On the 5th Day of Christmas


…we went for a day trip to a costal zoo and The Man decided that my foxido bag was a perfect colour match for the Arctic Terns.


Tonight I have done a bit more work on pockets.  I’m at the Doubt stage of my project, current doubts are the colour and my back pocket design. Although I’m pretty pleased with the top stitching on my yoke (going to need more of that thread though)


and my choice of pocket lining fabric (cut from the leg of a defunct pair of the Man’s pyjamas).

So I’m creeping slowly forward, but considering I’m about to call it a night, I’m not convinced these will be ready by the end of December.


Vivian jeans

There she was just a walking down the street...

There she was just a walking down the street…

In a bright red version of

In a bright red version of Ottobre 5:2012 curvy fit jeans

She got the raspberry stretch denim from Minerva craft after a tip off on

She got the raspberry stretch denim (with a lovely soft fuzzy feel) from Minerva craft after a tip off on Karen’s blog

secret rainbows

and the pockets are lined with secret rainbows

action shot

despite making them the same size as before they are a little tight, even after letting out some seam allowance, but they’re still wearable and comfy

The zipper insertion instructions caused some headscratching until she realised that

The zipper insertion instructions caused some headscratching until she realised that
last time she’d written a tutorial


and her first ever proper jeans button went well, but the button hole needs to be further over as the fly gapes a little – a hook and eye bodge is planned

Perfectly turned corner pocket

The coin pocket has perfectly turned corners though

X marks the spot

she had fun with the centre back belt loops though

fox detail

but best of all is the back pocket topstitching

work in progress

taken from Ottobre 4 2014 and sewn on through greaseproof high quality tracing paper

Pledges, socks and jeans.

Right, first off, before it’s too late,

I, ProlificProjectStarter, pledge to wear at least one Me Made item every day in May.

Last year was my first MMM, I think I pledged to wear something me made 3 or 4 times a week and I actually managed to wear something every day. I now have more self sewn stuff in my wardrobe and wear a lot of it often, so lets see where the pledge leads me to this year.

Second, I’m going away this weekend, so I decided to find out a sock pattern so that I have something to do while I’m traveling. This is my first attempt at socks, I bought some pretty bamboo needles especially as I didn’t have any small enough. Fingers crossed I don’t get Second Sock Syndrome.

Lastly, I finally have some photo’s of my Ottobre jeans!

As easy as falling of a log brick

As easy as falling of a log brick

So, the fit is definitely not perfect. But it is wearable as proven by the amount I’ve been wearing them.

I was actually directed to "stand on that brick" by my photographer. Serves me right for nobbling him on his way to work I suppose.

I was actually directed to “stand on that brick” by my photographer. Serves me right for nobbling him on his way to work I suppose.

My mum declared them to be very well fitting and I didn’t even ask her. (This is an amazingly positive comment from a woman who is not known for mincing her words).

and the back

and the back

And I may have shown off and told people I’d made them a couple of times. To general amazement.

and the side

and the side

(Is there an ok way to show off your home made clothes to people who don’t sew?)

Ugh, fold of fabric at the front

Ugh, ugly fold of fabric at the front

So, to make sure I don’t focus too much on my failure for perfection, here are my shop bought jeans. My only pair (and these were only bought after many demoralising tries to find something halfway decent).

more wrinkles

and a few wrinkles at the back

I think my homemade ones fit better.

basted first fit

basted first fit, no zip at this point

My muslin started with an inch seam allowance. Which meant after my first basted fit I could extend the crotch length a little, which has improved the fit, but I think I will add more crotch length next time. (Initially I just added length to the front pieces, as I did on my Junipers, but I went back and added it to the backs as well which improved some of the smiles at the back too).

baggy waistband

baggy waistband

The other fitting adjustment I made was to pinch out some of the baginess at the centre back. I just altered the back centre seam so it curved in. I’m not sure that was the “right” thing to do but it has helped.

So, now I’m off to make sure I have some Me Made Clothes packed for my weekend away so I can get my pledge off to a good start. And who knows, maybe I’ll manage to get a second, slightly better fitting pair of jeans before the end of the month. (I can dream, right).

