Every month I receive a fun surprise box of fabric from Vinegar and Honey. And every month I hem and haw about what to do with it- but when this month’s box arrived, a lovely plaid ponte, I had an uncharacteristic moment of certainty, and decided that I needed to make a matching outfit for my daughter and I- specifically mommy and me skinny pants!
If you had asked me in 1999 whether I would ever wear skinny pants- the answer would have been an emphatic NO. But, as I’ve gotten older and trends have changed, I’ve found myself gravitating more and more toward a very fitted pants style, especially if they have a high waist to hold in my tummy when I’ve had too many chicken nuggets off my daughter’s plate (why do toddlers insist on feeding you their food while subsisting on air themselves?)
Thanks to my pattern hoarder tendencies, I already have the Jalie Eleanore pants, the Patterns for Pirates SOS Skinny Jeans, and the Style Arc Elle pants. I may also add the Love Notions Sabrina Slims and Ottobre 5/2014 patterns to my collection if I can’t get the fit I’m looking for with the patterns I have (or, I could learn pants fitting and just make the ones I’ve got work!). Ultimately, I would like to write a thorough comparison of the different options, but after my adventure in crafting this outfit, I’m unsure about whether I’m qualified- I’ll let you read on and be the judge.
I decided to start with the Style Arc Elle pants. Style Arc is an Australian company that puts out an impressive array of independent patterns- and I’ve heard good things about their drafting. The only thing that tends to put people off is the fact that you can only order one size at a time, either in pdf or printed format. This makes grading between sizes difficult.
Since I fit mostly into their size 6, that’s the size I ordered, as I figured I could always adjust for my slightly smaller waist by taking in the elastic in the waistband. The Style Arc patterns come printed on a heavy weight tissue that reminds me of freezer paper, and is easy to fold and store. Seam allowances are marked, in case you need to make adjustments, and the instructions are very succinct. I wouldn’t recommend them for a beginner, but for a more advanced seamstress or a simple pattern like the Elle pants, detailed pictorial instructions aren’t really necessary- if you have experience sewing up a pair of leggings you’ll be fine. Probably (keep reading!)
See how excited I was?
I cut out my pattern, and focused hard on laying out my pieces so that the plaids would match-this is the type of detail missing on ready to wear clothes that I enjoy fixing on handmade garments. You might be noticing right about now that these photos don’t feature matching pairs of skinny pants. Here’s why: unfortunately, while I was cutting, I was multitasking a little too much- chatting with my husband, taking photos of my process and putting the baby down for the umpteenth time- and I didn’t realize that I had cut FOUR BACKS. How can that even happen?
It. was. terrible. It was also 1Am, my lighting was awful, and so I don’t have photographic evidence, but you’ll have to trust me that our backside is not shaped the same as our front, so everything was really wonky. Not realizing my mistake, I tried a dozen fitting adjustments, and finally gave up. When I went back to the project the next day, I decided that before I blasted the pattern on my blog, I had better check and make sure the pattern pieces had been cut and sewn correctly. I seam ripped all those seams, and finally discovered my mistake. I. Was. Horrified.
Of course, I had already posted my intentions to the Facebook and Instagram, so I couldn’t just pretend it never happened, and there was still the matter of needing to sew up the fabric.
So here I am, confessing my idiocy to you all, my head hung in deep sewist shame. Feel free to post your worst sewing mishap in the comments to cheer me up.
Despite my feelings of inadequacy, I had to salvage the fabric somehow, so I thought back to this fail friday/tip tuesday post, and took a look at the amount I had left. Just enough to cut the baby a pair of pants, and myself a matching top. Or the front of one anyway. The Lane Raglan was already on the top of my pile, so I used that, since no one can have too many Lanes, and making a Lane always cheers me up a bit.
Since I only had enough plaid for the front, the back and sleeves were cut from a plain black ponte from Surge Fabric Shop, which is also excellent quality. While I was at it, I re-cut my Style Arc pattern from the black ponte, because there was NO WAY I was going to give up on those, now that I knew it wasn’t the pattern’s fault that my first pair had fit so badly. I’m nothing if not doggedly determined.
