Robbie # 4

Once I started making Robbie pants this year I couldn’t stop! The Robbie addiction hit me hard. This is the final pair that I made this year.

The fabric for these was purchased at my local (next suburb over) small fabric shop in 2018. I don’t normally like white fabric but the blues drew me in and I had to get it. The white isn’t really the focus here. The fabric is cotton sateen and my original plan from memory was to make another Washington dress with it. The dress never got made and the fabric sat in my stash since then. I think it is perfect for these pants.

I’m really happy with these. Like all my Robbie’s they are super comfortable. The pattern is easy to follow and is quick to make. Generally I don’t spend the entire day sewing so I did these over 2 days but really you could make these in a day. The front pockets are generous in size and are really easy to access. Like my other Robbie’s I can wear these with sneakers or with dress shoes so I don’t have to worry about how I will wear these.

If you have followed my blog this year you might recognise the fabric. I used the offcuts from these pants in my charity toiletry bags. I liked using fabric that I had something made for myself with in the toiletry bags, a little connection I had to the bags. Being cotton sateen the fabric has structure which made them perfect for both the bags and my pants.

After making 4 Robbie’s this year will I make another pair? Never say never. For the moment I have enough long pants for wearing outside the house so there isn’t the rush to make more.

Cassiy

Coco Wide Leg Pants

It’s funny how a pattern sits in your stash for years and when you finally make it you think why didn’t I make it sooner. My pants sewing journey continued this year but after sewing 3 pairs of Robbie’s I tried out a different pattern making the Coco Wide Leg Pants by Pattern Emporium.

Which came first the chicken or the egg? Or in sewing terms the pattern or the fabric? After my Winslow Incident I had rayon fabric that was all prepped in my stash and that I really wanted to use. If you didn’t read the post after day dreaming all week about making my Winslow Culottes just as I was about to cut them out I noticed I hadn’t paid attention to the amount of fabric needed and I was significantly short of fabric. With fabric prepped and ready to go I looked through my stash for patterns that used rayons. I came across the Coco’s which I had purchased years ago but never made. Looking at the photo on the front of the cover of the pattern I actually think I originally brought this rayon to make Coco’s as the print is very similar to the model’s so I think it was the pattern before the fabric.
Coco’s have a range of options for the waist, pockets and length including a culottes style which is the version I made as I really wanted to make culottes.

Style Options
  • Waistband – Top Stitched
  • Rise – Mid Rise
  • Pockets – Hidden
  • Length – Culottes

Pattern Emporium or PE patterns have a Facebook group for fans of their patterns. I think the Coco’s are an underrated pattern as you don’t see many people make them but they are so comfortable. I’m short so they fall as a longer length on me but it is a good length. Due to my mobility issues with walking tripping is hazard if my pants are too long or too wide so I have to be mindful of that but these fit nicely. The pockets are great. I do sometimes get confused and start looking for the pockets on the front of them instead of in the side seams as all my Robbie’s have patch pockets.

Would I make these again? Yes for sure. I have rayon in my stash so I can see more in my future. These pants have been on high rotation since I finished them in June. Not only am I wearing them to work but also on weekends. I wear them with sneakers or dress shoes as shown above. They are a super comfortable if I am walking to the shops which might be a 30 min walk each way. The style is good, the length is great. Overall a winning pattern

Cassiy

Robbie Star

Back in 2019 when I purchased the Robbie Pant pattern down in Melbourne I purchased several fabrics at the time to make them in, on version number 3 I finally used one of them.

The fabric was purchased at The Fabric Store in Melbourne. They were having a sale at the time I was there and when I saw the star fabric I had to get it, I am fond of a star print. I don’t remember if I looked at the fabric label in the shop and I had to read back to my Fabric Crawl post to see if I had written what the fabric was. At the time I described it as denim like. Whilst cutting these out I decided it was a heavy weight linen. It looks like denim but the feel and structure is more like linen, the weave is certainly more linen like than denim.

On this version for the pockets I actually placed them in the area which the pattern recommends. The back edge of the pocket overlaps the side seams so there is a small portion of the pocket on the back. On my previous ones I have placed the pockets fully on the front with the pocket edge very near the side seam without overlapping it. Usability wise I don’t notice the difference between the 2 placements.

