Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dark Jeans (With Mood Fabric)

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I finished my pair of jeans-with no leg twist this time! I can’t explain how pumped I am about this.

See that straight inseam?!

See that straight inseam?!

I spent so much time trying to figure out what could be causing the legs to twist. The first time it happened I thought maybe I just wasn’t careful enough when sewing the inseam and my feed dogs pulled one side through faster than the other.

That didn’t turn out to be it, and so then I thought maybe I somehow wasn’t cutting my pattern pieces out on grain. So I meticulously cut my fabric out, one leg at a time and was oh so careful.

That wasn’t it either, and so then I knew there had to be something wrong with my pattern. It is self-drafted after all, so why wouldn’t I have screwed something up?

I thought the grainlines had to be off on the pattern, so Jon and I spent a lot of time examining the grainlines on the pair of jeans I drafted my pattern from and the grainline on my pattern pieces, but they looked identical to us so we didn’t think that was it either.

I finally decided to just make a muslin and play around with it and when I did, I was able to figure out what was wrong. And guess what it was? The outseam on the front and back pattern pieces didn’t match up. The back was longer than the front.

There's no pocket facing attached in this picture so it looks even worse than it actually was, but you can kind of get an idea.

There’s no pocket facing attached in this picture so it looks even worse than it actually was, but you can kind of get an idea.

When I sewed all my pairs of jeans together, I sewed the inseam and then pinned and sewed the outseams. But I started pinning and sewing at the hip and so since the front was shorter, it got twisted as I pinned it to the back and by the time I got to the hem it was a bit of a mess.

There was a pretty big difference-the back was about 1 1/2″ longer than the front. I knew I didn’t want my front that much higher and I knew I didn’t want my back that much lower, so for an inch of the length I tapered the back, starting at the center back and tapering down to 1″ by the time I got to the outseam.

Then for the remaining 1/2″ I split it in half and took 1/4″ off the back yoke (I tapered from the center down to the outseam again) and added 1/4″ to the front outseam (I added the 1/4″ to the outseam but then tapered down to zero by the time I hit center front).

It worked! And I learned from this that I should start pinning the outseam from the hem up. It makes sense, because the hem is supposed to be perpendicular to the grainline. If I pin that first then I can make sure the pieces stay on grain.

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Anyway, I love these. I got the fabric from Mood (It was this right here) and it’s my favorite fabric yet I’ve made jeans out of.

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I made them with a little bit of a tapered leg, like my last pair (and in the pictures of that last pair you can see the inseam twisting).

This pattern has been a work in progress for awhile, but I think I can finally say that this pair is just the way I want it!

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Sunday Sevens (#5)


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Another week has flown by! Here are seven things that happened around here:

1. I made some nice whole wheat double chocolate chip cookies.

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2. I did some workouts with my kettlebells and Battle Ropes. I love my dear kettlebells very much.

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3. I had a helper to unload the dishwasher.

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4. I figured out why the legs of the jeans I’ve been making have been twisting! I’m so pumped about this. I started a new pair.

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5. Jon and Lucy enjoyed some sun shining in through the window. Lucy got a haircut this week so she’s looking a lot less hairy.IMG_0887

6. We went on a walk and Owen rode his scooter the whole way.

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7. Jon built a giant block tower and the boys thought it was rad.

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Seth’s T-Shirt

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I finished Seth’s Valentine’s t-shirt. And I try hard to salvage most of the things I sew even if they don’t go as planned, but Jon’s t-shirt is a definite did not finish project.

It’s just that I’ve noticed that sometimes the thread breaks a little bit in my serged seams in areas of a lot of stress (like the armpit).

Last week when I was pulling my running top over my head, a thread broke in the armpit because I pulled too hard. I was trying to think of all the reasons that the thread would break and one of the things I came up with was that maybe I needed to use a smaller stitch length (I usually use about a 3) so there would be more thread to help make the seams strong.

So for Seth’s t-shirt, I turned the stitch length down to about 1.5. That was a bad idea because it made the seams really thick. And wavy because there was more thread there than my poor seams knew what to do with! But in my defense, they were super strong.

 

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I used my t-shirt pattern for this t-shirt, as usual (a color blocked version).

I asked him to put his arms down at his sides and he told me that would look stupid.

I asked him to put his arms down at his sides and he told me that would look stupid.

Seth’s t-shirt came out ok, but not great.

For Jon’s t-shirt, I decided that maybe since I had changed to a smaller stitch length that I needed to change the differential feed to compensate for the waves I was getting.

I’ll be honest and say that I knew that the differential feed changes the way the fabric feeds through the feed dogs, but I didn’t really understand how it changes it or what the numbers mean on my differential feed dial.

So I changed the differential feed to a 2 and serged up the seams in Jon’s t-shirt. That did not go too well! The seams were puckery and awful looking.

So I did some googling so I could learn exactly what the differential feed does, and then I understood that since I had it set on 2 I had actually gathered the seams in Jon’s t-shirt. Not what I wanted to do, but it did make some lovely gathers in the sleeve caps 🙂

I wasn’t happy that I ruined his t-shirt. I hate the feeling that I wasted time when projects don’t turn out right! I was so mad that I stomped around and this is what I wrote in my sewing notebook under Jon’s t-shirt entry:

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But now I know more about my serger at least. I still don’t know why my seams would pop sometimes, but I think I probably need to do a better job of adjusting my tension (and definitely going back to a longer stitch length!). If anyone knows why my seams would pop, I’d love to hear why.

