Birthday Sewing: True Bias Lander Pants & Seamwork Astoria

    In keeping with our theme of intentions…  I had a birthday recently (for which I was ready to celebrate the entire month of March – but I digress), and knew that I wanted to spend the weekend working on a meaty sewing project.  I find that most of my sewing time is limited, so it’s far too easy to sit down and cut out a top or a sweater, versus making something that requires a significant number of steps, and fitting, and basting, and all the things.  I was completely intentional about stepping out of what would have been comfortable and have been rewarded with a new set of wardrobe staples that I know will get tremendous usage!

    If it’s worth it – you keep at it!

    I started this pair of True Bias Lander Pants during our casual pants months (right around the time of the Super Bowl in February), and was super excited to tackle real pants fitting:

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    Eeeekk – legitimately so excited that I’m posting on Super Bowl Sunday when there is probably NO ONE around to get excited with me! Baste fit of the @truebias #landerpants – what tweaks would you make? I have a little room in the back at the waist and will likely pin that excess out, but am I missing anything else? . . #sewcialists #sewersofinstagram #sewingaddict #slowfashionblogger #slowfashionmovement #rtwfast2018 #diyfashionblogger #harperlumakes2018 #sewstripes #nofearnewjeans

    A post shared by Macharva✨Sew Altered Style (@macsmakespace) on Feb 4, 2018 at 7:56pm PST

    Go big or go home as they say…  One might have assumed that I would have selected something, well…, a bit less stare-worthy for a muslin – but I have learned a lot about myself and my motivations for tough projects.  I know myself now well enough to know that I am completely unmotivated by fabric that doesn’t speak to me (and would rather waste money on good fabric than to put a lot of effort into an ugly, yet cheap, muslin fabric).  I loved these – but I was scared to complete them (probably an argument for not using your favorite fabric).  I even brought them to Denver with me to meet the designer (Kelli of True Bias), Adrianna from Hey June and a host of other seamstresses and shop owners!  Kelli assured me the fit was good – and I felt ready to conquer the pants fitting world!

      Mac gets fitting advice from Kelli of True Bias Patterns (Photo Credit: Adrianna of Hey June Patterns)

      I have LOTS to share about the Lander Pants pattern, but I recognize not everyone who visits our site is a maker!  So instead, I will share some more photos below, and then get into the details on the pants AND the Seamwork Astoria Top I sewed to match.  Seriously – if you want to show off a pair of high waisted pants, I cannot think of a better pattern to showcase them than this one!

        Paired with a cargo vest – this outfit is military chic!

          Adding hardware (like these buttons) always makes me feel like a sewing superhero!

            Mixing vertical and horizontal stripes for more visual interest and to highlight details

              Close-up of the back pocket detail and the widened dart

                The pleasures of sewing – you can customize as you see fit – this particular fabric was a gift from a close friend.  Love that reminder of our friendship in my pocket!

                  Keeping my eye on the littles while my husband gets a shot of my clothes!

                  Pattern Review

                  True Bias Lander Pants

                    Paired with the Blackwood Cardigan because it goes with EVERYTHING!

                    Pattern Description:

                    With a high waist and button fly, the Lander pattern is not only on trend, but also flattering and comfortable for all body types. The pattern includes front and back patch pockets, belt loops, and a straight fit through the legs. View A is a short with a 4” inseam, View B is an ankle length pant, and View C is a boot length pant that can be worn with a heel.

                    Pattern Sizing:

                      According to the size chart, I should have sewn a size 6 or 8 waist blended to a size 2 hip.  I used a stretch denim and sewed a straight size 2.

                      Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

                      Absolutely – vintage flare and all!

                      Were the instructions easy to follow?

                      They were very clear – I had no issues with the button fly installation and any places where I MIGHT have a question were even more clearly demonstrated in the sewalong.

                      What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

                      • Likes/Loves: The high waist is a mummy tummy’s best friend!  The younger version of me didn’t GET high waisted jeans…  Little did I know that they actually prevent the dreaded muffin top by cinching you in at your narrowest (supposedly) measurement
                      • Dislikes: none that I can really think of!  I think I would like an option for a zipper fly, but Kelli even has that covered with the add on package (though you can hack it yourself – it’s just for lazy people like myself).

                      Fabric Used:

                      A mystery pinstriped stretch denim that I picked up in the garment district in NY.  It has about 20% stretch in it.

                      Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

                      Several adjustments along the way:

                      • Increased the dart widths in the back of the pants for my sway back
                      • Scooped out the crotch curve – which increased the back rise
                      • Flat pubis adjustment (straightened out the front crotch curve)
                      • Took the pants in 1/4″ on both side seams (1/2″ total on each pant leg)
                      • Did NOT interface the waistband

                        Would you sew it again? 

                        Absolutely – I am already picking fabrics!



                        Pattern Review

                        Seamwork Astoria

                          Pattern Description:

                            With its cropped style and flattering, waist-defining shape, Astoria is the perfect pullover for maintaining a classic look or making a statement.

                            Two different sleeve lengths allow you to dress for the weather and the occasion. This is one of our most popular patterns, and after sewing up a few versions, you’ll find the possibilities with Astoria are endless!

                            Pattern Sizing:

                              Seamwork patterns are designed for a C-cup (3 inch difference between high bust and full bust).  This meant I sewed a size small bust and medium waist and did NOT need to complete an FBA!

                              Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


                              Were the instructions easy to follow?

                              Waayyy too easy – this pattern is meant for a beginner

                              What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

                              Lots of loves – this sweater is EASY! Seriously, I have it down to a science and it just WORKS!  The crop length, because YOU are making it, can be customized to your liking.  If you are like me and a lot of times you find something in the store and think – that would be perfect IF THEY HAD JUST ______ (fill-in the blank).  I have always flirted with the idea of a crop top (but without intentions of flashing the world).  Now I can do just that; just by adding a smidge more length!

                              Fabric Used:

                              Some sort of stretch crepe fabric – most likely polyester

                              Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

                              I thought I would have to make my normal length adjustments (take 1/2″ out above the bust line (and typically out of the sleeve cap height), and 1.5″ from the waist.  In this version, I opted not to adjust the bustpoint (so the arms are the original armscye), and still removed 1.5″ from the waistline on the bodice – not the band.

                              I would recommend that if you were going to add or subtract inches from the waistline, to distribute them in a meaningful manner (remember that the waistband is doubled over – so increasing it by 1″ means adding 2″ to the height).

                              I have since made another version (blog post to come) and in that version, I made no adjustments. Which is AMAZING for me, and likely bad for lots of people (depending on how close in dimensions you are to me).  On my Harper+Lu site, I have a list of my measurements and standard pattern adjustments (here).

                              Would you sew it again? 

                              Absolutely – I already have!  I can see this pattern putting in major work in my wardrobe! I am going to have to make more high waisted jeans to go with them.  Sooo happy I have a pair of high waisted Ginger Jeans in my queue!

                                Believe it or not – he ACTUALLY licked a pole right after this shot – EWWWW

                                Oh, and in case you were wondering what is happening behind the scenes EVERY time I ask my husband to take blog photos…  Now you know! Hahaha!  Mommin’ ain’t easy – that’s for sure!

                                  Happy kids, Happy momma – everyone wins! Happy Birthday to me!

                                  Have you sewn up either pattern?  We would love to hear about your experiences – leave us a line below!

                                  – Mac

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