Posts Tagged ‘style’

Sewing: 6 Ways to Wear Track Pants

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Pants are the first thing to become annoyingly uncomfortable to wear while pregnant. They’re too tight in the waist, they’re not flattering, they’re too saggy in the butt, the list goes on.

In the last few months, there are a few new pants trends that have really piqued my interest: harem pants, trouser pants and track pants. I’ve teamed up with Merrick to share with you 6 ways to style track pants. Click here to see how Merrick styled her pants.

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What are track pants, you ask? It’s a sporty pant that skims the body, not tight, but not too loose. Sometimes they have a tuxedo stripe down the side, but usually they cuff at the bottom. Think sweatpants, but awesome.

Most track pants are out of a woven material with an elastic waist. Sometimes with a drawstring. The waist appeals to me on multiple levels: I have yet to sew a real zip fly on a pant and stretchy elastic is all I want around my growing waist these days.

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The novelty of these pants is that you can dress them up for a little high-low contrast, or dress them down without being frumpy or trashy (*ahem* like those track pants you see with “juicy” along the butt. YIKES!).

I made this particular pair (there will be more to come) with a lightweight tie-dye jersey (here). The description says medium-lightweight, but this is a full-blown lightweight knit. If it weren’t in such a dark colorway, the fabric would likely be see-through. I liked the drape and the softness of the fabric, so I opted to use this for pants. It’s funny how similar the print and color are from my last pair of pants.

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I self-drafted the pattern based off of the leggings block I made at Sewing Summit last year. I added a side seam and added 3.75 inches of ease to the pattern for a looser fit. I suspect that amount of ease will be perfect for a pair of woven pants as well. I didn’t do too much to the pattern beyond that, but I plan on drafting up pockets and possibly a tuxedo stripe in the future. The possibilities with this leggings block are endless!

The pattern was easy to sew, but the fabric was a little bit of a beast to work with. Cutting took forever and matching up the print on the seams was impossible. Big bummer, but they still turned out great. They’re my new favorite pants now!

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With Utah weather being indecisive, I decided to show you three ways that I have styled these pants to accommodate the changing temperatures. Last week we spent time in 90º, 70º and 50º weather. Seriously, a huge swing! But I’m convinced these light-weight pants are the perfect transitional wardrobe item for PMS-ing spring weather.

So here’s my unsolicited, expert* advice on how to wear the track pant through spring:

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Hot Spring Days

For hot spring days, I’ve added a lightweight woven tee, a sunhat and some strappy heels. Roll up the hem to show a little extra skin. This shirt isn’t as loose as it was when I first made it; but a loose or boxy top would work really well. If you’re afraid of looking shapeless, add a structured blazer. However, if you’re wearing a top in a light enough woven with lots of drape there’s no need to add any structure at all.

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Outfit Details:

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Warm Spring Days

When the weather is nice, but there’s just a little chill in the breeze, I add a light blazer. Here I paired it with a fitted v-neck tee, a boxy blazer and a chunky heel.

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Rolling up the sleeves of the blazer gives it a springier feel and keeps the boxy blazer from taking over the frame. The heel balances out the baby bump up top.

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Outfit Details:

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Cool Spring Days

Is it just me or do cooler days warrant a flat? I rarely feel like wearing heels in the middle of the winter. Perhaps it’s because of the snow, but likely because most of my heels are open-toed. Either way, my cozy day go-to is flats. The t-strap flat is dressy while still being low-key. The patent really makes these particular shoes awesome, in my opinion. I’ve paired the pants with a chunky knit sweater (interestingly enough this fits me better now that I’m pregnant because of the longer front) and a denim jacket.

Wearing a monochrome palette has been one of my favorite things lately. Mixing texture and textiles in the same color family adds depth and dimension.

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The other day, it was threatening to snow, so I sported my ankle booties with these pants. They worked, but I think a slightly lower boot shaft would have been ideal. A little bit of ankle peeking through is key with the pant, in my opinion.

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Outfit details:

So, will you be hopping on the track pant trend any time soon? You won’t regret it. They’re crazy comfortable!

Check out Merrick’s Art for how she styled her track pants!

* I am no fashion expert. I’m sure in some circles I’m viewed as a total wannabe. But I’m happy to share my opinions about style all day long.

Sewing: Maternity Raglan Circle Tee

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YUP! Another baby bump!

We’re so thrilled to announce that we will be welcoming Esplin #3 into the world the beginning of October. The news wasn’t completely real until I heard the heartbeat last week (at 14 weeks!). That first listen to the heartbeat gets me so choked up every time.

