Tag Archives: Thurlow Sewalong

Thurlow Sew-Along: Choosing Your Fabric

8 Oct

I just love this part of the sewing process – choosing fabric! If there’s anything that gets me super pumped about my upcoming project, it’s after I’ve found ~the fabric~ (and possibly rolled myself up in it like a burrito). What I like about this pattern is that it can be made in a multitude of fabrics to cover every season – not to mention that every pair has the potential to look completely different.

The back of the Thurlow envelope gives some suggestions for fabric choices – woolens, suitings, cotton twill, etc. You will want to stick with something light to medium weight. Be careful that you don’t go too thick, as the welt pockets can get a little bulky if you’re not careful. This is a great pattern for playing with wooly textures & saturated colors (my favorite!). We will be doing a lot of pressing, so I definitely recommend sticking with natural fibers to make this easier.

Still overwhelmed? Here are some LT-approved choices-


Black/Grey Herringbone Suiting
I LOVE herringbone! This is actually pretty similar to the suiting my pants will be made with, except mine is brown 🙂


Camel/Chocolate Plaid Suiting
This is another fairly “safe” option, but there is plenty of texture in the fabric to keep it from being too boring.


Black/White Plaid Suiting
Or, if you want to go all out & have some loud pants – try a balanced plaid! This one is pretty small-scale, so it wouldn’t be too hard to match up.


Plum Wool Crepe
Wool crepe is another great choice if you are looking for something with a bit more drape. I love the spongey, slightly stretchy texture – and all the saturated colors! Ahh!


Dark Emerald Wool Crepe
I mean… really. Wool crepe totally has the best colors.


Mustard Boiled Wool
I think we all need a pair of mustard pants.


Solid Navy Stretch Denim
Denim works quite well with this pattern, so fancy trouser jeans are absolutely doable! A few things I should point out: stick with a medium weight – too light won’t have enough body, and too heavy will give you hell when you try to sew those pockets & belt loops – and try to get a denim that doesn’t have more than a subtle amount of stretch (otherwise, you may end up needing to size down to get it to fit!). Also, take note when you’re prewashing this stuff – I wash & dry my denim at least 3 times before I cut it. It shrinks up a LOT and this is not something you want to discover in the form of high-waters, ok.


Chili Petter Cotton Twill
If wool makes you feel inexplicably itchy & denim bores you to tears, there is always a cotton twill option.


Mink Solid Rich Italian Velvet
Fancy velvet shorts? This velvet is totally luxe & only costs $10 a yard!

Of course, if you’re on the other side of the world, all these nubby tweeds & deep jewel tones are probably causing you to break out into a sweat. Don’t worry – there’s a fabric for that 😉


White/Blue Striped Seersucker
Seersucker is a summer staple as far as I’m concerned – why not embrace your inner Southern Gentleman with a pair of seersucker shorts?


Dark Blue Solid Linen
Or, if shorts aren’t your bag, linen makes a base for a summery pair or trousers *or* shorts. If you are super concerned about the natural wrinkles that come with the linen territory, get one that has a bit of poly blended in.

In addition to the fashion fabric, you will also need to buy lining for the inside waistband, pockets & fly facing. This is the fun part! We won’t actually be using “lining” fabric – so nothing slippery & devilish, yay! Lightweight cottons are perfect for this. Voiles, batistes, poplins, even light weight quilting cottons if you want the inside to be real cray.


Aqua and Brown Plaid Cotton
I love this! An easy way to inject some plaid into your pants, without the hassle of agonizing over matching up all those little lines 🙂


Yellow/White Polka Dot Cotton Poplin
You can play it safe with a subtle print or even a solid color


Floral Double Sided Cotton
… or go all out with some mega crazy granny print because holy shit.

If you made it this far, I’ve got a little consolation prize for ya 🙂 Mood Fabrics is offering a 10% discount for all online fashion fabric purchases between now and 10/22/12! Enter the code LLADYBIRD at checkout to get your discount! Note that this does not apply to home decor stuff, dressforms, or any code that starts with PV. Mood is one of my favorite places to shop fabric, so I’m pretty excited about this! Thank you, Mood!! ♥

As a side note, a few people mentioned that they do not have their pattern yet or aren’t quite at the point of making the muslin. That’s ok! We aren’t starting our actual pant-sewing until the week of 10/29, I just wanted to make sure everyone has enough time to get their fit situation figured out 🙂

Thurlow Sew-Along: Muslin Party!

