Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sew Kansas - What I Made

Helix pants in red ponte

My *makes* at Sew Kansas were fun and simple. I find that during such an intensive sewing experience, I become overwhelmed and mistakes (many) follow. So I knew to aim low. This eliminates some stress and makes me more open to learning.

  • The first day I made a pair of Helix pants in black ponte knit. (sorry, no pix of black)
  • The second day I browsed.  And shopped. And enjoyed.  
  • The third day I made a simple knit top - the Eureka. I used three rayon jersey fabrics for it.

Each day began with a lecture/demo by Linda. And throughout the days, we took breaks for short demos as well as private consultations with Linda, Kathy and Erin. Linda also allowed us to trace off a future pattern - the Tremont jacket. It is a beautiful style and I cannot wait to make it.

Helix Pants:

I had seen this pattern on various people and was fairly certain I would like it. It is a pull-on pant that requires a knit fabric with at least 25% stretch. Although it has elastic at the waist, the overall effect is completely smooth. This is achieved with darts in the front and back, as well as the waistband treatment.

Linda had all the sizes made up, so I was able to try on *my* size and then Linda told me how to alter it for a great fit. I fixed the pattern tissue and cut out my first pair in black. This ponte is one of those nice beefy stable knits mostly rayon, and no polyester. Perfect for these pants. I also bought red ponte knit from Linda Lee, but decided to wait to make the 2nd pair at home.

Once home I cut out and made the red pair. During the workshop I asked Linda if she would ever make (and wear) a pair of red pants. She responded "Of course!" OK so I'm in love with these red pants.

Easy casual finish.

The Helix pattern also has an interesting Tee, too hot for now.

The Eureka Top:

OK, true confession. When this came out, I was underwhelmed. But I had a green-eggs-and-ham moment and now I am quite fond of it. Like the helix pants, it is a great basic. It is styled with cuffs tacked up, but I like it better with the cuffs down. I may lengthen and use it as a layering piece during cooler weather. For now, it is just right. Yes, I like the Eureka top.

The directions for the neckline create a nice finish, I think. 

Now I know to use my walking foot with jerseys. This stops fabric creep that dashes any hope for matched stripes at the seams. It also makes it easier to machine stitch a hem without rippling.

This top does not require fabric with any stretch so I will likely make it in a woven fabric next.

Now Sewing:

My current project is a very old Sewing Workshop pattern - the Spring St pattern. You may remember it. It has a flat open collar with key holes, as well as an easy and interesting fold over closure at the wrist. The shoulders are a little dropped so I'm trying to adjust that a bit.

So what's going on in your sewing room? 


  1. Your pants look very stylish. I met Kathy Ruddy, another Craftsy instructor, at a CreativFestival and took the opportunity to have her measure me for a custom pant pattern, much like the one you used. She demonstrates how to do that waistband finish on her class, One Pant, Many Looks. I have now used that waistband on 3 knit pairs of pants and find it very comfortable. Thanks for the tip about using the walking foot on Jersey, especially when matching stripes. Your top looks very comfortable! I have not had much luck with ponte--I find it pills within one wearing. What is your experience with ponte? Do you find it wears well? Any pilling?

    1. Donna, my working theory is that I have to buy only the rayon ponte, not the polyester. I think that the polyester is more likely to pill. But I suspect they all pill eventually. They are super to wear, always staying smooth. And I think it is absolutely the best knit for close-fitting pants. At least for me.

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  3. You have me intrigued with this pattern. I'll give it a try. Any elastic waste pant is ok in my book and the darts make all kinds of sense! Thanks, Martha. I love black and white stripes with red!