Tag Archives: Jalie

Jeans at last.

Jeans!

Jeans!

I’ve needed new jeans for a while. Like, a really long while. The last pair was these skinnies, a year and a half ago. Which, I’ll add, wound up twisting annoyingly in the one leg, so I don’t wear them much. I think I definitely need to embrace the single-layer cutting for jeans. /sigh.

Jeans

Jeans

There’s not much to say about these. It’s the same pattern as ever, the same techniques, even the same frickin’ pockets. I’ll repeat the detail shots from the last post just for the sake of completeness. I did spend some time tweaking my contour waistband pattern, which began life as the waistband from the Burdastyle Ellen pants (which are no longer free, WTF?) but has since gone through several iterations. This version is wide, curved in the back and straight(er) in the front, and doesn’t gape over my butt even a little bit. More importantly, it didn’t gape over Stylish’s butt, which I am really frickin’ proud of, but I guess that’s another post (assuming I can pin her down for blog photos. These non-bloggers, /sigh.)

 

Front details

Front details

I used this polkadot (?)chambray for the pocket lining and inside waistband. It’s nice, but a bit lighter than I’d like for this purpose, I think, even interfaced. The waistband is fairly wide, and it ended up being a bit floppy, even with my adding a CB seam so the front could be on the grain. Also, I should’ve added two buttons for the width, not just the one. Hopefully we’ll get around to the rivets sooner rather than later.

Back details

Back details

I did not put a whole lot of work or thought into the pocket design. Just something simple I could copy fairly easily. I was busy overseeing Stylish’s pair.

Back view

Back view

Oh, yeah, and I’ve recently discovered the one up-side of having a child large enough to steal your clothes. You can steal hers back.

Side view

Side view

And, while I normally wouldn’t show this much tummy these days (never mind on the internet), Osiris’s reaction to this ensemble was, shall we say, sufficiently positive that I’m gonna put it out there anyway.

Ma butt

Ma butt

 

Hmph. Done.

Hmph. Done.

Of course, just as I finished these, summer’s last gasp really set in and we’ve had nothing but hot, sunny days completely unsuited to jeans. Ah, well. Winter’s just around the corner and I’ll have plenty of chance to wear them soon enough…

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Pantsclub

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Our little sweatshop

I worked it out the other day and realized it’s been like a year and a half since I made myself a pair of jeans. Say what? I know! Crazy! And, the best of the remaining pairs (or at least, the newest) recently developed a run, or whatever you’d like to call it, in the butt just beside the CB seam—you know, when denim wears so the threads one way are gone but the threads the other way are still there. Anyway, I darned it up on my Grandma’s Rocketeer, which is about all I can really do on it since neither cams, accessories, nor bobbins have appeared.* but the fact remains that it’s well past time for a new pair or two.

So I cornered my Stylish sister-in-law and we picked a date for a sewing day—after months of not being able to—and when I asked her if there was anything she wanted to make For Her (as opposed to the kids or husband), her first thought was capri-length jeans. Perfect!

Not really a beginner project, you say? Pah, I say! We shall charge ahead! Especially since I just scored some lovely denim at 70% off… What could go wrong?

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The topstitcher

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, we set up our little sweatshop in Stylish’s basement. I brought over the elderly serger (which has decided it won’t cut at the moment. Yes, I’m sure the blades are dull as all get up, but the damn thing was slicing everything just fine right up until two weeks ago. WTF?) and my featherweight, for the topstitching. The three-machine, two-sewists setup worked quite well, as I could usually manage to be working on a different machine.

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Yoke alterations

So, over the weekend we spent all our spare time tracing, cutting, and sewing a couple of pairs of jeans. The pattern, of course, is Jalie 2908. I really need to re-trace and revamp my version of the pattern, and come up with a less stretch-intensive version, but for this one I resorted to just chalking in a bit more ease (and length) where I needed it. Again.

