Tag Archives: Megan Nielsen

Galentines Outfit (for the Pink and Red Party

I used Megan from Pigeon Wishes’ Pink and Red party as an excuse to make a new outfit – because why not when I’ve been sitting in my house for 11 months and have slightly lost my sewjo (because I sewed all the things I needed for my wardrobe last year!). So I made a sort of a suit!

I talked about my inspiration for making a colour-blocked suit in this YouTube video (I’ve resurrected my YouTube channel after making one video 2 years ago! Lol!)

 

I used the Joe Jacket pattern from Ready to Sew for the jacket – which is also the pattern I used for the jacket of my corduroy suit. I used a suit with a more smoking jacket-type jacket worn by Claire Foy for my inspiration and so this involved a little pattern hacking.

I sat for way longer than I would care to admit trying ti figure out how to hack the pattern to get it to overlap at the bottom – and then it turned out to be relatively simple! I just slashed up the pattern front, from the hem to almost the neck line, and pivoted the whole front edge outwards – simple! But lots of head scratching to figure out if this was correct!


I added patch pockets instead of the welt pockets – which is actually way easier than welt pockets! I used the pocket pattern piece from the Honetone Coat as a guide.

 

I also, of course, added the tie to keep the jacket closed, as in the inspiration one. I thought about adding a couple of belt loops on the back to hold it in place, but figures this was an unnecessary step as I don’t think I’ll really wear it open, so the belt doesn’t need anything to keep it in while it’s untied, if that makes sense?

I talked about the construction and fabric etc in this YouTube video:

 

The fabric was all from Fabric Godmother and the pink and blue fabrics are Tencel twills and the lining was a cotton (with a little stretch). The Tencel is very drapey so possibly wasn’t the best choice for something as structured as a jacket, but it is a pretty relaxed style of jacket – and I made sure I interfaced absolutely everything that would get any wear or that needed structure. There is quite a lot of interfacing in a jacket anyway, so that certainly helped.

I do love a spotty lining! Stupidly, though, when I pre-washed all the fabrics, I put them all in together and the blue Tencel really ran so I ended up with blue spotty fabric instead of white. Sigh – that wasn’t the look I was going for. But after washing it a couple of times with some colour catchers the colour mostly came out. You would think after sewing for so many years, I would have learnt better!

The trouser pattern I used was the Dawn Jeans as I’ve made them a bunch of times and after spending so much time hacking the jacket, I kind of wanted something I knew how to sew for the trousers.

I made the size 4, as I’ve done before, but took it in only 1.5cm on the back seam (as opposed to the I think 2cm I did on my other pairs) and sewed the side seams with a 1cm seam allowance (instead of 1.5cm) as they seemed a bit snug somehow! The waistband miraculously still fit!

I sewed the wide-legged version and I actually can’t believe I haven’t before! There was a while where everyone was making the Persephone Pants – and I made them as the trousers for my suit – but the fit was never great on me and I don’t really wear them much as a result. But I get the same look from the wide-legged Dawns so I kind of want some more wide-legged jeans/trousers in my wardrobe for days when I don’t want skinny jeans!

These are definitely going to become a Spring/Summer wardrobe staple once the weather stops being below zero – anyone else in the UK fed up of being so cold?! I know we’re known for talking about the weather ALL THE TIME but I’m a naturally cold person so when the weather is so cold I get really fed up really quickly! Roll on Summer….

I really hope I get to wear this outfit to an irl sewing party one day! Though I’ll probably use an irl party as an excuse to make another outfit, because why not, eh?!

Did you join in with the Pink and Red Party? Are you like me and you only wear pink (or only red?). I tried to force myself to wear red by knitting a cardigan years and years and years ago but I wore it, I think, twice because you can’t make yourself feel nice in a colour you don’t actually feel good in! Though speaking of knitting, I’ve rediscovered my enjoyment of knitting in front of the TV so maybe there’ll be some knitting projects coming soon(ish)….

A review of 2020

I’ve done review posts (and then planning posts for the forthcoming year) for quite a few years on this blog and I wasn’t going to do one this year (I won’t be doing a planning post) but then I realised it’s been my most productive sewing year so far so it would be a shame not to celebrate all the things I’ve made.

I do want to acknowledge my privilege before I dive into my makes because I know a lot of people have lost friends and family members this year and have lost jobs and had their lives as they knew them fall apart. I myself work in a bookshop and was furloughed when the UK went into lockdown in March and was about to go back to work when we entered the second lockdown in November, but this was delayed until December. I was back at work for 4 weeks and a day when Gloucestershire was moved to tier 4 (today) meaning that I am furloughed again. I have been paid at least 80% of my wages that whole time and my partner and I have relatively low outgoings (and he went back to work in June) so we have been okay financially. I also have a flat to live in and hobbies to occupy me so I was able to enjoy most of my time not working. There were weeks when I was fed up of being in my house, but I did manage to visit family in the Summer when it was permitted and we have my partner’s family close by where we live. I have no children so I didn’t have to suddenly become a teacher over night and this means my time has been my own to do with as I please. I have also had regular online chats with my close group of friends from uni and I feel we have deepened out friendships – usually we try to meet up once per year and have a whatsapp chat but it has been nice to feel like we are close together even when we are (literally in some cases) thousands of miles apart.

With all that said for the first 3 or so months of the lockdown I sewed ALL THE THINGS that I had in my mind to make for probably years. I had bought fabric with specific projects in mind and then never quite got around to them, even with moving to working part-time last June (2019). In 2019 I made 16 garments and in 2020 I made 35 garments (2 of which I haven’t yet shared here) and refashioned one. That’s quite a difference!

