Monday, April 4, 2016

High-waisted Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans


Ginger Jeans


Ginger Jeans


It's been awhile since my last post. Josh just accepted a new job, so we are moving back to Iowa. It's really exciting, but it also means that I need to find a new job too. So I've been spending most of the last month looking for jobs and apartments (not fun). I did however, manage to finish my Ginger jeans this week. Yes, you heard that right - I made jeans!!! Woo-hoo!!! I also started cutting fabric for a Seamwork Osaka skirt  :)


Ginger Jeans


Just like everyone else, I was really terrified by the idea of making my own jeans it just seamed like it would be so time consuming and difficult. I had to try it though, after seeing soooo many cute Ginger jeans online. And you know what? Making jeans isn't that bad at all - it's actually pretty fun! I already want to make another pair  :) Technically these are my practice pair. I used denim that I found in my stash. They turned out really wearable - just a few fitting errors that I need to correct for my next pair. They are super comfy and really durable - I already wore them on a long bike ride/hiking adventure  :)


Ginger Jeans


Ginger Jeans
Red topstitching and black denim pockets!


I've always wanted a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans, so I made view B of the pattern. Using the guides on the pattern, I cut a size 8/10 in the waist and graded down to a size 12 in the hips. I started out (as the pattern recommends) by basting my fabric together to test the fit. They were tight at my upper hips (near the top of the pockets) and loose at my outer upper thighs. For the upper hips I decreased my seam allowance to 1/4", and at the upper thighs I moved my seam inward about 1 1/2". Pretty easy changes. My big mistake here, was that I didn't take the time to baste my waistband on and check the fit. I just assumed that it would fit if I got the rest of the pieces to fit. Welllllll, I found out later (after topstitching) that I had a bunch of extra fabric at my lower back. So now the waistband gapes at the back. Oops! I must have had gaping in my back yoke that I didn't notice. The pattern says how to fix that, so I'll just fix it on my next pair  :)


Ginger Jeans
Oopsie! Lesson learned - make sure your waistband isn't gaping before you topstitch it!

Ginger Jeans


Ginger Jeans


So after I figured out my fit (for the most part), I followed the rest of the Sewalong for the Gingers. The Sewalong is amazing, it gives step-by-step photo instructions for every single step of the process. It really makes it so someone like me who has no idea how to insert a fly front or assemble a pocket stay, can make jeans easily! Even with the instructions - I did make a few mistakes. 
  • I tried and tried to use nice thick (30m) topstitching thread for my topstitching, but I could never get it to work. I tried different tension settings and needles, and I kept getting loops at the bottom. The only thing I didn't try was changing my bobbin tension (by tightening or loosening the screw on my bobbin case). I didn't want to do that, because I would have to change it back for all the regular seams. Moral of the story, I did the rest of my topstitching with regular thread and it looks fine. So if you're having trouble with topstitching, just use some regular thread in a fun color  :)
  • Use a thinner woven fabric for your pocket lining. I used flannel thinking it would be comfy, but it makes the whole pocket area bulge out weirdly. It's not too noticeable, but it would definitely look nicer with just a thin cotton.  
  • I added one of my fly front bar tacks too high. Make sure you put them where it shows in the pattern. 


Ginger Jeans


Ginger Jeans


Ginger Jeans


Long story short, this is a wonderful pattern and sewing jeans isn't scary - it's fun! For my next pair of Gingers, I want to do version B again in corduroy! I have a bunch more in-progress photos on my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/craft_rambler/

Pattern: Closet Case Files' Ginger Jeans
Size: 8/10 at the waist graded to a 12 at the hips
Fabric: Denim I bought at Jo-Ann's years ago
Did I like the pattern? Yes! This pattern and the sewalong are amazing.


Ginger Jeans


Yay jeans!!!!!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Another Mesa Dress (+ I finished my necklace!)







It's no secret... I love, love, LOVE the Seamwork Mesa pattern. This is the 5th time I've sewn it, but only the 3rd time I've made it for myself  :)   I just love how modern and simple the shape is, and how super easy and fast it is to put together. I end up wearing at least one of my Mesas every week. Want to check out my other Mesas? Mesa #1, Mesa #2, Mesas #3&4.  






I bought this fabric back in December, knowing that it would eventually become a mesa dress. The pattern on this sweater knit is pretty wild, but it works great with simplicity of the Mesa pattern. I cut a straight size S and increased the length by a few inches.

Pattern: Seamwork Magazine's Mesa Dress
Size: Small (lengthened a few inches)
Fabric: Light sweater knit from Fabric.com
Did I like the pattern? Oooh yeah, this is one of my go-to patterns!


I finished my necklace! Yay!!!

My jeweler's saw, aluminum, and brass


In other exciting news, I made a necklace! I've been wanting a minimalist statement necklace but I haven't wanted to spend the money on one. Awhile back, I dug-out my extra metal and jewelry-making supplies from college, and started cutting. Originally I wanted the lower triangle to be larger, but I changed my mind and made them both the same size. The necklace is made of aluminum, brass, and gold. 

