Jeans

Bomb Diggity Denim

I’m so disappointed in myself! I was on such a roll with my #2017makenine at the beginning of the year and then things happened and my “let’s do this!” energy has run out of steam. I have three more items to complete. This post will knock one of them off my to-do list. I finally decided to tackle another pair of jeans. My Jamie Jeans came out beautifully last year. That should have encouraged me to complete my Burda jeans but it so didn’t. I have not been in the mood to tackle pants. I think the reason is that I was trying to adjust the fit on a muslin version of the Thurlow pattern and it’s not coming out right. I’ve been focusing all my energy on anything that’s not bottoms.

One day I decided to sit down and at least look at the Burda 7050 pattern. Well that’s all it took. I compared the pattern to my Jamie Jeans pattern to make sure the tooshie would fit properly. I took a bit off here and there. I went ahead and cut the fabric too. I can’t remember if I started sewing the same day or the next before I was off and running. I referred to the instructions very little but there were a few reasons for this.

• I’ve made jeans/pants before

• The Burda instructions were horrid and if you have never made jeans before I would not suggest using a Burda pattern.

• I wanted to try out the industrial style way of putting in a zip fly. I used this tutorial from the Last Stitch. Amazeballs btw…

This was my first go with a Burda pattern. If all the instructions are so sparse, it might be best not to try to tackle unfamiliar articles of clothing. I also did not make a muslin for this pattern. Living the wild life as usual. For some strange reason, I felt the sewing force coursing through me. I am one with the force and the force is with me.


Who can make an awesome pair of jeans out the gate!?! Oh yeah… THIS GIRL! Needless to say I’m happy with how they turned out. There are a few things here and there I would like to change for future versions.


The pockets are a little strange. Checking out my RTW jeans the pocket is fully cotton. This has a denim back with a cotton front. It makes it a little thick in the thigh region. Not a biggie but just an unusual detail.


The flare could start a bit higher up on my leg. I did make the flare the width of the biggest size and adjusted the leg going up. I could handle it being bigger. I also thought I would have more fabric at the bottom to make a big hem. I like the vintage style ones that have about a 2-3” hem at the bottom.


The belt loop pattern piece is too short. There’s no way that a belt could have fit through the little loops it wanted me to make. I recut this piece and made it almost 1 ½ times the length. I over shot by a bit but not much.



The only true complaint I have about this pattern is the waist. I mucked it up a bit. I should have made it smaller but I always worrying about the small thing known as breathing. I thought I had it snug and it was more of just touching my skin. I want a slight squeeze!

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Making jeans takes a lot of time for me. The topstitching has to be perfect. I took my time with each piece. There’s no point to rushing because those mistakes will stare you in the face every day and you won’t want to wear the jeans.


Totally knocked it out of the park with these!  I may be slow as shit but it’s worth it. Here’s a look at my #2017makenine.

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink

If you follow my Instagram (@Jamie_L_Mac), you’ve known I’ve been up to something that includes a lot of denim.  Well two weeks in the making, you finally get to see the results of the painstaking hours I put into my newest bag.

First, let me share my inspiration, from Pinterest of course.

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This beauty caught my eye.  I was looking for what to do with old jeans.  I had a ton.  I love the idea of creating a pattern and covering a chair.  A chair I do not have or need.  So I saved this and figured it would never be more than something for me to ogle.

I don’t know about you but my brain likes to let things roll around in there for a while.  I take in a lot of info but nothing becomes apparent right away until…

Inspiration two:

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Now this guy has a “pattern“.  Meaning it kind of gives you the proper dimensions and what not to make it but you’re still kind of on your own.  But that’s okay because that’s usually how my bags go.

I really needed a larger tote for all my crap for work. My purse, lunch bag, extra pair of shoes (when I wear heels),  sweater (because its always freezing) laptop, charger, and other random things you can find in the bottom of my bag, all needed some breathing room.  Usually I come to work with a bag that is overflowing with my necessities.  None of these items can stay at work so hence the to and fro truckage.

Needless to say this bag is HUGE and I was excited!  I could fit all of my cats in there and still have room for a unicorn. Mary Poppins ain’t got shit on me! I can’t really give a lot of instruction on how I put the whole thing together because it was, “well this looks right” and then SEW!

BagBottom

I wanted that nice flat bottom you see in the inspo pic. I found a really heavy interfacing. I even reinforced that interfacing with more of the super heavy interfacing.

BagFrontLay

I cut all the denim in long lengths but all 2 1/2″ wide strips. I was using a 1/4″ seam allowance so this would leave me with 2″ wide strips when sewn.  I didn’t top stitch any of them.  I toyed with the idea for only a second and realized how much more time that would be. I ended up ironing the crap out of each vertical set before sewing them to the neighboring strips and ironing again.

