Sweaters & Skinnies for Fall!

24 Sep

Ok, I’ll admit – when I first started working on this outfit, the air was a LOT more fall-like than it currently is at the moment. Stupid fickle season, ha!

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

Anyway, I’m totally a trooper so I’m modeling this outfit for y’all nonetheless (photos taken early morning before the temperatures got too high, because, woof.). My first real cold-weather makes – like I said, it’s a little early in the season here, but I like to get a head start so I can actually start wearing this stuff when the weather cools down πŸ™‚ This outfit – or at least the skinnies – is also part of my London wardrobe. I’m officially less than 2 months out, EEEEEP! – so it’s time to really start cranking down and getting my wardrobe act together. Since I’m very limited in suitcase space, I’m trying to capsulate everything to mix and match. So I can bring less clothes, so I can bring home more fabric πŸ™‚ You know – priorities!

ANYWAY, I have a lot of ground to cover with these two pieces, so let’s get started! Sorry in advance for the big photo overload!

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

Let’s start with the sweater. I bought this fabric last month while I was in NYC. This was my first non-spring trip to the city, which meant my fabric shopping was focused on woolens and winter weights (instead of summer fabrics, which I am usually bee-lining for in March). I immediately found this star printed WOOL sweater knit, and promptly flipped my shit over it. It’s SO fabulous – and soft! Even softer than you can imagine, forreal. At $25 a yard, it wasn’t the cheapest sweater knit – but stars and wool? Totally worth it. Plus, it’s not like a sweater takes a lot of yardage – at least not for me. I bought a yard and a half (and I have some leftover.. hmm, what to make with?).

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics
Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

The pattern I used to make this bad boy was actually suggested by Devra (who also bought some of the prized star wool knit, after I peer pressured her into it πŸ˜‰ ) – the SJ Tee from Papercut Patterns. I made a wearable mock-up before the real deal – which I will show y’all later this week – so I was able to figure my fitting before cutting into my precious wool knit. I cut a size XXS and took 1″ out of the center back. The length is the long version (aka, not cropped) and the sleeves are long as well.

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

I used rib knit to finish the neckline and cuffs – it was in my stash, I have no idea where it came from. This knit was way stretchier than the sweater knit, so I had to keep retrying the neckline to get it to lie flat. I ended up cutting the rib to half the length of the neckline and stretched the everloving shit out of it – it could still stand to be a little tighter, but this will do. The neckline also can’t stand to be a little lower, it’s already a little risque (which I LIKE!). The cuffs are a bit looser than I’d prefer, but I wanted to be able to push the sleeves up, like so.

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

I sewed the entire sweater on my serger – you could use a sewing machine (this particular knit does not unravel or shed), but serger is faster πŸ™‚ I did use a twin needle to topstitch the raglan lines, as well as the neckline & hem. Really loved topstitching this sweater; the stitches just sink right in and look soooo good!

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

For the black skinnies, I used a really great stretch twill. I’ve had some hits and misses when it comes to stretch bottom weights – they tend to be a weird weight (either too heavy, or not heavy enough), and the stretch can bag out over time. One thing I’ve learned is that you need a pretty high spandex/poly content to get them to snap back into shape – 5-10% – and you need to make sure they are bottom weight. I actually made Heather Lou source this fabric for me, also in the Mood store. We were initially looking for black denim, couldn’t find a good one (I still don’t really know what constitutes as a good one- you’ll have to ask her! I just blindly followed, ha), and decided on the twill. We did end up finding a black denim, fyi, but not at Mood. Once I sew that one up, I’ll share more about it πŸ™‚

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

Anyway, this twill is great! It’s pretty similar to what you get with stretch RTW pants – thick enough for a bottom weight, but not tooooo thick (I still only used an 80/12 needle, so no heavy denim shit or whatev). The stretch is crazy good, and it actually snaps back into shape. I can’t give y’all a true verdict on a full day’s worth of wear – the weather jumped back up to hot, so I haven’t had a chance to wear these yet. However, I tried the jeans on a LOT during construction, and they haven’t bagged out yet. So that’s a good sign!

