Thursday, March 24, 2022

Embroidered Ash jeans

Last year I taught a jeans sewing class online and during that class I sewed up another pair of my favorite jeans pattern, which is the Ash Jeans from Megan Nielsen patterns. Since I was doing a lot of videos I wanted to make a very traditional denim jean with the contrast topstitching, and I found a perfect piece of stretch denim in my stash. Well not quite perfect, as it was a piece that I got at a fabric swap with Bay Area Sewists a few years ago. It had some fading in faint lines but it was ideal for sewing a jeans example so I went ahead and used it, thinking I would just keep them for future reference in classes.

embroidered jeans 3

But they came out really nicely, despite my annoyance at seeing the faint lines which turned out to be right across my thighs. In an effort to distract from that I decided to try some embroidery.This was one of those almost free projects as I got all the embroidery supplies at a sewing guild sale. In fact it was seeing an embroidery pattern that gave the idea. 

embroidered jeans transfer pattern

Actually I got 3 different transfer patterns that day, so I selected the motifs that went with the look I was trying to achieve. I've seen jeans with floral embroidery along the pant legs before and always thought they were nice, so it was in my mental file to do that one day. 
Fortunately for my dark denim fabric these transfers are in a yellow chalk so they definitely showed up on the jeans. Another pattern I got that day has transfers that are black (or maybe dark blue) so they would work on a different fabric but not on denim. 
embroidered jeans both sides

I used the same pattern transfer for some of my flowers as the model is wearing on her top, the part shown that goes up by the shoulders. Some of the motifs were too large or designed to be in the center of a garment. 

I also got all the embroidery flosses, such gorgeous colors! although I did succumb to buying a few more one day. So many colors to choose from, now I want to embroider again. This might be the perfect project for me as I've always wanted to have one that I could carry around like people do with knitting but I will never learn to knit (too many previous attempts and I think it's too slow for me). 

embroidered jeans front view

This is a better look at the fabric, you can see that fade line running across the thighs, unfortunately I placed that there both front and back. In some light it's not really noticeable and it other light it seems very prominent. So I will just have to learn to ignore it as I think these jeans are really cute for summer wear. At least until it gets very hot - the denim is quite heavy. 

Which made embroidering the legs a challenge. I do not recommend deciding after making pants to embroider! It would be so easy to do them before sewing up - embroidering long stiff tubes of fabric was really annoying. Live and learn. 

embroidered jeans side full view

Here's a look at the inside of the jeans. I made these just as the pattern states, so the pockets are not attached at the center front. Usually when I make them I change the pocket to a continuous waist stay type of pocket that is seamed into the center front zipper as they are in this pair.

embroidered jeans inside

I think this is the second piece of denim I've sewn up that had "sample" written on the inside in that yellow lettering. I think I got both pieces pre-covid at a Bay Area Sewists meetup fabric swap.

So that's the latest on my embroidered jeans - I think they will be nice for spring but definitely too heavy to wear in summer. Actually I almost never wear jeans in summer unless I go through the tunnel to the foggy/cooler side of the bay!

Up next - not sure, I have a few projects on the back burner right now and as of this afternoon I have finished the prom dress I was sewing for the daughter of a friend. It was an involved project due to the fabric but it is DONE. and I can move on to other things. Here's a tiny sneak peek. By the way I have documented a lot of the making of this dress in my Instagram stories and saved them to a highlight called Prom Dress. 


In fact that view of my backyard is scheduled to change in April, I'm having the lawn mostly removed. The planting areas will changed around in front and back, and generally moving to a much more water-wise garden. No choice here in California where we are in year 3 of drought and now it's called a mega-drought. Which sounds ominous. Anyway - more California native plants but still plenty of color. 

I'm continuing with online classes via Hello Stitch and next month I'm doing a spring dress class, 
making both the Myosotis Dress from Deer and Doe, and also the McCalls 7969 (which is still available as a free digital pattern now on the website, not sure how long that will be the case). Register for the class on the Hello Stitch website. 

Happy Spring Sewing,

today's garden photo, this cheerful daffodil.


Sunday, March 6, 2022

Quilted plaid jacket, part 2 Burda 09-2021-115

 So much for my resolution to blog more frequently this year.  But other parts of life have intervened and I just never found the time to sit down and write. Despite that I have sewn a lot and have plenty of things to post. Also I've worn this jacket so much already, so I'm really glad that I decided to try both a bit of quilting and used something from the stash. Here is part one of this jacket, where I wrote about the construction and pattern that I used. 

Plaid jacket1

I could even see making it again in a summer weight fabric. 

pocket flap

I really like these pockets, and I did have enough of this remnant fabric to match them nicely. 

quilting closeup

If you look closely you can see some of my quilting stitching. It does have a layer of quilt batting (also remnants) but because I used the plaid as my stitch guide the quilting doesn't show. Also the quilt batting is kind of thin but that means it's a bit cozier to wear but not bulky.

plaid facing

One thing I'm kind of fanatical about when sewing plaids is the facing which has to match the plaid and again I did just have enough fabric to do so here. I think it looks nicer if they match especially when the neckline area of a coat or jacket is worn slightly open so that you see the facing. 

quilt jacket adding lining

My box of lining fabrics sometimes makes me think of Mary Poppins magical carpet bag, as I seems whenever I look in it I find just the right thing. So I had this bemberg rayon lining in the perfect color. I sewed the lining in by hand as I like to stitch the facings down first and then attach the lining. You can see a bit of the quilt batting and stitching lines there in the photo. 

plaid jacket 2

Things are not looking good for our drought situation here in N. California, as you can see. Some of those plants have a bit of frost damage which is normal but we haven't had any appreciable rain in Feb. or March and I don't think we will. The spring project around here is to re-landscape the front of my house with all low-water plantings, and then in the back yard to reduce the lawn considerably and replace all the irrigation. So I hope it's all complete by the end of April and I can get back to trying to fit in more plants :) 

This weekend was a bittersweet one as it was the last days for Hello Stitch Studio as a physical space. The opportunity to teach classes there came up at a perfect time in my life and I have enjoyed it more than I can say. I've made a lot of good friends because of that connection and I know they will continue but we will all miss sewing together. I guess the past 2 years of the pandemic has been a bit of a preview as the studio was mostly closed although it did reopen last fall with a lot of Covid protocols in place. Despite those restrictions we held many sessions of learn to sew garment classes. People did look around during the lockdown and decide that they could learn to make their clothes, so it was really rewarding. Their building was sold and that precipitated the closure, however some of the owners are continuing Hello Stitch Studio as an online venture for now, and have some opportunities for a space nearby for in-person classes so I will likely be doing some of those once things settle out. I have several other opportunities to teach in-person classes so I will let you know when that is all decided. 

Meanwhile we are continuing the online classes, I start a new one this Tuesday evening, which is Sew the Emerson Pants  so if you are interested you can register at the link. 

That's the latest on my classes. In other projects I'm actually sewing a prom dress for the daughter of a friend of mine, reproducing the look from a picture she showed me. I will probably post some about this here after it's finished, but if you want to follow along I am doing posts in my Instagram stories, and saving them all to an Instagram highlight titled "Prom Dress". 

Stay well everyone and I hope for an end to the madness in Ukraine, it's tragic to watch things unfold but inspirational to see the bravery and fortitude of the Ukrainian people. 


This great photo was taken by my dear friend Halyna @zigzagstitching  on IG, a proud and worried Ukrainian.

Plaid jacket sidewalk