Monday, July 20, 2020

ESMadebyMe: Florence Pants and Georgia Tee

You all knew I was going to try the recently released Elizabeth Suzann patterns, right? I mean... elastic waist, boxy tops. It's basically my uniform these days.

If you hadn't heard, sustainable fashion brand Elizabeth Suzann recently decided to close up shop, but she released her garment sewing patterns (sans instructions) to the world. Several generous souls from our sewing community crowd-sourced money to make them available to in printable, usable formats for a temporary period of time (already passed) with a suggested donation to a black-lead organization (I donated to the Loveland Foundation). They will eventually be released as full blown patterns with instructions on the Elizabeth Suzann website; you can sign up for her newsletter for updates on that.

So what did I make?

I started with what looked like the simplest of all the patterns: the Florence pants. Two pattern pieces for a streamlined pant with high rise, wide leg, generous ankle-length hem, and flat elastic waist.

I figured since there weren't instructions, it would behoove me to start simple and work from there. That said, many sewists, including many who worked for Elizabeth Suzann, have shared tutorials on sewing up these patterns on Instagram and blogs. Check out the hashtag #ESMadeByMe for inspiration and resources!

Turns out, though, having made many Style Arc patterns in the past, with their industry-style patterns and minimal instructions, prepared me well for sewing from the pattern with no instructions. Seam and hem allowances are all marked, although there aren't any notches, so you're on your own there.

I cut my Florences in size XL to match my current hip measurement. That measurement put me on the upper end of the size range. I went with the regular length.

They ended up pretty good! Fairly close fitting. Some minor issues: a bit of pulling at my (full of beer because I have been self-medicating my anxiety and stress with booze) belly and a hint of poof at the lower back, which seems to be common for me.

The fabric I used is a textured, somewhat crinkly chambray fabric I purchased on my last day in Bangkok when I went back to take photos for my fabric shopping guide. Not totally sure the content, but I think definitely cotton with maybe a hint of poly because they refuse to wrinkle. Tiniest hint of mechanical stretch from the crinkles.

I'm pretty happy with my Florence pants! I might opt for a bigger size next time. I don't know. My measurements are all over the place during these "unprecedented times," as they say.

Next I went for a Georgia Tee, a boxy tee with cuffs. You know I'm a connoisseur of boxy tees.

Based on my bust measurement, I cut a size OSP2 (one size plus 2? The sizing nomenclature is really bizarre). My bust measurement put me at the bottom of that size range. 

I think this size is a bit big for me, which I don't mind. My main beef, though, is that I find the armholes to be huge. You can see my bra band through the hole and my bent elbow gets caught in the bottom of the sleeve as I move my arms around. Hmmm... it doesn't look that big on the plus-size models on Elizabeth Suzann's listings, so maybe I'll try a size down next time.

The fabric I used is silky noil (the linen/rayon blend) I bought from Imagine Gnats before they closed, in a pumpkin orange colorway. Super drapey and delightful.

The only change I made to the pattern was that I didn't use the neck binding piece provided, to save fabric. I used some printed bias binding I had in my stash, which you've seen many times before (hint, make yourself a shit ton - in my case 44" x 44" worth - of continuous bias tape at some point... it will suck to make it, but your future self will thank you).

I'm pretty happy with my first #ESMadeByMe projects! They're not perfect, and I have some sizing issues to work out, but they're definitely very wearable nonetheless. Looking forward to trying some of the more complicated patterns, like the Clyde pants and/or jumpsuit.