Saturday, 29 November 2014

Some new jeans and feeling thankful!

First up the jeans!

These are the Named Wyome boyfriend jeans. Now, rather embarrasingly there is nothing boyfriend like about this fit on me! I do have rather curvy legs, but I still imagined there would be a little more room. Admittedly they were a little looser before they went in the wash, but not much more.

This pair of jeans were a bit of an experiment really. I started out with a natural coloured denim with the intention of overdying them once they were sewn in an attempt at creating a denim the colour I actually want rather than the limited palette that's available. The reason for overdying rather than dying the fabric beforehand is that this denim is the same that I used for my Albion coat and I found that it came out really patchy and needed two packets when I dyed the whole yardage. I hoped that by just dying a garment instead of a big piece of stiff fabric would result in an even colour. This story has a happy ending (thank goodness), just not the one I was expecting!

So, I'm going to the trouble of making some jeans and then dying them. You'd think I would at least toile these wouldn't you? Urm, apparently not!!! I dove straight in to making a pair based on my measurements, which I thought safe given the loose look on the model. It now occurs to me how skinny she is!!! I don't even know what size I made up, as 'Named' PDF patterns are supplied with only 2 sizes per PDF, which do not appear to be labelled with the size once cut out and I cut the paper pattern out months ago, so now have no way of knowing what size it actually is (gripe, gripe). I probably should have realised this at the time and marked my pattern, but didn't, so there! Anyhew, here's what they looked like before!

I chopped about 5 cm off the length before hemming. Once I tried them on and realised they were snug, the turn ups seemed to be unnecessary, so I made them ankle length instead.

I lost the instructions before making and have unhelpfully not saved them on my computer anywhere, so I improvised with the construction. It mostly worked out, but there are a few things I would change if I made them up again!

I bound the edge of the inner waistband and topstitched it down to reduce bulk. The binding and pocket bags are dark in preperation for the dye treatment!

I have this huge cone of thick cotton thread which I used for all the topstitching. I wanted it to match the denim exactly, so didn't want to risk using my usual poly thread.

This was the shade I used and had a dark wine colour as my bobbin thread. My machine doesn't like thick thread top and bottom, so I picked a shade for the bottom that I guessed would best match the end garment. I'm glad I did, but it did mean that there was no going back!

I've got to say, that although these aren't terribly made, they also aren't my best work. A combination of not knowing how they were going to fit or how well the dye was going to take kind of made me ambivalent during the sewing process. Also the lack of instructions (totally my fault) led me to make this weird looking waistband. I added an extra button, as I ended up with an unwanted extended flap that I couldn't be bothered to go back and correct. I kind of like it, but it does add extra time when going to the loo!

Evidence of my sloppiness! Look at that wonky back belt loop??? I also cut them way too short for a normal belt. If you look at the company sample image then they are nice and long. These work, but only with a slim belt.

You can see the white poly overlocking thread that was used on the insides. It did not take the dye at all, but at least it's not visible when worn. My son is in the bottom corner of this picture trying to drill my jeans for some reason!

So, all in all they have not come out how I imagined, but they are a beautiful colour and I actually like the fit. I'm not even sure that the 'boyfriend' fit is for me anyway, as I'm pretty sure it's not really flattering on my kind of shape. So, I will probably make these up again, but make a few adjustments (very minor) to make them a bit more comfortable. For instance, the crotch pulls a bit at the top of my thighs, which although only slightly visible in the small drag lines, feels annoying as the wearer. Maybe I should adjust the leg at the knee to accomodate where my calves curve out too, but I think that will depend on my mood.

Hopefully I can find a sturdy denim with a bit of stretch as this will make all the difference to the finished garment. As for the overdying process, I will definitely try this again, as I get frustrated with the lack of choice when it comes to denim. This is really thick too, so doesn't sag or stretch (which I hate) and it's always nice to give yourself more options.

We were waiting for a train when my husband took these photos, so I couldn't let go of my sons hand (impending danger and all), so I dragged him in for a sneaky photo. The light is soooo beautiful at this time of year.

Time for the thanks bit!

Although we don't celebrate thanksgiving, I am left feeling very thankful at this point of the year. It probably has something to do with the fact that my daughter turns one in a couple of weeks. It is such an important time to any parent, as you start to remember the excitment and the apprehension of what was about to happen. My sons birth was long and difficult, so I was kind of dreading giving birth again, but our bodies are amazing and she and I got through it and she is so beautiful. I am thankful every day that she and my son are in my life and they make me say smooshy things like this.

I am also thankful for finding this huge sewing community this year. The real point at which I felt that I'd found something wonderful was during May when I took part in me made May for the first time and bravely (I thought) attended NYlon14 to meet fellow sewists and bloggers. It was a complete revelation and has completely renewed my enthusiasm for sewing and design. I also happened to make an amazing new friend along the way. Jenna and I were already chatting on the MMM14 flickr group, but when she turned up at the London meeting it was clear that we were going to be friends. We completely clicked and now have a great friendship. There wasn't even a hesitation about going up to her and saying hello and she was wearing an amazing dress that eeeeverybody wanted to know about. Here's a pic of us both from that wonderful day! In the background is another lovely blogger who I had the good fortune to meet. I had geekily emailed Katherine during MMM14 to say I was writing a blog post about blogger styles I liked and would she mind me using some pictures of her. Totally cringworthy now, but she was very nice about it!

I have made lots of other online friends that I will hopefully meet in 'real life' one day. Sometimes it's hard explaining this phenomenon to my everyday friends about the fact that I chat to people I've never met on a daily basis and spend far too long on instagram with them, but it's brilliant! Thank yoooouuuu!