First Ever Jeans!

IMG_3931I finally finished my first ever pair of jeans! These are the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files. The fabric is an Italian stretch denim from GirlCharlee. I chose to start with the high waisted version with the skinny leg because I love the skinny jean and I also don’t have any high waisted jeans so I thought it would be a fun addition to my wardrobe.


I relied heavily on the Jeans Ebook that Heather released. I probably could have gotten by with just the build-along blog posts but I really liked having the PDF on my computer so I didn’t have to worry about which tabs in my browser I needed to keep open or switching between blog posts for different days of the sew along.


Once I based the pants together I fixed a couple of fit issues. I took some excess fabric off of the side seams and inseams. I took some extra fabric off of the side seams at the knee. I also pinned out some darts in the waistband and yoke to account for my sway back.


When I sewed the pieces together for real it felt like magic. Some how my topstitching lines pretty much matched up every time!


Let me start here by saying that I love my sewing machine. I’ve had it since I went to college and we’ve spent a lot of time together. It can do a lot of amazing things. Two things it really struggles with are bar tacks through more than 2 layers and button holes through any sort of bulk. I had to pick out a bar tack 3 times. If you’ve ever had to do this then you know that it is the absolute worst. Also – I’m pretty sure this ended up weakening my fabric instead of strengthening it…


When I tried the button hole with the automatic length sensor it felt the resistance from the bulk of the fabric and made the smallest possible button hole. To try to get this to make a button hole I did my best to press the fabric as flat as possible and also arrange the fabric in the sewing machine so the button hole starts with the thickest part and goes back to an area with less bulk. This ended up finally creating a successful button hole.


Then I made a huge mistake. I tried pulling the zipper teeth out with pliers but my pliers aren’t very good and it was very difficult. I thought that I had read somewhere that you could cut the zipper teeth off the zipper instead of using pliers. However, after I finished topstitching the waistband I tried on my jeans and went to zip them up and I zipped the slider right off of the zipper.


In order to fix this I slowly and carefully acted as a human slider to carefully line up the zipper teeth and close them together. Once I had done that I slid the zipper slider back on to the zipper and unzipped. I then tacked the zipper down to the zipper fly by sewing in between the top tooth and the second to top tooth. So far this has prevented any further fly mishaps.IMG_0335

I ended up raising my back pockets 1/2 inch though I might go a little higher next time. I’ve since read that other folks making these have pretty regularly taken their back pockets up 1 inch.


I then went to town on hammering in my button and rivets. This is a super fun step in the process but I’m glad I didn’t attempt this late at night since it is definitely a loud activity!


To be honest, I’m not really sure high waisted jeans really suit me or my style. Most of the ready to wear jeans that I own are low waisted, skinny jeans with topstitching that matches the denim. I like the more laid back and subtle style so I’m going to try the low waisted jeans with a more subtle top stitching thread for my next project. I’m still trying to figure out where the find hardware that is less shiny though. For now I’ll  be wearing these untucked for a more laid back look and occasionally tuck in when I want to make a statement.


As always, Toby was a super helper.



Black and White Striped Nettie Bodysuit

I’ve seen so many amazing versions of Closet Case Files’ Nettie Bodysuit that I knew I had to make one. Its not something I would have considered trying on in a store but after seeing everyone’s creations and how versatile they are I decided to go for it.


I had been searching for the right fabric for awhile. I knew I wanted a black and white stripes where the stripes aren’t the same size and where the stripes are fairly bold. This proved surprisingly difficult. When this fabric showed up at Mood I ordered it right away (good thing because it looks like it sold out pretty quickly).


I cut a size four at the bust and for the sleeves and graded out to a size eight at the waist and ten at the hips. I also shortened the front and back torso by two inches.


The bodysuit came together fairly quickly – just the shoulder seams, neck band, sleeves, side seams, leg bands, and snap crotch. None of the steps are particular tricky.


At first I wasn’t sure about the snap crotch but I figured it would be necessary since I wasn’t doing the low back option. I used the left over liberty fabric from my Deer and Doe Datura Blouse.

There is a little bit of extra fabric at the center back so I’d like to try is a swayback adjustment.



Alder Shirtdress

The Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio is a such a great design and after making two archers I knew I had to make one.


I used red arrow print from Hellgate Fabrics. I got this at the same time as the fabric for my Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas.


I cut a size zero at the bust and graded out to a size four at the waist.


Construction was pretty similar to the Archer button up except for the gathered skirt and no sleeves. The one tricky part that kept messing me up was the button hole on the collar stand. For some reason the button hole on the collar stand kept getting off track. I had to redo the button hole three times!IMG_3899

Other than that the construction went pretty smoothly. I love that this dress is super comfortable with out being too cutesy. Its super easy to wear and I’d wear this pretty much every day in the spring/summer if it was socially acceptable. I think the solution is to just make more. I also really want to make a shirt version of this for summer!