Now, I’m working on making me some more jeans. I’m working on trying to fix the dreaded leg twist I’ve been getting. I made a muslin last night and I think I know why I’m getting the twist, but until it’s 100% fixed I won’t be sure. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll probably fly into a rage and pull all my hair out or something!

 

Sunday Sevens (#4)


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Here’s seven things from this past week.

1. IMG_0783I wore my Archer with my skinny jeans and thought about how it’s a perfect, comfortable outfit.

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I got a wicked huge splinter in my thumb. Jon tried to dig it out and we thought it was all out, but it kept hurting so he had to dig in deeper and he finally got it all out with these tweezers. I’m so glad because the sliver was cramping my style. It hurt every time I tried to press the steam button on my iron with my thumb.

3. I usually rock Owen in the rocking chair for awhile every night before bed. But I guess he’s decided he’s too old for that because he’s not cool with doing it anymore and he just climbs inside his crib all by himself. So last week I started climbing in his crib with him so I can still tell him a bedtime story and stuff.

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He thinks that’s pretty funny.

4. When I got back from a run Lucy licked the heck out of me. She loves that salty sweat I guess.

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For the Valentine’s Day party in Ezra’s class, I made this game for the kids to play. I got the idea from here.

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I made some muffins. We eat a lot of muffins at our house!

7. After church today we went on a family walk. Owen thinks he’s too big now to ride in a stroller but that’s ok because he’s a pretty quick little bugger!

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Two More Shirts

wpid1745-20150214-014940.jpgWell, I didn’t get all of our Valentine’s Day shirts finished this week. I am the room mom in Ezra’s class at school and so I had to plan and do his Valentine’s Day party. That took a lot of my extra time and then tack on that we’ve had more illness this week (I am so done with sickness!) and there wasn’t enough time to make all of them.

But I got Ezra’s and Owen’s done and I’m happy about that.

For Ezra’s, I used my Children’s T-Shirt Pattern.

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I used a size 6 for him for the first time (He turned six last September). And I widened the sleeves a little bit. I do that with all of the t-shirts I make with this pattern for my boys. I was trying to make the sleeve work for a girl too and look a little feminine. But for my boys I like it wider.

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I used some fabric from Banberry Place for this shirt. Ezra loves the print and says it’s his “Captain America shirt”.

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The fabric is super, super thin. I’m worried it’s going to fall apart after a few washes. And, the fabric came with small holes all down it in one section.

Can you see the little holes there?

Can you see the little holes there?

I emailed the company about the holes because I wanted to keep the fabric and I was just hoping to have a price reduction or something. But I never heard back from them. So I decided to work around the holes and it turned out alright.

For the collar, I used some Laguna stretch fabric.

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Ezra was in a super bad mood when I took these pictures. I had to promise a treat when it was over so that all of the pictures didn’t look like this:

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For Owen’s polo, I also used my T-Shirt pattern.

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I used a collar from a different pattern I have. For the placket, I measured a ready to wear polo Owen has so I would know how big to make the rectangles. Then I cut down the center front of the t-shirt and made the placket with my cut rectangles.

I made a little facing and sewed it over the collar seam allowance.

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I should have cut a longer slit for the placket, because it’s just a tad snug going over his big head. Next time I will make it longer.

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I think I might need to figure out a better way to do plackets, though. I sewed on the two separate strips and then pulled them through at the bottom to the inside of the shirt and then tacked them down really well. It was so hard to get them looking right! I would rather sew a fly into a pair of jeans any day than make a placket the way I’ve been doing it.

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This fabric was also from Banberry place. I used some of it already to make a t-shirt for Seth and I realized that because of its weight, it would make a better polo than a t-shirt. It’s a bit heavy for a t-shirt. But it’s nice fabric.

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Next up, I’m going to finish Jon’s and Seth’s t-shirts!

 

 

Sunday Sevens (#3)


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It’s time for Sunday Sevens again!

1.  IMG_0743

It was like 40 degrees this week! That meant it was warm enough to ride Ezra to school on the bike. The boys really were having fun even though you can’t tell in this picture.

2. I had a fever and sore throat and chills for a day or two this week and had to sleep a lot. After Seth and Ezra were at school Owen watched shows next to me while I rested.

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3. You guys,  more ties!

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I think now I’ve got one made for all the people we know having little boys for awhile. For these, I figured out an easier way to sew the tie keeper on the back. I looked at a store bought tie we have and realized they only tack the tie keeper on at the four corners of the tie keeper, instead of all along both short sides. I did that and it was a lot faster.

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4. Since it’s been so warm (for Rexburg in February) Jon put the trampoline up on Friday. The boys have been having a super time.

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Yesterday I vacuumed my sewing room. I remember in the very first Craftsy class I ever watched, the instructor said something like, “After you clip your thread ends, you can throw them on the floor, or throw them in the garbage, or wherever.”

I remember thinking, “How could you throw your thread ends on the floor?! What a mess!”

But I’ve learned it’s just so convenient to throw them on the floor, ya know? At least I vacuum them up eventually.

6. We went to the park this week too! Only for a few minutes, but still. Ezra had a blast playing with the digger. I didn’t get a picture any closer than this because I didn’t want to walk through the snow, ha.IMG_0750

7. While we were at the park Owen slid down the slide to the melted water at the bottom of it.

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He said, “There’s a river! But there’s no ducks in it.”

If you want to do a Sunday Sevens post too, then you should! You can click on the image at the top and it will take you to more info about it.

And…do you throw your thread ends on the floor, or am I the only one?