Double Gauze Arden Pants

I seem to keep making patterns in pairs – and especially Helen’s Closet patterns! I made 2 Blackwood Cardigans and 2 Elliot Sweaters. I guess I often must also buy fabrics in pairs!

And the Arden Pants are no exception! I haven’t bought many (if any?!) patterns in absolutely ages but when I saw the Arden pants, I knew the pieces of double gauze I’d been hoarding in my stash since last year would be perfect! I initially thought about making one colour into trousers and the other into a top but I’m so glad I made them both into trousers – I have plenty of tops after my Inari-making binge (1, 2, 3)!

The fabric was from Fabric Godmother last year when I left my previous job in June. They actually still have both listed though only the navy is currently in stock – the navy is here and the mustard/gold is here (but out of stock atm).

This was my first time working with double gauze and I found it okay. It does kind of wrinkle up loads when you pre-wash it and then I read some stuff about how it’s up to you how flat you want it ironed to before you start your project. It’s supposed to have a bit of texture so I ironed out the worst wrinkles and went from there. I have heard double gauze can be a bit shifty – because there are 2 layers which slide past each other – but I think because this was a relatively simple pattern it worked fine.

I made the size 6 and made no fitting adjustments apart from taking up a 7cm hem in total as I wanted them to graze my ankles. I did find the fabric had a slight tendency to ever so slightly stretch out a little when being top-stitched (like on the edges of the pocket openings) and I didn’t do absolutely all the top-stitching the pattern called for because I wanted a looser, breezy vibe, rather than having that jeans-style stitching. I did top-stitch the crotch seam, though, to strengthen the seam that will get the most strain!

 

I slightly had to fudge the back pockets because of my shoddy cutting-out skills! When will I learn to take more time over cutting out shifty fabrics? At this point probably never! 😂

I also discovered that double gauze (or this double gauze specifically) frays like a bitch! I over-locked everything to make sure the trousers weren’t going to just disintegrate as soon as I wore them twice!

I would definitely recommend this pattern if you’re looking for a nice, stylish but relatively simple first foray into sewing trousers/pants. The construction is very similar to the Hudson Pants but it has a higher rise, which I much prefer. I love my Hudsons but I wish they came up a little higher on my waist (obviously I can adjust that if I make them again). They are also super comfortable because of the loose fit and the elasticated waist.

My only regret with making these Ardens is that I made them probably too late in the year to really get any wear out of them until next Summer. Here in the UK we have now entered the, like, 8 month period where the weather is shit and I’m cold ALL THE TIME. Although I’ve made all the things since the beginning of lockdown, I think I need more cold-weather options so I’m not quite so grumpy for the next few months!

Do you have a favourite easy to wear trouser pattern? I think this might be my new fav!

 

 

Light Denim Dawn Jeans

I’m back with more jeans! This might be my favourite pair, though playing favourites with the jeans I’ve made is like picking a favourite child!

The only thing that maybe stops this pair of Dawn Jeans (what other pattern would it be, lol!) is how much the button fly gapes when I sit down. I do prefer how the pairs I’ve made with zips fit and look when I sit so that’s something to remember if I make another pair (not that I need more jeans at this point 😂).

The jeans are also just a little too tight on my thighs when I sit down. I definitely fell into the trap of fitting the jeans only standing up! But the denim will stretch with wear I think. Speaking of the denim it’s from Sew Me Sunshine (she still has it in stock here) and it was a dream to sew with. It’s relatively thin but that means I’ve been able to wear these when the weather’s been a but warm (whereas trying to wear my black skinny Dawns was not great in a heatwave!).

As with my other pairs I made the size 4 and took off 2cm off the back seam, grading to the normal seam allowance 20cm down, as I’ve done with the other pairs.

I made the straight-legged version of the pattern. I do kinda want to make the wider-legged view because I really like my Morgan Jeans but I wore them yesterday for the first time in ages and the pockets are tiny and I prefer a higher-waisted fit.

I spent quite a lot of time fiddling with the fit on the back, because (for want of a better phrase) they creep up my arse! But this has already slackened as I’ve worn them a couple of times. I fiddled with the fit on the back seam, letting it out a bit, and fiddled with the crotch seam and the inner leg seam and none of it seemed to make much of an improvement so I went back to sewing it as the instructions said. If I had more experience and expertise in fitting I’d probably have know what to do but meh. They look fine now they’ve stretched the tiniest bit.

I took up a 5cm hem, again, as I’ve done before.

The jeans look pretty wrinkly in these photos but they feel like they fit really nicely on my body so I’m not so bothered about how they look.

You can see how the fly gapes a bit here. It doesn’t gape as badly with my other pair with the button fly but I guess it’s because the denims are different – I know other people say you kinda have to fit each pair of jeans individually unless the denim is identical because even a slight change in fabric can make a difference as to how they fit!

I do slightly wish I’d sewn a pattern on the back pockets, but I’m always just thinking about moving onto the next step so it didn’t even occur to me to do it!

Are you tired of hearing about my jeans yet?! I think I’ve got one more pair to share after this – I’ve slightly lost track to be honest, lol!

I’m still on furlough but I’ve slightly lost the impetus to sew any more – also I’ve sewn so much of my stash and so many of the garments I’ve wanted in my wardrobe for literally years. Maybe this gives me an excuse to buy more fabric 🤔

 

 

Black Skinny Dawn Jeans

After sharing all my many, many shirt, now comes the sharing of the multiple pairs of jeans I’ve made while being furloughed (5 in total for those keeping count!)

This is another pair of Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans. I bought this lovely (and really quite stretchy) black denim from Fabric Godmother absolutely ages ago and was going to make Ginger Jeans, but after finding I much preferred the fit of the Dawns I changed my plans.

I made the size 4, as with my first pair. I took the same 2cm off the back seam before putting on the waistband.

Because I was planning for these to be Gingers, I had already bought a zip and luckily you can follow the sewalong for the Ash Jeans on Megan Nielsen’s blog for how to install a jeans fly instead of buttons. Thankfully it’s super easy! And I think I prefer zips to buttons generally when it comes to flies – I find buttons gape no matter how well you’ve installed them.

The other adjustments I made to the fit of this pair was to make the legs more skinny than they straight leg version I made the first time. Also with this denim being stretchy, I knew I’d have to check the fit from scratch. I did start to write down how much I took off the legs – 2cm off inner leg seams, grading to 4cm at the crotch and taking in the outside leg seams too to make sure the seams still went as vertically as possible down my legs. I initially took them in too much at the ankle and couldn’t get them on and off so I had to let them out a bit! Lol! Good job I kept trying them on!

I did a 5cm hem again for this pair to get them to just about sit on my ankles – I particularly like how they look with my Birkenstocks.

I used my first pair to figure out where to put the back pockets – so much easier once you’ve done it once than to keep trying to twist around to see your own arse in the mirror!

I decided to do matching black top-stitching instead of the standard mustard jeans colour as I had a pair of rtw black skinny jeans years ago with matching top-stitching.

I’m not gonna lie, btw, I’m pretty pleased with the fit of these jeans – I’m sure it’s not perfect but it’s better than pretty much every pair of rtw ones I owned in the past!

Maybe if I make some more jeans (though I think for now 6 pairs is enough for my wardrobe!) then I might do a fun top-stitching design on the back pockets.

I’m so glad I had enough time while being furloughed (though the longer it goes on the more I’m worried whether I’ll have a job to get back to at all) to really have the time to make jeans. It always seemed too complicated and involved to want to do during one or two sewing days, so I’d often pick something easier to complete in a shorter space of time – though, of course, jeans don’t take quite as long as I feared!


 

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?