Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hopping on the Ginger Jeans Train

It seems like forever since I wrote a blog post about sewing something. Heck, it seems like forever that I sat at my sewing machine the last time (and as, objectively, that has been mid-March and end-of-April, respectively, maybe my feelings are not so far off). Anyway, I cut out a quick sewing project a couple of days ago (just a knit top), and I'm on night shift today, so I actually have time to sew! And it seems I have time to blog, too!

There's actually quite a few projects I have managed to finish this year (seven, to be exact, with only one already blogged) but I'll start with the most recent one: Ginger jeans!

Even though I got the pattern within weeks of its release last year, it took me a long while to gather the courage and motivation to actually start making them. Why? Well, I bought my last pair of jeans in 2010 (in Sydney, incidentally). I wear jeans about twice a year, mostly on cold summer days when I'm really not in the mood to wear tights under a dress, and all my leggings are in the wash. Jeans are uncomfortable, and it takes forever to find a pair that fits. Plus, they never looks quite right on my short-legged body. But after reading what felt like the millionth blog post of an awesome sewing lady about the general awesomeness of the Ginger pattern (all of them looking seriously lovely in their jeans), I felt compelled to try

Well, turns out that, like many others, I just never had a pair of jeans that really fit before.
This first pair of Gingers is made of a really stretchy denim I bought in Hong Kong five years ago. IT'S SO COMFORTABLE! Almost like a pair of jeggings. It did take me several tries to get the crotch curve right. In the end, a flat-bum adjustment plus a sway back adjustment seemed to do the trick.
I really enjoyed the process of putting them together. The topstitching proved to be surprisingly painless. I did that portion of the sewing on the Pfaff machine that I inherited from my paternal grandma, which has an integrated walking foot. It's certainly not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it. The seams are finished on the overlocker. 
I was very happy with the thoroughness of the instructions, too. I don't think I have ever installed a fly front that went in that easily. 
As with many first attempts, not everything went perfect. For one, I cut one leg short for some reason. Happily, my legs aren't that long, so they're still full length. For another, when I took the legs in to get a more skinny fit, I took all the width from the back leg sideseam. Why? I have no idea, it was a totally silly idea, because now the leg twists.
I'm pretty sure people in real life don't notice, though. ;)
Version number two is made with a strawberry coloured denim that I got in Cologne a few years ago. It has a lot less stretch, but is still pretty comfortable to wear. Must be the fit, then... 
I drafted a pocket stay for both versions, following the directions at the Curvy Sewing Collective. Although I hear that Heather has updated the pattern to include a pocket stay now. Plus, there's a discount code for 20% off all patterns viable until today, in case you still need your own Ginger jeans pattern (or Bombshell swimsuit or Nettie or whatever)!

I love the happy colour, it's perfect for the cooler summer days. It also fits right into my colour palette (good thing I have several navy tops). Both Gingers got worn several times during MMMay and I'm really happy that I managed to finish them in time, because the weather was pretty unseasonably cold this year. Actually, it's still pretty cold most days, even though it's June! 
Have you ever sewn something you weren't quite sure about, only to realize that it perfectly filled a wardrobe hole you hadn't noticed before?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

MMMay outfits - part II

Hi everyone! So here are, finally, the rest of my MMMay outfits. In the middle of June, I know. May was the busiest month, ever. Lots of work, visits from both my and B.'s  parents, among other fun things like the aforementioned choir concert, an anniversary, a trip to Hannover to see an operetta at the State Opera, which a friend of ours has directed (I have such talented friends...) and a trip to the Baltic Sea! I also broke the lcd screen of my mobile, so two outfit pics are missing... 
 day 16: jersey dress // day 17: Colette Crepe dress & jersey bolero

 day 18: striped top & McCalls skirt // day 19: Macaron-inspired top & Moss skirt

 day 20: strawberry Ginger jeans & Ottobre top // day 21: self drafted linen trousers & Ottobre top

  day 22: strawberry Ginger jeans and striped top // day 23: Ginger jeans and aqua top

 day 24: polka-dot jersey dress & bolero // day 25: Paprikapatterns Jade skirt & Ottobre top

 day 27: polka-dot&lace Lola dress // day 28: summery maxi dress and RTW bolero

 day 29: striped off the shoulder top and linen trousers // day 30: blue Jade skirt and Ottobre top

In conclusion: I did wear only me-mades except for the one RTW jersey bolero on day 28, not counting socks, tights, bras, scarves and jackets. I also think I managed to go without repeating an outfit! As a goal, I'm not sure if it wasn't a bit silly, because I tend to repeat outfits a lot in a normal month. I liked how it forced me to consider different garment pairings from what I usually wear, though. Definitely harder than just grabbing the next best jersey dress every morning! ;) And a bit of a challenge, since I already wear about 85% me-mades in any given month, anyway.

Weather wise, we had an exceptionally cool May (not that the weather as such unusual, it's just that normally there's at least a week in-between that approaches the 30s) so none of my breezy summer dresses got worn. Ah well. I was very glad about the two pairs of Ginger jeans that I finished just the day before MMMay started, at the very least. More about those soon(ish).

