Tag Archives: topstitching

Completed: Scout Tee + Gorts

10 Aug

Today’s post features a two-fer – a top AND shorts! Woohoo! Be prepared for a slight photo overload ahead.

Scout TeeI’ll start with the top. This is the Scout Tee from Grainline Studio. It’s your basic woven tshirt with a scoop neck and a relaxed, boxy fit below the bust. I know everyone and their mom has made this pattern already, and I’m only a few years behind on the bandwagon! Honestly, the pattern didn’t appeal much to me until recently – I generally prefer to wear more fitted shapes, especially at the waistline. This was a bigger deal in the past when I had a larger bust – but the girls have shrank over the years, which has made me feel a little bolder about experimenting with different shapes and silhouettes, since I don’t feel like my waist is being quite as swamped as it was in the past. Plus, loose styles are waaaay more comfortable in the summer heat, since they allow a better airflow (I know most of you are thinking, “No shit, Sherlock,” but I have ignored this for most of my adult life! Cut me some slack!). Scout Tee

Anyway, I quite like this style on me! I guess it’s still not the most “flattering,” but I’m kind of getting to the point where I don’t care quite as much about flattering. That’s one major difference I’ve noticed about being 30 vs being 20 – I don’t really give a shit about looking ~sexy~ every time I leave the house. I’m also sure my long-term relationship has a stake in this as well, but I’ve been in long relationships in the past and my attitude was definitely the opposite. Wearing loose-fitting anything – especially around my waistline – is a pretty new style territory for me, one that I’m starting to slowly explore and actually wear out in public. Also, it’s damn comfy.

Scout TeeBack to the pattern! I cut the size 0 and shortened the hem by a couple of inches to give it a more cropped length (but long enough so that it still covers the waistband of my pants). The pattern was really easy to put together – it’s just a front and a back, little cap sleeves, and a neckline bound with a bias facing. I like that it fits through the shoulders and the bust, then falls straight down to the hem. Even though it’s loose, it doesn’t look sloppy. One thing I noticed is that the shoulders tend to pull toward the front – since I used a different fabric for the back, this is a lot more noticeable. It doesn’t bother me at all – I actually like the way it looks, to be honest – but I’m also not sure if it’s part of the pattern, or a fitting issue. Thoughts?

(ps, sorry about the wrinkles – like most of my makes lately, these were taken after a full day of wearing) Scout Tee

The fabric is what really makes this top shine, though! It is GORGEOUS, amirte?! This is a pretty special piece – it’s handwoven here in Nashville! The company who makes this beautiful cotton fabric is Shutters & Shuttles. I don’t know if they even sell yardage anymore, but they used to. I believe they sell yardage to local designers, which – ding ding ding! – is where I got my little piece from. Back when Elizabeth Suzann used to sell limited-edition tops made with this beautiful handwoven fabric (and other colors/styles of fabric as well), she had a whole stash of it. Eventually, the limited edition ended and Elizabeth’s line moved in a different direction. And then she destashed the studio, and this piece ended up in that stash bag I was telling y’all about. It was a very small piece, so it took me a while to figure out what to do with it. A lot of Georgia Tees were made using Shutters & Shuttles fabric, and they all looked awesome, so I followed that lead with my own boxy tee. Scout Tee it was! Except that I didn’t have *quite* enough fabric to cut both fronts and backs, so the fabric sat on my shelf for several months while I looked for a good color match.

Scout TeeWhen I made my coral B5526, the coral voile was stored right next to this fabric, and I realized that they were perfectly matched. Which was lucky enough in itself, because this is a really weird (albeit beautiful) coral to try to match. I bought another yard on my next Mood order, and used the voile to cut the back of this tee. I also used the voile for the bias facing at the neckline – it’s a much lighter weight with less bulk than the handwoven cotton, so it sits on the neckline a little better (plus it looks pretty on the inside!). Scout Tee

I got these little tags in an order from Grey’s Fabric awhile back, and I think they are so cute! I wanna be a crafty fox!

Scout TeeTo crop the hem, I just folded up an extra-deep hem allowance and topstitched it. One, because I like the way the shirt hangs with the extra weight at the hem, and two, because I wasn’t sure if this whole slightly-cropped-tshirt thing was going to be my jam next summer. I might change my mind and want it to be longer (or even shorter, I dunno), so I left the hem allowance there as a bit of a safety measure. And also a big ol’ dangly thread, it seems.

