just in time for fall…

As promised, two new things to show today! But first, I just wanted to give a quick follow-up to the last post. To all of you who gave me your feedback, thanks so much! Several of you brought up the time issue when it comes to commenting, which I hadn’t mentioned. Truthfully, it hadn’t crossed my mind while I was at work, but that’s an excellent point–I’m not always the best commenter myself, because it’s often hard to just keep up with the blogs I enjoy reading, and commenting often falls by the wayside. So that’s something I’d like to do better about myself–there’s just so many good sewing blogs out there, most of which I didn’t even mention by name, and everyone deserves for their work to be appreciated! And it is good to know that people are reading and enjoying what I make.

And without further ado, on to the good stuff!

Guardian's Tail cowl#1: Near the end of August, I finally finished a knitting project that I’d been picking at on and off for months–not so much for lack of interest, but first I had to focus on the Camille shrug, then spring craziness broke loose, then I got engaged….let’s say I got sidetracked. But mostly thanks to some recent hang-out time at my aunt’s family beach house with several yarn-crafty cousins, I managed to finish this scarf up. (It was fun….we had my crocheting sister-in-law, a crocheter cousin-in-law who was trying to learn to knit, a knitter cousin who was attempting crochet, and another cousin who’d never tried either but was interested, so I taught her the knit stitch. Also, the five of us girls drove the two guys–my brother and the one male cousin who were there at the time–kind of nuts because we were all sitting there in front of the tv doing crafts!)

Guardian's Tail closeupThe pattern is the Guardian’s Tail scarf that I started way back in last October, to use up the leftover yarn from my Counterpoint hat. The pattern was simple enough that I didn’t really have any difficulty in following it, except the repeat was long enough that I never did manage to memorize the pattern. I’m sure that setting it aside for several months probably didn’t help there. I was kind of surprised that I finished it up at the beach that weekend, actually, because I didn’t realize I was that close to finishing up with the skein of yarn! So it ended up being a rather short scarf. The pattern had said it would make a short scarf with the yarn/amount listed, and suggested pinning the scarf. I knew that wasn’t going to happen, because I am not going to take the time to pin and unpin a scarf when I can just grab a longer one and wrap it around my neck and go. So, logically, the only thing to do so that I’d actually wear the thing was to make it into a cowl. So that’s what I did. Warmth-wise, it would probably be better if it was still even longer so I could double it around my neck without choking myself, but I think it looks pretty good. And hurrah for stashbusting!

#2: I feel like I need a drumroll for this one! Because guess what…. I HAVE JEANS!!!

Jeans 1If you haven’t taken it yet, I would very highly recommend Kenneth King’s Jean-ius class on Craftsy. It was so amazingly helpful to actually see how he did certain steps, and his method for sewing in the fly zipper alone made the price worth it. (Even though I got it on sale so it really wasn’t that expensive. Believe me, it’s worth the full price!) I am so unbelievably excited to have jeans that actually fit me! And I love that the class videos never expire, so I can go back and reference those tips again and again.

Jeans 2And here’s a side view–pardon the silly poses, Doug was having fun playing photoshoot director and telling me exactly how to stand/what to do with the scarf! I wore these jeans all day today, and I’m very happy with the fit. The gapping is quite minimal, they were comfortable to wear, and they look pretty darn good, if I may say so myself!

For my future reference, since it’ll be awhile before I get around to making a second pair, I will need to make several tweaks to the pattern itself:

a) Fortunately, I had the foresight to baste the legs together and try them on to see how it would fit in actual denim vs. the somewhat lighter twill that I’d used as my muslin. As a result, I ended up tapering the seam allowances to 1/2″ in the upper inner thigh, and from just below the zipper to about 2/3 of the way up the back crotch seam. (At the risk of TMI, the crotch area had felt a little uncomfortably snug. I don’t know if that’s because it actually was, or my “strong thighs”, as Tasia words it, generally makes it so that I have this unflattering pooch of excess fabric right above my thighs in the front of my RTW jeans, and therefore I’m used to a looser fit.) I also ended up taking in the very top in the back seam more than the 5/8″ seam to remove a bit of gapping….rats, I can’t remember the number. I’m going to guess a 7/8″.

b) Speaking of seam allowances, I learned early in the construction process that if I want to do the flat-felled inner thigh and crotch seams like in “real” jeans, I’m going to need to allow more fabric in those particular seam allowances. I would have only had enough to do a super-skinny, very-awkward-to-sew one. So I serged it and went for the faux look.

c) I need to make the pockets deeper. I can barely get my hand in. Of course, this might also have to do with the curve of the actual pocket cutout itself….or perhaps that I’m not used to my jeans actually fitting in the front, as previously mentioned. So probably a combination of a deeper pocket and a somewhat deeper cutout curvature.

d) Waistband seamed in the back to aid in avoiding the dreaded gaposis = good. But next time, I need to shift that seam over so it lines up with the topstitching, not the actual back seam. I didn’t realize until I went to put the belt loops on that lining up the belt loop with the topstitching means that seam is still completely showing. (Good thing I’m not one who usually tucks my shirts in.)

e) A little extra length in the hem could be useful. They were a great length for the flat sandals I wore today. But after serging, pressing, and turning up, I just barely had enough fabric to make that. work with the 1-1.5″ (I think) heeled sandals I was wearing at the time. I’ll have to check this against my two pairs of boots to make sure this will work. I usually favor lower heels anyway (and Doug isn’t a whole lot taller than me, so I’ll probably stick to that), but I’m not entirely sure they won’t be too short for my favored brown boots that have miraculously held up since my college days.

One more note to myself: I’m happy to report that my serger (which still needs a name) worked like a dream on the denim! Which was a pleasant surprise, because I did something wonky on the Engagement Shirt and parts of it are coming unstitched already from threads breaking because of too-tight tension, Oops. But the denim was flawless. I’m very glad I got it serviced a few months ago. The really smart thing to do would be to write down these particular tension numbers for future reference!


12 thoughts on “just in time for fall…

  1. Congrats on the jeans! I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been wearing mine. I was gifted some name brand jeans (hand-me-down) that fit like a dream. I need to rework my jeans pattern. Which pattern did you use?


  2. @Kelly's Korner It was self-drafted, as per the instructions in Kenneth King's class that I mentioned. I've tried several jeans patterns before, including the Jalie ones that everyone seems to love, and they just did not work on my figure at all. The pieces on this one ended up kind of an oddball shape (especially the back crotch curve) but it seems to have actually worked!


  3. Wow, your jeans look amazing! I bought the class, watched the first couple of lessons, then started to freak out because it just doesn't seem possible to make a pair of jeans! You're inspiring me to give it another go!


  4. @gingermakes You should! The fitting is honestly the hardest part, because, you know, pants. But once you get that part figured out, he's very good about going through the details that make them look really professional. I did do a couple of things differently, like doing the double-topstitched seam on the inseam instead of the outer seams of the legs, and I would have gone for a full flat-fell on places like that if I'd had a wide enough seam allowance to do so. He was pretty good about getting back to me on questions within a week–slowed me down a little because it wasn't always immediate, but that was super-helpful too. And there's already a bunch of questions from other people with each video that answers a lot!


  5. OH WOW!! Your jeans are perfect! I was completely intimidated by this class, but I think you might have just convinced me to try it once and for all! The fit is spot on, and that is something I am longing for with my jeans πŸ™‚ Very well done on all your projects!


  6. Pingback: a very scrappy sea mammal | sew adagio

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