BagPocket

Added the pocket to the front.  I debated if I wanted a plain pocket or if it should match the rest.  Obviously from the previous pic, I went with matching. If I was really crazy, I would have cut the strips to match what was going to be underneath and the pocket would have blended. I did however cut a pink lining and added a magnetic snap.

BagStruts

On the struts, I added the same pleather that was on the bottom of the bag.  It seemed weird to not include it other places.  I even went a little wild and added a decorative stitch on them…and then to the bottom… and lastly on the top… I can’t help myself sometimes.

BagTop

Speaking of the top. This bag was supposed to be about 3″ taller.  There was no way I needed it to be so big.  I hacked off the top but kept it just in case. Lucky that I did because I decided it would be great way to finish on the zipper area.  Granted it wasn’t wide enough because the bag is 8″ deep.  I added some plain strips on the sides to make it work. I did add more pleather at this point too to cover the raw edges of the pieces matching up.  My sewing machine was working overtime and there were some spots that needed some hand cranking to get through. Bought that long zip for $.75. Such a deal!

BagHelpers

Since I went with the pink lining on the pocket, I decided the whole thing needs a pink lining. Check out my helpers doing their thing.

BagIInnards

I didn’t do anything fancy on the inside.  Just replicated the outside of the bag.  No extra pockets or fun.  I didn’t have enough fabric after I cut what I needed for any extras. 😦 I wanted to have a separate compartment for my laptop but oh well.

BagHandle

The handles are a mix of denim and pleather.  I made the pleather pieces wider than the “pattern” called for.  I think I actually doubled the width.  I did omit the long shoulder strap.  There was no need for that.  I can’t fathom trying to swing this big boy across my body.

BagFront

Here’s the big beast in all his glory.  I’m pretty tickled with how it turned out.  It took so much time and I really had to push through.  Being so time consuming really, put me off but I’m so happy I prevailed. Final dimensions: 16″ height, 17.5″ width, and 8″ deep.

BagBack

The back is just as awesome as the front. I didn’t mean to spend my Me-Made-May on such a large project but inspiration hit and I couldn’t say no.  How did you spend your Me-Made-May? Any special projects? Completed? In the works?

Goblin King That Never Was

It’s the best time year! It’s Fail February! Rachel from Sew Red-y came up with a great idea last year. Showing that all sewists are human (Sometimes only. Usually we’re all glorious, beautiful, sewing mavens) and we do have the seldom mishap. You can read more about it on her blog.


One of my favorite 80’s movies is Labyrinth. If you have not seen this movie, I honestly don’t know if we can still be friends. I wanted nothing more than to be the Goblin King (queen in my case) for Halloween. I was itching to make a grey pair of Jamie Jeans anyways, then I could make the white shirt, gloves and vest. Bam! Costume! 


If you caught my Doctor costume from a few years ago, you’ll know that if I make a costume I want the pieces to be wearable all year not just for my costume. It took me a while to track down grey denim fabric. What I found was from Fabric.com. The color was a bit lighter than I wanted but beggars can’t be choosers. When the fabric arrived I was disappointed. Fabric.com can really be hit or miss. I’ve bought some great fabric there (blackout sorbetto) and I’ve bought some crap fabric (Han solo jeans).  Needless to say what I need to stop buying from them is denim. The fabric just feels weird.  I can’t describe its weird factor. Denim is not even a word on my radar when I touch it.

I trudged ahead and cut my fabric and basted the main pieces together to check the fit. Oh. Dear. God. So hideous! They were so baggy. I can’t even tell you how much I took off the width each piece because I’ve been working/hiding these since before October.


What the crap is going on here? I basted the pants together again and the legs fit so much better but I was still unhappy. They felt awful and the pockets pulled weird. The pockets are my favorite part of this pattern!


Here’s another shot of the pocket. Looks a bit better here but you can still see that pulling. The fabric made this a doomed project. I finished off the legs and connected them together… And there they sat. Doomed fail laying there laughing at me.  With the winter holidays, there’s lots of opportunities for sewing. I picked them up again and finished them. Well so I thought. I put them on and the waist was too baggy. Insert all the expletives in one long string here. Again they sat on my table.


Come January I decided I’m ready to finish these “jeans”. They were not getting the best of me! I ripped off the waistband, recut it and added some decorative stitching. That’ll help me through. Hot pink prettiness. The bunching goes away when I put them on because of all that ridiculous stretch. I stitched on the waistband (again) and added the button hole… On the wrong band piece. It’s okay I got this! Little did I know my lady (Katherine from Babylock) loves her some stitches and puts a ton of little stitches in beneath the main stitches to make a super secure button hole. I love her but damn gurl! I tried again reassuring myself several times I had the right piece of the waistband this time.