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Rear rise alteration

For Stylish, I had her trace off her hip size, and then added the usual suite of alterations I do for Tyo in Jalie patterns—adding to the rear rise with a wedge at CB and curving in the rear yoke. I’ve been working on my contour waistband pattern, too, and I think I may have perfected it—or at least, it appears to work for both my butt AND Stylish’s, which is a friggin’ miracle if you ask me.

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The waistband in question

(Note—all images are of my jeans. Why? Because while I was standing around taking pictures, Stylish was actually working on hers. ;)

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Front waistband. Looking pretty good when not on me.

Confession—between when I first banged off this post and publishing, we managed to pretty much finish. My pair is OK, although I made the waistband non-stretch which means it’s really tight. I like the non-stretch waistband but I need to make some pattern modifications (i.e., more ease) in the upper hip if I’m going to use one. Stylish’s pair is pretty good IMO, in her opinion not so good—one of the legs twists a bit and the fly does a curious list to one side. I’m not sure what’s up with either, frankly, since we both did the exact same thing. I just wish I could get her to appreciate the miracle that is the fact that it doesn’t gape at the back and is only mildly wrinkly under her butt. Also, I don’t think she is adequately awed by the fact that that fly (which she sewed entirely on her own, albeit with me going “ok, sew this part now. Now sew this.” is her FIRST ZIPPER. FIRST ZIPPER EVER, peeps.

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The whole shebang (with chihuahua)

Actual photos to follow at some point, but for now, have a floor pic with a chihuahua, MPB style. My Crafty sister-in-law came over one evening, too, and finished a blouse she had started way back in the winter—so I will have to make her dress up and get photos done of that, too. In my copious spare time…

*not strictly true. There is actually a cam in the machine, for making, based on its markings, a diamond pattern zigzag. I have managed to get it to produce great straight stitches, narrow zigzag stitches, and a variety of “decorative” variations that don’t look like much. I will definitely be consulting the manual linked to by my helpful readers! Intuitive, this machine ain’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that I like my sewing machines the way I like my computer programs—while I appreciate a good manual, I’d much rather just sit down and bash at it and see what I can figure out. For that matter, I think that’s my approach to a good chunk of life…

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Fleece Pants Season Finale: Fleece Pants For ME!

Unglam MMMAY13 pic

It’s really not that often that I completely fail to blog something I make. I’m pretty compulsive that way. Or at least, until this past winter when it seemed like everything from getting photos to getting computer time (never mind the sewing time to begin with) was like slogging through quicksand. There’s a number of things that have slipped through the cracks, the last few months. So sad.

Despite the lack of blogishness, these pants have already been documented via instagram  and flickr, because they have to be the single most-worn thing I’ve ever made myself. Even if it’s mostly for that hour or two between crawling out of bed and actually getting ready for the day, few days have gone by since their completion (sometime in February?) without me wearing them for at least a little while.

Booyeah

Booyeah

I don’t really have much to say about the construction at this remove. Fleece is easy to work with. I used Jalie 3022, in about a size U (my usual being either R or S), and with a ton of extra leg length, to allow for the limited stretch of polar fleece. If I were to do it again, I’d give myself a wee bit more height in the rear (something I’ll figure out about Jalie patterns someday), and use a heavier elastic in the top—I used a 1cm elastic as per the instructions, and while I love how unobtrusive it is, it’s not quite beefy enough to keep everything quite where it ought to be in fleece. In the normal-fabric pair I made last winter, it was fine.

Back view

Back view

I don’t think I can quite explain to people who come from warmer climes how happy having these pants to reach for in the morning has made me. I’m not quite sure why they aren’t mandatory Canadian attire, right alongside the hockey jerseys and Mountie hats.* It could be argued that they are perhaps a wee bit warm for standard indoor wear, since we have those first-world conveniences like central heating. I will not be making this argument, especially not when I’m trying to convince myself that it’s a good idea to get out of bed in the pitch-dark of an icy winter morning. At those times, cold is a state of mind.

