My first jeans!

OMG I made jeans! And I’m writing a blog post – took an unplanned break (from sewing as well as blogging) but I’m back now.

And I’m back with my first pair of jeans! I’ve been saying I’m going to make jeans for almost as long as I’ve been sewing and I finally did it. And it wasn’t as hard as I thought – though these are far from perfect, but they are a wearable toile.

The pattern is the Morgan Jeans by Closet Case Patterns. I traced off the pattern and cut them out a whole year before I sewed them – in May last year! In that year I have lost an inch from my waist and hips – I think from having a physical job in an upholstery fabric shop, where the rolls of fabric weigh 20kg.

This means that by the time I came to sew them, they were inevitably going to need a bit of taking in, but I didn’t bother to trim down/re-cut the pieces as I knew they would need some adjustments anyway. I cut the size 8, though even at the time when I cut them out, I should have cut a 6 at the waist (but I didn’t because I was scared of ending up with all the trickiest pieces not fitting together.

As I predicted, I did have to make quite a few adjustments

  • I took 6cm off the hem, leaving 3cm hem allowance (1.5cm twice). Next time I’ll shorten them above and below the knee rather than just lopping it off the bottom.
  • I took 4cm off the centre back seam at the waist, grading to 3cm off at the yoke and 2cm off 8cm up from the crotch seam.
  • I took 3cm off the inner leg seam (off the legs of the jeans) at the crotch, grading out to the standard seam allowance mid-thigh.
  • I took 1cm off the front crotch curve.

The look maybe a little baggy under my bum, but they’re not meant to be fitted or tight – they are ‘boyfriend’ fit.

To be honest, I quite like how they fit, and this is the first pair of jeans I’ve had in my wardrobe for a couple of years because my rtw ones wore out and since I’d bought loads of denim to make my own I couldn’t justify buying rtw ones.

The denim was pretty cheap from one of the shops in Birmingham, when I went with some fellow sewists from Bristol. I’ve just realised this was over 2 years ago! That’s how long I’ve had this fabric sitting around waiting to become Morgan jeans. I also bought some denim for my first part of Ginger jeans, so hopefully they will follow on soon!

I quite enjoyed doing all the details that make jeans look like jeans, though I didn’t put the rivets on as I don’t have a surface on which to hammer them. I liked doing the top stitching – which I did with normal thread as my machine really hates top-stitching thread – and the bar tacks and things.

I did sign up to the online jeans making class on the Closet Case Patterns website, and I did watch quite a few of the classes, but then I got impatient and just plowed ahead. Before my Gingers I’m definitely going to watch the whole thing because they will need more careful fitting.

One great tip she gives (which I think my also be in the instructions) is to baste together the main pieces to check the fit. I’m so, so glad I did this as I knew what adjustments to make before I did all the top-stitching or sewed pockets and then had to unpick them or anything.

The only thing I regret with these jeans is I messed up either the button hole placement or the button placement – I suspect it was the buttons. This means that the fly shield doesn’t quite completely cover the fly underneath. The main button on the waistband also means the jeans are a little loose on my waist, but they are (I think) supposed to sit on your hips, so I think it’s fine.

But my advice is don’t leave the buttons until the morning when you’re catching a coach to meet your sister in London for 2 days! Definitely put on the jeans to mark the button placement!

And now I’ll leave you with some more photos because despite the buttons, I’m pretty proud of myself for making jeans!

Have you put off sewing something for years and then discovered it wasn’t as bad as you thought? Or is it just me…….

 

p.s. I’m wearing the jeans with my refashioned raglan sleeve tee.

 

 

Autumn 2018 Plans

I can’t believe it’s already October!

But with the weather definitely getting colder (I’m currently cuddling a hot water bottle, something I will do for probably the next 6 months!) I’m starting to think about my Autumn sewing plans, so I thought I would share them with you.

