The endless story continues … another Jalie Jeans

Writing this post is totally my way of procrastinating. I feel like I should be doing a million other things, as you do before a move, but since I actually have the luxury of being moved by a professional removal company who’ll also pack my things, there really is mostly cleaning left. And let me tell you, I’m not keen on that.

So instead I decided before I won’t have access to my sewing machine for weeks I’d finish the already cut Jalie in dark purple corduroy that was drifting around my living room.

I’d made a few changes to the pattern, in the hopes of getting rid of my under-bum-wrinkles issue, as can be seen here:

Temperley knock-off back
Temperley knock-off back

For this, I recruited the help of a couple of fitting books (well, all of the books on fitting I own, actually).

What I did in detail was to remove about an inch on the inner back seam, and adding that on the outside seam. That mostly did the trick, but there’s still a way to go before I can say this is my perfectly fitting jeans, alas.

Purple cords back
Purple cords back

The corduroy I used doesn’t have the tiniest amount of stretch, which makes the whole jeans a tad too tight, but since I’m determined to loose those last 10 pounds I’ve been struggling with these past few months, that should be fine soon.

What feels to me like my biggest achievement is the near perfect fly I managed. Not without a hitch, of course … I put the fly guard on the wrong side and had to rip it out and move it to the other side. Ah, well.

Near perfect fly
Near perfect fly

And because it’s a tad too tight, the lovely vintage button I put on it first broke 😦

Broken button
Broken button

You can see it on the jeans here:

Purple Jeans front
Purple Jeans front

It’s a bit sad, as the colour went well with the back pocket detail:

Back pocket detail
Back pocket detail

But the new button, also out of my stash of vintage buttons, is pretty, too:


Old vs. New
Old vs. New

I’ve put some nice flowers in the front pockets – and realized only during my final fitting session that I’d forgotten to top-stitch them! I guess that should teach me not to sew when I’ve got my mind on other things … but then, it made for a perfectly relaxed New Years Day.

Purple jeans pockets
Purple jeans pockets

And that was my first make in 2013. I don’t know how long it will take to find a place to live, and get my things set up and all, sigh. I hate being up in the air like this, I’m a creature of routine and really don’t deal well with having none at all.

Ah, well … it’s only going to be a few more weeks, and then I’ll be living in the glorious sunshine and be coping with a new job and getting to know my new collegues, so overall it’s all great. I just wished I was a few steps further in the process.

Happy New Year to you, and may it bring whatever you wish for!!




Temperley Knock-off – it’s done!

The Temperley knock-off is done. It’s been mostly a success – there are a few minor details that could be better (like, you know, the fit) but overall I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and expect this to become a pair of trousers I’ll be wearing quite a bit in Summer.

The next photo is a bit blurry, for which I do apologize, but I like the posture, so I’ll torture your eyes with it anyways:

Temperley Front – fuzzy

Although I used the same size I used for the black jeans, which fits like a glove, this one turned out a bit big. It’s not horribly huge, so still very wearable, but I certainly have learned a lesson about different fabrics and how that influences the fit.

Let’s look a bit closer:

Temperley knock-off front

As you can see, the fly front is a lot better than last time. For starters, it’s the right way around \o/. And the actual zipper isn’t peeking out – yay! It’s still not perfect, but it’s really hard to see the imperfection with this busy fabric, so I’ll call it a success.

Temperley knock-off back

Those wrinkles right under my bum … I have them, to a lesser extent, in all the jeans I’ve made so far, and they will be my next fitting mission. I don’t think they’re too bad, though – or?

All in all, the frankenpatterning worked out great, and I’ve added a pair of non-boring jeans to my wardrobe – for far less than the £225 designer jeans cost. I might have to do this more often now.

What do you say – do you check out your favorite designers, and if you see a totally adorable piece, try to replicate it? Is it legit?


Just in time for Halloween, I am going to create my first Frankepattern.

Although the muslin didn’t turn out too bad, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be making another pair of trousers with a side zip out of McCalls 6404, with slightly modified legs, I decided to go a different route for my Temperley knock-off.

