Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Bergerac Jeans and an Owl.

Why bergerac Jeans I hear you enquire? Well that is where I bought this slight stretch denim type fabric while visiting friends who live there on our way home to England from a Spanish holiday in our motorhome. The material is softer than denim and has a warmth to it as well as a dusky blue colour that I love.

I have made these jeans before so I knew my sloper pattern was the right fit so it shouldn't take me too long to make these jeans right? Wrong!! It wasn't the cutting out or the sewing together that took the time it was the three whole days it took me to decide on what design to put on the back pockets.

The owl design stitched on the pocket before sewing
I didn't want the normal straight or curved diagonal lines and I didn't want anything  too bright or flash. Eventually I settled on an owl I had bought from EmbLibrary and stitched it out on the pocket fabric before making and placing them into position.
I then decided to embellish the front pockets and belt loops with a fancy straight stitch design using the same embroidery thread as the owl.

Both pockets completed before placing on back pieces
 I'm really pleased with how they turned out. They are fully lined so the tiny pieces of cut away stabiliser are hidden although I tend to use back pockets purely as a design feature rather than as a functional pocket and who would want to look inside my pockets anyway!!!?? Never mind, I am trying to live by the Craftsy Class tutors code to make the insides as good as the outsides and this has certainly helped my sewing education.

Pockets and yoke pieces sitiched in place
So here are the pockets and yoke in place. The photos make the colour look more purple than it actually is. The top picture of the owl has the best likeness for colour.

My favourite new tool is definitely a Frixion pen which I used to accurately mark the placements not only when hooping the design for embroidery but also on the fabric pieces. This just disappears as soon as you put the iron or warm water on it. I'm told the marks may come back if you put it in the freezer but as I am unlikely to ever get that cold I'm not too worried.
Front Pocket and belt loop detail

Completed jeans
Well here are the completed jeans and I'm very happy with the result.

The tank top is a muslin that I made very quickly yesterday using some leftover knit fabric and fold over elastic to bind the edges.

I'm delighted that I haven't got 'Bingo Wings' but I found RTW sleevless tops never seem to fit properly so I tend to go for short sleeve T-shirts.

I wanted  a vest top with the armscye matching up on the front and across my back and the straps to fit properly so my bra straps don't ever show. The muslin worked fairly well although I think I'll make the back neck slightly higher next time.

 The blue sweater top wasn't originally going to have any embroidery but the very white ribbing on the neckline and cuffs made it look like a football strip so I added the design to make it more individual.

We were up in Leighton Buzzard last Monday and they have a lovely shop called Fabric World which I couldn't resist. I found the ribbing I was looking for but it had been at the bottom on a shelf for probably quite some time and was quite grubby. I struck a great bargain with the owner and was delighted when the marks easily came out with washing. What had appeared as an off white creamy yellow with mucky brown marks is now the most glorious brilliant white.

It's always worth asking for a deal and that makes home sewing even more pleasurable when you know you have a unique closet of garments that cost less than half if you'd bought them ready made, plus the fit and design is personal and you have had the pleasure of using a hobby to create it. So WIN, WIN, WIN..

Sunday, 2 August 2015

And now the shorts

You've seen the fabric made up into a shirt and blogged here but this wonderful fabric with a bit of stretch had enough left over for a pair of shorts - but would I dare?

We're off to the Northern Italian Lakes for a month soon and I thought a pair of shorts would be a great addition to my wardrobe.

I made them from my basic trouser sloper [courtesy of SFD] and cut them out as long as the fabric let me.

I extended the waist by twice the width of the elastic plus seam allowance and didn't sew the darts. I also left out pockets and zip fly front. Once they were made up I made sure I could pull them on over my hips with the elastic in place and they fitted well so estimated a decent hem length to suit my age!

It doesn't show to well in the photos but there is also a 'V' split in the side leg hem similar to the sleeve hem in the top with the same fabric.

I'm delighted with the result so I may come home with tanned legs WhooHoo!!