Two pairs of Morgan Jeans … and a chat about Raw Denim

Hi! I’ve finally got around to writing this post having been bed-ridden for 9 days straight with the worst flu I’ve ever had – I say flu, but I really don’t know – it was the weirdest case of flu ever! But thankfully I’m back to normal now (‘normal’ being a relative term, obvs!)

Sarah Smith v Raw Denim, Round 1

[*EDIT : this post has been amended retrospectively to take into account, lessons learned since initially writing it!]

I’ve sewn a few pairs of skinny jeans in my time (using the Eleanore stretch pants pattern by Jalie – see here) but I really felt my wardrobe was lacking a relaxed pair; my last RTW ones having finally fallen apart! The Morgan ‘boyfriend’ jeans have a traditional coin pocket and button fly and are suited to a roll-up hem – in other words, exactly what I was looking for. PDF duly purchased!

Have you sewn jeans before? If not, are you intimidated by the idea? I’ve got to say from the off, in terms of actual sewing, making jeans is not difficult. And I found the Morgan instructions to be absolutely faultless; which of course helps – in fact, I find sewing jeans a methodical and therefore joyfully therapeutic process. All that lovely topstitching for example!

I will say, having the right notions and tools for the job really makes a difference though; I found my Hump Jumper / Bulky Seam Aid absolutely came into its own with this project, ensuring that my sewing machine foot navigated bulky seams with ease and ensuring that my topstitching didn’t ‘skip’. A seam guide (the 1/4″ mark is particularly useful) and a fabric marker (I used my Clover Chalk Pen) are also incredibly useful for marking your double topstitching lines so you can sew them equidistant.  You will also need good quality jean topstitching thread (choosing your colour is fun in itself!) I used these rivets and these ‘laurel wreath’ jeans buttons. (If you’re unsure how they’re installed; I use the same method as in my Snap tutorial – no hammer required!)

To my mind, the hardest part of sewing jeans is not the construction; it’s not even, technically speaking, the fitting of the jeans – it’s accounting for the particularity of your chosen raw denim. Raw denim, being 100% cotton, tends to relax substantially throughout the day  – so what fitted perfectly in the morning may be a baggy mess by the evening. Conversely, a pair that has marginal breathing room over breakfast fit beautifully come dinner  – or so I’ve found! Which can make ‘seeing’ what fit adjustments you need to make that bit trickier!

Using fabric scraps leftover from my Panda Pajamas for the pockets and waistband

The weight of your denim is really important then. I would say for this particularly pattern, you don’t want to use anything less than 10 oz. Mine for both pairs – was 9.5 oz – I didn’t think that half ounce would make a real difference but it does feel too lightweight for the cut of these pants  – if I sew this pattern again, and I’m sure I will with further mods, I think I’d be looking for something substantially firmer – between 10 – 11 oz, as these are likely to have less ‘give’.

Let me talk you through my experience – I’ve sewn the Morgans twice now with different adjustments – and I’ve washed and worn both pairs loads

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The Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case Patterns – Makes Me Feel a Sassy Lassie!

This is the first of my makes under the umbrella of this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer Challenge (if you missed Suzy’s review of the Zadie Jumpsuit, you can catch that HERE )

I opted to sew the Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case Patterns for my first jumpsuit pattern; I’m something of a fangirl of CCF, so it seemed an apt place to start. However, the resultant make has proved to be somewhat of a divisive garment in my household! The verdict is split strictly down the middle between the sexes – my daughter and I love it; in fact when she first saw me in it, she insisted that I demonstrate it by strutting my stuff, catwalk-style, across the Lounge! But my son’s verdict was “it’s a bit weird” and my husband said he wasn’t sure he liked it. Does this split-verdict make me feel differently about it in anyway? No, it does not. Frankly it almost feels immaterial what I do or don’t look like in it, or what anybody else thinks about it because, in wearing it, I feel absolutely bloomin’ fantastic..

… a totally empowered Sassy Lassie, if you will!