Now for the shorts! Ginger Gorts

I made Jorts – or Gorts, as I am calling these (jorts is a really annoying way to say jean shorts, in case you were wondering!)! Remember when I utterly failed at that shit last year? Man, those shorts look fucking stupid in retrospect. What was I thinking? And if you were wondering – I never wore them beyond that blog post. They were just tooo uncomfortable and I was terrified the zipper was going to bust. They sat guiltily in my dresser for a few months before I finally chucked them.

Anyway, I’m glad I failed at that shit because I learned some very important Sewing Life Lessons:
1. Don’t make jorts out of a pattern intended for trouser shorts. It looks fucking stupid. Better to start with a jeans (pants) pattern and cut it short accordingly.
2. Jorts need fancy jean topstitching, or they aren’t proper jorts. And, they look stupid.
3. Until you figure things out otherwise, jorts need some stretch in the fabric, else they won’t be comfortable.
4. For zipper security, there needs to be a bartack connecting the fly shield to the front of the pants. This is EXTREMELY important. That’s why my zipper kept breaking on the fail pair – pulling the shorts on and off was putting way too much stress on the bottom of the zipper, which caused it to break. I eventually figured this out by inspecting a pair of my jeans – the bartack that hits right at the curve of the fly topstitching is intended to take the stress off the zipper, so you can pull on and off your tight pants. I had left that bartack off, which made my pants weak right at the crotch (kind of like most men lololol amirite)(sorry).

So, with those lessons in mind, I re-attempted the jorts. These are way better! Not perfect, but better. I know they look pretty wrinkly in these photos, but again, those are wearing wrinkles – not fitting wrinkles. Well, maybe a couple of them are fitting wrinkles. I am human, after all.

Ginger GortsI call these Gorts because I used the Ginger jeans pattern to make them! Ahahaha aren’t I clever! I just love this pattern and I spent a solid chunk of my time in Peru dreaming about making more jeans because I just looove all the detail that goes into the topstitching – but knowing that I don’t need jeans right now, because it’s way too hot! So I was happy to compromise with shorts instead. To make the pattern shorts-appropriate, I just measured the inseam of my favorite shorts and cut that length + 1″ from the inseam of the pattern. In retrospect, I should have added a little more length so that I would have a proper cuff (I didn’t plan these to have a cuff, but they were too long once I’d already hemmed them and I didn’t feel like-rehemming). Maybe next time! Also, if I go with the future cuff, I need to widen the bottom of the shorts at the hemline, because they are a little tight at the thigh (cuffs need to be wider so that when they flip up, they are the right width. This is hard to explain without pictures, so here’s an example in this book I found. Thanks, Google Books!). Giving them a good stretch when I put them on helps, though. Ginger Gorts

For fabric, I used a stretch denim from Mood Fabrics. The weight was perfect, but the stretch was a little less than what the pattern calls for (which I determined the unscientific way by comparing it to the denim I used to make my first pair of Gingers). I added 1/4″ to the side seams to accommodate for this, but they are still a little bit stiff. The other bummer is that this fabric has a severe bleeding problem – the first time I wore these jeans, they rubbed indigo dye all over the inside of my purse. I was carrying the only nice purse I’ve ever owned, which HAPPENS to be white. Wah!! I was able to get the majority of the discoloration off with a stain remover, but now I’m afraid to sit on anything remotely light-colored. I washed the denim a second time with a cup of vinegar in the wash to set the dye, but they are still rubbing off a little.

All in all, though, I’d say these are a good practice run! When I finally make my fancy Ginger jeans with the Cone Mills denim kit that I bought earlier this year, I am hoping that I’ll have enough leftovers to make some solid Gorts. We’ll see! Pants first!

Anyway, photos:

Ginger GortsGinger Gorts

Ginger GortsGinger Gorts

Every time I make jeans, I want to experiment with different colored topstitching thread & serger thread – but I always punk out at the last minute. With these, I used bright blue thread for the button hole – baby steps! It also matches the lining and the serger thread.

Ginger GortsOh, right, and the backside of the button hole is emerald green 🙂 Ginger Gorts

For the topstitching, I used my new 1/4″ foot. THAT THING IS AWESOME. There’s a dull blade that sits exactly 1/4″ from the needle, to help you align your stitching and ensures erfect parallel lines every time. Totally worth the $$$ I spent on it. Although I should probably focus on my bartacks next – those clearly need a bit more work. My machine doesn’t have a setting for bartacks, so I have to trial-and-error with experimental zigzagging.

