Tag Archives: Jeans

The Too Practical For Words Outfit

So there has been just a whole bunch of chatting across the interwebs about this idea of frosting and cake. Honestly, it makes me giggle, the very idea that CAKE is the practical thing. Guys, what happened to bread?

That being said, it’s a lovely analogy to discuss the practical and impractical approaches to sewing. Here in the delightful post-modern era we can, of course, choose what we want to sew, rather than sewing for literal concrete needs. This is both extremely freeing and oddly depressing. I was recently talking to someone at my costume shop job, a woman who was a professional pattern maker for a fashionhouse, who doesn’t sew anymore. Well, she does, she’s making her sister’s wedding dress, but we talked about making personal things and she said, why make a knit t-shit, you can buy it for 5 dollars at Target.

And you know what? You can. But I just don’t anymore. And I’m not so arrogant or experienced to say that it’s because I’m SO MUCH BETTER then the garment workers who make said items, it’s just that I can’t consume that way anymore. I’m an ex-clothing-junkie, and I’m all about clean living and making my own stuff now…

At any rate, I recently made the most bland and prosaic ensemble possible, very much bread, not even cake:

There you go. Denim Clovers (I had intended to make a pair of Thurlows but this material came from the interwebs and it was too stretchy and I thought, well, I do love me some Clovers….) and a knit top. How is THAT for practical?

I added four inches to the hems of the Clovers to make them true pants, i.e. something I can fit under boots and over flats. I adore these pants. ADORE THEM. I’ve worn four times since I made them. For me, the trick with Clovers is to include a bit more stretch then is accounted for in the pattern. i.e. 3% versus 1% or 2%. Trust me, it will solve some fitting issues and you will have a pair of insanely comfortable pants!

The blouse is, insanely enough, a pattern from Dixie DIY that no longer exists, and that I initially didn’t like.

It’s a swingey blouse, of the knit variety. I realized that this pattern needs, no, demands a swishy drapey fabric, and I wanted to see if it would work with long sleeves, so….this bamboo rayon was the guinea pig! I added about 16 inches to the sleeves to make them full-length, but made not other changes.

And I LOVE IT. It’s so weird, the first time I made this blouse I just couldn’t imagine why it would appeal and now I just adore it in this amazing fabric. It’s a union of form and content that I couldn’t adore more….

Let’s go back to the pants. shall we? Specifically, the rear view.

Annnnd, that’s my rear view, on the internet. Still. Clovers. Fantastic. They don’t work for everyone but boy do I love them!

There is a mark on my cheek which comes from my cat biting me on the face. THANKS, CAT.

Of course, with a shirt this swishy, I couldn’t not jump about, now, could I?

Okay, I couldn’t help this one. But don’t you you ever feel this way?


Filed under bamboo, Colette Patterns, Dixie DIY, knit, xie DIY

The Never Have I Ever Pants

I forget when, exactly, but at some point in the past year Tasia of Sewaholic proposed an interesting question. Is there anything you wouldn’t sew? This was at least half a year ago, and I remember thinking, wow, there are so MANY things I’m afraid to sew, raincoats, leather items, jackets (more on that later…), JEANS. I wouldn’t sew ANY of those, I thought, they seem so crazy! But if the past year of crafting has taught me anything, it’s taught me to be more adventurous when I’m making stuff. What’s the absolute worst that can happen? I made a sweater. I made trousers. I sewed with knits, for god’s sake. Never say never, I now say to myself, never say never.

So, long story short, I made some jeans. Sort of. Kind of. In my opinion. But I feel like there are people out there who might call what I made non-Jeans. And those people? Can go cry somewhere else. Sure, they don’t have a front fly or welt pockets, or any pockets at all, but damn it, they are made out of denim and I flat felling the fricking seams. I’m calling them jeans and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME. (Honestly, I pretty much think that anything made of denim gets to be called a jean. That’s just the way I was raised.) And you know what? They look gooooood:

Yeah. Yeah they do.