4 Oct


It’s time to get crackin’ on some muslins! Whoooohooo… who’s excited!? Anyone? Anyone?

I will admit – making a muslin isn’t exactly the most exciting way to spend your precious sewing time. However, it is pretty necessary to ensure that you get a good fit, especially with something like trousers or shorts where you can’t just sew a wider seam allowance to get rid of the problem. Lots of pattern alterations involve the flat pattern before the fabric is cut, and it is crucial that you figure this out before you cut into your real fabric & then despair that the crotch is too long. Long crotches are pretty tragic, imo. So let’s get muslinin’, y’all.

First, figure out what size you are going to be sewing up. Here is the back of the Thurlow envelope. These pants don’t have too much ease in them, but it IS there. If you like that, that’s totally fine – just cut the size recommended. If you want something a little more form-fitting, I recommend checking out the finished measurements & basing your size off of those. PROTIP: the finished waist measurement doesn’t actually hit your high waist, as in the smallest part of your torso. These actually hit right at the belly button, so that would be where you need to measure if you are going by the finished dimensions. My measurements put me between a 4 and a 6, but I cut a 0 (since right at my belly button is 29″) and added some room at the butt and I got a great fit. Trace your pattern if you are unsure what size to cut, you can always make another muslin!

Thurlow Muslin - necessary pattern pieces
The Thurlow has a lot of pattern pieces, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we only need a few for a proper muslin! I have circled the ones you’ll need to cut out. The pocket lining pieces ARE necessary (since they fill the void where the pocket slash is on the front pieces), but don’t worry about the facings. If you are making trousers, you can go all out & muslin the full lengths, or you can be lazy like me & just make shorts 😉

It is a good idea to mark on your muslin where the welt pockets will sit – you don’t have to sew the actual pockets, unless you are just REALLY feeling it – in case you determine you need to move them. Don’t worry about the zipper, you can just pin the front closed.

I was going to compile a list of pants-fitting resources, but it looks like Tasia beat me to it. So, just to reiterate (and mostly because I don’t feel like I’m doing anything if I just direct you to her blog), here are some of my personal faves:
Pants fitting basics, via the Coletterie
Pants fitting cheat-sheet, via the Coletterie
Common pants alterations, via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Crotch depth via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Crotch length via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Knee & hem adjustments via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Fullness & waistlines via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Special alterations for pants via Texas A&Ms Extension program
The Anatomy of a camel toe via the Fashion Incubator
Colette Clover pants via meeee. Haha! The comments in this post are actually quite great, lots of helpful info & resources.

Books:
The Perfect Fit (actually, I think all of y’all should buy this book – regardless of whether or not you are making pants)
Pants for Real People

WHEW that’s a lot of links! Don’t tell me you don’t suddenly feel armed & prepared!

So here’s the fun part… I’m going to show you *my* Thurlow muslin! This is actually the muslin I made in the ‘way beginning, and no, I have no idea why I still had it stashed (I even moved across town during this time!). But, whatever, I guess it came in handy :B Also, fair warning: these are pretty unflattering.

Thurlow Muslin
Here you can see I’ve got some weird excess fabric in the front of my shorts. This is the crotch depth, and it clearly needs to be shortened (I’m petite, so it makes sense that I have a short crotch, I guess haha).

Thurlow Muslin
Side view is ok, apart from that itty bitty FUPA the shorts give me.

Thurlow Muslin
Oh god, what is going ON in the back!?

Thurlow Muslin
As my ass appears to be eating directly into my shorts, it would seem I need to add some room back there.

Thurlow Muslin
To fix the crotch depth, I simply pinned out the excess fabric & tapered it to the sides. Doesn’t it look much better?

Thurlow Muslin
Here’s a side view

To fix my butt issue, I extended the back crotch length on my pattern piece to a size 4, tapering down the leg.