I’ll start with jackets and coats – I didn’t realise I made 4!

Sequined Bomber jacket

Houndstooth Richmond jacket


Gold Rumana Coat

Victoria Blazer Coat hack

And of course, no sewing year for me would be complete without a bunch of shirts!

Blue and Pink Popover Kalle

Yellow Geometric Kalle

Faces Kalle


White and Black Checked Blaire

Classic White Melilot

I also did some epic scrap-busting and made a load of Inari Tees from larger scraps I had in my stash.

Silver Knit Inari

Electric Blue Inari

Jungle Print Inari


Crowd Inari


Cotton Lawn Inari


Pink Striped Inari


Yellow Geometric Inari


Black Striped Inari

2020 was also the year of making jeans for me – I made 5 pairs in total!

Ginger Jeans

First Pair of Dawn Jeans


Pale Denim Dawn Jeans


Black Skinny Dawn Jeans


Navy Skinny Dawn Jeans

I also made some other trousers that weren’t jeans!

Black Crepe Evelyn Trousers

Grey Hudson Sweatpants

Navy Blue Hudson Sweatpants

Navy Blue Double Gauze Arden Pants

Mustard Double Gauze Arden Pants

I finally made 2 pairs of Carolyn Pyjamas, the fabrics for which I had had for years and years!

Liberty Cotton Carolyn Pyjamas

Boaty Carolyn Pyjamas

I refashioned my Sew Over It Anderson blouse into a Marilla Walker Mercury top and I very much prefer the new iteration of this gorgeous fabric!

I made another Cleo dungaree dress mostly just to use up some leftover denim. I’m not sure how much wear it will get to be honest!

I also made another Sew Over It Nancy Dress – again not sure how much wear it will get, though it will certainly have to wait for warmer weather either way.

Another make  I’m not sure will get much (if any) wear is this Sallie Jumpsuit. The fabric is a little too thin and clingy for me to feel completely comfortable.


On the opposite end of the scale is my denim Roberts dungarees which have already had sooo much wear! They’re so comfortable and a good choice for days when I’m mostly sitting at home but don’t want to wear sweatpants!

It’s no wonder after all the sewing – and all the new items for my wardrobe – that I slightly ran out of steam after the first few months! Though a few things were made after the first main batch, the vast majority were made in April, May and June.

I want to try my hand at underwear in 2021 – I bought some supplies to make period pants, to find another way to be more sustainable and reduce my impact on the environment. I did made reusable make-up wipes this year and they have been a triumph!

I also stopped wearing bras really at all last Winter (under so many layers of clothes when it’s freezing at work, who can tell anyway!) but in the Summer with only one layer on I do kind of want at least something else to protect and slightly support my boobs so I’m going to have a go at making some bralettes. I’m lucky that I don’t need the support of underwiring or more supportive bras – when I was younger (like a teenager) I wished I had bigger boobs but now I’m so glad they’re not!

I’ve also got a (rescheduled) wedding to attend in the Summer so I’ll definitely be making a new outfit – I don’t feel like I went out that much before the pandemic but I like having bigger events to go to as an excuse to make something fancier than I would wear in my every day life.

But these are my only plans – I used to plan yearly and monthly my makes but I almost never followed through with the plans so I’m just have ideas for now. And now my wardrobe if necessary items is pretty much complete I might have a go at some more frivolous makes just for fun – and to expand my sewing skills!

Happy New Year! And thank you for following my making journey this year – I’m so thankful I have had sewing to keep me occupied for the vast majority of 2020!

Navy Blue Stretch Dawn Jeans

This is my final pair of lockdown jeans, so if you’re sick of hearing about jeans, you get a reprieve now! This is another pair of Dawn Jeans – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I don’t see that I’ll really ever need another jeans pattern.

I made the size 4, as with all my other pairs, and took a wedge out of the back seam of 2cm as I have with all the other pairs. I took them in on the thighs, like with the black pair, but I left them a bit looser on the lower legs to make sure I could get them on and off!

 

The fabric was also from Fabric Godmother but when I pre-washed it there were loads of streaks on the denim – maybe where it had got folded up in the washing machine. I washed the fabric when I bought it a couple of years ago so I was worried it was from sitting in my stash that it had the marks. I washed it again just before cutting the jeans out and the marks were still there unfortunately. But when I’m wearing them I don’t think it’s super super obvious.

As with the black pair I decided to do matching top-stitching instead of contrasting jeans top-stitching as I’ve had various pairs of skinny navy trousers over the years which don’t look like jeans so I kinds of recreated those.

I really do prefer how the dawn jeans look with a zip fly instead of a button fly as they sit more flush and don’t have the gaping issue, even though these are pretty tight! Though the denim has a nice amount of stretch so these are really comfortable to wear.

You can kind of see the streaks in this photo – pale marks on the fabric. You can’t see them from a distance and I honestly don’t notice them when I’m wearing them, so it doesn’t really bother me.

The stretch in the denim means that these jeans, while they look really tight, are still comfortable to sit in! I find my ginger jeans aren’t as comfortable to sit in and they put pressure on my knees a bit to sit in – but these don’t have that problem! Hurray!

I’m still on furlough from my job in a bookshop and I expect to be until the end of the scheme – it remains to be seen if I lose my job at that point! I spent the first few months of lockdown sewing all the things I planned for my wardrobe for years (and I have a few projects still to share) but I’ve kind of run out of steam for sewing for a while! I think I did a year’s worth of sewing in 3 1/2 months so it’s not really a surprise, though I have sewn a couple of things recently – and remembered how much I really do like sewing! Maybe now is finally the time to make my first quilt since my wardrobe is pretty much set for a good while now!

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!