Felina Jeans – Temperley (for source please click on the picture)

So I pulled out my TNT Jalie jeans pattern, and put it on the table with the leg pieces from the McCalls. At that point it dawned on me that maybe the ballooning in the knees I noticed in the muslin (like here) wasn’t all my fault for combining different fabrics.

In fact, the pattern is much wider in the leg than my Jalie pattern, especially noticeable in the knee area.

So I graded the pattern to fit the Jalie measures in the thigh, and took out ~1.5 inches in the knee area.


Now all I got left to do is sew it up.

Do you think I should have stuck with the welt zipper pockets? I quite like the slanted jeans pockets, and I know that I never use zipper pockets (in my mind, they bunch up and create lumps on the outside) – but I’m still not entirely sure if they’re essential for the look?

Rawr! – or How to copycat

Everybody seems to be making sewing plans this time of year, and since I’m looking at having some more free time at my hands soon, some project planning seems like a great way to ward off the double dare of funemployment and fall.

Also, the London Fashion Week is on, so I spent some time looking at the photos of various collections online. Actually, if you only watch one video of the event, watch this one – the totally delightful Burberry collection. Seriously, I’m in love. With Burberry. Who would have thought.

Then I was pointed to a young indie designer, Alice Temperley. So I poked around her website and online store, and liked a few things, and gawked some more, and then it happened.

I saw a pair of jeans. Please hold your yawns – they’re not like the Jalie jeans. In fact, they’re more like leggings … should I say jeggins?

Felina Jeans – Temperley (for source please click on the picture)

And I couldn’t help but notice – the look just like this McCall pattern:

For source, please click on the image.

So now I’m slightly obsessed with finding stretch denim in cheetah/leopard print to make my version of the £300 designer leggins.

Crazy? Maybe. Inspired? Defenitely!

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.

Chevron Jeans Skirt – the sewing

Welcome to part 2 of my chevron fun time!

And despite me calling this “the sewing”, I have a feeling that not all of the sewing for this skirt will be in one post – there was a lot of it 😀

I started by pinning the chevron stripes together like you see below.

Overlap edges like this

To make things a bit more efficient, I decided to sew one panel (2 x 9 and 2 x 11 strips) together, then iron the seam allowances all to one side, then topstitch them. Yes, all of them. I know, it’s a bit crazy, but it’s denim 😀 it needs topstitching!

Starting to look like chevron stripes!

As you can see, despite my careful planning and cutting, not all strips lined up perfectly. That didn’t bother me too much, though, as at this point I had identified a crucial mistake in my calculations. I had measured the full length of the stripes, assuming that 2 panels together would be wide enough to make a full skirt half (front or back). But while I pinned them together, it occured to me that due to the angled nature of the chevrons, this might not be the case.

So I remaesured, and lo and behold, they’re not wide enough. What to do, what to do?

Well, I decided not to panic and proceed as planned (for now). Surely I could come up with a plan to add some width?


Up there are all four panels finished, but not yet put together. Nothing much to see, really, unless you step a bit closer and bend down to inspect them from close up.

Urm. Yeah.

I am still not sure how I managed this. I even thought about it, and how I would make double sure to avoid it. But still, somehow, I topstitched the chevrons up on one front panel, and down on the other.

Never one to be deterred by what I consider to be details, I plowed on. Although admittedly, I paused for a cup of tea and some cake (it is a well proven fact that tea and cake improve the thinking process, is it not?).

Next time, I’ll tell you how I came up with a pattern around the panels 🙂 Till then, stay safe!

Chevron Jeans skirt

It happened – the sun came out!

And like any good geek, I did what we do after whingeing about the rain for months: I drew the curtains and played Skyrim all weekend. The best laid plans and all that … what can I say. I immensely enjoyed my time-out.

Anyhoo, while pondering strategy and collecting herbs and having a few, good old fashioned brawls with bandits and the like, in the back of my mind I kept pondering an idea that’s been festering for weeks.

I would like to turn my old Jeans into a skirt, more exactly a chevron skirt not unlike this one. As it happens, however, I have not a single pattern for a fairly straight-forward, a-line skirt with  a center seam.

This seems to be simple enough, tho … I should be able to draft one myself? What do you say? And if you have any tips towards your favorite tutorial, I’d love if you left me a link in the comments.