Nehalem pants – a job for a featherweight

I got this Nehalem pants pattern last year and spent an afternoon taping pages together, and then, couldn’t figure a fabric.  I got this 1.5m of this light cotton (I think, has a linen quality but dont think its rame) in a market in Leeds in May and thought to finally sew them.

nehalem pants (8)

They sew up so fast – an afternoon, and the only adjustment I made was to place the tie an inch lower (hollow back).  They are very practical (pockets and front seam which acts as a fold guide).  I find I prefer to wear them with the waistband folded over, and if I was to wear the other way, I think I would make thicker ties for it.  The only real issue I had was that the tops I had didn’t really seem to work with it – I was wearing the gathered sleeve t from the last post, but then I remembered my ‘smocky’.  Its a top I bought when I was 15, and I have photos of me wearing it for the next 10 years and some.   I think it retired to my sewing basket in 1996 as there is a tiny hole in it and I was going to repair it and yet never did/could.  So happy to wear it again.

Looking at the photos just there unsure how come I am squinting into the light – I look asleep…..and it wasn’t even that bright this morning…

And the Nehalems were sewn on a featherweight! I have acquired one and can so see the appeal of them now.


Some months ago I was in a local charity shop and got talking to the manager Aileen.  We were talking sewing and she asked me to look at some machines for their value.  I looked at 2 and cleaned them and got one working and then she brought in this case….. and it was a featherweight a bit worse for wear.  Cracked lacquer, damaged case, rust on the tray but luckily none on machine – the chrome on the needle plate is damaged.  There was an issue with the bobbin which would be expensive to fix.  I explained (too much – her eyes glazed over) to Aileen that it was a lovely machine but as it would be expensive to fix I could not offer her much -she was happy to take 30 and I kept telling her she should really advertise it for more money (how pathetic am I!).  So I brought it home.  Cleaned and tidied case as much as I could.

  • which was using metal polish on the spare bobbins as well as some attachments and the tray to clean off the rust (some attachements were in a box and they were fine)
  • Metal cleaner on the latches etc of case – one latch is a bit buckled but it does have a key
  • PVA on the case where the vinyl was torn and bubbling
  • oiled everything – which in turn made the cracked lacquer less obvious
  • cleaned bobbin case as it had dirt preventing the bobbin sitting in

and justified getting it fixed by Morgan as there were a few things still off with it (crack in the bobbin case holder and tension spring gone) for 160euro incl parts –  and I was also rather chuffed that Morgan was enthusiastic about its repair (he kept telling me normally he would never give repair advice but did I know these were a really good machine….and told me about a matching iron they made for them….) and when I got sewing on it….it sews a charm – and I can see why the fan club exists for this machine.  The stitch is like the elna (technically the elna may be slightly better), and the machine has a lovely noise/rhythm – it reminds me of my favourite GIF (both sooo cute)



Its also very portable.  I have started to bring it to the community sew room for me to sew on if there are not enough machines as its light enough to put in a bag. (less bulk that way).  I also justified spending 160euro on the fix as I had taken a second job, and I was going to sell the 99k (now sold).  However, since I also had to drop one of my jobs, as I was working 2 part time jobs spread over 7 days a week and getting very tired, so I have now changed jobs from retail(job 1), back to clerical work (job 2 which is temping part-time).  The change is good overall, and now I have time to start on the new irish dance dress……….which technically will be my main job for the next few weeks!








9 thoughts on “Nehalem pants – a job for a featherweight

  1. Cate says:

    Those trousers look very comfy and I love that you made them with a featherweight. I had to sell all of old vintage sewing machines back in the mid-2000s due to needing the money. I really wish I still had them because they were absolute beauties 😦 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thanks Cate, they are, although when I made them I was wondering if I had just made a set of big knickers as there was a lot of starch still in the fabric but after wearing the fabric they have softened and as way handy to wear (pockets – what can I say), such a pity you had to sell your machines….. however, no more than my coincidence in getting the f/weight, there will be ones coming back to you yet!


  2. Clare says:

    Love the trousers. They look so comfy and I always think you can’t go past blue and white for a fresh look. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about the new Irish dancing dress!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thanks Clare – I am looking forward to seeing it finished!!! I am doing some embroideries now and hope they pass the inspection – my niece has sent me about 20 pictures of costumes she likes and they are all vastly different and yet she can be so specific about her tastes! anyway I am just going ahead now as there is an end August deadline! 5m of fabric bought yesterday …..


  3. wrong doll says:

    Great title for the post and love these pants on you. Folded over on the waist looks v stylish and I know what you mean about needing the right top to go with them. I have a few me mades waiting for their perfect pairing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • wrong doll says:

        I agree – a very interesting addition Eimear. Seeing them made me want to have a stab at a trouser patten I’ve got. I’m making slow but sure progress with the jacket so watch this space!

        Liked by 1 person

    • upsew says:

      Thank you – The featherweight is really punching above its own (pls excuse near-pun) I have been pattern testing on it so had to sew 6 shirts in the last 3 days……. (sits in snugly as the embroidery machine is also on the sew table as I am really supposed to be embroidering samples for dress but I was waiting on supplies to arrived by post). These machines are so tidy for popping on a table as they are so light. I now get the gushing comments I used read about them!


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