Ginger Jeans

I finally made some jeans, and I am pretty happy with them! The motivation to make these came from the sad day when the zipper broke on my favorite pair of black jeans. I really felt their absence from my wardrobe, so I decided I would take the plunge and use my Cone Mills black denim and try out the Ginger Jeans (View B).

posting a picture of my butt on the internet is a very odd feeling.

Overall I am extremely happy with these jeans and have incorporated them into my everyday wardrobe, so thats a huge positive!!! I am also very happy with the zipper fly, the way the pattern has you do it is very easy. I did a raw hem, so I cut 3.5″ off the bottom of the jeans, and did a straight stitch a 1/2″ up from the bottom to prevent extreme fraying.

Next time I will place the pockets higher on the butt, and take in the waist a little more, they are a little bit baggy in the front crotch area. I also think I’ll raise the hem a couple of inches, as these could really have a higher rise. 

Oops, I forgot to lengthen my stitch length for the waistband…

BTW, I am wearing my Shadow Pullover and my New Yorker tote in these photos!!

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The Twigs!

The Twigs is done!!!!!! I love it, and I’m never taking it off (Rav link). I love how swingy and comfy it is. The neck is a little bit weird and baggy, but I do not care enough to do anything about it. This was a long journey to finished, and when I was in the 400-stitches per round section of the lower body, it was very difficult to press on, but I did it. 🙂

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Handmade Vacation

Hey there! I just got back from my epic trip to Spain, and I wanted to share what handmade clothes I wore while traveling. Two standout pieces, my grey linen Brumby skirt, and my Red cotton/linen Moss skirt, were workhorses. I wore them almost every day!! I was looking forward to getting some wear from my jean jacket, but it was so hot in Spain, I only wore it once. What a beautiful country!

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About to discover the wrong entrance to the Toledo Cathedral in my Brumby skirt and carrying my New Yorker tote.

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Taking in the Barcelona view from Montjuïc in my Moss skirt

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Posing as the Washerwoman at Park Güell with my New Yorker tote and a Wiksten tank dress

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In awe of the Sagrada Família wearing my Hampton jean jacket

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Drinking in the Barcelona culture in my Lois dress

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Bonus Brumby skirt pic next to a delightful Joan Miró sculpture

I was daydreaming of sewing the whole time we were gone, so I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things and get to autumn sewing.

Carbeth Cardigan

I broke a personal record last month when I knitted a sweater start to finish in 15 days! I am not sure what exactly came over me but I worked on it during every free moment over those 2 weeks. This is the Carbeth Cardigan, which I’ve been eyeing up for months on Ravelry. I made the second size using worsted weight Purl Soho Good Wool held double. The yarn weight definitely contributed to my speed to the finish, but I am still so surprised and proud of myself. The sad part is I haven’t been able to wear it! Its been so hot here, but today we had some relief with a 70 degree day, so I put it on and Jacob snapped some lovely photos.

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I got the buttons at Pacific Trimming in the Garment District. I can’t wait till it gets cooler and I can start to jughz this cardigan into my wardrobe! I have been wanting a basic cardigan like this for ever.

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I highly recommend this pattern, the instructions are very good and the finishing techniques are just lovely, the sweater is beautiful inside and out, I especially love the foldover collar and the button bands.

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New Work Tote and an Inari Dress

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Have you seen the seemingly infamous New Yorker tote? I have been using it as a work bag for the past few months, and came to the conclusion that I’d rather be carrying a bag I made instead!

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This idea had been bubbling in the back of my mind for a few weeks, then last weekend I met up with some fine ladies to visit Brooklyn General Store. I found some lovely green canvas and the idea in the back of my mind shot up to my conscious and the Copycat Tote’s journey began. I found inspiration from Ashley‘s Portsmith Tote and nabbed a Klum House leather strap kit, too. Upgrade!!

