Sunday, May 21, 2017

Knit Harem Pants, Style 17, and more


Knit Harem Pants

Hey, it's another project made from a beautiful Britex fabric!

For this project, my assignment was to choose a fabric from the Knits category. I quickly settled on this lightweight jersey featuring a bold, modern print.

Designer Sunshine and Clouds Viscose Knit Jersey
(Click the image to see this fabric on the Britex site)

I used Vogue 1355, Sandra Betzina's version of a harem pant. The beauty of this pattern is that it features a fairly high crotch and all the fullness falls between the legs, so there is no added hip bulk. It's universally flattering on most women. (Many of my local sewing peeps have made this pattern multiple times and it looks great on every one of them!)

Vogue 1355

This lightweight, drapey knit is perfect for a flowing, warm weather harem pant, or a summery top. I think it would pack beautifully!

Some sewists are nervous about sewing jersey knits, but I had no problems with it. It's a perfect candidate for sewing with a serger, but you can also use a regular sewing machine, as I did.

It was such a quick, easy sew, that I don't have much to say about the process! Wait, I will say one thing. This pattern features a waist yoke with no elastic. Given my unique shape with narrow hips and a short crotch, I omitted the waist yoke (for a perfect crotch length!) and I added an elastic casing. When your hip and waist measurements are about the same, failing to use elastic can result in an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. ;)

Thanks to Britex for providing the fabric!

Style 17

I blogged about Style 17 some weeks back. It was so much fun! What a great opportunity to meet artists, and fans of artists who want to wear their work. I didn't buy a lot, but I did pick up this amazing silk poncho, made by Ellen Brook.

Ellen starts with plain off-white silk organza, and paints and dyes her masterpieces. You will be seeing more of this poncho, as I plan to take it to Florence!

I also ran into Michelle Paganini of Paganoonoo Patterns, who mentioned that we should take a selfie.

What a great show! If you can possibly make it to Style '18 next year, I recommend it. In the meantime, don't forget to put Artistry in Fashion, another favorite show, on your calendar for Sept 23rd.

Luanne's Bag

I have a friend who has more creativity in her pinkie than I have in my whole brain. She retired from Adobe a year ago where, as Creative Director, she did incredibly creative things in the digital space (really, check out some of her projects), but I've always known Luanne as a quilter, garment sewer, and photographer with a truly unique point of view. I also took two classes from her at FabMo years ago—one on making zippered bags and another on tote bags. (Yes, I blogged about both.) I was sad she quit teaching before I could take her third class on collaging fabric scraps.

She is now focusing full time on fiber arts (aside from family and travel). I was at a get together recently where she showed two of her quilted tote bags. I absolutely fell in love with one of them (which she makes primarily from reclaimed materials), but it was too small for my laptop, so I commissioned a larger one.

She came by work in Mountain View a couple weeks ago for lunch and to drop it off.

I love it!!!

Each side is different and I love both!

You can find Luanne in her Etsy shop, Luanne Seymour Designs, and I love the video she made about her process which you can find when you scroll down on this page. You can also see some in-process pics of my bag (as well as a lot of other great pics) on her Instagram feed.

Thanks so much, Luanne!

Oh, after I posted the pic of me sitting in a chair holding Luanne's bag, some folks wondered about my outfit, so I actually took my first bathroom selfie!

I made the linen overshirt under the jacket!

You'll be seeing a lot of this white jacket, too, as it's also going to Florence. I purchased it from Bella, and she's now offering the black version on her website, Simply Bella. (Shhhh, I loved the white one so much, I went back and bought the black one.) In fact, several items from her shop are coming to Florence!

Mother's Day

DD1 was in Oregon on Mother's Day weekend, so we delayed our little get together. This afternoon, we had high tea at one of my favorite special places in San Francisco, Lovejoy's Tea Room.

DD2 (on the left) came directly from work and was still wearing her uniform

I love the mix-and-match, British themed, decor!

The Queen's tea!

The Queen's tea includes a petit four or truffle

Their decor includes a light fixture made from tea cups


I have been busy busy, but not doing a lot of sewing. This morning I spent a couple hours trying on outfits for my upcoming trip to Florence. I have a couple things to buy (not clothes), but I am mostly ready!