I love the print on these pants. The stars have a bold yet subtle look to them. The stars are large but not gerish. I don’t like to categorise the clothes I make into “work wear” and “non work wear” like I used to when I purchased ready to wear items but some items I make do fall that way. These pants are funky enough to wear to work (kids love stars) but also not out of place to wear grocery shopping.

I mentioned at the start this was version 3 of my Robbie making this year I still have one more to show which I will share soon.

Cassiy

Ahead Of The Curve

Jenny Rushmore aka Cashmerette has just release her first book and although I’m cutting down on the sewing books I buy I had to pre-order myself a copy as soon as she announced it and I’m glad I did.

If you are not familiar with Cashmerette it is pattern company which originally started as having plus size patterns that came with multiple bust size options C-G as a lot of other brands with plus size options still only draft on a B cup. In recent times they have released some of their patterns in smaller sizes but still with the different bust sizes options. The target audience for this book is for those who have curves as the patterns included (I will get to those later) are from size US 12-32 however I think anyone who does dressmaking could benefit from this book. This book is more than just plus size patterns.

The book is set out in 3 sections

  • Preparation
  • Fitting
  • Patterns

Preparation – In this section Jenny demonstrates how to measure yourself accurately on your own. Some people are lucky enough to meet with friends who can help take their measurements but others like myself often have to do it on our own so it is important to see how to do it right. Once you have your measurements Jenny shows you how to pick your size/s from any pattern including how to grade between pattern sizes if your measurements fall between multiple sizes. Jenny mentions that you may automatically pick a larger size if you are so used to patterns being small which is something I have a habit of doing but it is important to look at the finished size measurements of the garment as you might not need the larger size. I’m very guilty of I’m plus size therefore I needed the biggest size available.

Fitting – This part of the book has an overview of fitting and then is divided up into 5 fit clinics

  • Bust
  • Shoulders and Neck
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Lower Half

Each clinic is very comprehensive covering common fitting problems for that area including showing before and after photos on how to fix each problem. The bust clinic demonstrates how to do FBA’s (Full Bust Adjustments) on both woven and knit garments that don’t have darts. Knit garments is an area not often covered in terms of FBA’s. You may need to a do Small Bust Adjustments so that is also covered. Both FBA’s and SBA’s are demonstrated on princess seams too. Princess seams are a little more involved in doing the adjustments but the book steps you through it.

What I thought was a nice touch was there is a page which mentions fitting for those who use a mobility aid like myself. It discusses things to take into consideration. If you use a mobility aid it might be common sense to think of things such as you need no restrictions around your arms but if you are making a garment for someone else who uses an aid you might forget that small detail.

Patterns – The last sections is the patterns. The book has 5 new Cashmerette patterns.

  • Kersoe Top
  • Magna Pants
  • Stanway T-shirt
  • Honeybourne Dress
  • Foxhill Dress

The patterns are basic which gives you experience is making and fitting the different styles as each one is demonstrated in the fit clinics. The patterns are for a mixture of knits and wovens. I think they are all a classic style. Once you are familiar with making them and have your fitting for your body you could expand on them. You could add pockets or lengthen/shorten them. The patterns are a nice starting point. 

In 2018 I did 2 sewing reatreats with Jenny when she was in Australia which I loved. She really kicked off my desire to make my own clothes. I have made a lot of clothes in the last 3 years however fitting hasn’t been my strong point. I learnt a lot when Jenny was here but I haven’t necessarily put it into practice or the fit issues I found once the garment was made wasn’t necessarily covered during the retreats. I love this book as it covers a lot of the fit issues I have. From seeing my clothes on I can see what issues I had but I didn’t know what they were called or I didn’t know the difference between the different fitting adjustments you see online. In this book I can identify through the photos my issues such as having too much fabric at the back of my neck and needing a rounded upper back adjustment. It is also shows you how to calculate how much you need to adjust the pattern. It is all very well to watch a tutorial online on how to do an adjustment but how do I know how much to do it by? This book covers it and that’s why I love this book so much. This book isn’t just for plus size sewists it is for anyone who has fit issues and finds other pattern fitting books a bit confusing or confronting.

Cassiy

Paisley Robbie’s

After the success of making my first pair of Robbie pants I was itching to make another pair.

