Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Winter Handmade Capsule 2019: Bottoms

I have selected 8 bottoms for my Winter Handmade Capsule: 4 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of leggings, and 1 skirt.

Other posts in the series:
Outer Layers
Dresses + Shoes


Dark Wash Boyfriend Jeans: To be honest if I had other options I would've left these off the list. This was my first successful pair of Morgan jeans and right now it's the only handmade dark wash pair I own. I've really gravitated towards higher-waisted pants and away from boyfriend jeans this past year so these aren't my favorite. Because they are a looser fit they tend to slide down and I have so many cropped shirts in my capsule that I'm not sure how well they will work with these jeans. But perhaps they will be a good relaxed weekend option. I haven't made any high-waisted dark wash jeans because I own several RTW pairs that I still like and wear.

Light Wash Straight Leg Jeans: I never got the chance to blog about this make but I'm very proud of it. I've been wanting some vintage 90s-esque Levi's straight leg jeans like the ones at Re/Done. I hacked the Morgan Jeans pattern to make them high-rise and I straightened out and cropped the leg. I studied vintage Levi's to copy as many details as possible, like the fact that Levi's use silver jeans buttons but copper rivets. I had purchased some Japanese selvage denim from Threadbare fabrics in a lighter wash. However when it arrived the color wasn't quite what I was expecting as it was more of a mid periwinkle blue. I decided to use the reverse side of the fabric so that they would look more like traditional light wash jeans. The fabric has a tiny bit of stretch but only about 10% so it still worked fine for the pattern. I feel really good about the construction of these jeans but the fit still has some issues. I'll talk about that more below.

Grey and Vanilla Skinny Jeans: I want to talk about these together as there's a bit of a journey with this pattern. So the natural Cone Mills denim Ginger Jeans were on my Make Nine. I cut out just enough pieces of the cream jeans to baste-fit them (legs, yokes, 1 waistband). I fortuitously decided to add 1" seam allowances for some fit security. Then I basted and tried them on and they didn't fit.

So I got pretty discouraged and put the fabric away, thinking I'd repurpose it for something else eventually. I made alterations to the pattern and cut out the grey fabric instead. The grey denim is from Style Maker Fabrics and has only 15% stretch so I added even more to the seam allowances to account for less stretch. I constructed my grey jeans without incident, but I kept having to adjust the fit to the point that I think I overfitted them. Without getting into the weeds right now, basically if I want jeans to fit my large thighs and calves then they are super baggy at the knees. and if i keep taking them in at the knees they look really weird, which is what happened with the grey jeans. I also get this back-of-thigh twisting thing that happens with both the Morgans and the Gingers and I haven't been able to get rid of it. I'm 90% sure it's not a grain-issue, instead I think it's a body + pattern issue. So now I'm thinking the patterns aren't a great match for my body type and I'm eager to try a different jeans pattern to see if the results are the same. I own the Mimi G skinny jeans pattern and I will probably try that one next. And if that doesn't work I may end up sacrificing one of my Paige jeans to the sewing gods and take it apart to draft my own pattern because this problem doesn't happen to me with RTW jeans.

Oh yeah I almost forgot to talk about the cream jeans. So after making the grey ones I went on with the rest of my wardrobe plan and I finished much earlier than I was expecting. I had time to make one more garment and I decided that the fit of the cream jeans wasn't *that* bad since I did all this fitting on the grey ones and they still weren't great so I got them back out and sewed them up. And the fit isn't good but I can't say that they look worse than the grey ones. The only change I made on these was that I did an exposed button fly. I was nervous to do it because a hidden button placket isn't as big of a deal if you screw up the buttonholes but if you mess up your front, you'd have to cut another front (and I didn't have any more fabric). but it worked out ok in the end except that I had a terrible time hammering on the buttons because I forgot to cut the tips off the tacks. I'm a tiny bit worried that one or more of my buttons will someday pop off but I'll deal with that when it happens. I haven't worn the white jeans yet and I've only worn the grey ones once so maybe the fit isn't as bad as I think it is. I'll find out during the challenge.


Wide Leg Ponte Trousers: I don't wear my Como pants all that much but they are nice to have as a change-it-up sort of garment. They are really comfortable to wear which is awesome.

Black Pleated Ponte Trousers: I needed a pair of black bottoms for my capsule. I already own a few pairs of RTW black jeans so I decided to go a different route and make slightly more professional but still comfy pants. Butterick 6388 is an awesome wardrobe pattern and I actually made all 3 pieces for my capsule. They suggest making the pants out of french terry or sweatshirt fleece but that seemed a bit weird to me. I used ponte which has a decent amount of drape for the pleats and looks dressier. I haven't worn these yet but they are very comfortable and surprisingly flattering. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and have sort of internalized the mantra that pleated pants are the devil but happily i'm discovering that it's not necessarily an automatic truth.


Grey Leggings: This is another pair that I wouldn't have chosen if I had other options available to me. These leggings were amongst the first items I made when I returned to sewing garments last summer. I hadn't figured out yet that knits (especially leggings) need to be constructed with woolly nylon thread. The thread has popped on these in several places and I've repaired them a few times. They technically fit but they tend to get uncomfortably tight across my gut if I wear them for more than a few hours. But I needed a pair of plain leggings in my wardrobe. I will probably mostly wear these at home.


Blue Wool Skirt: Finally one last make that I'm very happy with to end on a high note. In my winter plans I had talked about wanting to copy a Boden skirt that I liked with big patch pockets. I had a yard of precious Pendleton wool that a friend had given to me years ago and I'd always been scared to cut into it. I used a Burda magazine pattern as a base. The original skirt was a knee length a-line with slash pockets. I shortened the skirt, omitted the side pockets, drafted my own patch pockets, and added a full lining. I'm proud of my construction details especially since I pretty much did it all on my own without instructions. The finished skirt is almost exactly what I had been envisioning and I think it will last for many years.

So that's it for today and tomorrow I will go over my outer layers.


  1. Pants fitting is hard! Those look pretty good. I can't wait to see how you'll pair them up with your tops. You don't have to take your Paige jeans apart to create a pattern from them. Take a look at this article:

    1. Thanks for the link! I will definitely check that out.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...