Saturday, 19 June 2010

Some sewing Q&A ....

The lovely Sherry from pattern scissors cloth (do take a look at her fabulous pink jacket in this post) has honoured me with the task of answering some questions. Now, I’m supposed to answer eight questions but, for now, as I’m fairly hopeless at this kind of thing, I am going to answer three.

Which pattern/vintage style have you been thinking about lately?
This gorgeous vintage pattern, McCalls 7521, has recently entered my pattern collection (see how I’m calling it a ‘collection’ rather than a stash?)

Dated 1964 it was designed by the renowned Pauline Trigere. Born in Paris, she moved to New York in 1937 where she established herself as one of the foremost designers of her time. One of the things she was known for was her “evening dresses that were dramatic without being fussy” (quoted from New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style by Caroline Rennolds Milbank). I think this pattern offers a perfect example of that style. I have a fancy that I might look a little like Audrey Hepburn in this gown. However, as I am considerably curvier, the reality probably won’t match up with that little fantasy. I like the idea of making it in black – maybe a wool crepe or a soft satin or even a double knit would be nice – what do you think?

What is one sewing skill you want to learn/try out?
Making welt pockets or bound buttonholes. I keep meaning to do it, I have read about it extensively (both in books and looking at some excellent blog tutorials) but somehow I haven’t taken the plunge. I have been sewing regularly for about a year and a half now and during this time have learnt an enormous amount but I must remember to push myself to keeping on learning and expanding my skills.

What garment/accessory do you wear the most?
I would like to be able to answer that it is this maxi dress that I made last year from Simplicity 3503 (written about in this post).

I am pictured here wearing it on vacation in Miami earlier this year. I’d love to wear this dress a lot because it gives me that whole ‘tropical carefree summery vibe’ that makes me feel young and glamorous! Actually the reality is that I live in London so the weather is not often good enough to wear this. What I do wear the most is something far more practical for daily city life – jeans. And I have to confess that all my jeans are shop bought. (My favourite brand, in case you’re interested, is good old Levi’s and I always buy their straight cut). The reason that I’ve never been tempted to make a pair of jeans is because they look quite difficult to make and, by some miracle, I don’t have too much trouble buying a pair of jeans that fit me. From the waist up nothing (I mean NOTHING) fits me properly but from the waist down I seem to be, more or less, a RTW approved shape!

However, I am always interested and impressed by the fabulous jeans that other people have made. This jeans pattern, Jalie 2908, seems to be very popular

It has 58 reviews on Pattern Review (and 848 people have it in their stash!!). If I were to venture into jeans making, I think this is the one that I would choose. So, what I’d love to know from you is have you made your own jeans? Is it easy to do and does your sewing machine cope with the layers of denim ok? Do you think the result is better than RTW and why? Or, are you like me and fear that jeans making is too much hard work?


  1. I concur with you - I NEVER have made jeans and probably never will. I live in Los Angeles where jeans are a religion - so I have about 8 pairs. Like you - I am a perfect RTW on the bottom, and not ever on the top. My favorite jeans are Hudson (I think from London!) and New Religion. . .I love the Hudson best though. Jonathan is a true Levi's fan though.

    I admire all the Jalie Jeans (esp. KidMD and Dawn's versions) - but have no plans. I may make some Alice and Olivia Vogue slacks, though . . .

  2. Well Eugenia I really like the way you answered all three of these questions! I love you maxi. You made me want to pull mine out (made last year) and give it a wear. It's not quite as nice as yours though. I kind of agree with you about the jeans. I am however interested in the Jalie jean pattern too.

  3. Eugenie, Not that you asked but if I were going to pick out jeans for your figure . . .

    Except on sale and I would pick a soft buttery dark wash.

  4. I love that vintage pattern! And, as for jeans, my bottom half is NOT RTW friendly, so I've been contemplating trying out that Jalie pattern myself. In all my decades of sewing I don't think I've ever made pants at all, so it will definitely be a learning experience.

  5. Your Maxi Dress is fantastic.

    I definitely don't have a RTW friendly bottom half, but I would never consider making machines. My little sewing machine could never cope with several layers of denim. Also, after all these years I have found that Calvin Klein's or Cruel Girl jeans fit just fine.

  6. I LOVE making my own jeans. Most of that is that I can never find a RTW pair that fits me as well as the ones I make. I found jeans intimidating at first, but really, they are no more complex than a pair of slacks, there is just a lot of topstitching, which is more time consuming than difficult. Both of my machines sew denim just fine, although my vintage Singer Touch & Sew has an easier time with it. I love the Jalie pattern and would definitely recommend it as a first jeans pattern. The instructions are excellent and quite thorough.

