Tag Archives: jeans

Completed: The Hampton Jean Jacket

27 Mar

I actually finished this project months ago – like, as in, 2017. Took the photos in mid-November, and then started this blog draft at the end of that month. I have no idea why I never finished writing it up, but… better late than never, I suppose?

Hampto Jean Jacket

At any rate, despite my apparent reluctance to post this project, I am actually pretty happy and excited about it! I love me a good denim jacket, and have always considered it a wardrobe staple for the way I dress. My style has changed a lot over the years – in my teens I was ~punk rock~ (insert hysterical laughter in hindsight yere), in my 20s I was really into vintage, and now I tend to dress just pretty boring overall (I like to think I look “classic,” but let’s be real – it’s boring AF, whatever, don’t care). With all those style changes, the humble denim jacket has always held a special place in my heart and a leading role in my wardrobe.

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

I think it’s safe to say that there are lots of people who feel the same way as I do about the versatility of a denim jacket, however, it’s been hard to find a sewing pattern that includes all the features you see in one (such as the welt pockets, or a sleeve placket). I have made the Staci Jean jacket in the past, but it wasn’t quite up to par – the fit was more generous than what I prefer, and it really bothered me that it didn’t have actual pockets. I ended up not getting a lot of wear out of that jacket and later donating it.

The Hampton Jean Jacket is a great pattern that includes all the features I like in a jean jacket – those welt pockets, functional in-panel pockets with a top flap, a two-piece sleeve with a placket and cuff, and front and back yokes. Sewn up in a denim fabric with contrast topstitching and metal jeans buttons, it’s almost indistinguishable from the RTW versions you see in stores (almost, but just a little bit better – because it’s handmade by meeeee 🙂 haha). I love that someone took the time to create this pattern, and y’all, it’s a good one. Not that the Style Arc Staci jacket is a bad one, but it’s very basic and lacking compared to this one. This was exactly the type of pattern I have been looking for to fill this hole in my wardrobe.

I bought my denim at Mood Fabrics when I was in NYC last year – specifically for this jacket (sometimes I buy for specific projects, sometimes I just stash… but in this case, it was indeed for this pattern). I wanted something that was a good weight for a jacket, although not too heavy, and with little to no stretch. I found this piece in the denim section of Mood (on the bottom floor) and I just love the dark indigo wash. I originally thought about distressing and bleaching the fabric, but ended up just sticking with what you see here (apparently you are supposed to distress before topstitching… so yeah, that wasn’t happening). As with all denims, this fabric should soften and fade as it is washed and worn, which I’m looking forward to seeing. In the meantime, I do like the way it looks now, too!

The pattern looks complicated, but it’s pretty easy to follow. Sewing a jean jacket is pretty similar to sewing jeans – minus the obvious difference between the two articles of clothing (like, you don’t sew a fly front in the jacket and you don’t set a sleeve in jeans.. or maybe you do, I ain’t here to judge your life), just a lot of flat felled seams and topstitching. Y’all know I fucking LOVE making jeans, but I also have way too many pairs as it is, so this was a nice way to get that jeans-making experience without adding yet another pair to my wardrobe. Instead, I managed to fill a gap at the same time! I love it when that happens!

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

I waffled for a bit on what size to cut – my measurements are closer to a 2, but I ended up making the size 0 after comparing the finished measurements to an existing RTW denim jacket I own and like the fit of. I wanted this one to be a slim fit that looks great both opened and closed (I rarely ever wear my denim jacket buttoned unless I’m like, actually cold or something, however, I needed to make sure there was enough space to close it if it came down to it!). My only complaint about the sizing is how the sleeve length is measured – for whatever reason, it’s measured from the top of the shoulder to the bottom, instead of at the underarm. This led me to originally believe that the sleeve was something crazy like 5″ too long, and I actually altered the pattern and nearly cut it before I thought to actually compare the pattern piece to a different sleeve pattern piece. I was under the impression that the standard is to measure from the underarm to wrist (like what is basically your arm inseam), but now I’m second-guessing myself and thinking maybe I’m the nutty one? Thoughts?

