Making clothes for a special occasion is fun, yes? But there’s something different and equally amazing about making the clothes we wear day in and day out. For me that’s usually a button-down shirt, khakis and a sweater.
After making a much needed Winter coat, I turned my attention to making some basic winter appropriate clothes. All the fabrics were in my stash, some of them since last Summer, so there was an added element of “stash busting” with these three projects. And that’s always a good thing!
First up was a Finlayson Sweater from Thread Theory.
Most of you probably know that I’m not a big knit sewist. It’s highly unlikely that I will ever make a t-shirt or my own underwear, even though people tell me that “me made” undies are the best. In spite of my “knit phobia” I’ve made this sweater three times, and I’m here to tell you that this pattern is a total winner.
I like to add a toggle closure to my Finlayson sweaters. Other than that, this is the basic pattern. It can also be made with a hood and a kangaroo pocket, but that’s way outside my comfort zone. This sweater goes together easily, and it’s one of the rare times I use my serger. I’m sure a zig-zag stitch would accomplish the same thing. The semi-circular back neck facing is a lovely touch, and it’s a good way to use up some of the scraps that I save obsessively. This little Liberty-esque floral print puts a smile on my face every time I pull this sweater over my head. Truly a joy of everyday clothes if ever there was one.
I finish off the neck seam with a bit of rayon seam binding, but a twill tape or bias binding would also do the job. Also, a tip for other Finlayson makers… it’s very easy to understitch the collar to prevent it from rolling out. The directions call for topstitching, but I think this is a more attractive way to accomplish the same thing.
Ribbed sweater knit in “Honey” from Oak Fabrics. (I think I got the last of it). Still available in Rosemary, Licorice and Cinnamon. Super soft and lightweight. Horn toggle from Pacific Trimming in NYC.
It doesn’t get more “everyday” than a pair of khakis. Here are some details of my most recent pair of “Jeds”, the Jedediah Pants from Thread Theory. I know I’ve said it before, but I love this pattern. It’s supremely “hackable”. I usually replace the yoke and rear patch pockets with welt pockets. There’s a tutorial on the Thread Theory website that will walk you through it. I use the directions from my Roberto Cabrera tailoring book because he has a way of reducing what appears to be very complex, into simple rectangles sewn together step by step. (You can tell I’ve never worn these because you can still see the chalk mark for the buttonhole marking!).
The fly on this pair is per the instructions. I just follow along because zippers baffle me completely. I do like to dress up the insides of my Jed’s with a contrasting fabric. We’re talking Joy factor here. This fabric from JoAnn’s was in the deep discount pile, 70% off. It’s amazing what you can do with $2.99 of quilting cotton and a Clover bias maker gizmo.
All the pockets are French seamed, and the back seam is finished with a bias binding.
I had a little bit of the contrast fabric left over, so I fashioned a bias “curtain” for the waistband. This is totally doable by anyone, and can really add to the “party on the inside” vibe of a pair of Jeds.
Ideally, I would have used a bias strip 4.25″ wide. But I didn’t have enough fabric, so I went with 3.5″. The strip is folded in half lengthwise and sewn to the bottom edge of the waistband. 1″ pleats are formed at the side seam and the back, which allows the curtain to stretch with movement. It’s really just a matter of measuring. So easy! To dress it up even more I added a gray bias “piping”, and I love how it looks. Everything is held in place by stitching in the ditch along the waistband from the outside.
Note to self: next time stitch in the ditch before bending the belt loops up and stitching them in place. I had to interrupt the stitching at each belt loop. It doesn’t really effect anything, it was just a PITA.
The side seams are finished off with Snug Hug rayon seam binding. They could be serged (blech!), or bias binding could be used (much better!). I prefer the rayon binding because it adds so little bulk. Hong Kong finishing is another good option, and less bulky than a full bias binding. Bottom line……whatever adds to your “joy factor”!
Fabric for these Jeds was picked up at Metro Textiles at last Summer’s MPB Day. It may not be exciting, but good bottom weight fabrics without stretch are hard to find these days, so I snapped it up. I’m sure it was dirt cheap, probably $8 / Yd. So these pants may have cost me around $25.
The final hack…..a little coin pocket up front. Just more JOY!
And finally the shirt.
I have been lusting after all the textured woven shirtings that have popped up over the past year or so. So when this one showed up at Stylemaker Fabrics I had to jump. It’s been sitting in my stash for ages. Sadly my camera doesn’t do the color justice. It’s a dark teal and it’s currently on pre-order at Stylemaker Fabrics.
Winter shirts. I’m pretty sure that Carolyn over at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic did a post on the need for them (but of course I can’t find it!). Carolyn makes LOTS of shirts, and she’s the border print queen. Like me, she wants / needs winter shirts. It can be tough, since most shirting is lightweight cotton. Yes, there’s always flannel, but sometimes you just want something else. Enter this textured woven.
I had some left over quilting cotton from a previous project that turned out to be perfect for contrasting inner cuffs, yoke and collar stand.
I scavenged the buttons from a Goodwill shirt that I picked up on “senior day” for $2 . I always feel guilty doing that. I’m just not a refashioner. Please don’t send the sustainability police.
Homer looks less than thrilled, but it doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for these clothes. Hopefully you too find joy in making the ordinary, the basic, the unsung heroes of our wardrobes.
Everyday clothes rule!