More Elle pants and a Named Sointu

A woman wears Style Arc Elle Pant in berry and Named Sointu Tee in stripes

I did promise you there would be more Elle pants coming, and I’m a woman who sticks by her word! Like my last pair, these were made in bengaline from the Spotlight clearance table, though I think they were more like $6/m, making this project a costly $10 total. What can I say, I’m a scrooge.*

Mr Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants sits in a pile of money and lovingly smells handfuls of it.
And a fan of Spongebob Squarepants, it would seem.

These pants were constructed exactly the same way as the last pair. It is a rare occurrence for me not to fiddle around with a pattern second time round, so A+ to Style Arc for their fantastic pattern making! I don’t have purple overlocker thread (does anyone?!) so I used my all-purpose grey, with the matching sewing machine thread for the left needle and lower looper so grey thread wouldn’t show at the seams. This was only because these pants are quite tightly fitted and therefore have more thread-revealing tendencies – I wouldn’t bother with any other project.
An image of the inside of the Elle pant. Overlocker thread is grey and purple.

I thought I’d give a little review of the fabric I used, considering bengaline is a fabric that is hard to find in the US. I often see it in RTW here: it is a woven, but almost behaves like a knit. The stretch (and it is VERY stretchy) runs parallel to the selvedge. The twill weave is slightly more pronounced on the right side. I would hesitate to recommend sewing up Style Arc patterns which are made for bengaline in any other fabric, given the unique properties of this material and the enormous amount of give it has.

A woman wears Style Arc Elle Pant in berry and Named Sointu Tee in stripes
Beads and a silicone bangle by BohoBambina. She was kind enough to custom-make a necklace that was as light as possible for me.

This particular fabric is a viscose/nylon/elastane blend: far superior to a polyester-based fabric. It has a bit of “swish” to it when you walk (it makes sounds!) but I find it very comfortable. Spotlight are not known for their high-quality fabrics, and I do believe this is slightly thinner than you would find in RTW pants – I have to be very picky about the knickers I wear underneath it! But otherwise, it is comparable in quality. I’ve heard good things about the bengaline Style Arc sells, but have yet to try it.

A woman wears Style Arc Elle Pant in berry and Named Sointu Tee in stripes

The top is a Named Sointu Kimono Tee. I’ve been lusting after their patterns for a while, and some recommendations on Instagram prompted me to purchase the Sointu. It is available as a PDF or print pattern in sizes 32-50. The layered PDF comes in an A4 and copyshop size.

This is the kind of pattern which could easily be lazily drafted, but there are elements of this pattern which are telling of Named’s attention to detail. For instance, the back armhole is slightly longer than the front. Our shoulders are not balanced – if you look at your body side on in a mirror you can see that ball of your shoulder is actually more towards the front of your body than the back. For a pattern to fit correctly the back armhole needs to be a bit longer than the front, depending on the type of fabric used. You can get away with a pattern in which the front and back shoulders are the same height, but I prefer the better fit of a well-balanced armscye. I often find myself rebalancing t-shirt armholes, so it was a pleasant surprise to not have to make that particular alteration.

Pattern details from Sointu Tee - the back shoulder is longer than the front.
You can see what I mean in this photo. The back shoulder is slightly longer than the front.

The instructions are also clear and informative, with easy-to-understand diagrams. I used the PDF pattern which is layered. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise you could change layers on a Mac (just download Adobe Reader…ugh, Adobe) and printed it with the Finnish labels on top of the English words. No biggie, but now I know how to turn off layers for when I make a more complex pattern (Kielo, I’m looking at you).

As with many European pattern companies, the seam allowances are 1cm. As I was matching stripes, I basted the seams first with my sewing machine and walking foot, and finished on the overlocker, trimming the seams slightly to correctly match the seam line for a finished seam width of 6mm.