Ginger GortsGinger Gorts

Ginger GortsYou can also see that I changed up the positioning of the rivets – they are only on the front pockets. The pattern has you put 2 rivets on the back pockets, which I did with my first pair, but I never really liked the way it looked. RTW jeans don’t typically have rivets on the back pockets – ok, ok, SOME DO, but not the majority! – and I thought it made them look sort of homemade. I also recall reading, like WAY back in the past, that the original Levi’s didn’t have rivets on the back pockets because they would get too hot when the gold miners sat next to a fire. Full disclosure, it was a research paper on the history of jeans/Levi’s that my cousin wrote for one of her classes in high school, and I found it because I was snooping in her room when she wasn’t home (what? She had a really cool Barbie Dream House that she wouldn’t let me play with). That one statement was really fascinating to me and has stuck with me through the years (although I don’t remember anything else about the paper). This would have been around 1992-1993, so yeah, a while ago (and yes, I realize we are talking about a paper written by a high schooler, back before you could use the internet for research – so obviously I can be completely off my mark here). A quick Google tells me that the rivets also scratched cowboy’s saddles, which might be another reason why the back pockets ones were eliminated. Either way, I think they look weird and out-of-place on the back pockets. So front pocket rivets only for me! Scout Tee

And that’s it for this outfit! Tell me – has your style relaxed as you aged? Do you find yourself experimenting with new silhouettes, or do you stick with the tried and true? How do you feel about rivets on the back pockets of jeans? Do you think the cowboys were onto something?

Completed: Organic Cotton Jeggings

9 Mar

Good morning, friends! I hope this post finds you well – I have missed all of you! If you missed out on the drama last week (and/or were wondering why I suddenly fell silent and my website went poof into the night), I had a bit of an issue with an expired domain and transferring it back into my name. You can read the boring backstory about it in this post, but basically – everything should be fixed and up and running. If you’re still having problems getting to the site (I was until last night, thanks to my internet provider), try clearing your cache and cookies and see if that helps. Sorry for all the dramz! Shit should be back to normal from here on out!

Anyway, enough of that boring internet talk – let’s talk about why we’re all here! Sewing and fabric and actual fun happy stuff, yeah!

Ginger Jeggings

For this week’s project, I bring you: Jeggings. I’m not sure if this means I’ve cracked some kind of sewing power code with all the ridiculously normal/boring things I’ve made at this point, or if it means I’ve hit rock bottom (I mean, we are talking about the ultimate comfort clothing here. I am not above making fun of jeggings, just so we’re clear). You tell me. What I can tell you is that these are INSANELY comfortable and now I kind of get the hype.

Ginger Jeggings

I’m not really much of a comfort-clothes seeker/wearer – I’m ok with being a little pulled in for the sake of looking nice when I’m out in public. That being said, it’s not a very interesting story as to how I came about obtaining a pair of the ultimate comfort/secret pajama clothes. It started out as a fabric review for Organic Cotton Plus. I was prowling around on their website, looking for something to pick as my next project, when I came across their organic knit denim. The fact that it’s called “knit denim” should have raised some sort of warning flag, but I didn’t even notice it – I just saw denim and immediately got starry-eyed. I’m always on the lookout for a good denim source, and this sounded too good to be true. Organic cotton denim with 5% lycra? GET ON MY BODY. I submitted my order and anxiously waited for my shipment.

Ginger Jeggings

The spoiler here is that this definitely is not denim – not in the true sense of what you get when you buy a pair of jeans. It’s definitely a knit fabric – a very thick, stable ponte-ish type of fabric that looks exactly like denim. It’s the right color and has that twill weave look. It thick and squishy with a good, firm stretch. It’s like a marriage of a tshirt and a pair of jeans. I don’t really understand it, but I’m not going to argue with it. At any rate, I had a yard of this stuff and I realized I needed to make something with it. And that’s where jeggings came in. I wanted to see if I could actually make a pair of jeggings. I did, and now y’all get to see how they turned out.

First things first, I realize that these don’t technically classify as actual jeggings. The material does – it’s more of a knit than a denim, it’s very stretchy and it has a lot of spandex in it. However, these are constructed like an actual pair of jeans. They have working pockets (both front and back), they have an actual zip fly, and there is no elastic in the waistband. The only part about these things that makes them even remotely jeggings-like is the fabric they’re made from. However, I’m going to keep calling them jeggings because – well, I made them, and I get to call the shots. Them’s the rules.

