|DUDE! Look what I MADE!|
So, it’s September!
It looks like I had an unplanned summer holiday from blogging! I’m not 100% sure what happened there, I guess I just got sidetracked hanging around in the sun, going to barbeques and spending time at the beach! It was a great summer, just a shame that not a lot of blogging happened!
That’s not to say that I haven’t been sewing. I made a curved hem version of Megan Nielsen’s Crescent blouse, only to discover (just before sewing the buttons on, as the very last thing!) that it looked terrible on me, thanks to my disproportionately large backside! It rucked up terribly at the back and looked so sack-like that I didn’t have the heart to do anything with it except stick it in a drawer in my sewing room. I’ve since had a play around with it, and think that it looks really cute tucked in, so I may well try to use the leftover fabric to turn it into a tunic version that can be tucked in, but I still can’t face it! Maybe sometime this autumn…. we’ll see.
I also made my niece a Rainbow Dash costume for her fourth birthday at the end of July. I HAD pretty much decided to just buy a light blue hooded unitard and then add on the mane, tail, wings and cutie mark, but once I found out that the unitard would have easily set me back £40 or so, I thought I’d make one. Except I couldn’t find any light blue four-way-stretch lycra that would arrive in time, and ended up buying some two-way-stretch flocked lycra stuff (very hard to describe!) from Stuart at the market for an absolute song, and then spent a day drafting a hooded onesie pattern, using an adult size version and MATHS (which is a pretty impressive feat for me!) to scale it down to the scanty measurements I had for my niece. I used thin strips of luminous netting for the mane and tail, and used some super stiff interfacing to put inside the wings. The cutie mark I just printed onto transfer paper and ironed on. To say she was over the moon is no exaggeration (thank goodness!) but I was so defeated by the stress of getting it made that I couldn’t stand to look at it any longer, so there are no real photos. Plus, I feel uncomfortable putting photographs of my niece online without my brother and sister-in-law’s permission…
I also FINALLY finished Mr Cuckoo’s birthday shirt (photos to come… promise!) and it was my satisfaction of a job well done on this that gave me the (some might say ‘overblown’) confidence to decide to make him a pair of jeans! Y’see, I’d been kind of scouting around for a while for some more indie men’s patterns that were a bit better than the horribly cheesy ones by the Big 4 and when I came across Thread Theory it was like ‘BING! Success!’ So I immediately bought the Newcastle cardigan pattern, and when the Jedediah pattern came out, I bought it straight away, and then was SO HAPPY when they said they were doing a sewalong! After all, I’m super lazy, and the idea of not even really having to look at the instructions because I can just follow the blog posts totally appeals to me!
Mr Cuckoo struggles a LOT with trying to find well fitting trousers and jeans. Thanks to all the kickboxing/surfing/snowboarding etc, he has quite muscled legs, and generally finds it impossible to find trousers that aren’t skintight around his thighs, so he ends up buying trousers two sizes too big so that they don’t sit really tightly, and then he just ties them on with a belt, and wades around in them! So having a good pattern, that he liked the look of to start off with, meant that I could play around with the sizing and get a pair of jeans that fit him properly in the legs AND the waist and he could have a pair of jeans that aren’t super baggy (yes, this is a bit of a pet hate of mine!).
|Look! They stay up even when the belt isn’t fastened!|
|Apparently, the width through the legs is ‘just right’ – But let’s face it, after
making them, if he’d have said anything else I would probably have
attacked him with my sewing shears!
After measuring him, and going through how he’d like them to fit, I cut the pattern out in a size 34 at the waist and hip, and just used a french curve to widen the legs to a 36 at the thigh, to a 38 at the knee and a 40 at the hem, giving them a straight look that wouldn’t fit too tightly when he was sitting or crouching.
For fabric, I bought some denim that had a black warp and beige weft (for the princely sum of a tenner! YES!), cut the pocket pieces from one of his old shirts that was in my ‘refashion’ pile, and made the bias binding out of some pretty beige cotton lawn in my scrap pile. I quite liked the idea of having just a bit of floral in the jeans. I used quite a chunky brass coloured zip for the fly and a brass jeans button to keep the everything ‘tied together’.
I think I would have been totally overwhelmed with the idea of making a pair of jeans normally, but with the sewalong it seemed so much easier. The only difficulty I had was that sometimes the bulk of the stiff denim made sewing some seams (like the flat felled inseams) ‘tricky’ and kept me swearing under my breath. I also didn’t use bias binding on the seat seam, because I was worried about it being bulky, so I serged it instead, which meant that it wasn’t quite as pretty as I would’ve liked! And where the seams seemed like they might end up bulkier than I’d like, I just took a hammer to them – something I learnt about when listening to Daughter Fish’s podcast with Angela Wolf It was more fun than it should have been…. I kept thinking of Brick from Anchorman:
|I also took great delight in hammering this jeans button on.
I wonder what this says about me?
All the topstitching was done in navy thread. I did want to use beige, but Mr Cuckoo told me that he wanted them to look smarter than normal jeans, so I stuck with navy for pretty much everything, although I made sure that I only used beige with the bias tape, to keep everything as pretty as possible.
|Seriously I AM SO PROUD OF THESE.|
|Pockets from his old shirt – I knew I’d find a use for it eventually!|
|I was so proud of how neatly I managed to sew down the waistband
after my Thurlow waistband debacle. I do NOT want to talk about it.
A walking foot is just the best thing ever.
|ASS CRACK – sorry, I couldn’t help myself.|
|Here you can see the floral bias tape – I really like
how pretty it looks!
|Hem – thrilling I know.|
The finished quality of these jeans is by FAR the best of any item of clothing I’ve made! If something is for me, I don’t seem to mind rushing a job, or thinking ‘this’ll do’ but I did the absolute best job I could with these jeans, and I can honestly say, I am more proud of these jeans than anything else I’ve ever made! I even took the time to make sure to reinforce everything as much as possible, and didn’t skip any bartacking or anything, to make sure that the jeans would be really hard wearing.
All in all, with the pattern, fabric, zip and thread, I reckon these jeans cost about £17.50. Not bad!
The best part is how happy Mr Cuckoo is with them!
|Just look at that cheesy grin!|
Next, I’m going to make him the Newcastle cardigan! Who knew selfless sewing could be so addictive!
EDIT: I’ve added this to my Kollabora account – I have no idea what I’m doing with Kollabora yet, it seems like BurdaStyle only cooler!? Do you friend people on there? What’s the deal?