A woman wears Style Arc Elle Pant in berry and Named Sointu Tee in stripes

As per the pattern instructions, I added clear elastic to the shoulder seam. My overlocker was having a shitfit about the particular type of clear elastic I was using, so I zigzagged it to the shoulder seam allowance, then sewed the seam with a 3-thread overlock with the left needle just clearing the elastic. The neckline is finished with a strip of self-facing, twin-needled down and trimmed. The pattern calls for “knit bias tape” but I’m wondering if this is an error in translation as I’ve never heard of anything like that here. The hem was stuck down with Steam a Seam Lite 2 and twin needled. I find the SaS stabilises the fabric enough so the twin needle doesn’t create tunnels.

A woman wears Style Arc Elle Pant in berry and Named Sointu Tee in stripes

Obviously, I omitted the waist tie and loops. This was primarily due to a lack of fabric, but I really like the look without them. I did try to fit a belt around my waist to show you what the tee would look like with the waist tie, but it ended up more Peter Pan than Euro chic.

Peter Pan (Disney version)
That guy was a real shit. Why did he let the mermaids bitch on Wendy? Fucking mermaids.

The fabric is a cotton/lycra blend that came from a knit haul I bought from The Remant Warehouse. They are my online fabric shop of choice – their fabrics are without fail, good quality and reasonably priced. Their customer service is also excellent. I only wish I could get to Melbourne so I could check out their stock in person.

Doctor Who in the rain, crying.
Me, mourning the fact that I’m too sick to travel the four short hours to Melbourne.

Self-pity aside, I really like this pattern. It has whetted my appetite for more Named patterns – I’ve already got some feather-print sateen lined up for a Kielo wrap dress, and am looking at buying the Inari tee dress…and hoping the price drops from $20AUD (come on Aussie dollar, you little battler!). It has also solidly confirmed the superiority of European sewing patterns in my mind. Later, guys – I’m off being a Euro pattern snob.

A scene from The Simpsons: Homer lifts a tea-drinking Brit from his sugar pile.
BRB, stealing sugar. And pretending like Brexit never happened.

 

The deets:
Pattern: Style Arc Elle Pant // Named Sointu Kimono Tee
Fabric: 1.5m stretch bengaline, from Spotlight // about 1m of 150cm wide Grey & White Stripe Lycra Jersey- Small, cotton/lycra knit from The Remnant Warehouse
Other materials: 32mm knitted elastic // clear elastic, fusetape, Steam a Seam Lite 2
Mods:
Elle: Size 12 with .25cm added to each side seam from hip to knee. Modified waistband width to accommodate narrower elastic.
Sointu: Size 40/42 shoulders and arms, 44/46 hip. Added 4cm length at waist.

*Being a disability pensioner may have something to do with this attitude.

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

6 thoughts on “More Elle pants and a Named Sointu”

  1. Both look great, I’ll have to consider the Elle pants. I’ve made the Sointu, and the Peter Pan comparison is apt. I’ve decided I like it belted with a wrap skirt that’s a little short and A-lined but most everything else I prefer it loose. I’ve never seen packaged bias knit but I suspect it does exist. My knit was light weight so I cut a 3cm bias strip for binding the neck and I was really pleased by the results. I think I’ve seen this technique before in Named. Somehow it just folds into place a little more readily than on grain knit. In the end my neckline looks exactly like yours, so to each their own, but the bias technique does work nicely. A very nice combo, looks comfy, too.

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    1. Do have a look at the Elle pants, they are very well drafted. You know I thought I was following the instructions with facing the neckline, but now I realise they instruct to cut the facing strip parallel to the selvedge, not with the stretch. D’oh! Luckily it still worked out alright.

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  2. Great pair of garments Siobhan. I have made and love both the Kielo and Inari and they are both great patterns, especially the Kielo. It looks very smart but feel like wearing a giant t-shirt if you make it in a knit with sleeves, as I did. One warning with the Inari, the sleeve are a bit odd. I thought I had made the wrong size at first but have since seen others with the same problem. They are too low and restricted arm movement if you make in a woven. Knit Inaris are fine but I would sub in different sleeves and armscye if I made it in a woven again. Still a great looking dress.

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