Winter wardrobe staples: Papercut Patterns Rise turtleneck and Jalie Patterns Eléonore jeggings

I love sewing pretty things, show-stopping things, “wow” things… but I hardly ever wear them. I’ll let you into a secret… I still haven’t worn my Deneuve coat. It might be beautiful, but it’s not my style, and this was an expensive and labour-intensive realisation. Most days I wear a t-shirt and jeans: they’re the things I reach for and wear to tatters, so they’re the things I need to spend time on. These thoughts were prompted by the theme for the November MAGAM (Make a Garment a Month), sewalong, which was “November Needs”: look in your closet and see what you need, then pledge to make it. I don’t know how Sarah Liz thinks of these brilliant themes each month, but I’m so glad she does, because I took a long hard look at my clothes and it was pretty obvious what my wardrobe is missing… SOLIDS. So here’s the outfit I made, and the story behind it:

I feel I have a split personality with clothes: the few RTW things I still have left over from the days before I was on a mission to have a 100% handmade wardrobe are pretty much all solids, whereas the fabrics I choose to sew with are predominantly patterns. And not mix’n’match patterns, not stripes or polka dots or geometrics… no… flowers. Colours. The deepest expression of some wild and free side of myself I must have been repressing in my RTW years. I don’t know why it is that I’m always drawn to fabric that’s the opposite of what I’d buy as a garment, but there we are. Let’s not start analysing it, or I’ll never get to tell you about these two makes…

Of all the handmade things in my winter wardrobe, the only things in solid colours were my Edie cardigans, my jeans, two dresses and two barely-worn pencil skirts. So I wanted to make a top and a bottom that could be mixed and matched with lots of different things.

For the top, I chose a pattern I know and love: the Papercut Patterns Rise turtleneck. I’ve made this a couple of times and I really like it. It’s a closely fitted top or sweater (there is also an option called Fall in the same pattern, which is a more relaxed fit with dropped shoulders; I haven’t tried that one yet).

For the bottom, I took a gamble. I had made the Jalie Patterns Eléonore jeans back in the summer. They call for woven stretch denim, but the denim has to have at least 20% stretch (i.e. more than most woven denims available to me actually have). Back when I blogged about that pair, Sue commented that she had never thought to make them in a woven, and had always used ponte for her versions. I thought this sounded like a super plan, as I found them to be more jegging-y than jeans-y, and I liked the idea of a ponte-esque jegging, but wanted something with natural fibres. So I ordered this denim-look heavyweight cotton blend jersey from Lillestoff, and set to work.

The top went together really easily: I did my standard grading of an XS at the bust to a S at the waist, and it’s a lovely fit. I chose a plain black cotton jersey from Girl Charlee for this, it’s 95% cotton and 5% spandex, and I love sewing with it. The whole top went together really easily (one of those where you don’t really have to look at the instructions: shoulders, neck, sleeves, sides, hem). I really like it in plain black, it feels timeless and elegant.

Hard to go wrong with a black turtleneck!

But it wasn’t much of a risk, was it? TNT pattern in a solid colour, and a fabric I’ve already used in several colourways. So let’s talk about the jeans…

I cut out the same size I had used in the woven stretch denim: size R. I didn’t want to try sizing down to compensate for using a knit fabric as I’d found the woven ones a bit too skintight and so I liked the idea of these having a bit more give in them. I did consider omitting the more “jeans-like” details such as the pockets and the faux fly front, but I’m an “in for a penny, in for a pound” kind of girl and I thought why not go the whole hog, then if I don’t like them I won’t torment myself wondering if the pockets would have made all the difference! So I followed the instructions to the letter, including the topstitching. I did my topstitching in standard navy thread though, as I wasn’t convinced that a contrast topstitching thread would work on the jersey.

The jeggings came together much faster than I anticipated – I can’t decide whether this is because of using a knit fabric, or because I’d already sewn the pattern once before. Let’s call it a happy combination of the two! But did it work?