First foray into jean sewing

So, as I mentioned yesterday I’ve been trying to make some jeans. Because I am a practical kind of gal and jeans are what I want to wear a lot of the time. And yet I really struggle to find ones that fit (camel toe and general not enough space in crotch, too low waisted, big gapes in my middle back). So, despite being really put off by the thought of many muslins, with the help of my new online sewing friends I’m giving it a go.

Here are some thoughts on my experiences of the jeans style pattern from Ottobre. This is not a sew-a-long because, trust me, I do not know what I’m doing!

  • Choosing a pattern – I considered the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans because it is everywhere in my blogfeed at the moment, but went with the Ottobre ones in the end because I had the magazine already and hadn’t made a single thing from it. Plus I’m not really into skinny fit jeans and tracing a pattern is marginally better than fighting a pdf in my book. Oh yeah, and the Ottobre ones have a wider range of sizes, there’s a different set of pattern pieces for the larger “curvy fit” jeans, with the same set of instructions as the smaller “Lady fit” ones.
  • How to fit? cos, err, you know muslins (or toiles as my mum would say) and stretch fabric, of which I had none. I was eyeing up this purple stretch denim (more tasteful than it sounds, a dark shade) in a local shop, but had told myself I had to finish the pink wool Junipers before I bought it. But then when I went back it was gone, horror. So I found some black denim instead that is brown on the back (brown warp threads?) – making it a nice subtle shade. Then it turned out they did still have the purple, he’d put the last 2m on one side after a customer had complained it had a mark running down the fold line. So I bought both. And decided, the black are going to be a wearable muslin, the purple the real deal, hopefully. Both are quite lightweight but doable as trosuer fabric.
  • The dreaded seam allowance cos, you know, Ottobre patterns don’t come with seam allowance. So as well as tracing from this

    cue concentrating face

    (onto my greaseproof paper, cos all I can get locally are tiny packs of tracing paper that last half a garment), you have to add seam allowance. They suggest 1cm. I had decided to go with 1″ so I had room for some fitting. Now, I saw a top tip recently to tape two pens together then you can trace the seamline and seamallowance at the same time. I tried it with my two fabric pens and got a perfect 1cm seam allowance. So I rigged up something to increase that.

    my model of the space shuttle

    my model of the space shuttle

  • think thrice before doing clever things like using different seam allowances for different pieces. Yes, the back pockets don’t need 1″ seam allowance just in case you want to adjust how the fronts and backs are joined, so you can get away with 1cm there. But honestly how did you forget that the yokes join to the backs so really should have the same seam allowance. And the hip pockets. Sigh.
  • Pay attention Pocket bags are designed to be cut from a different fabric. Like it says. Read the instructions. Sigh. (more on how I’d do the pockets in hindsight another time)
  • Consider adding in notches Now, I struggle to see notches on the Ottobre patterns as they’re marked as a line at right angles to the seam line on the inside of the pattern piece. I didn’t find any on this pattern. Nothing. However I wouldn’t put money on them not being there. In general this wasn’t a problem, everything lined up. But the yokes. I’m really struggling to get them the right way up. Next time I will add a notch to the top of the backs and the bottom of the yokes and save myself head scratching and multiple unpickings.
  • Pattern lay out There isn’t one given. Which threw me. I’m not sure why, as I normally ignore the pattern lay out and do my own thing. But hey. I only had 2m of this denim, the pattern called for 2.2m. Plus I’d increased the seam allowance. I made it, just. But if my fabric had nap, I wouldn’t have made it as the fronts and backs lay in opposite directions. And the waistband (which I haven’t cut yet) will need to be four pieces, not 2. Either that or cut with the grain, rather than across it as directed. And I decreased my seam allowance at the bottom of the legs to fit things on, cos I’m fairly confident there won’t be fitting issues there.
    creative seam allowance

    creative seam allowance

    Right then, that’s everything traced and cut. Next up, the first bits of sewing.