Have you been following the Twisted Tuesdays Tour to mark the launch of the new Titchy Threads patterns? Laura, the designer behind these fabulous new patterns, has rounded up a brilliant group of bloggers (myself included 😉 ) to help showcase the style and versatility of the Twisted Trousers and Twisted Tank. We’re into week four right now. You can catch up with weeks one, two and three here.
The main fabric for the trousers is some lush navy linen that I’ve had in my stash for ages. They keep these trousers light and breezy for springtime (although I must stay, I’m a little concerned about how quickly they could have holes in the knees!!). The contrasting back pockets are Kona Cotton in Pickle (I adore this colour!) from The Village Haberdashery. The piping I picked up in Belgium and it’s been waiting for the perfect project. The fact that I had the right amount of piping – down to the last inch!! – is proof to me that it’s the perfect project! The waistband is some stripey ribbing.
I chose to make the non-reversible version with the un-piped back pockets and I omitted the grommets from the waistband. To be honest, I would have liked to have added them but I chickened out a little bit! I also thought about adding knee patches (Manu is incredibly hard on his clothes!) but I just wasn’t convinced that I’d like the way they’d look. Maybe next time.
Manu is five and a half and a little on the small side. Based on his measurements I made a size 4 for the trousers, extending them to size 5 for the length. [Note: because of the twisted nature of the trousers you can’t just add length to the bottom – pay attention to where the pattern instructs you to lengthen them.] This wasn’t difficult to do and I’m so glad I did – he’ll get much more wear out of them.
Tips, observations, thoughts, insights and what-not
It was no surprise to me that these trousers were a joy to sew. Laura explains each step in the perfect amount of detail. She even takes the time to add a ‘cheat sheet’ for those who just want a basic version of instructions – you know, for when you’re making your sixth pair (because this pattern just begs to be made again and again with different features).
Much about the pattern has been discussed on this tour so let me just throw my two-cents-worth in there:
- Pay careful attention to the grainline on the pattern pieces. Because the trousers are ‘twisted’ the pattern pieces are at odd angles and you really need that grainline marking to keep everything lined up.
- For the back pockets (I did the version without piping) I used a technique that I learned Figgy’s Banyan Trousers pattern to help get really sharp corners. 1. Take your pocket pattern piece and measure in 2.5cm from the top and 1cm from all the side edges. 2. Fold along those edges. 3. Cut out a cardboard template to this size. 4. Centre this template on your fabric leaving 2.5cm on the top and 1cm around the edges. 5. Double fold the top edge, press and sew. 6. Use your template to press the remaining edges. This will give you get nice crisp corners.
- Wonder tape. The pattern suggests that you use wonder tape to hold the back pockets and coin pocket in place before stitching. This is genius and I’m going to be using this tip for lots of different things. This means you don’t have to pin the pocket which can often lead to crooked and imperfect sewing.
- I didn’t have any technical trouble with the pattern. The only time I struggled a bit was sewing the waistband to the top of the trousers. I had to be really careful not to trap the elastic that was inside the waistband in the stitching. So, be careful!
I love this tank! The viking fabric is a Lillestoff print and it’s just perfect. This tank really doesn’t use much fabric so I’m hoping to make a few more as gifts. The orange ribbing was from my stash.
Well, as you can see, my tank’s not twisted! With this patterned fabric it wouldn’t have worked. But I’m dying to try the sewing technique to make it twisted – I need more stripes and solid jersey in my life!
As with the trousers, I made a size four extending it to size five in the length. I’m completely happy with the fit.
Tips, observations, thoughts, insights and what-not
Laura’s twisted tank is a clever pattern. On one level it can be a straight forward go-to pattern for summer tank (like I’ve done here today and also in this version). Alternatively you can make it more special by incorporating the twisted elements and contrasting pockets.
The tank comes together really quickly which is always very satisfying! And even with a simple pattern like this Laura offers tips that will improve your sewing for future projects – like how to evenly distribute the neckband onto the neckline. I usually just divide each into quarters and then stretch to fit. This never works perfectly because you have slightly more fabric on the front of the top than the back (because the neckline dips deeper in the front). The pattern explains how to get this distributed perfectly. It’s the little things! I love ’em!
Manu loves his new outfit! It’s been a while since I’ve sewn for my boys so it felt great giving him some new duds! I’ve already got another pair of trousers and a Rowan tee planned for George. Now all I need to more time!
Happy sewing and thanks for reading,