Idea Log: Three easy (Kayne-style) pieces

Idea Log: Three easy (Kayne-style) pieces

Among my pile of prettily bundled shirting remnants I bought last summer is one bigger, heavier-weight roll of striped cotton duck. When Seamwork released their Moji pants pattern last year, I began fantasizing about sewing up a pair in this fabric, with a widened lower leg. I haven’t done it yet because A) I don’t sew pants, and B) I’ve heard conflicting reviews of that pattern. But ever since I saw these pics from Jenni Kayne’s Resort 2017 collection — the striped pants with matching sleeveless tunic and raglan pullover sweater — I haven’t been able to get any of it out of my head. I have no idea what the top of the Jenni Kayne pants looks like (probably not drawstring and patch pockets, who knows) and I’m guessing they’re silk or some such (not like my utility fabric) but regardless when I saw the photo my first thought was “my striped pants!”

The tunic is a lot like the modified Wiksten tanks I made last summer — in which I had raised the neckline, lengthened the body and made it more A-line — only pushed just that much further. The upper part looks to me a lot like Grainline’s new Willow Tank, and if you were to graft that onto the lower half of Liesl’s Gallery Tunic (or, again, a wide tunic-length placement of the Wiksten hemline) you’d have this very top. Granted, my fabric might be too heavy for it.

And then there’s that navy tunic-length sweater. It’s the simplest, most basic of raglans and one could easily improvise it from the top. Just make sure you start out with an odd number of stitches for the back and the sleeve tops, put 5 or 7 stitches in each raglan seam, and work the whole thing in 1×1 rib (or fisherman’s rib, if you’re feeling fancy).

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41 thoughts on “Idea Log: Three easy (Kayne-style) pieces

  1. “Just make sure you start out with an odd number of stitches for the back and the sleeve tops…” I’m blanking – why is this? Otherwise, I love the Kayne pieces too. Thanks for bringing them to my attention and I love your make it myself-alter it to my liking way of thinking!

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    • Unless there’s some design reason otherwise, you pretty much always want your stitch pattern to be symmetrical across your garment. So in the case of 1×1 ribbing, you’d want it to be [a multiple of 2] + 1.

      *k1, p1; repeat from * for however many stitches; k1

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  2. I think that fabric would work for pants but might be too stiff for the top. I’m like Kimwfindlay, why an odd number of stitches? Doesn’t fisherman’s rib require an even number? I can’t wait to learn why. does the front need to be an odd number too?

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    • I am curious about the odd stitches, too. In the “How to knit a top down sweater” tutorial, even numbers are used all around.

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    • Francis, regarding the fronts — you always start with just 1 stitch in the front at each side, so it’s an odd number by default and you’d just want to make sure you end up that way when you join in the round. So you’d have to think for a second about how many stitches you were casting on for the join and how to work them in such a way that you maintain the ribbing you’ve established up to that point.

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  3. Such a great look — can’t go wrong with classic stripes, and I like Kayne’s twist of vertical striping along the grain. Just a thought on pants: I’ve heard mixed reviews of Moji too, and personally I’ve had great success making woven Hudson pants (True Bias has a tutorial on her blog) so that could be a good base for whatever pockets & shaping you want. Also, they were my first pants too!

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    • I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a pants pattern where different people don’t have different experiences with regard to the fit in the rise. So Moji may be perfectly typical, I don’t know, but I have seen a lot of people commenting that there’s something weird about the rise.

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  4. Karen,

    Love that striped duck! And the new Grainline top looks like a winner. As for the Moji pants, I have made four pairs of them. However, I did heavily modify the pattern after the first pair. I widened the leg at the bottom, added enough length for a cuff size hem which I turn up or leave down (depending on my shoes), and I added four inches to the top of the rise, which I use for a folded in, wide elastic casing, rather than a drawstring. I’ve even made a couple of pairs without pockets. I know the pockets and drawstring are part of the pattern’s immediate appeal, but the plainer pants work better in my wardrobe. And in a cool, breathable cotton, they are go-to for hot weather.
    Why do I love the pattern even though I modified it so heavily? There is just something about the way they fit around the hips that really works for me. They remind me of Eliz Suzanne pants. Course, I guess you could modify almost any pattern in this way, but for me, these simple little pants were a good starting point.

    Someone mentioned Merchant and Mills patterns which I have yet to try. Would love to hear more feedback from those who have.

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      • To add to the comment you made about the rise….it is on the short side, especially over the butt. I forgot to add that I added another half inch to the back when I made my last pair, tapering up from 4″ at the front and sides to 4.5 in the middle back. The folded waistband casing takes up about 2.5″ of all that. Also, the legs (and sewn on cuff) were way too pegged for my liking.

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  5. I made myself a pair of Moji pants a few weeks ago, and, as Clare said, the fit is quite snug around the calf. I found the rise very low too but it’s a matter of taste more than fit. The point is, because there is no pleat or dart at the waist, and almost no shaping at the side seams on the hips, if you want to get a higher rise and you just get more gathering at the belt and drawstring, which could end very unflattering … But I really like how they fit at the hip and thigh, and are both elegant and comfy.

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  6. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing with the fabric. I have a ¾ sleeve tunic made from similar, lovely fabric. It is a brown/cream stripe. However, because of the thickness of the fabric, the top just didn’t fall in a flattering way, and was kind of bulky and uncomfortable. I ended up over-dyeing it with indigo, hoping that I would wear it more if it was my favorite color, but it still sat in my closet. I just pulled apart all the of seams and keep wondering what to do to remake it. I was leaning toward a cropped tank, thinking that it wouldn’t matter as much if the fabric didn’t drape much. Maybe something like this: http://ilanakohn.bigcartel.com/product/kate-crop-multiple-colors

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  7. Seriously, pants are easy. Wonder if your fabric would be too stiff though. Wash some and see what it feels like, nice stuff though.

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  8. Karen, it sounds like you need to have a sloper made for yourself. From there you can design pants that will fit YOUR body. Knowing what ease you want is easy since your sloper is like a second skin with minimal ease… and adding the extra ease you want is rather like the ease we add when knitting for ourselves. Too bad all my drafting supplies are in storage, CURSES! (I’m on the road 24/7/365) I would be happy to create your sloper.
    I love the look of this whole outfit, too, and think your fabric is perfect for it. I have a little hint to share. Soak the fabric in Fabric Softener overnight, then wash and dry as usual. You will be surprised how much the ‘duck’ has softened.
    So enjoy your site and posts.
    MJ, the SKEINdinavian

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  9. I love that navy tunic, too. I’m improvising one top-down in Antracitgra Kalinka at 7 st/in and dreaming of worsted wool…or at least DK.

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  10. Pingback: Idea Log: Cowichan-style cardigan, take two | Fringe Association

  11. Pingback: My Summer of Basics plan | Fringe Association

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