Why does 2020 seem so long ago? Two years ago I was busy sanitizing groceries, making sourdough, homeschooling my child, etc. I always told myself that it was temporary, a couple weeks. I would get to sew “tomorrow” and tomorrow never came. The hobby that I enjoyed so much started to feel like another chore. It didn’t matter if I sewed something for myself, I was living in sweatpants. My sewing was consumed with masks, repairing masks, and the occasional make for my growing child. I was mentally exhausted. I didn’t realize that I was in ‘Groundhog Day’. Fast forward almost two years to the day and I decided that I was sick of feeling this way, I needed to think of something that would make me feel like myself, not something that I was sewing for someone else, just something for myself, that was NOT a mask.
From there I moved on to a few new sports bras. I like the FREE Hyacinth Pattern from OhhhLulu. I used Tricot and Powernet and I added a band. Do you know what started to happen? Putting on something that was new, basic but new, gave me that quick boost of confidence that I forgot that I missed. It felt sooo good to wear something that wasn’t just that same pair of sweatpants. To be fair, I was alternating between two pairs of sweats.
Alas, the joyous spark was ignited. Then I started to think about what I could make that wasn’t so “casual”. At the same time Chalk & Notch released the Wren. I like that it is drafted for different cup sizes and has a shirt and dress within the same pattern. I used Rayon. One technique that I always use is French Seams . I love the finish of them. Yes, it takes longer but I do sew for longevity and it is worth it.
I never thought I’d be saying this but there are some things in the sewing world that scare me – like full stress and panic, clenched teeth, sweaty palms. So what do I do? I avoided them like the plague. And the one that really sets me into a tailspin – ZIPPERS!! Who knew something so innocent as a zipper could cause such angst!
In the past, I would seen a cute jacket or sweatshirt and there it would be, staring at me with it’s shiny teeth – the dreaded zipper! So I would do what any logical person would (absolutely not logical!) and first buy the pattern, print, tape and grade my size, buy oodles of @pheefabrics to make said project and finally stash it away for a future date when I would miraculously no longer fear the zipper.
The time finally has come – too many patterns sit sadly waiting to be sewn. I have wanted to make a jacket with @pheefabrics Supplex for the longest time. With fall creeping into the Northeast, I wanted to make one more than ever. So first I headed to the Phee Fabrics Facebook group for moral support and then to this blog post on installing zippers on knits.
I was armed and figured if I was going to try and learn a new skill, I might as well go all in and found a pattern that had not one, not two but THREE ZIPPERS! The Evergreen Jacket from Hey June Patterns has a plethora of cool add-ons, but I was most interested in having a two tone affect with the bias zip and collar. I love the look of black, red and gold accents – so cherry and black Phee supplex were the answer.
I have never sewn a jacket, or any top for that matter, in @pheefabrics Supplex and now I feel like I have really been missing out! Phee Supplex is not only a game changer for leggings but also the exact weight and look I wanted in a jacket. It has a sporty feel and great weight for a seasonal transition piece. And since it’s not bulky, I can wear it throughout the colder months under my huge “I live in a cold place and on’t care if I look fashionable so I don’t freeze” winter coat 🙂
So off I went with my pattern and fabric, zippers and seam ripper (that got used far more than I care to admit) but I was determined.
Here’s what I found from my experience with sewing this jacket and zippers:
DO NOT RUSH! If you have an appointment or are tired or stressed that day, it’s not the time to start on this project. I think jackets in general require some care and attention – after all these are more involved in construction than many of the other patterns I have sewn.
In the same vein as above, take it SUUUUPPPERRR SLOOOWWW when actually working with the zippers. The entire project can be made on a regular sewing machine using a basic straight stitch (if you are using Supplex which does not fray). Do you see that little slider for speed on the needle, move it all the way to the far left (or the slowest speed possible on your machine.) This may seem a bit excessive, but even with it all the way down, the zippers will only take a few minutes to stitch in. This helps to prevent breaking needles (none were injured in the making of this jacket) and straight stitching.
