Saturday, 30 April 2016

Me-Made-May 2016: Why I'm Cutting Back This Year

Hello again! I feel like I'm slowly emerging from the cave that is the library and finals and getting used to seeing some light again.

I've also realized that every single time I post, I say that it's been forever and I will hopefully have something else up on the blog soon... but I've just had possibly the craziest, most stressful few weeks of university so far and blogging hasn't exactly been a top priority.

But... I'm now done! I had my last exam Monday morning, and I've been spending some quality time relaxing, catching up with friends, cleaning my apartment, and spontaneously dying my hair red! I've also FINALLY been doing some sewing (including finishing my Ginger jeans and then having a little mishap the first time I wore them...)

I actually have a few blog posts lined up right now, but I'm going to take a little aside to talk about Me-Made-May!

The past two years, I've loved participating in MMM! Two years ago, it was a great challenge and a fun way to find the gaps in my wardrobe.

Last year, it was actually quite easy because I was already wearing me-mades almost every day!

However, I'm actually stepping it down a little this year, for a few reasons:

1. I have a job working in a lab!

I've mentioned before that I've been volunteering in an immunology lab this year, and in the spring, I was awarded a SURA (Science Undergraduate Research Award), which is a grant to work on a research project of my own over the summer. It's a little difficult to explain without some background knowledge of immunology, but I'll be looking at how group 2 innate lymphoid cells regulate IgA production by B cells. If you understand that, awesome! If not, don't let it worry you :)

Anyways, the lab that I'm in is very laid-back and casual, but there are still some basic rules about what you should wear in a lab for safety. Long pants and covered shoes are a must, and I feel a little more comfortable in long (or at least 3/4) sleeves. Over the winter, I wore skirts with tights, but this summer in Montreal, it'll be far to hot to wear tights to and from the lab!

So, this kind of limits my options for MMM! Practicality really is key, and so far my only homemade pants (the Smooth Sailing Trousers, version 1 and version 2), aren't really that practical for lab work. I just imagine them getting in the way!

2. My body has changed a lot over the past couple years, and lots of my homemade clothes sadly no longer fit.

I've had to deal with a changing body over the past couple years, which has made sewing for myself really difficult. I (unwillingly) lost a lot of weight during my first year of university, kind of the opposite of the usual freshman fifteen! I've gained it back (plus a little more) now that I'm not relying on cafeteria food, and although I'm still definitely on the small side and gaining a little weight is not a problem, a lot of my me-made clothes no longer fit. This has led to a HUGE mending pile that I really need to get started on...

3. I feel like I need a bit of a 'wardrobe overhaul', as my friend put it!

Right now, I'm feeling like I'm definitely in need of some big changes in my wardrobe. Lately I've been feeling as if so much of my clothing just isn't 'me' anymore! It feels odd (and almost a little embarrassing!) to admit it here, because my blog has always been about creating classic, sustainable clothing, and right now I just feel like giving a lot of it away and starting anew!

When I first started sewing my own clothes, I was really drawn to girly, vintage styles, like lots of full-skirted dresses and florals. Now, though, I feel like I'm sick of always being 'cute' (not to mention being mistaken for a pre-teen...) and I'm much more drawn to styles that are a little more laid back. I'm trying to find some ways to re-work my old me-mades and make them more wearable!

My 'Pledge':

All these factors combined, I really can't commit to a 'strict' MMM pledge (not that they're ever really that strict to begin with!). Having said that, I've really loved participating in MMM the past two years, and I'd really like to do so again, so here's a reasonable, achievable, stress-free pledge that will make me think a little about what I'm wearing, and the gaps I really need to fill in my wardrobe:

I, Shannon of Adventures of a Young Seamstress, pledge to find new ways to work me-mades into my wardrobe and identify the gaps that I need to fill. I will do my best to wear something me-made every day, but if I don't, that's okay - I'll just learn from it what I need to focus more on sewing!

