Lander Pant + Blackwood Cardigan, & End of the Year Thoughts
This post is my honest opinion using patterns I received free of charge from Indiesew.
We’re wrapping up the final days of 2018 so I wanted to sneak in with one last blog post that, as I’ve thought about what I might say, has morphed beyond a pattern write up and in to a reflection and realization about this hobby, and myself as a maker and a person. I’m really excited to share these final 2018 makes—and what they mean to me—with you.
If you’ve paid close attention, you might have noticed that the last time I made pants around these parts was back in January. I made these Ginger Jeans while I was already pregnant with baby number three, and then spent most of the year growing that little nugget. Our sweet Monty was born in September, so I basically spent 2018 either pregnant or postpartum—and no pants were gonna get made during that time.
But this month I felt like I was ready to work on some pants and decided to try the Lander Pant by True Bias. Since their release in 2017 we’ve had a cross country move and then the pregnancy and birth, so this was the first chance I had to finally try this popular pattern.
I’ve liked the Landers for quite some time but had been hesitant to make a non stretch pant because I knew that I just wouldn’t find them comfortable in my day-to-day, stay-at-home-mom lifestyle. But their 70’s vibe kept calling me so I decided to give them a go in some Italian stretch twill I got from Mood about a year ago. And you know what? It totally worked! These pants are so stinking comfortable, I couldn’t wait to put them on the next morning after I finished them—which is really saying something for me, the woman who walks in the door after an outing and immediately hops back in her sweatpants.
Making these pants was so satisfying. The button fly (which I’ve been hooked on this fall/winter) is really fun to make and the width of the pant + the deep hem feels great. Sewing these pants was also so rewarding because, unlike with my Ginger Jeans, I had to make minimal changes to the fit to get them to work for me. It felt so good to try on my basted fit pants and see that all they needed was one small alteration! Here are my complete adjustments for these pants:
Because I used a stretch twill with 2% lycra (this fabric feels very similar to my Madewell roadtripper skinny jeans), I sized down two sizes, which worked out great.
For a rounded pubis (thanks, 3x childbirth!) I simply scooped out the front crotch curve about another .25” (here’s a great resource that talks about this adjustment + several others). This was the only change I made after my initial baste fit. And pro tip: baste with a contrasting color thread, that way its super easy to rip out your basting stitches!
To account for my height I shortened the length of the pant by 2” to have a nice cropped length, and shortened the rise by 1”.
I also chose to change up the front pocket just a bit as well. The original front patch pocket is lined but I was worried about too much bulk so I omitted the lining and did a one inch bias finish on the pocket opening, and then folded and pressed along the seam allowances for the other edges. I love how this turned out! The pockets are comfortable and the bias finish is a little flash of color that only I know about. Secret details are always such a treat!
I paired my stretch Landers with a rib sweater knit Blackwood cardigan by Helen’s Closet. This is another one of those popular patterns I had yet to try, but after making a cream duster cardigan last year with a M4M pattern that turned out to be less than satisfactory, I knew I needed to go with this tried and true design. And just like with the Landers, I was so happy with the final product I wore it straight off the machine and even went to bed in it that night! I didn’t shorten the length and it’s the perfect long cardigan for me. I shortened the sleeves by 2.5” and took in the cuff by 1” so it wasn’t completely oversized, and next time I might even slim the sleeves a touch as well. I also really like the cut of the neckline. Its an open front cardigan but it wears close to the neck and drapes beautifully in the front so even with a strappy top, I don’t get peeks of my arm to the side of the strap.
And speaking of strappy tops, I finished off my outfit with an Ogden Cami, also by True Bias, made with the skirt of an old maternity dress. I loved the button placket from the shirtdress and was so happy to repurpose it it with this blouse. I’m still trying to nail the right fit in the bust and underarms (a project I’ll be tackling in January), but I love how it goes with the Landers and Blackwood cardigan. I think this is the first time I’ve worn a handmade outfit made of more than one piece and I have to say, its very rewarding.
With my 30th birthday last month and a new year fast approaching, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflection on this hobby of mine and what sewing means to me. And as I worked on my Landers I realized that they actually said quite a bit about me.
You see, I am a very fearful person. I’m scared of heights, I’m scared of bridges, I’m scared of making the wrong decision, I’m scared of taking off in an airplane. I’m scared of landing in an airplane, I’m scared of large social events, I’m scared of food contamination…I’m scared of a lot. I’ve struggled with anxiety most of my life (and just in case you’re worried/wondering, I am currently receiving the mental health care that I need, so we’re good there) and it has snuck in to every facet of my life, from the big stuff like pregnancy and postpartum, to little things like trying to pick out shampoo at Target.
But as I put together my Landers I realized: Sewing is the one thing I do that doesn’t scare me. Not even a little bit. I’ve never looked at a pattern and thought, “I can’t do that” or, “I’m scared to try that”. I’ve never questioned trying something. Make pants three months postpartum? Sure. Use stretch fabric on a non-stretch pattern I’ve never made before? Lets do it. Squeeze them out of a cut of fabric that’s almost a yard short of the recommended yardage? I can do it. Never once did I worry or second guess my choices as I threw caution to the wind and made these pants in to what I wanted.
Sure, it might seem silly to compare sewing choices to some of my weightier fears. And I can’t say sewing or blogging about sewing is completely anxiety-free for me all the time. But the point is, while I’m in the sewing groove, I don’t feel afraid. I feel capable and confident. I can’t tell you how empowering it felt to realize that! And I’m so excited to embrace that feeling in the new year and see where else that peace and confidence can take me.
I hope as 2018 comes to a close that you can look at your handmades and discover something new and empowering about yourself. Its such a joy to have a hobby that not only nourishes our minds but our spirits as well. What does sewing mean to you? Where do you want it to take you in 2019?
Much love and a happy new year to you all!