Use a zipper foot (if one is available) – here is a close up of mine on my machine. If you do not own one, it may be possible to complete this jacket since the seam allowance is ⅜” but I would highly recommend trying to find one that will fit your machine. It really makes life easier.
There is no such thing as too many pins. This really helps keep things straight and prevents the fabric from stretching and bunching when you are sewing.
Make sure to read through the entire pattern first (this goes for any time you sew) – you can see here where I sewed the zipper into the wrong seam and had to rip EVERYTHING OUT! No fun!
I hope this helps you feel less intimidated by zippers and encourages you to try out something a bit more challenging – the result, in my opinion, is totally worth it!
*** Please note – This blog contains affiliate links to products that I love and trust, and know you will as well. By using these links you are helping to support me, with no additional cost to you, while I continue to inspire your sewing adventures***
Do you ever look at patterns and think, I really like that, except for…? That’s how I felt about the GreenStyle Open Back Pullover. I like the open back, I like that there’s a deeper scooped back, as well as a closed back option. I like that it can be sleeveless, or have long or short sleeves. I like that there is a crew neck, as well as a scoop neck, along with a hood option. Most people love “hoodies” and banded sweatshirts. I am not one of those people.
Banded bottom shirts are not a good look on me. I own one banded bottom shirt, and it hangs unworn in my closet. I’ve tried to wear it, it looked cute on the hanger when I bought it years ago, but on me, it looks like a maternity top. If I were an expectant Mama I would wear it and look adorable. But since I am a Grandma and long past the age of having babies, it’s just not the look I am going for!
Luckily, it is super easy to hack the Open Back Pullover to not need a band. You are going to want to pay attention to your hip measurement. Make sure you measure the widest/largest part of your hips and booty. If it falls within the measurements for the size you are making, you’re good to go. But if it’s at the upper end or bigger than the size for your bust and waist, you will want to grade your pattern out to a larger size, starting at the waist. Then use a ruler to add 4″ of length at the bottom of the front and back pattern pieces.
Follow the pattern tutorial, (it’s a pretty easy pattern) and instead of sewing on a band at the bottom, simply pin and press the hem up 3/4″ and zigzag or coverstitch to finish the hem.
I like that I can wear a regular bra with the high scoop back, and wear it like any other top. The low scoop back would really show off a cute Power Sports Bra and be fun for yoga class or working out. I thought about using powernet in the scoop opening, (there is a pattern piece for that), but the open back is just the right amount of sexy. It would also be fun to use powernet as the upper back pattern piece for an even airier feel.
I made my top out of Circular Knit, and would totally consider a long sleeved, closed back version in Rayon Spandex or Ribbing for cooler days. If you’re looking for a more traditional hoodie feel, Cozy French Terry would be so soft and plush! Supplex would give a more athletic feel, and would coordinate nicely with Super G’s or Stride Athletic Tights. I’m glad I gave the Open Back Pullover a shot. It’s a simple, slightly sexy 😉 , comfortable look.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission/credit if you purchase through my links. As always, I only give my honest opinion. After all, my blogpost represents me! 🙂 Thank you for reading and sharing my love of sewing, patterns, awesome fabric, and pattern hacking. ❤
I’ve wanted to write a leggings comparison blog for FOREVER. I recently had my daughter and knew I wanted to wait until she was out of me to hopefully get the best fit for my post partum body. I used Phee supplex for all of them and 6 different leggings patterns.
I compiled some info to compare all of the patterns. The calf and thigh circumference are of the pattern pieces and the thigh measurement is taken from 6 inches down the inseam. The waistband height is of the pattern piece minus seam allowances and the width is taken from the center of the pattern pieces.
DIBY Anything But Basic Leggings
Stretch Required: 50%
Size made: 12 + 2.5 inches based on thigh placement
Drafted Height: 5’5
Calf Circumference: 11-3/4
Thigh Circumference: 16-1/4
Waistband Height: Tall: 3-1/8 Short: 2-1/8
Waistband Width: 27-1/4
Pocket Size: No pocket
Extra Options: None
Types of Waistbands: Short/Tall
Dislikes: Crotch and butt curve really flat/wide hip/minimal options
Size Range: 34-67 inch hip
Comments: There is a very pronounced hip curve that after wearing caused some rippling the waistband also constantly rolled down. If someone had more around their hips I would recommend using this pattern and then using a waistband from another pattern. The ease throughout the legs is really comfortable and DIBY does have the most expansive size range.
