Ginger Bootcut Jeans

About a day before I took my short little vacation to San Francisco I finally made the second pair of jeans I had planned last year after I made my first pair. But you know how life gets, busy!

The pattern I used was Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Case patterns. My first pair turned out pretty awesome but a little short and a little too big. I also used cheaper denim. This time I used Cone Mills denim purchased from Threadbare Fabrics. Amazing! I cut out a size smaller this time since I’ve lost some weight. I went with a size 10 waist graded to a size 12 hip. I basted the pieces together after installing the front pockets to try them on before doing all the top stitching. So glad I took the time to repeat this step. I ended up using the 5/8″ inseam for the waist but then only 1/4″ inseam for the rest. My thighs are big from all my running. Perfect fit!

I took off 2.5″ of the inseam at the knee of the pattern and then used a 1.5″ hem. The cuffs sit just off the floor, perfect for wearing with my running shoes. I only added a 1/2″ full butt adjustment this time, didn’t change the rise at all, and interfaced the waistband. The other change I made was to decrease the bell of the flares by 5″ each so they were only 19.5″ wide for more of a boot cut. Love the look. Very happy with the fit! Next time I will have a go at the high waist skinny jeans.

As always, very impressed with Closet Case patterns instructions. My fly turned out much better this second time around. And this Cone Mills denim is the bomb! They feel wonderful and barely bag out at all. I swear I wore these 4 days straight after I made them, ;).

Front View


Side View


Back view


Pretty proud of my back pockets, :). Used some free templates provided by Closet Case. Someone mentioned they look like Wonder Woman symbols so these are now my Wonder Woman jeans.

Thurlow Shorts!

I’ve seen the Thurlow Trousers pattern by Sewaholic roaming the internet and fell in love with the style and the lines. I decided to start by making a pair of shorts, red of course! I used to avoid the color red but now I actually like it. I liked her pattern because it allowed for more room in the hips, butt, and thighs. For once the thighs weren’t too tight and I only had to make a few other changes, :).

I ended up adding a 1/2″ full tummy adjustment, a new one for me! I just did the simple slash and spread method and it worked out great, front looks fantastic and the pockets don’t bulge out, :). I thought about adding 1/2″ of rise to the back but didn’t this time, I think I will next time. I did deepen the crotch curve by about 1/3″ like I usually need to. You can see in the photo below that the back just needs a little more adjusting to be perfect. The welt pockets are perfect though!

shorts back

 

I spent so much time on the welt pockets but it was worth it, they turned out perfect! I do every pocket in the same process. First I draw the placement lines on both sides of the fabric I am attaching the pockets to, then I stitch on each welt measuring and drawing the stitching lines. In this case each welt was supposed to be 1/2″ tall so I drew a stitching line at 1/2″ from the good side (not the unfinished side). Then I attached the pocket bag to the bottom welt, slash the opening of the pocket, and pull the pocket and edges of the welts through. When slashing the cutting line, make sure you cut the corners all the way to the stitching line but not actually cutting the stitching line, that’s how I reduce any crazy puckering. Lauren at Lladybird has an excellent visual tutorial for this particular pattern here as part of her entire Thurlow Trousers sew along. I also set up everything the way I want it and iron the welts down before stitching the triangle pieces to the pocket just to make sure everything looks good and I don’t need to cut into the corners more or move the welts around, etc.

Close up of one of the welts, :).

red shorts welt pocket

 

For the insides I found this beautiful light yellow and grey cotton print, perfect match for the red shorts. Makes me happy every time I see it. I went ahead and interfaced both the exterior waistband and inside waistband pieces as per Sewaholic’s instructions, Lauren with Lladybird only interfaces one side of the waistband. Honestly that is my usual method but I think the double interfacing feels fine. For the pockets other than referencing Lladybird’s tutorial on the back welts, I just followed the pattern instructions. The front slash pockets were pretty easy.

