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Stripey Tee and Tencel Cargos

itch to stitch tencel denim cargoes & stripey viscose and elastane lark t-shirt

Sally made her tried and tested lark tee in super stretchy viscose jersey, and tencel and cotton denim cargo pants using the Itch to Stitch Sequoia Cargo pattern

Bonus points to Sally for an excellent evaluation of these trousers:

Now – what did I think about the Itch-to-Stitch cargoes?  I previously made a dress from them (Oia pattern) for my sister-in-law, which was fabulous.  The pattern was very well designed and the instructions were so good that even this very beginner sewer succeeded.  So I had high hopes for the Sequoia Cargoes.  But in all honesty I am slightly disappointed.  Why?

Sizing.  Based on her chart I’m half way between a 6 and 8 based on hip and a size 10 for waist.  Two toiles later, I wound up cutting the pattern halfway between a 6 and 8 for everything except for the waist which I actually graded DOWN to a size 6.  Very illogical.  The overall fit works fairly well on me – better than any other trouser patterns I have tried.  I generally have to modify the crotch pattern based on a pair of RTW jeans that I like the fit of.

The instructions have some anomalies.  The zip insertion is strange. 

With a 1″ wide zip, the second stitch line would be on the very edge of the zipper tape.  And anyway, why would you want the first stitch line/fold not closer to the teeth?  I emailed Kerris at Itch-to-Stitch to question this instruction.  She didn’t really understand the problem and advsed me to follow her instructions for putting a zip in jeans.  I had already put the zip in my toile using my tried and test jeans zipper insertion method.  It worked fine, but created a problem later with the sizing of the left and right waist band pieces.  So I cut those pattern pieces larger in order to make it all come together right.

The Waistband is ribbing folded around a 1″ elastic.  Following this instruction results in the seam joining the waistband intersecting the zig zag stitch.  So half the zig zag is visible in the waistband.  Again I asked Kerris about this and she pointed out it was a basting stitch and therefore gets removed.  But it is not really feasible to remove this zig zag stitch when it is run through with a seaming stitch.  So I did the zig zag higher up the waist band.  After I inserted the waistband I decided I liked the look of the zig zag running through the middle of the ribbing so I left it in as a design feature.

Finishing the seam allowances:  Given my choice of fabric (very prone to fraying) I struggled.  I don’t have an overlocker – would love one but just don’t have the space to set it up.  So I zig zagged the seam allowances.  Not a great finish.  Be interesting to see how they wash up.

Overall impressions of the look: I didn’t include the side pockets or the leg straps.  I also didn’t put poppers on the back pocket flaps as I felt they were too heavy for the fabric.  I wanted a wider leg but find the legs a bit wider than I would have liked. And I think the back pocket flaps are too large.  I think a heavier fabric would better suit this pattern. Perhaps even something with some stretch.  Will I make another pair?  Probably not.

Thank you Sally!

itch to stitch tencel denim cargoes & stripey viscose and elastane lark t-shirt
itch to stitch tencel denim cargoes & stripey viscose and elastane lark t-shirt
itch to stitch tencel denim cargoes & stripey viscose and elastane lark t-shirt
itch to stitch tencel denim cargoes & stripey viscose and elastane lark t-shirt
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Black Denim Sienna Closet Core Jacket

black denim sienna closet core jacket

Black Denim jacket fabulousness made here by Sue in France, the denim is a 9.5oz washed Cotton – heavy enough for a jacket but not too heavy so as to cause tears whilst topstitching on a domestic sewing machine. As the jacket is unlined all the seams on the inside are beautifully finished with Bias Binding.

The Pattern is the Sienna Jacket by Close Core Patterns (used to be Closet Case Patterns)

I keep looking at this jacket thinking shall I? Shan’t I? Do I really need a new jacket. Yes. I absolutely do! I do need a new jacket!

Our customers are such bad influences on me!

black denim sienna closet core jacket
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Silver Grey Hampton Jean Jacket

Silver Grey Classic Denim Jacket

Tina (Sewimpatient) made this brilliant  @alinadesignco Hampton jean jacket using silver grey stretch denim and we LOVE it so much. Tina has a brilliant eye for detail and her makes are so well executed. Fabulousness.

