Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Ginger Jeans - I did it!




I can't quite believe it myself, I made jeans!

And they fit. 

After a long long time of contemplating, of procrastinating and fretting about fabrics, my sewing skills and the "oomph" of my machine - my existing 2 pairs of jeans were slowly but surely falling apart. And despite my best efforts of mending them repeatedly...  it was time to face the fact: I need new jeans.

First I actually went to town and looked at jeans. Tried some. And got annoyed. I want low to just-mid rise flared jeans. Not too much "use" on them. Not too thin. Indigo blue. Really dark. This is not in fashion at the moment. I tried everything that was proclaimed to be my size. I even tried the very fashionable high waist skinny jeans - which sort of went up to my rib cage, were too long, to tight and just "uuhhrgh". It was a very very very frustrating experience.

And then I bought the much acclaimed Ginger Jeans pattern (with Flared Jeans extension pack) by Closet Case Patterns

I followed the instructions of the sewalong https://Closetcasepatterns.com/ginger-jeans-sewalong/
and it all went together fine. Surprisingly, the jeans are a little on the widish side... I am not entirely sure, why. I might have lost some weight (hm... how likely is that... hm...), the fabric has a poor recovery (doesn't seem like it, but who knows...), the pattern runs slightly wide (possible and most likely), I was taking my measurements too loosely (possible), I didn't cut close enough to the pattern, added some width while copying... I did notice this after basting them, so I used a more generous seam allowance (instead of 5/8" I used 6/8, but it's still a bit wide in the bottom and back thigh, especially after wearing them for a few days)
Anyhow - the jeans fit. They fit well enough for me. I have no issues with the crotch, no issues with matching, they don't twist and they are super comfy.  - it was a real WOW experience. Also my machine didn't buckle up once and sewed through up to 8 layers of jeans like butter (I did use a jeans needle though). 

What do I think of the pattern? - I LOVE IT! - 

The size is accurate, not supertight, but I didn't aim for that. The instructions are superclear, the sewalong is great and the possibilities for variations are SO vast. Heather also gives lots of instructions on fitting, in case you do have frown or smile lines. Or whatever other issues occur.

If you want to make jeans - make these! 

What I really liked was the precision of the pattern. Notches match, clear instructions, no blahblah and - if she says low rise it means low rise. Precision this is. 

I admit, I was VERY sceptical. My experience with sewing trousers is very limited to say the least. My confidence wasn't very big and because of my unique shape, I only anticipated problems. 

Just to give you an idea: My waist is a size 6 in her pattern, while my hip is a size 12 (although I would probably go down a size in the hip with the next pair... ). And in addition to this big waist-hip ratio, I have a sway back. And I am smaller that "standard women" (whatever that is... have never met one). 

I followed her fitting/grading instructions in the sewalong and the resulting pattern looked - curvy. I stuck with it bravely, because I thought - I calculated this, I followed instructions, it MUST work. And it did. The only thing I had to adjust was the waistband - which gaped. Like it always does. I could have cut a new waistband, but I took a shortcut (because I wanted to finish the jeans and going back to cutting fabric felt like a backstep... and I was lazy and impatient...). I made two darts in the waistband inside, clipped the excess fabric and transferred the changes to the pattern waistband. For next time. Yes, there will definitely be a next time. I might even use contrasting topstiching. :) 

I also really like her suggestions about the "insides" - coloured serger thread, nice fabric for the pockets - turned not inside the pockets but in a way you can actually SEE it when putting on the jeans. Yes, that makes me feel good. Talking about a serger. I own one - I didn't use it. I just zigzagged everything. I was plainly too lazy to put up the machine. 

