer linen
Republique du Chiffon Gerard manteau in STOF France Zoya Multicolore canvas

Happy New Year to all! Ciao, Coco

ByHandLondon Jackie trousers – the muslin

For me, irresistible…From By Hand London, a classic trouser.

I only discovered this pattern because Victoria Smith made them and shared on Instagram! I love her pants. I messaged Victoria about her experience, how she chose a size, and so on. A link to her IGram posts...

Going into the project, I was very aware of the volume created by the front pleats and wide legs. So I decided to choose my size based on my waist, the anchor of it all. I drafted the US 8/UK 12 size, waist 32″. I intend to belt these, and my relaxed waist is 31.5″, so it seemed a logical choice. The pattern is very generous with finished measurements info, including front and back crotch length. And the size I chose was spot on for both. Some time ago, I went to great lengths and much angst to determine my front and back crotch lengths. And having done so, find the measurements to be invaluable when sewing any pant pattern. Hint…do it.

Moving on, time for some pics:

A muslin is a must for pants. I used 118″ Fabri-Quilt Cotton Sateen for mine, found on Amazon. Actually, it was a good choice – the fabric has much more drape than cotton muslin, and they cost about the same.


  • I really like to use a cut-on fly extension on both sides of a pant front. It accomodates the fly shield more readily than one without it. So I only drafted the needed pattern, on the left below..
  • Construction. The instruction set has you construct the front and back, sew them together, and then insert the zipper/fly. What nonsense.
  • I constructed the fronts and inserted the zipper. Then I sewed the back darts and then put back and front together.
  • About the zipper. Even twisting my mind, I could not comprehend the instruction set, and I fell back on my favorite zipper tutorial from ClosetCorePatterns. Recommended!
  • The pockets… I have to constrain myself. I’ve never seen a pocket bag that went from side seam to under the zipper extension. Kind of like a tummy firmer. I did change the pocket! The shadow of the new pocket is well-hidden behind the front pleats.
Original on left, new on right.
  • The fly shield is narrow, so I added 5/8″ to the width. It is not ‘finished’ in the pic, but you get the idea.

I am really happy with the result! And have a beautiful fabric in the wings, from The Fabric-Store. They have incredible sales, available through their email alerts. And beautiful patterns that embrace linen/linen blends.

Next post on the trousers will be the finished version, I’m delighted to be so immersed in this interesting project. Bye for now! Coco

My version of planning!

Hmmm. I really don’t plan beyond 1 or 2 projects, and I seldom have more than 2 or 3 pieces of fabric in my stash. I tend to sew multiples of a pattern before moving on to new territory, a habit that sometimes leaves me feeling burnt out. When this happens, I invariably start browsing patterns, and I even cruise my own blog for inspiration. It’s amazing how many patterns I’ve made and liked and haven’t repeated in a while.

First up – The Grainline Lark Tee. I decided to try the scoop neckline version. I’ve had the Lark since its release, but I’ve only sewn the crew neck! For this muslin, having a 2-yard rayon jersey remnant, I drafted a dress version as well (just longer and a bit A-line).

Great neckline and the band fits perfectly!

I didn’t really model this, as it was meant to be a nightie. But I did add a belt, and, surprise, rather cute!

Second – I ordered four Big 4 patterns, something I seldom do these days, choosing Indie patterns most of the time. But these will be great!

Found on Etsy
From Something Delightful
From Something Delightful

I’ve sewn all three of the above in the past, but I need a fresh pattern – I’m smaller than I was way back then. Last, a new pattern that I’ve had on my wishlist for ages and just found on Etsy this week! Views A, B, and C have faux wrap skirts, yay!

I have plenty of black jersey to do a muslin, but also ordered fabric for the dress – Girl Charlee’s classic pineapple print knit, used several years ago in a Cali Faye Gardenia dress:

I’ve been watching the blue jays attack a large hawk that’s been terrorizing the neighborhood bird population. It’s high season for mating and nesting in our dense tree canopy here. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even flinch, but I hope Mr. Hawk returns to his usual turf soon.

Bye for now, Coco

A lot of lizards…

Such a story…I bought 4 yards of this cute lizard cotton jersey at my local JoAnn store, and I just loved it. No spandex, nice weight, easy to sew. So I went online and found it in another color way, kind of a mocha. Incredible – they sent me 4 yards of the same green color way! Of course they issued a refund, but I did have to figure out what to do with all those green lizards!

BTW, the fabric is from the JoAnn Pops! Juvenile fabric collection. Ha!

(1) a full-length Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan. Such a great pattern, I’ve probably made close to a dozen over the years.

(2) A self-drafted shark bite tunic. This pattern is a staple in my summer wardrobe, it is so much fun to wear.

(3) Pajamas! the pants are McCall 7634 yoga pants (as are the green ones above), and the top is the Wiksten tank. The latter is designed for woven fabrics, but all of mine are jersey knit. I looked for a link to the McCall pattern, but I think shopping Etsy, etc., is the best bet. These are my favorite ever yoga pants.

And I’m wearing them now, so comfy. And I still have well over a yard of fabric remaining.

OK, here it comes…leapin’ lizards! Ciao! Coco

Tessuti Margot and Sinclair Cachet

What fun…britches and a tee!

I’m totally immersed in sewing for warm weather. Believe it or not, I was cold taking these pics. It was in the low 70’s (I know, some of you are laughing), but I’m a Floridian. We get cold when the temps fall below 75…

Great combo. First the pants, the fun Tessuti Margo Pants. I bypassed the ties and added 3″, then turned the pants to an ankle length.

I added pockets, outlined below:

My topper is a variation of the Sinclair Cachet Tee. Easy changes – I dropped the sides to remove curves and cropped it! This can be done with a yard of fabric…

A note on the pants fabric. This is stretch cotton sateen from Mood Fabrics. The interesting bits:

  • Sateen is a unique cotton weave, but similar to its satin namesake – weft threads are floated over warp threads in a four-over-one-under pattern.
  • While the back is a dense warp/weft, the front has a bit of diagonal pattern. As with satin, the latter encourages the bias mechanical stretch of the fabric.
  • The elastane in stretch cotton sateen is incorporated in the weft, giving the fabric some horizontal stretch.
  • Just by nature of being cotton, the fabric has some heft. This and the elastane make it perfect for structured dress, jackets, and pants. It doesn’t wrinkle! yet has a nicely contained drape.
  • It goes through the laundry like a breeze, just a smidgen of shrinkage. As always, I laundered the yardage before I laid out the pattern 🙂
  • Bottom line for the sewist: Use a walking foot and be prepared to control raveling. These are very thin, tightly twisted and woven yarns. Beyond that, just enjoy. And check out the stretch cotton sateen fabrics at Mood, they have an incredible selection.

On the sewing table, a sunflower Blackwood cardi, the color is unexpected and definitely uplifting!

Bye for now – Coco