Above: Elizabeth Suzann Georgia Tee (right) and Agustina Boxy Top (left)
Like many others, I was saddened by the news of Elizabeth Suzann shutting down last year. Afterwards, Liz Pape was kind enough to share raw files of many beloved styles, which the community transformed into patterns that could be used by home sewists.
I still kick myself for forgetting to download the patterns before they were taken down in July, and have since been avidly following the #ESmadebyme hashtag. According to Liz’s latest update, the Georgia and Clyde patterns should be out soon with a pay-what-you-can model. That last bit is great, as the cost of patterns (up to $16 – $20) can be a barrier to sewing.
In December, I jumped at the chance to buy several yards of Fawn and Charcoal lightweight wool from Elizabeth Suzann’s remnant sale. The Cold Weather Collection is absolutely one of my favorites, and I was eager to recreate some pieces ASAP. Specifically, I was on the hunt for patterns similar to the minimal wide-leg Florence Pants and the boxy Georgia Tee.
Pomona Pants by Anna Allen ($14)
Originally, I planned to make another pair of Pietra Pants. However, I quickly realized that this would not work well for the thick, 10oz wool, due to all the seams. I thought removing the pockets would be enough to reduce bulk in the front & side seams – but realized the half-elasticated waist would be a problem too. In the two Pietras I’ve made, there’s quite a bit of fabric gathered in the back waistband. The wool would likely be too bulky to scrunch up enough in that minimal space.
I was on the verge of modifying my Carolyn PJ Pants pattern (pajama pants… WFH pants… they’re the same nowadays right?), when I decided to look once more at other elastic waist pants patterns. The Pomona Pants stood out to me with their simple two-piece construction, which also meant minimal seams. I felt confident that this would work best for a bulky fabric like this wool.
Size & Fit
I made a toile/muslin in a size 2 based on the size chart. It was a little snug in the hip area, so I decided to go with a size 4 for the real deal. I definitely wanted it to be on the looser side to reduce any chance of straining the material. And when I compared the size 2 to my actual Florence pants in size Small, the Florence pants had about 1” more ease in the waist & hip measurement. The only other change I made was to remove 3” from the hems for my 5’4” self.
Overall, the size 4 is a great relaxed fit. I sometimes shift some of the waistband fabric so the waist area isn’t so straight up and down, which to me is the only slight downside of this pattern. Otherwise, these are a very close match to the Florence pants!
Agustina Boxy Top by Fabrics-store.com (free!)
Free pattern alert! Fabrics-store.com has a nice selection of free patterns in addition to paid styles. These work well with linen fabric, but can be used for many other types as well. At first glance the #agustinaboxytop looked similar to the Georgia Tee – boxy fit, cuff sleeves – so I decided to give it a try.
Size & Fit
I went for a looser fit with the Size 4/6. Overall, I found it to be a good, relaxed fit and very similar in size to the Elizabeth Suzann OS. I compared my toile/muslin with my silk Georgia Tee, which you can see below.
The differences are slight:
- The neckline is slightly wider on the Georgia Tee. I actually prefer the Agustina one (less potential gaping / bra strap showing)
- The sleeves/sleeve openings are larger on the Georgia
- The body of the Georgia Tee is slightly wider and shorter
- The sleeve cuffs on the Georgia are slightly shorter than the Agustina
For this piece in wool, I decided to keep the Agustina as is, with the exception of the overall length. I added ½” to allow for a bit more seam & hem allowance due to the bulky wool. And because this material has some structure, I didn’t want to widen the body and make it too boxy.
Things I learned:
Getting creative with thick fabric: Both patterns I used were intended for more lightweight, thinner fabrics. Even though the Pomona Pants mention denim, it is not nearly as thick as the fluffy wool woven fabric I used. I made modifications that were focused on reducing bulk – such as leaving the waistband casing edge out and binding it vs. folding it in. On the Agustina top, I pressed my shoulder seams apart and binded the edges, to have it lie more flat.
Practice, practice, practice on scraps: With such an expensive (and truly irreplaceable fabric at this point), I wanted to make sure I didn’t make any major mistakes.
The first key area was tension. I found that a loose foot tension, walking foot and thread tension at 2 was the right combo. The second was sewing through multiple layers to figure out how much would still work ok – 3 was the answer. Based on that, I was able to plan out some of the adjustments above vs. being surprised in the moment.
Overall, I’m very very pleased with how these turned out. There are a few things that won’t ever match up to original ES pieces – for example some of my seams will be thready/messy since I do not have a serger. But that does not bother me at all.
I really loved these pieces when they were initially launched, but couldn’t justify the cost since I had splurged on the cocoon coat. I’m thankful I was able to make these at a fraction of the cost with the same lovely material. All in all, this cost me $300 in fabric for nearly $1,000 worth of finished clothing (2 pants, 1 tee). And I still have enough leftover to make a Parabola top or a simple scarf!
Partnership Disclosure: This blog post was not sponsored by any of the brands listed above. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, in which I earn a commission on purchases.