Rather than doing a round-up post every week with my outfits (which I've always found a bit of a hassle), I'm going to be posting outfit photos on my Instagram, and finish off the month with a round-up post. Head on over and follow me if you don't already!

Since my pledge is super vague (and pretty lenient!), I've set myself some more concrete goals/guidelines for the month:

1. Finish my GIANT pile of alterations

Almost this entire pile is me-mades that could be worn with a few mods, so once I tackle them I'll have a little more to work with for MMM!

2. Focus on separates, especially pants!

Both to wear and to make - I'd like to find new ways to wear my homemade tops with pants rather than skirts like I usually would. I'm also starting to get a little more comfortable with sewing pants, and despite a little mishap with my first pair of Ginger jeans, I'd love to try making another pair. I could probably fix the first pair, but the fit isn't great because my size changed since I started them, so I don't know if it'd be worth it. I also LOVE Heather's new boyfriend jeans pattern, and I'm really drawn to those trendy relaxed but still slim pants - I have no idea what they're actually called. I haven't found a pattern I like yet, so I may borrow my roommate's pair and try to copy the pattern!

3. Learn to copy patterns, draft some simple ones, and continue modifying those I already have

Like I said above, I have a few things I'd like to make that I just haven't found the perfect pattern for yet, or I might have a similar pattern that I'd rather modify than buy a new one (with a student budget and all...) I also have a few RTW pieces that I wear ALL the time and I'd love to copy, so this is definitely something I'd like to try this month!

I think that these goals are manageable and achievable, and will give me something to work on and think about if I can't manage to wear something me-made every day while I'm working. I think it'll also be great motivation to tackle my mending pile and find different ways to wear a lot of the pieces that I don't wear often anymore.

See you tomorrow on Instagram! #MMMay16

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Out With the Old - a (Long-Overdue) Photo Dump!

Hello again, it's been a while! Once again, I've disappeared completely from the blogosphere for a couple months. One of these days, I will figure out how to juggle writing a blog while I have midterms and labs and assignments and applications and dance and life... maybe.

In the meantime, I keep my Instagram a little more up-to-date with a mix of sewing, knitting, food, and pictures of Montreal when it's not slushy and gross like it has been the past few weeks.

I'm currently enjoying some well-deserved time off over my reading break after a really crazy midterm schedule. I've had a chance to catch up on life a little bit, including finally setting up a dedicated sewing space in my apartment. No more sewing on the kitchen table anymore!

I hadn't checked on my blog in close to a month, so I was a little surprised when I signed on the other day to see a lot of new traffic, since I've been voted one of the best sewing blogs of 2016 on Madalynne, in the 'Up and Coming' category! Thank you SO much to everyone who voted for me - I'm really flattered!

This post has been a long time coming. After my winter break, I realized that part of what's holding me back from blogging is my "blogging queue". With lots of old projects photographed and unblogged, whenever I feel like doing a blog post, I feel like it has to be about one of those old projects. But, when I go to write about them, it just seems like I made them too long ago to even bother! I can't remember the little details specific to each project, and some of them I unfortunately don't even wear anymore.

So, before I move onto posting about some newer, more exciting things (like my brand new sewing machines, my homemade Christmas gifts, and some recent pattern testing), I'm going to sum up all those projects that I haven't blogged about yet in one big photo dump.

This feels like some sort of confession - I'm getting all this off my chest before I can move on!

I'll start off with my favourite of the bunch - yet another Moneta dress! This is my third - I've already blogged about my first, second and fourth. I made this in the summer of 2014 (yikes!) and it's one of my favourite dresses to wear (along with all my other Monetas!).

I used an organic cotton and hemp blend jersey, and lined the bodice with cream bamboo jersey. I added the peter pan collar, which looks a little ripply in these photos because it stretched as I sewed it, but it flattened out with a couple washings. I included the pockets, and they worked really well in the more substantial jersey.

Keeping with the knit theme, I made a couple Bronte tops that summer as well.

