Monthly Archives: September 2018

Closet Case Patterns – mid rise Ginger Jeans


Well they are not ginger and they are perhaps not perfect but this was a lovely pattern that came together easily and quickly.


Lets start at the beginning.  I had my eye on the pattern last year and persuaded hubby that this was a great birthday present (he always likes ideas for gifts and never sticks to just one present).  I have got used to the idea of PDF patterns as being a great idea although I nearly got caught out by my computer failing out of the blue at the end of last year.  Belt and braces being my middle names saved the day there.  So I duly printed and stuck the pattern together, ummed and aaahhed and got on with sewing everything but the gingers.  I think I was a bit in awe of them, all those perfect top stitched, flat felled, well fitted, happy jeaned people on social media flashing their skills and joy at me, dissing RTW as poor fitting cousins, hardly worthy of a second glance.  The thing is I seem to fit in to ready to wear jeans okay and find them good value for money.  I also think the fabrics that they use in RTW are often far superior to my ability to source the perfect project companion.   I just like/love sewing.

Common sense prevailed re making these little puppies up and I had some geometric stretch denim (ish) material which was a bargain price in the stash and for the life of me couldn’t think what  else I would use it for.  It’s original purchase purpose escapes me, truth be known it was probably the price that attracted me.  I thought I would make the gingers out of this material as a wearable toile (my get out of jail phrase for anything that might go wrong).  The material was stretch but not so much across the weft but more down the vertical line (warp?) which I thought was a bit odd but even more reason to use this stuff and try it out.  According to my measurements I cut out a size 10 in pattern and fabrics for the stovepipe design. I decided to sew the pockets and stays in lining fabric, budget priced cotton lawn and faced the waistband in the same. I interfaced the fly thingys but not the waistband.   I never think of this type of finish being jeans as all my jeans tend to be all over denim but it matters not what you call them as far as I am concerned.

All the fiddly little bits are dealt with first in the pattern directions, the pocket assembly with facings and lining and interfacing bits and bobs before attacking the fly zip insertion.  Now because usually you have the right side of the lining in the pocket it made me doubt myself more than once making these up with the right side of the lining facing into the inside of the jeans but I did as I was told.  I struggled a bit with the idea of having the lining wrong side showing inside the pocket but it does mean that when you look inside your jeans the right side of the lining smiles back.  I used the instructions that come with the PDF but belt and braces again I used the blog on the closet case site and watched a YouTuber video that a vlogger had made to help with getting the construction right.  I tend to cut out one day and start construction the next which I find suits me otherwise I tend to skip transferring the notches and markings properly as I get too impatient with myself and inevitably bodge the lot.

When it came to the zipper fly construction (in spite of making trousers and skirts quite successfully with them previously, I have never really understood this type of insertion) I read the accompanying blog post and didn’t really get it however I totally got it when I got near the end of making these up. It was a proper job light bulb learning and I now understand why you position the zip where you do and the effect it has on the depth of the fly to the trouser or skirt front.   The waist size is not affected. Consequently these do not have much of an overlap on the fly but I now know how to avoid this in the future (wearable toile only for this pair).  I didn’t worry too much about flat felled seams but overlocked and did two lines of top stitching on the overlocked seam (from the right side). I think this is known as a faux flat fell seam. I did it in a similar colour to the fabric rather than in a highly visible contrast stitching where every stitch is a potentially glaring error . I made a small slit at the ankle on the outer seam having seen a Mimi G tutorial for a pattern I haven’t got ( I think it is an Autumn 18 new release one) as I liked the finish. 007369d1-243b-4d28-8101-9b5c0e570d2b-e1537730107245.jpeg

I did have to look up how to do a blind hem and I think this is the first blind hem I’ve done on this machine. For the waistband I decided to insert the belt loops under the lower end of the waistband for strength  (tack them in position right sides facing before attaching the waistband) as I often end up using a belt when the jeans loosen up during wear.  I attached the waistband facing  and when all constructed and top stitched I flipped the belt loops up allowing a bit of play at the lower end and top stitched the other end of the loops in on the top of waistband using the existing topstitching as a guide.  I forgot to interface where the button and buttonhole will go on the waistband and jibbed out on doing a buttonhole just in case it all went wrong cos as things stood these might be worn. Instead I did a hook and bar closure more in keeping with a fitted trouser and I didn’t do rivets on the pockets either.  The back pockets were too low which a few people have made comments on so I did these at the end of construction, a little higher than the pattern markings. My fly shield was not brilliantly placed but as the fly was not my best work I didn’t fuss.

My biggest surprise was that these fitted with no fit adjustments (other than about 2 inches off the length and trimming the excess off the waistband) as normally I have to faff about quite a bit especially with the yoke pieces and crotch depth as well. Heather Lou comments on how she adjusted this after pattern tester feedback and released an updated pattern. I love the pocket stays but not sure how they would have turned out in denim (maybe a bit bulky?) and I love the waistband being faced in lawn. Really happy with these and if I didn’t have so many pairs of jeans I would make another pair right away.  I think I will probably will buy the Megan Nielsen Ash jeans as well as I can’t resist something everyone (?) else comments on favourably but so glad I made these and would highly recommend them.