Ooo yeah

Ooo yeah

I also really, really love that they’re red. Especially with my blue tank top. I just need a red sweater.

Also, Red.

Oh, yeah, I have one. I’m starting to realize I have a LOT of red. That’s a good thing of course, it’s my favourite colour, but when did it become so dominant in my wardrobe?

In any case, even though winter has finally broken (daytime highs in the twenties C, can I have a Hallelujah?), I am still reaching for these in the morning, and I probably will continue to as we turn off the heat for the summer (although Saskabush doesn’t get as reliably cold at night as Cowtown did). And I’ll continue singing the praises of my fleece pants, because they make me So. Frickin’. Happy.

*I do not, and never have, worn a Mountie hat. Or a hockey jersey, actually.

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Fleece Pants, Episode 2: The Sister-in-Law Edition

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Sister-in-Law Fleece Pants

Mere moments after I unveiled my first attempt at fleece pants, my Stylish sister-in-law determined that she had to have her own pair. There was just enough of the same purple-grey heavy fleece left, so I set her to tracing out the pattern in her own size. She really is a trooper—she tackled tracing her first Jalie pattern with only a minimum of “OMG WHICH LINE AM I ON?” and had her pair cut out in record time.

Unfortunately, in her efficiency (and my distraction), a couple of problems we should have foreseen came home to roost. The first one being, she traced the pattern in her real size, not upsizing. (This makes sense in that she will probably want to make the pattern out of something not fleece at some point, of course.) And, I had intended to perform a rather larger version of the Gigi alteration* I did on the kids’ shorts made from this pattern last summer.

My changes

What I should’ve done on Stylish’s pants pattern, too.

However, this kind of slipped our minds in the excitement of cutting and pinning.

Stylish tackled the stitching and even topstitching (much facilitated by using the blind hem foot as an adjustable edge-stitching guide on the Memory Craft. Which, I should say, has generally excellent attachments, although I am not fond of its zipper foot.), and got the hang of it quite quickly, with only a little confusion over the construction order. (Did I mention this was her first pair of pants ever?)

Unfortunately, when we got to the try-on point (and I’ll refer you back to my Pink Suite post if you need construction details, or just go to the Jalie website and read the instructions yourself), the same issue that I had was happening: dangerously low rise, especially (actually, only) in the derriere.

Some quick thinking was in order. The pants were stitched up, lacking only the waistband. Unpicking fleece… um, not happening. Obviously we had to alter the waistband.

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration

Jalie 3022 Last-ditch waistband alteration. AKA “What I did instead.”

So we did.

And, while it may not be the most elegant solution (and no, I don’t have a good shot of how it looks… I didn’t really want to pester my SIL to allow me to post photos of her butt on the internet), it works, and she has worn them every bit as much as I have over the winter.

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So Stylish!

And she has already bought fleece for her next pair…

*Gigi is the pet name of the incredibly sweet lady who is the mother of both Osiris and Stylish. She also has a marked pear-shape, which she passed on to Stylish, and even Osiris in modified form (he has a very curvy butt for a guy). Tyo is well on her way to developing this shape as well, although in Syo’s case it seems to be a bit moderated.

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Fleece Pants: A Family Odyssey

Episode 1: Failure
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Those of you who follow me Twitter or Instagram may have caught the odd hint of one of the winter obsessions Chez Isis this year—fleece pants. The perfect antidote to a Saskabush winter, especially for people who spent the last five years in balmy southern Alberta. And yet, and yet, they have remained curiously absent from the blog. Unforgivable, no? I agree. I kept waiting to get them ALL DONE, and do a great big family fleece pants post.

I have come to the conclusion that if I do that, I may still be waiting come next winter. So, here I go with one installment at a time.

Dredging deep, deep into my memory, may I present my first attempt at making fleece pants? A veritable antique by blog standards, stitched in the fall of 2012.