In my stash I found some cotton sateen. I originally brought this fabric with the intention of colouring it using Liquid Radiance fabric paint when I was going though my fabric painting stage. I’m glad I didn’t get around to colouring it otherwise I wouldn’t have ending up with these funky grey/black/white paisley pants.

When I made my first pair of I used fabric which was brought with the intention of making pants so I had a lot fabric. I don’t actually know what I intended to make with this fabric and I only just had enough to make these pants. The pockets are a fraction smaller than on my first pair as I was really pushing to squeeze them in from the leftover fabric after cutting the waistband and leg pieces. It isn’t noticeable but the pattern print is upside on one pocket due to the fact I wasn’t paying attention to print direction as I scrambled to fit the pattern piece on the fabric.

I used black elastic inside the waistband instead of the white elastic I used in my first pair. Maybe I’m just imaging it but the black does feel a bit better, it just feels more firmer. It also feels like it has a better stretch and recovery compared to the white elastic in my first ones.

I made these at the end of April and wore them all winter. I love them they are so comfortable and the pockets are so useful. Once again I’ve received compliments on these including one from my Covid 19 vaccination nurse which made a stressful situation a little more easier.

Referring to my list to consider when making garments

Comfort
Classic
Creative & Quirky
Natural fabrics

These do tick all the requirements. As mentioned they are comfortable. The style is classic and simple, I like basic. The paisley fabric adds interest but isn’t ghastly. With the fabric a cotton base they aren’t hot to wear. Winning garment all around in my books.

Cassiy

Cedar Dolman Top – Jersey Knit Version

The Cedar Dolman Top by Cashmerette patterns is a top I had made previously twice before. Looking back through the blog I now realise I hadn’t actually shown my 2nd one which I made at the start of 2020 so I will show that one at some point.

You can make the Cedar in either woven or knit fabric. I had only ever made it out of wovens but wanted to try it in a knit. I have an Art Gallery knit in my stash which I would like to make it in one day but before I used my “good” fabric I wanted to try it out to see if I liked it in a knit. I was originally going to make it in a grey fabric but to be perfectly honest I had blue thread in my overlocker which I was too lazy to change and I wanted to get this made to tick off a theme on my sewing bingo card so I found a blue knit fabric thinking that will do. I have no idea where I got this fabric from or how long I’ve had it in my stash. It is a jersey knit fabric so it is very light and floaty.

The size I made I believe is 18 which is the same size as the previous ones I made in the woven. I did do a few modifications to the pattern which were

♡ Front piece cut on the fold
♡ Added 4.5″ to the bottom instead of adding on the bottom band
♡ Brought in the shoulders 0.5″ each side
♡ Added 1″ to the sleeves so I could just fold them back to hem
♡ Drafted a neckband once the shoulders were sewn instead of making the facing

The neckband, add length to the bottom and cutting on the fold I had done previously. I think a seam done my front would annoy me. Adding the extra length meant less sewing without the need to add the bottom band and as with the sleeves I was able to just fold over the edge to hem it. With the neckline I’m not sure if bringing it in made much difference. It was a nice exercise to try though. When you are wearing it the neckline does looks a little baggy but I’m not worried. I’m also finding the hem is flipping up a bit due to the lightness of the fabric. Once again this isn’t causing an issue wearing it but next time I sew with light weight knits I might use knit interfacing in the hems to keep them down.

Once the top was finished I was actually surprised at how much I liked it. I love the colour. It is really comfortable. I can see myself wearing this a lot. At the moment I only have 1 top that isn’t what I call a “work” top or music band top so this addition to my wardrobe will get a lot of wear. Since making it in July I have worn it a lot both at home and on the weekends. I can see myself making more of this pattern now in knits.

Cassiy

Robbie Pants

I hope that I am wrong but I fear winter in Sydney this year is going to be a cold and wet. Whilst cold weather means I have the chance to wear more knitwear it also means that skirts and pinafores (which is my wardrobe) aren’t going to be warm enough. I have very few ready to wear pants after cleaning out my wardrobe prior to last years move. I wasn’t wearing a lot pants and the weather the last couple of years meant I hadn’t really needed them. In the past I haven’t had success at making woven pants so I have been hiding away from making them. In 2019 when I was in Melbourne I purchased the Tessuti Robbie Pant pattern after it came highly recommended by a friend. The pattern has sat untouched in my stash complete with the ribbon still tied around it. With the fear of cold legs I thought it was finally time to attempt them.