Ginger Jeggings

When I was planning these out (after receiving the fabric, but before cutting into it), I debated on whether to make these into jeans-looking pants – aka, true jeggings, with the pockets and fly simply suggested by lines of topstitching. I thought it would be interesting to see how the fabric works when it’s treated like a woven, so I decided to use an actual jeans pattern and follow it the same way I would if I was making these out of denim. I used the Ginger Jeans pattern and basically did not make any changes for the fabric. The size is the same size I used for my woven denim and stretch twill jeans, and all finishing and topstitching uses the same methods as those pairs do. The only difference is that I didn’t flat-fell any of my seams – I figured it was enough that I was making these out of stretch material, so I just serged and topstitched (like you would with leggings). I’m surprised at how well they fit, although I think the legs could be a little tighter around the ankle. Also – they turned out surprisingly long, due to the 4 way stretch. I actually cut 3″ off the pattern legs before cutting (that was the ONLY way I could make these out of a yard of fabric – short inseam!), which should make them the correct length – but they magically grew, and now they’re too long. I’ve cuffed them for now, because I want to wash them a couple more times and eliminate any additional shrinking before I re-hem them.

Ginger Jeggings

Making these was really fun, and surprisingly quick! Like I said, I made them the same way you’d make a pair of jeans, except I didn’t flat-fell any of the seams. Everything was sewn on my sewing machine with a stretch needle and the edges were finished with my serger. For the topstitching, I used a triple stitch (thanks to Emmie for showing me the stitch on my Bernina – I guess this means I should probably read the manual more often, ha!), which makes a nice defined topstitch that also stretches quite a bit. The waistband is interfaced with my favorite stretch interfacing (seriously – this stuff is AWESOME), which gives it enough structure to look nice, but doesn’t sacrifice any of that comfy stretch. There is an actual zipper and button installed, however, I did leave off the rivets.

Ginger Jeggings

Ginger Jeggings

Basically, these look & wear like jeans – BUT THEY FEEL LIKE PAJAMAS. If that doesn’t blow your mind with amazement, then I give up.

Ginger Jeggings

Sorry ’bout that VPL, story of my life. I do think the pockets are a bit low, which is likely due to the 4 way stretch. I don’t care enough to remove them and raise them, so it’s whatever.

Ginger Jeggings

Ginger Jeggings

Here are some gut close-ups so you can better see what I was working with. The material really looks like denim! Everything handled pretty well, except attaching the belt loops did get a little difficult at the end, just because there were soo many layers (I ended up hammering them as flat as I could, which helped a little. Still broke a couple of needles in the process, argh.). All the topstitching was done with a single needle and a single piece of thread, sewn with the triple stitch. I used lemon yellow cotton thread, also from Organic Cotton Plus, which was nice and thick and worked out quite well with the triple stitch. It looks more gold than neon yellow when it’s against the dark indigo, which I really like.

Ginger Jeggings

Proof that there’s actually a zipper in there! The zipper is also from Organic Cotton Plus; it’s just a heavy brass jeans YKK zipper, but it works really nicely with this pattern. The 6″ length was just barely long enough for the high-waisted version of this pattern; I ended up cutting about 1/2″ off in excess when all was said and done. The pocket lining is just some stretch cotton sateen I had in my stash. I wanted to use something with a stretch, so it wouldn’t fight against the stretch of the exterior fabric.

Ginger Jeggings

And here’s the back! Mock-flat felled seams (just serged and topstitched) and patch pockets! I had to cut the waistband in pieces, because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut it on the fold – but the seam is covered by the back belt loop, so it can just be our secret, ok.

Ginger Jeggings

So that’s my little sewing experiment! Turns out you *can* make jeans with jegging material – with all the look of jeans, but the comfort of leggings. Love it! And since there are back pockets, I don’t feel as compelled to cover my butt haha. What do you think? Is this a win or just the weirdest garment I’ve ever made? Have you – or do you – wear jeggings? I always made fun of them, but man, can’t deny how comfy they are!!

As a side note – I mentioned this on Instagram yesterday, but it bears mentioning here too. I’m moving soon! I was finally able to get hold of my landlord with the notice and vacate date (they require 60 days, but they’re gonna let us out in 30 days because they love us for being awesome tenants haha), so we’ll be out of this house by the end of March! My best friend/life partner/former roommate just bought a house in the woods in a small town outside of Nashville, and Landon & I will be moving into the lower level as her roommates! The house is cool as shit, the land is AMAZING (did I mention it’s in the woods? Gah I can’t wait to be a hippie and raise chickens in the forest lolol), and I so look forward to living with my two very best friends in one house. Plus – I get a new sewing room! How cool is that? 🙂

 

** Note: Organic Cotton Plus provided the materials (denim knit, zipper, thread) for this project in exchange for a review. All thoughts and options are my own.