Again, how gorgeous is that lining fabric?!?! I love the added feature of the back extension, the extra wide seam back there. It allows for easier adjustment of the waist band for gaining or loosing weight. Genius!

inside red shorts

 

I also referenced Lladybird’s fly zipper tutorial. The instructions given by Sewaholic are fine if you are super familiar with the process but Lladybird gives a bit more detail and photos which always helps me. Again, I used her sew a long A LOT, was an amazing help. And voila, look at that perfect fly front zipper! The instructions call for a 4″ zipper and I found one, but it seemed a bit short so I used a 6″ zipper and cut off the extra.

fly front zipper

And more detailed photo of the other side of the fly front zipper. Don’t mind my crappy stitching job of the button, had a temporary brain fart on how to properly sew on a button with 4 holes. Also, I need to go back and tack down the 3rd side of my hook closure.

other side of the fly

 

The belt loops were a little long, I ended up cutting each of mine to be a total of 3 1/4″ long and attached them as per the instructions stitching at the edge of the top and edge of the bottom. I stitched 1/8″ away from the edges. For sizing references, I went with the size 12. I have a 32-33″ waist and 42-43″ hips depending on the day and month, ;). For the fabric I bought some 3% spandex/97% cotton twill fabric from Jo-Ann’s and 100% cotton quilting fabric for the lining.

All in all these are my new favorite shorts and I need to make many more pairs. I also have lots of fabric to make a few pairs of work pants. I think I finally found my go to pants pattern! I love my Clovers but I always appreciate a pair of dress pants and shorts with a fly front zipper, belt loops, and slash front pockets, :). Other than still working out the minor fitting issues in the back I think they are pretty fantastic!

red shorts front

 

And a side view:

red shorts side view

 

So yeah, I pretty much want to wear these shorts every day… ;). I see a pair of Ankara print shorts in my future and a pair of silk/cotton linen blend trousers for work just to start…

Ginger Flares

Ok, these were actually finished over a week ago but life has been a little crazy in my need to find a new car (stupid idiot hit me in a parking lot!). Found a car, yay! Wrapping up insurance, etc. So I finally have a minute to breathe and finish this post up, :).

I purchased some Theory stretch denim from Mood Fabrics back in December and have had plans to make a pair of Ginger Jeans for awhile but I kept putting the project off for fear. I’ve been attempting to make a pair of well fitting pants for awhile and have been getting much closer to a better fit and finally my fave pair of jeans wore out and had to be retired, :(. So, I overcame my reservations and finally printed out my Ginger Flares pattern, traced my pieces, made my fitting adjustments, and cut out all the pieces. I followed the recommendation of cutting each piece out individually, so this took some time. I probably spent a full day making my fitting adjustments and cutting pieces out. I did a little bit of paper pattern fitting, looked over and took measurements from the pair of jeans I loved, and transferred these over. I ended up adding 1/2″ rise to the front and back as well as a 1″ FBA, full butt adjustment along with 1/2″ to the back rise. I found Closet case File’s ebook Sewing Your Own Jeans to be super helpful as well as hew Ginger Jeans sewalong.

The whole process took me about a week working here and there. After I had all my pieces cut out I basted the main pieces together per the instructions to check the initial fit and decided I needed to let out the side seams from 5/8″ down to 3/8″ and take in the waistband about an inch. Definitely glad I did this part first! Now after wearing them a bit I don’t think I needed to take them out as the denim seems to have stretched as is typical. Next time I’ll leave them a tad tight, ;). Taking all the basting stitches out was time consuming but so worth it. I felt more confident in stitching my jeans together and applying all of the top stitching. I had a few issues with my top stitching whenever I had to back stitch it (caused loops on the other side) but really only a minor issue. Eventually I sorted out the proper tension needed.

I will say the top stitching took the longest but they look great. I sewed everything on my Brother cs6000i sewing machine with a jeans needle. I hammered down all my thicker seams and corners and had no issues sewing everything together, never even needed to use my jean-a-ma-jig.

Closet Case Files’ instructions for inserting the fly zipper are so amazing it made the process pretty easy and it looks perfect!

Jeans Front Fly

Adding the rivets went much more smoothly after I discovered my sewing machine had come with an awl, :). I used a rivets kit from jo-Ann’s which made the whole process super easy.

I decided to play with making my own jeans pocket design. I hand embroidered my initial J into the corner of each pocket and then drew a bit of a starburst pattern.

Overall, LOVE my new jeans!!! The back rise is the perfect amount of coverage for me, the thighs aren’t too tight, and just the overall fit is amazing. Definitely a project that makes me proud, :). They fit perfectly then grew about two sizes of course, but that’s what belts are for! :).

For the pockets I used up some of my pink guitar fabric.

