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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pattern review: two new Jalies

I am in the process of experimenting with new shapes and styles.

I mean why not?

What I wear day-to-day matters to me. I want to be comfortable and I want to be interested in what I have on. I enjoy wearing new clothes and new to me styles. Some times this works out and sometimes it doesn't in as in a  "You have to be kidding" evaluation from my eagle-eyed daughter.

Right now I am trying out new pants shapes. 

It's a bit of a campaign.  I am getting sort of sick of the slim pants and then the long top to hide the gut routine. Maybe I want to dress without feeling there is a part of me I want to hide. Having to think like that gets sort of tiring.

Any of you identify with this?

So when the latest raft of Jalie patterns came out I realized they presented me with some opportunities to try out something I never thought I would wear. 

Never want to get to be a rusty dresser. 

Also the Fabricville at the bottom of the street now carries Jalies and they also have some nice tencel pant weight and some very silky bamboo.

This was all I needed.

So fooling around I decided to make the Vanessa fluid pants and the Marie-Claude knit top.

Here are the pattern pictures:

The Marie-Claude is a raglan T-shirt with a shaped hem and a fairly high crew neckline, with an option as well for a turtleneck or a close hood. 

Given it is now spring, even in Nova Scotia, I decided to make the crew neckline. The result is what I would call a base layer type top, fine on its own, particularly as it has a body skimming as opposed to very fitted silhouette, but ideal as a top to wear under a jacket too. 

It seems these days that many necklines are either scoop or boat neck and I really enjoy wearing a comfortable round neck for a change. I can see this pattern could easily be made in a lycra for a sunshirt to wear around the pool with the kids and I think I might trace a smaller size and do just that.

I made a few changes to this top in my version. First I lengthened it by 2”, something that was super easy to do as the top pattern pieces are one lower section and two different top sections (one for the front and one for the back) that you lay above the bottom pattern pieces to cut each out. It was easy to just spread the pattern pieces apart at 2” at this point. I am tall and this extra 2” is an almost automatic adjustment for me.

I twin-needled the hem of the top but the sleeves have a band at the bottom - there is a slight little boy p.j top vibe going on here that I like. Little boys are generally very comfortable.

The Vanessa tracker pants are excellent. For some reason all us home sewers for years struggled with pants fitting and now we finally have access to great pants drafts with real ready-to-wear fit. This seems to me to have eliminated so many of our fitting issues. And about time too.

Not the most flattering picture but this view really gives you an idea of the shape of the leg

These pants really require a fabric with drape, indicated quite clearly in the flowing pants description, so the tencel is perfect. 

They can be made with either the elastic at the bottom, which I did, or hemmed, which I might do in the next pair. The pattern has interesting nice deep pockets and a flat section at centre front the break up the gathers of the otherwise full elastic waist casing. This flat piece is supposed to be a place for eyelets and a drawstring but I left that detail out in mine – I don’t like or need any extra bulk around my waist.

I also made one change to the pants after I had worn them for a day and surprisingly this was to shorten them 1 ½”.

I decided after having observed other folks wearing tracker pants (OK so these were bearded mean barrelling past me on bikes on the streets of San Francisco) and it seemed to me that theirs were sleeker at the bottom than the sort of bloused look I got when I tried out the length specified in the pattern. As a result I shortened these pants before I signed off on them.

It's pretty cool to have two new patterns turn out so well. 
Nothing like instant TNTs!


KS_Sews (Dressmakingbacles) said...

Looking good! I love the tencel. Such amazing drape!

Nursebennett said...

Love both of these! In the past, I have preferred my track pants (trying to stay current here and not use the term sweatpants) a bit long, so they kind of bubbled at the bottom. Like you stated, I've noticed the current trend is shorter, with them ending right at the foot and not bubbling. I don't think I've ever seen with Tencel, so maybe I need to order some. Oh, and a Jalie pants pattern. I've some StyleArc pants patterns, but no Jalie. Love your reviews!

Brenda said...

Great news that you have two new TnTs!

I made a couple of dresses recently. They were based on well-reasoned theory about my changed body (after double mastectomy, no reconstruction) and comfort. I decided to go with some dresses with straighter skirts. Then I decided to use wicking fabric since summer is coming. Yikes! The cling factor was scary. Then I tried a nice, stable cotton knit and I changed out of that dress within an hour. I'm back to flared skirts and am patting myself on the back that I tried.

I'm glad your new adventures are working for you!

Elle said...

Yay for successful experimentation!

Catherine Daze said...

Nice! I think you were right to shorten them; it looks very contemporary.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting! I can imagine that turtleneck version being pretty cozy in the winter, too, out of the right fabric. I need to check out tercel......I wonder if its cool enough for our hot days!


PsychicSewerKathleen said...

Love both your garments (as usual) - I've seen a few of these Jalie track pants made up and they are all really nice! Nicer than you would expect looking at the photo on the cover of the pattern! I bought a few of their patterns lately and I agree their block and size range is always good.

byginny said...

You might experiment with leaving the top in the length designed or even shortening the length. That way the tummy area would be a dark, dark color rather than fuscia. It will recede rather than come forward.

Barbara said...

Good call byginny. The pictures told me the same thing. With a less fitted pant than I am used to wearing I am going to have to adjust top length. Nice to have this validated. Thanks!

paloverdeblooms said...

Where do the pants hit relative to your waist? In the promo photo they look like they're somewhere down on the hip. (I am so much not your shape, but your pair looks great and I am very tempted.)

Erika said...

This looks great on you!

Another alternative to making the shirt shorter might be to make it a higher split shirttail - if that makes sense - take the place where the shirt meets on the side seam up higher.

Barbara said...

The pants sit right at the waist, where I really like them.

elke said...

Good-looking pants. I've made the hemmed view in a drapy silk/cotton blend, and like them. Hadn't planned to try the cuffs, but I may, after seeing yours. How do you think the style would work in a wool tricotine? It seems quite drapy to me, and winter is coming in a few months.