Please excuse my temporary absence. I’ve still been battling what felt like a raging flu. Whatever it was, it did get the better of me. During this illness, I took the opportunity to catch up on some movie watching. I mean there’s nothing like feeling too sick to do anything but lay around with your eyes open and watching so many movies that your eyes become bloodshot. I mean….So yeah, I watched a lot of movies. And didn’t do anything else. Really. Seriously, NOTHING else.
Well, during this movie marathon, I decided to watch Penelope. I’ll have you know that this is not a movie I even really wanted to watch, but since you can watch it instantly via Netflix, I thought I might as well. A very sweet word is coming to mind right now, ummmmm….. SO CUTE! Loved it! The story line is rather darling and the set is quite breathtaking and Penelope’s wardrobe is to DIE for! Yes. So many ideas, so much inspiration, so much fun! If you haven’t seen this movie yet, and you are looking for some great wardrobe inspiration, I insist you watch it. Penelope’s eye for color coordination is out of this world. And there is so much color to be had. Amidst a world of so much black, brown, tan, navy, khaki and such, she is a bright little colorful star. Don’t get me wrong, she still wears the neutrals, but with so much vavoom! that you wouldn’t even know she’s wearing them. Yeah, she’s that good.
I think I’ve pretty much decided that my wardrobe is lacking color and its time to have some fun with giving everything a color makeover. I’m so jealous of every single thing Penelope wears. It must be mine! I love the way so many colors and textures make up an outfit. Those green shoes, that purple (with pink piping) coat, those sweet cardigans, sigh…..
This movie came out in 2008 and of course I kept wondering to myself, where was I? You may wonder that yourself after watching it. I googled Penelope’s wardrobe and found a few blog posts here and there of people trying to imitate her style by buying clothes. Someone even asked, “Where do I find clothes like hers?” There was the usual answers like Anthropologie and J.Crew and then someone said, “Become famous.” Ha ha ha. I snickered after reading that and wanted to add, “Learn how to sew.” I very wickedly snickered again because I knew that I could imitate her wardrobe with a little stitch here and a gather there. Ha ha ha.
I most certainly hope you have enjoyed today’s lesson on why its so very important to know how to sew. Thank you Penelope!
So I made those jeans for Mr. S. I made a muslin beforehand for those too, just to see about fitting issues I might have. I did have some. Surprise, I know.
Just for fun, let’s break pants into two sections. The pant legs and the pant torso. The pant legs are the section that fit the legs and the pant torso is the section that fits the lower half of the torso. I only ended up making alterations to the pant torso. On the muslin the pants were too short in both sections, the pant torso and the pant leg. I thought if I just added more length to the pant torso, that would in turn add more length to the pant leg. As you probably know by now, otherwise I would not be writing a post about this, that is wrong thinking. Here’s why, or why I think it’s wrong:
Now that I have the pants made for Mr. S, I see what really happened when I lengthened the pant torso. By the way, I lengthened the front and the back pant torso 1 inch. Do you know what that did? By lengthening the pant torso, the waistline went up (the crotch stayed in the same place), but the pant leg stayed the same. Now that’s pretty interesting, I mean at least it is to me. What I’m really saying is this is a very very good point to keep in mind when you need to do this alteration to the pattern itself.
What I’m also saying is that you should think of these sections, the pant torso and the pant leg as two separate sections. What I should have done is alter the pant torso less and added a little to the pant leg. You know what’s kind of funny? The pattern will tell you to do this itself indirectly as there is an alteration cutting line on the pant torso and the pant leg. Pretty fun huh?
So that’s what I learned about altering pant patterns. Maybe something you already figured out or knew, but just in case you didn’t, well, there you go.
Um…. and you thought I wore the pants here? If you don’t know by now, this is my Mr. S. And I’m his Mrs. And we go together like peaches and pie. He he he. I’ve never sewn a single stitch of apparel for Mr. S and I thought it was high time. He was in desperate need of new jeans. I’ve seen the jeans bug hitting a lot of stitchers these days and I think for very good reason. Everyone wants jeans that fit really well, have a great wash, and make their…ahem…features stand out. I love jeans. Love them. I’m planning to make my own soon. Very soon.
When we go shopping for Mr. S, we run into troubles. The tall and thin troubles. You see, we can find clothing for tall people, but not thin people and we can find clothing for thin people but not tall people. Mr. S is a small boned dude and really he’s not that tall, but clothing companies seem to think that if you’re a small guy that means short and thin. There’s nothing beyond a 32″ inseam in jeans. It’s so rare to find a pair of 34″ inseam pants in a 30″ waist, and that in our price range. Is it crazy to anyone else that we spend (at least in the US) over $100 on jeans? Sometimes over $200. Um, that’s just silly. Do you even realize how much I paid for the fabric for these? The fabric wasn’t even on sale and it was still only $3.99 a yard. And I only needed 2 yards for this. Under $10 folks. Now that is really sick. I mean really.
