DIY Linen Pants Using Simplicity 8389

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Hello Lovelies!

I hope your week is going splendidly.  I’ve been breezing through my Sew Easy Sewing Makes for the summer series.  Its been such a breath of fresh air for me.  Not just because I’ve been flying through my projects list.  But also because its been really liberating my thought process around my personal style choices.

For a long time now i’ve been struggling between creating things that I deem wow and blog worthy vs. what is truly my personal style aesthetic.  Working through my fabric and pattern stash has given me a framework to focus my individual projects while forcing me to take an internal inventory.  And i’m realizing the following:

  1. Buying fabric is like clothes shopping.  You can sometimes purchase things that are a hit and sometimes its a miss.
  2. I have alot of  summer weight woven fabric in bright colors mostly from natural fibers like cotton.  (A lot of cotton.)
  3. I’m not challenging myself to my full potential.  I keep buying the same kind of fabric and choose the same kind of projects. Pants are a prime example.  I hate working through pants fitting issues.  So I tend to stick to making dresses or skirts.
  4. I want to make things that are really pieces that I can incorporate into my everyday life.  Whether they are wow to others or not.

Which leads me to today’s DIY project.  I bought Simplicity 8389 last summer because they seemed like an easy pull on pants pattern.  It has been lurking in my sewing room for a while and everytime I passed it, I would pick it up and look it over.  So finally about 3 weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and try my hand at pants fitting again.

Fitting palazzo pants is much easier that fitting fitted pants.  I created one muslin before going into fashion fabric.  What I learned from the first fitting is that I didn’t like the rise of the pants.  On the model in the pattern envelope picture it looks like the pants are high waist.  But in reality they fit more like a mid-rise.  Below is a picture of me in the muslin. IMG_3045

On my curvy pear shape.  This isn’t a flattering cut for me in a palazzo pant.  So I made a few modifications which  I list below:

Modifications:

  • Raised the waistline 2 inches only at the side seams and back rise.  This made the pants high waist which is more flattering for my shape but it also added length to the back rise.  (I didn’t need to add to the front because it would have lengthened too much in the front.)
  •  Lengthened back crotch curve by 1in.  There was bunching at the bottom of my butt where the fabric curves into the crotch.  Which was an indicator that I needed to lengthen the crotch curve at the back.
  • The waistband was a bit of a challenge. For the following reasons:  a. The pattern itself was off by about 1.5 inches too short.  So I had to redraft the pattern to make sure it fit. And b. the back band did not stop at the side seams like in a traditional pant. It instead reach around to the front band at the princess lines.  Once I put the elastic in it caused a weird gathering and unflattering fit at the side seams. It gave me a bit of a muffin top.
  • I widened the waistband  from a 1.5″ wide band to be a finished width of 3″.  I also re-drafted the front and back bands to sew together at the side seams. This gave me a more flattering fit at the waist.
  • I took in 1 inch at both inseam and outer seam starting at the hip.  There was too much fabric in the leg.
  • The last thing I did was more out of trying to save my final project because the modifications created a great waistline, and fit in the seat. However, there was way to much room in the front rise.  So I opted instead to release the front pleats and convert the entire waistband to an elastic waistband instead of how the pattern was originally drafted and removed about 7 inches of ease from the front waistline.

My final is more of a wearable muslin.  Even with the emergency modifications there is about an 1.5″ of ease from the front crotch that needs to be removed.  However.  I really like the way they came out and wore them to church styled in the way they are featured below.  These pants have some great styling possibilities and i’ll be posting those as #OOTD on my Instagram page throughout the week. So stay connected.

Photo credits: My beautiful daughter Asabea..

Well that’s all for now! Until next time….

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DIY Summer/Spring Round Up

“But let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice, Let them ever sing for joy; Because You cover and shelter them, Let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You.”  Psalm 5:11

Hello Everyone!

I hope your week is going well! I’m a little behind on my post this week. I closed on my house last week Friday yaaay! And my children returned from their summer away with dad and I’ve been working on getting them ready for their first day of school. So It’s been a little hectic!

This week marks a benchmark for the blog. We made it through our first season! One of my blogging goals when I started The Modest Life was to have a place where I could develop and document my creative process.

So to have made it through our first season is a huge celebration for me. I’ve learned so much about blogging, but also about things like my personal style and photography. It has also challenged me to remain consistent and confident in what I create and share with you all!