I didn't sew a stitch during May, either, even as my mental to-sew list grows longer and longer. A flowery Cambie. A rain jacket. A bathing suit. Another pair of linen trousers. I'm hoping that June is going to be a bit more relaxed, so I can tackle that. I also think that I need a few more leggings and legging-appropriate tunic tops. Some days just scream for the comfort of leggings... ;)

Do you have any fun sewing plans for June? I think I need to tackle that bathing suit first...

Friday, May 15, 2015

MMMay 15 Outfits - First Half

Ok, so I will just refrain from the whole "omg May is half over" thing, right? Instead, for your viewing pleasure, my MMMay outfits for the first half of the month.

 ginger jeans / striped top * flowery McCalls 6011 / handknitted sweater
 bruyere shirt / Espresso leggings * dotted jersey dress

 flowery Macaron dress * coral Lola / flowery Espresso leggings

coral Ottobre raglan tee / polka dot Jade skirt

And yes, quite a few of these garments haven't been blogged about yet. It is to come, it is to come. Soon. Ish. :)

Happy (MM)May, everyone!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Me-Made-May 2015

Hi guys! Short question: can it really already be the last week of April? Honestly? Where did the time go? I spent four days last week in Munich on a course (learning how to do an ultrasound, cool stuff!) and when I got back two days ago, the lilacs and linden trees were in full bloom. It was raining. Rainy late spring days are my favorite, and a sure sign that summer is just around the corner. Wasn't it winter just a moment ago?

Ok, I'd better stop before I get into a long monologue about the fleetingness of time and life and whatnot. ;-) Anyway. Late spring of course means that Me-made May is just around the corner!

Like last year, I thought long and hard about participating. The first ever Me-made May in 2010 was actually one of the reasons I got into the blogosphere, one of the reasons I started sewing with a mind to an actual everyday wardrobe. Self-stitched September of that year was my first me-made challenge, and I haven't left one out since, even though last year I only did me-made weekends. I have a similar "problem" this year, which will probably continue for years to come: German doctors wear scrubs. Actually, working in a practice you can often get away with wearing a lab coat over "normal" clothes, but in hospital, it's definitely scrubs (or, in my case, white trousers and a white polo shirt).

I've decided to not let it bother me, though. :-) I wear regular clothes on my way to and from work. There's weekends and evenings and days-before-nightshift. I've lately been feeling that I wear the same three jersey dresses pretty much all the time. So yes, there is definitely going to be a Me-made May for me this year. It's time to get out of the rut. So:

'I, Alessa from, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear only me-made garments aside from bras, tights and outerwear each day for the duration of May 2015, additionally I will endeavour to wear trousers at least once a week and try not to duplicate any outfits.'

I probably won't be participating much in the social media aspects of the challenge. I haven't written a blogpost in six weeks, and haven't yet managed to blog about any of my makes from this year. My blog reader sports a backlog of about three weeks which translates into 300+ blogposts, so I'm already quite behind on pretty much everything that's going on. ;-) I'm a bit sad about it, since the discussions and the getting to know each other and finding new blogs to follow are some of the things I liked best about this challenge. Then again, I quite enjoy what free time I have in RL. So we'll see how much I manage. My outfits will definitely come up here (probably once a week) and possibly on instagram and I'll probably look into the flickr group now and then. Apart from that, we'll see.

Are you participating?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winter Wardrobe - a pair of snuggly Lolas

Did you see the calender? It's already mid-March and spring is just around the corner! Actually, today was a very lovely and mild day, and I managed to run some errands riding my (new to me) bike (the old one was sadly stolen in January...). I also had a lovely coffee sitting in front of an Italian café in the sun, and it was warm enough to take off my jacket! Then I had the first gelato of the year. I felt like I was on a short spring holiday in Italy. :)
Now I had better tell you about the last of my winter makes before all I want to make and talk about is pretty spring dresses.

This one is a dress I've worn through most of January. I hardly ever wanted to take it off. Warm! Soft! Snuggly!
The pattern is, of course, the Lola Dress by Victory patterns, and I used a navy sweatshirt fabric with a little star print from The backside is a bit fluffy and so cozy!
You can't really see it very well but I drafted a hood (well, I copied it from a RTW sweater), and while I hardly ever wear it up, it's perfect for tucking in a scarf and protecting the neck from a nasty draft. Smartly, I haven't actually taken any pictures of it. Oh well.

It also goes really nicely with the Anise jacket. :)
The other Lola is a refashion I made from a cardigan/coat thingy that was gifted to me by my paternal grandma last year. She was actually a seamstress when she was younger, though sadly we were never very close and I didn't even remember about that until a little while ago. She gave me that high quality wool sweater since it was too small for her, and it took me almost a year to think about something to refashion it into.
This is a modified Lola pattern, I eliminated the waist seam and left off the pockets. Even so, I hardly had enough fabric to work with but it worked out just so in the end. I left on the front pockets, which are now placed a little awkwardly right on the hips. I may have to take them off and attach them a little lower at some point... Turning the sleeves into raglan sleeves for the Lola left them 3/4 length, which isn't quite ideal for a winter dress. But then I got to keep the sleeve hem and the little buttons. :)
The dress turned out a bit short for my taste, and the wool is a little scratchy, so I haven't worn it all that often. It is toasty and I like that it reminds me of my grandma, though. :)

Is spring finally creeping into your corner of the world, too?