My first Ginger Jeans

I made jeans again! It’s been a year since I made my Morgan Jeans, and they have been the only jeans in my wardrobe that whole time. But even after realising making jeans was doable I still put off making more for ages!!! And I don’t really know why – well I do know why. I wanted some more fitted, skinny/straight legged jeans and I’m by no means an expert on fitting trousers so I was scared! I’m sure you can all relate!

So here they are! Luckily the size 4, which I made, fitted fairly well straight out of the packet. I actually had to retrace the pattern because I’d traced the size 6 or 8 (I can’t remember – though I made the Morgans in a size 8) because I’ve lost an inch from my waist and hips sometime in the last year – I think from going from an office job to being on my feet, first at a fabric shop and then at a bookshop. The size 4 matched my waist and hip measurements perfectly so I was hopeful they would at least fit on my body!

I did make some fitting tweaks as I sewed these up – as the pattern suggests, I sewed up the main pieces to see how they would fit and any changes I might have to make, before all the seams are sewed, finished and top-stitched. I would definitely recommend this if you want to see the vague fit before you put in all the work of making the jeans fully! It’s like the lazy person’s toile!

Before I cut the jeans out, actually, I shortened the legs by 2 inches at the knee. Closet Case drafts for someone who is I think 5’6″ and I’m 5’3″ so I knew the legs would be too long – I could have just shortened them from the bottom like I did with my Morgan jeans, but then you get the ‘knee’ half way down your calf instead of shortening the pattern piece on the lengthen/shorten lines.

I also made some other fitting changes to the legs while I was sewing them up. I sewed the outside leg with a 1cm instead of a 1.5cm seam allowance as the legs ended up super tight! Luckily there is extra length in the waistband so I could still fit the waistband on without having to lengthen it.

Having worn these jeans a few times since I finished them, the waistband could have been curved a bit more as it every so slightly stands away from my body, but the plus side is that it does make them still comfortable to sit down in!

I did have plans to make some more Ginger jeans and if I did I would definitely deepen the front pockets! It’s the same for the Morgan jeans, but they’re really shallow. And if I wanted super tiny pockets I could buy rtw jeans! I can’t even get my whole hand in them!

Despite shortening the legs before I cut them out, I did still have to do a 3cm hem! I didn’t trim the excess off, I just folded it up 1.5cm twice.

I waited until the jeans were basically finished to place the back pockets – I’ve seen loads of people on instagram do this and it seems sensible, rather than following the guidance on the pattern piece as every bum is different and you want the pockets to be in the right place for your particular bum!

Having made a couple of denim skirts ages ago (one for my sister and one for me) I knew my sewing machine doesn’t love top-stitching thread (or I don’t know how to correctly configure it for it to work!) so I used normal thread in the right colour. It means my stitching doesn’t stand out as much as if I used top-stitching thread but it’s worth it for the lack of headaches and tantrums which would be inevitable if I tried to use the thicker thread!

The fabric was from Birmingham literally years ago! I just looked it up – I bought it in 2014 I think!!!!!! Wow! Ridiculous! I bought it to be a wearable toile for the Ginger jeans and it has definitely worked for that, but I don’t think it had to wait for as long for me to find out!

I’ve finally been bitten by the jeans making bug I think – I made another pair alongside these (coming soon to the blog) and I have 3 more pairs planned, 2 of which are cut out and ready to go. Don’t be like past me, don’t be scared to make jeans!

 

 

Bonkers Gold Rumana Coat

What’s one thing everyone needs in their wardrobe? Obviously the answer is a gold floor length coat! Sorry not sorry there are loads of photos! This is definitely a #SewFrosting garment!

This is, of course, the By Hand London Rumana Coat pattern. I made the size 10 with no fitting adjustments – I was definitely taking a bit of a risk by not making a toile, but I crossed my fingers it would fit well enough to get away with. And I think it does. For reference I’m 5’3″ so if your’e taller and want the coat to be ankle-length you may need to add some length.

The only thing is maybe the sleeves are a little long, but that’s a relatively minor thing in the grand scheme of a gold floor-length coat!

I’ve done quite a few of the techniques involved in making the Rumana coat before, in make my Honetone coat, my Joe Jacket and my Richmond blazer, but I still found the sewalong so, so useful – so if you’re planning on making a Rumana and you’re feeling intimidated, there’s no need!