I made the red one from some rayon jersey (you might recognize it from my Natalie dress that I made last summer!). I cut a size 6, but sized up at the waist because I don't like my T-shirts skin tight, and I found the fit to be pretty good, but the armholes were a little tight.

For the purple one, I just sized up to a size 8 everywhere, and I prefer the fit that way. I made it from a remnant of the most amazing bamboo jersey, and my favourite part is the buttons - they were from my grandma's stash and they have polka-dot bow ties on them! The buttons on the red one were also from my grandma's stash.

Next up is a skirt I made from handprinted cotton voile from Maiwa on Granville Island in Vancouver. I followed Tilly's guide to make a Picnic Blanket Skirt, which is simply a gathered button-down skirt, to which I added pockets and a lining.

It ended up looking really clean on the inside - in fact it's almost reversible and could have been with a little more planning. Too bad! I'll keep that in mind for a future project...

These buttons were also from my Grandma's stash - they were hand-carved ones she bought when travelling in Africa.

I love the print of this skirt, but it's almost a little too gathered to feel practical. I love it when I wear it, but I don't find myself reaching for it! I might shorten it and see if that helps - I've done that with a couple full skirts and I find it makes them more wearable.

This next skirt is the Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe, a pattern company that I've wanted to try for ages. My mom gave me this pattern for Christmas in 2014, and I made it when I was in Vancouver briefly before going to Canmore last summer.

I made a size 36, which was for a waist measurement a little bigger than mine, but it's snug! The pattern isn't kidding when it says it has very little ease. I put in a hand-picked lapped zipper, and I omitted the topstitching on the pleats, simply stitching in the ditch to secure them instead.

The fabric is some polyester crepe that was in my aunt's stash that she passed on to me. I normally don't like poly much, but it was the perfect weight to hold the pleats and yet still drape, but I found that I never wore the colour since it only matched with this one shirt. So, I dyed it! I haven't taken pictures since, but it's now a gorgeous purple-blue colour. Admittedly, it still doesn't match with very much, although I do like the colour a lot more now.

Since learning to sew with knits, I've also made a TON of underwear from jersey scraps. Here are my first four (experimental) pairs!

I used So, Zo's free pattern as a starting point, but modified it for a lot more coverage and more of a boy-short cut. It took quite a few tries to figure out the right length of elastic to use - you might notice the bottom left pair have waaay too much elastic. Now I can whip up a pair from leftover jersey in under an hour, and they turn out well every time!

And lastly, a knitting project!

I used a hand-dyed and hand-spun BFL yarn for this set, which is some of the softest wool I've ever worked with - it's gorgeous! The pattern for the hat was a free pattern I picked up from a local yarn store, but I think the wool wasn't quite bulky enough for it. I used the same cable pattern for the cowl, and skipped the ribbing at the bottom edge to make it roll.

I'm not really sure how I feel about these - they're nice, but neither are quite warm enough for the Montreal winter. The hat is a little small and the cowl is a little big, so they don't really keep my neck and ears that warm! It seems a shame to save these for the fall and spring, so I'm considering re-knitting them into a cozier scarf.

So, that's everything for my photo dump! I'll be back soon with my latest handknit sweater, my tester version of the brand-new Sarah Shirt from BHL, and some handknit Christmas gifts.... promise!

Now to find myself a photographer so I can actually keep that promise...

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Hello 2016!

Happy new year! It's been a bit quiet over here since the summer ended! I wish that I could say that I've been busy sewing... but that's definitely not true! By the time my new sewing machines arrived and were ready to be set up, I was in the middle of midterms and just never seemed to find an afternoon to set them up. It also doesn't help that I don't (yet) have a desk or table for them!

I'm going to try to keep this pretty short and get back to knitting the last of my (late) Christmas gifts, but it's nice to look over some highlights from the year! I'll mostly let the pictures do the talking.

These were my 'Best 9' on Instagram - unsurprisingly, 3 of them are from the Super Online Sewing Match! The rest were mostly photos of older/unfinished/potential projects as part of Rachel's Sew Photo Hop, including my grad dress, my maroon Moneta dress, my duvet Cambie dress, a 40's dress UFO, and one of my favourite vintage patterns.