The only drawback to this stuff is that it attracts cat hair like a magnet. It’s not as bad in real life as it is in photos (else I would have lint-rolled that shit, I mean, come on), but it also doesn’t bother me that much. When you have a cat and you wear black pants, cat hair is sorta just a way of life, you know?

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

The pattern I used to make the skinnies is the Jamie Jeans, from Named. I’ve actually had this pattern in my stash for a few months – my friend Carla bought me these (plus a few other Named patterns) as an early birthday gift earlier this year. Then I was a total ass and didn’t do anything with them until just now πŸ˜› Hey, it’s been too hot! Anyway, I’m glad I put these off because there is no way I would have had such stretch twill success if it hadn’t been for Heather doing that side of the shopping for me. So there’s that.

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

Anyway, this was my first experience with Named. My understanding is that a few things have changed since they initially released this pattern – for one, the instructions include some diagrams now (they used to be text-only), and the prices are a little more competitive. The pieces also aren’t quite as overlapped as they were the first go-round – because, ugh, tracing patterns, ugh. I only had to trace the waistband for these. Everything else was, thankfully, not super overlapped.

I started with the size 2, and made these initial modifications, based on my muslin:
– Added 1″ to the back crotch, for butt room
– Removed 2″ of length at the legs
– Removed 5/8″ at the center back yoke, blending to 1/4″ at the bottom (where the pants meet the yoke)
– Removed 1/4″ from the center back, blending to nothing

Once I started sewing, I ended up doing a few more fit adjustments. I don’t know why these weren’t prevalent in my muslin – perhaps my fabric wasn’t quite stretchy enough? At any rate, these are my additional modifications (and now you know why I pulled them on and off so many times!):
– Sewed the side seams at 1/2″
– Took a 1″ wedge out of the center back of the waistband, tapering to nothing at the bottom
– Removed an additional 3/4″ from the length
– Did some crazy witchcraft to reshape the crotch to be a J (again, NO IDEA why this wasn’t an issue with the muslin, but argh – at least I fixed it? Mostly.).

Things I will change for my next rendition:
– Need to remove some length from the front crotch – you can see that it’s slightly too long (it’s not toooo bad – I doubt anyone will point and be all “HA HA YOUR CROTCH IS TOO LONG HA HA!” But I know it’s there and hey, it bothers me, ok?). Maybe 3/8″ish.
– Rescoop that J a little more out of the crotch. It’s still not perfect, but it’s damn good considering that I did this while the pants were already mostly assembled (for those of you who are all, “Wtf is this J crotch you keep talking about?” Here’s the post where I talk about my pants adjustments, including J crotches. Also, in case you were wondering- those crotch rulers *do* work. I found one in Elizabeth’s studio last week, immediately stuck it on my crotch – and hey, there’s a J! Cool!)
– Need to take a little pinch of fabric out of the inner leg seam – maybe 1/2″

Despite my nitpicky fit adjustments, these aren’t so bad! I’ll still totally wear the shit out of them, at any rate.

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics
Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics
Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

Constructing these was REALLY fun! The instructions – honestly, they’re kind of useless about 70% of the time, but I’ve made enough pants to where I don’t really need them. The seams are all finished with my serger – except the crotch seam, which is flat-felled – and I made use of my edgestitching foot to get all that beautiful topstitching. For the waistband, I used fusible tricot knit interfacing – I fused both the outside and the facing, to give it some stability but retain that lovely stretch. The button & jean zip are both from Pacific Trimming in NYC.

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

I really love the back pockets! And hey, that double line of stitching at the yoke? That was done with a single needle, twice. No twin needle!

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

For the hem, I used the lightning bolt stitch, so it would retain some stretchiness. It looks pretty similar to a straight stitch, but it, you know, stretches.

What else? Here are some sweater close-ups:

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics
Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics
Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics


Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

One last thing – here’s the little watercolor fashion illustration I made for this outfit. GOD, I love painting watercolors! So much fun!

Jamie Jeans + SJ Sweater Made with Mood Fabrics

Ok, I guess that’s it! Now if the cooler weather could please come back – I hate working up a sweat while I drink my morning coffee πŸ™‚ Oh, and in case you were wondering – that’s a fresh dye job you’re looking at, in regards to my hair! I love how neon electric is is πŸ™‚ Yay for fun-colored hair!

