In the short span of time it took me to make this project, the weather has gone from 20ºC and sunny, to -1ºC and blizzarding, then back up to 10ºC with clear blue skies. The weather on the shores of Lake Huron can be very unpredictable, to say the least! Haha! As the forecast here is ever-changing, I wanted to choose a pattern that could be worn year round. I love a two-piece set, so when I saw the Akira pattern from FS I was very excited to make it!
For my fabric, I chose the Signature Black Linen in Medium Weight. Deciding on a colour was honestly the most difficult part of the process! The Akira set would look so great in absolutely any colour of the rainbow. I ended up choosing black because of the great childhood memories I have visiting cosmetic counters! I always wanted to dress in all black, like the inspiring makeup artists I looked up to. Later on, as a teenager, I began working in the hair and beauty industry myself, so wearing black became part of my regular attire.
My linen and pattern arrived very neatly packaged. The pattern comes in a protective tube with the instruction book and a pattern hook inside. The pattern instruction book is on very sturdy paper and includes images, descriptions, fabric preparation guide, cutting tips, sewing instructions and a glossary. The glossary is very useful for sewing technique descriptions.
As the pattern instructed, I overlocked the raw edges of my linen before washing and drying to prevent fraying. After laundering, there was zero shrinkage along the raw edge I overlocked – the selvedge edge shrunk by less than 2%. The Signature Linen is pre-shrunk and should have very little shrinkage.
I made a quick toile of the capri pants and wrap top before cutting into my linen. I decided to cut a size 2 in both the pants and top to gauge if I needed to adjust my size. After creating a very basic version of both, I decided the pants would be a perfect fit, but the wrap top was a bit snug on my hips. For the final version, I went with the Size 2 in the capri pant and a size 4 in the wrap top.
When deciding the length of the pants, I started out by cutting in between the capris length and the full length. I love a cropped look but wanted to make sure I had enough length to adjust once the pants were sewn together. I am 5’7” and wanted the finished length to sit just above my ankle.
The wrap top is very easy to put together. All of the edges are french seamed which provides a sturdy and clean construction. When completing the french seams, I highly recommend ever so slightly trimming the seam allowance to make sure no raw edges peek through the finished seam. I really enjoyed making the neckband and I like the clean, finished look of the bottom hem.
I absolutely loved the techniques used when sewing the pants. The process was totally different to what I’m used to! Finishing the inseams first and then sewing the crotch together with one leg inside the other made it a very fast and easy assembly. I have also never sewn this style of pocket before and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to install.
It took me a wee while to get the elastic and drawstring through the waistband but a very sturdy safety pin did the trick.
After trying on my new set, with just the hemming to finish, I decided that the pant legs could be taken up quite a bit. I removed 4 1/4” from the initial mid-way point (in between the capris/full length). I ended up going for a 26” finished inseam. I absolutely love the chunky hem on the bottom of the pants!
Overall, I love this pattern! This set is super comfortable. The instructions are easy to understand and the step by step drawings are very helpful. The Akira set is a perfect staple piece all year round. I can’t wait to wear it on a summer’s day as well as layered up in the winter.