October 20, 2013

Ladies Harem Pants

I know it's been ages since my last blog. Sorry - life is busy these days and I'm finding it hard to find the time to blog. Zoe is very much a handful at the moment, and the boys are keeping me busy with all of their sports. I've also been sewing like a mad woman to prepare for my first Sydney markets in November, which I'm pretty nervous about. Realistically things are not going to change for a little while - not at least until Connor starts school next year - he is very ready for school at the moment and needs alot of stimulation to keep busy, and by the time they are all in bed I am just too tired to blog. I keep telling myself that this is just a short period of my life that will change before I know it but I have many days at the moment that are very very looooong!
Anyway, I did find time to sew up at pattern that I have been looking forward to for sometime. I've been seeing sneak peaks for it on facebook for a couple of months and was just itching to get my hands on it. It's a pattern for ladies style harem pants by the lovely Kate McAuley from Pattern Emporium. She is another talented Aussie pattern maker and she has some wonderful patterns. I love that Australia is full of such clever ladies.





Anyway, if there's one fabric I've got a weakness for (besides merino wool jersey of course which we all know I adore) it's rayon challis. I love rayon and am so shocked when I hear someone say they don't like sewing with it. I've been a fan ever since I started sewing. It's a lovely fabric to sew with - light enough to drape beautifully, but heavy enough to hold its own when sewing with it. It is so comfortable to wear and washes really well. It must be a good fabric to dye because rayon challis seems to be available mostly in bright patterns and they don't fade during the wash. Its far lighter and more confortable to wear than most cottons, but heavy enough to not need lining (although if you use one with a white or light coloured background, its probably advisable to opt out of the dark coloured underwear for the day and stick to the boring whites and beiges). I felt like I was alone in the rayon loving world for sometime, but more and more people seem to be embracing rayon challis, and there is some good stuff available out there. It can be pricey if you factor in shipping costs, but the money is well worth it in my opinion. You can of course use lots of other types of fabric for this pattern.


 Anyway, back to the pattern review. Ladies style harem pants is a real little beauty. There are so many different options (mostly related to the type of pocket you choose and the ankle finish) and the instructions are excellent. For my first pair, I went with the slim fit pant with the tab pocket. You can barely see the tab pocket on the fabric, but I didn't have a contrasting one at the time and I really wanted to sew them.


 I cut a size 6 (Australian sizing) for this pattern. I take my hip measurement down a bit lower than most people. I don't really have much happening in the way of hips and the widest part of my body is lower down, right at the top of my thighs. For pants and slim fitting patterns I think it is really important that you honestly measure at your widest part or they just won't fit. I fell smack bang in between the 6 and 8, but my waist measurements corresponded to the 6 so I went with that for my first pair.


 The fit is fine and wearable, but a little more snug than I thought it would be. I love the pants still though and wear them. ALOT!
 The fabric I used for the above pair is Amy Bulter Soul Blossoms Rayon, Peacock feather in blush. I love this fabric and think I need to order more for the stash for when it is not longer available. Scott would disagree and say that the stash is out of control!
My next pair I cut an 8. The fit around the hips was alot better. I used an ikat print Rayon for these that I ordered ages ago from fabric.com For this pair I fiddled around and added my own pocket directly onto the front piece and was really happy with how it turned out.




 I also added a strip across the back just above the bottom to break it up a little, seeing as this is a smaller print.


 These too are getting alot of wear. So much more comfortable than jeans and so on trend at the moment.
 My last pair are my favourite. I love the fabric, it's a Joel Dewberry Rayon and I chose the bubble pockets for this one. I used a quilting cotton for the pocket contrast and the binding. This pocket style is the most challenging in the pattern, but it is actually really straightforward, especially if you have already sewn a few pairs. If you have  a bit of women's dressmaking experience, you are probably used to sewing curves that curve in opposite directions together and know how to clip the fabric to make it bend the way you need it to. If you haven't though, don't be offput. The instructions are truly fabulous and guide you beautifully every step of the way.
 I fiddled with the pattern a little more for my last pair. I took an inch off the top before I attached the waistband so they sat just that little bit lower and these are definately my favourite pair. I stitched through the elastic on the waistband to add a bit of detail as well, and cut an eight for these, but sewed the seams just a little bigger than recommended to make them a bit tighter than the above pair.



 I wore these the other day and had so many compliments and so many ladies asking me where I could buy them. I'm thinking of sewing up another pair. And I saw someone had made some in a jersey the other day, which really got me thinking. I'm definately going to give that a go next year as the weather cools. Did I mention that I love this pattern? I'm even thinking of ordering some cute thermal knit next year to make PJ pants with it for winter. The possibilities are endless. This one gets an 11 out of 10 from me! I wouldn't cut into my rayon stash for just anything...…

 Anyway, to read my review on sewing.patternreview.com, please click here in a few days when the link is active - I'm just waiting for the review website to add pet tern emporium to their database, and to buy your own pattern (I can't recommend it more highly) please click here. This pattern is suited to beginners and more advanced sewers will find it a quick and easy sew with a very satisfying result. I should also mention that she also has harem patterns available for babies and girls all the way up to size 10. I'll be reviewing them soon.
 I have added this pattern to my list of custom orders, but be warned - I will be closing them off at the end of the month until Christmas is over. Also, depending on your fabric choice and size, these will cost at least $50. Rayon challis, as lovely as it is, is not a fabric that comes cheap and I really can't bring myself to make anyone a pair out of nasty polyesters. Best head to supre for that. Otherwise send me a message and I'll send thorugh some fabric options!
Also, this little guy was my photographer so sorry if some photos are a little blurry. Yes he is in his pj's, I had to take lots of pictures of him posing in order to get him to take them of me, but he's not a bad little photographer all in all! 

 Happy sewing,

 Marnie

1 comment :

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