PS: Ralph Rucci V1419 Sewalongers – in case you missed it, there’s a new post up on the McCall blog regarding the sewalong. Just some general housekeeping, including blog buttons (yes!) and social media chat. The burning question this week – for general sewalong chat outside of our blogs, do y’all prefer to use a Facebook page or a Flickr Group? Trying to decide which platform to us. Let us know which side you swing!


62 Responses to “Sweaters & Skinnies for Fall!”

  1. jne4sl September 24, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Wow, those both look really nice. The topstitching is perfect. I don’t know why there is so much resistance to just making two passes for double topstitching, IMO it comes out much nicer and it’s stronger, too. I understand twin needles for knits but woven’s I almost never use them.

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      I didn’t realize that hating on the twin needle was a thing! I’m in the same boat as you – love them for knits, don’t care for them on wovens. I’d rather stitch twice and just be really careful (and then impress myself when the lines are actually parallel, ha).

  2. Miss Celie September 24, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    I lurv sewing sweater and I especially lurv stars. Awesome.

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      So, what you’re saying is… this fabric was basically MADE for you πŸ™‚

  3. Evie September 24, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Those pants look awesome!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      They FEEL awesome! πŸ˜€

  4. Kessem September 24, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    is that fabric from mood?? I love this!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

      Yep, both fabrics are from Mood πŸ™‚

  5. carlalissa September 24, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    I am in love with your outfit!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      Yay, I’m so glad you love it! Couldn’t have made it without you πŸ˜‰ lol

  6. Helen // Grosgrain Green September 24, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Love both of these! Excellent top stitching. And chuckling at the mental image of you with a ruler to your crotch.

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

      Ha! Only in the sewing world would we stick rulers to our crotches and have that be ok hahaha

  7. Heather Lou September 24, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    These look great and I’m REALLY happy that twill worked out!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      ME TOO!! I need you to buy all my stretch twill and denim for me now, please!

  8. puu September 24, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    i’m not sure i need another jean pattern, but i’m loving the seaming on these!!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

      I think you need this pattern! It’s pretty unique to all the other patterns out there πŸ™‚

  9. nycbookwriter September 24, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Those look great . . . I doubt the seams would work on me (i.e. lines would get wonky on my frame) . . . I’m jealous of you being able to do that. πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      No way, I think they would look awesome on you!

      • nycbookwriter September 25, 2014 at 9:28 am #


  10. Kim September 24, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Wow, you will get so much wear out of both of them, and they look great! I’m going to keep that sweater pattern jn the back of my mind.. Love the watercolour drawing!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

      This might be my new favorite sweater pattern – it’s a classic shape, but with a nice little sexy scoop neck πŸ™‚

  11. Suzie September 24, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Awesome! I made the Jamie jeans two times so far. I really love the pattern but I just doesnΒ΄t want to fit on me. IΒ΄ll give it one more try, I still have black denim for it at home. Your pants look great with that sweater, even though IΒ΄m not so much into stars I really dig it πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      I totally understand what you mean; I had a helluva a time fitting this pattern to myself. I think you can do it, though! What kind of fit problems are you having?

      • Suzie September 25, 2014 at 8:21 am #

        My first pair of jeans was way too snug. I looked like a sausage, as my husband kindly commented. It looks awesome while IΒ΄m standing, but I canΒ΄t sit down without pain. The second pair had a lot of wrinkles all over my thighs. The lower legs were okay, but a little to wide for skinny pants. And the croth was was way to long. The only thing that fit really well was the butt πŸ™‚

  12. lisa g September 24, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    i love this outfit! i’m so glad that cute sweatshirts/sweaters are a thing, because yay for stylish comfort! i’ve been wanting to try the jamie jeans, so i hope to give them a shot soon.

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      I KNOW! Stylish comfort is the best! Like wearing secret pajamas haha!

  13. neoknits September 24, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Both look great! The start sweater is particularly cute. I’m itching to get the Jaime jeans sewn up in the denim we bought and finally make the jump into pants.

