Simplicity 8701 – A Trousers Sewing Class, Part 1

Nell, a Caucasian person, sits on a white chair facing the camera. They are wearing a dark blue t-shirt with capped, frilled sleeves and high-waisted black corduroy pants.

Hello and welcome friends, to another multipart blog post! Those who have been following along with previous posts will know that I am no expert when it comes to sewing pants. I don’t have a straight size figure, with current measurements registering a 14” difference between waist and hips, and a crotch depth of over 12”. Yet even so, I LOVE pants. Over the course of writing this blog, I’ve challenged myself to improve my fitting technique and produce bottoms of all lengths that will both fit me and be comfortable. I thought that signing up for a proper sewing course around trousers might also benefit me, so I saved up and took part in a multi-week course when it became available in my local area.

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Making a dress with Simplicity 3301

Nell, a Caucasian person, sits on a wooden bench in front of a concrete wall. They are wearing a blue and white striped dress with a white puritan collar, a white belt, and big white ricrac on the pockets. They are holding the edge of the bench.

Hello friends! I have become enamored with the idea of challenging myself to create more professional, neater looking garments in recent times. I want to be able to look at these pieces and feel pride in the care I have shown at each step. And while this does significantly increase the time that I spend on each garment I think it has been well worth it, as this version of Simplicity 3301 shows. I thrill each time I look at the neatness of the buttons and buttonholes, and I am so delighted that all the tweaks I made to the fit – and all the unpicking that went into that, have come together to make something so delightful to wear. Even if I finished it somewhat too late to thoroughly enjoy it before it turned too cold.

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Overalls and Culottes with Simplicity 3866

Nell, a Caucasian person, stands in front of a wooden bench and concrete wall. They are on a slight angle to the camera, with legs crossed, and one hand in their pocket. They are wearing a brown shirt, and white culottes with floral patterning.

Hello!

Although I’m excited about all the things I sew, this pattern of the month is something of a special piece. Not because of the base pattern itself – although Simplicity 3866 circa 1961 is wonderful, but rather because of the fabric I had planned to use. This fun and comfortable summer piece came about because I had stumbled over a single curtain at the Op Shops which came from IKEA, and which happened to match two cushions I have in the house! The thought of matching the furniture had me in stitches, and I knew that if I was careful with the unpicking I could get quite a lot of fabric out of this.

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Simplicity 6550 – Vintage Blouses

Nell, a Caucasian person, stands in front of a wooden bench and concrete wall. They have their hands in their pockets, on a slight angle to the camera. They are wearing a brown and white polkadot blouse and black culottes with suspender straps.

Hello friends! After the incredible success I had with my first attempt at a proper pattern hack, I was looking forward to testing even more wintery makes that would be appropriate for the chilly weather. I was keen to try all sorts of new heavier weight fabrics and see if I couldn’t create some more vintage inspired, seasonal clothing. However, my laptop took a not entirely unexpected turn over one weekend and simply refused to hold a charge. This meant a lot of hasty backing up onto an external hard drive while I still could, and the generosity of a friend’s brother in sharing his store discount to help me afford a new machine. As someone who rarely buys brand new this all was a bit exciting, but also meant I had to seriously rethink all my immediate sewing plans for the next while due to the budget change. Enter Simplicity 6550. 

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Simplicity 2151 – Pussybow Blouse Shirts

Nell, a Caucasian person, stands in front of a wooden bench and concrete wall. They are wearing a blue and green plaid shirt, with puffy sleeves and a pussybow blouse necktie. They are also wearing blue jeans, and are holding the ends of the tie.

Hello friends. One thing that gives me a lot of comfort at the moment is following along with other people’s sewing and seeing what other projects we’re all working through. It’s inspired me to continue working through my own growing pile of secondhand patterns, seeing what I can create with the fabric I have on hand and how creative I can be with the scraps. It’s a chance to flex my creative muscles. I do have a few bits and pieces in mind, and have already begun investigating the possibility of making my own bias binding from odd pieces – leaving the fabric from some old sheets as pocket lining and things like that. But first on my list was this gorgeous blouse pattern, Simplicity 2151,  in combination with this secondhand fabric I’d had for about two months or so. 

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Simplicity 8457 – Pants, pants, pants!

Nell, a Caucasian person, stands in front of a wooden bench and a grey concrete wall. They are stepping towards the camera on an angle, with one hand in their pocket. They are wearing highwaisted black pants, a black shirt and an open grey waistcoat.

Continuing the trend of sewing bottoms from my last post, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts about Simplicity 8457. This pattern was quite a step up for me, involving an all new technique in terms of inserting an invisible zipper. And it was also my first time dealing with trousers with a pleated front. My love of wide-leg, high-waisted trousers had well and truly set in by this stage, as had my desire to find pairs that fit. Naturally I turned to another one of my Spotlight Specials patterns to make this happen and stumbled over a series of patterns called Amazing Fit. I was intrigued by the notion that it had “curvy” pattern options, which seemed specifically designed for people with larger hips and thighs than waists.

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