Tag Archives: Stylish Sewing



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?


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.


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.


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.


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. 😉


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.


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…



Filed under Sewing

Close enough to taste


The dress for Epona’s maid of honour (AKA my Stylish sister-in-law) is at the finishing touches. A bit of hemming and hand-stitching and a lot of pressing remain, but the all-important try-on stage has been reached.

Yeah, that’s obviously not Stylish modeling it for these crappy bathroom mirror pics. That’s just me. We are roughly the same size on the top half—I think my shoulders are broader, and her waist is narrower, but neither of those are really issues in this dress. There’s a bit more ease in the skirt than I can fill out, of course. I still think it looks pretty good, better in real life than in the pics. Much better than my attempted pre-zip try on. What is it about a zipper that just pulls everything together?


Thank you everyone who weighed in on the chiffon hems the other day—you inspired me to wind up some bobbins and give a proper serger rolled hem a try. It worked like a charm, allowing for the usual sampling. Aside from the part where I realized the grey thread I was using wasn’t actually the grey I bought to match the fabric, but another, rather lighter, one that had been kicking around from some other project. Oopsie. I’m still debating on the beaded trim… it’s gorgeous, but really heavy compared to the chiffon.

Of course, once I finish this, the real terror begins. The lace for the wedding dress (which will be an overlay over the skirt, much like the chiffon in the maid of honour’s dress) has arrived. Can you say “Ulp?” It’s heavy, luxe, and beaded all to hell. I am terrified.



Filed under Sewing

Enough for a night.


I really wanted to have this dress done today. That was my plan. But we went for breakfast at my dads’, then washed the car, then had a quick visit with friends passing through town, then I had to clean the kitchen before I could cut on the floor (so much for #sewdontclean) and, having just picked out ANOTHER seam, I think it’s time to call bedtime. I can do the rest tomorrow, if I have to.


In case you’re confused, this will be the maid of honour’s dress for Epona’s wedding—AKA Stylish’s dress. The pattern is Butterick 3441, the same base as we’re using for the wedding dress, but with considerably fewer modifications—really just adding a chiffon overlay to the skirt.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to fabric selection. I like cottons. Denim. Wool. Fabrics that are satisfying, fun, and easy to work with. Satin is always out of my comfort zone, although I think it’s a sign of some kind of improvement that it’s not totally making me want to throw my machine out the window.

The chiffon, on the other hand….


argh. And yes, I know there are eight million things I could be doing (like starching the crap out of it, or dipping it in gelatin) to make it easier to deal with and I just can’t be bothered, which is, of course, counterproductive. Anyway. I don’t even want to go into how much chiffon-hem-sampling I’ve done today. I should probably do it on the serger, but I don’t have any matching serger thread. I’ll keep it in mind if I decide I really can’t stand my regular baby hems, though. They’re pretty bad. If I do end up using this beaded trim to cover them, I won’t care, but if it’s too heavy (it is too heavy, but I think I might like that, plus it’s SO luxe) they’re really not adequate at this particular moment if there’s any chance someone might actually see them. Argh.

The piping, at least, went in well, with much less puckering than in the wedding-dress trial.


And I’m quite happy with how my little loop for the back-of-neck button turned out. I’m really liking making skinny bias tubes in satin. They turn so nicely.

This is what Tyo was doing when I finally threw in the towel. At 10:00 pm she was frustrated that we wouldn’t let her go out and ride her bike, so she went out in the back yard to “do something productive,” aka paint.


Have I mentioned I love summer?


Filed under Sewing