So this week I thought it would be only fitting to post a round up of all of my spring/summer makes! I love them all but I definitely have a few favorites.  If you missed the original posts with the details of each make.  No worries!  I made sure to link to the orginal posts under each photo.  I’d love to hear in the comments which was your favorite look!

DIY Peplum Hem Skirt

DIY Top and Pants   

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DIY Evening Look

Upcycled Skirt Set with tutorial

Upcycled hi-lo top from a dress w/ tutorial

Sunday Wrap Dress

Denim Tent Dress

DIY Summer Dress

DIY Wrap Top

I also wanted to thank all of you for supporting The Modest Life. Your comments and likes of each post keep me encouraged to keeping going. I’m working on fall/winter and I can’t wait to bring you all what I hope to be really great content!

That’s it for now! Until next time!

❤️ xoxo,

Iris

The FIRE Awards and DIY Evening Look and Pattern Hack using Vogue 9253 and Simplicity 8655

“Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and dressed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.” Genesis 41:42

“Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and dressed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.” Genesis 41:42

Hey Ya’ll!

I pray all is well with you!  I had an amazing weekend that included sewing and spending time with my family,friends and going to church.  It was like my favorite hit list of things to do wrapped up in a few days!

I had a great time doing it all but I really wanted to spend sometime talking about this event that I went to Sunday evening called the FIRE Awards (Females in Recognition of Excellence).  A friend of mine was being recognized and I decided to go because I wanted to support her but I also liked that you could dress up and was like….. “who doesn’t like to do that.” So I made the DIY statement top and pants that I’ll talk about in a bit.

Back to the FIRE Awards….IMG_8488

I had never heard of it until this year but apparently its in its 3rd year.  It recognizes women and girls who are making a difference in the Milwaukee community.  While I went for my friend, there were a few awesome women that i’ve known for many years who were being recognized as well. Below are a few shots with just two of the women that I knew.  But there were a few others that I knew as well.

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There were various categories of recognition that included entrepreneurship, community involvement, perseverance, sistahood, image and art and one award called the Josie Mae Thomas Award.  Each of the women recognized had an amazing story and journey that led them to the work that they are doing here in Milwaukee.  Which was so inspiring.  And each of them when they accepted their awards offered a word of encouragement and some even shed tears when they shared their testimonies with the audience.

What impressed me so much about this event was its sincerity.  It was clear to me that this event was birthed from someone’s heart and sincere desire to uplift girls and women.  I was also impressed with the fact that their sponsors were small local businesses and individuals who contributed to make sure the event costs were covered.  The venue and decorations were beautiful along with all the guests.  Everyone was dressed very well, with some wearing evening gowns and others wore dress casual.  I chose to live somewhere in the middle.  I am really not the evening gown kind of girl.  However, I do love what I call “red carpet casual”.

Which leads me to the pattern review and design details of this post.

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The entire look was 30’s and 40’s inspired with a modern twist.  It featured dropped shoulders and a  peplum with a plunge neckline and midriff that I used Vogue 9253  to create the upper bodice and the midriff and peplum were self-drafted. While I love the idea of a plunging neckline the original pattern’s version was a little too plunging for me.  Which led me to make the decision to remove about 2.5 inches from the hem of the bodice and create a 3 inch wide midriff instead.  This way I could still enjoy the plunge style without feeling too naked lol! I also needed to add an invisible zipper all the way down the back bodice, through the midriff and a few inches down into the peplum in order to be able comfortably get in and out of the top.

The peplum was a bit of a pain as I was playing with the shaping of the peplum.  I didn’t want it to be a traditional peplum I wanted it to wrap in the front to create a little bit of drama but still be figure flattering and not look too big.  So I spent a little bit of time draping it on my dress form until I got the shaping the way I wanted it.

The pants I’ve made before is Simplicity 8655  view C a mimi g style pattern.  I just tapered the leg at the knee on this one and reduced the flare at the hem to a slim bootleg cut and added a 1.5 inch self- drafted contour waistband instead of the facing.  Overall, I like the fit of these pants but I could have left a bit more ease in the knee and calf.  I am still working out how much ease to leave in a garment because I hate baggy clothes that lose their shape once you wear them so I tend to take it in a little too much.

The fabric was left over from my Junior Collection that I designed last spring for the annual student fashion show when I was in design school.  The Top is a metallic gold, brocade with charcoal grey, black and mauve pink accents that I sourced from Moodfabrics.com. Its lined with a black matte satin that I recently purchased from Joann Fabrics and the pants were made from a stretch wool suiting that I also sourced from Moodfabrics.com last spring for the show.

