Monthly Archives: March 2015

Wadders

I was planning on posting a previously finished project this week but instead I decided to talk about a more recent failure – a stinky old wadder.

It happens – you spend hours on something that just doesn’t work out in the end… and regardless of how you try and reassure yourself that it was good experience or whatever, it still sucks, and for me, saps my motivation for a time.

In this case the problem was that I sewed too many times while hungry & tired and thus, dumb mistakes were made over & over, resulting in frayed and destroyed seam edges too far beyond the hope of salvation.

Finally, in disgust, I threw the whole damn thing away.

Yes, I will make this pattern again out of a different fabric, but there wasn’t enough left to salvage of this one, and I’m still slightly pissy over the hours & fabric wasted.

So I’m taking a sulky break from sewing for a little bit – but hopefully I can get my mojo back soon, and if not, I have that finished project waiting to be blogged still, so at least that’s something 🙂


Pants!!

… or trousers, depending on who you are 😉

So far this year my making has primarily consisted of something I’ve previously more or less untried in: pants! 🙂 I am LOVING making pants!!! I’m really behind in my blogging so I’m catching up today by showing you three pairs, which I made between November of last year, and February of this year.

Pants are what I wear most often to work (and play) 3 seasons of the year and one of the things I despise shopping for most, because it’s super hard for me to find a good fit in a style I like, in fabric that’s quality, or even partially natural fibers. I end up spending WAY too much money on one semi-decent fitting pair that I subsequently wear to absolute shreds, and this is where I’ve been stuck for some time.

SO! Sewing & fitting skills to work!

The one futile attempt I made  previously (a couple years ago) met with sad failure due to my lack of experience and understanding, but this time, I was determined to make a decent fitting pair of trousers.

I decided on a Burda pattern based on Anne’s glowing reviews and numerous wonderful pairs, and with some tweaking and fiddling (and a LOT of head scratching at those instructions!) I managed to eke out a couple muslins, the last of which produced a fit I was really happy with.

I then took that tweaked pattern and some trouser weight wool I had in my stash and went to work. End result? Slightly askew waistband & messy welts aside, I have a pair of black wool dress trousers I absolutely love – the fit is awesome and I am truly proud of my fly insertion 🙂 As my mum (wisely) said, if the fit is good, the rest will come in time 🙂 (practice DOES make perfect after all!)

black-trousersblack-trousers-back2
So I was hooked!! Next came my Holly jumpsuit. Armed with my new knowledge, I had little trouble fitting this one, and was pleased with the outcome. So much so I decided to make a pair of trousers from the pattern. However, I prefer my trousers to sit lower on my waist/hip so I slashed off 4.5″ from the top of each pants piece, then drafted a 1.5″ 2-piece waistband based on the top part (folding out the darts and adding seam allowance, and an overlap of course)

grey-trousersgrey-trousers-back
I did not use instructions for this one as most of it was invented by me anyway – instead I constructed them how it made sense to me, and when it came to the zipper I used a regular zip with a lapped installation, placing the lap from front to back as I thought it would be more flattering. Waistband and zipper turned out great, and the dropped waist was exactly what I was aiming for! Second win!! 🙂

I was getting pretty excited by this point – I mean never in my life have I had pants that fit this well – and in lovely wool no less – I was in heaven!

So it was time to test my mettle on a new animal – the skinny jean.

Friends, I’ll be honest – I am a boot cut gal through & through but I’ve been informed that’s not “cool” anymore lol (not that that’ll stop me) but if I was gonna go there, there was NO WAY I was going to attempt squeezing into a pair of skinny jeans in a public changing room; the only way it was happening was on MY terms!

Enter the Named Jamie jeans!! (already blogged here but forgot to add some construction/process details so I’ll g on a little more LOL) What a fun project! I was tempted by all the fun jeans threads but since my chosen denim was a soft, sleek black, I opted for a charcoal topstitching thread instead, for a subtler look. Also the only 4″ zipper had an ugly pull so I bought the next size up & resolved to find a way to shorten it. (yes, I’m particular lol)

I executed the exact same flat pattern adjustments I made on the previous 2 pairs, and made a quick muslin of the top part from a test stretch fabric before proceeding.

