Straight-Edge Jeans

As you know, I'm a big fan of Jennifer Stern's pattern line. I wrote about my first pair of her Misses Jeans here.  I have made many versions of The Tee for myself. I have taught two classes using The Tee pattern, and my students love it. Now Jennifer has a jeans pattern for women whose hips are relatively straight, called J Jeans. The side of the pants is perfectly straight, making the pattern great for uber-cool Japanese selvedge denim. I have now made two pairs of J Jeans. Both out of Montauk Twill (which I will soon be selling on-line and in my store!). Robert Kaufman's Montauk Twill is beefy, but becomes very soft after one washing. 

J Jeans side view. Photo by Andrea Jones.

J Jeans side view. Photo by Andrea Jones.

In case you don't know about Jennifer or her patterns, you can scroll through her blog here. She has classes on Pattern Review, and a brand-new jeans class on Craftsy (25 percent off during Memorial Day Weekend). In addition, she videos a Quick Tip every week on her blog, and a few months ago, she used my baggy-knee issue with these pants as her tip. You can see the knees bagging in the photo above. I had done a flat derriere adjustment using Fit for Real People, which helped a lot, but did not fix all the issues. I sent Jennifer a photo, and she posted her great video here.  Did I mention she is awesome?

I made my first pair of these jeans at a quilt retreat without making any alterations to the pattern. I hoped they would be a wearable muslin, but no. I tweaked and tweaked, but I couldn't get them to fit well enough for public viewing. 

Live a clean life, or you may find yourself here late at night -- in a public restroom with a quilter taking a picture of your butt in badly fitting pants!!!! Photo by a quilter who prefers to remain anonymous.

Live a clean life, or you may find yourself here late at night -- in a public restroom with a quilter taking a picture of your butt in badly fitting pants!!!! Photo by a quilter who prefers to remain anonymous.

I had fun with the top stitching. Photo by Andrea Jones.

I had fun with the top stitching. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Back to this basic blue version. I made a few alterations to the paper pattern. First, I lengthened the legs (but not enough!) Second, I did a Fit for Real People flat derriere adjustment, which for me involves folding out one inch of width in the  back. I made a long vertical fold all the way down the leg in the back, including the yoke. Third, I pinched half an inch of length out of the front by folding the tissue horizontally between the waistband and the crotch because the front of my first pair was quite roomy. Fourth, the shape of the back crotch was similar to mine, but I lowered it by about an inch (I turn 51 next week -- and all that wisdom comes with some southward migration).

The back looks pretty good if you can't see the knee bagginess. There is no stretch in the fabric! Photo by Andrea Jones.

The back looks pretty good if you can't see the knee bagginess. There is no stretch in the fabric! Photo by Andrea Jones.

The front. My next pair will have a little more length, and a little less knee bagginess. Photo by Andrea Jones.

The front. My next pair will have a little more length, and a little less knee bagginess. Photo by Andrea Jones.

I do love this twill, so my next pair may be out of the same fabric in a different color, but I am tempted by the challenge of Japanese selvedge denim. I have some for the shop, and I'll need to be able to tell my patrons how to sew with it, right? 

Ivy #2

I had so much fun making my first Sewing Workshop Ivy Top, I whipped up a second one. The Sewing Workshop patterns are perfect candidates for playing with fabric. They are all impeccably drafted, and they aren't overly fitted, so you don't need to fuss with tweaking the fit. With three different knits, the fabric combination options for this top are endless. 

This top works great with a variety of knit weights. The black and gray stripe is a bamboo ponte, the pink is a mid-weight rayon knit, and the gray is a tissue-weight bamboo. Photo by Andrea Jones.

This top works great with a variety of knit weights. The black and gray stripe is a bamboo ponte, the pink is a mid-weight rayon knit, and the gray is a tissue-weight bamboo. Photo by Andrea Jones.

The back. The tissue-weight bamboo wrinkles in the wind!. Photo by Andrea Jones.

The back. The tissue-weight bamboo wrinkles in the wind!. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Close-up of the three fabrics. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Close-up of the three fabrics. Photo by Andrea Jones.

The left sleeve has a triangle insert at the elbow, adding even more interest to the top. Photo by Andrea Jones.

The left sleeve has a triangle insert at the elbow, adding even more interest to the top. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Hello Ivy!

One of the many highlights of my trip to Quilt Market in Seattle was seeing Linda Lee, owner of The Sewing Workshop, wearing her Ivy Tunic both days. She looked so chic and slim. I had to buy the pattern and make one (okay, two) as soon as I got home. This is version #1. 

Front of Ivy Tunic. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Front of Ivy Tunic. Photo by Andrea Jones.

The Ivy can be made with three different knits, but this time I decided to use just two. Both fabrics are bamboo knits (purchased at Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon). The black and gray stripe is a ponte-weight super stable fabric. The teal and gray stripe is much lighter weight. You can see that I struggled a bit to make it lie nicely at the bottom hem.

Back of Ivy Tunic. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Back of Ivy Tunic. Photo by Andrea Jones.

I love this tunic. Like all Sewing Workshop patterns, I didn't need to make any alterations to the main bodice. I wish I had lengthened it for my six-feet-tall frame, though. It looked more like a dress on Linda. A friend at work made herself one, and felt it was too long....You may want to make a quick muslin to check the length on your frame...

Closeup of the different sleeves. Photo by Andrea Jones.

Closeup of the different sleeves. Photo by Andrea Jones.

One sleeve has a cool inset at the bottom, and the other just has a contrasting cuff.

Mitered corner (after a few washings). Photo by moi.

Mitered corner (after a few washings). Photo by moi.

One of Linda Lee's many specialties is the mitered corner. She has a great method that works every time, even on non-traditional angles and fabrics. She includes the instructions in all of her patterns, and demonstrates them in her Craftsy classes. I would never have tried a mitered corner in a thin, drapey knit like this bamboo without Linda's guidance. You can leave the bottom hems raw on this tunic, but nice miters were so tempting, I had to try them. I can't wait to dream up more fun fabric combos for my new friend Ivy!