I’ll save those for a later post, but for now, you can check out my plaid Lane-that-should-have-been-pants. Ya know what? I kind of love it.
The baby’s pants went together much less dramatically, using the Peekaboo Juniper Jeggings. I cut a size 2 for width and a 18month for length, since my daughter tends to be short in the legs like me, but has a fluffy bum due to her cloth diapers. I love how these have all the fun details of real jeggings: a faux fly, faux front pockets, and real back ones.
I think the waist could be taken in a bit more, but those back pockets are just too cute, and the overall fit is perfect.
An hour before our photoshoot, I went to grab a matching shirt from her drawer….and realized that the only thing that worked was a thin short sleeved tee. I’m all for suffering in the name of good photography, but I don’t extend that level of fortitude to my children- and a freezing toddler does not make for happy pictures.
So, I grabbed some super soft sweatshirt fleece from Cali Fabrics and whipped up a Brindille and Twig Scuba Hoodie. I changed the construction of the front pocket slightly so she could feel the soft reverse side of the fleece, and used a brushed hacci for the bands and lining.
I’m so glad I took the time to do this, because she absolutely loved the new hoodie, and having a place to warm her little hands.
I can’t get enough of her at this age, especially the cute and slightly painful way she smashes my nose when she goes to kiss me.
Seeing the photos of us together took the sting out of my ridiculous mistake, and reminded me of the joy of matching with my little (and only) girl. She probably won’t let me sew for her forever, and I want to soak up every moment.
Now I’m off to work on sewing up my Elle pants the right way, but don’t forget to check out the other bloggers on the tour, and enter to win the giveaway! If I haven’t lost all credibility, you’re also welcome to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, where I share more real-life sewing mishaps and victories.
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Don’t forget to visit all of the amazing Mommy and Me Christmas Outfit Inspirations in our Mommy and Me Christmas Blog Tour hosted by Seams Sew Lo below!
- December 4th: Seams Sew Lo
- December 5th: Katewillknit
- December 6th: Tenille’s Thread
- December 7th: That’s Sew Lily
- December 8th: Stitched by Jennie
- December 9th: Petite Stitchery & Co
- December 10th: Seams Sew Lo
- December 11th: kathys kwilts and more
- December 12th: Sewing with Sarah
- December 13th: Octaves of Color
- December 14th: My Crazy Crafty Beautiful Life
- December 15th: I Have Purple Hair
- December 16th: Nu Me NuYou
- December 17th: Frullemieke
- December 18th: Sewing Blue
- December 19th: Auschick Sews
- December 20th: Violets and Jewels
- December 21st: Seams Like Style
- December 22nd: Aurora Designs
We’ve all been there with sewing mistakes. I sewed a piece on my project upside down last weekend…..twice! Ugh. I do love your Lane recover and you still have mommy and me coordinating outfits! :o)
Thank you for your encouragement! Its so frustrating when we make mistakes- but its the way we recover that counts right?
I enjoyed this blog. Great ideas! I’ve been a seamstress since HS, so s few years of experience and always surprised when I catch myself making weird mistakes. Your outcome is darling and your baby so darn cute!
Thank you Martha! Its amazing how the more I sew, the more basic mistakes I make! I can put in a zipper fly no problem- but cutting a pair of leggings was just too much for my brain at night I suppose!
I loved reading this blog because it reminded me of the many times something just like this has happened to me in my almost 60 years of sewing! The really great thing that I take away from these happenings is that I get to be really creative and resourceful, and almost always can make it work out in the end!
So true- and honestly the top will get worn just as much if not more than the pants, so there’s always a silver lining! Thank you!