Even the back looks super bad. Weird back thigh wrinkles. 😦 But… Finally! Done! Damn son of a beyotch, crappy jeans.  I have completed you. You look like crap but you are done. These pictures are the only time I have worn the jeans. I think a really long tunic  with high boots could cover up the bad parts. Of course, that only leaves my knees showing but that’s the good part. lol


I did wear my kitten shirt to offset the horrible jeans and so you get some enjoyment.

Please don’t think that the pattern is bad. You can check out my awesome Jamie Jeans. I love those jeans and I wear them a ton. This post just goes to show you how fabric is so important in any make. I’m also happy this was not the first time I made Jamie Jeans. I don’t know if I would have returned to the pattern.

Happy Fail February everyone!

Happy New Years! Blog Review.

Hello and I hope that everyone had a happy and safe New Years. Without further ado, let’s get this review started with my goals from 2016.

  • New Thurlows. I have some silvery denim that would be great for this pattern. Hopefully they hold out better.

This one is done. The pants are holding out way better than my first pair of Thurlows. I’m not 100% happy with the fit though. I’ve got a bit of pooling right under the buns. The pattern did get me 2 pairs of shorts though. I’m going to do another muslin before I make another pair. I have some fabric that’s waiting.

  • Jamie Jeans. I bought some stetch “denim” from Fabric.com especially for these. Then the fabric arrived and it’s so not denim. Oh well, it will be good practice for when I get the real stuff. Plus it’s navy blue so I’m thinking Han Solo pants.

Check this one off too. I made the practice pair Han Solo style just like I wanted. I even stitched the Rebel logo on the pockets. I did make a pair of proper denim Jamie Jeans too. More about those in a bit.

  • Button down for Hubby. I want to make him a gawdy holiday shirt to go with my holiday skirt. It’ll be epic!

This one is complete and I did it with the help of some kittens. Hubby picked out his own fabric and has received countless compliments. I’m sure part of it is because of the fabric and part because it fits so well. He loves his shirt and has worn it multiple times this holiday season.

All my goals met! Super happy with myself. Let’s continue with that positivity and check out my top three hits from last year.

Hit #1

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Jack of All Trades

Loooovvveeee this shirt. I wear it almost once a week. It’s a modified B5526. It was my first time doing a partial placket. It’s so easy to throw on with a pair on jeans. I plan on replicating it with pink/purple gradient fabric.

Hit #2

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Jamie Jeans

I made real and proper jeans! The denim has the perfect amount of stretch and weight. I’d like to make another pair in the new year. I also have another jeans pattern that I’d like to try out too.

Hit #3

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Kitten Holiday Shirt

This shirt is so unique and special it had to make my top three. The fabric itself is adorable. The person I made it for (Hubby) is the best guy ever. Combine the two and you have have the best Jamie-Made shirt. Anytime we would go out to eat or attend an event, he was rocking his kitten shirt. Makes a girl proud!

There were a lot of things this year that I just loved so narrowing it down to three was hard.  Let’s move on to the misses of 2016.

Miss #1

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Purple Persuassion Shorts

I made a couple pairs of Thurlow shorts this year.  This one is on the naughty list because of the fabric.  It has stretch in it, but isn’t resilient enough to snap back and keep its shape throughout the day. Love the color but by mid-afternoon, I have to keep yanking up your saggy bottoms.

Miss #2

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Pillowcase Top

This is a shirt made from my beloved Colette Sorbetto pattern.  How could it be considered a miss? Fabric again.  I have no idea what I did to it. It’s happy, shiny sheen is no longer there. It’s faded and looks like it has dried soap on it. I’ve hand washed it, tenderly babied it’s delicateness and it still looks like crap. It’s in my closet in hopes that I’ll figure out something to do with it.

Miss #3

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Cuckoo for Coconuts

I’m happy to say this one isn’t because of the fabric.  It’s a super soft, vibrant rayon.  You can’t be mad at that! It’s simply the neckline. It’s so wide and slides around my shoulders and lets my bra dance it’s own little peep show. I do wear it but there’s a lot of adjustment throughout the day.

Picking my misses was about as hard as picking my hits. My sewing over the past year has been a lot of happy times and not so many “crap, what am I going to do to salvage this train wreck” moments. Hitting all my goals is amazing. The amount of unselfish sewing has been great but don’t expect that to grow. That small amount was plenty!

So what’s coming up in 2017? What’s my goals?