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All the discomfort and nausea is for something. Although, I must confess this time around has been much easier than with Felix or Penelope. As long as I’m consuming a steady stream of soda water, gummy bears and pot stickers; I seem to be just fine. It’s mostly been my energy and focus levels. They’ve been at an all-time low lately. I’ve been working on clearing my plate of extra work, slowly but surely that’s happening (as you can tell with the lack of posts here).

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Penelope is thrilled with the news. She’s hoping for a girl. And secretly, we all are. We only have a girl name and girl clothes! Felix destroyed all of his clothes, so we’d have to start completely from scratch if we had a boy. I don’t know why, but my heart has been set on a girl from the beginning. We’re happy with a baby, boy or girl. But I still want a girl. ;)

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I’m about 15 weeks along and quickly starting to show. I’m at this awkward point where I still fit in my old clothes, but I feel like if I wear anything too form-fitting; I’ll look like I ate a giant burrito, not pregnant. That’s pretty much what I’m thinking all the time. Can we blame those crazy thoughts on hormones?

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Besides that, I’ve been thinking and sewing up various pieces that I feel may be versatile during and after pregnancy. I don’t want pieces that make me look like a giant tent; but things that I can wear alone, with a belt or a blazer and feel perfectly comfortable in my own skin.

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Inspired by this look, I used the base of Hey June’s Raglan tee, did a little slash and spread (I use the same technique in the maxi wrap tutorial) and lengthened the hemline by about 7-8 inches and created a slight high-low curve to the base.

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The funny thing about this fabric is that it seems to stretch vertically as the day wears on. I steamed the shirt not long after and instantly added 4 inches to the hemline! Strange, right? I’m thinking this hemline will work for now, but I won’t know for sure until after I have washed and dried the garment for the first time. I’m tempted to keep the longer hemline because my belly is only going to grow 10 fold, too.

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Adjusting the pattern of this top took about 20 minutes and sewing up the top took just under an hour. I used a slightly different method for hemming the sleeve and neckline. instead of sewing the bands with folded side out, I sewed them with the raw edges out. So the top is finished with all raw edges, but it looks more finished than if I had just left it as is. Given the pattern on the shirt, this detail is incredibly subtle, not something that the camera could pick up really well.

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I’ve got Penelope to thank for pictures today. She was such a doll, beaming with excitement to help me in the studio. It’s fun to have my own little assistant in-house!

Outfit details:

  • glasses: c/o Coastal.com (use code SAC1PE6T for 25% off)
  • necklace: c/o Cambria Cove
  • earrings: etsy
  • bracelet: THP Shop
  • skinnies: Forever 21
  • shoes: Forever 21

Sewing: Comfy Sweater Raglan with Kangaroo Pocket

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A long-sleeve raglan tee is a favorite wardrobe staple of mine that I’ve longed to make for the last several months. It took me so long to finally get around to making one for the simple fact that I tried to draft one up on my own and failed miserably. The first one I drafted was too straight-edged (literally, I just drew straight lines) and didn’t fit right. The second was too curvy (draped on my dressform) and also didn’t look right. All around too baggy or bulky in the wrong spots. So I went for a pattern instead. Shoulda done that from the get-go. WAAAY easier in this case.

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I used a rayon/polyester blend double knit for this top. I fell in love with the print a week ago. It reminds me of something art-deco/the matrix (minus that hideous computer green), but I wasn’t totally sold on the texture. I tend to steer clear of polyester because I’m so particular about texture. Thankfully, a cycle in the washer and dryer softened it up to perfection.

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The Hey June Lane Raglan pattern* I used recommended I sew up an XS based on my waist measurements (although I wonder if those were meant to be bust measurements?). Since the double knit didn’t offer a 50% stretch like the pattern recommended, I sized up. I almost wish I would have sized up to the medium for a hoodie-like fit (a little closer to what I had envisioned), but the tighter fit is still very comfortable, and lends itself towards a more polished look.

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The fabric pattern is pretty busy – borderline overwhelming – breaking up the print with jersey knit piping around sleeve lines solved the issue.

I winged it with the pouch, and if I were to do it all over again, I’d shorten the top trapezoidal part of the pouch by about an inch and a half.

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The pocket does add a little extra weight to my middle section; but I’m so over the moon how this top fits, I couldn’t care less. I’m sure if I zipped up the sides tighter it would reduce that visual weight. Or I could simply add a structured jacket overtop, no extra sewing required!

