May 16

Amber Trousers and… Shorts!

I’ve been a fan of Paprika Patterns for a while now. Recently Lisa posted about a new pants patterns and a call for reviewers. I took one look at the pattern and knew I had to do this – they are very similar to a pair of pants I had back in my 20’s that I probably would have married if I could have. I ended up literally wearing them to death and then I married a guy instead, so all worked out ok except I still missed those pants. Until now!

The Amber Trousers are a casual, beachy type pant with front and back yokes, slash pockets, side zip and front inverted box pleats. Variations are a tapered or wide leg, with ankle length (tapered) and regular long length (wide). I started with a test pair that I made in shorts length, just in case I had to toss them, and also because I desperately need shorts for this crazy hot weather we have all of a sudden. I used a rayon challis but because the print was too bright and irritating for what I envisioned, I turned it around and used the more muted back side. I cut the yokes and pockets on the crossgrain for visual interest.

amber shorts front

When I cut them out I used a size 4, and followed the instructions to construct through attaching the yoke, then fit. They were quite big! I took them apart, cut them down, put them back together and compared the sizing to the pattern pieces. They were then close to a size 3. I made adjustments on my pattern pieces for next time.

amber shorts side

amber shorts back

I also vented the hems on the shorts for extra wearing ease, and it looks good below the contrasting pattern of the pockets (although you can’t see the vent on the side view photo, sorry! I found the invisible zipper insertion to be very easy. Lisa will have a tutorial on her site soon for this part of the pattern.

The shorts are so comfortable!

Now to the trousers version…

I made the tapered leg version. The suggested fabrics for the tapered are rayon, silk, or other finer flowing fabrics. The wide leg fabrics included linen. I was naughty and used linen for the tapered leg. I really, really wanted a yoked pant with this rust colored linen I have, but I feel uncomfortable in wide legs (don’t know why, but I do). I was happy I deviated from the list because they turned out great!

amber pants front leg

amber pants back

I forgot to take a photo, but I altered the back yoke to accommodate my hip-to-waist ratio with two darts. Pant making changed for me once I learned to do this.

amber pants side front

amber pants front

Yay! Love these pants!

I received a free copy of the pattern in order to review it – good or bad. This one is definitely good 🙂




Dec 15

Cute Sweatshirt – Papkrika Patterns Jasper

I’m a sweatshirt fan – with hood, without hood, zip or not, short, long…. They’re all good. But they’re not all stylish. This one is – it’s the Jasper Sweater/Dress by Paprika Patterns.

Jasper outside

The pattern offers a few variations – hood w/collar and optional buttons or hoodless w/collar and optional epaulet, hip length or dress length. I made it with no hood, an epaulet and hip length. My fabric was a poly/cotton sweatshirt fleece with a poly cotton jersey buffalo plaid as trim for the epaulet and pocket welts.

My fabric had some “give”, but really no stretch. It wasn’t the cotton jersey the pattern calls for, but I had a long length that I wanted to sew up for something Christmasy, so here we are. The fit is very good, but getting it on and off is a tiny bit tight. I would suggest going up a size if your fabric has no stretch (common sense that I was missing on cutting day, oops). I made a size 4 in the shoulders grading out to a 6 in the hip which is a typical adjustment for my pear shape. Many patterns are too wide for me in the shoulders, but this one seems perfect – Yes!

Paprika Patterns Jasper

I made a couple design changes. First, I cut the collar piece as two pieces instead of one. Then I sewed them together right side to wrong side so I would have the fleecy fuzzy side of the fabric against my neck. OMG – so cozy! I love this! The seam across the top tends to stiffen the upper collar edge a bit more than just folded fabric would be, so keep that in mind if you want to do the same. Then I made the inside of the pocket with the same fuzzy side facing my hands. Love this too! My fabric has the exact same color on both right and wrong side so you can’t see the difference unless you’re very close. The Paprika Patterns site has a fabulous tutorial for making the welt pockets. Seriously – it makes the construction very easy.

Jasper by Paprika Patterns

I really love this sweatshirt! I’ve been wearing it frequently and I get so many nice comments on it. I’m looking forward to making it in a few more fabrics with the other options (hello hood!).