Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ginger Jeans

I made some jeans!

And I love them - despite them being a little on the large side!  I really need some casual clothes in my wardrobe - and this was the first attempt.  I used the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case.  There are two designs in the pattern - low rise with stovepipe legs, and high rise with skinny legs.  Of course, I wanted high rise with stovepipe.  And what the lady wants, the lady gets - at least when she is wielding the scissors!

I traced off size 18 as that seemed to fit my measurements the best, and I found that the pattern ran rather on the large side.  My hip and waist measurements are not vastly different so I took a slice off the hips at their widest part, probably about 1/2" at the two seams, and then took 3/4" seams down the sides.  Other than that, I made these up, without any other changes. 

Without any further ado - here are some close ups.  As you can see, there is some bagginess going on around the back, under my butt and the yoke needs altering too:

This is waistband pulled up a bit more - somewhat smoother!

I think if the bagginess is dealt with then the pockets will lie flatter.  Whilst I love the top stitching, the contrast is a bit much, so I will probably play around with other colours.

The front looks pretty much OK - I will use front stays in future (see below under 'cons') and that will help with a smoother tummy area.  And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, there was a fault in the fabric that I could not avoid (I bought 2m of 45" fabric, so I don't think that I had a scrap bigger than 2" square!) and there is a line across the crotch.  I am hoping that once these get worn in and creased, the line won't show as much!

Incidentally, I used 8.5oz denim, although the fabric is not a twill.  The top stitching thread is Coats Jeans thread.  It worked OK with my machine, but when I added the belt loops it was pulled through to the wrong side of the fabric.  To overcome this, I added more tension to the thread by running it through my fingers (as it came off the reel before it is threaded through the various loops and tension) as it was being sewn - a bit odd, but it worked well.  Due to lack of fabric I lined the waistband with some stretch cotton poplin.  The waistband could probably use more structure, and I may try denim on the inside next time.

I used my Singer Featherweight with the Singer buttonholer, and went round three times.  That buttonhole ain't going nowhere!  The button itself was a two-piece button that is hammered on.  I think it makes the jeans look more professional.

I know that these look a bit 'Mom Jeans' but I would not wear these without a top covering the waist area, and they are just so comfortable, that I am not going to change.  But I am going to work on getting a better fit!  For a first pair, I used these for testing techniques and I am happy I did.


  • I really like the look of these - they look like RTW. Can't wait to try out a patterned denim and corduroy. I love corduroy!
  • The advice on top stitching is spot on.  I am now working on what will be my 'signature' pocket top-stitching design!

  • Front pockets are too small. I also prefer front pocket stays and will use them in future. I wanted to try out this pocket though as it was so quick and easy. I like it - I just prefer larger pockets and stays! And on the subject of pockets, I like the right side of my pretty fabric to be inside the pockets so that I know that is where the right side is. I don't like the right side showing on the inside of the jeans - it just seems wrong.


  • When I fit the zipper, I align the zipper tape on the left with the centre seam. This moves my zipper further under the fly, ensuring that there is no 'zipper flashing'!
  • Took off about 1/2" on the side seams (both front and back leg pieces) in the hip area.
  • Sewed 3/4" side seams
  • Cut off about 6" on the waistband - and it was still a bit on the long side
So what is next?  Clearly I will be making more of these, and using my Christmas gift card from Mr. SDSC I bought fabric to make up another four pairs.  Different colours and weights of denim.  Woohoo!  I plan on using some leftover stretch red corduroy to make some test jeans that I can slice and dice for a better fit - especially in the lower butt area.  I have also traced off size 16 for the next pair and I think that will help with some of the fitting issues.  I think that I will need to wear this version with a belt, so a smaller size makes sense. 

I have posted a review on Pattern Review if you are interested!

Have you made jeans?  Would you consider it in the future?  How did they turn out?  I'd love to know!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Trousers (Cardis and Socks) for a New Year

Did you manage to get any sewing done over Christmas/New Year?  I was lucky enough to have a two week break from work (woohoo!) and got LOTS done.  I've already blogged about the Christmas sewing, waistcoats and Princess and the Pea (x6), so now it was back to sewing for ME!

I needed to make some more work trousers - I made some this time last year and they are now too big on me.  I like baggy as I like to be able to move, but I definitely needed to go down a size or two.  Fortunately my TNT pattern just needed an inch taken off the side seams and all was well.  I'm thinking thought that I will probably need to make further adjustments as the crotch curve is now bordering on being too large, but that is for another day!  My trousers are based on McCalls 5239.

One pair as made out of a lovely brushed wool (I made my father's waistcoat out of this fabric, and their was just enough in the off cuts to make one for Mr. SDSC - I'll share that once I have finished it!).

The second pair was made out of a woven cotton stripe (yep, Mr. SDSC's first waistcoat was made out of this fabric).  I am finding that the odd shaped leftovers that I have after cutting out trousers for myself tend to leave just enough fabric for a waistcoat, although an agreement has been made that a waistcoat (my father or Mr. SDSC) and trousers (me) made out of the same fabric are not to be worn at the same time - none of this matchy matchyness going on in this house!

Both pairs were lined with some apple green lining picked up in the bargain bin in my local fabric store.  They discount a lot of linings - so it is a matter of buying it when I see it, despite the colour!  I try and use Bemberg wherever possible, but this has a slight stretch to it and is almost a lightweight satin, so along with the cheery colour I couldn't resist.  I have a feeling it may be some kind of lingerie fabric - it is very soft and silky!

