Maria of Denmark’s new Olivia Oversized Tee… and Cake Espresso PANTS!

Maria Denmark Top and Espresso Pants

Well hi there! I’ve got two new makes to talk about today – both of which are patterns I was lucky enough to test! 

First up, Maria of Denmark’s brand new Olivia Oversized Tee. It’s a loose-fit kimono sleeve top with a snug band at the bottom. It’s really fast to sew, and has a nice rounded v neckline! 

Maria Denmark Top and Espresso Pants

Now, I love the way this top feels.. but looking at the pics I probably could have gone down at least a size! I made it in slubbed tissue knit which is slightly sheer. Because it’s sheer, I have to wear a cami underneath… but because the fabric is so fine it catches on the cami underneath and clings in odd places. Next time I think I’ll use a medium-weight fabric with some drape, and I think it will be perfect!

Maria Denmark Top and Espresso Pants

I only had 1m of this fabric, so I had to piece the back and cut each half slightly off grain. If you had narrower hips or cut the shorter sleeve version, you’d be just fine with 1m. 

Maria Denmark Top and Espresso Pants

Can I just say how much I LOVE the DSLR and 35mm lense that my Dad lent me? This pic was taken in the middle of a long dark hallway on an overcast day, and it still looks full of light! I didn’t alter a thing about any these photos – they are straight out of the camera! 

Now for the next project – skinny pants made from the Sewing Cake Espresso leggings pattern! I tested this pattern back in the summer, and I’ve made … oh man, at least 8 pairs since then? I’d been wondering if the draft-your-own-leggings pattern would make a good starting point for pants, and the answer is YES! 

Maria Denmark Top and Espresso Pants

Espresso leggings are made with just one pattern piece, with no side seam. To start off, I cut one side of the pattern, then I slide it about 1” over to add an inch of ease all down the leg. I also added some ease below the knee so that they wouldn’t be skin tight at the ankle. Basically, it looks like this! 


(I don’t think I had cut the waist yet…)

Now, the fabric is a really important factor here. I use a very stretchy twill with at least 30% stretch. These pants really wouldn’t work without it! That said, when I sewed them up, they were TIGHT! 

Time for a quick save: Tuxedo stripes! 

Maria Denmark Top and Espresso Pants

Tuxedo stripes: The design feature that says “My thighs are bigger than I thought!” 

I sliced down the side, and spliced in a 2.5” strip. I figure that after the seam allowances, it ended up adding about 1.5” of ease to the pants. Next time I’ll add that ease in when I cut out the fabric. 

I have to say, I’m really pleased with these pants! They are an almost identical knock-off of the first pair of skinny pants I bought (back in Japan, when I wouldn’t dream of wearing skinny pants except to tuck into high boots!) I’m not convinced that it’s the most flattering silhouette on me, but come on, who really cares? 

Maria Denmark Top and Espresso Pants

If you haven’t ever made pants, or if you are looking for a modern skinny fit pants pattern, I definitely recommend this hack! (BTW, can we talk about how terrible the term “skinny jeans” is? a) They rarely make people look skinnier b) I HATE HATE HATE that I regularly hear kids under 10 talk about their “skinny pants” because I”m afraid in their minds it connects to the idea that skinny is good.)

Now I’m heading off to a fabric swap organized by a local art collective – sure, I’m excited for free fabric, but I’m mostly scoping out the sewing scene! Maybe I’ll recruit some new people for our local Sewcialist group! 😉 

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