Tuesday, October 27, 2015

M is for Moto Joggers: Hatchlings Pattern Tour

Today I'm venturing out of my children's clothing realm a little more to show off a great women's pattern - M is for Moto Joggers by Hatchlings Patterns.

Hatchlings is a new-to-me company, with children's pants patterns and a unique "taco clutch" pattern - this is the first women's pattern, and I'm hoping there will be more!

I decided to make a pair of comfy pants for a friend's daughter - she fit just about perfectly into the small size, and I graded the hips down to XS. The pattern is drafted to have extra room around the hips, and I was after a slightly more streamlined look, like sweatpants.

She's a runner, so I wanted something that would be comfortable to run in if she wanted to, but somewhat cozy, as the weather is getting cooler. I had some fun striped sweatshirt fleece in my stash, and it was just the perfect amount! (She says she likes them, even if my stripes don't all match up so well!)

I love the waistband, with the elastic held in place with parallel rows of stitching. It's comfortable, and does such a nice job of staying up - plus you certainly don't have to worry about the waistband rolling then! The design of the pants is to give a sort of "harem" look without being overly saggy, and I think that even with the slightly slimmed down hips, that element still shows - they certainly look like something you could wear to sleep, or curl up with a book!

I love comfy cozy sweatpants, and I think next on my list is to see if I can modify enough to fit into the pattern myself - I'm just over the largest size, but I think - with just a little tweaking - I can make them work, and this pattern would be a great way to give myself some practice sewing pants (for me!) 

The instructions are clear and concise, and the pieces went together beautifully. The rise is very well drafted - no fit issues were reported, and going by measurements, my friend's girl fit in exactly where the charts said she would! Sewing for a teenager was a fun change from sewing for little kids - and a challenge, since opinions are more pronounced! There's an endorsement for you - even your teenager will like these pants! ;)

The pattern is currently on sale for $9 AUD (about $6.50 USD, a steal for a women's pattern especially!) and will remain on sale until the tour is over on the 31st - so hurry over and pick it up here! Along with the "classic sweats" look here, there are instructions in the pattern for some very cool "moto" knee detailing (hence the name, and something I might have to try for myself - not my usual style, but they look fun!)

You can keep up with the rest of the tour here, to see the different inspirations and interpretations of the wonderful M is for Moto Joggers!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Web Wednesday with Seaside Notions: The Everything Bag!

Today I'm posting about a fun little (non-clothing!) pattern from Seaside Notions. Nicola's designs are fun and playful (see my favorite of her clothing patterns, Pensacola Beach Petal Top, here). This one in particular still maintains some practicality, but the cuteness is definitely still present!

Presenting: the Everything Bag! This little sweetie is small but powerful - have you ever realized how many tiny things can end up in your purse with nowhere to go? No more! Bandages, loose change, receipts - they can all have their own little home.

The pattern is written to be used with lightweight wovens (chambray, quilting cotton, linen would all work great!) and a heavyweight stabilizer. I've made this bag before as written, and this time around I decided I wanted to change things up and experiment a little! There are four different options for the front flap on the bag, so I came up with four different fabric options to go with them.
Number 1: Kraft-Tex and quilting cotton - no stabilizer needed.

I had the bright idea to do a little embroidery on the Kraft-Tex, to give it a softer look along with the polka dots on the inside. Having never actually used it before, I quickly discovered that it's MUCH easier if you poke the holes you're going to be sewing through with a pin first. Sounds like more work, but for hand sewing, it makes the process simpler.

Turning this one out was TOUGH! Kraft-Tex, surprise surprise, doesn't like to bend. Not even a little. Which makes it ideal for things like wallets, book covers, etc, but not so much for teeny tiny little bags. Hence all the wrinkling. Still, there was a hidden bonus - the stiffness of the Kraft-Tex forced my quilting cotton inside to stretch and come around the front, producing a "faux piping" effect of sorts and adding to the color pop the heart snap and hand embroidery bring. And it does its job! I went with the basic curve of the plain flap design, and I'm glad I did. Anything more intricate would have been impossible with the Kraft-Tex.

Number 2: Quilting cottons and heavyweight stabilizer
This one I made pretty much according to the pattern. I get most of my really heavy stabilizers as remnants, and don't usually have a record of the names/numbers involved, so I couldn't tell you exactly what it is. It's stiff and heavy, almost cardboard-ish, and didn't want to fuse, so I ended up basting it in first.

This one was also a little tough to turn, but not nearly as bad as the Kraft-Tex. I do like the result here (how it's meant to be!) - it's sturdy, without being too stiff, and the stabilizer maintains the smoothness of the cotton prints for maximum aesthetic value. I used my favorite of the flap designs, an asymmetrical point. I think something like this would make an excellent gift card holder - the holidays are coming up!

Number 3 is a twist! I used knit fabric, and a fabric-backed stabilizer as my second layer. It stabilizes the knit just a bit (it was an interlock tshirt, so it wasn't difficult anyway) and looks like another layer of fabric inside. This little bag is soft, pliable, and pretty. I used the scalloped edge flap - this one is by far the "girliest", even competing with the hearts on #1. Best part about using knit? You don't have to worry about hemming or turning it - those raw edges aren't going anywhere! It's a total departure from the pattern but it was a lot of fun.

Number 4: Quilting cotton with a medium weight fusible, and decor weight lining
This bag I used a much lighter fusible interfacing - still some firmness, but the end result is still pretty pliable. The decor weight fabric adds just enough stiffness to hold the bag's shape without having to worry about stabilizing both outer and lining, so I just fused the quilting cotton outer layer and sewed them together. Of the three I had to turn, this one was by far the easiest, and I love it with the classic point of the 'V' flap design.

I used snaps on all four, for simplicity's sake, but the pattern is written with buttons and buttonhole placement marking, and I think it looks amazing with a large statement button on the front! I hope my experimenting shows even more versatility - these bags really are good for everything! (Natalie is claiming them currently to keep various little "things" she has in them - rocks, plastic animals, bits of paper...)

Watch Seaside Notions' blog for more Web Wednesday posts in the future!