Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Dash for the Deadline


The end of January is fast approaching (hooray – pay day!) and the first Jungle January is drawing to a close. In a last ditch attempt to ‘move’ into animal prints I online purchased a rather cheap poly chiffon that incorporates, zebra, snake, cheetah, tiger, leopard, spots and a few fleur-de-ly for good measure.  I think the postage was more expensive than the fabric!

The pattern is a mis-mash of a very easy Vogue shirt and Rachel Comey V1247: there is a back yoke, back pleat, kimono sleeves, a few darts in the front for shaping, shirt tail hem with the back longer than the front, 3/4 sleeves and bias bound V neck. – There, a bit of everything to match the fabric.

Didn’t take too long to make either as there is no fitting, no sleeve insertion and the hem is just rolled and machine sewn.

More importantly to me are the jeans.
They are Issey Miyake Vogue 1204, not quite skinny but straight legged with front slant pockets and all the usual jean accoutrement. An unusual departure in style for me but I thought I’d give them a go. I normally make boot cut style jeans to balance out the child-bearing hips and I was rather concerned about the front slant pockets bulging out when I sat down. I made them long enough to cover the tops of the snakeskin ankle boots – but short enough so that you can see the boots.

There are a staggering 12 pieces sewn together to make these jeans, including pocket linings and double of everything apart from the left and right fly – 22 bits plus 5 belt carriers. I think that’s a lot of pieces for two legs and a waistband.

Fabric is a stretch denim that was brown until it was washed and then became olive green. That’s OK, I’ve got lots of things that co-ordinate with them – not least the animal chiffon!

Most of the fears of the style were unfounded. However, these jeans are LOW, especially in comparison to my usual fit.

I did my own unique method of achieving the perfect fit in jeans – it goes like this in 10 easy steps:

1. Cut out a 14
2. Make the fronts and backs with all the pockets and fly
3. Sew up the inside legs as real
4. Stitch the outside legs and centre back with 5mm machine baste stitch
5. Try on inside out and pin out all the excess on the outside legs and centre, especially at the waist.
6. Rip out the basting and stitch on the pin lines.
7. Try on again and pin out any new wrinkles and bagginess
8. Rip and stitch.
9. Fit the waistband to the new size.
10. Attach a button and hem

Works every time!
But that’s the problem… I never adjust the paper pattern to take account of these changes so every time I make a pair, I have to go through the whole rigmarole again. However, I have also found that even with a pattern I have adjusted and altered the fit still needs tweaking with every new fabric used. One stretch denim does not behave the same as another stretch denim.

Money shot coming up…….

There, I’ve tried animal print twice this month and I’ll have to admit – it’s not for me. I will be wearing my animal print lined dress at a very important meeting this week and if I can muster the courage I might just accessorise with the matching scarf.

Anne, it’s been fun and you’ve made me go where no other sewer or designer has enticed me to go before. A big thank you for hosting and managing Jungle January; hunting down and displaying all those animal print inspired garments – Meow to you!

For me, it’s time to go back to SWAP.

41 thoughts on “Dash for the Deadline

  1. Wow! Perfect fitting on those trousers! I took very good note of those 10 steps!Gorgeous outfit!

  2. Wonderful outfit! The fit on those jeans is to die for!

  3. They look fantastic on you Ruth! I do the exact same way of fitting jeans/pants as well 🙂

  4. Great fit,they look really good on you! Agree with you on the construction order.

  5. Great looking jeans and top. I might need to try that pattern. I 'thought' I wanted to make the top – didn't realize there were jeans with it!!marciae

  6. Go Ruth! I like how you construct jeans. Great fit. I squealed at the shoes and top.I've been too chicken to wear animal prints at all but the girls at work loved the animal wrap so I'm almost ready to muster the courage to wear the animal print burda dress – next week.

  7. Super looking top and jeans. As Tony the Tiger would say, "They're greaaaaat!" The fabric for the top is so wild, I really like it on you. And the jeans, well, they're perfect!

  8. Ditto everyone else's comments. You look great!

  9. Super great…and THIN!!

  10. You're rockin' the jungle and jeans!

  11. Love your top and those jeans are very impressive. Curious with your jeans/pants fitting, by the sounds of it the waist is where it should be or those pockets would soon disappear (has happened to me) and what about the side seams and pocket width(front) and back pocket placement, doesn't the placemen of these get distorted when you take the side seams in? Sorry does that make sense?

  12. love the top and jeans – quite a few people have made this top and I like all versions. I have the same pattern for the jeans, but feel I need to lose more weight before I go for a slim leg jean – these look great on you

  13. Yes, the slim leg jeans are so you. And they look great with those boots: they're a real wardrobe builder!I might try out your 10 step method on the Clovers I'm making!

  14. Love this top. You look fab!

  15. I'm not a fan of animal print – but I love this top. It looks great with trousers.Janice.

  16. Thanks Martinez. Hope it works for you too.

  17. I'm so glad to hear that – I thought I was breaking every rule there was. Your jeans always fit so well.

  18. Construction order is always a bone of contention, but hey, if it works…

  19. Hi Marciae! Two for one – you gotta love patterns that have a whole outfit in them.

  20. But you've made so many… I've seen you on Pretty Grievances and looking pretty damn good too, I may add. Wear them.

  21. Thanks Dixie – it took years to perfect that fitting 'system' but mostly it's just laziness.

  22. Ah thank you Lynda. Sweet.

  23. Really, not so thin. Really.

  24. Keep those patterns coming Coco – I'm on the look out for summer dresses already.

  25. I think I understand Sharon. As long as you don't have more than 2" to take in all round – this works. About 1/2" or so down each leg and up to 1" down the centre back. My back pockets are probably a little distorted but not noticeably so. But I should have pointed out earlier that the crotch must fit perfectly first – everything hinges around the crotch.

  26. I was surprised Pauline at the slim legged style – you should try first before deciding.

  27. It was the Clovers that made me start with this method. Get the crotch fitting right first then everything should fall into place.

  28. If I ever pluck up the courage to wear it out Elizabeth, it'll be in a few months time when it's much much warmer.

  29. Neither am I Janice – I believe it will be the last make ever.

  30. Aw, this is swell- those pants are amazing on- you are such a trooper!

  31. The top is fun, but the jeans are fantastic! The fit looks great and I like the neutral, non-blue colour. It makes them just a touch smarter. Fancy that it came from a laundering goof up!

  32. I hope you'll do the top again with your changes – very smart looking. OK, olive green simply suits you. Great pants!

  33. Ruth, You look marvelous. Love the jeans, nice top too.

  34. Thanks to you and your evil manipulating ways. I'm not quite on the dark side yet

  35. That's it! Not blue – I just couldn't figure out why they were sort of dressy but that must be it. Thanks Karin

  36. I'll do the top again Coco but in a print (not animal)Thanks

  37. Thank you Cennetta. Praise indeed.

  38. Both pieces look great. You really nailed the fit on the jeans.

  39. Pingback: Jungle January – Stop me NOW!!!! | corecouture

  40. Pingback: Jungle January | corecouture

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