I used the pattern for the Jalie 3022 yoga pants, of Pink Suit fame (or infamy), with the same alterations to length and rise I had had success with in the pink pants. Fleece is really a nice fabric to work with—bulky, but not slippery, and with enough stretch to make the fit forgiving, right?

Well, I had double-checked the stretch requirement on the pattern envelope, and the fleece matched it, but I neglected to think about one startlingly important aspect, the difference between “two way” stretch and “four way” stretch.* In particular, this pattern needs something that stretches both in width AND length.

The fleece stretches in width, but when it does so it loses length.

As it turns out, a lot of length.

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Enough length that the vertical seams, which were beautifully smooth when I topstitched them, bubbled out like crazy. The length which had been more than adequate on the pink fabric (I cut off two inches of the four I had added) became inadequate even for hemming. But most disastrously, the rise, which ended up perfect (after tweaking) on the Pink Pants, became somewhere between risque and just plain indecent. And if it’s too low for me, dear readers, well, it’s too low to show you. ;)

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Which is not to say I didn’t wear them. Oh, no. Many a dark and icy winter morning was softened by reaching for my fleece pants. Long shirts and oversized sweaters compensated for the problematic rise, and they were particularly perfect for walking the kids to their bus stop, which has to be one of the most grueling treks of the Canadian prairie winter.

But finally, I had to admit that they really weren’t adequate. It would make much more sense to make myself another, larger pair. And, well…

They fit Tyo perfectly.

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All the photos in this post, as you have probably noticed, are of the pants on Tyo.

Coming soon: Episode 2, the Sister-in-Law Edition.

*And I’ve seen this defined differently in different places, so, in the absence of a Central Fabric-Describing Authority, I’m going with what is convenient for this particular post.

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Wads of wadders.

Wadders can be cute, too.

I’ve been trying to make myself into a better skeptic, the last few years. Critical thinking and all that. Evidence. So generally, I’m skeptical of the idea of curses.

But right now, dear readers, my (admittedly anecdotal) evidence is that drapey, clingy, stretchy red jersey is, indeed, cursed. This is the second piece I’ve thoroughly demolished (the first was briefly figured here, which top never really grew on me, and the one I made from the rest of that piece was so horrific it never even got blogged.)

So, this is not my favourite kind of knit. But it is one I’ve successfully worked with on occasion. My cowl-neck shirt, for one. My friggin tunic top I made the pattern for, for another. The slinky maxi fabric I used just recently was a little beefier, but not much.

So why did this fabric defeat me so?

Closeup. Aieee.

Partly, I guess, the answer is laziness. What I wanted was a quick knit top to whip up in the hour or so I had before bed. And to trial Jalie 2788, the twist top. Not so much for it’s own sake (although it’s cute), but because what I *really* want to make is a cute dress like this Burda one, but I don’t want to pay five bucks for a download pattern when I already have a twist-front pattern on hand. Albeit  a slightly different twist, but anyway. Yes, I’m a cheapskate. Anyway, because I wanted quick, (and I had cut out the shirt before and tossed the scraps) I didn’t want to sit around practicing neckline finishes.

(More blog shoes)

Sometimes, I manage to get away with this kind of half-assery. Just, not this time. The pattern suggests folding over and topstitching. I first attempted to do this straight; Not going to happen. Cut that off,  put on my usual binding, but it was fiddly and wound up stretched not enough in some spots, too much in others. And I think it’s really a bit heavy for this style of top.. Then decided to use Steam a Seam for the arms and hems. This worked much better, and is what I should’ve done for the neck, too.Why didn’t I? Well, partly because I’ve run out of (or misplaced) my Steam a Seam strip/roll, so all I have left is the wide stuff for applique, and I get really tired of just cutting little slices off of it. I need to get another twin-needle for topstitching, too.

Back view. Could use more swayback adjustment.