Sewing Highlights:

1. The Super Online Sewing Match

Obviously, the Super Online Sewing Match was my main sewing highlight this year - everything else seems a little pale in comparison! I'm still so grateful to Beth and Kristin at Sew Mama Sew for organizing the competition. There were definitely stressful parts (like when my iron died halfway through the fourth challenge), but most of the time, it was so much fun and such a great challenge to receive all the patterns and try to make them my own.

I learned quite a bit (through lots of improvisation and trial and error!) about pattern modification, when I'd never really done at all before. During the challenges, I did some of the neatest (and most challenging!) sewing I've ever done - I was always looking for ways that I could make my projects even more special. I tried so many new techniques - adding trim to French seams and making my own bias binding on my Sutton blouse, reverse applique on my Marianne dress, adding removable backpack straps to my Caravan tote bag, flatlining and making piping for my Carolyn Pajamas, and more new techniques than I can list for my Cascade duffle coat.

I'd never made a bag or a coat before, and they were both things that I had been hoping to make for ages! I never imagined making them with the tight deadlines that I had during the contest. Looking back, I'm not sure how I managed the deadlines! I just remember sewing like mad on my days off work.

Best of all, I've worn everything that I made quite a bit! My Sutton blouse is my go-to top for wearing with jeans or tucked into a skirt - it looks great dressed up or dressed down! And my Cascade duffle coat was perfect for the cool fall and mild winter weather in Montreal this semester.

Obviously I'm so happy to have won the contest, but I'm so proud of all my projects and everything that I would have been happy no matter how the contest ended. 

2. Indie Pattern Month at the Monthly Stitch

Before being chosen as a SOSM contestant, I won a prize over at the Monthly Stitch in their 'Separates' contest for Indie Pattern Month! I entered my Miz Mozelle 2-piece dress, and won an amazing pair of Merchant and Mills shears that got some good use during the sewing match!

3. 'Dress Up Party' at Sew Sweetness

I also wrote my first guest post, a review of the Smooth Sailing Trousers on Sew Sweetness as part of her 'Dress Up Party'. Although the pants are super stretched and possibly beyond repair, I love the pattern so much that I made another pair

Knitting Highlights

1. My first cardigan!

As far as knitting goes, I was really happy to have finished my first cardigan this year! It was a major learning curve and I made a lot of mistakes, but I love the finished cardigan and wear it all the time.

I do have a few other smaller projects finished, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to blogging about them. I am, however, almost finished another sweater, that I hope to have on the blog this semester!

Sewing and Knitting Goals

Looking back at last year's sewing goals, I definitely achieved two out of three of them! I wanted to find more challenging projects, and focus more on fit - both of which I did through the sewing match. I also wanted to finish that UFO in my first photo in this post (the green floral dress), but obviously that didn't happen! I was just far too busy with the sewing contest this summer.

I'm so busy with school these days that I'm trying not to set any unachievable sewing goals for myself. Instead, I have a few very simple, realistic goals:

1. Set up my sewing space (in other words, buy a desk to put my machine on...)

2. Finish my Ginger jeans 

3. Enjoy it and relax!

I know that if I try to set too many unrealistic expectations of how much time I'll be able to dedicate to sewing and knitting, I'll just be disappointed and frustrated. Instead, I'm going to remember to enjoy it and appreciate it as a break from studying!

Other Highlights

1. Working in Canmore over the summer

I still can't quite believe how beautiful Canmore is, and it's so nice to look back at photos. I loved my job and biking to work every day, and I still managed to get lots of sewing done on my days off! Those who follow me on Instagram might recognize this photo as one of many photos that I posted of my bike ride to work. It was such an incredible way to spend a summer!

2. Moving into my own apartment in Montreal

I moved out of residence at McGill in April, and now I'm renting an apartment in the Plateau of Montreal, with a roommate. I love the apartment and the area, and I'm especially enjoying cooking for myself!

