Seamwork Callahan Pants and Threadbear Garments Taos Top
I’ve alluded to it previously on Instagram and here on the blog but one of my sewing resolutions (reSEWlutions? that pun is for you, Loni) is to sew one Seamwork pattern per month during 2019. This should not be difficult because I own a whole lot of Seamwork patterns. I’ve been a Seamwork subscriber for several years.
I was grandfathered into their old pricing structure so I am still receiving two patterns per month for the original price. Now Seamwork has adjusted their pricing, included all of the Colette pattern library as an option for using your Seamwork credits, and really the program is even better now than it ever was before! And a bonus for all of my curvy sewing friends—the Seamwork Patterns are available in sizes 0-26 which goes up to a 58” hip and a 54” bust! I love a pattern company that is providing a wide sizing range for many different body shapes. Let us not forget that Seamwork+Colette has been a leader in showing their patterns on a variety of models of different body shapes, skin tones, and ages. Thank you Seamwork!
For January, I chose the Seamwork Callahan pants. They are a modern, straight leg pant with an interesting pintuck down the front and back of the legs. They are designed to be a cropped mid-calf length but I am short and they came down to the top of my shoes. I opted to just do a tiny 1/4” hem and leave them mostly full length.
As far as sizing, I graded between a size 20 at the waist and a size 18 at the hip. I did end up letting out about 1/2” total from my side seam allowances at the fullest part of my stomach to reduce some of the pulling across my middle. I also took in about 1.5” at the top of the center back seam to reduce the gaping there. As a result, the pants slightly pull down at the center back. These are very high rise pants so that’s not a major concern when I’m wearing them. In the future I will adjust my pattern pieces to take in that excess without losing length in the back rise.
I did not match my stripes on this fabric. Is it bothering you? I’m sorry if it is. I didn’t have the mental energy when I was cutting the pieces out to worry about it as my fabric didn’t really have a right or wrong side. So I gave myself permission to skip that step. Truth is—I’m totally fine with it. I don’t even really notice it, and I think my preferred way to wear these pants during this chilly time of the year is with a longer shirt and layers as I’ve photographed it with my Taos Top further down in this post. (Keep reading!)
What else to tell you about these pants… The instructions were clear and simple. The crotch curve of the pants fits perfectly for me even with my full tummy and I have zero complaints about how they feel when I’m wearing them! I do sort of wish there was a front pocket. The pattern doesn’t include one, but maybe I could add one in the future? I would be easy enough to add a side seam pocket or a patch pocket on the front. I know I will make these again, maybe in a clam digger length for spring in a bright color. Bright pink? What do you think?
The fabric I used for these pants is a wool blend suiting from Fabric Mart Fabrics. As it always is with fabric from this store, everything is limited, seasonal stock and when it’s gone, it’s gone. My suggestion for shopping a store like Fabric Mart that has wonderful, designer quality fabrics with limited stock is to subscribe to their emails and watch for deals. Their fabric sales are pretty regular and their inventory is forever changing. I have purchased many of my favorite fabrics from this store. I even gifted some fabric from here to Loni recently and she made these amazing Liana Stretch Jeans in the green brushed twill.
The button is from my button stash that I purchased from craft table set up at our favorite local mexican restaurant. I bought three bags of random buttons and have been using them for everything ever since! The zipper is a jeans zipper from Jo-Anns.
Now to the Taos Top! This is the first pattern release by Threadbear Garments and I was a tester for this pattern. The Taos Top is a boxy sleeveless top with two neckline options and two hemline options. I love the split hem with the cowl. I really love a cowl neck on anything, truly, so she had me at cowl. The instructions for the split hem were simple and extremely easy to follow. I tested the size 18 and this is a size 18 with no size grading to the pattern, but I did shorten the pattern by about 2 inches. I also made a small adjustment to the arm band pieces which I will explain down below. This is her final pattern version and I really do love it. I like it paired with a ready-to-wear silk camisole over with my red wool Callahans and I wore it like a sweater vest this weekend over a rayon windowpane Leschi Top and some jeans. Give me all the layers this time of year!
I think the princess seam lines down the front and back of the pattern make it extremely easy to adjust for your fit preferences. Make it more fitted as a boxy layer. Bring it in closer for a more athletic fit to wear to the gym or as a layer under a button up or half zip.
This sweater knit might look familiar to you because I basically forced Loni to send it to me to make a twin version of the Taos that she made. (You can get a peak at Loni’s Taos Top in this sweater knit in her blog post about the Evergreen Jacket.) As soon as I saw her Taos I knew it would go perfectly with my Callahans and suggested she share the rest of her fabric with me. She is the kindest, most generous friend and sent it to me right away! I promised to treat it well and I think I succeeded. Thank you Loni! It was an end of bolt sweater knit from L.A. Finch Fabrics. Man, that store has the best end of bolt fabrics, don’t they?
My arm bands are slightly wider on this version than the final pattern because I had some fabric problems that had nothing to do with the pattern as designed. My serger was eating this sweater knit alive so I had to trim out my serged seam and lost some width from the arm cye. It caused the sweater to appear slightly more cut inward at the arm than it is drafted so I compensated by making the arm binding double width. I like the look of a thicker arm band in this sweater knit and it saved me from having to scrap it all together. Loni warned me that the arm bands were difficult to sew in this fabric but I struggled anyway!
Check out the hashtag #TaosTop on Instagram to see versions of the other testers. I think the greatest testament to this being a very wearable top is how much all of the testers have been WEARING their makes since the test. The Thank you, Leslie, for inviting me to test and I enjoyed the process very much.
If you want to sew a monthly Seamwork pattern with me, use the hashtag, #sewyourseamwork2019, and we can cheer each on. And if you aren’t a Seamwork member yet, you can sign up using my referral link and get your first membership month for only $3. Go get that Callahan pattern and sew up some fancy pants!
A few administrative notes on #SewFancyPants:
The deadline for posting your fancy pants to be entered for one of the two participation grand prizes is BEFORE February 1, 2019. So you have 2.5 days to get your makes posted on your Instagram account. Your account must be public in order for us to view your make and enter you in the giveaway.
You have until February 2, 2019 to post your #SewFancyPantsDance for the biggest GRAND PRIZE drawing. Only one winner will be drawn for that prize on February 3, 2019.
I received a copy of the Taos Top pattern for free in return for testing the pattern. I will always let you know when I receive an item. I was under no obligation to review or share my finished make with you as a part of my testing commitment.
If you use my Seamwork referral link, you will get a discount on your first month and I will get my next month for free.