Springing into my Jeans

I tested Winter Wear Designs (WWD) original Real Deal Jeans AKA RDJs and they are supremely comfortable. As part of her pattern updates the RDJs now have some minor alterations, including an A0 file (easy printing), and an unique waistband construction. Nice one! My original jeans shown here with the WWD Button Up Shirt

The RDJs come in a large range of sizes, have body and leg lengthen lines, which makes a difference if you need to add length in the rise, like I do. Since I made my original pair I have developed a slight sway back. This didn’t matter until I attached the waistband and saw it. Now I know I shall take the waistband off to adjust it . It’s not a hard adjustment and I use this YouTube video for it. After all, we sew to get a better fit – don’t we?

I chose a summer weight stretch cotton. It only has 10% stretch, which is the minimum but the fabric is so pretty! I used a jersey needle as my test sewing left horrid pull marks using an Universal needle. I sewed with a size 12-14 needle throughout; quite a difference from my usual denim sewing needle. I made the legs 1/2″ wider each side as I like them looser – especially when sitting. Shorts here with my Omega blouse.

Someone remarked recently that they thought Winter Wear Designs instructions can be confusing. Well, let’s face it, any good designer will ensure there is appropriate instruction for the pattern level. If you buy an intermediate pattern don’t expect beginner instructions. That’s what Google, YouTube and Pinterest are for. I think this pattern has more than sufficient instruction. As a visual learner I like pictures, whether line drawings or photographs. I also follow the instructions at the beginning of any pattern that states “read all the way through before starting”. Enough said.

I’d intended making capri pants, but made shorts as a muslin (tester). The pattern actually tells you which pieces to use for the muslin, making this process easy. My shorts came together quickly, and looked so pretty I thought I’d unpick them and make them my final garment. This is when I realized I’d used an Universal needle. My final shorts are a tad tighter as I needed to sew inside the original ‘holey’ sewing line. I could have cut out another pair but …

Jeans and pants always look so complicated, but really, they aren’t. If you have wanted to make your own this is a great pattern to start with (and build confidence).IMG_3334.jpg

It doesn’t match but I made the latest WWD ‘wardrobe builder’ pattern The Outer Banks Boat Neck Tee & Tunic to pair with my capris that turned into shorts. This latest pattern is pretty and feminine. It suits mid weights better as I found to my error when I used a lovely light, drapey rayon spandex. Lighter fabrics just don’t want to hold that classic boat neck shape  for long. It is a lovely pattern to make but I still recommend a muslin first.IMG_3329.jpg

Follow the links for the other bloggers this week. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Don’t miss any stops on the Just Jeans Blog Tour
Monday 4/23
Tuesday 4/24
Wednesday 4/25
Thursday 4/26
Friday 4/27
Lisa Dawson for Winter Wear Design

All Things Small & Beautiful…

“All things small and beautiful, All quilts both great and small” … Not quite the correct words to the hymn, but the sentiments are there. This blog tour is also celebrating Tibeca (the blog tour organizer’s) birthday – so Happy Birthday Ti!!!30742404_10213173798634250_7586149616224043008_o

With birthdays in mind, this month’s blog is about gifts to sew. I have chosen baby quilts and quilting. Talking of which, I had better mail the latest baby girl quilt, or her mum will read about it here.

Quilting is about precision. If you can sew, you can quilt and vice versa. It took me a while to realize that where 1/16″ or a few mm doesn’t make much difference to a garment, it makes a huge amount in quilting. It is very satisfying when my corners are squared and line up nicely. I am quite a free spirit and love to free motion quilt. Once I settle into the rhythm of remembering to breathe, I slide my hands and fabric around under (what I call) the ‘jumpy’ or darning foot. Who darns still? Not me, that foot is for quilting! The secret is moving at a consistent speed and tension. That way the stitches remain the same size. I also put my feed dogs down for less surface tension, and reduce the pressure foot weight to 1-2. I don’t quilt as much as I would like too, but it is a bit of an addiction and leads to many UFOs (Unfinished Objects). Modern sewing machines have a plethora of pretty decorative stitches and I take full advantage when quilting.

I like making baby quilts. Actually I’d love it if queen or king size quilts came together as easily. It’s like making bread or baking; you get an end result really fast. I used to make baby quilts for my friends. Now it seems I am making them for my friends’ children and the women I have met on various sewing groups. I’m also currently hand quilting my ‘marriage quilt’. We have been married 16 years and the quilt has been in progress for almost 4 years. Ho hum, I digress. It will be a blog post on its own but here is a sneak peak.

On the frame and quilting in progress

Sometimes I succumb to a pattern in a quilting magazine but there are so many free patterns out there that I try not to buy them, and Craftsy is great for them. When I have used a good free pattern I am much more inclined to buy one from the Indie designer. I quilt weekly with a group of lovely ladies and don’t think I’ll need to buy any patterns for a long time.

Quilts should look as good on the backs the front. This means they need careful placement when ‘sandwiching’ the layers together before you quilt them. Or a big mess can result with lots of pleats. Don’t ask me how I know this so well.

I sent a quilt to my newest littlest great-niece in England. I hope her mum, Sophie, likes it. Its the Easy Fat Quarter Quilt by Kate Henderson Quilts trading as Two Little Banshees. I didn’t use fat quarters as I have a lot of small pieces of fabric. It is very soft and girly though. Her sister, Katie, is having another baby in early summer. I already have plans for quilts and things to send. England doesn’t have baby showers like Canada does, so I shall have to show her with gifts from afar.

This is the Star Bright Free Quilt Pattern by SwimBikeQuilt Patterns. I think the lady who owns this website and blog is my kind of woman. This pattern was free, but might be a purchased item now. This pattern is one of my favourites; I think it would be great as a larger quilt (but I must finish my daughter-in-law’s quilt first)! Once again it is for a little girl. This little lady’s grandma sent me a photo of the bedroom decor, so I chose colours to compliment it. I hope she likes it. What I love is how the same pattern can look so different depending on the fabrics and colours used.

Learning new techniques is always fun. Recently I learned the McTavishing method of Free Motion Quilting. It totally appealed to me due to the fluid way of quilting that results in almost a dreamlike quilt. The nice thing is that you set your needle in place and then go from there. I suspect each result will be different and as such, it is open to a lot of interpretation. My small piece has been claimed by one of my soft toys as a duvet. If you look closely I have incorporated my name, my husband’s name, a butterfly, fiddle head, snail and umpty ump hearts. My girlfriend, Harmony has heavily hinted it would be well used to make her little ‘Puffin’ a jacket. Maybe … it would be fun.

That’s about it from me. I hope you enjoyed the rambling dialogue. Do read the other bloggers posts about gifts you can sew. You might be inspired to sew something yourself.
Sunday, April 22nd: Sewing By Ti (intro), With Love In Every Stitch, Sewing With D

23rd: Stitched By Jennie, Tales from a Southern Mom, Aurora Design Fabrics

24th: Sewjourns, Big Fly Notions, Sewing Blue, JOT Designs USA

25th: Sewing By Ti, Auschick Sews, Hazelnut Handmade

26th: Sewing With D, EYMM, Middle River Studio, Aurora Design Fabrics

27th: Our Play Palace, My Sewing Roots, Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea, Seams Sew Lo