3. Starting the Microbiology and Immunology Program at McGill

When I was choosing my major, I was so torn and undecided, but I settled on the Microbiology and Immunology (MIMM) program, which sounded really interesting although I wasn't so sure if I would do well in it. I took a variety of courses this semester to keep my options open in case I wanted to change my mind, but so far I'm loving the program! My introductory course on microbiology this was so interesting, and the lab course my favourite course last semester by far. I've started volunteering in an immunology lab to learn some more lab skills and dip my toes into some research, and I'm really enjoying that as well!

Overall, it's been a really great year! School is definitely getting more challenging, but I'm enjoying it and I feels like I'm in the right place (even if I really have no idea where I'll be in a few years!).

Thanks for reading, and happy new year!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Completed: Wool Muse Jenna Cardi

When I went back to school in September, one of my main goals was to make time for sewing, knitting, and blogging, especially since I now have not only one sewing machine, but two!

Three months later, I'm at that point in the semester when all my labs are finishing up, I've been done with midterms for a week now, and I'm realizing that I definitely haven't been keeping up with that goal! In fact, my sewing machines are still sitting on my living room floor because I don't yet have a desk for them. My desk for studying never seems to be clear for long enough to use it as a sewing desk! I'm lucky enough to have space in my student apartment for a small dedicated sewing space, but I still haven't bought the table I need to set it up.

Anyways, although I haven't been sewing, I still have so many unblogged projects to write about. I originally wrote this post back in the summer in between rounds of the Super Online Sewing Match, but never finished editing the photos for it! Now that Montreal is starting to feel a little wintery, I've been wearing this a lot lately and thought it was a good time to (finally!) post about it!

I had quite a few comments on this cardigan during Me-Made-May this year - it's my second version of the Muse Jenna Cardi, made in a wool double knit that I bought in Montreal during my first fabric shopping trip to Rue St. Hubert. I made this when I was home for Christmas (so, almost a year ago, oops!)

My first version of this pattern fit pretty well, but it needed a couple adjustments. When I first made it, I was expecting it to be much too long, so I shortened it 1 1/2". This turned out to be too much, so I lengthened it 1", so this version is only 1/2" shorter than the original, which is just about perfect.

I took in the shoulder seams 1/4", which makes them sit a bit better on me. They could still be narrowed a little, although they may have just stretched out a little. If I make another, I'll stabilize the shoulder seams with clear elastic (in fact, I might go back and sew some to the seam allowance of this one, to stop them stretching out more).

Although I ended up shortening the sleeves on my first version to 3/4 length, I noticed that they were quite wide before I chopped them off, so I narrowed them by 1/2" on either side for this version. I narrowed the cuff to match, and I shortened them 2". I think Muse patterns are drafted for someone quite a bit taller!

I sewed all the seams on my mom's serger, and the topstitching was done on my regular machine, with a ballpoint needle and a straight stitch. Oddly enough, I find that a straight stitch stretches more when it's topstitching a serged seam allowance flat. It's all I've ever used for this kind of topstitching on knits, and I've never had any problems with broken stitches! For hems, I still use a twin needle or a narrow zigzag, though.

Although this fabric is amazing to wear, it was tricky to sew with. I didn't really have any problems until the button band, which I realized was far too short when I went to attach it! I think it shrunk when I fused the interfacing to it (I did pre-wash it, but in cold water)! I luckily had enough fabric left over to squeeze an extra button band out of it, making it extra long. After I'd interfaced it, I cut it to the right length.

The fabric also definitely has some spandex, whereas the fabric I used for my first version didn't. The vertical stretch from the spandex made attaching the button band quite difficult! The top layer kept stretching, and as a result, there are a couple little tucks in the stitching on the inside, but nothing is visible from the outside, so I decided to leave it. Unpicking serging is such a pain - that's one advantage to sewing knits on a regular machine!

The topstitching was equally tricky, because the fabric kept wanting to stretch and bunch up. I eventually got it to look decent, though it's definitely not my best topstitching. This would be a lot easier in fabric with less vertical stretch!