As usual, I’m probably being overly ambitious, but hopefully I’ll make most of these things:

I’ve got these 2 lovely sweater knits, which were really difficult to photograph so the colour came out correctly. The one on the left is a lovely mustard yellow and was from Tilly’s pop up shop for her new book, Stretch. The burgundy one on the right was from the Bull Ring market in Birmingham at last year’s Sew Brum meet up, which means it’s been in my stash almost a whole year! I think they will both become cardigans, but I don’t have a pattern in mind – let me know your favourite cardigan pattern if you have one.

Next on my list is another Kalle Shirt – I still really love my first one, though it’s a bit cold to wear it now as the fabric is a bit thin. With this one I think I’ll make the tunic length, and I’ve bought the sleeves expansion pack so it will be more cool-weather-appropriate. I love this fabric, so I think this will become one of my favourite makes!

Not content with making one shirt, I’m planning a second! I have already made one white shirt using the Archer pattern, but I could really do with another one as a white shirt forms part of the uniforms for both bands I now play with, and you can never have too many white shirts! This time I thought I would make a Melilot, but maybe with a pointed collar instead of the rounded one. I haven’t decided whether I do a hidden placket or not. The fabric is from Clothspot and was bought with a voucher I won in the Sew Brum raffle.

And talking of Clothspot, the stripey fabric here, which I’m planning to use to make the Papercut Guise trousers, was bought with the other half of my voucher. The fabric is quite shiny, but I’m hoping it will be a bit toned down by using a fairly casual pattern.

The rest of my plans consist of jeans, jeans and more jeans – I just need to bite the bullet and make my first pair, it can’t be that scary! First up will be the Morgans as I’ve already cut them out, from this fabric I bought from a Birmingham shopping trip probably 18 months ago!

I also got this denim for my Ginger wearable muslin in Birmingham, so they will hopefully be next.

And then, assuming the first pair of Gingers works okay, I’ll make a black and a navy pair (probably without the contrasting topstitching or hardware) from these stretch denims from Fabric Godmother.

This month, however, my main focus will be 2 outfits not mentioned above – I want to join in with The Refashioners this year and I already have my inspiration and all the garments I’m going to refashion – now I just need to do the sewing…..

I was also lucky enough to get a ticket to the Sewcialite Soirée on November 10th, so I need to make an outfit for that too. I’ve got an idea of what I want to make, but I need to buy fabric and possibly a pattern so I’m not totally sorted yet! Are you going? Have you decided what to wear yet?

Are you getting excited for Autumn? What are you excited to make now the weather is cooling down?

#2018MakeNine recap

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while, and now we’re well over half way through the year, but I thought I would check in with myself to see how I’m doing with my #2018MakeNine.

I felt like I had made several of the things on my list of 9, but it turns out I’ve only made 3!

I’ve made the Marilla Walker Honetone Coat, 2 Closet Case Patterns Ebony dresses (1, 2), and a Nina Lee Carnaby dress (which I haven’t blogged about yet).

I sort of nominally planned one make per month and I was doing okay……until March apparently! I meant to make the 2 jeans patterns in April and May but I haven’t got around to either yet.

I’ve also decided to swap out the Victory Patterns Hannah Dress for the Style Arc Blaire Shirt. I have quite a lot of dresses in my wardrobe but I mostly wear separates, and mostly trousers and shirts (or other tops when it’s hot). And it looks like most of the last part of the year will be making jeans and trousers, which I do desperately need in my wardrobe.

I planned to join in with 3 of the Sew My Style projects and so far I’m not behind, as the bag and the bra are towards the end of the year. Although I did make my Kalle Shirt, I didn’t make it in time for the deadline, but I did make most of it in the right month.

How are you doing with your plans for the year? Are you as behind as I am?!

 

 

March Make and April Plans

March was definitely a light sewing month for me, despite the Easter long weekend we just had. I think since making my coat (which I still love so much I slightly don’t want it to warm up so I can keep wearing it!), my sew-jo has dissipated a bit. I’m not sure why, but I’m hoping it comes back soon.

The only item I made was this Kalle shirt, with the hidden button placket. I intended to get it finished in time for the Sew My Style deadline, which I think was the 25th, but it still doesn’t have buttons (but it counts as a finished make as the buttons will take me, like, 10 minutes).

