Saturday, February 27, 2021

Pomona Pants: Two Versions

 I thought I'd share about my Pomona Pants in a little more depth in this post, especially as I've just finished a second pair. I'm struggling right now with wanting to knit all the linen/summery/flow-y things while being stuck in below-freezing temperatures. Is it spring yet? 


The pattern is from Anna Allen Clothing and is a PDF download. I go back and forth on whether I have the patience to print out and tape a pattern together. I think as long as it's not too many pages, I find it worth it. (Taping a PDF pattern together also became 10x easier after I saw Rachael's (@minimalistmachinist) tip about folding the corners). There's also something that really speaks to the risk-averse side of me about having the pattern in PDF format so I can print out different sizes as needed and don't have to worry about losing the pattern during apartment moves. 


Both versions I show here use fabric from Joann's. The black is Sew Classics Amaretto Linen Look and the yellow is Sew Classics Linen Look in "honey". The black fabric actually has no linen in it, whereas the yellow fabric is 55% linen and 45% rayon. Despite my black pair not actually being "linen", I prefer the feel of them -- they're softer, wrinkle way less, and are also a bit warmer. I haven't washed my yellow pants more than 3-4 times though, so they might soften more with wear. They are also definitely a warm-weather-only pant.

Cost for the yellow fabric: $18.18

Cost for the black fabric: $18.18

I do think I'm still exclusively sewing with fabric others might consider toile or muslin material -- the cost of sewing can be truly A LOT. I understand the process of buying a pattern and modifying it so it fits perfect for you, and then using very high quality fabric to create a long-lasting quality piece of clothing, but I think that realistically for people like me who are just starting out and likely to make MANY mistakes, there is not a huge value-added right away to splurging on nice fabric. The fabrics I listed above definitely function well for this pattern in particular, and I don't feel like I've wasted both a lot to time and money if I mess up along the way. That said, there are still a lot of questions in regard to sustainability with some fabrics, but I think that my new sewing hobby (and the pandemic) has started to make me much more mindful of the clothing I buy and what I could make myself, and also motivates me to be more creative with the clothing I already have -- especially anything I've made myself. 


The pattern calls for a 2-inch elastic. For both, I instead used this 1.5-inch elastic from Amazon. This elastic doesn't roll in my experience and works well -- I just modified the casing by a half inch. 

This pattern is great for beginners, the instructions are detailed, and I had few moments when I felt lost about what to do next. After sewing my Burnside Bibs and then sewing two pairs of the Pomona Pants, I think I finally understand how sewing pans actually worked (on a basic level). Before now, though, I relied heavily on this video, which walks you through which seams line up with each other. 

The black are a size 6 and the yellow are a size 8. Part of the difference in fit is definitely fabric, but I am a little surprised how the two fit so differently. I think my ideal fit would be somewhere in between, and I plan to work on a version that is graded between an 8 at the hips and a 6 at the waist. I also think I could add a little more length (I'm 5'7" for reference).

I also added horizontal stitching to the waistband. I really love the finished look it gives, but I also want to caution anyone doing this that it will stretch out the elastic, so make sure the elastic is quite snug before you do the horizontal stitching. 

This pattern has really worked for me, just like my Wiksten Shift Top, and I already have plans for a third pair that will go along with a Ashton Top in the same fabric (slowly making my way toward the linen lounging set of my dreams...). 

Friday, February 19, 2021

FO Friday: Raina Shawl

It's been a while since I've done a FO Friday post. This one means a lot though as it was a labor (mostly of love). You can check out my project page on Ravelry here.


Pattern is the Raina Shawl by Andrea Mowry. I actually bought this pattern a long time ago, knowing that after my first two-color brioche project I'd want to be doing it again. (If you're wanting to try you hands at brioche, I have a free, simple knitting pattern available here). I found the pattern overall easy to follow, though I wish it had included some instructions for one-pass two color brioche. I tried very hard to find a youtube video or instructions that worked for me, but I just couldn't master it. I expect using the one-pass method would have cut knitting time down significantly.


I used Malabrigo Yarn Mechita in Polar Morn and Natural. This yarn was so beautiful to knit with -- very soft and with a lot of fluff/pouf factor. I'm a little sad when I blocked the shawl it lost a little bit of that. Looking back, I probably wouldn't have blocked it. 


Overall, I really enjoyed this knit. It was addictive both in construction and in watching the color changes. I find I really enjoy any knit with color work or cables, anything where the progress is very obvious, and I've been seeking out those patterns more frequently.

I do wish that I had done a wrap and turn during the brioche sections... to me the gaps in the knitting are noticeable enough that I think it would have been worth the extra effort. 

That said, the applied brioche border was a slog. It's beautiful and I think the shawl needs it, but I found it a struggle to maintain the energy to complete it. Unfortunately, the biggest mistake was putting it down for a while, as I found it difficult to re-learn the pattern and ripped back a bunch due to all my inevitable mistakes. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

A(nother) Summary of Some Recent Embroidery Projects

In a similar spirit as my last post rounding up my most recent sewing projects, here's one summarizing some embroidery I've completed since last March. I want to give a shout out to Sarah K. Benning and her patterns as they have honestly taught me almost everything I know about embroidery now (and you'll see that most of the below patterns come from her.

This first one, however, is a pattern from Jessica Long, whose style is much more what I would traditionally think of when I think of embroidery (read: floral) but with a really nice modern twist. This pattern also taught me a lot of new stitches I wasn't familiar with. I really enjoyed it. 

This next one is the August Crystals from Sarah K. Benning. I did this one sitting on the lawn outside of my apartment during the beginning of covid when it was finally warm enough to at least spend some time outside (away from others, of course).

This next one is very important to me. My partner's brother got married last summer in a small socially-distant ceremony, but due to border closures with Canada we couldn't be there for it. He and his wife have a very beautiful and cute dog named Meadow and I wanted to make and send them something special to mark the occasion. I began with this pattern by Sarah K. Benning and modified the pup to look like Meadow.

This next one is another Benning pattern. When I started embroidering, this was my goal pattern. I find it so beautiful and I'm obsessed with the rug. This was a really satisfying one, and I really felt like I accomplished something when I finished. 

I made this little single scull boat for my friend's birthday who was on crew in college and still loves getting out on the water today.

And more recently, I've been delving into designing my own patterns to stitch. I designed these poppies to add a little extra something to a Wiksten shift top I made this past fall. The top is linen, so unfortunately I haven't worn in much since I finished. I'm really looking forward to warmer weather.

I'm thinking about making a downloadable pattern for this -- let me know if you'd be interested!