Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Making Jeans- My way. Part 2

I know in my last post I was all about my boot cut , dark denim jeans and now I'm making skinnys??? What? I'm still on my quest to make a great fitting pair of pants that I can just whip up in a day or two. I figure if I can morph together all the things I love from these pant experiences into one pattern, at the end of it all I will have my go to TNT!
Enter Burda 6855!!!!!


These are the first pair of pants I have ever made that I did not have to alter- at all!! Okay- maybe the length. It's like they were custom made for me.


I'm a happy little sewer. If you kiss enough frogs your Prince will appear. Right?
This is pair #2. I made them with a light weight polyester stretch twill. It's not the kind of fabric I would normally buy but I just loved the print. It went from shopping bag to cutting table within minutes of purchase.That almost never happens!
I thought the poly might not work. I was wrong. It could be mistaken for denim.
This pattern went together just beautifully. It was so much easier to sew with then the heavy denim, and I could still use all the jeans style topstitching details - or not.

This pattern has a shaped waistband so there was no gaping at the back.

I have a feeling these fit me so well because they are a "young" size which translates to old school Misses size. I'm not small enough for petite size and most average woman's are too big so I'm thinking it's almost a 1/2 size- like a size 9. I'm curious to know where all the half sizes have gone!!! It must be a manufacturing cut back of some sort. Trying to find shoes with 1/2 sizes is getting harder and harder these days too.

Oops, I fibbed, one other thing I changed was to make the back pockets a 1/4 inch larger all the way round.

I opted not to put belt loops on so it would present a flatter face when I wear them with form fitting t-shirts.

I used Mettler topstitching thread and had a few issues. It kept shredding when I went through a few thicknesses of fabric. I was using a new Jean topstitching needle too so I'm thinking maybe it just didn't like the polyester?? Any Ideas?

The only thing I didn't love about this pattern is the fact that it does not have a back yoke, which would give them a true blue jean styling. I'm hoping as I gain proficiency at drafting or grafting I will be able to frankenpattern my own yoke. In the mean time I can live with the back darts.

I have also learned how to fashion a non stretch panel, or front facing that acts as a tummy suppressor, I have used it with these. It is especially nice to use this technique with light weight fabrics as it gives body and camouflages my body at the same time;)

This is my first pair. They also fit great but they SHRUNK. Yes- I pre washed. But next time I may have to pre wash 2 or 3 times.
I have to do a few deep knee bends when I first put them on ....... I'll just have to wear a tunic with them!
For topstitching thread I used Güttermann this time and it did not shred. It seems to have a tighter twist to it. This will now be my go to brand.

For a little added custom detail, I used 2 strands and did some cross stitch - by hand - on the belt loops. I really like how it turned out. I thought it needed something because of the absent yoke.

Here on the bum the pockets look like 2 bullseye targets. Another reason to wear them with tunics!! I have been doing a little research on back pockets. There is quite a science to them. Above all you want to avoid the dreaded "mom bum". This is a is something I will be studying further as I have a flat bottom and I get the mom bum look automatically. In the meantime I find myself checking out other women's tushes and back pockets- kinda weird, LOL!! Strictly research. I'd rather learn how to make perfect back pockets then take up the Brazillian Butt workout any day.

Thanks for stopping by:)


Monday, 20 April 2015

Making Jeans-My way. Part 1

The whole of April has left me consumed with making my own Jeans. So far I've made 4 pairs from two patterns and have been fairly happy with the outcome.

In the beginning I was looking for a mid rise, boot cut, style that I could make up in a dark denim. Dark denim has been off the market lately. In favor now is the faded, distressed, destroyed look for skinnys and BF jeans. I have plenty of the faded and distressed. I want dark denim back because its dressier for work.

First I made McCall's 6610 in a nice stretch twill. I blogged about it here. They became my wearable muslin.

I made my next pair in a non stretch/woven. I think they turned out great, but there is still lots of room for tweaking. One thing I will do next time - I will make them a tad smaller. Jeans need to fit SNUG because they stretch out within hours of wearing them.
I don't have a great picture of the fly front and topstitching, but it's nice. I did a triple stitch at 3.5. I used Güttermann polyester topstitching thread. I think I could get obsessed with topstitching.

This is me showing off my Perfectly fitted waistband and yoke.

The McCall's pattern 6610 was not as straight forward as it could have been. There were lots of fitting tips which was good but I thought the zipper application was complicated with a separate fly. I combined it to a one piece and use a Kwik sew method.

Altered the yoke to my measurements.

Drafted a fitted 2 piece waist band.

Made the rise petite.

Added 1/4 inch to the hips. This I will not do next time.

Slimmed out the legs by at least an inch.

When attaching the waistband used a larger seam allowence to lower the waist.

Used snaps instead of button/ buttonholes.

On my next pair in this pattern I will:

Take out about 1/4 to 1/2 inch vertically through the tummy area- not the hips.

Slim out the thigh a1/4 inch more.

Add 1 inch to my altered length. They shrunk after I washed them even though I pre washed in hot water and hot dryer.

My next post- Part 2- will be Skinny pants BURDA 6855 I have made 2 pairs from this pattern.

Thanks for stopping by.




Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Fast and (stupid) easy 5652 Butterick

For my Make A Garment A Month project I made Butterick 5652- view A
The theme was to be spring flowers-showers,and colour blocking.
I think I cheated.
First off this pattern is super or stupid easy. Front / back / done. This is the same pattern I used to make my jumpsuit. I like it when I get my money's worth out of a pattern.
I used a panel print that I didn't want to chop up so I placed the front on the fold, avoiding the center seam. I altered the neckline by adding a slight curve to it rather then just a straight triangle. Kinda softens it a little. I know this because this is the second one I have made and I like my version better. Ha! And I wanted to use my new French curve tool. I also added black binding on the neck to add contrast.

This is such a bad photo of the fabric, but there are yellow flowers on it and grey clouds behind the city scape of Paris. My cheat? I used a plain black knit for the back. It's a stretch , but that's my colour blocking!!

I have my eyes closed wishing I was in Paris!
This was the first one I made. This is an extra small. Believe it or not!!!! My usual size is 8-10 so I am swimming in this. This will be in my suit case for Mexico next year. A great beach cover up.
I love this fabric. Leopard print butterflies. For an old cougar in the spring!! Strangers have complimented this fabric. I have a few scraps left over, I'll try to squeeze out some cap sleeves with them. I want to use up every little piece.

Thanks for stopping by.

Your comments are always welcome.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Eureka! McCalls 6610.

I'm so thrilled with my new pants! I think I've discovered my new TNT pants/jeans pattern. McCalls 6610.

I know "skinnys" are all that and a bag of chips these days but I still like my boot cuts to wear with, go figure- boots. Not the 4" stilettos featured on the pattern envelope. I think they turned out great and they fit me beautifully. They were not however, without their challenges.

I made them up in a really nice weighty 2% stretch twill that's been in my stash forever. This pattern can also be made in woven. As per my usual sewing habits I should have made a muslin first but I'm far to impatient for that. I started with a size 10- the closest to my measurements and then adjusted the pattern a little bigger then the petite, as I'm some where between petite and regular. I added a 1/4 inch to the hips, so that's 1/2 an inch per side. I knew the waist height was going to be just below my boobs but I thought I would deal with that later.

I liked this pattern because the pocket bag travels from the hip to the zip and creates a nice tummy holder inner. I will use this style on all my form fitting pants from now on. The fly front zipper was originally in two parts and those always give me grief so I just attached it on my tissue and cut it as one. I have a Kwik Sew zip method I like to follow-so I used that. It worked out but I did have to fiddle with the pocket lining as it was not accounted for in my method. This will require more study to perfect.

One of my "Eureka" moments came when I realized I did not have to use the official bar tack stitch on my machine.Duh! It does a beautiful bar tack, the problem lies with operator error!!! I break needles and screw up the placement all the time and those little suckers are a pain to unpick! I watched a short Angela Wolf You Tube video and she just used a narrow, closely spaced zig zag. So that's what I did!!!! Worked a charm. I have to remember there really are no "Sewing Police"(from now on refered to as the SP) I really need to take her Craftsy Jeans class.

As the maker of my own garments I can bend the rules to suit myself as they work for me. I'm happy as long as I have a high level of professional quality and fit at the end of the day. I want to hear "nice pants" and not "Did you make those?" With that suspect tone in their voice- you know the one!

So at the end of my day these pants did not look so professional on the inside. LOL- I used some x-mas cotton for the lining- yucky. And I did not use my serger, because I kept thinking they were not going to work out so why bother. I did zig zag them at least. Oh- and a really ugly rust coloured zipper that apparently, previously resided in another garment???? Waste not, want not!

All of my difficult fitting issues hinged around this area in the back. I know it looks like a hot mess- but- now I know how to work this out on the muslin I plan to make. Yes, you heard right. I plan to make a MUSLIN. For this pair I just added some small darts to take in the gape.
For the waist band I made it in two parts with a CB seam. I've done this before and knew I could make an adjustment there if need be. I did need to and did so in the way of a fish eye dart through the CB. Such a hack job, I know!!!! However this lead me to my next Eureka moment- I will Learn how to draft my own fitted waist band. There are lots of tutorials online for doing this and it looks very easy. I keep telling myself- Muslin, no SP.
Attaching the waist band then gave me 70's style high waisters- not a good look on me. So just kept stitching until I got it to a height I liked. This also reduced the width of the waist band. This was a good thing as it was way too wide for me anyways. Muslin! No SP!
I have made the Jalie Jeans and had the exact same issue. In fact, almost every pair of pants I've made comes down to this problem so it really is time to address this once and for all.

On the outside it doesn't look THAT bad. I rationalize this with the fact that never tuck my shirts in any ways so no one will see it.
I didn't get all fancy with my back pockets. I used regular thread for topstitching- NO SP. For topstitching, I really like to take advantage of my presser feet. These are the ones I use.
But really, the thing I like the best about these is the beautiful snap closure! That took me all of 45 second to do with my PRYM snap setter which I blogged about here. If you want to make your life easy you must have one! Magic. On my next pair I'm undecided whether use rivets and my PRYM tool. Or the zig zag faux bar tacks. It's nice to have options.

I'm too lazy to to take a picture of me wearing them. I made them and blogged them in two days. That's enough for me. On my next pair when all the kinks are worked out I will model them.

It's 4:00 as I write this. I'm still in my house coat. The fire place is on. I'm cozy on the couch, Lola is near me. Lasagna for dinner . It's raining sideways in Vancouver as witnessed out my kitchen window. It's Good Friday. And it really is good.

Thanks for stopping by.