A certain dude keeping me company while packing

I had a (work) deadline for Google I/O last week, which kept me busy. I also spent two days attending/working at the show—I am glad that it's behind me! (Oh, in related news, I was recently promoted!)

As I walk to and from the bus in recent days, I was enjoying a huge gorgeous purple potato vine that was hanging over the sidewalk, so I snapped this quick pic one afternoon on my way home from work.

Just a few days after I took this, the neighbor chopped it back so that it no longer overhangs the sidewalk. I let him know how much I miss it. This pic, popular on my Instagram feed, had several people asking me about that necklace. I purchased this Hmong piece in Nevada City on a recent sewing retreat.

Oh, I did draft and sew one garment for Florence, inspired by Antonio Marras, which was an amusing failure. (Well, it amused me.) I'll share those pics, but not until later.

I don't expect to blog again before leaving for Florence, and I don't know if I will blog while in Florence, but I will be posting to Instagram. With the questionable status of taking laptops on flights, I'm leaving mine at home and bringing my new Pixel C tablet. (Yes, a tablet's status is also questionable, but I'm hoping it won't be an issue.) So we'll see how it goes. I spent quite awhile configuring my Pixel C yesterday and, so far, I'm loving it!

Please join me on Patti's Visible Monday. Have a great few weeks!


  1. So happy you posted before your trip to Florence. Know you'll have a great time and, you're right, the knit harem pants will be a great addition. Almost every garment I pack for my travels folds up with no wrinkles. Leggings are also a good choice. Have fun! Karen

    1. Thanks, Karen! The jury is still out on whether they make the final cut. I'm packing MUCH lighter this trip!

  2. The flowers look much like morning glories--which I have and LOVE. Have a wonderful trip!

    1. Hi Linda! They do look like morning glories, but they are purple potato vines, or Solanum. I used to have a white variety in my back yard. They grow like crazy here.

  3. Have a great trip! Loving your harem pants, and of course the sweetie cat who watches you! Thanks for linking, xo


    1. Thanks, Patti! And Muffin thanks you, too.

  4. Ciao! Have a wonderful time in Florence!

    I love the Vogue Harem pants and when I find some good quality knit fabric, plan to make them again!

    1. I agree, Sue! I need more of these! By the way, your trip to Italy last year was a real inspiration to me!

  5. Great post, Shams...I'm getting vicariously excited for your trip to Italy!!! I've made those harem pants several times already, but I think I need another pair!

    1. Thanks, Margy! I will be thinking of you while in Florence and Milan! (Especially Milan...)

  6. Have a wonderful time in Florence! - Heather

  7. The necklace you are wearing in the tea room pictures is fabulous! Did you make it? If not, may I ask who did make it? Oh, and your tablet....I'm not very up on it something special that I should find out about? I have 2 tablets, 1_Fire and 1 LePan but I'm not crazy about either. Do you like yours and can you explain what is different about it? Have a wonderful (safe) trip!!!

    1. Hey, corkpop. I purchased that at a brick-and-mortar in Nevada City when I was visiting on a sewing retreat. It's a Hmong piece. The Pixel C is a Google tablet that runs Chrome on Android. You can google reviews, but here's one: . If you are using an Android phone, it will feel very similar. I just ordered the cover which includes a keyboard.

  8. Always love your posts. Congrats on the promotion. Jeff and I made a quick trip to Italy from Paris this spring. We LOVED it! Bon voyage!

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! Seriously, what an amazing life you and Jeff have created!

  9. Loved every word of this post. Have a wonderful time in Florence.

  10. Hope you have a fabulous time in Florence! What/when was the sewing retreat in Nevada City? That's fairly close to me!

    1. Thanks, Star! Wow, you live near a lovely town! It was a local group of friends who like to sew together sometimes.

  11. You look fabulous in that bathroom shot! Turquoise is definitely your color!

    1. Thanks, Gayle! I think it helped to have such a white bathroom behind me. :)

  12. Smashing as always! Each of these garments is divinely original, and the colors, textures and lines are outrageously visually interesting. And the best part? How happy you look wearing them! Cindy (Creative Hormone Rush)