Anyway, like I said – this pattern is really easy to follow. It’s obvious that a lot of thought when into the instructions; they are clear, easy to understand and follow, and the diagrams are beautifully done. There is also a sewalong on the blog if you do happen to get stuck, although it seems like it’s basically a photographed copy of the instructions (i.e., no additional information or tips, just the exact same instructions except with photographs to guide you). I found the sizing to be accurate and the pieces fit well together. I don’t know much about Alina Design Company, however, this was a very pleasant first experience so I am happy about that!

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

For sewing, not much different than sewing jeans. I used a 90/14 denim needle, navy all purpose polyester thread to construct, and a lightweight topstitching thread for all the topstitching – Mara 70 from Wawak, which Jennifer introduced me to a couple years ago during one of our jeans workshops. It’s heavier than regular all-purpose thread – which is 100wt – but not as heavy as traditional topstitching thread – which is typically around 30wt. It still looks nice and thick so your stitches really stand out, but it’s not so thick that it causes your machine to jam or nest, and it is very easy to thread through a standard needle. If you’ve been having issues with topstitching thread, I really recommend trying this weight!

I tried to finish most of my seams with flat-felled seams, but a few (such as the front yoke seam and the armscye seam) had to be serged and topstitched for a mock flat-fell. My RTW denim jacket is like this – a combination of flat-felled and mock flat-felled, and this is all explained in the instructions as well. I washed and dried the denim on the hottest setting a few times before cutting, and have washed it more than necessary since finishing to get it to soften up a little bit more. I know it’ll fade with time, I just want to speed that time up 🙂

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

Hampto Jean Jacket

My only complaint with the pattern is that I think it is lacking some necessary interfacing. There is interfacing at the button placket, sleeve cuff, and bottom band – and that’s it. No interfacing at the in-panel pockets or flaps (which have buttons and button holes, so they *should* be interfaced – at least with a little square where the aforementioned buttons and button holes are), or on the back tabs where, again, there are button holes. I was able to add these in before closing up those areas, but I am a little surprised that they were included with the instructions, especially considering how in-depth the entire pattern is as a whole. One thing I did like was that the collar is not interfaced – you might need to do that if you are using a lighter weight fabric, but for this denim, the weight of the 2 layers of fabric was plenty. I love the way the collar sits!

Hampto Jean Jacket
Anyway, the jacket turned out pretty fucking awesome – if I do say so myself. I think the sleeves could stand to be shortened about 1″, but I usually wear my jacket sleeves rolled up anyway so I’m not terribly concerned about it. The length is perfect for wearing with pants, not so much dresses and skirts (perhaps with something that has a lower waist, but I think the long length paired with a high waist looks unbalanced and a little sloppy – at least on me!). That being said, I already made a second version that is cropped – specifically to wear with dresses and skirts – so watch this space for that!

*Note: The fabrics used in this project were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. 

Completed: Navy Cotton Twill Ginger Pants

1 Nov

Gah, it has been WAY too long since I made a pair of pants – according to my blog, that last pair was published in a February! LAME, TIME TO RECTIFY IMMEDIATELY.

Also, damn, my hair has gotten long since then. It seems to grow soo slowly until you look back and realize you’ve really gained some inches over the months, yay.

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - front

Anyway, Ginger Jeans! Again! I love this pattern so much, it’s definitely my pants TNT. The style is so classic, I can make a million pairs and have no one be the wiser that I’ve been wearing the same pattern for 6 months straight. I’m still tweaking the leg fit, but I really think the waist/hip fit is nailed down solid. And I love how it looks in different fabrics. While I primarily make this pattern up in denim, I’ve really wanted to try more colorful stretch twills. And here we are with that!

Sorry in advance for the terribly quality of these photos. Navy is almost as difficult to shoot as black, who would have thought!?