It’s been so cold around here, I’m not ready to part with my winter wardrobe just yet. I have plans to make even more early spring transitional pieces in the near future. It’s all about comfort, medium/lightweight fabrics, but long sleeves and hemlines to cover the skin from chilly breezes.

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I finished the top just in time to throw it on and pick up the kids from school (Felix is loving his preschool, btw!). I felt comfortable, warm and put-together. All three major wins in my book. I will definitely make more of these in the near future.

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Outfit details:

  • glasses: coastal.com
  • earrings: c/o Pamela Susan
  • necklace: handmade by my dad
  • bracelet: THP
  • purse: Basik 855, c/o UmbaBox
  • raglan: handmade by me
  • denim: Forever 21
  • booties: Seychelles

A few simlar raglans, in case you don’t want to make your own.

*Pattern courtesy of Hey June. Just a little shout out about her patterns: they’re awesome, well drafted, well written and 25% of all patterns sold goes to Christian Care Foundation, an organization that provides care for special needs children in Thailand. This hits close to home since Felix is now technically “special needs”. We’ve been so blessed to have such great resources at our fingertips to help felix and our family grow together. I think it’s pretty awesome that there’s an organization out there providing supplemental help out there to families that may not have access to the same care that we do.

Sewing: Chiffon Top

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Friday’s Alt Summit ensemble took on a different look as well. The skirt I started to make totally bombed. Instead of freaking out at the last minute, I simply adjusted my expectations. Chris was so proud! I grabbed my floor-length chiffon skirt and kept on going.

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The floor length skirt paired with the light pink fabric I had planned for the top top ended up looking horrible under natural and artificial light. They were just the wrong pinks that they just vibrated against each other. More expectations adjusted. I wasn’t about to go out and buy more fabric to match, so I looked to my stash to see what I could work with.

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Et voila. I didn’t add any leather details on the shoulders as planned. In fact, I don’t know why I didn’t! I think I was in such a rush to finish something that I just forgot that plan altogether. I modified my basic tee pattern to include very drapey sleeves.

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I think the overall vision worked great.

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It’s not necessarily my “style”, but it was exactly the piece I needed to bring the whole ensemble (live floral crown included) together. It also worked perfectly with the vision I had of our Secret Garden Party.

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Now I can’t quite tell if I still like the top or not. I LOVE the print, but I’m not entirely sure the colorway is flattering on me. Sometimes I feel like there’s not enough contrast between my skin tone and the fabric so I look semi-amorphous while wearing it. It’s also sheer, which means I have to wear layers underneath. I don’t like wearing layers if I don’t have to.

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I need to give this top a chance. But I may end up just giving it to someone who will wear it more than I will.

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I LOVE the fit, though. The flutter sleeves are so fun to wear. I have plans to sew more tops like this in the future. Maybe a dress like this would be fun in the summer months? I can’t think about summer now. We just got about 3 inches of sloshy snow. And I think it’s going to keep coming. Must. Make. More. Winter. Clothes!

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Outfit details:

 

 

Sewing: Alt Summit Emerald Outfit

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Thursday night’s look came together almost exactly how I envisioned.

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The only difference is that I opted for cobalt beaded detailing instead of gold chain detailing around the shoulders. The beading took more time than sewing on metal chain. I started laying out my idea in chain, but it started looking cheap.

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The green and blue combo is the new pink and orange. I love these colors together. istillloveyou-sewing-style-beaded-wiggle-dress-2

The outfit was a bit understated, but the beading made it something special. The bodycon silhouette is classic, too.

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Sewing up this piece was easy. I sewed a fitted version of the Renfrew tee and connected it with my wiggle skirt block. No zippers. No buttons. Easy peasy. The beading, however took the longest. Thankfully that could all be done while vegging out to Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Chris. It’s our new favorite show. Go forth and watch it if you haven’t already!

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Beading around the neckline was hardest. I had to use two needles and thread. One for stringing beads, the other for attaching the thread between the beads to the neckline. The neckline is barely big enough to fit over my head, but I still have to be careful when pulling it on and taking it off to avoid busting threads. I’ve broken threads twice already. It’s a 20 minute set-back whenever I break threads. UGH! Still, so worth it, though.

Utah photographer

Image by Justin Hackworth

The night of the emerald party, I paired my dress with a bold metal lace statement necklace from Tai Pan. That along with doing my hair in a low chignon made the dress shine.

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Outfit Details:

 

 

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