Oh yes. Oh yes. OH YES!!!!!! I *LOVE* this pattern made up in a jersey fabric. So comfortable, but still stylish. And because of the denim-look jersey, they look like jeans but took a fraction of the time to make and have a stretchy waistband! I seriously cannot wait to make a few more of these.

There were no problems with either of these makes, and I’d highly recommend both. As for what they have brought to my wardrobe, well firstly I love how they look together. But they also both go with loads of other handmade garments, so my choices are multiple! The turtleneck looks great paired with my floral Margarita skirt and my ponte skater dress:

And the jeggings go with EVERYTHING! Seriously, everything (though I’ll spare you photos of me parading my entire wardrobe to prove the point)! Plus the whole look can be made more wintry with boots and a maxi cardigan:

So this month’s MAGAM theme was a massive success for me. I’m not stopping there: I have a few more solid fabrics now, and plans for them all! Watch this space…

Me “watching this space” 😉

Pin this look:

16 thoughts on “Winter wardrobe staples: Papercut Patterns Rise turtleneck and Jalie Patterns Eléonore jeggings

  1. PsychicSewerKathleen

    Love your Eleanore pants! I have some lovely jeggings fabric I bought from L’Oiseau (they sell out super fast!) and I have the Eleanore pants pattern (obviously on the same page as you!) and I’m inspired seeing yours made up. They look fabulous 🙂 Also love your top. I’ve been doing a lot of this type of sewing too – sweatshirts and tops (that Toaster Sweater pattern is getting so much use I need to copy it on plastic or cardboard or something.

    Reply
    1. valentineandstitch Post author

      Thanks Kathleen! I bet these would look fantastic with a Toaster sweater (sounds like you’re sewing up a storm with them!) Yes, we are on the same page indeed. I have heard of L’Oiseau even over here, it sounds like a great store. I bet you will love your Eleonore jeggings. And yes, for as much as I love sewing statement pieces and occasionwear, there’s no point making them just to hang in my closet. I have enough of the denim-look jersey left over to make another pair of Eleonores, and I’m wondering whether two identical pairs is OK!! It’s lighter on the reverse side so I’m toying with making a pair with the wrong side out. But maybe I wouldn’t love them as much. Still, it’s not a bad dilemma to have!

      Reply
  2. Diane G

    You look super chic in the Rise and Eleanor combo and you look good in solids. I’m also always a teensy bit jealous of people that can wear high roll necks and especially in black as I look horrid in black and…well let’s just say I don’t have the taught jawline I would like for the high neck style. Yet it’s a classy (in an Audrey Hepburn way) look that I long to wear. By the way…why not try your Cream coat of this chic blue and black combo? Would look awesome!

    Reply
    1. valentineandstitch Post author

      Thanks Diane, and that’s so funny because when I was reading your blog post earlier I was thinking how I would love to be able to wear straight skirts like yours! I guess we each have our styles!! And I have to confess something… I don’t like my cream coat. It has not come off the hanger since I took the photos for the blog post. I completely see your point about how it would look good with this outfit, but it’s like I’ve got a mental block with it now, it’s become this Thing That Cannot Be Worn!!!

      Reply
  3. Lori

    I love your Eleanor jeans and the turtleneck, such good basics for your closet. Your sewing sounds like mine, I want to make fabulous garments and love sewing them but in reality some I hardly wear. They just don’t fit into my lifestyle, so now things I will wear and really just wear out! Happy sewing.

    Reply
    1. valentineandstitch Post author

      Thanks Lori, and I smiled so much at your comment – all my beautiful labours of love just hang in my closet barely worn! But jeans, tees, sweaters… they get worn to death. I have some cotton velour waiting I the wings that I’m thinking of using for my next Eleonores – possibly going too far, possibly the best idea I’ve ever had. We’ll see which it turns out to be!

      Reply
  4. Kelly

    I really love this look on you Helen! You look like Audrey Hepburn – so classic and stylish. I think having a combination of solids and prints is great for a balanced wardrobe. I’m on the opposite end where I have too many solids and my only prints are stripes. I’m not too adventurous lol! I do love what you did with your Eleonore pants. I made the SOI trousers (post coming soon) but I’m not too happy with the fit. Now, considering my incision sites I’m struggling with pants and am looking for stretchy waistband options that allow me to sit comfortably. I’m going back to work soon and you just may have solved my problem!

