True Bias Lander Pant

I don't sew trousers very often, but when I do, I'm always SO amazed that it's even humanly possible - I should make them more often, even if only to boost my sewing pride/confidence! Tackling the True Bias Lander Pants was no exception, and the new-to-me technique of a button down fly made it feel like I 'level up-ed' my trouser making game with this sew too. The creases in them say it all - hot off the machine, I wore my Landers nearly all weekend and I really love them!

True Bias Lander Pant, creases and all, in Edinburgh
I used the PDF pattern to make up View B, the cropped pant version, in a greeny/brown mid-weight cotton drill. The pattern is drafted for an average height of 5ft 5". I'm 5ft 6", so I added 1" to the length with the aim of the hem just skimming the top of my new and seriously bold pair of Docs. I veered from the suggested lay plan and squeezed the pattern pieces out of a bit under 2m of the suggested 2.5m, so would probably buy a little less fabric for future versions.

Wrapped up by Arthur's Seat
The make was pretty smooth for the most part and I can't fault the instructions. I'd consider double topstitching some of the pocket details next time - it felt weird only doing one row after the mammoth amount of detail that went into my Isla Trench! The button fly was surprisingly easy to construct and my only stumbling block came when trying to attach the buttons...

It took a lot to get it looking like this...!
A series of total fails on my part led me to nearly ruining my almost finished Landers with the WORST button insertion of all time. I started off by making the holes in my fabric too big, giving the buttons too much room to potentially ping out. I used jean buttons from Green Grizzly and fitted them with my Prym pliers, but I didn't have the right size plier attachments, so used slightly bigger ones that came with some old snaps. This meant wobbly insertion and at least 2 buttons that weren't going to withstand a wear, so I pulled them out.

See below for the absolute HORROR and perhaps the dodgiest salvage that ever made it off the sewing table: 

Too big holes :(
Semi-fixed fly from the front
And from the back once the buttons were reinserted
In the end, I made an interfaced patch for the back for the fly, stitched some serious zigzag over the previous holes, and reinserted new buttons closer to the inside-edge of the fly. I used the smallest fitting on my leather punch to make a tiny hole for the button-back this time and stuck a sellotape loop in my plier attachment to stop the buttons wobbling when I inserted them (though in hindsight, I probably should've just used the hammer). A bit shambolic in all, but I have a fully functioning button fly, so who cares!

Just checking they're still fastened!
In future, I would strengthen the right side fly with either a heavier interfacing or some sort of interlining to make it a more habitable environment for those heavy-duty buttons. I'll also make sure to put the buttons as close to the inside-edge of the fly as possible - there's a natural bit of pulling with wear and the underneath can poke out a little. And of course, I'll do a bit more research on jean button insertion before braving it again! Perhaps I should've read this Lander Sewalong post to start with...
Any other tips or links to tutorials would be very welcome in the comments below!

A fully functioning fly, it doesn't matter how we got there!
I love the shape and style of the Lander, though mine turned out a bit more 'relaxed' in fit than I had anticipated - again it's entirely my fault! I'm finding it quite difficult to adjust to my new measurements and I've already had to take in my New Look 6418 skirt, which suggests more than anything that I'm probably just a bit rubbish with the tape measure. 

Flashing my new shoes!
I made up a size 8, only realising afterwards how close together the sizing brackets fall. I probably could've sized down to a 6 all along, particularly given that the pattern offers a generous 1" seam allowance on the side seams to help you get a perfect, flexible fit through the hip. I've already cut my next pair in the smaller size and I'm hoping to get that perfect, snug waist/hip fit like Helen (Helen's Closet) managed with her pair

The straight/loose leg isn't a trouser style I'd usually go for (I'm more of a voluminous culotte kind of girl), but the leg lengthening properties of the Lander are unreal. Maybe it's the high waist contributing to the illusion, because my legs definitely aren't that long! There's also something incredibly feminine about the silhouette, despite me styling them with the least feminine boots!

Checking out the back pockets!
Back view
The pockets looked huge at first cut, so I hadn't expected to be a massive fan, but I think they look great! The fit across the bum is actually pretty flattering (and will hopefully be even more so for my next pair).

In the rest of my handmade outfit in Edinburgh
In all, making the Lander Pant was a hugely fun challenge and real test in 'making it work'. In the past, I would've been put off by an element like a button fly, but I feel much more confident at jumping in and giving things a go - even if it did go a bit wrong! I wore my new Landers with a Fall Turtleneck, handmade hat and scarf and my Isla Trench in chilly Edinburgh for most of a weekend away there.

Thank you Chris for taking these snaps on our lovely weekend away
It was a learning curve, but I'm totally made up with my Landers and ready to try out pair two, this time in a heavier black denim and a slightly smaller size. Fingers crossed I get the buttons right this time!

Stay in touch!

Named Clothing Isla Trench Coat

I'm going to be bold and say that if I only have one masterpiece in me, this is probably it. After months of planning - and many more months of procrastinating - I'm so pleased to finally be able to share my finished Named Clothing Isla Trench Coat.

