Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mini Hudson Blog Tour

Unless my blog is the only one you read I do not think I have to introduce you to the Mini Hudson Pants, do I?!
They are these cool knit pants for kids, slightly baggy, side pockets and with tapered legs designed by the talented Kelli from True Bias.
I was truly honored to be invited to her pattern tour. Thank you Kelli!

When I got the invitation to join the blog tour I almost immediately knew that I wanted to make them in sequin fabric and I found this almost perfect navy sweater knit at Michael Levine.
Why almost perfect you might ask. Well, the fiber content is 80% acrylic and 20% nylon so not the usual natural fibers that I prefer to use. 
It was also slightly scratchy and I knew I had to line them or they would get no use at all from my little 'sensitive' ladies. Luckily I had some ultra thin knit fabric in my stash that worked like a charm. 
Another disadvantage of this fabric are the sequins sewed on sideways (9 o'clock if we imagine the sequin is a clock) instead of the usual top (12 o'clock). There might be a good reason for this but what it meant for me was that I had to remove sequins in the sewing lines otherwise they would stick out from the seams when I folded and pressed the seam allowance on the inside because they flip sideways. I'm sorry, I'm not sure I'm explaining this very well......but what I'm trying to say is that it was quite a lot of extra work compared to normally sewing with sequins where I just sew over them and change my needle afterwards. Oh well, at least the result was great.

For the pocket ribbing and the non-visible part of the pocket bag I used the same fabric but without the sequins. Luckily there was like a 12-15 cm/5-6" wide bare strip along one side of the fabric. Perfect!

I did not do a lot of changes to the pattern. 
One thing I did though was to shave a tiny bit of the thigh width (I just liked it a tiny bit less baggy).
 Another change was to use woven fabric for the waistband instead of knit rib and sew two stitches to make three casings before putting in narrow elastic in the top and bottom  casing and cord in the middle with the button holes.

Having a lot of experience with sewing can both be a good and a bad thing. The thing is that I have tried a lot of techniques because I have worked for designers that wanted different things. And some techniques have of course given me trouble over time (it could just be me or the machine having a bad day, extra difficult fabric etc not because there was anything wrong with the technique) but now I try to avoid those techniques any way I can. Silly I know! Trying it again could have been a success for me and expanded my sewing repertoire. 
SO as you have probably already guessed putting a wide elastic inside a knit waistband and then stitching on it afterwards like the pattern's tutorial suggest have given me trouble in the past. 
My domestic sewing machine does not like making button holes in stretchy knit either so that would have been another struggle. 
And this is NOT me saying there is anything wrong with Kelli's pattern and suggested technique. In fact all the pants I have seen made with this pattern have looked great and I know it can be done nicely. In other not's me that is the problem, ha.
My way of doing it definitely takes a bit longer but at least I knew it would be frustration-free for me.....okay, except that time where I sewed on the waistband before I made the button holes but that is a whoooole other story, ahem.

When I bought the sequin fabric I also discovered that Michael Levine have cords in lots of cool colors. E has peach and W has neon pink in her pants.

Overall the pattern is great. It has all the technical indications and instructions that I expect  on sewing patterns and the pants are fun to sew (which usually indicate a good pattern!). 
In fact these are not my first pairs. W got the first pair (before I cut into the $25/yard sequin fabric for this post) and my nephew got a pair for christmas. 
Both well-received and worn already. Did you miss a blog post about them you may ask? Nope, is the short answer to that question, ha. 

Another question I can answer no to is this: Is it a good idea to give your kids bubble gum during a photo shoot?

Even though my camera did not like to take photos when the girls were wearing these black sweaters (from Crewcuts)....somehow it kept focusing on the background and blurred out the girls (so these overexposed-in-the-face will have to do).....I do love the mix of the fancy pants and the more down to earth sweater.

I also made this shirt for W with a few changes to a pattern from the Japanese sewing book Happy Homemade, vol 5
Tomorrow I'm posting a mini tutorial on the changes I made from the original dress pattern to this shirt. It was a total experiment and one of those that ended almost better than I hoped.

The girls wore the pants for New Years Eve - hence the hats, ha - and they were so so perfect. They are also trampoline-jumping-approved in case anyone wondered. 

And above is a mini demonstrating on how to kiss when both are wearing hats, ha.

Get your Mini Hudson Pant Pattern HERE.

OH, and do not miss the other participant in the tour today. My friend and hero Celina Bailey from Petit a Petit & Family. It will without any doubt be worth the visit!

Thank you!

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