Style Arc Sandra Narrow Leg Jean

Today I’m sharing my first pair of jeans.  The pattern I used was the Style Arc Sandra Narrow Leg Jean.

I actually made these jeans quite a while ago (back in 2013, to be exact), but I never got around to blogging about them.  Since I want to try making jeans again soon (in a slightly less crazy print), I thought now would be a good time to share these pants.

So, here are my crazy jeans:

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I found this fabric at Joann Fabrics a while back and immediately envisioned them as a pair of jeans (the lady at the cutting counter thought I was nuts).  I already had this pattern in my stash, so I thought I’d give it a try.

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The fit straight from the pattern was okay – I had to take the waist in a little and adjust the crotch curve a little.  Other than that, the fit was decent.  I still feel like the bottom area is a bit baggy and the fit overall is a little loose, but I think that has more to do with fabric choice (I used a stretch denim where the pattern called for non-stretch denim) than the pattern itself. I might try this pattern again in a non-stretch denim and see how it goes.  I like the style of these jeans, so I’d like to have a pair I would wear often (hate to say it, but these are not going to be my every day jeans!).

I do think they look kind of cute rolled up with flats, though.

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The instructions (as with any Style Arc pattern) were minimal.  Since this was my first pair of jeans, I had to look up some tutorials on how to put together jeans (especially the pockets, which I found very confusing), but it really wasn’t that hard, after I did a little research.  Overall, I think the end product turned out really well (fit issues aside).  I just bought the Sewing Designer Jeans class from Craftsy, so I’m looking forward to watching that and learning some new techniques.

 

 

Style Arc’s Judy Knit Top

Last week was rough.  I’m pretty sure the boys were trying to help me feel a little less sad about having to go back to work this week.  But it didn’t work – I’m still missing them like crazy.  Yet I somehow survived my first week back.  To celebrate, tonight I’m going to finish up a top I’ve been working on.  I’m pretty excited about it and can’t wait to share it when it’s done.  For now, though, I’ve got some other projects to share now that I’ve gotten into a routine with the boys and have been able to make some time to sew some evenings after the boys are in bed.

First up, I made the Style Arc Judy Knit Top.  It’s a pretty basic top and, with the help of my serger (Pfaff Coverlock 4852), it went together very quickly.  For the yoke, I used a fabric I purchased somewhere in the L.A. Fashion District in 2012.  For the body, I used a knit I purchased from Joann’s Fabric a while back.  So the top was free!  Well, not really, but it was made from stash fabrics I purchased so long ago that it makes it seem like it was free… (With the reduced amount of time I have for fabric shopping these days, I have a feeling a lot of stash busting is going to be going on.)

I originally made the top with the slits on the sides, per the pattern.  However, I didn’t like that look on me.  So, I cut off the bottom of the shirt at the top of the slits, thinking that would be a nice length.  But then the shirt was too short.  Whoops.  So, I added the band of purple at the hem to lengthen it again.

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I’m not entirely convinced that this shirt is a good look for me, but I think that may have to do more with the fabric choice than the pattern itself.  I may have to try this again with different fabrics.  I tried to be careful with the pattern placement so that I didn’t have any awkward spots highlighted, and I think that worked out fine (thankfully), but I’m still not sure I love the pattern.  Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Even if I don’t end up wearing this shirt much, I did learn a new skill in the making of this shirt – how to use a twin needle.  I don’t know why, but the thought of using a twin needle has always been a little frightening, so I’ve just avoided it up until now.  But I’ve always struggled with hemming knits (since I refuse to rethread my serger into a coverstitch every time I want to hem something and I haven’t yet decided to buy a devoted coverstitch machine, though I’ve certainly thought about it).  This time, I bit the bullet, read the manual, and gave it a go.  It was surprisingly easy to thread, but it took a few attempts to make it look decent (I stretched out one armhole with my first failed attempt).  Once I lessened the tension for the thread and the presser foot, though, it turned out quite nice!  I didn’t end up needing to hem this since I used the purple band at the bottom, but I did use the twin needle to go around the neck band and to finish the armholes.  I still need a bit more practice, but I will definitely be using the twin needle more in the future.  Maybe I don’t need to go out and buy another machine just yet after all (my husband will be thrilled!).