And then when I got it to try-on stage, it was too big—baggy and saggy in unflattering ways. The measurements for my size are, seriously, *perfect*—the only alteration I made was to add a little swayback adjustment, since there’s already a back seam. But, the fabric is pretty darn stretchy, so I’m going to blame that on the fabric. So I took it in a couple cm on each side and at the shoulder seam. Now the length to the bust is pretty good, and things are a lot less saggy-baggy except right around the neck binding,  Except apparently I should’ve kept the ease below the waist, because AIEE that is too tight to be flattering. Not my best area, there, upper hips and lower belly. /sigh. Must work on that, soon.

And then I tried to make panties, from a pattern traced off one of my fave pair of boy-cuts, from the remnant

Undies. Fail.

Also fail. Partly for shoddy construction, but mostly because this elastic, which I bought more for its cuteness than any practical plans, is not nearly stretchy enough.

Just for the record, this is probably the third pair of underwear I’ve attempted that didn’t end up wearable.

I’m going to bed now.

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The Pink Suit

Pink Suit. Also, bad hair. >_<

(as my children so endearingly dubbed it) … is finished.

Right off the bat, I am going to apologize to Lisa. I did not end up incorporating her awesome hood pattern on the Renfrew. Mostly because I couldn’t find one of the  pattern pieces I painstakingly drafted from her instructions when the time was right, and I was too impatient to wait for it to show up. But then, the pink fabric is possibly a bit too thin, anyway. I will definitely try another time, after the pattern piece shows up.

So, shall we start with the bottom?

Jalie 3022

I added 4″ to the leg length in this pattern, as the size R (my hip size) only has a 30.5″ inseam. 34.5″ is a bit excessive, even for me, but frankly I wanted to be safe rather than sorry, and given that 4-way stretch pants sometimes lose length as they stretch, I wanted plenty. As it turned out (at least in this very stretchy fabric), I only needed about two extra inches, but I think I’m going to keep the length in the pattern just in case. I added the length in two sections, 2″ at the lengthen-shorten line on the thigh and 2″ just below the knee. I also did a small full-butt wedge (this  adjustment), based on my kids’ experience. Although as it turns out I probably could’ve skipped that, not so much because I didn’t need a bit of extra height in the back as because the overall rise was considerably too high for me—coming to just below my belly-button. That looks right on my kids; it doesn’t look right on me. Fortunately in a style like this, it’s easy to fix. I lopped off the seam at the bottom of the waistband (I don’t un-pick knits if I can avoid it), and cut a band off the top of the pants-portion, about 1cm from the back increasing to 3 cm at the front. Then re-attached the waistband. PERFECT!

Seam---interior

For seam finishing I went a bit…overboard. I had decided on black topstitching, in the hopes of cutting down the severe sweetness of all that pink. For my seams themselves, I opted to use a simple overedge stitch on my White, which is both stretchy and makes a much straighter seam on the right side than the overedge stitch on the Janome. And then finish the edge on the serger. And then topstitch with what I think of as the Janome’s “Athletic stitch.”

That’s a lot of stitching.

Topstitching

One of my main reasons for using the White for the seam stitch (besides saving me switching my settings constantly) is that it has adjustable pressure on the presser foot, and lightening the presser-foot pressure makes the knit wave up much less than the Janome’s fixed, heavy foot. Which meant that my seams looked really nice right up until I decided to topstitch with the same Janome. At which point they waved up like crazy. Ironing has helped somewhat, and I’m hoping that the laundry will take care of the rest, but if not, I will be warned for the future. Which is too bad, because I really like the look of this topstitching for “athletic” gear.

Jalie 3022 construction---one wide, flat piece.

I was initially a touch puzzled by the instructions, which have you construct the back as usual, then stitch each side of the front to the sides of the back, before finishing the front crotch and then the inseam. Then I realized it was *much* easier to topstitch the outseam before the “tube” was closed by stitching the front crotch. Smart Jalie! And for once I actually followed the instructions, so I got to enjoy the benefits of their braininess. Yay!

