Named Clothing | Alexandria Peg Trousers

I’ve long admired many patterns by Named Clothing, and yet it’s taken me until now to make any of their designs. It’s silly, because they draft for a taller woman, and I definitely fit that demographic. Well, aside from my weirdly petite upper body… totally out of proportion to the rest of me. Anyhoodle… I picked up the Alexandria Peg Trousers when they had a sale a few weeks back. I’ve made True Bias’ Hudson Pants and I wear them all the time (oops, never blogged!), so I thought a less sweat pant looking alternative would be really nice for actually leaving the house in. I found a rayon twill at JoAnn’s in a nice olive color and thought they would be a perfect match.

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First a bit about the pattern. I got the .pdf version, which includes two sizes per file (you get all the sizes, they’re just not nested like other patterns) with seam allowances included. I thought it was pretty handy to have the SA line drawn in, as I typically need to grade between different sizes for the waist and hip. I lucked out in that the two sizes I needed happened to be in the same file, so it wasn’t all that difficult to compare the two and make the necessary alterations. Even though it should have been simple I made it as complicated as possible. Way to go, self. For the back piece I took width off at the outer seam from waist to hip, then at the CB seam from the waist to maybe 4″ or so down (just above the bum, since i need plenty of room there). Then the front piece is where I made things difficult; sine there are pockets and pleats it was kind of a mind-bender as to where to grade in or out. But if you need to grade down for the waist, just take the extra width off the side seam (most of which is pocket) from waist to hip and call it a day. The pocket opening is far enough in from the side seam that you won’t mess up the proportions.

My fabric (rayon twill) was a real pain to work with; it’s nearly impossible to cut on grain, it’s shifty, it’s fray-prone, and stretches out of shape easily. It has so much drape that the fabric itself kind of bags out under its own weight. Because of that, the pants seem to have drag lines all up and down the seams. Kind of a bummer really. To be honest, I was super unhappy with the pants when I tried them on mid-construction as I was testing the elastic length. The rise was so high, they looked like clown pants! I tossed them aside for a few days as I contemplated whether or not to even finish them.

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Buuuuut I really, really hate to leave projects unfinished, so I decided to try and save them. I basted the pleats down to keep them in place so I could lower the rise. I cut 1″ off the front, tapering to 1/2″ at the back (I usually need to add extra to the back rise for boo-tay coverage, otherwise I would have done 1″ all around). I cut a new waistband, which I made about 1/2″ longer to compensate for the lower rise. I finished the pants, tried them on and was so much happier with them! Completely turned around how I felt about these pants.

However, even though I’m happy with how they look on me, they’re still oddly restrictive when I sit. I have to kinda pull the legs up to sit down, then they’re a little snug in the thighs, and tight at the knee and calf. It’s possible I should have lengthened them (I’m 5’8″—most of my height being in my legs…) as I don’t think I have particularly large calfs (13.5″). So in the end I have mixed thoughts about these pants, just not for the reasons I anticipated while I was in the throes of construction. Ultimately, I don’t think I’ll return to this silhouette in a woven fabric, but rather stick to knits.

Now to switch gears… The tee I’m wearing is a Grainline Studio Scout Tee, made in a rayon/poly blend knit. The poly is a bit eh but I super love this tee anyway. I think for a slouchy tee, the scout will always be my go-to pattern. The only thing I did differently here was scoop the sleeve hem up slightly at the center (3/8″ or so) so it doesn’t sit as straight across. Then I used my possibly favorite neck binding method of sewing the binding to the right side at a 1/2″ SA, then pressing the binding up and around the raw edge, then top stitching in place. I think this looks better than a banded finish, and involves less guesswork regarding how long to cut, or how tight to stretch the binding strip.

All in all, I’m pleased with my experience with Named patterns, and I look forward to making more of their offerings. I’ve seen the Inari tee/dress made up so many times (and I love every one) that I really want to give it a whirl. And they have new designs coming out very soon… can’t wait to see what they’ll be releasing!

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lisa g.

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liberty of something or other scout tee

it’s not all winter sewing around these parts. in fact several weeks ago i brought home a fabric haul to start my spring sewing. most of it was for my daughter (which i already sewed up and hope to get photographed some day…) but i picked up a couple things for myself. the first of which is this cute floral lawn/voile. it was marked on the roll as liberty of london fabric, however i’m pretty sure it is not. it’s a nice quality fabric, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t have that swoon-worthy feel i would have expected from liberty. not that i would know, since i’ve never felt any before. soon though, soon… yesterday i splurged and ordered some of the real deal. ya know, for research. and hopefully a cute spring/easter dress.

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this fabric was $13/yd, so even though it’s on the higher end of my price-per-yard comfort zone, i only needed a small amount to make a scout tee. i’ve searched high and low for this print online, but alas i’ve come up blank. but, liberty or not (probably not), i love the print!

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i’ve already made the scout tee a couple times (as most likely you have also), and it’s such a fast and easy pattern. seriously. i heart it so much. i previously altered the fit with a SBA, widened the hip, and dropped the back hemline. i think i still need to make a couple adjustments though. the back pulls slightly and the front gapes a little. i didn’t notice it so much on my silk scout, but when i throw a cardigan over this one, the fit issue becomes more obvious. i think next time i’m going to add width to CB, and remove the same amount from CF, then re-draw the neckline as necessary. there may be a better way of handling this, but whatever. i still love this tee!