I cut the two triangles with my jeweler's saw, drilled holes in them, sanded them, screwed them together with a teeny-tiny nut and bolt, and attached my chain with some wire. I bought the chain online.






Next on my sewing table:

I'm working on my first pair of jeans! I started cutting and topstitching some Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans  :)  I'm a little intimidated about making jeans, but also really excited!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Oaxacan Wren Dress

Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Josh bought me some really beautiful fabric when he was in Oaxaca, Mexico last October (I'm a lucky girl)! Most of the fabric is perfect for summer dresses and tops, but I knew this fabric would be beautiful for the Colette Wren pattern. I love how the border print looks on the full skirt  :)  It's hard to see in these pictures, but the fabric has a nubby texture to it - which I love!


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress




This is my second Wren. For my practice version, I shortened the Wren into a blouse. The fit was pretty good, but I didn't like the drag lines I was getting in the arms. To fix that, I raised the bottom of my armholes up an inch and removed about an inch of fullness from the arms. I still have some drag lines, but they look much better  :)  I have a long torso, so I also made the bodice an inch longer. The only other things I did differently than the instructions, were reinforcing the wrap front pieces with 1/4" elastic, and I gathered my skirt like you would with a normal woven fabric (I don't like stretching elastic while I sew it).  I'm really happy with how it fits now! 


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress
I matched my side seams! 


Aside from the lovely fabric from Oaxaca, I used a black textured knit from my stash. You might recognize it from these other 3 projects I used it in... Myrtle Dress, Mesa Dress #1, and Mesa Dress #2. I bought the fabric for my Myrtle dress and somehow keep squeaking out more and more dresses out of the original yardage. The remnants are getting smaller and smaller, I had to work some magic just to get the few pieces cut out for this dress. I'm going to be so sad when it's all gone!


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress
This fabric looks so cool when I twirl!!!


Pattern: Colette Pattern's Wren Dress
Size: Small (with a few alterations)
Fabric: Textured knit fabric from Mexico and remnant black textured knit from Jo-Ann's
Did I like the pattern? Love it!


Colette Pattern's Wren Dress


Next on my sewing table:

I started cutting another Mesa Dress! I've made 4 already but I wear mine every week to work  :)  They are so comfy and chic. After I get that sewn together, I'm starting on my Ginger jeans. I got my denim in the mail last week. I'm sooooo excited to try making jeans for the first time!!!



Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Almost Tropical-Looking Wren Shirt







We had a few snow days last week, and it was so lovely & relaxing! Every weekend should be a 3 day weekend - I think we can all agree on that  :)  I spent a bunch of time with friends, and of course a ton of time sewing! I finished this Colette Wren and started cutting my second Wren. The wrap dress look has always been a favorite of mine, so I was super excited when Colette Patterns came out with the Wren. 








I love how the Wren Dress looks shortened. This is my toile, I cut a straight size S and it actually fits pretty well. I'm just making a few alterations for my second version. The waist needs to be lowered about an inch, which is normal for me. The arms are slightly baggy on me and have some drag lines, so for the next version I'm bringing the bottom of the armhole up an inch and making the sleeves about 1.5" less wide. Hopefully that works! I found these two lovely remnant knits at Les Fabriques in Charlottesville, VA. The floral fabric almost has a Hawaiian/tropical look to it, which I normally don't like but for some reason I was really drawn to this fabric. The colors are gorgeous and it has a lovely sheen to it  :)  The textured aqua knit is super pretty too!






Pattern: Colette Pattern's Wren Dress
Size: Small
Fabric: 2 remnant fabrics from Les Fabriques in Charlottesville, VA
Did I like the pattern? Yes! I can't wait to see how the alterations look on my next version.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

My Malvarosa

Malvarosa dress


Malvarosa dress


Malvarosa dress


This Malvarosa dress was meant to be my last 2015 make, and it was so close to being that! I almost finished it a million times, but I kept having other fun holiday things to do  :)   But it's finished now, hurray!! 


Malvarosa dress


Malvarosa dress
Yay for pockets!!!


Malvarosa dress


I love the look of this dress, but I had a little problem with the fitting.  It was totally my fault, I tried to make a smaller size than what was suggested in the measurements section. I should have made a size 38 in the top, and instead I made a size 36 thinking that it would be fine because of the loose shape of the dress. It fits pretty well everywhere except the shoulders and bust, they ended up a little tight. It's still wearable though!


Malvarosa dress


Malvarosa dress


Malvarosa dress


Pattern: Pauline Alice's Malvarosa Dress
Size: 36 bust & waist - 38 hips
Fabric: 2 Peachskin fabrics from Fabric.com
Did I like the pattern? Yes! I'll totally make it again.


This was a fun pattern to put together. There are only a few pieces and they go together very quickly! The only thing I didn't love about the Malvarosa, is the sleeves. The long sleeve version adds sleeves onto the cap sleeve, rather than a whole separate normal sleeve. It's a cool look, it was just difficult for me to sew the sleeve onto the cap sleeve, so I'd prefer a normal sleeve.

Next on my sewing table is a Colette Wren! I'm doing a shirt first as my muslin, and if that fits - I'll make my dress version  :)