Putting both my machines to work made the construction process a cinch – the body of the jeans were done in one afternoon, as I used one machine for construction and the other for topstitching.

A quick try-on prior to fly installation revealed that the legs of these were VERY tight – luckily my denim was pretty forgiving – should have realized I would need to adjust for my massive muscular calves haha. Will definitely adjust next time lol and as Mrs M has pointed out, I may also need a thigh adjustment as well 🙂

Cons: Slightly wonky waistband – totally my fault (seriously, what is my problem with waistbands, anyway?) and an evil buttonhole; my machine was NOT cooperating with the buttonhole on the stretch fabric!
Pros: I made JEANS!!! Of the skinny variety! And they fit, are comfy and I love them!!

Next up on the roster was a pattern I’ve been itching to try out for some time: Vogue 1051. I love all the details of this pattern: the lower rise and wide waistband, the welt seam pocket in front and the welt with button closure in back. After making the (now) usual pattern adjustments I squawked out a quick shorts muslin & bravely (arrogantly?) proceeded to move on to the real deal. I say bravely because for these I had a special piece of fabric in mind: a lovely red Italian wool gifted to me by Andrea of Stitch Parade for the Christmas swap a couple (few?) years ago. I’ve been saving it until my skills were a bit better and I’m glad I did; I love these trousers, and I even eked out just enough for a bonus skirt!! (coming soon! LOL)

red-trousersred-trousers-back
The construction was a bit more challenging than my previous pairs but I think I am getting better each time 🙂 I did have to unpick a couple times on the back pockets because I did a few upside down things lol, and ONCE AGAIN the waistband was a problem but not as bad as the black ones & I think I figured out why 🙂

And yet more trousers in the works but before that, a few more finished objects yet unblogged and coming soon, a HUGE project I’m finishing up now; my DREAM JACKET (or one of them… I love jackets!) and then (jumping on the most recent bandwagon) LINGERIE!


Named Jamie Jeans!!

Ok so let me start off by saying that there are two revelations in this post:

  1. I made jeans
  2. I am wearing skinny jeans for the FIRST TIME

I have been a boot cut girl for as long as I can remember and always thought that skinny jeans would give me the dreaded ice cream cone figure LOL. To my surprise, not only do they flatter the figure, but I love the way these feel AND look!!

(sorry for the poor photo quality; it was raining and I had a tough time getting full cooperation from my photographer LOL)

JamieJeans-1

Named Jamie Jeans – front view

 

JamieJeans-back

Named Jamie Jeans – back view

The pattern is awesome; especially being a first jeans attempt for me it was a great way to ease into the craft. I found the instructions very good, and the pdf pattern was easy to work with. I actually love that Named uses as little pages as possible. There is a bit of overlapping on some pattern pieces but the up side is you don’t have to match and tape as many pages, which means better accuracy overall.

JamieJeans-frontpocket_fly

slanted front pockets, center front topstitching and jeans button and fly

I absolutely love the slanted front pockets. You can use a contrast fabric for a different detail but I wanted these to be a bit more dressy/subtle so I could wear them with a blouse or jacket to the office.

There is a lot of topstitching involved which I LOVE. I’m a weirdo – I adore topstitching and I do it all by eye, as I don’t have any special feet. I have a second machine so I loaded her up with the topstitching thread and was able to swap back and forth construction and topstitching without switching threads every five minutes. Bonus 🙂

JamieJeans-backpocket

check out that yoke topstitching matching awesomeness – yeah!!

My fabric is a wonderful stretchy dark black cotton denim. It is a bit more dressy than a traditional blue jean, washes and wears beautifully, and was a dream to sew 🙂

Closeup front and back just for fun:

JamieJeans-flyJamieJeans-butt

I will DEFINITELY be making these again!!! I think I will give myself a bit more room in the calf area on the next version, as I have pretty beefy calf muscles LOL. I have a wonderful brocade that I think would look smashing in this style, for a bit of a dressy casual look 🙂