Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Comfy Anima Pants and SJ Tee

At the turn of the New Year my sew-jo was lacking. I was enjoying planning my #makenine challenge choices and hunting through my fabric and pattern stash but couldn't find the motivation to actually get on the machine. I eventually persuaded myself to cut out a bunch of fairly simple and quick knit projects and that turned out to be just the thing to get me excited about sewing again! Completing a few straight-forward projects was really satisfying, plus comfy jersey clothes are all I want to be wearing right now in lockdown. Actually being able to wear the garments as soon as the final stitch had gone in was motivating. Has anyone else found themselves feeling like making 'going out' or work clothes is a bit pointless of late? Without anywhere to wear my more involved projects the shine was slightly wearing off.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants and SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

I definitely sew more wovens than I do knits so thinking about the comfy clothes I want to wear right now gave me a reason to sew something slightly different for a change. These are the Anima Pants from Papercut Patterns which are one of my #makenine choices for this year. I picked up the pattern during their sale towards the end of last year with a couple of the other currently discontinued designs including the SJ Tee which I'm wearing with them! As I didn't have much time to sew when the sale was on I decided to treat myself to the paper versions of the patterns as I was in no hurry for them to arrive. I hadn't realised until I cut these out how much I use PDFs nowadays and how nice it is to work with a printed pattern! It feels like a real treat to have a beautifully designed product in your hands and although I don't hate sticking together PDFs what an absolute joy it was not to have to do that! Papercut Patterns packaging is particularly lovely too.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants and SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

So first let's talk about the Anima Pants. Why did no one tell me quite how much I'd been missing out without a pair of sweatpants in my life before now?! These things are so comfy and perfect for both hanging out at home and yoga which is pretty much all I do nowadays.

I'm really focusing on using fabrics I already have at the moment so pulled this lightweight slightly striped knit out of my stash. I initially ordered this fabric from The Fabric Store with a Kielo Wrap Dress in mind. When it arrived it was a much finer knit than I imagined and is ever so slightly sheer in direct light (a bit like a hacci knit). I think I've had it in my stash for a good two or three years now so I thought I might as well use half of it to try out this pattern as it hadn't found another calling. Despite it definitely not being the 'medium - heavy weight jersey fabric' called for on the pattern description! Luckily my gamble paid off and I love the comfort of this drapey breathable jersey.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

One thing I will say about working with a fine knit like this is that it is worth playing around with stitches and finishes on a scrap first. My go-to stitch recently for knit fabrics is the little narrow lightning bolt but it really wouldn't work on this fabric! It kept sucking it down into the machine and struggling to pull it through particularly at the start of a seam. I ended up going with a narrow and long zig zag which given that these seams don't need to stretch all that much worked totally fine.

I recently made the True Bias Mens Hudson Pants for my brother for his birthday which are a very similar design. I was deliberating between making the ladies version of those or the Animas but the sale that made the decision for me. As I made them soon after each other it was quite fun to compare the construction of the two as I went along. I couldn't compare fit as I'd made the mens not ladies Hudsons but from product photos they look very similar. I found the Hudson instructions were perhaps slightly more detailed if you haven't sewn knits before but the Papercut ones are more than enough. The construction is almost identical, the only big difference is how the waistband is assembled. 

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants and SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

I actually used the method from the Hudson Pants as it was the method I was more familiar with and I thought in my shifty, flimsy fabric the Papercut method might be hard to do neatly. I was in the mood for quick and easy! Papercut instructs you to attach one long edge of the waistband to the waist of the trouser, sew the elastic into a loop and attach it to the other long edge of the waistband, then turn it down and topstitch it enclosing the elastic inside - if that makes sense to you without illustrations?! The Hudsons have you fold your waistband in half lengthways and attach both long edges to the waist of the trousers at once, leaving a small gap for you to thread your elastic through before sewing that into a loop. I think the Papercut method might be more stable and sturdy in a thicker knit but on this occasion wasn't the right choice for me.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

