Pants

Jenny Shortalls

Closet Core Jenny Overalls telio floral denim

First of all, I absolutely love how practical and yet whimsical these turned out. I used the Jenny overalls pattern from Closet Core Patterns. The pattern includes overalls, shortalls, and trousers. I like that the shorts have a 4” inseam as it is my preferred length for shorts. And as always, Closet Core impresses me every time with their instructions. They really go above and beyond to describe all the steps clearly.

I purchased Telio Denim Flower Print fabric in Light blue form Fabric.com several years ago for this pattern when it first came out. The denim is really stretchy. So stretchy, it could almost be suitable for jeggings. So, I decided to size down to a size 4. After all my pieces were cut out I decided to add pocket stays because I had heard that they help make a flatter tummy and who doesn’t want that? One thing I failed to think about was that the pocket lining DOES NOT stretch like my fabric so I should have cut out a size 6! Closet Core must have had sewists like me in mind because the seam allowance at the sides is an entire inch! It was easy to make up for my mistake.

A Jenny buttons kit was purchased from Closet Core’s website when the pattern was released. I used heavy duty thread in a medium gray color for topstitching.

I did make three modifications to the pattern. First, I drafted a back piece. The Jenny pattern has the shoulder straps coming out of the back waistband. I wanted more of a traditional overalls look since I chose a fabric that was a little untraditional. Here is a picture of the back pattern piece after I drafted it. It is pictured against my cutting mat with 1″ squares. It is a pretty easy piece to make yourself and I just eye-balled the proportions after looking at overalls on Pinterest.

Drafted back pattern piece for overalls without a seam allowance

I cut two of my back pieces out, sewed them together lengthwise, topstitched the center seam, and then made a narrow hem (1/4″) on the top and sides. The bottom of the back piece gets sandwiched in between the front and back pieces of the waistband for a clean look. Personally, I liked to look of a center seam on the back so I could match the topstitching to match the front bib and pocket, but it could be easily eliminated by cutting on the fold.

Overalls back after topstitching the center seam
Closet Core Jenny Ovealls pattern hack

As I mentioned earlier, I used pocket stays to create a little more support around the tummy area. I thought it was a good move since this floral denim is so stretchy and one of the reasons I liked the Jenny pattern was the tailored silhouette and simple, flat front on the pants. If you have ever made high-waisted trousers with a stretch woven, a pocket stay would be a great addition as the transition from a rigid, interfaced waistband to a stretchy, forgiving fabric around the tummy area can be not the most flattering (or comfortable) combination. The pocket stay also gives the front of the pants more support so the waistband is less likely to dig in at the waist while in a seated position. You can use scraps of quilting cotton or cotton shirting for the pocket stays. The pattern will not be visible after construction.

Shorts pants with pocket stay
Shortalls shown inside out with red gingham pocket stays.

The last modification, I followed this tutorial on CCP’s website to add the hip buttons along the sides. I used my new sewing machine, a Bernina 570, to add keyhole-shaped buttonholes. The shank of the buttons fit perfectly in these buttonholes, so they will also wear better.

Closet core Jenny overalls side buttons

If I choose to make these again, which I likely will, I would like to size up one size, increase and lower the back crotch curve just a little and maybe lower the back pockets 3/4 inch. Overall, I think these fit great especially since I didn’t make a muslin first!

Closet core Jenny
Closet core Jenny
Closet core jenny

New Activewear

I used the Watson Bra pattern by Cloth Habit and the Virginia Legging pattern by Megan Neilsen to make a new activewear set! I plan to wear this set to yoga classes along with a shirt, but here are some photos to show off my handiwork.

Cloth habit Watson bra Virginia leggings Megan Nielsen

The Virginia Leggings came together quickly because there are only three pattern pieces. I made the high-waisted version in under an hour. I used a serger for all steps of construction, did a roll hem on my serger instead of hemming with a zig-zag stitch. I have my eye on a coverstitch machine (Bernina L 220), and I plan to hem them with a coverstitch eventually.

Virginia leggings Megan Nielsen

The fabric is a kaleidoscope-printed nylon/lycra fabric purchased two years ago from thefabricfairy.com. Bra notions were purchased from Erin at The Emerald Studio on Etsy, and of great quality! The elastic I purchased, both picot edge and strapping, has better recovery than what is typical on RTW bras. And, I hope you follow Erin’s lingerie sewing blog, Emerald Erin, or you are missing out! She always has some gorgeous bra eye candy! And, she is hosting a giveaway right now that ends Sunday!

I modified the watson pattern by using swimwear elastic on the neckline to make it look a little more like a sports bra than a bralette. I still used picot elastic on the hem and underarm though. I also used two layers of fabric in the cups for some extra compression since I’ll be wearing this to workout.

Dad, if you are reading this, you might want to stop reading now because I am going to talk about bra sizing (your welcome). Yes, he reads my sewing blog, and yes, he IS the best dad ever!

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First, let me say thank you to the ladies that have reviewed this pattern before me. Thank you for having the courage to post the bra selfies of the projects that didn’t fit (or any bra projects at all for that matter)! Your reviews with pics saved me so much time by helping me find the correct size to make! I am sharing the following information to “pay it forward” to other sewists who may share my same measurements.

Like others that have made the watson, sewing the bra in my RTW size fits better than the size the pattern recommended based on my measurements. Cloth habit Watson bra Also, the band size seems to run a little small. First off, I am always a 32 band size (and always on the tightest set of hooks) and either a C or D cup in RTW, but the Cloth Habit sizing guide suggested I should make a 30D.
Since others said the band ran small, I made the 32 band size, and still, it is very snug. The middle row is ok for working out, but I use the loosest hooks when I am going to be wearing it for more than an hour. On me, the front cradle piece is not long enough, so the side seams are too far forward as demonstrated by my lovely dress form. The side seams on the bra should line up with the side seam on my dress form. The I think once I add 3/8″ to each side of the front cradle piece, the back will close with more wiggle-room (literally). For the cup sizing, I was torn on what cup size to make so I printed out the pattern pieces for the front cradle in the 32C and the 32D, glued them to card stock and held the stiff pattern up to myself like I was fitting underwires for a wired bra. If you decide to do this, keep in mind the 1/4″ seam allowance is present and the diameter of the cups will be slightly narrower on the pattern than the finished bra.

Besides the sizing dilemma, it is a really great pattern and worth tweaking until you get it right!    It is as jiggle-proof as a sports bra but with more definition than the “sports bra uniboob” look. Ha! I am eager to make another Watson Bra with only one layer of fabric in the cups to see if there is a dramatic difference in support.

 

Virginia leggings Watson bra cloth habit Megan Nielsen

And a big thank you to my friend Rheney for taking these photos!

Happy sewing and namaste!