 

Four Months!

My babies are now four months old.  I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by.  The boys are a little less cuddly now (they no longer snuggle up and go to sleep the minute I pick them up), but they make up for that in personality.  They each are developing their own distinct personalities, and it is so much fun to see.

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This little guy weighs about 14 lbs now and is about 25 inches long (I’ll get the exact measurements tomorrow at the four month checkup).  He loves to smile at his brother, giggle, play with toys, and chew on his hands.  He can go from happy to sad (and back) in a second.  And he slept through the night for the very first time this weekend.

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This little guy weighs about 15 lbs and is about 25 inches long.  He loves his pacifier, his blanket, bath time, pulling Mommy’s hair, talking, and sticking out his tongue.  He prefers to fall asleep while cuddling during the day, but falls asleep decently on his own at night.  He still hasn’t slept through the night yet – usually waking up about two times per night.

I take pictures of the boys each month next to their bears, to provide a size comparison.  I wish I had taken one when they were newborns because they were so tiny, but I started at one month.  Still, there has been quite a lot of change since then.

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I made the bears for the boys before they were born (apparently, in my head, nesting = make all the things), and I do hope that they love them as they get older.  They aren’t really old enough to appreciate stuffed animals yet (especially ones larger than themselves!), but hopefully they will get there.

I used the How Joyful Bear Pattern, which I’ve used at least three times before (and blogged about here).

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It’s fairly straightforward, provided you have some experience making stuffed animals.  But, even if you are a beginner, it should be doable, though a little time consuming.  The How Joyful pattern is my go-to pattern for making bears for new babies.  I recently saw an idea posted somewhere to make stuffed bears out of baby clothes that are too small.  I might try to find a different bear pattern (or make my own) to make smaller bears for the babies with some of the clothes they wore when they were newborns.  It’s hard to believe preemie clothes were too big for these boys when they were first born.  I would hate to give all of those clothes away, so making a bear or other stuffed animal out of them might be just the ticket.

The Best Things I’ve Ever Made

I haven’t posted in the last year, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy making things.  In fact, I’ve made the two best things I could ever imagine:

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These two beautiful twin boys were born on November 22, 2014, and they have completely rocked our world in the most wonderful way imaginable.  They are already three and a half months old!!  I am in awe of how much they have grown and changed over the last three months.

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I haven’t had much time for sewing lately (the only sewing I’ve done recently was hemming some curtains…), but I have some things I made before the babies were born to share and I’m hoping to be able to get back to making things soon.  I haven’t made much clothing in the last year, but I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight now, so I’m looking forward to making some new clothes soon.  I have tons of patterns I’ve been dying to try!

First project on my list, for something easy, is Style Arc’s Judy Knit Top.  (um.. wish I would have realized Style Arc had maternity patterns before now…)  Provided that the boys cooperate, and the one in my arms lets me put him down at some point, I plan on cutting out my fabric for it today.  Can’t wait to have some new me-made items in my closet!

Stay tuned for some more blog posts soon…

An owl quilt and a Dr. Seuss purse

Amazingly, I’ve managed to finish two projects this week (the three- (er, make that four, since I took yesterday off for a medical appointment) day weekend really helped)!

I decided to do some non-garment sewing, just so I could have some quick satisfaction, requiring no fittings!  (And no fussing to get the just-right wearing-the-garment photos.) Last year, I went on a kick of making coin purses and make-up bags.  I made one such coin purse for my mom, which she loved.  A couple of months ago, she asked me for a new one, and I finally complied.  So, here we have the coin purse (made up in Dr. Seuss fabrics, of course, because what grown woman does not need a Dr. Seuss coin purse?). DSC_0202 The fabric was from my local Pacific Fabrics.