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#sewtogetherforsummer 2019 – Sewing Pattern Picks! Burda, Big4, Indie (& A load of Freebies!)

Looking for some #sewtogetherforsummer pattern inspiration? You may be aware this years’ theme is all about the Jumpsuit (dungarees / romper / playsuit / overalls / boilersuit / coveralls). Suzy, Monika and I have picked a range of patterns which hopefully shows the diversity and range of styles available (some of which will be making ourselves and will review and post on separately) but, for simple inspiration, we thought we’d share the patterns that got us all excited for this years’ theme in the first place!

We’re selecting from Burda, The Big Four and Indie companies. Before we jump into that (pun intended 😉 ), a reminder that we have also listed some great discount codes on some fantastic patterns not listed here, over on our Launch blog post.

If you are looking for a great freebie pattern, perhaps you’d like to check out Lisa Kisch’s YouTube Channel ‘And Sew On’ – she’s posted a vlog listing 30 FREE Jumpsuit sewing patterns!

  • If you’re interested in any of the patterns listed here, you can click on the graphics to find out more!

BurdaStyle Pattern Picks:

@sewing_in_spain

First up is Suzy with her pick from the BurdaStyle collection:

“BurdaStyle is a great resource for patterns, in fact if you search ‘jumpsuits’ on their site you will find a cool 72 of them!  One of the things I love is they have many versions for petite and plus sizes too. So without further ado here are my picks (but I also definitely recommend taking a look at their website!)

What could be more summery than a halter neck jumpsuit?  This version 06/2015 #119 with its loose trousers but closefitting bodice ticks all the boxes, and you can make a shorter romper version too!

This dress works perfectly for evening wear…

If you are rocking the Overalls look, you might want to check out this next pattern from 04/18, #106B, which has so many gorgeous details.  It’s also great if you want to join in the Challenge but it’s not actually summer where you are!

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My #2018MakeNine Sewing Review…err, it’s not quite as good as I thought!

Hello! I thought it timely to do an end of year review of my #2018MakeNine makes, since I’m planning my #2019MakeNine Sewing! In short, this year my plans seem to have started with a flourish, gained some solid middle ground and then, surprisingly, dwindled to absolutely nothing, as we shall see! Unlike the previous year, I still stand by #2018MakeNine plans; what I haven’t sewn yet, I’m absolutely sure I’ll sew at some point soon. Gah! I was absolutely convinced I’d nail these projects but, in fairness, I think I’ve good reasons for not doing so yet. Reasons? Or Excuses? You decide!

Anyhoo, in no particular order, let’s start with the projects I did complete…

The Melilot Shirt by Deer & Doe

I’ve made two, quite different, versions of this top – the one in this picture is in a cotton lawn and I’d class it as a shirt; the other I made in some soft viscose which is more ‘blouse’ like – is the only difference between the definition of a women’s shirt and blouse; the fabric it’s made in? Does anyone know or shall I ask Alexa?!

Of the two, I prefer the look of the lawn one but much prefer the feel and wear of the viscose one. I think what I’m saying is, my ideal version would be this print in a viscose! You can read my full post and review of the pattern HERE.

Next up, we’ve got…

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New Sewing Pattern – the Elliot Sweater & Tee by Helen’s Closet – tester make and finalised versions!

There’s a new sewing pattern launching today – you’ve probably seen – the Elliot Sweater & Tee from Helen’s Closet. I jumped at the chance to test this pattern for Helen; as again it has all the hallmarks of a closet staple; warm but not too warm – perfect as a layering piece for the transition into the colder months.

The raglan sleeved Elliot comes in three views; View A which I’ve made, features a high neck and has a high-low hem which frankly I love; it means I can pair it with leggings without feeling I’m revealing too much backside! That side slit also makes sticking your hands in your pockets easier and provides forgiveness around the hip. View B is somewhat cropped (great for high waisted bottoms) and View C is your everyday comfort tee. There’s 20% off during the launch week too! Read More