I wasn’t emotionally prepared for the hunting of jeans that don’t seem to exist this time around. So here is Kwik Sew 3504. Doesn’t look like much on the pattern cover, but these are jeans peeps. I’ll be making these again and again, I think. I don’t know that Mr. S is completely convinced that he likes them. But hey, these are my first pair. A few more and perhaps he’ll be swayed. Let’s get down to specifics shall we?
I used a stretch denim for these, which was murder, complete murder on my machine, and did a gold denim topstitching thread. Having read the Selfish Seamstress’ posts on her jeans and Petite Republic’s post on her jeans, I knew just where to find the rivets. Give that an ebay search. Surprisingly, jean buttons are just at your local fabric store, usually, so those were pretty easy to get and then I took a look at Brian Sews tutorial for how to make these puppies work. After all was said and done I tried distressing the jeans. I’m not sure that these really worked out that well and I don’t know if that’s because of the stretch in the denim or not. I tried bleaching these and sandpapering them and giving them a few bleach pen streaks. Google “How to Distress Jeans.” And they are still not quite right and I’m not really happy with the result. And by the way, I tore up my fingers pretty good with all of these methods. Best tip if you are going to try this: wear gloves! Oh well! Let’s get back to the pattern.
The pattern is actually quite good. There are a few tweeks that still need to be made for next time, but overall I’m happy with the fit and the construction. The instructions are great and quite straight forward. Totally recommend!
And that’s that. Sigh. I’m ready for a really easy sewing project next. What say you?
This has been one hell of a week for me. Haven’t been feeling real well, hence the lack in posting and such. But I couldn’t just miss my weekly spotlights now could I? There is some great sewing going on around webland these days. I mean there usually is. You guys are seriously awesome.
This week’s spotlighted creation is from Karen at Did You Make That? A little green to go with your envy for some sewing inspiration. You know what’s crazy? I made this dress in green too, if you remember. Great pattern. Great fabric. Great fit. Karen, this is crazy fabulous! So glad you finally got to wear it too.
Have you seen these? They are to die for gorgeous and a perfect compliment to the warmer weather coming up. These flowers are like JCrew worthy if not better, don’t you think? Love love love them! I’m sure you will too! And they look seriously easy to make, not to mention so sophisticated and elegant.
Lastly, here’s a peek at my next sewing project. I’ve been contemplating a fitting shell for awhile now. Just to see what it’s like. I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot about it. Crazy thing was, I was just about to buy the Vogue one and the pants too (which I still might) online and then I went thrifting and what did I find? Yeah, this perfectly intact pattern, uncut, complete instructions and only a whopping 50 cents. That’s right. Now that is what I call a bargain and in my size no less. What luck! And did I mention that there are 8 pages of instructions on fitting and alterations and such? This one is from 1985, however since it doesn’t look to have changed too much from the modern ones, I think it will do the job just fine.
Happy Sewing Adventures and a well rested and invigorating weekend to you!
This week I’ve gathered some inspiring sweetness from sewing peeps that have caught my eye. Keep all that great stuff coming, because I love getting excited about what to sew next.
This week’s weekly creation comes to you from Rachel. I’ve seen the polka dot madness going on all around and I’ve thought about wearing polka dots and have just never really tried. This Rooibos creation is the bee’s knees, and did you by chance notice how flat the fabulous little collar is laying? I’ve noticed that this has been a problem for several who have tried this pattern, we might just have to ask for a tutorial to let us in on that secret! Beautiful job Rachel!
Have you seen Esther’s blog/burdastyle creations? Yeah, I’m way jealous that she’s only 15 too!!!! Way way way jealous. Where was I when I was 15? Definitely not being cool or doing anything creative. She’s got some serious photography talent. Not to mention all of her hand sewn creations are way out of this world. And she has red hair. Now who doesn’t like a girl with red hair? Who?
Simplicity 2724 is getting some well deserved spotlight attention! Amelie (I know, can you even believe that this is her name, too sweet!) and Rifka from Burda Style have both made up their own superb creations. And threadsquare and Selfish Seamstress are pondering about making their own versions. I say, jump on the bandwagon folks, it’s a pretty ridiculously fabulous pattern. But then, I guess I’m a little biased.
Recently I made the rather expensive purchase of a pair of Gingher Pinking Shears. I don’t have a serger, and I actually don’t know many stitchers who do. If you’re hankering for a serger and just can’t afford it right now, pinking shears might be a good investment for the present. They work great, especially on cotton, and don’t leave behind the bulky seam allowance other seam finishing techniques might. For added fray-edge security, I give the seam allowance a simple straight stitch close to the pinked edge.
And that’s a wrap friends! Happy weekending!