Yet More Basic Basics…

Hi team! My research proposal is handed in, and a month away from both blog and sewing machine seems to have helped to kick start my sew-jo again. We’ve just had a long weekend which I put to pretty good use, making a dress for my mum as well as managing to finish off the jeans and jumper I’ve had cut out for months. They’re both boring basics, but they’ve filled a hole in my wardrobe that I have really been noticing now that the temperature has dropped!

P1040449P1040459

I really needed another pair of jeans, I was rotating between my Deer & Doe Safran Jeans and my blue Ginger Jeans, and the ankle baring Safrans are getting harder to wear the colder it gets! I bought some black stretch cotton twill from Miss Maude earlier in the year, and decided to turn it into another pair of Gingers. I made these the same as my first pair, with the high waist and skinny legs and the pocket stay. I realised when I revisited my original blog post that I had meant to fiddle with the legs to see if I could decrease the wrinkles at the knee and back thigh, but I had already cut this pair out!

P1040456

To be honest, I don’t think I need to fiddle with them too much. There are always going to be wrinkles on skinny jeans, especially these ones. The cotton twill is beautiful, and sewed and pressed so nicely, but it is fairly lightweight and definitely doesn’t have the same recovery as the denim I used for my first pair. it also has a bit of a sheen to it, so those wrinkles all catch the light! I look these photos after a few days of wear, and they’ve definitely loosened up around the hips and thighs and across the front. I kinda like how they have ended up looking more like close fitting trousers rather than jeans, it definitely means they’ll be easier to dress up.

P1040458

You can see how much the back has bagged out in that photo… One thing I definitely improved on from my last pair is the top stitching. I used upholstery thread and the chain stitch function on my new toy, a Janome Coverpro 2000CPX. Because the chain stitch is stretchy, and because I used a much heavier thread than the Gutermann Sulky thread from last time, I hopefully won’t pop all of my topstitching! Unfortunately with the black thread on black fabric and my dim winter photography its pretty hard to see…

image1P1040464

The best part of these jeans is the Japanese cotton I used for the pockets! All of my jeans should have cat pockets. I opted not to put the belt loops on this pair, as I never wear belts with them anyway and I thought that skipping them would stop them looking so much like “jeans”. Also I was being a bit lazy and just wanted to have them finished…

P1040462

Next up is this super simple sweatshirt. I had a metre of absolutely beautiful lightweight ‘winter white’ wool from Tessuti, bought when I was over in Sydney a few years ago. I wish I had bought a bit more, because I couldn’t fit any of the patterns I wanted to make onto 1m (I really need to remember that I need at least 1.2m to get a long-sleeved top out of it)… In the end, after losing pattern tetris with a few patterns I decided to just go super simple and make a long sleeved top out of my favourite knit dress pattern, M6886. I cut it off at the lengthen/shorten line just below the waist point on the pattern, and straightened the side seams out. I also had to put cuffs of the sleeves, as I just couldn’t fit the full length sleeve on however I laid it out! I cut a wide facing for the crew neck, and again used the chainstitch on my coverstitch machine to sew down the facing and do the hem. I love the single line of stitching, it looks so sleek and simple. I really like how it’s turned out, I think it’ll be a great workhorse this winter.

P1040450

Yay basics! And yay for wool to keep me warm!

 

Advertisements

Oslo Coat

I’ve got my laptop back! It only took six weeks… Happily it seems to be fixed, my tracking pad isn’t freaking out and opening random windows or menus or zooming instead of moving the cursor, so that’s a definite improvement! I have quite the backlog of projects to blog, including a bunch of sewing I’ve done for our upcoming trip (than you to everyone who has given me trip suggestions, either here or on Instagram, I really appreciate it!), but I’m hoping to get a lot of those projects photographed and blogged while we’re away. but first, I’m going to show you my end-of-winter coat, before it gets to unseasonable!

