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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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!


Progress – WSP

It’s been nearly a week since I posted about my short term winter sewing plans, and so far I’ve completed about 2.25 of my goals. I’ll be creating real posts for all of these (once I get pictures), plus posting a bunch of the stuff I completed this year and forgot to share, before the new year, but I figure I’d keep you updated!

So I managed to serge and put together a sewn knit cardigan last Wednesday, when I had access to a serger at a makerspace on campus. It’s got a pretty bias tape pop of color! But the serger threads were white, and it doesn’t fit well with the navy color… I’m debating what to do.

And I got the jeans cut and serged last Wednesday as well. Putting it together, though… That didn’t happen until Sunday at 1pm when I realized I hadn’t left the couch yet that day. But I got them finished before 1am on Sunday night/Monday morning!

As for my coat, I roughly cut out the pieces, and dyed them using normal RIT dye, and some iDye Poly, and let them dry. I intended to actually cut and interface the pieces, but I’m still working on the muslin, and deciding if I need a different upper collar and cuffs fabric because the wool is kinda scratchy to me. But this seems quite doable in a week! (I may be delusional…

I’ll be parading around in my new jeans today, rather happily. Maybe parading is too much. Sashaying quietly? Scurrying quietly, or something like that! Have a lovely Monday!

Life in the Way

Hey there!

It’s good to see you! And it’s been a long while, it looks like…


My life recently has been… busy, you’d say. I had a big presentation to prepare for, and I’m almost used to my ridiculous part time job hours… Oh and I got a bike, and I’m continually reminded how out of shape I am.


I’ve been working on things, though. And I have all those DragonCon posts left to do… And some things I forgot to post pre-DC. Because, let’s face it, I never post in reasonable time.


Expect a flood of posts to come through shortly!

Year 3

WordPress informed me that yesterday was my 3rd blogiversary.

The past two anniversaries, I wrote a post celebrating the year, and especially because this is also my 200th post, I figured I’d give it another whirl.

This year:

storybook back

I finished my Susan dress! Woohoo!

My self imposed ban of new clothing has kept up really well, and the only piece of clothing I’ve bought was jeans from a thrift store.


I’ve self drafted a few items, including the shirt for my Peggy costume (with more full costume photos to come).

right after wash

My first pair of jeans were not entirely comfortable (so not wearable), but my second pair is so comfy that I practically live in them.


I’m working on a knit sweater that will actually look like a real sweater, which is definitely a first. And I’m another pair of socks and a half into my sock knitting journey.

back side

Real photos of my Belle from Once Upon A Time (casual style) costume were taken, and though I realized I forgot the necklace, they certainly look snazzy! I do need to figure out how to make the extensions better blended though…


The time I spent embroidering this Merida skirt was ridiculous, but I love this skirt to death. It’s whimsical and subtle and awesome all at the same time!

I’ve also realized that my planning skills are rather lax, and that sometimes I’ll completely change my mind and take on ridiculous projects. Case in point, even though I don’t have real space in my apartment to make a ballgown, I’m planning to make Ella’s ballgown from the live action Cinderella.

First though, I’ve got to make and finish my TARDIS skirts. After three years it’s really time.

Here’s to year 4! Thanks for reading!


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.

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.

back butt
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.

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!

Iron Man Jeans

Look look look! I made jeans!

front full

Real ones this time, with a useable front fly zipper and everything, unlike the last time… I don’t wear those anymore.

These are the Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files.

And they’re terra cotta colored.

What else is nearly that color?

side full

Iron Man is.

Okay, I know I’m stretching. Like mad. But Joann’s didn’t have denim in a bright red or bright yellow. So…

Terra cotta it was!

And if I’m being honest, I probably wouldn’t wear bright red pants anyway…

I was using these as a muslin, since I had bought very good quality denim that I was afraid to cut into. And I did learn a few things from the muslin. Including how bad VPL can look…but here’s the more sewing related ones.

back bit

Firstly, the high waisted-ness of these is great, except that I’m going to need to reduce the height a bit. Because its over my bellybutton (otherwise known as pivot point level on my body) I can’t bend enough to sit on the floor. What do you think I did a lot of during the first week of wearing? Lots of floor sitting…

This summer, I also gained a lot of bellyfat, so on one hand the tummy-stay front pocket was a lovely help, but that combined with the high waisted bit means that I was not terribly comfortable bending all the way over to pick things off the floor when I was sitting in a chair… And looking at the pictures of the back, I’m not convinced that its fitting right there… I’ll need to look at that further when I fix up the pattern, but  it could just be a back pockets problem.

back full

There were tons and tons of wrinkles at the back of the knees, so I utilized a design feature from my favorite trousers: a curved “dart” of sorts in the back leg that took a few wrinkles away. Not all, and perhaps not many, but enough. I like this, but if my next pair are tighter it might not be required.

I also need to shorten the legs. One thing about being short, I do get to save inches of fabric, which is great. I cut these off the bottom, and I did it in a rush, so I don’t quite remember how much but it was at minimum 4 inches… I may have cut a bit too much, but it’s a muslin, right?

Then I’m debating whether or not to take these in more. All of my non-skinny jeans recently broke (one with a hole and one with a zipper), so I’ve been craving not-super-skinny jean options, but all the wrinkles around the legs make me a bit sad. So do I give in to the style, or do I deal with the wrinkles?

But my favorite thing ever about these jeans is really the back pocket. back butt

(Iron Man theme/song intensifies!) But really, I’m truly proud of these jeans, and I can’t wait to make the adjustments and cut my expensive denim!