Finally! Ginger jeans!

I made the Ginger jeans a couple of years ago, but like my Sasha trousers they were destined to fail. Jeans aren’t difficult to make but they can be difficult to fit. I always go by the finished measurements so I don’t have to make a muslin. Luckily I’m a fairly standard size and shape and don’t have many failures due to fitting.

As Heather explains in this post the Gingers are supposed to have negative ease so when I checked the finished garment measurements it put me at a size 14 (18 in UK terms). After my first failure and reading the post and checking my body measurements rather than finished measurements it put me at an 8/10. I decided to make a straight size 10 as I was wary they would be too small. For anyone interested my waist is 28/29″ and hips are 39″ and I’m 5’6″.

I’m hoarding some Cone Mills denim from Blackbird fabrics and although my Levi’s (years old now) are starting to go at hips I have plenty of indigo jeans in my wardrobe. To test the new size and to get the fit right I used some true black Japanese selvedge denim from Ditto fabrics. The Japanese denim is only 78 cm wide and so I had to cut my waistband in half to fit – next time I will order a little extra. It’s great quality denim, it doesn’t bag out during the day, in fact it barely gave. They went from super tight to super snug over the full day. Unlike the cheap denim of my Morgan’s which stretch almost immediately!

I chose view A (being short waisted, I think high waisted jeans will make me look all legs and nothing else) with view B skinny legs. I sewed the pockets and fly then bashed together – from my Sasha Trousers post you can see that I have some trouble with Closet Case instructions. Again I struggled with the fly instructions until I used the pictures as well as the written instructions which helped. Normally I just use the written instructions and use the pictures to double check it’s correct.

I basted them together after the pockets and fly. I took 4(!!!!) inches out of the centre back seam. This sway back issue is causing me some serious back and hip issues especially carrying Emily over the holidays. They were a little tight around the hips so I reduced the seam allowance to 1/2″. Now they’re tight but comfortably so and I expect them to give over the course of the day. I also reduced the width of the lower leg by another inch to make them even skinnier – you will pry my skinny jeans out of my cold dead hands. This whole wide legged CROPPED pant trend is making me want to vomit. They remind me of my emo days of wearing the biggest widest jeans and combined with those HIDEOUS backless mules is just no bueno. As you can probably tell I’m no fashionista!

Anyway back to the jeans … when I finally made the adjustments and tried them on it was love at first sight. I am obsessed with these pants and the fact that I made them is even better!

Weirdest commuter crafting

Karen over at Did you make that recently asked what was the weirdest commuter crafting you’ve ever seen which reminded me of why I started sewing in the first place.

Back when I was doing my teacher training I was on the train home one afternoon I saw a lady making a sock monkey (which if you’ve never seen one is exactly what it sounds like – monkey made from a sock). I went back to Gary’s parents house and immediately looked it up online. Found some instructions and made one for me, one for my sister and one for my mum.

My mum taught me to sew way back when I was 7/8 but this definitely sparked an interest. When Gary and I moved into our own place a few months later I started making cushions and bunting. All because I saw a lady on a train crafting!

A surprise 30th birthday trip

My favourite blogs are always the ones that bring in personal stories about what people have been up to (as well as sewing!) and it’s been a while since I’ve talked about our adventures.

Gary and I have always loved to go away for the weekend or go on day trips and not much has changed now that we have Emily. In fact one of my favourite things to do is it take her somewhere I love and see her reaction. Toddlers are hard work but they really make you see the world differently and I feel lucky to see life through her eyes.

For my 30th birthday Gary went all out and booked a surprise trip to Harry Potter studios with a few of my close friends.

{Kelly anorak with Morgan jeans}

Although I wouldn’t class myself as a hardcore Harry Potter fan, the books are nostalgic for me as I grew up reading about Harry’s adventures. It was my gran who bought me all the books and I even queued at midnight in America for the last one.

To be cliche it was a magical day! Topped off with Thai food and a stay in an air BnB. The next day we wandered around oxford which was just perfect.

For my actual birthday we went away for the weekend to Barcelona. It was absolutely gorgeous. I loved ever second we were there and the fact that I got to plan a capsule wardrobe was even better!

Gary booked another air bnb which overlooks the Sagrada Familia. At night it lights up and the balcony was strung with fairy lights.

