Monthly Archives: May 2015
As you know, I'm a big fan of Jennifer Stern's pattern line. I wrote about my first pair of her Misses Jeans here. I have made many versions of The Tee for myself. I have taught two classes using The Tee pattern, and my students love it. Now Jennifer has a jeans pattern for women whose hips are relatively straight, called J Jeans. The side of the pants is perfectly straight, making the pattern great for uber-cool Japanese selvedge denim. I have now made two pairs of J Jeans. Both out of Montauk Twill (which I will soon be selling on-line and in my store!). Robert Kaufman's Montauk Twill is beefy, but becomes very soft after one washing.
In case you don't know about Jennifer or her patterns, you can scroll through her blog here. She has classes on Pattern Review, and a brand-new jeans class on Craftsy (25 percent off during Memorial Day Weekend). In addition, she videos a Quick Tip every week on her blog, and a few months ago, she used my baggy-knee issue with these pants as her tip. You can see the knees bagging in the photo above. I had done a flat derriere adjustment using Fit for Real People, which helped a lot, but did not fix all the issues. I sent Jennifer a photo, and she posted her great video here. Did I mention she is awesome?
I made my first pair of these jeans at a quilt retreat without making any alterations to the pattern. I hoped they would be a wearable muslin, but no. I tweaked and tweaked, but I couldn't get them to fit well enough for public viewing.
Back to this basic blue version. I made a few alterations to the paper pattern. First, I lengthened the legs (but not enough!) Second, I did a Fit for Real People flat derriere adjustment, which for me involves folding out one inch of width in the back. I made a long vertical fold all the way down the leg in the back, including the yoke. Third, I pinched half an inch of length out of the front by folding the tissue horizontally between the waistband and the crotch because the front of my first pair was quite roomy. Fourth, the shape of the back crotch was similar to mine, but I lowered it by about an inch (I turn 51 next week -- and all that wisdom comes with some southward migration).
I do love this twill, so my next pair may be out of the same fabric in a different color, but I am tempted by the challenge of Japanese selvedge denim. I have some for the shop, and I'll need to be able to tell my patrons how to sew with it, right?
I had so much fun making my first Sewing Workshop Ivy Top, I whipped up a second one. The Sewing Workshop patterns are perfect candidates for playing with fabric. They are all impeccably drafted, and they aren't overly fitted, so you don't need to fuss with tweaking the fit. With three different knits, the fabric combination options for this top are endless.
One of the many highlights of my trip to Quilt Market in Seattle was seeing Linda Lee, owner of The Sewing Workshop, wearing her Ivy Tunic both days. She looked so chic and slim. I had to buy the pattern and make one (okay, two) as soon as I got home. This is version #1.
The Ivy can be made with three different knits, but this time I decided to use just two. Both fabrics are bamboo knits (purchased at Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon). The black and gray stripe is a ponte-weight super stable fabric. The teal and gray stripe is much lighter weight. You can see that I struggled a bit to make it lie nicely at the bottom hem.
I love this tunic. Like all Sewing Workshop patterns, I didn't need to make any alterations to the main bodice. I wish I had lengthened it for my six-feet-tall frame, though. It looked more like a dress on Linda. A friend at work made herself one, and felt it was too long....You may want to make a quick muslin to check the length on your frame...
One sleeve has a cool inset at the bottom, and the other just has a contrasting cuff.
One of Linda Lee's many specialties is the mitered corner. She has a great method that works every time, even on non-traditional angles and fabrics. She includes the instructions in all of her patterns, and demonstrates them in her Craftsy classes. I would never have tried a mitered corner in a thin, drapey knit like this bamboo without Linda's guidance. You can leave the bottom hems raw on this tunic, but nice miters were so tempting, I had to try them. I can't wait to dream up more fun fabric combos for my new friend Ivy!
I am excited to announce I have purchased a building in lovely downtown Missoula, Montana. The building is currently Monte Dolack's art gallery. Monte is a beloved Montana artist who has painted most of Montana's beautiful places. The space is wonderful, and Monte will remain in the lower level of the building with some gallery space on the main floor. Double-win! I think the art of sewing will go hand-in-hand with Monte's artwork.
The building is on Front Street, one block from Higgins Avenue, Missoula's main street. The parallel parking in front tends to be crowded (by Montana standards), but there is a public parking lot in the back, and four private parking spaces next to the back of the building for sewing machine drop-offs. The front room is a large art gallery, and the back has perfect space for a classroom. I plan to open in October. Please come visit!