Next, I finally finished a quilt that I had started months ago.  I had gotten the blocks assembled, but needed to do the borders and then decide what to do for the backing and binding.  This weekend I finally got around to doing that.DSC_0210All of the fabric came from my local Joann Fabrics.  The fabric for the squares mostly came from a fat quarter pack that I found, and then I added the browns and the purple used for the border.  I just loved the owl fabric and thought it would make a cute quilt. For the backing, I found a nice teal chevron fabric which highlighted the teals on the front. DSC_0213To quilt it, I just used basic straight-line quilting.  I haven’t tried out free-motion quilting on my new sewing machine yet, and decided this quilt probably wasn’t the best place to start experimenting!  I’ll have to make up some small quilts to do some practicing.

DSC_0227Overall, I’m pretty happy with it.  I do tend to prefer more low volume quilts, but this one is bright and happy, which is a nice change from the dull and dreary winter we’ve been having lately.  I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but one can never have too make blankets, right?

And in other exciting news, I received the fabric I ordered from Mood for the Style Arc Ziggi Sew Along being hosted by SewMaris and Stacy Sews.  Very exciting!

DSC_0218I haven’t decided yet whether to make the body mostly black with the colorful fabric used as accents on the sleeves or vice versa.  I ordered enough of both fabrics so I could do either.  I will have to do some playing and imagining to figure out which way to make the jacket.

And finally, I leave you with this face:

DSC_0239editAfter all the recent vet trips I’ve had to make because of this little guy being up to no good, it’s a darn good thing he’s cute.  And utterly loveable.

Knitted hats and broken needles

I have one finished project to write about (almost two!), but I haven’t had any time to take proper pictures.  So, you’ll have to be left in suspense as to how my crazy jeans turned out for just a little bit longer.  I will say, though, that I have worn them and I got a lot of compliments!  So, I’ll say they are a success. In the mean time, I’ve done a fair amount of knitting.  With the Olympics coverage on non-stop in my house, it’s hard to tear myself away and head to the sewing room.  Knitting on the couch has been much easier.  I’m done with the body of my Miette cardigan, and only have to tackle the sleeves and button bands next.  Very exciting.

I’ve also made two hats for the nephews!  (We won’t talk about how overdue these gifts are…) hats I used Lion Brand Tweed Stripes in Ozarka Forest (left) and Woodlands (right).  I made up the pattern as I went and they turned out quite well.  The husband has now requested one made up in his size, though he can’t decide which color he likes best.

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My notes about making these hats are on Ravelry here.

I’ve been on a serious denim kick recently (not helped by every local fabric store having tons of gorgeous colors and styles to choose from every time I walk into them!), so after I finished the crazy jeans (hopefully to be blogged about this weekend), I moved right on to a jean skirt.  Construction of that was going very well, until I tried to tackle the buttonhole…

My machine has a 11(!) different buttonhole options.  But the buttonhole foot is a little different than any I’ve used before.  Maybe that accounts for this…

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Whoops.  Or maybe my three-layers of denim were too thick for the needle to handle (though I did use a denim needle!).  I don’t know.  I do know I decided that I needed a break at that point.  But, this should be finished tonight.  So, two new finished projects should make their appearances shortly!

WIPs

Holy cow.  We’re 23 days into the new year, and I have yet to complete a single project.  Yikes.  This is partly due to the fact that I’ve had a million family things to do lately, and also partly due to the fact that in the little sewing time I’ve had lately, I’ve been exclusively focused on one project – jeans!

Here’s a glimpse of the crazy jeans I’ve got in the works (which I hope to finish tonight!):

jeansI’m using the Style Arc Sandra Narrow Leg Jeans.  So far so good!  Just have to do the button/buttonhole, tack down the belt loops and hem the legs!  Looking forward to having my first pair of jeans completed.

On a side note, taking a photo of jeans without anyone wearing them made me think of the Dr. Seuss story, “The Pale Green Pants.”  Is that weird?  Yeah… maybe I’ve spent too much time around kids…

My other current WIP is the Miette Cardigan by Andi Satterlund.  I’m using Cascade 220 Heathers in Mallard.

miettewipIt’s going to go well with my crazy-colored jeans!