Pockets

I serged all of my inside seams and then top stitched and reinforced as per the instructions. I did add an extra line of top stitching to the inside thighs as I liked the look better.

Front View

front view jeans

Back View

back view jeans

Only change I would make for next time is to hem the pants about 1/2″ longer. I may also make them more of a barely boot flare.

 

McCall’s 6757 Pants

Found my sewing mojo again and feeling productive, finally getting some projects finished! First up on my list: pants. I used McCall’s 6757, a Palmer/Pletsch pattern. This one has two included, a skirt and a pair of fitted pants with some flare. As I was in dire need of more work pants I went with the pants first. This pattern is fantastic!!! I’ve tried making pants a few times and so far the only pattern I have had any luck with has been Colette’s Clovers blogged about by me here and her shorts pattern, Iris, blogged about by me here. Colette also has great fitting advice on her blog with a cheat sheet. Back to the McCall pants.

The pattern instructions first go through how to fit the pattern paper pieces and make adjustments before even cutting the fabric out. These do not have any negative ease so that was doable unlike with the Colette Clovers which have negative ease. After trying on the paper pattern with the 1″ seams pinned and 5/8″ crotch seam I decided a few changes needed to be made: take off 1/4″ from the front inseam to allow for my thighs, add 1″ to the back rise, and add about 1/2″ to each side of the waistband to take into account my new 1/2″ waist seams. After making the pants I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need to add that 1″ to the waistband. The other adjustments worked out perfectly. I also used the pattern guideline for making a low derriere adjustment using the 3rd lowest line. The only pattern adjustment I made was to add belt loops per Colette.

After refitting the paper pattern things seemed good so I made a muslin out of non stretch material even though my final material would be stretch. It was only a slight stretch. Muslin looked pretty good! The back had some odd creases but that was because I put the zipper in so fast.

pants muslin

 

Now it was time to cut out the good fabric, :). And don’t worry, I did a practice welt pocket on the muslin first since the first welt I sew usually loops terrible. After I cut out the pieces the first steps were to put in these fancy no-gap welt pockets. The instructions look daunting but are really not too difficult to follow. Just be aware that step 13’s picture is wrong, it should really look like this:

backwads pocket piece

Other than that they instructions were great and I ended up with really nice looking welt pockets, :). Just need to remember to use my pressing cloth when working on the right side of the fabric.

welt

I used this fun peacock fabric for the pockets, :).

pretty pocket

And voila, two amazingly done welt pockets and belt loops, ;).

belt loops

 

And the rest of the instructions were pretty easy to follow. I ended up putting in 1″ side seams and inside seams, and 5/8″ for the crotch seam, front seam, an zipper. I also used the 5/8″ seam allowance for the waist band and serged all my inside seams.

Look how great they turned out! 🙂

pants front view 2

Side view:

side view

And back view:

pants back view 2

Flannel Carolyn Pajamas

Yay! I recently underwent some surgery (nasal) and finally had a chance to make up my new pajamas! This pattern has been on my list for awhile now and I finally got the fabric, cut it out, and just needed to put it all together. It’s the Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case patterns. I’ve seen many a blog about these and wanted a pair of my own. Especially since my current pajama pants had some holes…

I had these put together in a few days (sooner if I hadn’t had to take any breaks). The instructions were perfect and very well detailed. I made a size 14 bottom and size 12 top and didn’t even need to make a full bust adjustment! Love it when I don’t need to make a lot of changes to a pattern. These have the perfect amount of ease, a great shape, and fit really well. I used a plaid but didn’t attempt to match everything, still worked out really well. I did work to match the pocket, ;). Look how great that matching is!

Not much else to say. I followed the instructions, made no adjustments. I made view A, the one without the cuffs, in a flannel I bought from Jo-Ann’s. I did have to get creative with my interfacing as I didn’t have any on hand long enough to cut out 1 piece for each facing. I ended up cutting 2 separate pieces for each side but it worked out just fine. I went with French seams since I didn’t want to have an issue with fraying and have yet to purchase a serger. I hemmed as much as I needed to be at an appropriate length.

I want to make a charmeuse version now with piping and cuffs, :).

Love how the collar turned out! Closet Case describes this process so well and it was probably the easiest collar I have ever put into a shirt.

img_7001

 

The pants. I thought they were a little tight in the crotch curve at first but now that I’ve worn them a few times I think they fit just fine. Love the pockets!