The biggest challenge for me (sewing wise...) was the topstitching. Who would have thought that sewing two completely parallel lines is SO difficult. My husband giving me a glass of red wine with the sewing boosted my mood, but I wasn't sure about the topstitching skills... As I noticed later, it didn't do any harm, my parallelity the next day without wine looked exactly the same. I might have to practise that a little more and continue using toned down topstitch thread. :) 

My other issues are (and none of them have anything to do with the pattern fit...): the blue of the fabric. It is a little too blue. And even. I am not used to that. I might try and find some real indigo jeans fabric. Also the front pockets are quite wide. Which is ok in a way, because I CAN put my entire hand in it in case I have nothing else to do. But I think I would make them a tiny bit narrower next time. I also have the idea to copy the coin pocket my "nearly fallen apart jeans" - it's a small single welt pocket in the pocket lining -very cute). Other ideas for next time include more belt loops (I don't even own a belt...) and back pocket designs. My back pocket is plain, but I have this idea about an ECG or a WonderWoman logo thing. I would also move them up a tiny little bit. But maybe with making the next pair tighter, I won't need that. I might also try the mid-waist and high waist version with those shaping pockets. Maybe I could even try skinny jeans (the last time I wore skinny jeans was in 1999). I also had this GREAT pair of jeans (that also fell apart...) with add on front pockets that were square... I think I have a picture of me wearing them somewhere... but only a front view...) . ideas, ideas, ideas... why is sewing jeans so addictive? 

Finally, here are my Ginger Flares! Brand new! First time!

Ready?

I've casually put my hand in that pocket, so nobody has a chance to evaluate the fit.
You just have to believe me it's good. :) 


Posing naturally, this is what I do with walls on a normal day.
At least I didn't have to worry about my expression this way...
You can also see the jeans are a bit wide on the hip and leg after a couple of days of wearing them.
I don't mind, this is what my jeans usually look like. :) 

On the left you can see the adjustment darts for sway back I made on the waistband back.
And on the right my beautiful happy lining, which used to be a pillow case. :) 


_____________
Cost


Pattern: 17 euros
Print in Copyshop A0: 40 Euros (I wanted to try it out...very comfortable, but expensive.)
rivets 5,50
Buttons 4,70
Fabric - Stretch Jeans (97% cotton, 3% elasthane) 40 Euros
Yarn (sewing and topstitch) 4+3 = 7 Euros
jeans zip 3 Euros

I am planning the next pair already... :)



Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Books are for reading - S. Basile



Salvatore Basile

"Die wundersame Reise eines verlorenen Gegenstand" (The strange journey of a lost item)

At the moment only available in German and Italian, but a good read. It would make such a lovely film. Watch out for the English translation, it's a good read. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

May seasonal table 2018

I am always amazed what the camera thinks is the center of the picture... sorry...

I can hardly believe it myself, I've managed to change the table, take a picture AND blog about it all on the same day. The explanation: I've got a week off work and it is a public holiday and good weather, so the kids can run around in the garden a lot. :)

The lilacs are from a bush around the corner and the smell is wonderful - not too overwhelming but lightly noticeable. The piece of bark has been on the table a lot already, the bird last month, too, and the mountain crystal was a contribution of the kids.
I've still not managed to restore this little cabinet (the wooden veneer at the bottom is coming off slightly, because a previous owner seems to have stored it with its feet in the water...) and there are some more dents I have to see to... at some point...

This month's Eugene  Grasset card, from "La belle jardinière"


Thursday, 26 April 2018

Whatever happened to Minimalism and me?

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

It's been quite a while since my last post on Minimalism. 

To say the truth - I think I've said about everything what Minimalism means to me. 

And to tell you even more truths: I am still working on it. I am still working on myself. And it is still hard at times. 

I am still trying to find the best way, the middle way. The Make and Mend Challenge really helped me (and so did having to live on a much tighter budget for a year). But I also have to say, being back in the "normal" way of life, with our "normal" budget, it is so incredibly easy to fall back into old patterns. 

But the most important thing is, that I live my life more conscious, more aware and I think a lot truer to myself than I did about 15 years ago. Or even 4 years ago. 

Whatever the stress, whatever the challenge. 

KISS. 


Friday, 13 April 2018

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Mia doll for the KiTa





The KiTa-time (kindergarden for younger than 3 year olds) has been wonderful. The way the staff of the Waldorf-KiTa welcomed her, made her comfortable, gave her confidence and helped her grow as a person, while respecting her very own personality is amazing and I am very grateful she found a place there. She loved going there every single day and I can see her little face light up when she talks about the staff there.

So I wanted to express my gratitude in making a doll that resembles my little Miss No 2 (at least a little bit). In March my big little girl will be continuing to the "big" Kindergarten with her sister. I am a little bit sad about it, but I think the girls will also like to be together in the Kindergarten.