Apostrophe My Fit Leggings
Stretch Required: You pick
Size made: Side pocket panel, 24 inch inseam, contour waistband, snug fit
Drafted Height: Custom
Calf Circumference: 14-3/8
Thigh Circumference: 21-1/8
Waistband Height: Contour: 3-1/2
Waistband Width: 25
Pocket Size: 6-1/4×3-1/2
Extra Options: Ruched side/Side panels/pocket/waistband pocket/different waistbands/completely customizable
Types of Waistbands: Elastic/Yoga/Contour/Back pocket
Dislikes: There isn’t a % of ease given for your measurements so mine didn’t turn out how I like
Size Range: All
Comments: The directions for how to find your measurements are great and I really appreciated that but I was initially frustrated that the ease isn’t given for the different fits. I chose the snug fit and they are very large around my knees and calves with about a 1:1 ratio. They have a lot of potential and are completely customizable but I don’t know if I have the patience to work them out.
Greenstyle Strides Updated
Stretch Required: 50%
Size made: L cropped length, high rise
Drafted Height: 5’8
Calf Circumference: 9-3/4 in (capri line)
Thigh Circumference: 15-5/8
Waistband Height: High: 5 in Mid: 3-3/4
Waistband Width: 28-1/4
Pocket Size: 7-1/2×4
Extra Options: Cross Cuff/Waistband pocket/5 lengths
Types of Waistbands: Mid/High
Dislikes: No thigh/calf measurements. I would add a little calf ease next time.
Size Range: Hip 32-50 sizes are being expanded
Comments: Strides have always been my go to I love the accent piece on the back. Through trying all the different patterns and seeing the different amounts of ease throughout the strides are a pair that I would wear for working out but would pick something a little more relaxed for everyday wear. I do think the back on these is the most flattering especially for those with long butt problems like me LOL.
P4P Peg Legs
Stretch Required: 50%
Size made: XL waist L hip low rise, 1″ longer than capri length, contour waistband
Drafted Height: 5’6
Calf Circumference: 10-1/2
Thigh Circumference: 17-1/8
Waistband Height: Contour front: 7 in Regular: 3-1/2 in
Waistband Width: 25-1/4
Pocket Size: 6×4
Extra Options: Side pocket/colorblocking/waistband pocket/4 lengths
Types of Waistbands: Mid/High/Contoured
Dislikes: No print layout
Size Range: Hip: 33-58
Gusset: Oval with more pronounced oval on one side
Comments: Overall this pattern has some amazing options for being a free pattern. Lots of people really love the contoured waistband and choose to add that on to their legs of choice. I don’t love how the contour waistband goes down so far in the front, possibly from pregnancy being so fresh, I think it accentuates that part of me. This pattern did provide the best front crotch curve for my body and the back is pretty flattering too. For anyone’s first pair of leggings I think this is a great starting point and it’s FREE.
Stretch Required: 50%
Size made: S->M waist L hip mid rise ankle length
Drafted Height: Based on inseam for lengths
Calf Circumference: 11
Thigh Circumference: 17-3/4
Waistband Height: 2
Waistband Width: 28
Pocket Size: Waistband pocket 2-1/4×3-3/4
Extra Options: 4 rise options/7 lengths/key waistband pocket
Types of Waistbands: Fabric or exposed elastic
Dislikes: No waistband options
Size Range: Hip: 34-61
Comments: I love these pants. They don’t move around AT ALL. I wore them for a really long run and they didn’t chafe or move around at all. I also really enjoy that they have no side seam I think it makes them look more seamless. I would wear these to run everyday, the minimalness of the waistband makes them super easy to wear under my running vest. If I was going to wear them for everyday I would look into adding a contour waistband probably from the strides. This is my second 5004 pattern and I’m not sure why I haven’t made more I love these just as much as the jessie!