The fabric was actually 2 pairs of curtains I picked up from my local antiques centre for £5 per pair. Definitely a bargain! And I’ve already used the original lining from the curtains for a toile for my Dressmaker’s Ball dress. Speaking of which, I was originally going to make this coat to wear to the ball last year but didn’t get around to it. And actually it’s a completely different kind of gold to the sequins on my dress so I’m not sure it would have gone that well anyway. I’m glad I finally got around to making it though…..like a year later!

It doesn’t look like it but I’ve ironed this coat and all the seams so many times! I guess curtain fabric doesn’t really need to press well apart from at the hem?! I steamed it and everything and it still looks quite bouncy on the seams, but there isn’t much I can do about it so *shrug*.

I think I cocked up the vent somehow btw. I ended up with the vent trying to go the wrong way and being somehow twisted so I kind of had to fudge it. I have no idea what I did but maybe be aware of your cutting and construction to see if it looks like the instructions/sewalong.

I found making the pockets particularly satisfying as I hadn’t done that specific kind of pocket before. And who doesn’t love a great big, deep pocket?!

When I first had the idea to make this coat, I wanted a monochrome patterned lining. I don’t know why, I just did! I found this viscose from Abakhan, which sadly they don’t seem to have any more. I definitely should have taken more time cutting out the lining – it’s pretty slippery fabric so my cutting was…..not the most accurate. But it was good enough to just about come together so I’m counting that as a win!

I love how it flows out when I sit down!

I think I might just wear this coat for, like, going to the supermarket! Too much? I’m kind of feeling like I want to wear all my favourite clothes all the time now. Anyone else feel better if you wear something you like and feel great in?

 

 

Sequined Bomber Jacket

Quite a while ago Fabric Godmother had this amazing sequined fabric and I had to snap some up!

And my immediate thought was to make a bomber jacket out of it – especially after googling to find inspiration pics and finding out that loads of designers make sequined bomber jackets.

Sorry not sorry for all of the photos, I’m in love with this make and want to wear it all the time!

The pattern is McCalls 7100, which looks terrible from the styling on the pattern cover, but is actually a great bomber jacket pattern when you look at the line drawing. I actually had this pattern in my mind for if I ever decided to make a bomber jacket after seeing Sew Dainty’s lovely floral version.

I made the size small and made no changes – it’s only semi-fitted and I didn’t want it to be skin tight, though I don’t think I’ll  be able to get a thick jumper underneath!

The ribbing I got from my local sewing shop, along with the zip. I’m not sure I love it as much zipped up, but I’m glad there is the possibility to zip it up. I used a pack of cuffs for the cuffs (obviously!) and 2 packs of ribbing for the hem band and the collar. Luckily this pattern comes with a pattern piece for the collar so there’s no guess work involved.

This jacket is not lined, but since the sequined fabric was see-through I underlined it and bound all the seams with a matching binding, also from my local shop. The lining fabric was (I think) from Minerva Crafts. I think the colour was peach as I kind of wanted it to look almost like my skin tone was showing through, but the fabric was a but more pink than I thought it would be – but I think it looks okay.

The binding isn’t my neatest work every, but it serves the purpose of enclosing and hiding all the raw edges.

I really like the detail on the front where there is a square of matching fabric either side of the zip before the ribbing is attached.

I went for black ribbing, zip and pocket flaps (which are made of some mystery black fabric I had in my stash) because the lines on the sequins are black and I thought it would be the most neutral colour to pick out of the sequins – and the easiest to match in all the different bits.

 

Do you every make something and think ‘this is bonkers, I love it’?!? I have! And I’m so glad I’ve got something silly to wear to cheer me up in the dark times we’re currently living through.

I think that’s why I love sewing so much – you can make something you can imagine in your head into a real garment you can wear. And I find what I wear can really affect my mood – if I wear something colourful or that I feel really reflects my style and what I want to present to the world then I’m in a much better mood than if I wear something dull (or have to wear 8 layers of clothes to be warm enough to be at work!). Do you find that?

 

 

2 Elliot Tops

Well this little blog has been rather neglected recently, hey!?

And now I’m updating during a very weird time in the world, and in the UK specifically. We were officially placed in lockdown last night because of the Coronavirus, which was the right thing to do to hopefully mean that the NHS isn’t overwhelmed and as many people survive the illness as possible.

I have definitely been struggling with heavy anxiety as the situation has worsened but I’m glad that I have sewing and music, both hobbies which bring me joy and calmness (most of the time, when I don’t have to unpick too much!), and which I can do still at home while in isolation.

But that’s enough about that – I’m sure we’re all a bit fed up with thinking and talking about it – so here is some sewing I did back in October! I have a bit of a backlog as you can imagine after 6 months of not posting!