    I also love that maxi dress! It looks so cool and comfortable, but effortlessly chic. I must make one!

  7. Thanks for playing!
    I love your vintage pattern - such a beautiful neckline! Do give welts a go - if you practise 5 or so times on some scraps you will soon be a pro!
    I haven't sewn jeans and don't think I will attempt to because there is so many specialty bits and pieces like rivets etc. Plus I have found a brand that fits great (Mavi) and don't think I could improve on them!
    Actually I did make a pair years ago at tech - the only denim available was ugly and they were so naff I threw them out as soon as they had been assessed! However my friend tried them on and said they were the best fitting jeans she had tried - perhaps I shouldn't have been so quick to discard them!

  8. I buy blue jeans (huge selection, often cheaper than what I'd pay for the fabric), but make most of my non-blue jeans (and they do fit better). Getting the fit worked out can be tedious for the first pair or two, but I find them pretty easy to sew. My Pfaff does grumble a bit on the hems and belt loops, but has no trouble otherwise.

  9. I am with you, in that I can buy jeans to fit, so I haven't made any and don't plan to. I have made a few pair of pants but never like them much after they are made and don't wear them a great deal, so lately I have taken to buying these also. It leave me free to make the things I really enjoy making.

  10. Eugenia,
    For the record I LOVE your version of Simplicity of 3503. I also have the Jalie jeans pattern and have been meaning to make it for some time. I myself need to take the plunge but have been so busy sewing other things. For me it's worth it to sew my own jeans since I have the hardest time finding them for cheap and long enough for my 34" inseam. The pattern will go a long way for me because I plan to use it to make stretch corduroy pants as well:)

  11. I have made several pairs of jeans only because I love having fun with the back pocket details. I have made the Jalie jeans and they were awful on me - I have, as Trinny calls them, "saddlebags" and that 20% stretch fabric really highlights them. So if you have full thighs you really need to steer clear of this pattern - not that you look like you do! The instructions are excellent and I learned a lot about sewing jeans from this pattern. I also learned that I am not a "stretch jeans" person.

  12. Love the maxi dress, I must look into getting that pattern. I have the Jalie jeans pattern and I do plan to have a go at it one of these days....

  13. I love the maxi dress! I'm in Coventry and I see so many women wearing them (so no excuse for you not wearing yours more often!) and I always wonder if I should take the plunge. But I'm only 5' 3" and kinda wide so I'm afraid I'd look like Miss Tiggywinkle. This is clearly not a problem for you, I must add!

  14. Eugenia, that maxi dress is awesome!! Love the print and love the way it looks on you. Great job. As for jeans..don't think I would ever attempt them...rather purchase them.

  15. I've got some Butterick classic reprints that I think would be fun made up. Summer is going to get away from me this year though before I get them made up and that's sad. I have made 3 pair of jeans, a McCalls Palmer Pletch, my fav., another McCalls, I think, I didn't like that one, I tossed the pattern, and the Jalie stretch. I made the Jalie stretch a size smaller on purpose and then gained some weight, so they are hanging in my closet. My husband wants me to try the Kwik Sew mens jeans in corduroy to replace his jeans as they get tossed in the trash. I did make a pair of the boys jeans from an OOP pattern, and my son wore those until he outgrew them. I did get some cord from, but haven't gotten to the jeans yet.
    I really love that vintage dress pattern.

  16. I love that McCalls 7521.. so elegant. I'm with you - nowhere near ready to tackle jeans!

  17. That vintage pattern is uh-mazing. You must make it soon!

  18. I am envious of all the fab jeans everyone has made, and extremely unlikely ever to attempt them myself. I keep reminding myself of this reality when I'm tempted to buy the pattern.

  19. It's so nice of you to say nice things about my Burda 104 red dress. Thanks.
    I love your maxi dress, it is really perfect for this weather - I think it keeps you cooler somehow than a shorter hemline.
    I would be very interested to see how your jeans work out. To be able to make a decent pair of trousers, no matter what style, is a very handy and rare thing!
    BTW, brace yourself for the hot weather at the weekend (again the perfect dress) I believe it will be 30 centigrade.

  20. *The vintage pattern is gorgeous! Please make it up some time soon. It's too pretty to just stay in the pattern envelope. :)
    *Love your maxi dress. I'm starting to kinda plan what I'd like to sew before our Hawaii trip this fall and something like that would be perfect.
    *I have a RTW jeans brand that I love and thus, am not terribly motivated to make my own. And yet, that Jalie pattern still intrigues me. Maybe one day....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...