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      I cant’ wait to sew that denim! I really wanted to make the Jamie Jeans with it, but I ended up using the twill. Still… might need 2 pairs of Jamie Jeans. You know, to really perfect that fit πŸ˜‰

  14. Anto September 24, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    I love seeing the outfit go from sketch to reality!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      Me too, it’s so fun! πŸ™‚

  15. Alison September 24, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Those pants look awesome! I have to admit that I am intimidated by pants. So scared! LOL For the sewalong, I would love a FB group.

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      Noo, they’re not intimidating! They just have a few curves in areas that you aren’t used to fitting πŸ™‚ The more you do them, the more you understand them, though!

  16. francescapia September 24, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Love the whole outfit – those stars! In wool knit! Bitchin! You have a really good hand with watercolours too, not just sewing. And I know they’re not easy.
    I have the same cat hair problem. Besides a sticky lint roller, I use this thing which is plastic with a handle, one side covered with a velvety fabric, the other a sort of fuzzy one. Quite good too. Oh, and rubber gloves work really well! Plus a while back I bought that lilly brush which is supposed to be for removing pills from woolies but is also good for cat hair. But some fabrics are just impossible.
    My sis and I basically change as soon as we get home, and house things are all washed together. So they’re hair, but it doesn’t spread lol…
    Two white long hairs and a fluffy part burmese or something. You can imagine.

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      Thank you! I’m pretty happy with the sweater knit – wish I could find more fabrics like that!

      I know that velvet thing you’re talking about, and you’re right – it’s awesome for removing cat hair! I actually use it to de-hair the ironing board (sounds gross, but Amelia LOVES to sleep there. I guess bc it’s warm and elevated, over the heat/air register, and in front of a window! Ok, now i want to sleep there too, kinda hahaha), and it works very well.

  17. SeeKatSew September 24, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    As soon as you started talking about your long crotch I immediately thought of Nelson from the Simpsons when I read “…..I doubt anyone will point and be all β€œHA HA YOUR CROTCH IS TOO LONG HA HA!”…..
    Those jeans are motivating me to learn how to sew and alter pants. I love the fit of those!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

      haha yes! That’s exactly what I had in mind when I wrote that lolololol

  18. carolinascallin September 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Great start on fall sewing! Those pants are SO well done – you’re GOOD!!! Fun top, too – that will be a fabulous piece to layer or wear on its own.

    Love your watercolor illustration! You have a real talent at that, too πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

      Thank you! I love making pants and I love painting watercolors. Two favorite things in one post, I guess, haha!

  19. Inclement September 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I think I can see how shortening the front crotch a bit would help that teeny bit of “spanning” across the front…is that what you even meant?

    I love how these are fashionably skinny pants without looking weirdly spray-painted onto you. Much more flattering, than, say, a certain Duchess (and if those don’t particularly flatter her, IMO, they could not flatter anyone on planet Earth).

    What causes the bit of wrinkling that radiates out from the inner knee on the front? And from the back, there are a few diagonal wrinkles that move from higher on the inside to lower on the outside in the general knee area? Are those things related to the the inner leg seam you mentioned?

    (Sorry to be so ridiculously squinty, but these are the kinds of things that are discussed here from time to time. I think I’m trying to develop some diagnostic skills before I even own a sewing maching LOLOL. Please forgive me.)

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      The crotch is slightly too long – you can see it in the photo close-up of the front of the pants (the one where I have my sweater down so the waistband is covered). Other than that, it’s not super noticeable in pictures. And the wrinkling at the knee and back – I *THINK* – is related to the inner leg seam being too loose. I could totally be wrong – and I welcome any fitting suggestions that anyone has! I have mostly focused my pants-fitting at the crotch area thus far, so the legs are still a little learning curve for me. But, they are loose at the inner leg, and I think the wrinkles were a result of that. Since then, I’ve taken in the inner leg at about 1/2″ and almost all the wrinkles are gone. So there’s that.

      After wearing these around for a day, I also realized that the calves are a little tight while the rest of the leg is a bit more loose (not surprising; my calves are kind of big haha). So some of the outside wrinkling is a result of the tight calf pulling up, if that makes sense.