Stretch Required: 60%
Size made: X ankle length
Drafted Height: Trunk height per size
Calf Circumference: 10-1/4
Thigh Circumference: 15-7/8
Waistband Height: Elastic: 3/4 in Fabric: 2-3/4 in
Waistband Width: 29-1/2
Pocket Size: None
Extra Options: 3 lengths
Types of Waistbands: Elastic or fabric
Size Range: Hip: 22-53
Comments: I love that it includes kids and adults sizes and that there is only one seam in the waistband. Not having any outer leg seam or front seam. The inseam sits forward though because of no front seam. These are SUPER fast to work up and I will definitely be wearing them again.
We all need to take a minute to giggle at my posture in all these side pics sometime’s I’m up straight sometimes I’m still pregnant LOL.
My favorite pants for running were the 5004 Ninjas, I went for a 9 mile run and didn’t have to adjust them at all. I like how the waistband on these is really minimal so when wearing under my running vest I didn’t have any bulkiness. Although I love these for running I wouldn’t wear them for everyday as I don’t think they’re the most flattering. I am curious how they’d look adding the strides waistband too them and if that would help them be ‘cuter’. For my next pair I would like to do the pegs crotch curve, it looks like it fits me the best with the back of the strides. I am really tall and have been pregnant for three years (actually) so my booty is more deflated than it used to be. I think the accent piece on the strides give me the most flattering backside.
The Jalie Claras have a higher required stretch than the other patterns which is something to note and are the only pair that don’t have a from crotch seam. If you find that point usually is irritating for you then definitely try these. They are really comfortable and I will be wearing them again.
Negative ease: When the garment is finished smaller than your body measurement. With the supplex the garment is much smaller than your body measurements because it has such great stretch and recovery. This is a list of the patterns from least to most negative ease so the patterns at the top stretch less to fit you (aren’t as tight) as the patterns towards the end of the list.
Whenever I make a cute top, I can’t help but think about how I could make it into a cute workout top! The Stitch Upon A Time Titania Top & Tunic was the perfect base for a workout top hack. Since dresses are a year round staple for me, it’s also going to end up as a dress once I add 8 or 9 inches to the tunic length. The tunic itself turned out quite cute. I like the flowy body, especially in this silky soft circular knit. It has the perfect drape for this pattern. Can you imagine the twirl in a dress length?
Can you see my elastic error in these photos? Instead of following the elastic length cut chart for the armscye, I thought the elastic should be more taught. Making it 2 inches shorter than recommended gave me puckering and a bit of rolling at the armpits. I should know by now to trust Jennifer of Stitch Upon A Time’s design and testing and use the recommended length! The neckband was easy to sew, and despite being a higher neckline than I normally wear, the rounded shape doesn’t cut into my neck or shoulders. Using the built in shelf bra means not having to worry about wearing a strapless bra, or trying to find a bra with straps that don’t show. The stylish tunic would look great with skinny jeans or fitted pants like the Goldilegs Jeans, and of course with a slim skirt or shorts.
Hacking the shelf bra pieces into a workout top is easier than you think. Cut two bra fronts out of Supplex. Rather than cutting the back out on the fold of the fabric, I folded my pattern piece under 5/8″ from the center back, and cut out two left back and two right back pieces. You’ll also cut a bra front and a right and left back out of powernet or techsheen for support. For design purposes, I wanted the bra back to have a 2″ strip of powernet down the center, with a little opening between the bra top and the tank body. I used my favorite tank pattern to make the bodice. If you don’t have a tank pattern, trace any well fitting tank in your closet. Don’t forget to add seam allowances!
The trickiest part of this workout top is the V-cutout on the center front. Lay your clear ruler on an angle, starting 1″ from center front at the top, and down 5-1/2″. Do the same thing to the second bra front piece, then trim the 3/8″ seam allowance off the second triangle cutout opening. The trimmed version will become your front lining piece.