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - front

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - back

Anyway, I bought this navy stretch cotton twill from Mood Fabrics, back when I was in the NYC storefront in March – specifically with the intention of making myself some sweet pants out of the yardage. It’s a good stretch bottomweight for the kind of pants I like to wear – a lighter bottom weight (it’s still technically bottom weight, however, it’s about the lightest you can get away with – if that makes sense!) with a really good, solid amount of stretch. I have learned that I don’t like wearing really heavy fabric as pants – just don’t care at all for the way it feels. Maybe I’m sliding quickly into knit-fabrics-for-every-garment fabric territory, but I really like lightweight, super stretchy fabrics on my booty. Since that’s so freaking DIFFICULT to find with denim (get the right weight, and you lose out on recovery. Get the good recovery, and it’s like wearing raw denim in terms of stiffness, ew), cotton twill is where it’s AT. Bonus if that shit is colorful. I like colorful things.

This cotton twill seems to be a lot more along the lines of a cotton sateen, to be honest -it’s pretty shiny, for one. I rather like the effect – I think it looks a little more luxe than just a normal pair of pants – but as you can see, it highlights EVERY SINGLE wrinkle that shows up. It makes these pants look a lot more ill-fitting than they actually are… not that anyone would notice, except someone else who sews/fits, but it is what it is. I ain’t worried about it. Coupled with the fact that I like to wear my pants as skintight as if they are basically painted on, it’s pretty much wrinkle-city up in here. That’s ok, though. I will live.

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - front

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - side

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - back

I wanted to improve on the fit of my last pair – the full calf adjustment has been good in terms of allowing room for my calves and reducing the amount of knee wrinkles, however, I wasn’t happy with how wide the ankle ended up as a result. This is part of the reason why I’ve been reluctant to make this pattern again until now – that, and it’s been way too hot to wear pants for the past few months 🙂 Anyway, I have that Ginger Jeans Intensive at Workroom Social this week, so I wanted to make the pattern before I left just to brush on the construction. Which meant that I also had to figure out the leg situation. Boo.

Ultimately, I figured that since the full calf adjustment was kind of the same concept as a full bust adjustment – i.e., you slash and spread to add width to a certain part of your pattern – then reducing the circumference of the ankle would basically be the opposite of that, like a small bust adjustment.

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - full calf adjustment

Here is my pattern piece after adding that extra room for my calves. As you can see, quite a bit of width was added at the ankle – 1 1/8″, to be exact. I wanted to reduce that amount without actually reducing the calf width, and also maintain the grainline of the pattern so the fabric wouldn’t twist and go all haywire (this is why you can’t just… shave down the side seams to remove the width. I tried that on the jeans with a basting stitch and it was just AWFUL. Did not work at all).

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - full calf adjustment

My Y-shaped slash and spread worked to add that width, so I did another Y-shaped slash right around where my calf starts to taper back into “normal width” category, using the super scientific method of holding the pattern piece up to my body and drawing wild lines on the paper with a pencil. (btw, that second slash line was my first try – and I realized it was way too low, so I taped it back together haha)

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - full calf adjustment

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - full calf adjustment

Instead of spreading, I overlapped the pieces together so that the original pattern paper (without my brown craft paper addition) butted up as normal right at the ankle. As you can see, it makes a very gradual curve to the side seams – they bellow out a little where the extra width is needed, and then gently curve back to their normal width tapering to nothing at the ankle. I also straightened the grainline, after I took the photo. Sorry bout that.

I had no idea if this was going to work – this is how I do my pattern adjustments (if I can’t find the answer in a book, anyway): mulling over the issue for a few months, doing some wild slashing that seems legit, and then cutting them off into shorts if it doesn’t work 🙂 Fortunately, it worked! I still have the room I need for my calves, but the ankle is fitted as it should be. And I ended up with pants instead of having to cut them into shorts, so woohoo me:)