We have all been there before with those mistakes! It happens to me on a semi regular basis hah! So you’re not alone. My biggest issue I’ve run into was fabric I had received for a sponsored post and I wanted to make the Bettine Dress from Tilly and the Buttons. I have no idea what happened – the fabric had no give, I picked the wrong size, who knows! But, I went to try on the bodice (over my clothes cause that made sense…..) and I got totally stuck (and I was home alone!). I had to cut myself out of it. I ended up salvaging enough fabric to make a Sew Over It Silk Cami which is now one of my most worn garments in my closet! So….at least you didn’t have to cut yourself out of something!
The Lane Raglan turned out perfectly though – great save! And your daughter is so cute!!
Oh my goodness- this is too funny! But not really, in the moment, I’m sure! I’m so glad you salvaged it!
Cut and sewn in an hour?!?! I bow to you!! ♀️♀️
Lol that was supposed to be a bowing emoticon haha
The scuba hoodie is really fast- just bands and the hood goes on really easily!
You and your little girl are so cute. Believe me, I have made tons of mistakes. I have been sewing for a good 40 years, so you are not alone.
Thank you! I think no matter how long we sew, there will still be some silly mistakes- just life I guess! But I sure love hearing other people share their stories too- takes a bit of the sting out!
Looove this! Adorable outfits and adorable little girl. I love the last minute hoodie you whipped up for her and that last photo is so cute!!
Thank you! I’m so glad I made the hoodie- it was freezing out there!
Oh, we’ve all done something like that! I recently made my daughter another gym suit. Since the old one fit, I didn’t bother to remeasure her for the new one. I just used the same size. Well I think the old one had stretched some all those times she wore it because the new one was too small. And it was my special swim fabric I was going to use for me. So bummed! Her little sister will grow into it, so it’s not a total waste. But not what I’d hoped for.
oh no! That makes sense- but so disappointing when you have precious fabric that isn’t easily replaced. I’m glad she has a little sister to make use of it!
Love the matching outfits, just like it was planned!
I wish my mistakes turned out as cute as yours!
Been there, done that! I have too many of those kind of stories myself. Great comeback though!
Super cute! And great save! Merry Christmas to you!
Thank you! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!
Haha, that’s awful! I think the worst thing I’ve done so far is sew my raglan sleeves to my neck hole. I spent forever stitch ripping, but at least it was an easy fix 🙂
You both look great! I love your positive attitude, and how you were not only able to make the fabric work, but made cute matching outfits out of it. I have had the Lane raglan forever, but never made it. I think I really need to get one made!
Great blog post. Been there, done that many times during my sewing adventures. Some were salvageable and some ended up in the scrap pile, lol. Awesome job on the matching outfits 🙂
It makes me feel better that some way more accomplished can me can make mistakes and recover! Hopefully I can get more courage for this.
Oh absolutely! I fail with regularity! I try to see through my frustration and just focus on what I’ve learned. Making fun of myself a bit helps. Lol!
These are all such awesome prizes! I love to see the creations that you come up with!
A Lane Raglan always saves the day! Good for you!!
Every time. Thank you!
I love it! A rough sewing journey produced such a sweet set!! Im glad you kept pushing through!
Your outfits look great. Thanks for keeping it real.
Always! Thank you Kate!
Omg, this is so beautiful!
Thank you so much!
I love the plaid – it worked out great in the end, the contrast fabric goes really well with it and makes the colours pop.
[…] December 12th: Sewing with Sarah […]
[…] December 12th: Sewing with Sarah […]
Hi, Sarah! It’s always a joy to see your makes and read your posts. You’re a busy mama but find time to create for yourself and your family. Love your practical no fuss style! You’re a pro and your down-to-earth personality is appreciated. I had a rough sewing day yesterday so reading about your misadventures made me feel like going back into my sewing room today for the win. You reminded me that even the best seamstresses make crazy mistakes. Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you so much Susan! I’m so glad my post gave you the confidence to pick up and try again! I’ve made some colossal mistakes in my sewing so far, and I’m sure I’m not done making them- but if you keep going, sometimes those can become favorites. Or not. Sometimes they just need to be chucked. Either way, have FUN!
[…] December 12th: Sewing with Sarah […]