The style is very simple – Woven ¾ length wide leg pants with patch pockets on the front and an enclosed elastic waistband. The fabric recommendation is light to medium weight wovens. At Easter I had the sudden urge to make them. In Melbourne I did buy fabric to make a test pair but instead I grabbed a black cotton from my dressmaking stash because I had black thread in my overlocker and I was too lazy to change it. The fabric was in fact brought years ago with the intention of making pants. It wasn’t really clear which direction this print went so I opted for upright scallops instead of downward raindrops. I think the fabric is a quilting cotton but it is a firmer one and not a super soft cotton like some are.

Based on my hip measurements I made size XL. I have a habit that when I trace out a pattern where I add in extra seam allowance. It is a bad habit that I have. In my mind I think how I don’t like clothes tight. Not knowing if the pattern makers idea of what a comfortable fit should be is the same as mine I add the extra fabric “just in case” When I cut out my fabric on these pants I didn’t add in extra seam allowance. I’m really happy with the fit of these. There is enough room in them to move comfortably but they don’t appear baggy. I am short so this length is more a full length for me, any longer and there is a chance I would get caught up in them as I walk.

After reading all the instructions which were very easy to follow. The instruction booklet has step by step photos so you can follow along and know what your piece should look like at every stage. I did make my waistband a little different to the instructions. The pattern has you join your elastic in a loop and place it into the waistband halfway through attaching the waistband to the pants. This method makes it harder to replace or alter the elastic if you ever need to. I opted to attach the waistband on first leaving a gap on the inside of the casing to thread the elastic through at the end and sew the elastic together. If I need to shorten the elastic or replace it I can easily do so. I used 1″ wide white elastic. I buy the elastic in black or white. I never thought there was difference between the 2 colours but when I tried these pants on at the end the white elastic didn’t seem to be as firm as what the black is. The elastic might just be older and that is it but even before I inserted it I noticed the difference. I will see how they go after washing them but I may replace the elastic with black.

The pattern has markings to place the patch pockets. My pockets seemed smaller and I couldn’t place them along side the markings. These pockets are still very functional but next time I might make them a little bigger. I also might raise them higher too.

When I posted a photo of these on Instagram a friend welcomed me into the Robbie Pants Club! Robbie pants have a bit of a cult following, once you make one pair you tend to make more and I can see the attraction why. They are easy to make and are very comfortable. I could go a bit crazy and make heaps. In Melbourne I brought my test fabric as well as “good” fabric to make them plus I have another fabric from my stash in mind which might actually be my 2nd pair.

Comfort
Classic
Creative & Quirky
Natural fabrics

Back in 2016 I did a style workshop with Anne Whalley where we came up with 4 key things to consider when I’m making clothes. I haven’t referred back to my list in a while but these pants tick all the boxes. I love these pants. The fabric, the style, the fit. It was a spur of the moment decision to finally make them but I’m glad that I did. 

Recap
Pattern – Robbie Pants by Tessuti
Size – XL
Fabric – Quilting cotton from stash
Notions – Non roll elastic

The first day I wore these a work collogue commented she liked my pants, I casually replied “Thanks I made them” She was seriously impressed and I was smiling all day.

Cassiy

Floral York Pinafore

This was one of my makes from last year.

I purchased this floral fabric back in 2017 I think. My original plans were to make a bomber style jacket with it. I never got around to it (like with a lot of my sewing plans) In 2019 when I was decluttering my stash I decided to keep on to it even though it did remind me of an 80’s sofa. Still thinking I wouldn’t wear it I decided I would use it in foot stool instead. When I pulled it out of my stash and washed it the print didn’t look that bad at all and I thought maybe it could be a nice York Pinafore.  It was 50/50 to be either stylish or the 80’s sofa.

Construction wise the fabric was very similar to the velvet York I made, the fabric does have a slight amount of stretch to it. I opted for the rounded pockets and lowered the neckline by 20″ as I did in the velvet one. This took me about 3 days to make. If you follow the direct pattern instructions it is very to quick to make. The reason it takes me longer is that I make my own continuous bias binding for the neckline, armholes and bottom hem. I had tack all the binding in place before machine stitching it on, turning it over and top stitching it down. It is a longer process but it means I’m not struggling with pins at my sewing machine as I sit at my machine with my seam ripper pulling out the tacking stitches just before it goes under the presser foot. There are lot of curves yet I know my fabric is where I want it to be and I don’t have to go back and restitch sections I’ve missed as the fabrics have shifted. I made this on my holidays. I sat on the balcony hand stitching away. Mr StitchNSew brought me out baked goods we’d made. It was really relaxing.