Here I present 2 Elliot Sweaters which I love! The pattern is, of course, by Helen’s Closet. I was a bit torn between this pattern and Tilly and the Buttons’ Nora pattern and I feel like they came out at about the same time, but I went for the Elliot in the end as I like the roll neck better. Though I think I may have to cave and get Nora too as I’ve got some knits in my stash which I think would look good in the more slouchy style.

I have worn both of these tops so much since I finished them in October! I work in a bookshop, where we have to have the doors open and I really really feel the cold so I have been layering them up with thermal tops underneath and thick cardigans in the top. I’m looking forward to spring (if we’re allowed outside by then) when I can hopefully wear them on their own – especially as I like the sleeve length and it gets hidden under cardis!

The pattern is super easy to put together so I’d definitely recommend it for a knits noob.

I especially love how the hem dips down lower at the back – though I should have done a slightly deeper hem all the way around as this fabric rolls out like crazy so you can basically always see the overlocked edge on the outside. Sigh.

The only tweak I made to the pattern was to add a little pocket to each one. I can’t now remember which pattern I stoke the pocket from – maybe the archer shirt – but you can use any breast pocket pattern.

I matched the stripes on the pockets so that they would kind of blend in. When I first got the fabric – which I think was from Material Girl Laura – I thought about using the navy fabric as the pocket on the mustard top and vice versa, but I decided against that in the end as it would have made too much of a focus out of the pockets, and that wasn’t really the look I was going for.

I made both tops in the size small and I like the fit over all. I could maybe have gone up a size to get a more slouchy fit, which I might do if I make the pattern again.

I especially love the mustard colour of this version. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love mustard yellow!

I managed to mostly pattern match the side seams, which I measured from the armpits as the hems are obviously at different lengths. Because of the raglan sleeves, it’s impossible to match all the strips but I really don’t think anyone would notice that the stripes aren’t perfectly matched everywhere!

I am hoping to get a bunch of isolation sewing done – maybe I’ll finally catch up on my backlog of projects I want to make!? Are you planning to sew all the things too?

 

 

Cotton Lawn Robe

Since the weather is now getting cold, I’ve made a robe out of some beautiful light-weight cotton lawn from Sew Me Sunshine (she only has a remnant left of it alas). #sewingappropriategarmentsfortheweather

I used the Simplicity K1108 pattern which came free with Sew Magazine, which I only buy when there is a pattern I want to make. I can’t remember when it came out, but I knew I wanted to make it and I waited for the perfect fabric. I actually found this cotton lawn on a couple of websites last year when I was looking for fabric for the culottes I made for the New Craft House Summer Party (though I realise now it wouldn’t have worked) but it was sold out everywhere, so when I saw that Harriet had it in stock I bought it IMMEDIATELY!

I made the size medium and cut it at a length in between view D and C – they’re the versions without the more bat-wingy sleeves as they’re not so much my style.

Here is a close up of the gorgeous fabric! It fits perfectly into my colour palette.

The pattern is really simple to make – definitely a good make for a beginner. The only tricky bit was the bias binding around the whole neckline – and that was only tricky because I made my own bias binding using this brilliant tutorial from Helen from Stitch My Style and didn’t do the most accurate of measuring, so my binding was a bit too narrow in places so it was impossible to enclose all of the raw edges in places. I cut a couple of wider bits from the leftovers and just put them over the top of the narrow bits, it’s a bit shoddy but it worked. Sometimes you just have to bodge it!

I did manage to wear this once before the weather got a bit chilly! And I was promised that September would be warm, but so far it’s not really warm enough to wear a thin robe as opposed to a proper cardigan. Boo.

I know that for various reasons some people really didn’t enjoy the heatwave/proper Summer we had in the UK this year, but I am lucky to live in a flat that is cool (because it’s old – the pay-off is that it is also freezing in the Winter) and I work in a place with air con so I am a bit sad that we’re heading back into Autumn and Winter again already.Also I barely got to wear my Birkenstocks! Although I like snuggling up when it’s cold, last year Winter seemed to go on forever and I get a bit sick of sitting at my sewing machine usually in 3 layers, with a hot water bottle and a blanket! Maybe I need to move to warmer climes…..

Anyway, season rant over.

Have you ever actually made a free pattern from a magazine? I think this is the first I’ve made and I deliberately don’t subscribe to any sewing magazines because I don’t want to increase my pattern stash exponentially with things I know I won’t make.