Lay the triangle you cut out of the bra front on your powernet. Add 3/4″ width to each of the long sides of the triangle as seam allowances. This gives you the front triangle insert. Cut a rectangular piece of powernet 2-3/4″ wide, by 2″ shorter than the length of your bra back at center back. This gives you the back insert.
Baste your powernet/techsheen bra front and backs to the wrong side of your bra lining front and back pieces. You will treat them as one layer from this point on. Right sides facing, sew one long side of your triangle insert to the cutout section of your bra front, using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Snip the center front of the bra down to, but notthrough the stitching line. And here’s where I’m going to make it easy to get a perfect V. With your bra top right side up on a flat surface, fold the seam allowance of the unstitched side of the opening under 3/8″. Apply Washaway Wonder Tape to the seam allowance. Making sure that your powernet insert triangle is laying smooth and flat, peel off the backing paper and press the folded under edge of your opening onto the powernet. You can baste that side into place, or just trust the Wonder Tape to do it’s job. (Although I am a big believer in basting, I trusted the Wonder Tape and it held fine until I was ready to topstitch all my layers.)
Right sides together, and lined up at the top edge, sew the rectangular powernet insert to one side of the bra back. Line the insert up with the top of other side of the bra back and stitch, using 3/8″ seam allowances.
Sew the front and back bra pieces together at the side seams. Sew the lining front and back bra pieces together at the side seams. Note: the pattern calls for 1/2″ seam allowances, so be sure to use this seam allowance on the side seams, even though I use 3/8″ seam allowances on the rest of this hack. Fold the center back edges of the bra lining under 3/8″ and baste.
With the bra right side out, and the lining wrong side out, place the bra lining over the bra. Line up the neck and arm openings, and pin in place. With right sides together, stitch along the armscyes and add the elastic in the seam allowances as per the pattern tutorial. Stitch the front and back necklines leaving openings at the shoulders to add straps. Cut two pieces of bra strapping 6″ long. Slide a strap down inside each shoulder opening at the back, and with the end of the strap flush with the opening, stitch the straps in place. You may want to go over the stitch line twice to ensure that the straps are secure. Turn the bra right side out. Ensuring that the triangle insert and cutout opening are properly aligned, top stitch around the triangle.
Lining up the edges of the back and back lining so that they are even with the rectangle insert, top stitch along the edges.
Now you can try on the bra, and adjust the length of the straps to fit. You may end up cutting a couple of inches off, but you need long enough peices to work with! Slide the ends of the straps down into the openings at the front shoulders, turn the top wrong sides out, and stitch the straps in place at the front shoulders.
Sew your tank front and back bodice pieces together. Then slide the bra down inside the tank with right sides together, and matching center points on the front and back, stitch. Using the measurement in the cut chart, wrap a piece of elastic around your underbust to check for fit. I used 1-1/4″ wide sport elastic, rather than the recommended width. Use whatever width of elastic that works for you, or that you happen to have on hand. The elastic should fit snugly, but not uncomfortably. Overlap the ends and stitch together. Mark quarter points on your elastic, and at the seam allowance, and pin together at those 4 points. Stretching the elastic to fit, zig zag it in place. Turn the hem of your workout top under 3/4″ and use a zig zag, twin needle or coverstitch machine to finish.
Smile, and go for a walk or run, or hit the gym or yoga studio in your fun new workout top!
I bought all of my fabric, the Circular Knit, Supplex, Powernet, and Techsheen from Phee Fabrics, along with the clear elastic and bra strapping. The consistently high quality makes and keeps me a repeat shopper! This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small credit toward buying more fabulous Phee Fabric if you purchase through my links. ❤ As always, I only give my honest opinion because my posts represent me.
The sewing for this version of the Jedidiah shorts is pretty quick so we decided working it up in a photo blog would be better than incorporating it into the video series. There are still videos for the welt pockets and zipper fly but the rest of the sewing will be demonstrated in the photos.