The full outfit

Back view

Side view

Colette Clovers Take 2

I decided to take a break from bra making and make my second pair of Colette Clover pants. The first pair I made (here) were my wearable muslin. So of course I thought I had all the fitting issues resolved. Nope. Turns out that polyester spandexes are not all created equal even when they are right next to each other in the fabric store. That mix was WAY stretchier than this mix. I did not do the stretch test on either fabric when purchasing which was my error. So the first pair was WAY too big and the second pair were a bit small. Maybe a future 3rd pair will be just right like in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, haha. Overall this pair fits well after I made a few changes:

  • I took out the outside seams 1/8″, basically giving me an additional 1/4″ per leg for additional wearing ease.
  • I took the front seam/crotch in about 1/2″ at the front to get rid of some weird puckering lines and made the curve more straight. This fixed the front, yay!
  • The back is still a bit confining. Basically I needed to add about 1″ back rise. I lowered the crotch about a 3/8″ and had added a 1/4″ full butt adjustment, but it wasn’t enough.

I’ll go over the pair a bit. This is the Colette pattern step in attaching the waistband facing to the interfaced outside piece. It’s a little tricky to fully comprehend. It tells you to fold over the zipper part and stitch the top then trim the seam. This is what it looks like. I then overcast all of my edges.

 

The inside looks very pretty. I overcast every seam using my Brother cs6000i. I stitched the ditch all around the waistband per the instructions to attach the bottom portion of the waistband to the inside. MUCH easier than hand stitching it down! Also to make it easier for myself I made the pockets out of the same fabric. Helps with making them appear invisible from the front.

 

And that zipper!!! This is my 4th invisible zipper using the Colette method and it gets better every time. I also overcast the edges of the fabric and zipper together to prevent fraying. This time I stitched up the side seam until the marking of the end of the zipper. Next time I will follow the instructions of doing this last.

 

And a photo of the beautiful nearly invisible pockets! This is just one side. I didn’t do a very good job of matching up my stripes but that’s ok.

 

And they are functional pockets! I can fit my whole iPhone 5s in there, :). Unfortunately black pants don’t photograph the fine details very well.

Side view looks fantastic.

Front view looks pretty good too, :).

Another of the front with those normal wrinkle lines for movement.

It’s difficult to get good photos of details with dark fabric but this is a pretty good one of the back. Overall, really good fit. I did a small full butt adjustment of about 1/4″ but maybe should have made that more of 1/2″ plus raise the back rise about 1″.

 

Per this photo you can see a bit of the work that goes with making a full or flat butt adjustment. That yellow line is the one I should have raised about 1″ to make these pants perfect. More details on this process here through the Clover pants sew a long. An amazing resource!

 

And a fun  pic! Overall I really like these pants. They fit pretty well, are comfy, and a nice easy pattern. Colette patterns are so great to follow!

Colette Patterns: Clover Pants

Yay, finally pants that are comfortable and look pretty good! These are the Colette Patterns Clover Pants. Lucky for me they had a similar construction fit to the shorts I made and there is an AMAZING sew-a-long tutorial here.
These are my wearable muslin, :). I wasn’t sure if they white fabric would be too sheer but luckily it’s just fine without an underlining. I also bought some nice black fabric with pink stripes to make another pair.

Looks so pretty, :).
From my experience and frustrations in pant making I had an idea of which adjustments needed done already. I made a small full bust adjustment and then added 1″ to the front and back pieces for my assumed long torso. After finishing the pants I discovered the additional waist height was not necessary and now the waist is too high and the waistband too loose. So I have plans to cut off that additional 1″ and just cut out new waistband/pocket pieces rather than take a seam ripper to all that stitching…understitching, stitching the ditch, etc…blah. Or maybe I’ll leave it…I’ll give it a few days (wears) thought.

I will admit, the pockets are a little odd, but hey, pockets! These are actually a decent size and were super easy to put in.

Otherwise I just followed the directions as written and voila, a pretty decent fitting pair of pants, :).

Thumb in the pocket looked better than my hand, :). And I cropped the length to mid-calf from the originally ankle length I had cut out. Perfect for the summer business casual work season.


 

Overall this was a great pattern. I had the fabric cut out and put together on about 6-7 hours, that’s including time to fit, adjust, take out stitching, etc. Next pair will be much quicker!