I used strips of Steam-a-Seam Lite (2) in the hems of the pants, as has become my modus operandi for knits, and they turned out, well, no wavier than the other topstitched seams. The nice thing about this particular topstitching (as opposed to say, twin-needling) is that it is the same top and bottom, so I could topstitch looking at the inside and make sure I was covering the edges of the hem-fold. Although, since the edge was already fused in place with the Steam-a-Seam, I suppose there wasn’t much I could actually do if the hem was wonky. Still, I felt better. ;)

Pink suit! Seams slightly ripply

On to the top?

Sewaholic’s Renfrew Top.

I used mostly the same construction methods on the shirt, although not nearly so much topstitching (just around the bands.) Once again I followed Tasia’s instructions surprisingly closely (for me), and was glad of it, because I initially sewed the “V” on the neck-band the wrong way—it was making an “A”, not a “V”.  So double-check that bit, because it’s not really obvious from the pattern piece. It turned out pretty well, though, as you saw above.

As so many others have said before me, there’s not really much not to love about this top. Easy fit, cute styling. I do prefer a smaller seam-allowance, especially when setting in the sleeves; the Jalie knits all have 1/4″ seam allowances, which can feel a bit scant—I think 1cm is definitely my fave in almost any situation. The shoulders feel a bit tight (which is odd, considering they’re rather wider than on my knit sloper) but I think this actually has to do with the curve of the armscye on the body, which is much more extreme in this pattern—which also makes the sleeves angle down more, as opposed to the sleeves on my sloper, where they angle more out. Despite the sleeve-caps being virtually identical. Verry Eeenteresting, my friends. (You can see the effect of the downward angle in the photo below, where they bunch up a bit above my shoulders because my arms are out.) This is also one of those differences that I wouldn’t notice in a fabric with a bit more give or a bit less recovery. I will say, if you’re fitting a knit, this is the fabric to do it in—it actually stays the size and shape that you cut it out.

Other than that, it is what it is and what it is is luverly.

Oh, yeah, back view

Altogether, it is a lot of pink. Possibly more than I’m comfortable with. I was hoping the black topstitching would take the edge of the sweetness, but there’s not quite enough of it. I don’t think it will actually stop me wearing these (although maybe not so much together), but if it does become a problem I could always take a whack at producing a lovely sludgy dyed colour as Carolyn is so good at.

The only complaint I have about the pants (aside from the ripply seams) is that the fabric is *borderline* too thin for bottoms. In a dark colour, I might not have noticed it, but, well, we’ll just say I shall have to be careful which underwear I wear with these.

So another view. Note the un-ripply inseam and the ripply topstitching.

I had some photos showing where the waistband ended up after my alteration, but I’m just not quite happy enough with the current  jowly condition of my midsection to throw them up (at least in combination with the other things I don’t like about these photos, like my bad after-work hair and the crappy photo quality of my backup camera).   So you’ll just have to imagine it going from right below my navel to sitting comfortably beneath the belly-flub.*

On your mark...

I wish I could say this sporty suit will inspire me to  take after Winnie, but I fear that a) I hate long-distance running, and b) nothing’s going to change before the end of the summer at the earliest.

But at least I will be comfy while I slob around the house!

Also, now Tyo wants shorts from the leftover fabric. My desire to move on to other projects is at war with my desire to get rid of the remaining half-metre or so of this fabric. Hmm.

*As usual when I whinge about my body, I feel the need to insert a disclaimer: overall, it’s a pretty good body. I am (and have been for the past several years) mistreating it horribly, as health, fitness, and everything else except family and sewing, in fact, are pushed aside in the face of THESIS. And while I haven’t gained a significant amount of weight, I’ve definitely lost muscle tone, and what I do gain goes right to my middle. It’s not horrific—it’s just not what I want to see when I look in the mirror, and not what I would be seeing if I was doing anything other than sit in front of a computer nine hours a day. And I can’t even blame it on having children… ;)

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