Revisiting High Waists

comboMy first version of Closet Case Files’ Ginger Jeans pattern was high waisted, but out of some bad bull denim which did not have enough stretch. So I couldn’t really sit, and I couldn’t bend my knees more than 90 degrees, which was not fun when I was trying to sit.

My second version, I accepted defeat, and used the lower waisted version, which worked, with caveats. The denim stretches out, despite being pretty pricey and good quality.  I should have used a more curved waistband, since they continually slide down my hips, and I had to sew wedges into the waistband. But I did this well after I added belt loops and started using belts (daily for the first time in my life) for a month or two, and got fed up with needing a belt to take out the trash comfortably. I also cut them rather short, which means they are perfect for summer in sandals and flats. Boots too. But shoes and sneakers, not so much. They definitely look like high waters in those. And they let cold air in. And cold air is not my friend in winter. I still love them, but at the same time, they work best in certain situations.

front

So when I got my package of Cone Mill denim from CCF last December, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. At that point, the high waisted option didn’t feel viable, and the low waisted would take a lot of work. Making new jeans was very high on my to do list, but it took an extra ten months to do it.

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This is a long winded way of telling you that I have two pairs of high waist jeans to show you!

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The first is as drafted high waisted skinny jeans (with the lines on the pocket and pictures outside), and the second is slightly less high waisted and more bootcut (with the anchor on the pocket and pictures in the corner). I don’t prefer super skinny jeans anyway, but the bootcut ones are straight from knee to hem.

side

As suggested, I used the heavier weight to make the bootcut, and the lighter weight for the skinny jeans, and I think it worked out lovely that way. I’m not sure that the skinny ones would be as comfortable with the thicker denim, and they are super comfortable as is.

The skinny ones I made in October, as a celebration after this huge presentation I had to give, and I finished the bootcut this past weekend. The skinnies have pockets and facing from the same fabric I used to remake my grandmother’s project bag, and the bootcut have this cool batik and metallic quilting cotton as pockets.

front

The bootcut pair, made out of the thicker denim, has the same issue as my Ripples pair of stretching out. Because I finished them the day before I left to visit my family for the holidays, I made this large dart up the center back and dealt with it, but I’m debating on cutting a new waistband and attaching it. I realized a few wears in that both stretching out pairs are self faced and not interfaced, which could be the problem. My new skinnys have quilting cotton as a facing, and they don’t stretch at all. Which is good and bad, but overall more of what I want. But I wanted to post these anyway!

pockets

Overall, there’s not much more I can say about these. I altered the yoke a bit on the bootcut, since it was very high on all high waisted pairs for me, but beyond that this is the version of the pattern I’ll use in the future for more pairs, when needed!

side**Post 2 of the last minute 2016 crunch… One more tonight, and another tomorrow! Then the wrap up will commence, right in time for the new year!

Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind

But, you know… In summer…

I love Miyazaki films so much, and one of my first introductions to his and Studio Ghibli’s works (other than My Neighbor Totoro which I rewatched over and over on VHS as a kid) was the Nausicaa graphic novels.

And then I was introduced to all the movies. But Nausicaa is still one of my favorites…

So when my friends and I decided to do a Miyazaki day, I jumped on the chance to make a Nausicaa outfit. For one thing, Nausicaa doesn’t wear heels, so I could get away without such silly shoewear, and also I could make her outfit out of knit fabrics.

nausicaa

Yay for knits!

And then I realized that her full outfit would be really hot, and way too much work with about a week free before the con. So I decided to remove some items. And by some, I mean a lot.

The first item I made was some leggings using Cake Patterns’ Espresso pattern. I got this white rayon spandex knit from Joann Fabric’s. It doesn’t have a lovely amount of recovery, and its definitely translucent, but it worked well enough at the time. They certainly are warm and comfy!

Then I made the belt, mostly because I was not really looking forward to making the tunic. I got out some wide navy blue elastic, and this belt buckle I got from a trimming shop in New York City, and made the belt for my natural waist.

At some point in the last week pre-DragonCon, I decided to just go for it, and I created this new Closet Case Nettie hack (I made a muslin first, I promise!).

nausicaa

The neckline was adjusted to swing upwards to create that cut-on collar look, which I estimated from the crew neck version of the pattern. Then I created a “slit” down the front for a few inches. This necessitated a lining or facing of some kind, which I ended up doing as a half lining (so a kind of glorified shelf bra without the elastic) to give it a clean finished edge.

The sleeves were one thing I debated over. I originally thought short sleeves because of summer, but if I ever wanted to reuse this costume for a more comprehensive Nausicaa outfit, the sleeves needed to be longer, so I went with elbow-3/4 sleeves.