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I also have to give a shoutout to my hairdresser for this hairdo I’m wearing. You can find her on instagram @Liz_mke.  She’s pretty dope with the braids but she does it all.  Color, cuts, styling she great at as well.  If your in Milwaukee you should check her out.  Make-up was me and the shoes i’ve had for about 3 years now but seem to have an inifinite life cycle as they go with so many things in my summer wardrobe.

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And the final blessing of this evening is that I designed this look under my clothing label Virtuous By Design.  Its been awhile since i’ve created anything under this lable.  So it felt extra special.

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Well until the next time!

xoxo,

Iris

5 lessons for pants fitting

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26 (NIV)

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26 (NIV)

Hey ya’ll!  I pray that you all are having a great day!  Thanks for all the love from my Sunday DIY pants and top post.  Its always encouraging to see that people are taking the time to read my posts and I hope are being blessed by the content.  If you didn’t read it you can click here and take a peak.

Like I mentioned on Sunday’s post, pants fitting has always been a challenge for me and i’ve made a decision to really work on.  I pretty much devoted all of May to this and while I learned alot, there is always more to learn and in sewing you have to practice.  So I plan on making pants an ongoing goal in between my other makes.  Practice makes perfect!

For today however, I decided to share my top 5 lessons learned from my May pants making experience

1.Start with a pant design that you really like.  This will help you to focus on fitting the pants as well as give you a better idea of how a pant should fit.  For example I wanted a very fitted cigarette style pant and I used simplicity 8056 pattern because I also wanted a similar style with a flare leg as well. I thought I could get a two for one out of this pattern.  Only to realize after that this pattern is more for a bootleg trouser which have a looser fit in the seat and leg. Trying to get these to where I wanted them was a bit of a mess.  However, this pattern allowed me to figure out crotch and rise fitting.  As I always need more room in my seat and less room in the front crotch.

2.Don’t be afraid to use measurements from a pair of well fitting pants in your existing wardrobe.  This helped me tremendously in crotch and rise fitting.  I had a couple of skinny jeans that I love the fit of and measured the front and back rise as well as inseam length and waist to knee length to help me troubleshoot the best measurements to use for fitting my pattern.  Just make sure the pants are similar to the style, fit and fabric your looking for.

3.Invest in a good fitting book that extensively details fit issues and corrections.  While I found some great tutorials on pinterest and You Tube I still found it hard to find everything that I needed.  I had to pull from a couple of different places including my design book from school.  Pants Fitting For Real People, was one that was recommended by several sewing bloggers so I bought it. However, I found it hard to navigate and in the end I just gave up on the book.  Which is actually a critique that I heard from only one other blogger.

4.Use a pattern that is easy to fit with minimal pattern pieces, especially if this is your first time fitting pants.  My second attempt at a muslin I decided to use simplicity 8514 which was more in line with my desired style.  However, it was designed with princess seams which is suppose to make fitting easier but for me made it confusing.  It was also hard to slash and spread on pattern corrections.

The good thing about this pattern is that the fitted silouhette allowed me to see that          the pants leg needed to be shortened at the knee.  I was having alot of wrinkling at            the knee and I also noticed it in my first muslin.  So I measured and found that the            knee on most commercial patterns are about 1-2″ too long for my short curvy legs.            Causing an ugly pooling of wrinkles at the knee. (no bueno!)

5.When you get a great fitting pants pattern keep it and begin to explore the              different design variations that you can create using the same pattern as your          foundation.  Adding a fly front, waistband, belt loops or welt pockets etc.  This way          you can challenge yourself to learn new techniques without fussing with fit.  Or                maybe you can change the pant leg or explore different color and fabric options to            add variety to your wardrobe.

My 3rd and most successful muslin was using a new mimi g pattern simplicity 8655          This by far has been my favorite fit and is exactly what I wanted in a pants style. It            came together quickly and armed with all of my new fitting lessons and                                techniques I was able to cut, alter and sew a muslin in a few hours.  Now that I                    have a pair of well fitting pants, I’ve decided that I want to use this mimi g pattern              to design a pair of high waist flare leg jeans by adding a fly front, pockets,                              waistband and butt pockets.

Well that’s all for now!  I hope this post was helpful.  I plan on working on one more post this week on how to make a front crotch and back rise adjustment. So stay tuned!

xoxo,

Iris