Sewing for the Hemispheres: Comfort and Style

All of a sudden this weekend, the temperature dropped, and I can feel the crisp scent of fall in the air - WOHOOOOOO!  The changing of the seasons always means times to flip the closets and pull out all the layers.  My favorite thing that will come out of hibernation is my BOOTS!!!!!  But as we in the Northern hemisphere feel the coming of fall, our neighbors to the south are headed into spring and summer.

This means that it is time for Sewing for the Hemispheres!!!!  We'll be showing off looks that will transition you into the next season for BOTH the North and the South.  We'll have pattern suggestions, fabric inspiration, and some tips for making these outfits work for your body!!!

Grab your coffee (or tea) and sit down with us for a great week ahead!!!  Both Lisa and Trisha are sharing great outfits today that will change your 'mom' wardrobe forever!!!


Lisa here sewing from Austrailia!!!  The downside of being in the opposite hemisphere from where most of the new PDF patterns are released is watching all the spring/summer patterns coming out just as the weather in Melbourne turns cold. I've had my eye on the Patterns for Pirates Summer Kimono since it was released, so I've really been looking forward to making this one for a while.

 Most of the photos I've seen of this kimono have been made in lovely light drapey knits...unfortunately hard to find in stores here, and given the state of the Australian dollar at the moment, I really needed to buy local.  I found this (polyester) crepe de chine, which has enough drape and was very easy to sew with - and choosing fabric turned out to be the most time consuming part of making this pattern. This is a very quick and easy top to make - it came together in under an hour, and would be a great choice if you are just starting out sewing for yourself because the fit is very easy and forgiving.  I have some real Japanese kimono fabric in my stash - I think I'll be brave enough to use that next time round.

 I've had the Layer Me Up (LMU) top (also from Patterns for Pirates) in my pattern stash for a while, and decided this was the perfect excuse to have a go at that too. Sometimes finding good basics in stores is harder than it should be - so I made this basic white singlet top in a nice thick high quality cotton lycra. I made this according to the measurement chart, which for me meant grading between sizes, and I'm very happy with the fit, although I did shorten it by a couple of inches at the bottom.  This is meant to be a tight fitting top, perfect for layering, which is a staple for dressing in Melbourne, so now that I'm over that hurdle of making the first one, I know I'll be making many more. 

Sadly I didn't get to show off our lovely sunny days in my photos here - it was rainy and cold the day I did photos, but we've had the first of our warm spring weather over the weekend, and this outfit definitely works well for a beautiful sunny spring day.


I recently lost some weight and now most of my clothes don’t fit.  Looking around for some new patterns for clothes for the fall, I knew I needed a good pants pattern and some new shirts.  I finally settled on the Eleonor Pull On Jeans pattern from Jalie and the Everyday Elegance top by Patterns 4 Pirates.  

The Eleonor Pull on Jeans are a slim fit with back pockets, a faux fly, and faux front pockets, which is great for eliminating the extra bulk normal front pockets have .  I never use my front pockets anyways, and the lining always wants to peek out on my normal jeans  They have a wide waistband with 1” elastic enclosed.  They are designed for woven fabrics that have 20% or more stretch.  I like the pull on aspect because they feel much more relaxed and comfortable to me than regular jeans.  As a busy mom constantly bending down or picking up a toddler, I am all about the comfort!  I used a stretch denim and they came out great.  There is a small picture on the pattern to show how to turn these into skinny jeans, but I wanted a bit more information.  

After doing a search I came across this blog post by Jalie about the pattern.  It gave me a bit more of an idea of what to do, so I made them as regular straight leg pants, then I turned them inside out and pinned on each side how much I needed to take off.  Every person is different, so I highly recommend making a muslin or test pair first to see what you need to do.  I only needed to slim it down from about the calf on down.  I am so thrilled to have a pair of skinny jeans that aren’t skin tight or want to squeeze my calves to death.    

I have never made a Jalie pattern before, but I have heard great things.  I have to say I was not disappointed at all.  They come with 27 sizes from little girls all the way up to plus sizes.  This is great!  I love that I can make my girls pants too and all the sizes come together in one pattern.  There are line drawings that show me step by step, and the fit was excellent!  I decided to shorten my elastic about 1” from what the pattern calls for and actually stretch it when I sewed it to the waistband to make sure there was no gap in the back.  My waist is a lot smaller than my hips and pants always seem to gap in the waist for me.  I had no problem getting these on over my hips and there is no gap.  

The elastic is sewn to the inner layer of the waistband, so you don’t see any stitching on the outside of the waistband.  Even with the back yoke and all the topstitching, these came together fairly quickly for me.  I didn’t have to deal with zippers or buttons, so that made it even faster.  I definitely need to make several more pairs. 

Once I had my pants, I needed a top to pair with them.  I’m loving the loose blouses that are in style which is what led me to the Everyday Elegance top.  I love the detail of the sleeve tab, and the back pleat.  It also has a curved hem and looks great with jeans, leggings, or even with a pencil skirt.  I feel much more dressed up in a blouse, vs my usual t­shirt attire, but I have to say I’m just as comfortable in this.  I did lengthen it 2”, as I am tall and have a long torso.  I’m so glad I did as it is the perfect length for me!  I used a silky print I got on clearance at Hancock Fabrics, and it definitely is not the easiest to work with.  I have to say the trouble was well worth it though.  I love how it turned out!  

The only problem I  had was with the neckband not wanting to fit.  I thought maybe my fabric had shifted when I cut it, so I recut it out and was very careful with sewing it and making sure to press it carefully in between steps.  This seemed to help as I was able to ease it in, almost like having to ease in a sleeve.  Even with all that, it still only took me a few hours to sew it up.  I now want to try one in a knit!  It would be so comfortable.  

I am excited now for fall to come and the weather to cool down a bit during the day so I can start wearing my boots again.  Both these patterns will be staples in my fall wardrobe now!