Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Free 1961 Pattern drafting book!




I've come another great resource for drafting patterns. I was actually looking for ways people adjusted Ginger Jeans, when I came across this blog Kat Makes and she's doing a lot of great stuff and despite the fact that she has a completely different shape to me, I found lots of really cool stuff on her page. So check her out.

She's also drafting her own patterns and is using this free(!) and downloadable resource, which I recommend. It has the same sort of feel my "Dorothy Moore" book has, but is so much easer to access. :)

Pattern drafting and grading (by Michael Rohr, 1961)


Enjoy!!

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"