For this version I created a welt pocket for one side of the back and then used an elasticated waist along with supplex for a more casual fit. In using a super stretchy fabric like supplex you can size down but I wanted to keep a straighter leg line so I opted to go with his measured size.
The first step to this was altering the pattern pieces. Attach the back yoke to the back pants piece overlapping the seam allowance (5/8″) and cutting into the top of the back yoke piece so it can lay flat. Mark 5/8 inch down on the back pants piece then line up the bottom of the yoke piece with those marks.
Then you can cut out all of your pattern pieces. Everything is the same as the original pattern except I DO NOT interface the entire waistband.
Make sure to mark all of the notches and if you’re doing the welt pockets the two top pocket placement notches shown here.
Next is to work on the welt pockets. You’ll need these size pieces:
For a 6 inch pocket
7-1/4 x 6in in main fabric
7-1/4 x 5-1/4in in main fabric
7-1/4 x 2-1/2in in main fabric and interfacing fused with an additional interfacing for the pants piece
I opted to only do one side with a welt pocket to emulate these rtw shorts travis has but you can do it on both sides easily enough.
Next is the front slat pockets. Supplex is a thick heavier fabric that does allow the shorts to look more professional but can also add bulk if you’re not careful. Since it is so thick I decided not to use the facings for these shorts.
For the next step, finishing the bottom of the pocket, the directions used french seams. I found this to be too bulky for the supplex so I opted to just serge the pocket bottom with right sides together.
Now the front of the pants are complete we can attach the front and back of the pants.
Inseam and side seams
The directions instruct us to use flat felled seams or french seams for the inseam and side seam but I don’t find this necessary when doing these in supplex. I serged both seams using the 5/8 inch seam allowance.
I opted to not use bar tacks on the pockets when using supplex.
You can hem now or at the very end I chose to hem at the very end.
Next I sewed the crotch seam. There is a notch on the fly part of the front pants piece make sure this is marked. Then we need to finish the edges of the crotch seams. I opted to serge these edges. When you sew the crotch seam we sew from the center back down to the inseam and then up until you’re 1/2 inch below that notch we marked.
When you get to sewing up into the fly section of the crotch seam you sew directly from the 5/8 inch seam allowance straight up to the point you marked 1/2 inch below the notch. You do not follow the curve of the fly.
Next we’ll be stitching the fly. There will be a video for this!
FLY VIDEO WILL BE INSERTED HERE]
The first step for the waistband is to interface the ends. I used a 4×4 square of interfacing and reinforced both ends of the waistband. I then serged one of the long raw edges and ironed the waistband in half wrong sides together length wise.
To attach the waistband clip the non-serged edge of the waistband to the top of the pants with right sides together with the short raw edges of the waistband hanging over the zipper fly/facing edges by 5/8 inch. Sew the waistband to the main pants distributing evenly.
We’re now going to enclose the waistband starting with the 5/8 inch overlap. Fold the waistband in half right sides together matching the short raw edge.
Pull the main pants, where the zipper is, away from where you just clipped and line up the raw edge of the waistband with the serged edge making sure not to catch the main pants.
Now pull the main pants out of the waistband so it is right sides out.
Now flip the pants so you’re looking at the back side and we’re going to fold the waistband down using the memory seam we created earlier. Pin the serged edge to main pants enclosing the seam allowance we previously created and using the memory crease to keep the fold even.
With the right side out topstitch along the edge of the waistband catching the back side of the waistband. I used a triple stretch stitch and started 6 inches from the waistband edge all the way around to 6 inches from the opposite short edge.
I measured the distance that I topstitched and subtracted a couple inches to get a rough idea of how long I wanted my elastic to be. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed it through the casing. Then, tack the end of the elastic down 3 inches from the short end of the waistband.
Once you have fed the elastic all the way through you can guide it out of the other end and try on to measure exactly how long you want the elastic.
Now we can finish up the topstitching. From your previous topstitch line continue to the inside edge of the waistband.
We’re almost done!
Button and buttonhole
Last is hemming!
I serged the raw bottom edge of the shorts and then folded wrong sides together and zig zag stitched 1/2 inch from the bottom.