The waistband uses 2" wide elastic and I was surprised at how comfortable it is! The trousers sit so nicely. I'd say these are pretty straightforward to make but wouldn't recommend them to a complete beginner as some practice handling stretch fabrics and techniques would be useful to get the stitching around the waistband neat whilst stretching out the elastic. That is a fiddly step. I like the detail of the cord around the waist but if you get the size of your elastic right you don't need it to keep the trousers up. I might leave it off future versions as I've been wearing these a lot for yoga and when laying on your front the knotted cord can dig in.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants and SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

I love the slim cut of these and also really like the slightly long length which means the cuff sits down nicely over the ankle. Made in a lightweight jersey like this they are going to be so good for travelling too. Super comfy on the road but also great for keeping the mosquitos off in the evenings while remaining cool. I want to make a pair in a thicker fabric (like the french terry I made my brother's Hudson's) and another pair in a lightweight jersey like this before our next trip (which feels very far in the future right now!).

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants and SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

I've previously discussed my lack of success sewing t-shirts when it comes to a style that works for me and the SJ Tee isn't a pattern I've looked at before as the relaxed fit isn't something I'd turn to for everyday wear. However, I'm definitely in need of more comfy tops I can move in for yoga and working from home and this is absolutely perfect. I'll definitely be making more of these. I love the slouchy neckline and comfortable wide cuffs on the sleeves and the amount of easy is spot on for being relaxed without getting in the way as I move. I've been wearing this pretty much non-stop for yoga since I finished it. 

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants and SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

Part of it's success is in the fabric which is again a piece from The Fabric Store which I've had in my stash for ages. I think this is a cotton/viscose blend jersey with a bit of lycra in it as it has great stretch and recovery. This fabric is so incredibly soft and is really comforting to wear but is showing signs of going a little bobbly already. For this project I don't mind at all as it is basically quickly turning into my favourite well worn in tee! You want jerseys with a soft hand and drape to get the most out of this design. I also think this pattern would sew up really nicely in a fine linen knit. 

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

Again I veered off the instructions simply because I was in the mood for comfort sewing and trying out new techniques was not going to happen! The method for the neckband looked like it would achieve a beautiful finish but also looked quite fiddly and I just didn't have the patience for it. It was more like how I would attach a woven bias binding, one long edge at a time and enclosing all the raw edges inside. I used my usual neckband method; pressed the strip in half along the long edge, sewed it to the right side of the neckline and then pressed the seam allowance towards the body of the top. The same way as the cuffs are attached. I didn't need to topstitch as this fabric pressed so well.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Papercut Anima Pants and SJ Tee in Jersey Knit from The Fabric Store

This isn't the end of my knit sewing phase as I've got a couple of yoga tops to share soon too and also made another Nikko Top and Mandy Boat Tee from merino leftovers. However, now that I've got all that quick and satisfying jersey sewing out of my system I'm feeling excited about making some more frivolous and complex projects again. I've been working on a satin slip dress and quilted jacket already and have plans for a lot more of the fabrics in my stash!

7 comments:

  1. I've made 5 pairs of Anima Pants and I love all of them! It's such a great pattern and this is a great comfy outfit.

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  2. I've made 5 pairs of Anima Pants and I love all of them! It's such a great pattern and this is such a good comfy outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've made 5 pairs of Anima Pants and I love all of them! It's such a great pattern and this is such a good comfy outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've made 5 pairs of Anima Pants and I love all of them! It's such a great pattern and this is such a good comfy outfit.

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  5. Great lounge wear!
    I appreciate the comparison between the two patterns because it's so useful. I must admit that the Huson's elastic insertion seemed more straightforward to me.
    It would be fun to see a pair of Hudson's for you to compare and contrast!

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  6. Thanks as always for your informative and fun post! I too have been sewing less fitted leisure wear, partly in prep for an upcoming knee surgery - when the hospitals again allow overnight stays. Not so much knits though. I'm just finishing a Helen's Closet Suki robe, much modified to make it a much longer project.... The wonderful Robert Kaufman 6.5 oz herringbone flannel is so lovely to sew!

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  7. Thanks for this! I have also been sewing more knit stuff this winter and was inspired to make the Daniella dress after reading your post which included the valuable tip that the shoulders come up narrow. Thanks to your warning I widened them and have been wearing it non stop! My favourite t-shirt pattern is the MIY beginners one which is incredibly quick and comfortable. Although maybe I'll branch out to the Amina pants now..

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!