She says: I managed to get my Hampton Jean Jacket sewn up and just wanted to say thanks so much for the fabric recommendation as it turned out to be the perfect choice. It’s super soft and the fact that it has some stretch didn’t cause any problems.  If you need a jean jacket it’s a great pattern to have.

 @alinadesignco Hampton jean jacket in silver grey stretch denim
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Lobster Embroidered Cotton Denim Chambray Shirt

lobster embroidered cotton denim chambray shirt

lobster embroidered denim chambray shirt made by Bess with the matching plain chambray on the sleeve and front plackets (10649), and a scrap of tiger print poplin lining the collar and cuffs. The pattern is adjusted from @burda_style magazine 07/2019 men’s shirt no 128. His nieces call him Lobster Pinchy so now he has a shirt to match his name 😂

lobster embroidered cotton denim chambray shirt
and he wears it!
lobster embroidered cotton denim chambray shirt cuff detail
cuff detail
lobster embroidered cotton denim chambray shirt collar detal
collar detail
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Mushroom Grey Denim Shorts

mushroom grey stretch denim shorts with pointy finger pocket linings

Bess made these stretch denim shorts for her ridiculously fussy husband (she keeps swearing she will never make for him again, but then the morale boost when he likes it and wears it is too much of a temptation). The denim is not that heavy but to keep them light she lined the waistband, pockets and fly with the pointy finger print cotton poplin.

She used odd buttons on the fly because she was using up old stocks, but loves that feature. and will do it again.

The pattern is taken off an old favourite pair.

The shorts passed the temperamental sewing machine test AND the fussy husband test 😊

mushroom grey stretch denim shorts with pointy finger waistband lining
mushroom grey stretch denim shorts with pointy finger waistband lining
mushroom grey stretch denim shorts with darted legs
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Embroidered Red Selvedge Denim Mini Skirt

embroidered red selvedge denim mini skirt

Bess made this red selvedge denim mini skirt to replace the one she had lived in since 2008. Someone had the audacity to suggest Bess shouldn’t wear mini skirts after 40 at which point she scoffed.

red selvedge denim mini skirt

It is a near miracle that the skirt was ever completed due to Bess trying out a new pattern that did not remotely fit (why oh why do we not make a toile first?), and red selvedge denim, as glorious as it is, is not the round peg to force into a square hole.

Anyway, several bodges later the skirt was born. The treated to an abundance of purchased embroidery patches and some hand embroidered lettering.

Ta daaaaa!

red selvedge denim mini skirt wirth rainbow patches (back view)

She then attacked the denim with several sheets of sandpaper to prematurely age it in a bid to make it like her old one. Not very eco but the pain of breaking in raw denim was too much. It truly is fab denim that wears beautifully (naturally and with sandpaper!)

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Green and White Stripe Merchant and Mills Heroine Jeans

green and white stripe merchant and mills heroine jeans

The superstar Ilse made these jeans at school (I wish they had let me make jeans at school!) and we love this bold stripe cotton twill in these loose fit jeans. The Pattern is the Merchant and Mills Heroine Jeans, their teacher Jane Norris is now teaching freelance which is a great thing for those of us who need a bit of help but a sad loss for those students.

green and white stripe merchant and mills heroine jeans
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Embroidered Denim Skirt

embroidered denim mini skirt

Bess with her ‘Credit Crunch’ free-embroidered denim skirt.
Fabric and Notions:
Dark blue dark wash cotton denim
Viscose interfacing
Gutermann silk thread (for embroidery)
Invisible zip
Pattern: Burda 8237 (modified pockets)

One of the back pockets is upside-down so she couldn’t stuff them full of rubbish, and so she didn’t have to line them up. Win:Win!

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Stretch Denim Bridesmaid Dresses

stretch denim strapless bridesmaids dresses

Jo and Lulu sporting matching bridesmaid’s dresses for Bess’s wedding, made out of strecth cotton denim, net underskirts and covered belts. (Made by Jane)
Fabrics and Notions:
Stretch cotton denim
Cotton voil lining
Nylon dress net
Covered boning
Invisible zip
Petersham (waist stays)
Pattern: custom made

When using a ‘less posh’ type of fabric such as stretch denim and you want to make it look posh, make sure the pattern choice is structured and fits perfectly. Stretch denim is great to make tight bodices as it is strong and has just the right amount of ‘give’ (which means the poor suffering bridesmaids can breathe -usually a good thing)