After this, I decided that making buttonholes in this fabric would be far too finicky, so instead I attached snaps by hand. These buttons are only decorative!

These buttons have a somewhat interesting story - I finished this cardigan while home for Christmas, aside from attaching snaps and buttons. I didn't have any buttons that I wanted to use, but I knew that I would be able to buy some in Montreal. Once I attached the snaps, though, it took me at least a month to get myself out to buy buttons! It's not that it's really that far by metro to Rue St. Hubert, but it was difficult to find time to make the trip.

When I finally did, it was an afternoon that I had no labs and no immediate studying to do, but it was also one of the coldest days in February (and Montreal had a record-breaking cold February)! I was planning to go to Rubans Boutons, a store that specializes in buttons, but it was so bitterly cold and windy that I just ducked into the first store I saw that sold buttons and bought these. It was a really difficult shade to match, so instead I went for these black-brown buttons with a little flower detail. I love them, and they were really inexpensive.

I think that with the little tweaks to the fit, and a nicer (to wear) fabric, this second version of the Jenna turned out much better than the first. It's a super versatile piece and nice and cozy! The only things I don't love is that the style doesn't look so nice unbuttoned, so I might experiment next time with making it into a V-neck with a continuous binding around the neck and button band. In some of these pictures, I unbuttoned the bottom half, but it's not the most flattering way to wear it!

I should also mention the top I'm wearing in this post, since I probably won't post about it on its own. It's my fourth version of the Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren, my go-to knit to pattern. I whipped it up when I needed a simple project to get back into sewing when I was home for reading week. The fabric you might recognize if you've been following for a while - it's leftover from a Moneta dress that I made last summer.

I made it with 3/4 length sleeves and added on extra ease at the hips, like my third Bronte, and I'm pretty happy with it. I goofed and overlapped the shoulder too much, so when I took these pictures, the neckline was really tight and not super flattering.

Note to self: just because you've already made a pattern three times, doesn't mean that it wouldn't help to glance at the instructions! They say clearly that you line up the notch on the front piece with the edge of the back piece when they overlap, but I went ahead and lined up the notches on the two pieces, meaning that I overlapped them a lot more than I was supposed to!

It would mean a lot of unpicking serged seams to fix this, so I just left it, accepting that it wasn't my best make. But, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't wearing it, so it needed to be fixed. The first thing that I unpicked was the stitching that tacks the two layers together, and I realized that this fixed the problem! It now bunches up a little around the shoulders, but with such a busy print, it's not noticeable. For such a simple knit top, it was an easy fix, so I'm happy with it! I haven't had a chance to take any pictures since fixing it, but I find it much more flattering now.

Anyways, I'm not going to convince myself that I'll have time to blog again while studying for finals, but you can keep up with me on Instagram, where I'll share some sneak peeks of my holiday knitting (that I'm NOT going to leave to the last minute... right???)

Until next time! Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers, and thanks for reading!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Completed: Smooth Sailing Trousers, Take II

First of all, I'd like to say a huge thank you for everyone's support and congratulations for winning the Super Online Sewing Match! I had to stop responding to comments because my replies were getting a little redundant (I can only say thank you so many times!), but I'm reading them all and I appreciate every one.

It felt a little strange once it was over, because suddenly I had no more deadlines! I took advantage of the time to work on some mending and alterations that I had been ignoring all summer, catching up on some knitting, and writing some blog posts about things I made ages ago and never blogged about (oops).

Speaking of not blogging, sorry for the total radio silence over here! I got so busy so quickly with school and moving into my Montreal apartment, and since I haven't really been sewing, my mind hasn't really been on blogging. Even though I wrote up some post on past makes on the plane, it's taken me ages to get around to editing photos! (And yes, these are some more photos that I took at my uncle's place with my phone duct taped to the railing... ugh, they are so boring!)