You might remember (from a long time ago) that I wasn’t sure which version of Nausicaa I wanted to create. I ended up going with “normal,” where she has ammo holders where shirt pockets would normally be, rather than trying to applique a bird emblem, for which I just took rectangles of fabric and sewed them to the proper places with spaces for three tubes on either side.

When I realized that I needed to make ammo to put in the ammo holders, I stalled. The night before I left I pulled out some dowels that I had bought with other projects in mind, cut some pieces about chapstick size in length, and then glued three together at a time. When they were dry to the touch I mixed together some cheap red and yellow acrylic to create a nice orange and I painted all of them. I made six, but when I wore the costume I used an orange chapstick in one place, which is what is sticking out a bit… It was handy but also slippy and kept slipping out of place.

annabelle-nausicaa-close

Teto completed the look!

I’ve worn the tunic a few times now without costumes in mind, and I think it’ll get a lot of wear in winter. The leggings have gotten a few less wearings, but I am not the biggest fan of white clothing so it isn’t surprising. And Teto has been looking down on me from a bookcase, keeping me company!

Stay tuned for more on my Ariel costume, as well as some more TARDIS stuff! And some of those regular clothes things too. Lots of that.

Compression Coil

My backup costume is pretty much done!

Woot!

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I figured I’d get the backup costume done as quickly as I could, but realistically this has been mulling around in my brain for awhile.

The flightsuit/jumpsuit got to me in April, I think. Maybe March, but a long time ago. I actually went to my local surplus/costume/knick-knack store, and the owner sized me up and said that I would probably fit well in the child’s extra large. Which worked out nearly perfectly!

Realistically though, when I found the adult flightsuits at the back of the store they were as tall as I was. So the child’s size made sense.

It’s a lightweight poly-cotton, and straight from the package it fit well in the shoulders, and the chest, etc. Even the length from the crotch to the hem was good. The problem was the four inches of extra torso length. Four inches!

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It did take me three or four months to actually fix this. And to be perfectly honest, I might have gone a little too far, but it looks great when I’m standing. And I can deal with it pulling a bit when sitting. There aren’t sleeves to deal with after all.

Dancing

The patches are wonderful! I got them from Ebay, and here’s the teddy bear, and the heart/flower combo. You can get the combo of all three here…

I sewed them on using a normal back stitch, but around the teddy bear I also added some fake blanket stitching. Then I took a normal marker to draw on some Chinese characters. Luck and love, if I remember correctly…

shirt

I made the top using the Nettie pattern from Closet Case Files, like I do all my t-shirts, and this weird stretchy fabric. It’s rather plastic-y even for polyester… But it is very Kaylee!

The sandals are not nearly the same as Kaylee’s but I did make them! There will be more on those later this week though.

Add in some pigtail buns and my parasol, and it makes a pretty smashing Kaylee!

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Plum Drop

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If this was made out of a yellow fabric, I’d call it Lemon Drop, because it’s sweet in the front, and slightly sassy in back.

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I modeled it after this dress I found on “The Stylish Geek” when I was searching for inspiration for the Monthly Stitch’s RTW Challenge that’s on next week.

And I decided to hack Nettie to do it!

So here’s what I did:

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1. Cut the front bodice pattern at the lengthen/shorten line. I think I cut it at the top one, since I’ve got a very short torso.

2. Trace out the full back, then draw new cut lines for the crossed back.

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3. Cut out one front and two backs, and then the two sleeves. Also, I cut out a full circle skirt and two pockets.

4. Attach the bodice to the backs at the shoulder, attach bindings, sew in the sleeves, overlap and sew up side seams. Assemble the skirt and pockets.

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5. Attach the skirt to the front bodice. Cut and sew elastic to the waist.

6. Decide not to hem the skirt because you’re already late for your weekend trip with your best friends.

The fabric is a lovely four way stretch jersey, which I believe is a rayon spandex blend, but there wasn’t a listed fabric content when I bought it, so I can’t be positive. I put it on immediately after finishing it, and refused to take it off, even though I’d be spending the next seven plus hours in a car. That’s how much I adore this fabric and dress.

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This plum version is actually the second try, since the first one was out of a two way stretch in a peachy color. Actually, I consider that my Hamilton Angelica tunic, since the color matches her dress. And I’m minorly obsessed. The two way stretch created more folds and wrinkles at the underarm to bust, so I made itty bitty darts, which look weird but it’s still wearable.

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And the obligatory pockets.

Birthday Dress

It’s been over a month since I made this dress, and yet I’ve only worn it once or twice. But it’s special, cause it’s my birthday dress.