P1040241

This is the Oslo coat, a recent release from Tessuti. Emma and I were messaging about winter coat patterns the day this was released, and we both decided it was the one to make! it was nice to have a sewing buddy to troubleshoot with! Emma also took these photos, we visited the Parkin Drawing Exhibiton at the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, and got some photos. The piece I’m standing in front of was my favourite, it’s by Jae Kang and is called 4000 Stains of Breath.

P1040244

P1040251

I really like the silhouette of this coat, I don’t have anything like it in my wardrobe. I was a bit worried about the size of the shawl collar, I thought it made my head look disproportionately small, but it looks ok in these pictures! I used a reasonably fine wool in an interesting not-quite-black colour for the outer, and a blush pink silk/cotton blend for the lining, both from The Fabric Warehouse. The coat looks black in these pictures, but against a true black or grey it looks deepest green, or even inky navy in some lights. Whatever colour it looks, it’s a nice neutral. I really struggled to find a button I liked, until I had a good rummage through the stash and came up with this geometric wooden one. I think the matte black stain on the wood looks really nice against the wool, and it suits the modern, minimalist look of the coat. Unfortunately, being black on black, it was really hard to photograph!

P1040246P1040247

I have to admit, I was a bit confused about some of the instructions for the Oslo. I’ve made a couple of Tessuti patterns in the past, so I was prepared for photos instead of illustrations, but I did struggle a bit with the fabrics they had chosen for the sample. the right and wrong sides of the fabric were very similar, and the lining fabric was a similar colour too, and I just found that I had to concentrate a bit more than usual to get through this one without unpicking too much! It was good to be able to message Emma to see if she had any insight into the bits that tripped me up. The pattern itself is really nicely drafted, it all fits together beautifully and the shaping in those raglan sleeves is particularly nice. I was also worried that it might swamp me a bit, as it has no shaping in the back or sides, but I like the oversized, nearly cocoon shape that it has. My measurements put me in a couple of sizes, but based on the finished garment measurements I went with a straight size 10, which I think was a good choice. The main thing I would change if I was to make it again would be to raise the pockets by a couple of inches. It was really stupid of me not to check the height before sewing up most of the coat, and they’re low enough and deep enough that my arms are pretty much straight when my hands are in them!

P1040240

I made this coat as part of my #summerofbasics entry (obviously mine is a Winter edition) over on Instagram. The challenge was to make three basic pieces which could be worn together for the appropriate season, so my pieces were this coat, my Ginger jeans, and the as-yet-unblogged Melilot shirt that you can see peeking out of my jumper in these pictures. I’m really pleased with all three garments, and I think they work nicely together. I’ll certainly get plenty of wear out of the jeans and shirt, but I don’t really want to hope for lots of opportunities to wear the coat! There have been some hints of Spring around Wellington this week, I can’t wait…

Finally, Ginger Jeans!

Making myself a pair of Ginger Jeans has been on my to-do list since the pattern was released (seriously, it’s been on my 2014, ’15 and ’16 Top 5 goals list…), and I’ve finally knuckled down and made them. Just like with my Safran Jeans, they really weren’t any more difficult to make than any other garment with a moderate number of pieces, definitely easier than a winter coat (and 100% easier than the raincoat I’ve recently finished for my sister!)

P1040174

Check them out! These are view B, the high waisted/skinny leg version of this pattern, I like my jeans to sit at my natural waist and these are pretty much spot on. I didn’t make any major pattern changes to this version, I thought I should make them up as is for my first shot and then tinker with my next pair! To be honest, I was amazed at how well they fit straight out of the packet. I took 2” off the hem (next time I’ll take it out higher on the leg to keep the hem skinnier), and moved the pockets up 5/8”, and took out a bit of extra fabric at the outer side of each knee. For my next pair I’m going to play with a knock-knee adjustment, I think that should help fix the diagonal wrinkles at the knee that I have with this pair and my Safran jeans. I might also take a wedge out of each side of the yoke, there’s a wee bit of gaping at the back waistband. Other than that though, I think they’re really good!