I've been meaning to post about these pants since I posted about my first version back in May... what happened to the summer? These are my second version of the Smooth Sailing Trousers by Wearing History. I loved my first pair, but they stretched out so much and I'm not sure they're mendable, to be honest. I've pinned up the new hem, but it's practically on the bias since the inside of the pants legs stretched so much more than the outside, for whatever reason. Because of this, they flare out very oddly at the bottom. I'll see if they hang a little more nicely once they're hemmed for real...

Anyways, on to this pair, which I'm much happier with! I'll start with the fabric - this was a 100% unknown suiting fabric that I got whem I volunteered at Our Social Fabric earlier in May. At first I thought that it was mostly (if not all) polyester, but then when I saw how much it wrinkled and shrunk, I think there's definitely some rayon, maybe even some linen, in there. Anyways, it has beautiful drape and a nice feel to it, but it's still substantial enough for these pants. I have plenty left over, so I think I may make a matching jacket! It was wonderful to work with and I love the colour, which is just a touch more green than it looks in these photos.

I made a few modifications to the pattern from the first time to improve the fit. I graded back down to a size 12 at the hips and the legs, so this was pretty much a straight size 12, grading to a 14 at the waist. The first time I made it, I made a straight size 14, but kept the shape and size of the crotch curve from the size 12, which was the size I made my muslin in.

The fit is passable, although it's definitely not quite right in the back. I didn't notice the odd way the fabric is hanging when I made my first pair, so I don't know if that was a side effect of making the legs a little narrower or just something that wasn't so obvious in drapier black fabric. In any case, it looks like I need to scoop a little out of the back crotch curve, which I might actually still be able to do easily enough. The way these pants are put together, it's really easy to tweak the fit at the crotch.

I find that when I wear my first version, I'm always reaching for pockets, so I had to add them this time around! I used the pocket piece from the Cambie dress, but I modified it so that the pockets could be sewn into the waistband to stop them drooping. I took lots of pictures of the process with the plan of doing a tutorial on how to do this, but after all the pattern hacking I did this summer, this seems pretty simple in comparison! If anyone's interested, I could still write it, but for now I'll just show off my finished pockets!

Since I added pockets at the side seams, I moved the zipper to the centre back. I did a lapped zipper instead of a centered one, and hand picked it. This time, I remembered to add on the extra seam allowance for the lapped zipper - this was especially important because the seam allowances are only 1/2" for this pattern.

I made these while I was in Canmore, so I couldn't use my mom's serger. I just zigzagged the edges, although in retrospect, I wish I'd taken the time to do bias bound edges. The zigazzed edges aren't very neat when compared to some of my more recent makes with French seams or flatlining. I guess that just shows how much I've learned about finishing techniques this summer!

To hem these, I turned under the edge 1/2", then another 1 1/4", then slipstitched. I can't remember exactly why the odd amount, but that what I have written in my notes! These seem to be the right length, anyways. I hemmed them short enough that I could wear them with flats, but just long enough that they don't look too short with heels either. I took a few pictures in both, and I think I prefer the flats, which is probably how I'll wear them most often anyways!

I couldn't find a button that matched, so I put in a hook and bar to close the underlap above the zipper.

The one thing I'm not so happy about it my belt loop placement. Because I moved the zipper to the back, I couldn't use the suggested placement, so instead I pinned it on the pants and just marked where they looked about right. Unfortunately, once I'd attached them, they were completely off from where I'd marked! I'm not really sure why, but since the loops are sewn into the seam that attaches the waistband to the pants, unpicking them means unpicking the waistband after it's been attached. Looking back, that wouldn't really have been that much unpicking, so I'm not sure why I didn't bother, but I guess I decided that it was good enough. (Again, writing this, I realize how much I've learned from the SOSM! After all the unpicking I did to get things right, I realize that taking a bit more time to fix something can make you so much happier with the finished product.)

Overall, though, I'm quite happy with these - much happier than with my first pair! I haven't worn them all that much over the summer because they aren't very bike-friendly, but in the fall in Montreal, they'll be great!

Thanks for reading!