My first make of April will hopefully be another paid of the Simplicity 1696 trousers which I made in navy blue last year.  I wear them all the time and could really do with a black pair. I bought some black twill last year during one of my fabric shopping trips to Birmingham. I originally had another plan for the fabric but trousers will be a more useful addition to my wardrobe.

It’s hopefully going to be trousers month in Machinations towers so my other main plan is to finally make a start on jeans. When I made my plans for the year, I planned one of my make nine or the three Sew My Style for each month and April and May are for the 2 Closet Case Patterns jeans patterns. I think I’ll start with the Morgans as they aren’t as fitted, but are presumably drafted using the same block so I’ll know which adjustments I’ll need to make to the Gingers to get them to fit. I still need to prepare both patterns but I’m hopeful I’ll have some jeans by the end of the month.

If I have time (which seems very. very unlikely) I’m still planning to make some Carolyn Pyjamas.

In other blog news, for the last year or two I’ve been trying to blog twice a week, though if you check the dates I publish posts, you’ll see I almost never achieved it and then I felt bad about missing my own schedule. So I’ve decided to write one post a week – with an additional one here and there if I have lots to share, though with my current sewing output, this seems unlikely!

 

 

#2018MakeNine and Plans for the Year

Now that it’s January 2nd (and I’ve had my first day back at work, boo!), I thought I would do a little post about my sewing plans for the year – I did the same last year but this year I’m hoping to stay a bit more focussed on my Make Nine and other plans for the year so I maybe do a bit better than I did in 2017!

After careful consideration, here is my #2018MakeNine:

There are some repeats from last year – of the patterns I still want to make! And like in 2017 there are a lot of Closet Case Patterns on my list!

From left to right in rows from the top the patterns are:
1. Carolyn Pajamas – Closet Case Patterns
2. Honetone Coat – Marilla Walker
3. Ginger Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
4. Morgan Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
5. Carnaby Dress – Nina Lee
6. Ebony Dress – Closet Case Patterns
7. Hannah Dress – Victory Patterns
8 Guise Pants – Papercut Patterns
9. Portobello Trousers – Nina Lee

I have all of these patterns already and the list reflects my need for more trousers and jeans in my wardrobe. I also really, really, want to make a proper Winter coat in the first month or two of this year as I don’t have a really good coat that’s warm. The Carolyn Pajamas are also on my list as I want o level up by using piping for the first time – I already have 2 fabrics in my stash to make them so I have no excuses!

I am also again sort-of-joining in with #SewMyStyle this year – I made one pattern from the 12 last year and this year I’m planning to join in with 3 months, though I’m substituting one of the patterns.

In March it’s the Closet Case Patterns’ Kalle Shirt and Shirtdress – this would probably have made it into my Make Nine but I’ve snuck it into my plans here instead. November is lingerie month and I bought a bra kit at the New Craft House Winter Party which goes with the Harriet Bra pattern by Cloth Habit so this will be good motivation to actually use the kit and make a bra. This is part of my plans to level up my sewing this year. October has a couple of tote bag patterns as the prompts and I still want to make the Colette Cooper bag so, again, I’ve taken it off my Make Nine and added it to the Sew My Style list instead.

In theory this gives me one thing per month to make, so as long as I keep focussed I’m hoping I can get all of this done. Listening to this week’s Love To Sew Podcast definitely helped me to think about what I want to achieve this year – mostly taking on more involved, advanced projects with a few easier sews thrown in. I would definitely recommend it if you’re struggling to narrow down your choices for Make Nine, if you’re taking part.

I have a couple of other things I would like to do this year – like take up knitting again, and make some clothes for The Boyfriend – but I am also going to try to be a bit easy on myself if I don’t get all of this done. I’m sure I would have time to do everything I wanted if I didn’t have to have a job, but then I wouldn’t be able to afford fabric or patterns!

What are your plans for the year? Are you hoping to grow your skills or your wardrobe?