  • Participate in Project Sew My Style being put on by Alex from Bluebird Fabrics. This is a full year sew-along. I’m putting this out there now: Sorry March, but there’s no leggings in my future so I’m skipping that month.
  • Use my fabric stash. I have enough fabric for 13 projects. Each piece of fabric has a pattern mate already chosen. Just need to sew! The only fabric I’m going to buy is for Sew My Style until I get through my stash.
  • Learn at least one new technique. There’s a lot of techniques out there, flat fell seams, Hong Kong seams, etc. Never thought to try one out and I think it would be good to expand my horizons.
  • Make more dresses. This is a simple one but I think a necessity. I have a lot of separates and I like the easiness of pulling one item out of the closet without a need to match. So it is on my list just to feed into my laziness.

That’s it! It’s been a good year for me sewing wise. I got a new friend, her name is Katherine from Babylock, back in July and her and I get along beautifully. She’s been making my sewing a lot easier and I think she really contributed to the happy sewing.  I look forward to the coming year not only for my sewing but all the great things my fellow bloggers turn out!

It’s All in the Jeans

My first go at making Jamie Jeans by Named was a big mix of frustration and nerdiness. I did make them Han Solo inspired after all. My second bout with the pattern went much better because this go round I knew what I was in for. I knew which bits would be fiddly and which pieces I could fly through. I was armed and ready. Color me dangerous!

I bought dark blue stretch denim from SAS Fabrics in Phoenix specifically for a proper denim pair of Jamie Jeans. I put them off for a really long time.  My sewing machine does not handle denim well and I wasn’t ready for a frustrating sewing experience. Sewing is supposed to be fun! Isn’t that why we all do it? I did wash the fabric and promptly cut out the pieces. And there it sat… for months.

Fast forward to the end of June. I was finishing up my Jack of All Trades shirt. Something glitches on my Singer and as Hubby put it, it sounds like I was trying to sew with a nail gun.  I checked out her insides and everything looked fine. I wasn’t sewing through needles or heavy fabric. Both of which I’ve been known to do. I was sewing bias tape in the arms. It stitched fine (she’s been known to skip stitches so fine for her) except for the horrible sound. So I made a decision. It was time to buy a new machine. I’ve been talking about it for at least 6 months and I started casually looking. Now don’t think I’m being hasty and shipping the old girl off and that she’s probably a great machine she just needs serviced. I bought her for about $50 from a Meijer. She not worth servicing and I was due for an upgrade! She will be donated to a Goodwill so if someone else is willing to put in time and money she’s yours.

Why mention all this? Well new machine (Katherine by Babylock if you’re wondering) means better motor; i.e. denim destroyer! I was ready to create my Jamie Jeans. This was not the first project with the new lady in my life. I made a Sorbetto. I just haven’t blogged it yet. I’ve been having too much fun playing but I’ll try to put the post together later this week.

For me there’s two key items to any good pair of jeans, fit and the top stitching. Both can be frustrating but since I’ve made Jamie Jeans before I knew the fit was not problem and with my new lady and her assortment of feet, the top stitching should be a breeze.

I made a size ten and took 1″ out of the length of the crotch. Normally I take an 1″ off the top of most trouser patterns but I think you’re supposed to take it out middle crotchy area. Dunno. I need a shorter crotch length is what I’m getting at. I widened the calves just a smidge too. You’re supposed to sew with a 1 cm seam allowance but I did most of it with a 5/8″ seam allowance. It’s not much of a difference but enough to make them a bit more snug.


I serged all my edges but did my construction with my sewing machine. I used the blind hem foot and 1/4″ foot for all my top stitching with a 4mm length. Instead of a tack, I did a bit of decorative stitching instead. I love the little front pockets!


Here you can see a bit more top stitching, the cute pocket, and the pain in the ass belt loops. The belt loops were actually the most annoying part of making my jeans. They’re so little and they kept trying to squirm.


I did adjust where the pockets sit on the back. They’re meant to sit about 3/4″ lower but they end up on the back of my thigh. It makes for a sad looking rear. Oh yeah, don’t think that I don’t notice the slightly off top stitching dead center.

You can see in this pic how much I moved the pockets up. It made such a difference. You aren’t supposed to add them at the end but I always do because their placement is so critical to the booty.

I was hesitant about the gold top stitching but I’m glad I did it. You can see it pop on the sides and pocket. Since the pocket is made from two pieces there’s really no space for a design so that’s probably good. I over think that kind of stuff. Not sure why my eyes are shut. Maybe I’m dreaming of a grey pair.

This go round with the Jamie Jeans was far better than the first. I do plan on making more pairs. I really want a grey pair. Hot pink would be pretty awesome too! Proper jeans, check!

Almost forgot. Katherine does the alphabet!

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