      And don’t apologize for being squinty or creating a discussion! Fitting is a constant learning process and I’m always open to constructive criticism and discussion, if it helps me learn and get better πŸ™‚

      • jne4sl September 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

        Tight calf was my only issue with this pattern, easy to fix on subsequent pairs but on my first pair, although totally wearable (and on me right now), I’m always worried I’ll bust the knee. The calf is just snug enough that it can’t move on my leg when I bend my knees so the knee fabric is forced to stretch more often than I’d like.

        • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

          I recall reading that some people had issues with the tightness of the legs. I’m surprised they weren’t more tight on me, to be honest – I don’t exactly have skinny legs (at least not at the calf or thigh. You know, basically the whole leg hahah). The calves aren’t bindingly restrictive/uncomfortable, and I don’t feel like I’ll bust any stitches while wearing them – but they do ride up a little if I move around too much, especially when I sit and stand up. Oh well, notes for future pairs I reckon!

      • Inclement September 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

        Oh, okay, thank you. The calves being a bit tight isn’t something that shows up in pictures, but it makes sense.

        I think I’m starting to understand some of the reasons why none of my jeans/pants from stores fit properly. Pants are hard!

        (Any chance of a post-taking-in, wrinkle-free photo? πŸ™‚ )

        • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

          Oh yeah, RTW pants will make you SO MAD when you start learning all the little fitting tweaks, and realizing why they don’t fit right. They shave off pieces of the back crotch to make them fit the width of the fabric, cut the legs off-grain.. it’s awful. At least, it’s awful with really really cheap RTW pants πŸ™‚ Ha!

          I will take another picture of the pants at some point! Next time I finish a top that matches them, I’ll wear them together so you can see πŸ™‚ I’m going to try to wear them a couple more times to see how much they bag out (so far – no bagging! Yea!), and if I can time it right, I’ll photo them that way so y’all can see how the stretch twill has held up over a few wears πŸ™‚

  20. Rachael-Lynn September 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    SHUT the front door!! That star fabric is wool knit??? I’m so jealous!! It is fantastic!!! Someday I’m going to need to make a trip to NYC for fabric!

    • LLADYBIRD September 24, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

      YES! Isn’t it amazing?? GIRL, you have got to get yourself to NYC… the Mood store will take your breath away hahaha!

  21. Tamsin W-P September 25, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    great outfit – I shall maybe see it in London?! I am working on my trousers still – just the hem now, but even thought they were made to the block I drew up in class in May, they still don’t look right/feel right in the crotch area. Class starts again on Monday so i am planning to get them done in time to wear them and hopefully my teacher can help me out.

  22. Birgit September 25, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Love it!

  23. paleobibliophile September 25, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Your jeans look great! I hate printing out patterns, but I may have to do it with the Named jeans. The sweater is cute and will keep you cozy and warm this winter.

  24. sugar September 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    what does a crotch ruler look like?

  25. Sabine September 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Both are great!! I should really try sewing pants but I’m still afraid of all the fitting involved.

  26. Kath September 26, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    I absolutely adore that sweater! It’s not quite cold here yet but I’m pining after cosy jumpers for when it does. I love the stars pattern too, it’s fun and not too busy. πŸ™‚

  27. Kat H September 26, 2014 at 3:54 am #

    Oh my gosh, I am totally in love with your stars wool sweater! Gorgeous!! That fabric is just to-die-for.

  28. HoopesParkStudios September 26, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Gosh I LOVE those front pockets. So cool.

  29. Sally September 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    I could LIVE in this outfit!!! Those stars! And the skinnies are a perfect match for this cozy sweater πŸ™‚ I just found some awesome sweater knit from the Needle Shop in Chicago that is very similar, except it is black and white with hearts! What to make, what to make? Thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

  30. missjoiedevivre September 28, 2014 at 1:30 am #

    I remain in awe of your ability to make your casual clothing look so fantastic and put together, and not like you’ve dragged on whatever was lying on your floor, which is how I feel most weekends! It’s an art, and you have it mastered.

  31. chuichoy January 13, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    Love the watercolor and the final outfit!! Going to read your pants fitting advice now…


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