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - flat

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - flat

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - flat

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - flat

The only other change I made to these pants, in terms of construction, was how I applied the topstitching. I usually use topstitching thread – whether matching or in a contrast color – but I didn’t have any of that on hand when I made these pants (to be frank, I barely had ANY navy thread at all during this phase. I did have a bunch of bobbins filled with navy thread, which is what I used as my main thread hahaha AND MIRACULOUSLY HAD ENOUGH YAY). Instead, I used normal polyester thread – just whatever you’d use to, I dunno, assemble a garment – and set my machine to sew on the Triple Stitch. The Triple Stitch automatically lengthens your stitch just a few mm, and then sews over the same stitch a couple of times – which results in a nice, thick, dense stitch. It looks great for topstiching and solves the problem of not having the proper thread. I actually like it better than using topstitching thread, as you are less likely to get thread nests on the underside of your fabric! The only downside is that it is a giant ass bitch to unpick, so definitely be really really sure of what you’re sewing 🙂

Anyway, I used the Triple Stitch to topstitch all my seams – including the flat-felled seams. To keep my lines even and consistent, I used my edgestitching foot to get that 1/8″ from the seamline, and then my 1/4″ foot for the second pass. The bartacks are just teensy little zigzag/satin stitch blobs, using the same navy as the topstitching. I didn’t add any rivets or contrasty anything to these pants – I wanted them to be plain and a little sleek. The pocketing is the same striped cotton I use for pretty much all my pocketing – I bought a shitload of that yardage ages ago at Mood Fabrics, and it’s like the gift that keeps on giving forever haha 🙂 I kept the longer length, just so these don’t end up being super high-waters after a couple of washes, but they look good cuffed, too 🙂

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - front

I have only had a chance to wear these once since finishing them, so I can’t 100% comment on the recovery of the stretch fabric – but at the end of the day on their inaugural wear, they stayed pretty tight and did not bag out. I’m interested to see how long they keep their shape before bagging happens, but so far so good, I think!

** Note: The fabrics used to make these pants were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. In case you were curious, the gingham for that shirt is also from Mood Fabrics 🙂 it’s Butterick 5526 !

Completed: Ginger Jeans + Silk Cami

15 Feb

Well, it’s finally too cold to take photos outdoors.

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank

Hello, wall!

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank

Anyway, I made another pair of Ginger jeans – and finally used up my second piece of the Cone Mills denim I’ve been hoarding since I bought it last year (FYI, in my last post it was brought to my attention that Threadbare Fabrics also sells Cone Mills denim by the yard. I haven’t ordered from them yet – but it made it much easier to cut into my precious stash knowing that I could get more of the stuff. Yay!). This is the lighter weight of the two denims I received in my kit; I think it’s a 10oz. It’s thinner and a little stretchier than what I used in my previous pair, and I like it a lot more. Actually, it’s almost identical to the denim I used in my very first pair of Gingers – same color and everything. I realize I essentially made two pairs of the same pants, but that first pair is starting to show it’s age (saying that I wear them a LOT is a huge understatement), so I am just thinking I’m ahead of the curve for once.

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank

I was originally saving this denim to make a pair of flares – either using the Ginger jeans flare expansion add-on (um, btw, how genius is that idea?!) or the new Birkin flares that everyone is obsessing over, but in the end I just decided to remake my ol’ TNT (especially since the fabric on the first pair is a bit subpar quality, and one of these days I might have an unfortunate butt-rip happen. Hopefully not in public. I am wearing cute underwear at all times just in case, though). Like I said, I can reorder more of the Cone Mills, so perhaps there will be flares in my future. Just not this pair. No ragrets.

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank

I wanted to improve on my last pair – they’re ok, but the bunching at the knee really bothered me way too much. I tried to research what the issue was – some people suggested that I might have knock-knees which is causing the bunching, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case (I definitely don’t look like I have knock-knees, anyway). One of the comments in my last jeans post suggested checking out Cation Designs as she has a few posts on pants fitting. I usually refer to my pants-fitting bible, Pants for Real People, as it has never steered me wrong. However, this particular fit issue wasn’t covered in the book (I think it’s a product of tight/stretchy jeans, which they certainly don’t show any of in the book hahaha), so it was good to have a back-up resource! And this post in particular is FANTASTIC – plus, I think I found my solution! Yay! The #10 Hyperextended Calf alteration sounded like what I was dealing with – the calves of my tight pants are always REALLY tight, which then causes them to ride up and bunch at the knee (I have muscular calves, so this makes sense!). I did this alteration to my jeans pattern, adding 1 1/8″ to the calf (this was just a wild guess; I wasn’t about to slash up a pair of pants to figure out the exact amount I needed). It worked pretty well, but I think I could stand to add even a little more width. How they are now, though, is pretty magical -they only bunch a little, and I think that’s just from moving around. I don’t have giant folds of denim hanging around my knee. It is AWESOME. However, I am not a huge fan of how big it makes the ankle – I can deal with this pair, but on my next pair I would like to figure out a way to keep the tightess at the ankle while still allowing some room in the calf. Anyone have suggestions? Just tapering the ankle at the side and inseams doesn’t work, FYI. haha.

