A bit like sewing knickers.

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a friend who shall remain nameless in this post, but if she wishes to reveal herself in the comments, who am I to stop her? 😉

We were chatting online, and our chat turned to “The Sewing Blogs”, as we’re both avid blog readers.

Continue reading “A bit like sewing knickers.”

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Seamless pledge, or how the cucumber gets on the sandwich

You might remember the time when everybody and their grandma seemed to discuss sewing “cake or icing”, triggered by this post by the lovely Tasia of Sewaholic. Of course, I had to share my view of things, and the insight for me was that I’m not very interested in icing. Which, funny enough, is also true for actual cake … I like my sugar fix, but icing just doesn’t do it for me. (With the exception of the Devil’s food cupcakes, peanutbutter version, from Angel Food Bakery – I could just spoon a bucket full of that stuff straight into my foodhole.)

Angel Food Bakery
Noms! Source: Angel Food Bakery

But I digress. When I look back at my makes of the last few months, with an eye towards which items got the most wear, it’s clear that my initial assessment was spot on. I wear my two Jalie jeans in heavy rotation – the blue denim one a bit more, simply because it’s easier to pair with the rest of my wardrobe. The first one, made of a dusky pink corduroy, does see a fair amount of use, too, tho.

I wear some of the tops I made, but not all – of the three Sorbettos I made, I wear one fairly regularly, the other two are sadly neglected. That’s partly due to fitting issues (the bust darts are pointing straight at … well, you get the gist, and somehow I never could be bothered to fix the pattern), and partly the fact that I’m living in the U.K. I’m of the shivery kind, which means long sleeve tees are pretty much a staple for me.

This is the kind of tee I like …
For source, please click on the picture

Now, I do also knit, and while this is GREAT for cardigans, it doesn’t solve the problem. My long sleeve tees are from H&M (four black ones, which are in a sorry state due to being worn more or less constantly for well over 6 years now), and Primark. Neither of them has cost me more than £10, and it’s just so bloody convenient to walk in, grab a handful of them, walk out and be done with it.

But I decided that needs to change. So I’m setting out to replace those well-loved and trusted tees over the next few months by hand-made ones.

As coincidence has it, my friend Kim-ing pointed me towards The Seamless Pledge today. Ha, I thought – nothing but a bit of good old peer pressure to keep oneself on track!

So, I’m taking the pledge! These are the rules as stated on the project page:

The rules

  1. No buying new clothes for the duration of your pledge. By new, I mean any new mass-manufactured clothes.
  2. You can buy second-hand manufactured clothes – so be prepared to get to know your local charity shops awfully well.
  3. Vintage clothing is a-ok!
  4. Anything you’ve made by hand is definitely allowed. Get your sewing machines and your kntting needles out, because handmade is definitely in!
  5. Get involved! Join in on the Flickr group and like our Facebook page. I’ll be looking to feature pledgers on the blog in the future. I’d love to see your second-hand finds, refashions and hand-made creations!

I, Kat, am taking the #seamlesspledge until 6 months have passed.

For me, this means: No high street store bought clothes (with the sole exception of certain items of underwear, and tights) for the next 6 months.

Disclaimer: Although making myself a new winter jacket is firmly on my list (and has gone into the planning stage already), I’ll reserve the right to buy a new one in case I fail spectacularly.

Not knitting: Jalie Jeans in dark denim

When I showed off my new pink corduroy jeans, I also mentioned that I made another pair almost immediately after the first one.

While I was able to fix some fitting issues, other things didn’t go so well.That being said, I’m still utterly in love with this jeans.

To get rid of the wrinkles and gaping in my lower back, I just cut the back yoke straight down the middle until almost to the lower edge, but not quite, so it held together by a small strip of paper. Then I removed about 1cm from the top by overlapping the paper, and taping it. Then I copied the new piece to have a workable pattern piece.

This worked pretty well, and the gaping and wrinkling is much better now:

Jalie dark denim back

Maybe I’ll try to remove a little bit more from the back yoke, and even shave off a little width from the top of the back legs to eliminate the left-over wrinkles.I am, however, super pleased how well the top-stitching around the yoke/back-leg pieces came together. Yay!

I also managed to fudge the zipper … and I’m not entirely sure how that happened, as the one on the pink jeans worked out just great. Maybe I do need to pay attention to the steps even if I’ve done them before??

Jalie dark denim zipper

You can see some of the other problems in this shot, too.

For some reason, I folded the zipper protection back and sewed the waistband over it so it pointed to the side. Urm, ya … the seam ripper came out, I cut off a bit of the waistband and replaced it, and sewed it all back together as correctly as would be. No biggie, I always wear a belt with my jeans, so it’s not visible and I’m not bothered.

The other thing is a bit more annoying, and that’s my inability to produce button holes that won’t come apart. I’m not entirely sure if that’s my fault, or my machines’, as I’ve done quite a few of them in lighter fabrics, and those were just fine. Either way, I had to redo them by hand, on this one as well as the pink jeans.

But on the positive side, the jeans again has cute little details I just love.

Mini polka dot fabric for pockets:

Jalie dark denim pocket

Purple top stitching (which you can somewhat see in the photo above). You can also see the problems caused by using the topstitching thread for both, upper and bobbin feeds. No matter how much I fudged around with it, the tension would not be right and the bobbin thread kept looping whenever I moved at more than snail pace. Eventually I changed it for regular thread in a similar colour, and things worked better. Lesson learned.

Jalie dark denim window

Overall, I’m still a huge fan of this pattern, and was just eyeing the afore-mentioned black corduroy to see if I can squeeze another jeans out of that. Maybe with pirates and roses in the pockets?

Not knitting: The Jalie Jeans, Part One

So, I made myself a pair of Jeans.

This time, I used the Jalie pattern Amy has introduced me to here. In a fit of madness, I decided to use the fashion fabric right away, and not make another bed sheet toile. Now, truth be told, I had three variations of the fashion fabric: black corduroy, which I suspect I don’t have enough of; dark blue denim; pink corduroy.

Not wanting to cut into the denim (bought at the exorbitant price of £4.49 at FabricLand), the choice was between pink and black corduroy.

Now, I used to own a light grey corduroy jeans I loved to bits. Literally, I’m afraid, so it had to go a few months back. That’s when I first thought about making my own, and coincidentally also when I first heard about the Jean-ius class on Craftsy.

More on that later, tho.

I decided to go with pink, because, so I argued to myself, a pink pair of Jeans isn’t really going to make it into my everyday wear, so if I screw it up, it won’t matter so much.

Enter stage left: pink corduroy jeans.

It is rather awkward to get a good shot of your own bum, I learned. But more to the point: I didn’t screw them up. They are pretty much perfect. And consequently, I lived in them for a week. My initial feeling these won’t make it into everyday wear? Wrong.

They don’t have dragons in the pockets (I wished, tho!), but cute gingham. Another lesson? Part of the fun of making your own jeans is the way you can toy with the details. Cute pocket lining. Topstitching. Buttons. And so on …

But I digress. Probably to procrastinate what I have to do. So, here it is: the rear view.

Rear view

You can see the excess fabric in my lower back. That’s exactly the kind of issue I have with each and every single store bought jeans. And now I know I can fix it (or at least make it better – I’ve since made another pair, which I’ll tell you about in another post, and removed most of it. )

So exciting!

A few details:

Cute gingham pockets

And the front fly, which I’m pretty happy with:

Front Fly

All in all, I’d call this a success!