    Reply
    1. valentineandstitch Post author

      Sounds like I f we swapped half our wardrobes we’d both have wardrobe perfection!! Though we’d never need to sew again, and that would be sad 😉 Sorry to hear about the SOI trousers. I’ve read a few comments like that. Such a hard garment to get the fit right on. But yes, Eleonore to the rescue! And I bet you could whip some up in half the time 🙌

      Reply
      1. Kelly

        That sounds like a fabulous idea but yes then no more sewing fun! Lol! I’m going to style the SOI trousers a bit differently – I especially don’t like the way the pant hem turned out. I hate hemming pants! I might as well take them to a tailor so I never have to hem a pair of pants ever again! LOL! I probably should just practice though oh well haha. I’m going to order the Eleonore pattern – I think that’ll do the trick plus if I pick some lightweight fabric I can wear them under dresses. I know I’m in California but I get so cold! haha 🙂

        Reply
        1. valentineandstitch Post author

          Luckily for me the only pants I wear are jeans, leggings and sweatpants, so I don’t have to worry about any of those details!! I hope you’ll like the Eleonore pattern – you might also like it in a stretch woven, though I can’t advocate using jersey strongly enough!! Looking forward to seeing how it goes 😄

          Reply
  5. Sarah Liz

    I love this little basic collection. And the fact that you have reassessed your style, and what works for you. This really suits you nicely, it’s classic and stylish and absolutely perfect for running around and doing things in – which I am sure you do rather a lot of as you have young children. Thses both look like really good patterns for basics – I must go and check out the Papercut pattern. As for patterns and colours you would not normally wear – I have a feeling that the visual world of IG contributes a little to this – a bright and patterned garment catches the eye more that a plain basic. Also, it is nice to experiment, and I am doing a bit of that as well at the moment. But basics are always the backbone and bread and butter of any wardrobe. Thanks for your lovely thoughts on my choice of theme .

    P.S., I am glad I found your blog as well …I much prefer blogging, but I will talk more about this on one of my blog posts.

    Reply
    1. valentineandstitch Post author

      Thanks Sarah Liz, I’m really happy you like them. You’re probably right about the visual aspect of online fabric perusing – not only social media, but online shopping – I guess the eye skims over the blacks and greys and is drawn to the brighter colours. As for Instagram, I’ve been thinking about doing a blog post on this subject too, but my blog is still pretty new (just over 6 months old) and so I don’t feel “established” enough yet to focus solely on this. But I so enjoy writing about my makes and engaging in more detail in the comments, as well as reading the posts others write and chatting about those. I looked for that Burda pattern you blogged about yesterday by the way – not available over here, but I’ll keep the silhouette in mind and keep my eyes open for something similar! And yes, regarding my lifestyle, these kinds of basics are perfect as I can run around in them without feeling constricted, yet am pulled together enough to be seen in public! Thanks for reading 😊

      Reply
  6. Beck

    These look lovely. Would never never have guessed that these were “jeggings” rather than full-on jeans! They look so classy and the joy of ponte is that they must be sooo comfy! Another winning combination…

    Reply
    1. valentineandstitch Post author

      Thanks Beck! I can hardly tell myself that they’re not “real” jeans (except for how comfy the waistband is!) I’m really pleased with how they turned out and am already planning several more pairs!

      Reply
  7. Sew Sarah Smith

    What a success! You’re right, you really can’t go wrong with a black polo neck but I was so curious about the pants. They’re AMAZING!! You’ve got me seriously wanting that fabric and to make the exact same ones! Brilliant! Xxx

    Reply
    1. valentineandstitch Post author

      Aw, thanks Sarah! You’re right, I was fairly sure the top would work well, but the pants really exceeded my expectations! And not to be an enabler, but they do still have that fabric in stock and there’s a hyperlink in the post 😉 We could be jeggings twinsies!! Xxx

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *