Choosing the right denim for my ginger jeans

22 Sep

I made myself three pairs of Ginger Jeans which fit perfectly (vs 1, 2&3), but my fourth pair were ridiculously too small; which left me puzzled. Aside from the obvious possibility that I’d gone up a size (which as far as I was aware I hadn’t), it had the same amount of elastine as previous versions (3%). But while other versions were 97% cotton, the last pair had some polyester too…

But here’s something I hadn’t thought about – different denim can have a remarkably different stretch even though the composition is the same. It wasn’t until I was on Ditto’s website pursuing the denim that I noticed this. For example three denims I was looking at were all  a 87%/3% composition – but the stretch they listed varied from 8% – 18%! Though if I’d only paid a bit more attention to Closet Case’s sew-along I would have realized this. But not all websites list the approximate stretch  and in the shop I’m not great at working this out for myself. Luckily, Ditto had more than enough denims which I was desperate for.

I started off by ordering seven samples, which allowed me to narrow it down to three:  a dark navy , a dark charcoal (approx 18% stretch) and a darkest of blue . Unfortunately I forgot to note down the approximate stretch of two of the fabrics which is seriously annoying but I’m pretty sure were around 10%.

My fabric arrived in the post the next day (Ditto’s amazingly quick in posting orders)  but since I got them I’ve procrastinated, not being able to decide which size to choose.  All four previous times, I’ve made size 8. But after the last pair I resolved to go up at least one size. However on the sew along section on sourcing denim it notes that you may want to adjust your size if you’re using something with more or less stretch. In the end I’ve decided to try size 10 cause I really want to feel comfortable and good in them. Fingers crossed and stay tuned to find out if this was the right decision.


Lakeside Pajamas

19 Sep

These pajamas have been a long time in the making.  See over a year ago Lladybird had a give away on her blog – £100 voucher to contrado, where you can get fabric printed with your own design, and I won! So exciting right? But what to get printed? I hummed and hawed for about a year, it seemed like such an amazing gift, that I didn’t want to waste the opportunity.

As it turns out my niece, who just turned 13, is a pretty amazing artist. She paints, she draws, she’s even started blogging. One of her recent paintings was of this gorgeous little sleeping fox, surrounded by flowers, which she did in watercolors and marker. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would make the most wonderful, special fabric and she kindly agreed I could use it. So I got it printed on Pima Lawn 100% Cotton 75gsm,  and the fabric was 137cm by 114cm. I loved the idea of the sleeping fox on nightwear, and the delicate nature of her painting, fit the design of Grainline studio’s Lakeside Pajamas perfectly.


I started worked on them about two weeks ago, but what with work and life getting in the way, I only finished sewing them on Sunday. The instructions, like all of the Grainline studio patterns I’ve used are great and very straight forward. I’ve really taken my time, especially with the binding, and I think it shows. I made size 10 which is perfect for the bottoms, though I probably could have got away with the 8 for the top. But I’m not too bothered, I’m happy with how it feels and looks.

The fabric washed really well and feels just gorgeous but lets face it, I missed the boat for this summer but I’m really ready for next year!

Straddling summer & autumn

3 Sep

On Tuesday this week the air changed. After an amazing bank holiday weekend of sunshine, summer retreated and autumn to set in, but its still warm. We seem to be straddling summer and autumn right now and I think my newest Biscayne blouse is perfect for the season.

I bought this fabric a few weeks ago from Saeed’s in Walthamstow – its a lovely Italian crepe and was only £6 a meter! It felt so lovely and I was drawn the the vibrant color. But its slippery nature made the welt pocket and  the button placket tricky to perfect. Looking at it now, I think I should have avoided the welt pocket – not only because it was hard to get it even, but because of the fabric is so clingy it really shows the pocket.

That being said I am really pleased with the top – the color is such a perfect pick-me-up.  I’m thinking that I might make a few long-sleeve versions  (once I identify the right sleeve style) and maybe a dress hack of the pattern.

Sewing slump

23 Aug


2017-08-23I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump. My new job has been consuming all my time, energy and brain power and a number of my July sewing projects truly suffered as a result. I decided the the first step was to clean my shit up, I mean who can find motivation in a messy disorganised corner, where you spend half your sewing time looking for the bloody scissors? In the picture above (on the left) you can see the chaos – and it includes one UFO and a sewing fail (both of which will be blogged about one day). So a week or so ago I set about cleaning and organizing (results on the right).

I decided that I really needed to focus  and given that my sewing time has taken a massive hit, I needed to prioritize. So my next few projects are:

  • One last Biscayne blouse before summer is over (its almost done) – its a beautiful ochre Italian crepe.
  • The Lakeside pajamas made from fabric I had printed using my 13 year old niece’s painting (summer may be over by the time these are done, but I will be ready for next year).
  • Ginger jeans! My last pair while beautifully sewn just didn’t have enough stretch to be a comfortable fit so I’ve ordered myself a few beautiful denims from Ditto fabric to make myself a new pair of bother version A and B.

Once I’ve got through these, I’ll reassess but for the time being, I’m gonna take my sewing slowly and carefully.


Alder shirtdress

7 Jul

I’ve been humming it’s the most, wonderful time of the year….. and not because its Christmas in 171 days. But because it is Indie Pattern Month! Woop woop. And week’s theme is ‘dresses’. Cause I’ve already prattled on and on about this over on the Monthly Stitch blog, I’ll spare you further rambling other than the bare necessities.

Pattern: Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studios

Fabric: Chambray from Higgs & Higgs

Sizing and alterations: Made size 10 which corresponds to my measurements but in future would make size 8 with a FBA. No alterations per se but a used a few different techniques like the ‘burrito’ technique for attaching the yoke so the insides are beautifully clean.



Lago Tank

5 Jun

A few weeks ago I saw a beautiful pile of fabrics on Raystich’s Instagram account. I especially liked one of the fabrics: a cream organic cotton knit.  The softness, color and design reminded me of childhood undershirts (not that I was ever posh enough to have organic undershirts). And so yesterday, while shopping purely for thread, I thought I’d have a quick little peak at the fabric. And somehow 1 metre of it ended up coming home with me. Oppps.

I knew I wanted a tank top/undershirt of some sort and was pleased to stumble across Itch to Stitch’s FREE PDF Lago Tank. I’ve  blended sizes: size 4 for the armholes/straps, size 6 for the bust, back to size 4 for the waist and again out to 6 for the hips. I’m not sure whether it was the recovery/stretch of the fabric or the ultimate fit of the top, but I’m certainly glad I didnt choose a bigger size! But I’m pretty pleased with it – it’s not going to rock the world of fashion or anything but it’s comfortable! I think it will make an ideal tank top for wearing on lazy weekends or under button down shirts (which can be then stripped off in the sun!).






MMM17 The End

31 May


It’s been a great month and it really pushed me back into wearing me-made clothes, which I’d gotten out of the habit of wearing while unemployed.  A few things made repeated appearances: my Ginger Jeans (in all their versions), Bonnie tops, Linden Sweatshirts, and soo many Rosy Lady Shorts. My leisure & sportswear is still predominately RTW but until it wears out, there is no real need for me to make anything.  I am however looking forward to the day I go for a morning run in me-made, or lounge around on a rainy Sunday in me-made sweats.

The last three days of May, I got in a few more me-made items:


Day 29. Me-made does DIY! I was so pleased with my new 2nd hand hedge trimmer i immediately set to work, wearing my Colette clover trousers (which a year after i made them, i shortened to above the knee shorts).

Day 29 bonus. Out for an evening walk in my amazing puffin Linden Sweater  plus my clover pants/shorts  from earlier today.

Day 30. Got my Burda 7136 blouse on – love this fun print and bright red buttons!

Day 30 bonus. Went out for a little haberdashery shopping at RayStich in my new Luzerne Trench coat!

Day 31. You’d think for the last day of me-made-May I’d do better than just my rosy lady shorts. But no, I’ve yet to change out of my clothes from this mornings run, so these little beauts are the only me-made I’ll have on today.

Day 31 bonus. Every day is me-made for Poppy cause she’s got a reversible dog bandana on her collar!


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