P1040191

I put in the pocket stay option too, it does help to make the front feel nice and snug! I used more of that Liberty Poplin remnant that I’ve used for every pocket bag/under collar/yoke lining/bag lining since I bought it. There’s still plenty left, so expect to see it again! The denim I used is from The Fabric Store, of course. I bought it years ago, with the intention to make these jeans with it! When I pulled it out of my stash last weekend, I was surprised by how lightweight it was, I had remembered it being much heftier. It meant it was really easy to cut and sew, but these aren’t really winter weight jeans! It also felt quite rigid, and I was worried that I hadn’t bought denim with the right stretch percentage, but it turns out that next to the 30% stretch that my Safran Jeans have, this 2% lycra/cotton blend just feels stiff!

P1040176

I used a hardware kit from Closet Case Files (the gold colour way), and I really love the result. The zip is especially nice, the pull is really low profile compared to other zips I’ve used, and it helps the whole fly sit so nice and flat. I also love that the button and the rivets match, it looks all so nice and professional! I was really scared of putting the rivets in, I was sure I was going to ruin everything at the final step! I watched the video tutorial on the Closet Case Files Blog, and everything was really simple in the end. I just had to whack everything harder than I expected, and avoid stabbing myself with the awl (and the rivet posts, they were pointy!). For thread, I just used all-purpose Gutermann thread for construction, but I used Sulky thread for the topstitching. I’ve had so many issues with topstitching thread in my machine, and I thought that the slippery, shiny Sulky thread would show up nicely and my machine wouldn’t have a tantrum every time I tried to sew with it.

P1040179

I’m amazed at the difference moving the pockets made! They looked okay at the marked position on the pattern, but shifting them up 5/8” has made my bum look much better. I think the size and shape of the pockets is excellent, Heather Lou knows what she’s doing!

P1040185

I was a little bit worried about how firm and tight these felt when I first put them on, but after a few hours they loosened up nicely, especially around the knees (just as well, I thought I might have over-fitted them around there). I’m not sure how well this denim will hold up, to be honest. They’re comfortable now, but I have a feeling that they might keep bagging out and will need lots of washing to keep them in shape! I interfaced the waistband with the same hefty knit interfacing I used in my Safran Jeans, so hopefully they’ll stay up…

P1040189

Unfortunately, it turns out that Sulky thread really isn’t cut out for top stitching, especially not on a stretch fabric under stress! After a day of wear, I had popped several lines of topstitching on the pockets and around my bum. This morning I went back and re-did all that topstitching on the back crotch seam and pockets with normal thread in the same colour, and hopefully it’ll hold up better. I thought that since I had seen Sulky thread being used for topstitching on bags that it would be okay, but of course bags aren’t usually stretch fabric or being stressed like those seams, so I shouldn’t be surprised really! I have some heavier stretch denim in grey waiting to be made into another pair of Gingers, so for those I’ll use upholstery thread for the topstitching. I know my machine will sew with that, because I use it to sew leather!

P1040181P1040182P1040183

I really enjoyed making these, even though there were a few setbacks at the last moment! I like the precision of doing that  top stitching, and all of the other components like the bar tacks and rivets and fly make these a really fun project to work on, especially as I sewed them up in short bursts between writing an assignment. Best of all, I’m really happy with the final product! Stupid that it took me so long to make them really…

P1040172

Finally, I thought I should get a picture of this tee shirt, as it hasn’t made the blog yet! It’s a Molly Tee, from the Sew Over It City Break Capsule Wardrobe e-book. I really like the shape of it, especially the curved hem and the wide scoop neckline. I turned the sleeve hems up and hand stitched the cuffs rather than just hemming them, just for something a bit different. I keep meaning to make the dress version, but it keeps getting bumped down the list. Maybe for summer!