Before I made my bag, I considered the pros of the New Yorker tote: great size, perfect handle drop; as well as the cons: no interior pockets, not waterproof. So I capitalized on the pros and improved the cons. I measured the dimensions of the New Yorker tote, jotted them down, and made some quick sketches for how I would construct it, and what sort of a pocket to add. I wanted a place to easily stash my phone and wallet, and a place to keep a pen just in case something comes up (like you know it always does..). I also wanted a key loop so I don’t have to fish around for them in the tote. I had seen tote bags have flap backs for interior pockets, perhaps it makes the pocket more sturdy? I interfaced and used bias tape for the edges, I really like how it turned out, and there appears to be no straining when I use the pocket.

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I added quite a long facing at the top of the bag, I thought I’d like the look of it (I do!) and it would add some stability (it does!). I also created a double-sided, interfaced rectangle to lay across the bottom of the bag. Overall, the only SNAFU I ran into was hammering the rivets… my downstairs neighbor was not pleased with my banging. It was only 6:30pm, but I think it must have been quite loud, so I finished riveting outside on the sidewalk.

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I went whole hog and waxed this bag with OtterWax. I think I was a little bit overzealous with the top part, its on there pretty thick. Its also been excruciatingly hot, so I am not sure its properly cured yet. The internet has a lot of opinions on how to apply and cure this product, but I followed the package and just rubbed it on and then let it dry. A few days in, its still a bit tacky.

Oh, I also made the Inari Dress I’m wearing, a really quick sew, and I love it! I’ve made 2 tops from this pattern, but just hadn’t gotten around to a dress version until now. I found this amazing fabric the last time I went back to Pgh and went to the Center for Creative Reuse (my favvvvvv <3) and was struck with inspiration to make it into an Inari. I really wanted to create the neckband, but this fabric is not stretchy at all, so I went for the neck facing. I think I might sew it down all around, facings in general just drive me nuts!

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Overall, been really productive over here!!!

Jean Jacket!!

I finished my Hampton jean jacket!! What a saga this thing has been! I was cruising along pretty well, and was almost finished, but right when I began topstitching the armholes, my machine broke. I had to take it somewhere to have it repaired, which was its own difficult tale, but I’ll spare you the details. Long story short, its very hard to crate around a heavy sewing machine in New York without a car! But Crown Machine Services came to the rescue and fixed it right up, so I was able to finish my jean jacket on Friday (just in time for it to be 97 degrees on Monday)!

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I used 10oz. Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics. I just found out that Cone Mill has shut down, so there are no longer any American denim manufacturers in existence, so I wanted to snag some of what’s left. I washed and air dried the fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces, and again after I completed it but before the buttons and buttonholes. I used some stashed scraps of Liberty to line the pockets and the back yoke.

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After reading Alina’s super awesome sewalong post about distressing the jacket, I used 220 and 120 sanding sponges to go to town on the seams prior to topstitching. As I was sanding, I thought it wasn’t really making a difference, but after washing the jacket it looks great and a little bit worn in!

I got a Hot Tip (thanks for the lingo, Karen!) from the_other_emily to take my jacket to Jonathan’s Embroidery in the Garment District to have the buttonholes done, and WOW I am so glad I took her advice! The seamstress sewed all the buttonholes in less than an hour (while I popped over to Mood) and they are BEAUTIFUL! I couldn’t be happier, and I think it helps make the jacket look more RTW.

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I am a little bit disappointed with the welt pockets, the top and bottoms are a little bit wonky, but other than that I really love how it came out! It fits perfectly, and I can’t wait to break it in.

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Cobalt Linen Ruby Dress

ruby_dress_tessuti_ruffle_6I made another Ruby dress… this time in a blue linen from Mood. Ever since I saw Tessuti’s ruffle hack on their blog, I’ve been wanting to make a version just like it. I finally decided to go for it with some springy blue linen. This Ruby is the first time I bound the neck and armhole edges the way specified in the pattern. This bias tape technique has always been too fiddly for me, but I finally took my time and made it work. I think it helps that this fabric was not difficult to work with.ruby_dress_tessuti_ruffle_4

ruby_dress_tessuti_ruffleI added side seam pockets, and topstitched them down on the dress front so they don’t flop around inside and make the side seams drag. I have found this also makes it easier to stick my hands in my pockets, so I like to sew them that way when possible. My other iterations of this dress have an issue with the back neck slit facing: it likes to peek out when I put it on, rather than stay put inside the dress. So for this version I topstitched it so it stays put. At this point in my sewing adventure, it almost goes without saying, but I used french seams throughout. For the ruffle, though, I used the entire width of the fabric so I took advantage of the selvage and left their side seams raw. I covered the ruffle raw edge with lace seam binding and it really does make things look better!ruby_dress_tessuti_ruffle_2

