The Grainline Hemlock and Espresso Leggings

Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel blah? Well that was how I felt all day today. I woke up and my stomach felt yucky and my arms and hands really hurt. I've been having lots of trouble with them lately - too much sewing (and knitting and putting together pdf patterns) I guess. So I laid pretty low and didn't do much of anything. Lucky for me, my only boss is my husband and he's pretty lenient with me. So I spent most of the day surfin' the net, catching up on sewing blogs and watching Netflix (am I the only one who cried watching Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt's wedding? I'm the biggest baby ever). I always end up feeling really guilty when I'm sick or if I spend the day doing nothing (there's always so much to do!), so I decided I should at least do some blogging.


I have wanted to make Grainline Studio's Hemlock tee for quite some time, and I finally got around to it yesterday. I was hoping for a nice boxy oversize tee to wear with leggings, and while that is what I got, I'm not sure it suits my figure. I think I might be a bit too breasty for it. Is that a thing? I can't complain too much as it's a free pattern and only one size. I actually really liked how it looked in the mirror, but I'm not loving it on me in these photos. The pattern is a free pdf, and it all goes together quite nicely. Instructions aren't included but Jen has a great tutorial on her website to go with it.


I decided to go with a colour-blocked version, and I'm happy with how it worked out. The blue fabric is from Girl Charlee. It's a tissue knit and it's super soft. I wasn't overly impressed with it when I first took it out of the box, but it grew on me. The grey is a lightweight knit I got from the guy in front of Sainsbury's at Walthamstow market in London (if you ever go to London, let me know and I'll tell you all about shopping at Walthamstow - it's great!). It is also incredibly soft.


Can you tell I took these photos myself? I balanced the camera on the retaining wall of our garden, so some of them are a bit off kilter. The leggings are of course the Espresso Leggings by Cake - my go to pattern for leggings. I love being able to make custom fit leggings for myself and it's a bonus that I can make them out of funky patterned fabric.  This is another fabric from Girl Charlee (I just can't seem to resist Girl Charlee, damn you adorable prints and great website!). I'm a bit of a sucker for galaxy prints, and while the crosses might be a bit much, they really spoke to my inner 90's grunge-rock teenager (what can I say, I'll always love Wayne's World, Pearl Jam, plaid shirts and doc martens - it's my curse).

Anyway, this fabric is nice and soft with fairly good stretch, but it's a little bit on the sheer side for leggings, and after wearing these guys for a few hours they started to bag out a bit (no recovery). Plus the colours have already started to fade after one washing, and I bet next time I wash them they'll pill. They were great for lounging around today though. I probably would have been better making a t-shirt out of this fabric, but hey, I play by my own rules.


Sweet pose right? I'm trying to show you the underarm seam - I'm a pattern matching genius, no? LOL. And it wouldn't be a legit blog post with out gratuitous pug shots, would it?


Both of these projects were super quick and easy. I used my serger to put them together, and because the leggings were made pre-coverstitch machine, they got the double-needle treatment, but the Hemlock got treated right and I was thrilled to have no tunnelling using a lighter weight knit in my new machine. Knit projects are great for instant gratification.

Oh and just in case you are wondering where my third pug is, she stayed in the house napping. She's not a big fan of the paparazzi.


How do you feel about one-size fits all patterns? Or one size garments for that matter? Have you tried the Hemlock tee?  Also have you planned your Fall sewing yet? Based on the crazy blizzard that's happening back home right now, I think I better get my but in gear and sew some warm stuff.

Where Heather Sews - Finally A Sewing Post!

I feel like I've been doing copious amounts of fabric shopping (and blogging about it), and not nearly enough sewing (and blogging about it). Well that all stops today - I have finally put together a sewing post complete with awkward/terrible selfies. Woo hoo! We are currently, chilling at our country place on White Lake, and I have brought all, well most of, my sewing gear. So while John's out fishing, I'm sewing. I've actually been having a ton of fun, although I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some frustrating moments. Which brings us to the first project I will share with you: Espresso Leggings by Cake. IMG_4310 This is actually a really cool pattern. You take various measurements of your legs, waist and rise, and then you connect the dots, and voila: you have your very own custom leggings pattern. I've had this pattern for weeks, but haven't tried it. I had read lots of great things about it: that it was super easy and resulted in amazing custom fit leggings. I always have problems with getting store bought leggings to fit. I think it's because of my super short legs, so I was super keen to try this.

Let the great leggings adventure begin! Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes right? No matter what you do? That was how my day went when I first attempted these leggings. I have only been sewing clothes for about 4 months now, so I was fully prepared for my test pair to not be perfect (or was I?). Don't get me wrong, I had my fingers crossed and hoped that because this pattern was so "easy" that they would be perfect, but I was also prepared to cut myself some slack. Well, my first pair I couldn't even get on! I made a classic rookie mistake. It was a 2-way stretch fabric, and I cut my leggings so that the stretch was vertical instead of horizontal. DOH! I couldn't even get over my knees. I felt pretty silly, but I shrugged and laughed it off. I still had enough fabric left over for another pair, no harm, no foul.

Second attempt: somehow I made them about 5 inches too short, and they were pretty much cutting off the circulation to my feet. Plus my butt fell out when I sat down. Not a good thing. What did I do wrong?? (Um, measure twice, cut once Heather, hello-oh!) At this point I was pretty tired and frustrated, so I called it a night, but I vowed to not be defeated and told myself I would try again the next day.

Third attempt: Success!! I had John go over my measurements with me again, and it turned out that I had completely miss measured the length of my legs, and I didn't do a very good job measuring my rise either. So with new measurements in hand, I made a completely new template and discovered that I had marked some of my dots wrong, which also added to my fit issues. Anyway, long story longer, my third pair turned out pretty awesome. So awesome that I made a second pair, and then a third pair. Cue awkward selfies:




Ya that's my butt! These ˆˆˆ are my favourite of the three pairs. They fit awesome, and I love the crazy print. I have no idea what I will wear them with in real life, but I picture them with a long black tunic top, or maybe a simple black knit dress. I am sure I will think of something.


Don't I look totally 80's on my bottom half? Excuse my lulu hoodie, I was just lounging around. What happened to my face, why is it so blurry? And what's going on with my hair? I s that what it always looks like?


While these ones don't look that flattering in pictures, they are pretty awesome too. I got both of these fabrics from Denver Fabrics and they are both an ITY knit. At the time I had no idea what an ITY knit was (and to be honest I still don't) or what it felt like, but it was cheap and pretty, and when it arrived, I saw that it had tons of stretchy-ness so I thought it would make great leggings. And the best part, so far this fabric repels pug hair. Score!

My last pair, are just plain black leggings. Probably the most practical of the three. I got the fabric from Girl Charlee, and it is a super soft cotton jersey. I am hoping that they won't stretch out over time, but we'll have to see. Unfortunately, this fabric attracts pug hair, so not the best fabric for lounging around cuddling my grumble, but great for out of the house attire (with a long top or dress of course).


Whoa, what am I doing in this pose? And how did my face get so shiny? Of course no selfie is complete without a pug or two hanging out.



So that's pretty much it for leggings. While this project didn't start off the greatest, I am glad I persevered, as I am thrilled with my new leggings.  I also learned a couple of things about my crotch curve and how to fit pants so fingers crossed that helps with future makes. Hopefully this post wasn't too painful for you, as there will be more coming your way.

Do you sew? Have you ever made your own clothes or clothes for someone else? Got any tips for me on taking selfies? (Or maybe in airbrushing? LOL.)