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Indiesew Fall/Winter Collection: Burnside Bibs

October 20, 2017

  Welcome to the Indiesew Fall/Winter Collection Blog tour! I was very excited to see the patterns that are part of this collection. I had been drawn to the Burnside Bibs when they first came out, but I was hesitant due do my height and my shape. I am short, curvy, and overalls can sometimes look juvenile on me. I was heartened by Meg’s beautiful pair, but she is still much taller than I am! My goal was to make a pair that could wear to work and that were heavy enough to wear during the winter.

With all of this in mind, I decided to use a pin-striped wool/viscose blend fabric I found locally. Cutting out the pattern, I could see how long the legs were going to be, so I decided to do the cropped length and then shorten the leg from there. (The cropped length was full length on me). I followed the directions to choose my size based on my hip measurements and went with a straight size 8 (for comparison, I made a size 4 in the Tea House Dress). I’m really pleased with how they turned out and the paper-bag waist at the back in particular.

As I was making them, I kept thinking what a great pattern this would be if you wanted to participate in this year’s The Refashioners project! A man’s suit would give you plenty of material to cover this pattern. I love the ties, but I would recommend that you heed the suggestion in the instructions to use the folded method to construct them. I foolishly thought I would be fine sewing them with the tube method and then struggled to pull them through. My fabric was also unraveling every time I touched it and I had some serger-thread-tension-issues. I eventually solved them by using a scrap piece of fabric and systematically turning the dials until I had a result that I liked.

I know I like pattern when I end up prancing around the house in it before the garment is even finished and that was certainly the case here. I have a pair of overalls that are work-appropriate, flattering, and don’t make me feel like I am staring in a remake of Punky Brewster. And, the wool suiting I used isn’t itchy at all!

I’ve got two more projects coming up for you today, so stay tuned. Thank you so much to Allie for inviting me along on the blog tour. You can see the other projects using the links below!

Project: Pinstriped Brunside Bibs

Total Cost: $38

Fabric: $36

Pattern: c/o Indiesew

Notions: $2

Total Hours: 10 (this includes PDF assembly)

Fit: Straight size 8

Fabric country of origin: Unknown

Oct 18: Grainline Studio
Oct 20: My Handmade Wardrobe
Oct 23: The Doing Things Blog
Oct 24: Sweet KM
Oct 25: Sew House Seven
Oct 26: Threadbear Garments
Oct 27: Sew Liberated



Summer of Basics: Chardon Skirt

August 2, 2017
Jupe Chardon

Jupe Chardon Jupe ChardonJupe ChardonJupe ChardonAs my pile of store-bought items dwindles down in my closet, I’ve realized that I’m missing some key items: basics. I need bottoms in particular, and some solid items in general. I often start planning a sewing project based on a piece of fabric, rather than starting from the idea of a garment and my love of prints has been well represented during this project, but it is getting harder to come up with an outfit that I can wear to work. So when I saw the Summer of Basics post from Grainline Studios, I knew I would be joining in.

First up was a Chardon Skirt from Deer and Doe. This was to replace an old Zara skirt I had for years and wore until you could practically read through it. I’ve made this skirt before and know that it’s a silhouette that works for me and a pattern that doesn’t require any alterations. I love the shape and I love those deep pockets. I used some charcoal grey stretch-shirting that I had in my stash and it makes for some crisp pleats. It looks grey or blue or purple, depending on the light. I used black bias tape to finish the hem, used a plain old regular zipper on the back and finished the seams with my serger. I’ve been wearing this skirt a lot already and it’s really come in handy during the warmer temperatures. I’m happy to have a neutral basic in my wardrobe again!

Project: Chardon Skirt from Deer and Doe

Total Cost: $41 (CAD)

Pattern: $21

Fabric:  $14

Notions: $6

Total Time: 6 hours

Techniques: Bias tape hem, serging

Fit Adjustments: None! I made a straight size 38

Ginger Flares

September 13, 2016
Ginger Flares

Ginger FlaresGinger FlaresGinger FlaresGinger FlaresGinger FlaresOh man, these pants. What a difference from my first pair of Ginger Jeans! I decided to be bold and go down from a size 10 to a size 6 for the Ginger Flares from Closet Case Files. I hardly had to make any alterations to this size. I had measured myself for the last pair, but sometimes I have a hard time believing what the tape says and am convinced that I am either smaller or, most likely, bigger than that. My size also fluctuates easily, so I often feel like I don’t really know where to begin with a pattern.

Making jeans is so fun and easy and satisfying. While custom-fitting can take a bit of time, the actual construction process of jeans is very relaxing. I used the remaining yardage from my Cone Mills Kit, which is slightly lighter in weight and darker in colour than my other fabric. I used a notions kit from Thread Theory for the buttons, rivets, and zipper.

I have seen people with sewing blogs comment that making jeans was addictive, but I didn’t really believe them. Now, I understand. It’s all I want to make! This is great news, since when I started this project, I only had one pair of jeans and while they fit, I didn’t love them and only kept them out of desperation. I’m looking forward to getting rid of that pair and building up my collection.

Project: Ginger Flares

Total Cost: $98.00

Pattern: $18 USD + 7.50 for the flare expansion pack.

Fabric: $65.00. It was the other half was my Cone Mills denim kit from Closet Case Files.