—lisa g.

scout tee in silk

not long ago jen over at grainline studio posted a tutorial on how to make the ever-popular scout tee with longer sleeves. i had just bought a nice cut of silk specifically for a scout tee, so i decided to give it a try. turns out, it’s pretty easy to do!

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so yeah, silk! this is the second blouse i’ve made in the last few weeks in silk, but i’m posting this one first because it’s a simpler design and i thought people might be curious about the longer sleeve adaptation. i don’t know if this is a particular type of silk, it’s er… silky, smooth, and appears to have a plain weave (as opposed to a crepe de chine, which is more textured—that is the limit of my knowledge of silks). since my first attempt at using silk went so well i was pretty confident to cut into this. to pretreat my fabric, i washed it on cold on the hand wash cycle, then line dried. it dries in about two seconds, so that’s pretty cool.

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i made my sleeve to have about a 12″ finished length from underarm to hem. the width of the sleeve hem is 12 1/2″ which i lightly gathered onto a 10 3/8″ long cuff/binding (i wrapped a measuring tape around my arm to determine how big i needed the cuff). the only thing i did differently than jen’s tutorial was to swoop the hemline up at the underarm seam by 1/2″ to keep it from being super slanty on my arm. the longest part of the “swoop” should be about 1/3 of the way in from the back underarm seam.

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the last time i made a scout tee i changed it up to have a yoke and a swingy back. this time around i left everything per the pattern (shocking!). i made a size 4 at bust, graded out to a 6, then slashed and spread to get the hemline out to a 10 (front and back pieces).

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and i dropped the back hem by 1″ cuz i like-a-de bum coverage.

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from my first scout i knew i needed to remove some excess at the bust so i made an SBA and removed 1″ from the front, like so:

i trued up the side seam when i cut my fabric.

i trued up the side seam when i cut my fabric.

i am thrilled with how this came out! the fit is basically perfect, and i love the sleeve length. since my fabric is more winter-y in color (the background color is dark navy), having sleeves was a no-brainer. and wow, i am totally team silk now. as much as i love rayons for their drape and fun prints, the wrinkle factor drives me mad! i picked up this silk for $12.99/yd at fabric basement (local). what a steal!

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i usually don’t bother looking at the silks. in fact i was by the rayons when i touched this bolt of fabric, looked at the content/price, then clutched it with my dear life! the cutting lady said the fabric was bolted (instead of on rolls) by mistake. had it been with the silks i never would have laid eyes on it. you can bet i’ll be perusing the silk section from now on.

—lisa g.

p.s. i’m working on organizing my blog a little better. if you are interested in my past makes, up above there is a “what i’ve made” page. there i have, in order, everything i have made this year, and links to the blog post. i planned to do the same for last year’s makes, but since i had switched my blog from blogger to WP, all my old pics are a jumble and nearly impossible to track down. also, i’m trying to make better use of my categories and tags. i’m working my way through all my posts (fortunately it’s super easy to do in WP) and hopefully within a few weeks i’ll have it better organized!

the scout tee

after making my anthro-inspired scoop top (which i love and wear all the time) i knew i needed to make a woven version. aaaaand since the scout has been calling my name for quite some time, it was time i heeded it’s siren call. i made a size 4/6 with a 1/4″ forward shoulder adjustment on the sleeve. for that, i took my sleeve piece and removed 1/4″ from the front seam (the part under your arm) and added that 1/4″ to the back seam. this rotates the sleeve head forward, placing the fullness in line with the point of my shoulder. i didn’t mess with the shoulder seam because it is already more forward than typical, though i can see that the seam isn’t exactly parallel with that imaginary line from the base of my neck to the point of my shoulder. the fit seems fine so i probably won’t bother messing with it. i would like to take out some room in the bust area, but since there are no darts to fiddle with, i’m not really sure how… thoughts anyone?

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get used to seeing these shorts a lot. i wasn’t kidding when i said they match everything in my closet!

i decided to give this top the swoopy back feature. if you look at jen’s post on it, i simply kept that top part as a yoke, and added the swoop and a little room at CB to pleat where it joins the yoke. this top is super comfortable and i completely get why everyone is head over heels for this pattern! it’s just… perfect. i want a whole closet full of them now. oh, and i frenched every single seam, so points for neatness and not having to change thread on my serger… ahem.

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let’s talk about my fabric choices for a minute. i finished this top a week ago but was a bit mad at it as i came into the home stretch. i loved these fabric prints together—the polka dot keeps the granny floral from looking too… granny. but when i ordered them, they were billed as 100% cotton. and i assumed this was the case, but by the end i finally realized that the floral print no way no how could possibly be 100% cotton.

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now, i’m not a poly snob. we hang out on occasion. but i don’t like her sneaking into the party when i’m expecting someone else! my concern is how the two fabrics will wash and wear together. cottons tend to fade and perhaps shrink (i’ve pre-washed) while polys don’t do any of that. over time, i suspect the two fabrics won’t look so grand together, but what can ya do. the good news is, i have quite a bit of each of these fabrics left over. i really love the floral print, so hopefully it will show up in a skirt at some point; and the polka dot… well i may or may not have already cut out an archer from, the sewing of which will have to wait because i have other projects to get to, and it’s like a billion degrees outside. so. hot. i’ve completely lost my midwest heat-enduring toughness.

someone hand me an iced coffee…

—lisa g.