We flew early Friday morning, hung out in the park outside the Sagrada Família and then wandered around Barcelona looking for food. On the Saturday (my actual birthday) I did some googling to find a fabric shop nearby.

Nunoya fabrics specialise in Japanese fabrics – think Kokka, Nani iro etc but she also had a lovely selection of cotton and steel and my ultimate fave rifle paper Co.

Of course I couldn’t resist buying some fabric. I’d had my eye on this embroidered cotton for a while but it’s quite expensive and my original plan for a roscoe blouse went out of the window when I found out it’s quite structured. I also bought some Broderie Anglais which was eye wateringly expensive but worth it. Due to the exchange rate/prices being very similar I didn’t go mad like I wanted!

Saturday night involved Chinese food and drinking wine on the balcony. Bliss!

It also meant I got to wear my embroidered Anna dress with a tulle underskirt for dinner. I made this dress especially for the trip and it was an absolute pain in the arse to sew especially as I didn’t underline it. I like the finished result though!

On the Sunday we trekked an hour north Barcelona to a science museum called Cosmo Caixa which was recommended to us. It was absolutely stunning. The most amazing museum I’ve ever visited and Emily just about lost her mind. She was totally blown away (as where we). It was only 8€ to get in but bear in mind some of the cooler exhibits charge extra and not all are in English. However it was well worth the money!

Emily was as good as gold the whole trip, she only had one or two tantrums here and there.

It was an amazing weekend and let’s be real if this is how my 30s begin it’s going to be pretty damn incredible!

Mimi G Jessica dress

The button down trend is all over rtw at the minute. I popped into primark the other day purely for some inspiration and I’m loving the trends at the minute. Everything I’ve been making recently for summer has a button down. Which reminds me I really need to get on with trying my button sewing attachment on my machine.

I bought some linen from Guthrie Ghani and it never even made it into my stash. To save fabric so I could try and squeeze out a cami I lined it in leftover swiss dot fabric (wrong side out so as to not feel the dots). The pattern has you using facings but as I’ve just done this for the Kew dress I fancied a different order of construction.

As you can see the linen is slightly see through and needed lining at the top at least. I modified the straps by cutting the longest length and cutting 4 to make tie straps.

The buttons are from Dunelm mill and I love them! I went back and bought 2 more packs. I used them to swap the buttons on my chambray skirt too.

I absolutely love this dress, it’s going to be perfect for a weekend in Barcelona and nearby 3 weeks in Canada in August. And bonus I had enough for an Ogden cami after all!

I had to shorten it and use bias binding instead of facings but I’m really pleased this worked out!

Me Made May 18: the last few days and what I’ve learned

Day 28:

I finished these Lander shorts and immediately put them on with my Inari linen top

Day 29:

A surprise birthday trip to London to tour the Harry Potter studios! I tried to wear my shorts again but the weather turned so I swapped for my Morgan jeans.

In the evening we went out for Thai food and I wore my Kew dress (again!)

Day 30:

We went to oxford and I didn’t get an outfit picture but it was my Morgan jeans and McCalls gingham shirt. This basically:

Day 31:

Lazing around the house in my boyfriends clothes but in the evening I went out for a meal with some friends and wore my maxi Anna

One thing I’ve learned this May is that the makes I don’t wear have been relegated for a reason and it’s probably best to free up the wardrobe space and donate or sell them. When I first started sewing I didn’t really have a sense of “style” or at least my style/what I wanted to wear.

I definitely need more casual knit tops in my wardrobe but I think with rtw I’ve got a good mix. I didn’t miss my blue Levis as much as I thought and I still know that I hate ironing!

Another thing I knew but me Made May help cement was that I barely have any summer clothes! We’ve had some beautiful weather lately and it’s been hard trying to dress for it. Luckily I’d already started sewing for Barcelona/Canada and so I have some summer clothes. I have a few more pieces to sew and then I should be all set!

The last thing I learned is I need to buy more plain fabric. I’ve seen some lovely makes during me Made May Made from *shock* none patterned fabric! I do love my brightly coloured floral prints but I need something to pair them with.

I really didn’t think I’d learn much this year but it helped figure out some gaps and things to think about moving forward.

Last thing – some stats:

Most worn: Kelly anorak/ginger jeans followed by Morgan jeans and my Kew dress (3 wears so far!)

Most worn designer is definitely True Bias with her Southport dress, 3(!) Ogden camis, Roscoe blouse and a pair of Lander shorts.