I am very grateful also to the KiTa, because it encouraged me to have a look at Waldorf/Steiner related books. I started reading a bit antroposophic literature (especially concerning children). I found it very encouraging and supportive in some aspects, other aspects are and stay very foreign to me. But that's ok. I am grateful for the positive input it has provided for the family.

This is the third doll I made following the immensely wonderful patterns "baby twink" of Mariengold. (Mariengold.net). Again, I really enjoyed making the doll, the instructions are so clear and nice. I also made clothes following her ebook "oh girl" - a little dress (made from a fabric remnant from one of Mias summer dresses), jersey trousers, a little woolly jacket (that I wished Mia had...) and a woolly hat similar to one my girls have. Also shoes, of course. And fabric nappies, which you can't see on the picture, but they are there. :)

The doll is approx. 30cms in height and is filled with organic sheep fleece. All the fabrics and dyes used on the material are also natural and organic, so it's totally safe for the children to play with the little doll.

She comes in a little grey cardboard suitcase-bed, including a small blanket and pillow.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

April 2018 Seasonal table

Goodness, April and Easter arrived so quickly this year, I didn't manage to get a light green piece of cloth (none in stash...) or anything else that looks a bit fresher and more springlike. 
I did manage to remove the reed from the table, although I really really like it, for me it is always connected to winter, cold, frozen, barren landscape. With reed swaying in the icy-cold wind. 

Finally the weather has changed though, and we've had a few warming days, the plants start growing and budding, I've found the raspberry sprouting everywhere (I LOVE raspberries!), so it is very delightfully springy - at least for the moment. Last year we've had lovely weather like this and it tricked me into buying plants and planting them - just before the next frost - 90% didn't make it (one raspberry bush among them, which filled my with deep sadness...). 

Anyhow, this year I am just enjoying the growth around me and will wait until May (after the Ice Saints) to make the plants are on the safe side. 

So this is our Easter/April table, with contribution from the kids.




Grasset Postcard, April

Monday, 2 April 2018

March tabel 2018

Opps... March passed so quickly... but just before changing, I made a picture of our March table. :)

The kids helped a lot.



Grasset Postcard March

Friday, 30 March 2018

Otari Hoodie - Scroop Patterns Test


Namaste, guys!

So, I've had the honour to be a pattern tester for Leimomi Oakes (aka "the Dreamstress" from Scroop Patterns.) I can't say how happy that made me, and I owe it all to the neighbour's cat. :)

The pattern has officially been released today, it really did take me some effort to hold back this long. :)

Leimomi designed a basic hoodie pattern, which is really really neat. Really really neat. I can't say often enough, how neat this pattern is. My gosh, it is neat. And offers so much space for choosing fabrics. From elegant to cute and romantic to wild I'd say anything goes. You can buy the pattern here:   https://www.scrooppatterns.com/products/otari-hoodie (which I really recommend to do...)

There are two pocket and two hood views in it, that can be mixed. The instructions are very very clear, with super nice finishing touches for pockets and the zip (superneat!!), so this is a piece you even love to look at from the inside. Yes. Exactly. Maybe you know what I mean. A comfortable covered neckline (looks and feels good) and an ingenious covered zip (outside and inside, but you can also make it so the zip shows outside) make this look so professional. But at the same time, it is not difficult to make, so no worries, this is perfect pattern if you've not made a hoodie before. Also nice is the fact it doesn't need excessive amounts of fabric, so this hoodie can be made rather economically.

I've been wearing it a lot already and it's so comfy. As you can see, I've really tried with the pattern matching, but something happened at the center front. Whatever it was, it didn't have anything to to with the pattern.

I chose to make the pointy hood (as you probably noticed in the first picture..) and the bound pockets. The sizing is really precise and it has a nice close but not too tight fit. Just perfect. Apart from grading between the sizes, I didn't need to make any adjustments.

covered zip (inside and out) and bound neckline. Pockets bound. Neat. Superneat. 

I really enjoyed making this pattern. I was given it for free as a pattern tester (so obviously I had the test version) but I didn't receive anything else and all of these opinions are entirely my own.