Notions: 7.50

Time: 10 leisurely hours. This includes time for assembling and cutting the PDF expansion for the legs.

Fit: GREAT. I took 1 inch from the back waistline and 1.5 inches off the length, but I might increase that next time.

What to work on: Rivets. I have yet to find that magical balance between too long and too short. I’m either smashing through them or they come off.


The Saga of the Ginger Jeans

September 2, 2016
Ginger Jeans 1

Ginger Jeans 4Ginger Jeans 2GINGERS 5Ginger Jeans 3Ginger Jeans 8

Ginger Jeans 6I made a pair of jeans. I made a pair of jeans.

A fly-front, high-waisted pair of Ginger Jeans.  And they are amazing.

It took what felt like weeks to get here, but really, it’s a simple process of following the steps that Heather, the designer, has very clearly laid out for you. I gave myself a lot more work than was necessary through some groan-inducing mistakes. Here’s how it went:

I cut out some cheapie stretch denim I got at my local chain store to make a practice pair before I used the Cone Mills denim that I have been hoarding from one of the Closet Case Files kits. The fabric store didn’t have the amount I needed as continuous yardage, but I knew it wouldn’t be a problem since I am only 5’2 and the pieces were pretty long.  As I was cutting on a single layer (to avoid pant legs that twist), I needed to flip the pattern pieces to ensure I ended up with the right amount of legs. I did not remember to do this. I discovered my mistake only one I had cut out all the pieces. (The problem was that I did not have mirror images, and one side of each leg would have been inside-out). When I pulled out my other fabric piece, I discovered that not only was it not the same denim, it certainly did not have the same amount of stretch.

But, that piece was big enough to squeeze out all new pattern pieces. Luckily for me, Jenny from Cashmerette was making a pair of Gingers over the same weekend, she kindly live-posted each step on Instagram Stories (thank you, Jenny! So helpful). Top-stitching was going great, and the fly was surprisingly easy. Then I basted the legs together to test the fit.

I couldn’t even get them over my knees.  There wasn’t any stretch to the jeans beyond pulling the fabric across the bias. I laughed, and then I may have cried a little bit. And then I felt stupid for getting upset over an item of clothing. But really, I had wanted to practice. And I had been able to discover that making jeans is not a scary, or even complicated thing. If you have ever successfully put together a piece of furniture from Ikea, you are more than qualified to make jeans.

The next day I reprinted, assembled, and cut out the PDF pattern again (I figured that going up from an 8 to the size 10 wouldn’t be a bad idea) and pulled out that Cone Mills denim. It’s so buttery to cut through! I followed the sewalong posts and ended up taking them in quite a bit (both the inseam and the side seams). I took a wedge out of the center-back seam to help with the gap at the back and angled the side seams in even more at the top. The crotch is still a little long, (though not as long as it appears in the pictures) and the rise is a little too high-rise on me. I’ll go back to the size 8 for the next pair. But these are minor adjustments and this pair is awesome.

Hammering in that last rivet I felt simultaneously burnt out, and a sudden urge to immediately start cutting out another pair. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more satisfaction out of making something. Thank you to Heather for creating such a great pattern and all of the many free resources that go along with it.

I made jeans!

Project: Ginger Jeans

Fabric: Cone Mills Denim

Total Cost:$108

Fabric/Notions: $29 for the cheap denim and $65 USD for all other items inclusively (rivets, buttons, needles, thread, fabric, etc.).

Pattern: $14 USD

Time: 1 week. This in includes all three pairs I started and the PDF printing and cutting. Making the last pair only took a weekend.

Fit: As above.

What to work on: Letting go of being a perfectionist. If I came across this pair in the store, I’d be dancing my way out of the fitting room to show you how great they are.jg

Skills/Techniques: First time I’ve used a cast-iron skillet for sewing!



Summer uniform: Made by Rae Luna Pants

August 17, 2016
Luna Pants 6

Luna Pants 1LunaPants3Luna Pants 7When I was making these pants, my partner said to me “Oh, are you making pyjamas?” To which I tersely replied, “These are not pyjama pants. They are pants in the style of pyjamas.” I mean, obviously, wink-wink!

I have an old pair of pyjama/harem style pants from H & M that I think I bought while traveling in Copenhagen several years ago. They were having a heat wave while we were there and I didn’t pack expecting that. I have worn them endlessly since then and have always wanted to make another pair.

I love my new Made by Rae Luna Pants. I have been wearing them nonstop and always get compliments on them when I am out. Who doesn’t love not-so-secret-pyjamas? When deciding on my size, I opted to cut out a medium, since the model appears to be leaner of leg than I am and I was making them out of rayon. The pattern was a good 4 inches longer than my pants, but after a few washes, they have shrunk right up to match.

They came together quickly, but I had some trouble with my elastic twisting. I think the size of the channel for it is a little small for the width of elastic I used. (I opted to use whatever was in my stash). There are a few changes I would like to make so that my next pair mirrors my original ones even more: a wider waistband (and a slightly higher rise) and a wider ankle band, shirred instead of using elastic.

Total Cost: $37.48

PDF Pattern: $15.50 CAD

Palm print rayon: $18.99

Elastic: 2.99

Time: 3.5 hours (includes time for PDF cutting and assembly).

Fit changes: None! But I’m very glad I thought to go up a size.

What to work on: Twisty elastic and following directions!