garment love

The Oceanside Pants from Blank Slate Patterns, via Indiesew!

Sometimes you buy the pattern first and then find fabric to go with it, and sometimes you have the fabric and just wait to stumble across the perfect pattern. The latter was definitely the case with my Oceanside Pants from Blank Slate Patterns. I had some Nani Iro double gauze that had been burning a hole in my fabric cabinet for a few weeks, and I wanted to do something different with it. Something summery, but not another blouse or tank top. Something else. And then it hit me: PANTS.

Oceanside Pants from Blank Slate Patterns, via Indiesew! | Right Sides Together

Pants get a bad rap in the sewing world, no? People are intimidated by structured pants or jeans, and they mistakenly assume that if pants aren’t structured, they won’t be a good fit. I ran across the Oceanside pants and asked Allie if she would be willing to have them up at Indiesew. She readily agreed — these pants are simple and easy to sew, but they’re so chic (especially when they appear in an unexpected floral fabric). At first I was a bit worried that I would just be sewing $40 pajama pants. But I really enjoyed the little details in the pattern that go a long way: folded over button patch pockets, an elastic/drawstring hybrid waist (perfect for tucking in shirts). The only modification I made was adding an inch to the inseam to accommodate some summer wedges.

Oceanside Pants from Blank Slate Patterns, via Indiesew! | Right Sides Together

I appreciate how versatile these pants turned out to be. While I’d love them just as much in a chambray or linen, I like how I can dress them down to wear with sandals and a T-shirt for a casual summer look, or wear them as I do here with a blouse and slight heels to dress them up. The combination of the drawstring waist and the soft double gauze is heavenly. They are easily the most comfortable pants I own, and the print is just the right combination of romantic and graphic.

I also appreciated Melissa’s decision to consolidate the pattern pieces into two main panels (a left and right) instead of separate front and back, left and right pieces. (Does that make sense?) It was a smart move and made cutting and sewing that much quicker. The pattern also includes shorts, which have a slightly different fit to eliminate some of the flowy fabric in the leg (which is great in pants, but can get bulky in shorts). This is one of those patterns that every sewist should have in her arsenal; it’s a great, simple pattern with a million different uses — and definitely one that I’m looking forward to busting out again before the weather gets too hot.

Oceanside Pants from Blank Slate Patterns, via Indiesew! | Right Sides Together

I’m super excited that Indiesew now carries the Oceanside Pants pattern as well. I can’t wait to see what creations everyone else will make with this pattern!

Indiesew blogger team member | Right Sides Together
As an Indiesew blogger team member, I am provided with patterns in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Meet Harriet, the Machineless Sewist!

Sometimes social media and sewing combine to introduce us to really awesome people. One day earlier this month, scrolling through Instagram, I noticed I had a “like” from someone with a very interesting handle: @themachinelesssewist. Turns out her screen name’s not the half of it.

Harriett is a Brit who works for a humanitarian de-mining NGO (that’s de-mining as in land mines) in Angola. This makes her a really interesting person to begin with, but then there’s the sewing. In September 2015 (FIVE MONTHS AGO), Harriett started to sew her own clothes from indie pattern designers. The rub? She doesn’t have a sewing machine in Angola. So she sews her lovely frocks, blouses, and skirts by hand, with needle and thread, using African wax print fabric that she finds locally. The results are absolutely stunning.

Meet Harriet, The Machineless Sewist! | Right Sides Together

I find Harriett’s creativity, resourcefulness, and commitment to doing good absolutely inspiring. As I’ve mentioned before, for many of us in the West sewing is an act of privilege; it’s easy to take our time and materials and tools for granted. I interviewed Harriet to learn a bit about her sewing life in Angola. Here’s what she had to say:  (more…)

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