Make it Monday // Hampshire Trouser

Yes, it’s true. I MADE PANTS!! with a zipper fly and welt back pockets. **Happy Dance like you just won a large group round of LRC**

When I saw the schedule for Sew My Style back in December I thought, “pants in October, I’ll be ready.” October came and I was NOT ready. It took me the better part of the month to just get the test pair out of the way. Surprised at how well the test pair came out (only one welt went in upside down), I pushed on to the real deal pants.

The Hampshire Pants by the creator. I see now that she has a cropped shirt on … no tuck … interesting I just noticed this. Photo courtesy fo her website.

For the pants in question, I used some green twill I had already purchased last year for a possible coat project that never materialized. The fabric is perfect for pants, except after they were finished, I realized they look a little like I’m working for the Forest Service. “Hey boo, boo”  Oh well, worse things to worry about I suppose.

The finished pants. I didn’t realize how bright this button was until after I took the photo. The green check is the lining of the pants and pocket BAGS.

On the fit: I made a size Medium and graded it to a Small at the waist. This worked well with the test pair, although I did debate also doing a crotch depth adjustment for a good long time. In the end I decided the look of the trouser was indeed more loose fit casual and just kept with the straight Medium to Small grade.

Photos taken by hubby from his chair. See how easy I’m making it for him. Otherwise, No photos for me!

Weeeellll, after they were all finished and tried on. Hmmm. What to do we think? I think the spirit of the original trouser is there, but they are definitely too big in the waist for me. Now, if I had a nice thick shirt tucked in they would probably be okay, but one of my sisters *cough, Elise, cough*  told me nobody tucks their shirts anymore. This is what 10 years of age difference gets you. News to me! Hehe.

That being said, I will probably take the waist in another inch (close to the XS size I’d guess) and leave the hip at a Medium so they are still roomy, but sit higher on my waist, alleviating the crotch depth issue all together.

The welts in action. Sorry for the tuck lines of my shirt interfering with my welt shot. 🙂

The hem: I haven’t hemmed them either. Sewists prerogative, I guess. But also, I wanted to wear them around a bit before I decided if they were ankle pants or full length pants. We know they will never become capris. Partly because I dislike capri pants and also too much width on the leg for that.

The construction: Was it scary? YES! It was really scary. The cutting of the welt opening is terrifying. The thought of the zipper fly, horrendous. But, to the credit of the pattern designer, she provided step by step, heavily photo’d tutorials on her blog of these two items that made it really approachable. As long as you take it all in small pieces, the whole project comes together nicely.

The progress shots.

All in all, it took me about 4 total hours to sew the pants (excluding cutting time and test pants time). This is with running back and forth to the computer, since I have still not extracted hubby from my potential sewing room – read: annoyed him enough with my machining, ironing and chatter about sewing when I’m in there. Must work harder!!

Will I make another pair? Most definitely. Not right away, I’ve got a cape project I’m eager to start, but I will make more.

Make it Monday // Varda Top

Just before church yesterday, I was able to put the finishing touches, i.e. sleeves, on my Varda top. Woohoo! I love having a new make for church.

My Varda top, worn with my Artemesia necklace by Steinen. I intended to wear this necklace when I finished a pink dress I had plans to make; never happened. Works with my Varda.


Varda was the last offering from Christine Haynes Patterns before she switched coasts and I loved it when it came out. Right up my alley! Simple top with nice style lines. In the late night tracing of the pattern, I traced off my usual CHP size, sewed it up all nice and tidy and wouldn’t you know it…. it was too small…. Meh. I should’ve known something was up when I had to wrestle it on my dress form, but I kept moving forward. Needless to say I have a very well sewn Varda in one size less than I need.

The Kitty Dress by Maven Patterns. I love the unique bust dart; I had to chop off the sleeves as I just couldn’t get the puff part to look good on me. Another Steinen necklace. 🙂  


I set about to retracing the correct size and used the left over fabric from my beloved Kitty Dress. Except, I didn’t have enough for the sleeves. Ha! I was able to make the shirt 70%, ran to the fabric store last night, washed, dried and prepped the sleeves before calling it a night. Then, woke up nice and early to attach the sleeves. It was a whirlwind and yet another example of need to make a muslin and/or read the finished garment measurements!!

I copied some of the details from the Kitty dress onto the Varda top – top stitching the French bust dart and also a tight top stitch at the neckline instead of the 1/2″ on the pattern.

Overall I’m really happy with the Varda top and it’ll make a great workday staple (planning to wear it today again!). I liked the fitted mid section better on the size smaller, so probably a perfect Varda for me would be a size 6 bust with a size 4 waist. I’m already dreaming of the next version….

I noticed all my shots were either slouchy or leaning what back (not sure why), so I did a nice tall shot – resulting in a nice shot of my shirt, but a slightly cropped head.