I used Colette Patterns Clover Pants, which of course I have made before, much to my delight (I can’t stop, people, I love these pants, I’m making them again in black, it’s madness, MADNESS I say!). Though they may look black in these photos, these pants are actually dark dark blue denim that I got from Fabric.com back in October for, like, 3 dollars a yard. I cut a straight size six and unlike last time I didn’t add any length to the legs. Which left me with really cold ankles all day yesterday when I wore them, but I think as temperatures rise they are going to be perfect! I made version 1 but omitted the front pockets because I literally have never used the pockets I put in my first pair. These pants are insanely easy to make, they took me like 6 hours tops from cutting to hemming, and I would consider myself a slow sewer.

I made the shirt too. I’m not sure how I feel about the shirt. More on that in a moment. Back to the pants!

These pants have generated a lot of buzz on the internet. Love them! say some. Impossible to fit! say others. Super flattering style! say some. Flattering on NO ONE! say others. Well, I got lucky with these. They fit me very well with literally no fitting changes. I will say, though, that now that I’ve made a few more Colette patterns as I follow along with the Sew Colette challenge, that has NOT remained the case. And that’s okay! Because sizing isn’t just something that varies from company to company, but also from pattern to pattern! So while my first
Meringue might have needs adjustments and I’ve just completed my (first!) FBA on my Pastille Dress pattern, these fit me as is. There is no accounting for patterns, eh?

Just enough comfort, but form-fitting! And the posterior? You want to see that, do you? Of course you do, you’re only human:

And, now my butt is all over the interwebs. Oh, well, at least it’s clothed! Beautifully clothed….

And I wasn’t kidding about the flat felled seams. I found them a little tricky with the stiff denim, but I figured them out and I love the way they look. However, it was really REALLY really hard to sew them up when sealing one leg. I couldn’t do them on the side with the zipper, but I did them on the other side, and I swear it was an act of acrobatics to try to make the skinny leg of the jean move through the machine without sewing the leg together. It was a struggle. Thank god for Lycra, because without some stretch I don’t know how this could have possibly worked.

I probably should have used a denim needle. I totally didn’t. I don’t even change my needle between projects. It takes like five projects before I do that. Is that really bad? I just feel like it’s a waste of needles to change each project, but I’m sure I’m breaking some kind of cardinal rule with that. Oh, well, wouldn’t be the first time. I’m a rebel, Dottie, a loner.

Now on to the shirt. The shirt was a free pattern (FREE PATTERN) download from Dixie DIY. I think I’ve made it clear how much I love Dixie, right? I would say I’m making another Ballet Dress at some point in the near future, but I feel like that’s just assumed. Dixie has a lot of awesome free patterns on her website, and most of them are knit-centric. So I downloaded and dutifully pieced together her pattern for loose flowy shirt with cuffs. And I made it. And it was very easy to put together. And I used leftover fabric from my Thank You Tasia top,which was free, and the pattern, which was free. So no cost, really. But, I don’t know, this might not be a great style for me:

This is the face I make when I’m cold, and I’m not sure if my shirt works on my body. I make it surprisingly often, all things considered.

See, I do like the shirt, and it’s comfortable (hello, Knits!) but there is a lot of fabric happening here at the hem, and I don’t know if that really looks good on me. It looked so good on Dixie! Why aren’t I Dixie? God, life is SO. HARD.

Still. It works with the cardigan, right? I don’t know. Maybe I will chop some off the sides. We shall see what Deborah, my mother, says. Her word is law.

A little interior waistband shot for you. I used some scraps of fabric left over from my Dear Betty Dress. I think that’s really fun, actually, having a surprise printed cotton inside solid pants.

Fun fact about the word fun, my wonderful cousin Elyse has lived many places, and when I visited her when she was living in Buenos Aires she had a great roommate, Briony, who absolutely abhorred the fact that we called things “fun”, like, that’s a fun top! or, what a fun sofa! She thought we were hopelessly American and gauche. I think we are fun.

So, in sum, never say never, as long as it’s denim it’s a jean, objects can be as fun as experiences, and changing your needle is for losers. (Or maybe not. Anyone want to weigh in on this?)

And to leave you with something FUN, another rule of life, or at least, my life, is as soon as I’m almost done with something, like, say, my amazing linen burlap 1940’s jacket (post to come!) and am laying it on my floor to lap the lapels and stick on the button, who should come along but Brother Cadfael?

You made this underlined and lined and bound buttonholed masterwork for ME? So kind. Thank you. It will make an excellent sleeping throne.


Filed under Colette Patterns