So it seems the big four patterns will have to wait a bit longer, I’m still sewing the Indie ones! Okay IBFs ….see you soon, just off to cut out a proper Nina Lee Carnaby dress in needlecord. Let’s hope it turns out okay. Happy sewing.

Ziggi no more

CDA788D0-C399-41DD-A69F-3BB1A19D3969Oh dear … may I present the Style Arc Ziggi.

Here it was yesterday:

I came to the decision that this pattern is not salvageable and showed it the seam ripper.  I now have three chewed up zips, a pile of faux leather, thread, lining and interfacing and a rather expensive Indie pattern with very sparse instructions……goodbye my friend, you tortured me for many an hour.  As far as I am concerned this little number can go the same way:

The sew over it Vintage Shirt Dress.

Unfortunately this wearable toile has no attraction for me so it’s another wasted pattern as far as I am concerned and anything that requires a buttonhole will be treated with the same  disparagement in the future.  Poppers and zips rule.  Onward and upward IBFs, back to the drawing board.  I still have the closet case mid rise gingers to attempt/murder and then I think mainstream patterns all the way.  See you soon for more ways to waste your time and money but still be strangely attached to something you have very little skill for.

August sewing

Carnaby Nina Lee dress6167Nina Lee Carnaby dress

Well here we all are together again.  This dress from Nina Lee is lovely.  I’ve seen so many lovely versions of the Carnaby dress and have made this as wearable toile.  The fabric is a glitter linen from Minerva crafts and unfortunately It was a little sheer when made up so I had to line it with some lightweight cotton also from Minerva crafts.  I posted a review on   For inspiration as this (my) version doesn’t do the pattern justice try #carnaby dress (instagram) or see Like Sew Amazing vlog or Daffodiledger vlog on YouTube.  Di is closer to my age and Sarah is a younger vlogger (late 30 to early 40s). The only reason I say this is because of the way they both look fantastic in their versions and sometimes there is a bit of a niggle about how the over 50 sewing community are possibly ignored by the Indie pattern companies but this pattern works on younger and over 50s.  I hoped that Di might post on the pattern review website but to date she hasn’t.

carrie trousers SOI6161Sew over it Carrie trousers and RTW (Asda) top

I have had this pattern for a while as I bought the online trouser class from sew over it and both the ultimate trouser and Carrie patterns were included.  Personally I found the class expensive and not brilliant but my expectations were probably far too high.  Others have mentioned what good tips were included.  Making these trousers just happened to coincide with the pattern being released as one of the pdf club patterns.  I was simply trying to use up some fabric from the stash as I had bought this rayon type fabric for a kimono or similar from Minerva crafts a while ago and having made one Kimono couldn’t see myself needing another.  They are okay and I slop around the house, watch YouTube, read sewing blogs and generally laze around wearing these.  Can’t get over excited, they have elastic in the back, a flat front band and pockets, loose fit and I think pretty comfortable.

Mimi G simplicity 1167 trousers and McCalls 6729 top

Love the MimiG sew-a-long videos and buy those patterns whenever the half price deals come up.  Only problem is knowing which size pattern to buy as I straddle the middle sizes and if there is a top and trouser option I have to have the larger size for the top and smaller for the waist hips.  I know I could grade which is what I had to do here as the pattern had a blazer and a trouser option and I chose the pattern based on my bust size.  I had to grade the pattern down several inches and lost pocket opening size especially on one side as I wasn’t incredibly accurate or symmetrical and made the changes when the pattern was made up.  I know some clever souls measure the pattern and make adjustments before cutting but guess what…… nope not able to do that yet as I tend to forget seam allowance etc.  Also the ease needed I find is difficult to assess unless it’s a previously tried pattern.  Having made up the trousers and adjusted them I have now traced the original pattern pieces and made the changes to the traced pattern so that next time I should have proper sized pockets and the symmetry on both sides.  I have still left some wiggle room for less stretch in the fabric but I needed to take two inches off each side and 2.5 inches out of the centre back with this pair when using size 16 so it was not really surprising that the pockets suffered.  I expect I will find, if I ever make up the blazer, that I could have got away with the smaller sized pattern but that’s a live and learn thing. The pictures I have taken are not brilliant but they give a flavour of what it all looks like.  The fabric is a stretch denim from

The top is a nice simple one with keyhole opening at the back and a thread loop and button closure. I think I could skim the sides in a bit to make it a bit more fitted but it’s nice and airy as it is.  I used some seasalt cotton voile, which was in the sale.

Well that’s all lovely IBFs.  I have plans to make some more Nina Lee Carnaby dresses with a couple of tweaks to fit and a few other things but I like to keep it fluid.  Decided to do less indie and more from the standard big four or whatever people term them.  I have loads of patterns, some free with sewing mags and some bought when the patterns were on sale and a few Indie ones which I normally buy as PDFs to save on cost(?!!!).  Might even try and finish the Style Arc ziggi which is languishing on the mannequin currently.  It sits on top of the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress which I made a wearable toile of.  Not keen on the VSD for me but a huge fan of the Ziggi however not so much the really sparse instructions……..grrrrr! Keep on sewing.