Named Clothing Isla Trench Coat
Do you think ankle length denim will catch on?
Approaching this project is not for the faint-hearted. I technically started it in spring, but got no further than sticking the MASSIVE PDF together. As you can see, the finished thing is pretty long, so some of the pieces are huge, and the jacket is made up of more individual pattern pieces than I've ever seen - 24 in total, many of which you have to cut out multiple times in the outer fabric, lining and interfacing. Some of the pieces are overlapped too, so you still have to do some tracing, and I really hate tracing. One positive though, and a bit of myth busting here for some of you who asked: seam allowances are included in the PDF version of the Isla (phew)!

Pinterest inspiration, particularly the middle image!
Inspired by some amazing denim trenches I came across on Pinterest, I bought this mid-weight blue denim (sorry I don't know the exact weight!) from my local haberdashery, Samuel Taylors in Leeds. It's not the cheapest project to embark upon; requiring 3.5m for the outer alone, plus lining fabric (I bought cheap khaki lining to try and even out the expenditure!), over 2m of interfacing and notions. Having seen some great versions online (I love this one by Le fil à la gratte) I knew that it would be well worth the cost.

Flash of khaki lining
Cutting and marking up the pattern pieces took me a day, and then there was prepping the pieces with interfacing, but once I was sewing the whole jacket came together surprisingly fast! The instructions are very clear and methodical. I felt like could approach the make one element at a time, the first being the welt pockets. I've never done a welt pocket before, but they weren't nearly as difficult as I'd imagined. It's crazy to think how much effort went into them for them to sort of blend into the background, but it's the little details that seem to count with this jacket and that definitely appeals to my inner perfectionist.

Welt pocket!
Speaking of details, nearly every edge is double topstitched. I wasn't brave enough to try a contrasting thread, but if you cared to inspect my Isla up close, I'd say the matching topstitching still makes for a really professional finish. The lined cape was a particularly fun element to make and topstitch, and it's probably my favourite thing about the finished jacket. 

Coming together quickly with the cape
Side view/silhouette
The collar/collar belt was a nice chunk to construct in one go and the details make it look so professional in finish. It's a shame the collar belt and loops are mostly hidden away under the collar itself, but I made sure to get some pictures below to show you all!

Collar belt detail (buttons from Textile Garden)
Under-collar details
I was on a bit of a roll and made just one mistake: sewing the sleeve bands on at the wrong notch, meaning they sat way too close to the sleeve edge. I'd almost finished the jacket before realising and although it didn't look too bad, I had to go in through the lining and correct it or be forever annoyed.

Corrected sleeve bands!
Other than that, the whole sew was smooth, even the lining/bagging out stage, which I had expected to be difficult based on previous bagging out confusions with the Waver Jacket and Yona Coat. Joining the inside of the vent to the lining was probably the hardest bit to sew neatly, but luckily is hidden away on the inside. It's also worth mentioning that I skipped the shoulder pads, which hasn't made much of a difference to the finished jacket. With or without shoulder pads, the style is very much 'power dressing'.

Lining flash!
I found the most beautiful imitation tortoise shell buttons from Textile Garden that work perfectly with the denim, with matching small ones for the collar and sleeves. If I made the Isla in future, I'd consider doing bound button holes for a better finish as the regular ones don't quite cut it, particularly as the rest of the jacket is finished to such a high standard.

I'm absolutely thrilled with the finished jacket, and I'm so glad I stuck with it. If you've stuck with the saga on here/Instagram and read this far, thank you! I've sewn a couple of jackets/coats in the past, and more recently the Linda Wrap Dress which has a lot more technical elements to it, but I'd built this up to be something else entirely. It's actually turned out to be my favourite jacket sewing experience ever, and I credit a lot of that to the fab instructions - thanks Named! Don't be put off by the 5-scissor difficulty rating, just give it a go. When I eventually got started, it took me a little under 2 weeks of evening/weekend sewing to finish.

Back view
Should have smoothed out that squiffy cape!
I don't think I'll be sewing another trench any time soon, but if anyone else wants to, here are some other great trench coat patterns:

Londres Trench Coat and Jacket by Orageuse
Luzerne Trench Coat by Deer and Doe
Tracy Trench Coat by Style Arc
Robson Coat by Sewaholic
Vogue 8884 (great one here by Diane at Dream.Cut.Sew)

Hi mum if you're reading! Thanks for the pictures :)
I'm just getting over a bit of sewing fatigue and then I'll be returning to my backlog of sewing plans. I have a few skirts (including another New Look 6418 in more faux suede I picked up at Sew Brum), a Kyoto Sweater and the Lander Pants in the pipeline. But in the meantime, I'm very much enjoying wearing my finished Isla Trench.

Is anyone else feeling like braving a trench or coat this winter? Which pattern will you be sewing?

Stay in touch!

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for visiting!