I also made a couple more pairs out of a light/medium weight wool suiting that was on sale for just $6/m.  I bought a lovely charcoal grey and black.  I did take pictures of these trousers, but to be fair - they just looked like black/dark grey trousers - hard to differentiate between them.  So here is a down and dirty montage!

I also completed a couple of cardis based upon Burda 8869. The first one was with some very loud pattern fabric that is made up of my colours:

Below I am wearing the brushed wool trousers that I mentioned above:

Lovely.  I put four brown snaps down the front, but this cardi looks much better opened.  The second one I didn't even bother with buttons or snaps - I like it as a 'slip on' casual long-line coverup:

I also finished off my first pair of socks for the year.

There is a story to this pair of socks, one I wish had never occurred, but a story nonetheless.  I started knitting them a month or so ago, had reached the stage where I was getting ready to to decrease for the toes, and tried them on to check for foot length. I have knit this pattern so often, that it is not necessary to try the socks on prior to this moment, but on this occasion, just 20 rows away from completion … . disaster! I had used a different cast on method and the sock was too tight. Sigh. After a trip to the frog pond, I cast on and started up again . . . . .

So, instead of being the last pair of 2014, the ended up being the first of 2015!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Good Evening Mr Fox, and other Projects!

Well, this week has been a long week.  Having been lucky enough to have had a full two weeks off over Christmas and New Year, this first week back seemed reeeeeeeealy long, and the weekend was most welcome.

Whilst I am working on a Big Project (well, a big project for me, more about that later), I wanted a couple of quick and easy projects.  I always feel somewhat cheated if I do not complete a project over the weekend.  Top of my list were a scarf and a small wallet.  First, the scarf.  Prudent Baby had a lovely pattern and tutorial on her blog for a fox scarf, and so I made one!

How Cute is this?  The scarf is 60" from the tip of nose to the end of his tail (the width of the fabric that I used.  The top layer of fabric is some checked suiting from my Mum's collection.  There was a half yard, so not enough for a skirt, I suspect that this was some leftover fabric and that she had already made a skirt from it.  The white furry fabric is white furry fabric - it is really soft and fluffy - just like cuddly teddy bears!  I had some teddy bear eyes that look really cute, and that is about that.  It was a quick make, although the furry fabric reminded me why I don't like using fur.  My dining room looks like there has a been a snowstorm in there and I am now obsessed with getting the fluff out of the seams.  I am sure that some people may find this offensive, but I can assure that no animals were hurt in the making of this scarf.  I love it and will be wearing it to work in our sub zero temperatures.

Next up was a teeny tiny wallet.  Mr. SDSC believes that I have some kind of medical disorder due to all the wallets, box bags and pouches that I have made.  Meh! Anyway, I made a quick and easy wallet to hold my business cards for work.  (I can't for the life of me now find the pattern, but this is very similar).

The men in white coats are on their way . . . .

Finally, the Big Project. I'm the kind of seamstress that likes to knock out two or three pairs of work trousers over a weekend or a couple of cardigans.  I know that I can finish a bra in 2.5 hrs, a waistcoat in 3.5 hrs, a small pouch in 30 mins etc., etc.,  I'm not bragging, I just like repetition and timings.  And I like finished projects.  But lately, I have noticed that my wardrobe has been sadly lacking on one major area.  Casual clothes.  I have one tired pair of light brown cords that I wear at weekends (my jeans no longer fit size wise, and never really fitted properly anyway) and I need more.  So this weekend I jumped on the Ginger Jeans bandwagon.

I spent all day today working on these (excluding the time spent on the cute wallet above), and just have to sew on the back pockets, add the buttonhole, belt loops and hem them.  So, a big project as far as I am concerned.  Due to natural light during the winter, my window for photos is pretty limited, so I will have lots to share next weekend, along with some work trousers and two cardi's that I finished last weekend but don't have pics for.  So far, I am really pleased with the jeans, and with a few tweaks, I think that I will be making many more of these.

Do you time your projects?  Do you categorise projects?  Am I maybe just a little obsessive?!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Princess and the Pea

In August I wrote a post about some little dollys that I was making that would fit into an Altoid tin.  The pattern was called Princess and the Pea by Larissa Holland, and although I had made two sets of Princesses, I was just not very happy with the Princess.  I loved the bed and how the tins worked, but the wooden beads on the hands and feet bothered me.  A few weeks ago, Shiny Happy World released a 'Christmas Elf' pattern that dealt with the bead issue - but the face just didn't feel right.  What to do?  Why, take the good bits from both pattern and create a hybrid . . . . now I'm happy!

And here we are, 6 sets later - I love them!  I would have loved one of these when I was little.  I used to make my own toys (no need to shed a tear, I just had a vivid imagination and loved making things!)  I decided not to make the 'wardrobe and mirror' from the original pattern - 12 Altoid tins means an awful lot of mints!

Each dolly has a bed with four mattresses - one has the 'pea' on it, a pillowcase and a bedspread.

Here are a few more pics - just for kicks!

All the bedding fits inside a tin nicely!

This last photo reminds me of a scene from 'Gone with the Wind' where all the unmarried girls have to go upstairs and have a snooze before continuing with a daytime party.

As I have a bit of a pouch fetish, I thought that I would make these wide mouth pouches (a similar pattern can be found here on Noodlehead's blog), aaaand I'm done!  Phew, that was a marathon - it was fun, but making up SIX sets was a little tiring.

Unfortunately there were some decapitations going on with the 'Frozen' fabric - I bought a half yard a squeezed all six bags out of it - along with the drastic hair cuts!

Although I made the dollys and bed in between Christmas and New Year, I didn't finish the pouches until the New Year - so these serve to be my first makes of 2015.

How are your first makes coming along?!