The fabric gods were on my side with this one and I can happily say the end result is stylish not sofa. Wear wise I think I should be able to wear this all year round as I work in air con, maybe not on super hot days during summer but for the most part it should get a lot of wear. In terms of fabric print I tender like smaller fabric prints and I don’t like florals so this out of my comfort zone. I think the muted tones means it isn’t so in your face “hey I’m wearing a bouquet of flowers” like some prints scream to me.

This is York number 5. The only one I don’t have anymore is my first one which was in black. The fabric binding frayed and it was too short so I decluttered it. I have started on York number 6 which was inspired whilst making this one. It is from fabrics from my stash and is a little bit quirky.

Cassiy

Peppermint Pocket Skirt V1

Every sew often a pattern comes out and it seems everyone on Instagram is making yet. Yep I threw in a dorky sewing pun 😉 That is the case with the Pocket Skirt which is a free pattern from Peppermint magazine. A skirt with pockets and it is free what more can a girl ask for.

 

I raided my stash for some light weight denim, printed the pattern and set to work on it. You know you really want to make it when there is no procrastination involved you just jump straight into it. I made the size 24 and I’ll admit to my bad habit of adding in extra seam allowance which I know I shouldn’t do but is habit of always thinking I need to make things bigger than the pattern piece says. So this I would say is more a size 26.

This is a really quick skirt to make even though it does involve a lot of pressing between steps. I’m known to be a bit lazy or skimpy on pressing but it is worth it in this skirt. The skirt is made up of a front and back panel and 2 side panels which are made up of 2 pieces each. Sorry that the skirt looks a bit crumpled. I’m a bad blogger I didn’t get photos as soon as I finished it and I actually wore it a couple of times before these photos were taken. Unless my skirts get obvious dirt on them I tend to wear them a few times over a number of weeks before I wash them. This hasn’t made the wash yet since I finished it.

Will I make this again? I think I will. Next time I won’t add the extra seam allowance and I might take a bit off the length. I don’t want to criticize a free pattern as I think it more in the sewer not the designer but the pockets do sit a little bit low. For the side panels you join the 2 pieces and then fold them up to form the pocket. You end up with 2 folds, one on the bottom of the pocket which you can see on the inside of the skirt and the other fold is the top of the pocket which you see on the outside. The pattern is marked where to fold it but I may of gotten confused if that was the inside fold line or the outside. I raised the pockets higher than what I thought the pattern meant to but next time I will raise them even higher. My hands just reach the top of the pockets and that is with me wearing my skirts higher than most people. There is a chance with this one I might actually try folding over the waistband once and seeing what it looks like if I stitched it down. That will raise the pockets slightly and I have enough fabric and elastic in the skirt to try it. Even if I don’t play around with it this is still a really comfortable skirt which I will wear as I have done already.

I tried a new pattern, decluttered fabric from my stash and have a new skirt for this summer. That equals a winning project to me.

Cassiy

Repeat Black Turner Skirt

I get so much wear out of the first black Turner skirt with pockets I made I decided to make another one.

The fabric I used this time was velvet stretch knit that I picked up at The Fabric Store during the Sydney Spoolettes VIP shopping night last year. It was on sale for about $6/m from memory so the skirt is like $12, this is one of those occasions where you couldn’t buy it at the shop for that price.

I made this in January and have worn it a lot, maybe once a week. It has become a new favourite. It is a little bit longer than my other black one so it falls around calf length. I wear it to work with a black store brought hoodie and I get a 90’s grunge vibe and it puts me in my comfort zone.

If you haven’t seen my other posts on Turner skirts. This skirt is a pattern hack of the Cashmerette Turner dress. This is now skirt number 6 if I have kept count correctly. It really is my go to knit skirt pattern. It is really easy to make and super comfortable. The pocket version does take a little bit longer than the regular version but not a great deal.

Cassiy