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Thanks for the fab day, Central Park! And to Jacob for being the most patient photographer. Hes getting quite good at telling me how to pose!

Springy Top

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Just in time for spring, I made the Peppermint Magazine / In The Folds Peplum tank. It was very quick, yet satisfying, as I completed it from start to finish in one morning. I am especially happy with the insides of the tank: I used a pretty mint green bias tape to bind the raw edges (except I used self-fabric for the neckline bias, because the back V was a teeny bit tricky and I wanted to follow the instructions to the letter for that part).

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I am a little sad that I made it a little bit too big; every bra I have tried on with it shows at the armholes. My horrible confession: when I got the pattern printed at FedEx, the scaling was a bit off and the test square printed big. I stubbornly cut it out anyway (WHAT???) and proceeded to make the top with these off-scale pattern pieces!!! My rationale was it was only a little bit off… I am not proud of this, and I am making a promise to myself to not do this again.

Other than that glaring and preventable error, I love this top’s swinginess, and the drape of the linen (from Mood) is fab. I am excited to wear it when the weather gets warmer, right now its swing is squelched by needing to wear layers over it. I think I’ll make this again (at the correct size!!!) soon. The pattern is super-well written, and I especially like the shoulder seam details.

Jacob snapped these pics on our way out to get some new terracotta pots, one of our plants has grown so many pups that its time to transplant!

 

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Should I make the Jumpsuit next?? I don’t know if I can pull it off…. eeEEeee!!

Tova Dress.

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I am several years late to the Tova Dress party, but I’ve finally made my entrance. I had this Italian double-cloth shirting remnant from Firecracker Fabrics in my stash since Spring, and just couldn’t figure out what to make with it. I agonized over deciding, looking up every indie dress pattern I could think of and then googling to see how other people’s looked. You can see my final decision was the Tova. (I am also wearing my Wiksten Oversized Kimono jacket from Making Magazine!)

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I think I would have been happier with this if I made it a few years ago. There’s nothing wrong with the pattern, I just should have chosen a pattern with more shaping, because I now realize that’s what I was after. If I make this again, I would extend the center front fold line to create more gathers. On this version, it was barely enough to get any at all. The collar also lays a little wonky, and the back neck sits away from my body. I think this pattern would be a better match for thinner or drapier fabric.

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I do love the “rich” feel of this fabric, and I like where I used the contrast side vs the right side on the cuff binding, placket and collar stand. I think once I break it in a little bit I will like it more.

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We had a very unseasonably warm sunny day, so we headed down to Battery Park to take these pics. Very windy, which I bet you could have already guessed!

PJ Shorts

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My favorite sleepwear is a t-shirt and PJ shorts. I can’t do sleep pants, they always bag up around my knee which drives me nuts, so I stick with shorts. I found the City Gym Shorts pattern from Purl Soho awhile back and made a pair from some scraps (previously unblogged), with great success. This weekend, I wanted a quick sew and I had been meaning to make another pair. I had a fabulous 80s silk remnant from the Center for Creative Reuse in my stash, and happened to have coordinating purple bias tape (also from PCCR!!), so I thought why not!! These came together so quickly, in less than 2 hours. On this new pair, I made the side hem split significant bigger, but otherwise followed the pattern exactly. I was surprised by how much better I have gotten at applying bias tape to fiddly fabrics. Practice really does make “perfect” (btw these are not perfect by any means).

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Super comfy, and very luxurious in silk!