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank

Other than that one alteration, not a lot of changes to this pair. I added the length back and then removed about 2.5″ – I wanted them to be long enough to pool a little at the ankle. I used my original Ginger pattern – the one before it was updated with a pocket stay – and sewed the size 2 instead of the 4. Topstitching and all that is pretty simple – one color of jeans topstitching thread. I did add an X to one leg in lieu of a bartack. Kind of a riff on the + on my I+W jeans haha. What, they’re made of the same denim!

Silk Tank

This silk cami is something I made ages ago and completely forgot to photograph for my blog! It’s a Ruby Slip that I modified to include gathers at the bust and silk bias finishing on the edges and straps, and then shortened to cami length. I made this slip a couple of years ago out of some really amazing 4ply silk, and I love how it looks so it was only natural to use it for a cami pattern.

The silk I used is a really wonderful new silk from Organic Cotton Plus, called Peace Silk. I really love OCP and I’ve been happy with all the fabrics I’ve received from them, and this silk is pretty fantastic too. It’s a wonderful lightweight, organic silk, with a feel similar to a thicker china silk or a less crepey crepe de chine. Really easy to work with, and feels amaaaazing after a wash in the machine. It’s called Peace Silk because it’s produced in a way that does not kill the silk worm and instead allows it to emerge from the cocoon first. While I definitely have no problem eating meat or wearing animal fibers, I thought that was a pretty neat solution! Plus, the name just makes me happy 🙂

That’s about all I have left to talk about, so here’s a bunch of pictures of my butt:

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

And some flat jeans shots:

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Everything was constructed on my Pfaff 7570, and topstitching was done on my Bernina 350PE. I used regular black poly thread for piecing, and Gutterman jeans topstitching thread for the topstitching. The aqua serging thread is just a fun color that matched my pocketing (which I got from the free fabric pile at A Gathering of Stitches because GOD it’s beautiful!) and my zipper (from the Garment District!). I wanted to add rivets, but they need to be trimmed down and I apparently don’t own wire cutters anymore, womp womp.

Overall: A+ jeans, would sew again (and I will – I have enough Cone Mills left to make a couple pairs of jorts! HA HA HA IT NEVER ENDS).

In closing, two things:

One, here is my Calvin Klein ~modeling~ shot. Can’t you see people just banging down my door to be a jeans model? Gah.

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank

Two, the Spiegel 60609 winner! Yay! First of all, I cannot BELIEVE how many entries that giveaway got – over 1,100! That’s definitely the biggest one I’ve ever hosted on this blog (and I guess y’all agree with me that one should never say no to a free sewing machine, amirite). Thank you for blowing up my email last week and making me feel super duper popular haha. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments – and yes, I read every single one of them! – but there can only be one winner:

winner1 winner2

Congratulations, thefilling!! I want to also mention that this comment filled me with delight – although, what is exactly is a snapback hat? (Can I see a picture? Can you tell me more about this cheeseburger print? We have a lot to discuss, dude) We will be in touch to get your new 60609 out to you ASAP 😀 😀 😀 Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

If you’re still trying to holler at the 60609, watch this space – I have some upcoming projects and tutorials that use the machine so you can see it in ~action~. And if you don’t care about the 60609, well, I hope you at least find the content interesting 🙂

Have a great day, everyone!