Thursday, April 23, 2020

Distressed Morgan Jeans+Slouchy Pocket Union St. Tee

***This blog post was written weeks ago, before the covid-19 outbreak. I am publishing it now in hopes of providing even a small amount of distraction for those of us that need it.

Hey look ma, more pants! Yeah, I know, it's been out of control. After my second pair of Morgan Jeans were soooo close, I had to go straight to a third pair to work out the final fitting issues. Of all the pants I've made so far this year, these are the best-fitting. And hey, I threw in a new t-shirt too so don't worry.

The Morgan Jeans are drafted for non-stretch denim, so please note that this pair and my previous ones were made with stretch denim. I like spandex, what can I say? These are a size 8 for my 38" hip. I made significant changes to make the waist smaller than an 8, however. I have a swayback and also a mama pooch, so for my particular shape I need lots of waistband shaping to snug in the front AND back.

Sadly (or not, keep reading) I made a cutting mistake and cut two identical front legs instead of mirrored. I had just enough fabric left to recut...minus a weird, wonky shape at the end of the leg. I opted to put a scrap piece of denim down, pin it to the fabric, and figure it out later.

Turned out, sewing down that "patch" looked super cool. Cool enough that I purposefully cut a hole in the other leg, and did the same thing! And I left the hem raw, with only a single line of stitching to prevent further unraveling.

The fabric I used is from LA Finch Fabrics and was called "Famous Maker Stretch Denim Medium Blue" (can't find it now, it must be sold out). I am SUPER happy with it, it reminds me a lot of my beloved Cone Mills Denim. I wasn't sure about the color at first but it's grown on me.

After the last pair, I noticed that the back yokes on Morgan Jeans are cut in the opposite direction of Ginger Jean yokes (with the grain running horizontal to the body). That was kind of a head-scratcher for me, for this pair I cut the yokes with the grain running vertically on the body, like every other pair of pants I've ever made. I also chose to interface both the waistband and the waistband facing. With trial and error, fitting and refitting, I've found that a waistband cut in many pieces, to allow for shaping, works best for me, as long as I interface it to prevent stretching. Honestly, I like my waistband feeling like a belt without having to actually wear a belt.

I am VERY happy with how these fit against my back. I tried crossed belt loops this time for something new.

Lately, I've been finishing the bottom of my waistband facings with bias tape. The whole stitching-in-the-ditch, catch-the-facing nonsense NEVER works for me. I just plain like finishing them this way, and it adds another unique spot of color inside. Yes, my pocket bags are two different fabrics. These are definitely one of a kind!

All seams were sewn on my sewing machine, finished with my serger, and topstitched with my vintage Singer 15-91. Yet another reason why I was batch sewing so many pants at once, after you've gone to the trouble to set up three machines with the right needles and thread you want to take advantage. My topstitching is still not perfect, but it has come a LONG way in just a year.

My shirt is a small Union St. Tee (number 37 million in my closet) made from modal/cotton/spandex knit from Blackbird Fabrics, in a gorgeous, not-this-season autumnal rust color. I used Adrianna's recent slouchy pocket tutorial, and this is the FIRST TIME I have put a pocket on a Union! Incredible!

In these photos, the shirt is not hemmed as I was waiting for a thread order from Wawak. I did not have four cones of brown thread for my coverstitch and couldn't bear to dig up a twin needle. But rest assured, it was hemmed once my thread arrived. Label in the side seam from Kylie and the Machine.

This post contains an affiliate link to the Union St. Tee. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Linen Willamette Shirt

***This blog post was written weeks ago, before the covid-19 outbreak. I am publishing it now in hopes of providing even a small amount of distraction for those of us that need it.

I am a die hard fan of knits for tops, and it's a rarity that I'm wearing a woven shirt. But I make exceptions for my beloved Hey June Patterns, and for this fun Willamette Shirt!

Disclosure: I am a Hey June affiliate. I met Adrianna in person last fall at the Maker's Retreat and she is awesome. I LOVE her patterns. But I paid for the Willamette and will give you my honest opinion, as always!

I can't remember what inspired me to finally buy this pattern, but I think it was seeing it in person on Adrianna (I'm 99% sure it was this one). We were in the midst of indigo dyeing a lightweight woven fabric and I decided I wanted to use my yardage for a Willamette when I got home. Because that retreat fabric is precious, I made a wearable muslin using leftover striped linen (from this Hinterland).

While I think we can all agree that this shirt fits, I feel like I might make another muslin in a bigger size. The chart says a bust of 33" is a 2, the smallest size. I normally wear a 4 in HJ. I did not grade out for my hips (that would put me at an 8). Finished measurements for a 2 are 44" across the bust, 11" of ease. You'll definitely see this pattern again on the blog, so check back later for progress (spoiler alert, I made another in a 4 and prefer that fit).

Fabric choice is going to be key here. I know from experience that this linen is still stiff after one wash (how it's shown here) but softens up with wear. It may relax and grow a bit. A rayon challis has more drape and will fit differently as well. I was a little concerned that the solid black cotton I used for the cuffs would be too stiff, but it ended up working out. I used it for the inside yoke as well.

I'm wearing a new pair of low-rise Ginger Jeans (I think I'll save that review for a later day) and I think the Willamette looks nice with a half-tuck. I also like it with Lander Pants. The only thing I don't like is that the cut-on sleeve means it's too bulky to slip under a cardigan. I sewed this in January and still haven't worn it out of the house because I can't figure out how to make it work for winter. If you have any ideas, drop them in the comments below!

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