Chi Town Chinos

When the Chi Town Chinos popped up a recently, I was interested in giving them a try. I’ve been a dedicated lover of the Sewaholic Thurlow, but this pattern has a feature that sold me—a faced waistband!  I hate sewing on waistbands. HATE. It always takes me fooorreeeverrr to do!  Alina Sewing + Design Co. is new to the indie pattern scene, and tbh, I usually shy away from first time pattern releases. But, I’m happy to report that I was genuinely impressed by this pattern. It really looks like she aspires to the same type of RTW details I’m always drawn to. Oh, and there’s also a skirt variation. Love a two-in-one pattern.

IMG_2964

As expected, I don’t fall into one straight size. I’m definitely pear-shaped, but most of my hip circumference is in the back. For this reason I opted to make a FSA (full seat adjustment) instead of trying to grade between sizes. I used a tutorial on the Colette blog, and it felt like a lot of guesswork—from where to draw the lines, to how much space to add… if you have super nice fabric, definitely play around with muslin first. I ended up adding about 1/2″ in width (1″ total) and 3/8″ to the back rise. I also scooped out the back crotch a tad and lowered the front rise by 1/4″. After these adjustments, which are very typical for me, the fit is basically spot-on, so that was a relief! Next time I may reduce the dart from the FSA and instead take some width out of the side seam at the waist. I feel like they’re not quite hugging my waist the way my Thurlows do, but hopefully minimal tweaks will get me there. I hemmed my shorts to have a 3 1/2″ inseam (instead of 4 1/2″) as is my preference.

IMG_2953

The one detail I did change was to make a separate fly facing instead of using the cut-on facing. I feel that a sewn on facing is more sturdy in the long run. Really the only little nit-picky thing I have to say about the pattern is having to search through the directions to track down the SA’s used for various pieces. I’m in favor of varied SA’s, but since some pieces are 1/2″ (back pockets, zipper facing) and some are 5/8″ (general construction), it’s easy to forget. It would be most helpful to have a single diagram to look at, or at least have them indicated on the individual pattern pieces. The instructions themselves are very hand-holdy, fine if you need it, but I would really like to see them a little more streamlined. I found myself having to jump around in the directions for things like belt loops and how to finish the SA of the facing.

PicMonkey Collage

The fabric I used is a Kaufman Kobe twill in grey from fabric.com and it’s really nice stuff! Getting twill the right weight for shorts can be a bit hit or miss (this is 5.7 oz/sq yd), but this one is perfect. It’s lightweight enough that seams don’t get overly bulky, but sturdy enough that it doesn’t feel flimsy at all. Plus it’s available in a wide variety of colors—I want them all!! The only downside is that they do stretch out a little with wear. While that’s pretty normal for cotton twill, I feel I can only get about two wears out of them before I want to chuck them in the wash to shrink them back down. Overall, I am very pleased with these shorts, and I can see myself making many more pairs in the future.

IMG_2961One last thing… the blouse I’m wearing is Simplicity 1106, previously made here. As before, I omitted the back cutout, and this time I added 2″ width at CB, which I gathered onto the yoke for a small amount of visual interest. Because I added width at CB I took 1/2″ off the side seam on the back piece from waist to hip. While I love that it has a neckline facing, I opted for a bias facing, mostly because I’m out of my good interfacing… Love this pattern for a quick top!

lisa g.


TL;DR

PATTERN: Chi Town Chinos by Alina Sewing + Design Co
FABRIC: Kaufman Kobe Twill from fabric.com
SIZE: 8 (measurements for reference: 5’8″/34″/27.5″/39″)
MODS: used separate fly facing, shortened inseam to 3 1/2″
ALTERATIONS: full seat adjustment, lowered front rise
NEXT TIME: bring them in at the waist, distribute some of the dart intake to the side seams

Advertisements

Rumi Tank Dress

Okay, it’s rare that I jump on a new pattern the minute it’s released, let alone print it, trace it, cut it out, sew it, and wear it all within 24 hours. Oh, and then blog it. RARE. But the stars aligned for me yesterday… I had ordered some rayon jersey from Craftsy (weird… all their solid rayon knits are gone now) and it just wasn’t the kind of rayon knit I was expecting. It is quite firm, has minimal stretch, and doesn’t drape in the way I expect a rayon knit to drape. To be honest, I’m not overly impressed with this fabric, and it just wasn’t going to work with my original plan.

IMG_2913

So I literally had this fabric out trying to figure out what to make with it, when I saw the Rumi Tank pop up on IG. It was a perfect match. I paused for a minute, I mean even on sale, it’s still almost $10 for a simple tank. But… I just went through all my paper patterns and got rid of a huge stack of them because the tissue was cut and therefore useless to me or anyone else, and was reminded of why .pdf patterns are so appealing. If I screw it up, I can always print off a new copy.

IMG_2892This is the first pattern from Christine Haynes that I’ve purchased, and I was very happy with the .pdf formatting. It printed in a very economical number of pages and everything matched up nicely. I traced off a size 6 at the bust and graded out to an 8 at the waist and hip. Given the flare of the skirt, grading between sizes wasn’t strictly necessary, but I did anyway. I raised the neckline by 1/2″ as a precaution (I am forever needing to raise necklines) but in this case it would have been fine as drafted. I skipped the color blocking at the hemline, and simply extended the length of the dress.

IMG_2924

The sizing feels spot on, and other than a little bit of pooling in the back, I’m perfectly happy with the fit. I’m so in love with the swingy flare of the hem. After all the swing dress posts I’ve been seeing lately, I’ve had them on my mind!

IMG_2896

I love how my dress came out, and I think this will be a very useful pattern. Also included is a regular tank top (less flare than the dress) and I’m sure I’ll be using it in the future as well. Really, this is an ideal summer dress for me since it’s casual enough that I don’t feel overdressed for the day to day mom stuff (side note: my 8 yr old said “Wow, you look fancy!” quickly followed by, “Well I guess it’s no different than pajamas…”), plus it’s breezy for the crazy heat we’ve been having. I’m ready to move on to Fall sewing, but oy! the heat and humidity is not going away! So not used to it out here in the Northeast.

IMG_2883

Here’s to the last days of summer…

IMG_2933

—lisa g.


TL;DR

PATTERN: Rumi Tank by Christine Haynes
FABRIC: rayon jersey from Craftsy (no longer available, and not really recommended)
SIZE: 6 bust, graded to 8 at waist and hip (measurements for reference: 5’8″/34″/27.5″/39″)
MODS: raised neckline by 1/2″ and extended hem to eliminate hem color blocking
ALTERATIONS: none
NEXT TIME: if I’m being fussy… I’ll remove length from CB to minimize pooling