Thurlow Jeans
And here’s the finished result of that. No more perma-wedgie, yay!

Well, that turned into a super heavy post! Do let me know if you have any questions & I’ll do my best to answer. Feel free to post your muslins in the Flickr Group and let’s help each other!

Next week, we are gonna talk fabric. FUCK YES.

Completed: The Mustard Renfrew (plus some announcements!)

26 Sep

Let’s get down to business, shall we?

First of all, you guys definitely want a sew-along. And I aim to please! So let me introduce my first sew-along (ahhh!!), for the Thurlow trousers:


Feel free to snag this button for your blog, so everyone will know how cool you are BECAUSE YOU ARE MAKING PANTS.

As it is, I am a bit swamped right now, and I know a lot of you guys are working on jackets & coats with other sew-alongs, so we won’t actually start sewing until the end of October. I am aiming for a start date of Monday 10/29, so there will be plenty of time for everyone to work on their muslins, choose fabric (but maybe hold up a week or two, I’ve got a fabric post cooking right now :)) and of course finish your coat if you’re working on one!

I also opened a Thurlow Sew-Along Flickr Group, so please join so we can all share pictures 😀 We will be posting our muslins for advice on fit, and since I’m not a muslin-master, I’m really hoping y’all can pitch in and help when you see something you know the answer to. Open discussion!

A few people asked if they could join with a different trouser pattern – and the answer is OF COURSE! We will be focusing on the Thurlow pattern specifically, but these techniques should work with any ol’ pants pattern, including the gorgeous new Juniper. However, you may need to draft pieces if your pattern doesn’t have all the cool welts & fly facings & shit.

Also, this specific pattern includes an option for shorts, so if you’d rather make shorts… make shorts! All the construction techniques will still be the same 🙂

Ok, for those of you who dgaf about a sew-along… I have something for you too. But you still have to look at my Thurlows. HEH HEH HEH.

Renfrew & Thurlows
Thought I’d whip up a little tshirt last night 🙂

Renfrew & Thurlows
This is the Renfrew top by Sewaholic patterns. I know what you’re thinking – and I promise I’m not getting paid to wax poetic about Tasia’s patterns every day lol. I just really love them and I want everyone to get excited about them too!

Renfrew & Thurlows
Anyway, I wanted to try the cowl in view C, but I was holding off for the right fabric (and weather conditions). This fabric actually came from the flea market last week – this lady was trying to dump off the remainder of her late mother’s fabric stash and this was in it. It was actually really scratchy & smelled awful, like a moldy basement in the 60s, but I took a chance. Especially since I got a big stack of fabrics for $1 lolz. Anyway, it softened up quite nicely with a wash – and the smell is gone. I just think the color is so perfect!

Renfrew & Thurlows
Here’s a back view. BACK FAT ALERT, BRO.

Renfrew & Thurlows
I feel like it also bears mentioning that this is a perfect every day wardrobe ensemble. Sure, it’s a boring concept – jeans & a tshirt. Who the fuck makes jeans & a tshirt? Actually – I think that’s the beauty of it. Instead of focusing all my sewing power on stuff that rarely gets worn, this is some straight-up cake. I am going to snuggle into this outfit all the time – I would be wearing it right now, if I didn’t work in an office with a dress code 🙂 – and it just tickles me that the entire thing is handmade by meeeee.

Oh, speaking of cake – StephC of 3hourspast just kicked off a presale for her new pattern line, Cake! And it’s a casual knit dress – designed to be worn as every day wear, or, the aforementioned cake. Mmmm, cake.

One thing I hear people mention when they discuss not wanting to sew “every day” items is that they are boring to sew. Boring fabrics (not as many pretty prints!), boring patterns, boring boring. And I get that – I really love digging my teeth into something deliciously challenging. But there are ways to make your plain garments more fun – like making the inside a party:
Renfrew - HAPPY SHIRT
GOD, what a happy shirt!

At any rate, stick around for Thurlow Extravaganza! I’ll be back next week to start muslin’ing, and we also need to talk FABRIC!!

Renfrew & Thurlows