Xanelé Shorts - French Navy

It's a shorts kinda day on the blog today!

These are the brand new Xanelé Shorts (pronounced shan-a-lay) from French Navy and I was lucky to test this pattern out back in winter. There was a call out for the more bootylicious amongst us to test the pattern and well...what could I do but assist. 

 

Shorts inspired by hiking Table Mountain sound like excellent shorts to test. They have an elasticated waistband, pleated front, cuffed hem and best of all - are a good length!

The size I went for on the chart was H at the waist grading to I at the hips. I went into this expecting full well to make a load of changes to the crotch curve but not so!

This is the first incarnation in some cotton and everything fit where it was supposed to. It's a shorts miracle.

My second test pair were in stretch linen that I had left over from 1st for Fabrics. The pattern does not need stretch it was just coincidental as I was trying a drapier fabric. On this pair I added some eyelets and a drawstring to the waistband for detail and practicalities of fluctuating weight.

On this pair I also shortened the pattern by 1.5" just to see what happened, and stitched the cuffs down to stop the softer fabric from flopping around. 

Yes that is Clyde with a small tracker on his ass

Enter the comfiest pair of shorts ever. 

The pattern instructions are for top stitching the elastic (I don't like doing this so I can have the option to adjust elastic after the fact) however there are the drawstring and belt loop options too!

Test pair three consisted of 100% woven cotton, just to be sure that a non-stretch would actually be comfortable. It is. 

Same shorts, different substrate. I like how they fit at the back, despite being entirely elasticated they don't bunch (I have a 12 inch difference between waist and hip so that does tend to happen). The length of these is so practical for roaming around and not flashing too much upper leg. Just my preference but there's options to go short as you like!

Nice big pockets for collecting rocks, sneaking sweets, hiding your phone camera clicker or just a place for awkward hands.

The final incarnation was a pair of 'smart' shorts made from Flow Viscose Linen - buttery soft and airy. Since the testing phase there is now a belt loop option so I obviously had to try that too.

Same shorts, no drawstring this time, just added belt loops and a much softer fabric. 

Shorts win.Would 10/10 recommend this pattern. 

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Fifi Pants - Style Arc

 Fifi Pants sounds like I'm describing a well groomed pink poodle however the reality is far from flouncy.

These are some damn fine trousers from Style Arc!

The pattern is for elasticated waist (with a flat front) woven wide leg trousers with pockets and a thick waistband.

I made a toile of the full length version and did have to tweak the fit but thankfully, only very slightly. I started out with a size 16 but they were quite baggy in the bum and I think a 14 would have been better for these are they are spacious.  

For a better fit I took about an inch from the back seam (after having sent The Fabric Wrangler an obligatory and unsolicited picture of my bum for fitting advice!) tapering into the crotch curve and also about an inch from the waist at the side seams. 

Toile 2 was a lovely pair of blue crepe full length wide leg trousers. Which were wonderful until I realized my adjustments to the paper pattern mean I could not longer get the waist over my hips. After some encouragement from The Willowers (our newly re-named Thursday sewing class group) I plucking up the courage to give a side zip a go A miracle happened and that was the best fitting pair of trousers I've made to date.

SIDE ZIP + ELASTIC = HEAVEN.

I think Closet Core Patterns actually did this hack ages ago but I wasn't aware of it. For those with big booty and a smaller waist it's an absolute dream to make elasticated pants fit better. The tutorial is here

I have since modified the pattern again just to simplify it further.

The original Fifi pattern has the waistband in 3 parts. 2 pieces for the flat front and the larger piece for the rest of the waist band. I eliminated that faff and my waistband is just one massive 5" wide rectangle that can house 2" elastic when attached. (I like 1 piece/ non-topstitched waistbands also because in future, you can take in or expand the elastic if needed without losing a garment to the recycle pile).

The fabric is viscose crepe - I wanted to retain that slight stretch and softness so this was ideal. The pictured fabric is Eglantine et Zoe bought from Makeat140. Dreamy fabric both to wear and work with. 

Excited that I had wide leg trousers that fit I then made another pair in blue (I am currently obsessed with this print and overbought it, it will be cropping up again in other makes!).

Despite me ruining the effect by having my hand in my pockets in all pictures, they lie beautifully flat at the front and drape well over the back. You'll just have to trust me on that! I have yet to work out how not to be awkward in all pictures.

There was an attempt at a faux jumpsuit effect using the Ogden Cami however I think I need to take it in a bit as the top is looking a bit voluminous. 

And why not go the whole hog with this pattern and make some shorts!


 Worthy of a little mention here is the Ashton Top by Helen's Closet. I appear to be the only person in the world who hadn't made this yet. Turns out - it's worth the hype!

Scrap busting a bit of Lamazi Flow Viscose Linen I whipped up this top in a 14 (I'm usually a 16/18 for Helen's Closet but the under arms gaped a bit too much so sized down). Love it!

Necklace by KirstinStride
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