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The week before my birthday I was finishing up the TARDIS sewing, so I didn’t get a chance to make the dress. The day before my birthday I got back from a ballroom engagement and didn’t have the energy or willpower to start. I think I got as far as retrieving the fabric before I gave up and collapsed on my couch.

This green lace printed polyester jersey had been in my stash for  a couple months, after I picked it up because the print was so cool despite the polyester-ness. I knew I wanted something sleeveless (so my armpit sweat wouldn’t be cooped up {is that too much info? Sorry}), and I’ve been wanting a handkerchief hem dress for a while now.

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So on my birthday morning I pulled myself out of bed and cut out a square for the skirt, and then used the Nettie shirt pattern I’ve manipulated to make a front and back. I remembered to cut out the arm and neckbands at this point, instead of having to go back and get them later.

I managed to get it sewn up, eat both breakfast and lunch, and get to campus for my class with caffeine in hand. And with time to make more caffeine for class, which is always a plus.

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Wearing it that day, though, showed me that I had miscalculated the length I’d need in the bodice, and it just got longer as the day went on. It was too short to be dropwaist, and too long to wear without some sort of waist definition, so I have been wearing it with my life belt.

closer

About a week ago, I added some elastic to the waist seam, which helps with the droop, but it’s still loose at the waist. Maybe I should take it in some more.

Anyway, the armbands instead of sleeves are definitely comfortable, and it looks nice sleeveless. I’m probably going to be making more this summer! And I have a nice amount of fabric left, so I’m thinking a short sleeve Nettie hack. I’m going to cut that out now, I think!

sass

Ripples

Having an almost all handmade wardrobe is not necessarily a dream of mine, but I’ve always thought it would be neat. And that dream is no longer across the Pacific Ocean (in terms of dream distance), or the Atlantic for that matter. More like the Indian. Big enough to count as an ocean, but small enough that it’s realistically attainable.

Because I’ve told you before that I live in jeans. And I mean that literally. There have been (far too many) days where I wear jeans all day, and then I’m too lazy to change into pajamas, so I sleep in them… And then I change into a different pair the next day, so I don’t feel guilty about wearing the same pair two days in a row.

And I’ve now thrown a pebble into that Indian Ocean sized barrier… creating ripples.

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few wears past wash

(Get it? Okay I’m done now…)

So these are Ginger Jeans, made with some good quality denim that I got from my LFS. (New interjection… Do us fabric people call local fabric stores LFS? Because I caught onto LocalYarnStore pretty quickly when I started buying real yarn, but I feel like LFS doesn’t have the same ring).

right after wash
right after wash

Because of this, I’ve now got a comfortable, (mostly) well made, and fairly well fitting pair of secret pajamas. That cost me about 50 dollars, which makes them the most expensive jeans I’ve ever paid for. Thrift stores and yard sales have been my sources for jeans forever, including the month before I made these when I was supposed to be making these and not doing it. I think that I’m currently wearing my only pair of good quality denim RTW jeans, which were thrift store finds, but that’s 15ish years of poor quality stretching out terrible denim. (Oh yes, I bet I never told you that when I was little I refused to wear jeans. I was a different person then.) Do you want to know how I know these RTW’s are good quality? Well I bought these after trying them on, and they were snug at that point. So I assumed that they would stretch out, like every other pair I own, so I was counting on it. And look where that got me.

right after wash
right after wash

In the hierarchy of my closet, I now only have taper/skinny jeans. My one bootcut-y flare pair kicked the bucket after 10 long years, and they were also my “fat” jeans, as in the ones that stretched out the most to accommodate any fluctuations in weight. Also, the one pair of low rise jeans I have constantly plague me in awkward belly hanging out feelings, so I knew that low rise was not for me. But at the same time, I had already made a pair of the high rise and it was too high, so I tried view A this time, and just increased the rise using Heather’s tutorial here. I also made a size bigger than I had for my terra cotta pair, and I’m kinda regretting it now. I suspect some of my problems with my first pair was more related to the lack of stretch in the fabric rather than the size.

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few wears past wash

I raised the waist of view A by an inch. I like the height, but I can’t help but wonder if I’d prefer lowering view b. My topstitching is done in a nice ocean blue, and I had some fun with the back pocket. I’m thinking I may need a swayback adjustment. And don’t get me started on the knees.

front
few wears past wash

Perhaps there isn’t as much stretch out as I thought… Looking at the photos, I’m wondering if the rise is a bit too long. Otherwise, though, this is a lovely pair of jeans that I’ll love until the seams break!