I DID IT! I’ve had the Closet Case Patterns Skinny Ginger Jeans pattern since June 2015. (sheepish grin)

Now, normally I’m not afraid to sew anything – I’m not really afraid to fail. It’s just fabric, and it’s always a lesson. However… My pants fitting has been on the scale from “Meh” to “I-JUST-BLEW-OUT-THE-ASS-OF-MY-PANTS-AT-COSTCO.” It’s true. Normally I have to scoop out the crotch, or add some hip length – I’m tall with most of it in my torso. Thanks to our amazing sewing community, Bad Mom, Good Mom pointed out on my Colette Juniper pants, most of my fit issues could be fixed with going up a larger backside size than the front. I’ve made about a dozen pairs of pants, but nothing quite like my Colette Clovers that actually split up the backside while picking up a case of water at Costco. That has steered me clear of close-fitting pants for a few years.

I had enough of the fear, and frankly, everyone else and their dog has made Ginger jeans now, so I was bordering on being pathetic.


I picked up a 1.5 yard remnant at Modern Domestic…it wasn’t labeled and it’s not on their site, but knowing MD, I’d says it’s a Robert Kaufman, probably close to this 8.6 oz stretch denim here. I paid about $25, so that’s about right MD would be a bit higher priced than as they’re my locally owned fabric store. I would definitely recommend it and use it again.

I was going for a hopefully wearable muslin, as I wasn’t ready to cut into the Cone Mills I’ve been hoarding or the velvet bottom weight I have from Britex, but actual muslin fabric wasn’t going to test correctly, so hell with it, right? Just do it.

I only had a hot pink denim zip in my stash (hee hee), and I FUBARed the placement a bit – it’s about 3/8″ off – I read “line up edge of zip” wrong at the fly. Whatevs. I also have just a regular button on them, and skipped the belt loops – I’m still having top stitch thread issues. In fact, half of the top stitching is popping off a bit, but that’s a technical issue on my end, not the pattern. I tried to do it on the Janome and on the Viking, but I’m going to have to break out one of the vintage machines IF I’m to get that top stitch thread to work – or I may just ditch it. I’m not that in love with it anyway.

What do you think of the pocket placement? Should I move them up a cm? I can’t tell. I’m not a good judge of my own butt. I took a 3 inch wedge out of the back yoke – which I need to blend better on future pairs, but other than that, it’s pretty spot on. I’ve worn these for days, and this is fresh out of the dryer, so they’re a bit “packed sausage” at this point. They will loosen up a smidge, but the denim is really good and there’s no bagging out anywhere. You can see below where the wedge of the yoke meets the back seem of the butt and there’s a little wrinkle where it wasn’t blended well on this version.

For me, the waist is now at 0, the largest point of my butt/hips almost at a 14, and the rest is at 12. I’m fairly hourglass shaped, and gain/lose weight pretty evenly in that hourglass ratio, so this is normal for me.

Here’s the IG post of that wedge – I didn’t get a “good camera” shot of it:

The legs fit perfectly. They’re bunching up a bit because I’m refusing to hem them.

My husband keeps teasing me that he’s going to hem them. I don’t want to….I want to leave them raw. We’ll see. I don’t know what the fashion consensus is on that. This is the full length of the pattern without any removed, as reference if you’re looking to make the pattern.

Sexy pants. LOL. Didn’t the 80s just totally ruin that word? Sexy. Ew. But the pocket stay on the inside?!? Holy crap. It’s like…it’s like a smoothing magic, without the discomfort of actual gross sweaty spanx or something.


Please excuse my mud room – it’s Oregon and we’re in the rain-half of the year.

Post post notes:

I had the pattern printed before the latest updates to the pattern. I think there have been 2 updates, and my version is smack in the middle. Meaning, IF I would have had the latest version, I would have probably scooped the crotch out the cm or so that was put in, and taken more out of the yoke? I think? Regardless, I did baste the sides, and the construction of the pants makes fitting on-the-fly really easy.

Let’s talk drafting for a minute. I’m just now learning pattern drafting and it looks so much easier than it truly is. The base pattern/sloper, or block, must be good before moving on to style, and then eventually grading to different sizes. To have the success of these jeans on the level that Closet Case has had, which is near cult status…well, they have the magical block. Will this fit everyone as easily as me? Well, no. But, again as reference, I fit J Crew/Banana Republic size 8 or 10 off the rack just fine. Sometimes I have broader shoulders/bust and the waist is too big, or whatever, but for the most part, I’m shaped pretty RTW-friendly. So, if that’s you, then this pattern will be GOLD!

If that is NOT you, Cashmerette JUST released the Ames jeans in different body shapes. While I have not sewn any Cashmerette, I have seen the detail work that has gone into their drafting, not to mention their HUGE fan base. Sewists aren’t fans of crap pattern companies. Well, I take that back, Big 4 still exists, but I submit that’s because they’re cheap (read that how you will.) Indie patterns cost more, and must be made better to succeed, and damn if Cashmerette hasn’t succeeded! I can’t wait to see Cashmerette’s jeans all over the Sewscialsphere.

Seamwork Savannah 2

That smile is 100% fake. It’s 106 degrees. I’m born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. We don’t do Arizona temperatures. We don’t even build houses with air conditioning…maybe a heat pump, but unless you’re in some suburb, there’s no AC. Sigh.

I found 3/4 yard of April Rhodes voile at Modern Domestic. I knew I’d try to squeeze an Akita or Savannah out of it, and opted for a 2nd Savannah. My first Savannah is in rayon and I wear the Sydney over I totally forgot about the armpit gaping and didn’t fix it. Life goes on.

I didn’t have enough fabric to quite cut the back on the 45 degree bias, but whatevs. In Portland, most of the time, I’d use this as a layering piece anyway.

Upshot is I can hang my laundry outside and it’s done in 10 minutes…

So…funny thing. My mom saved one of my favorite childhood shirts. This shirt is from Huntington Beach, California, summer of 1988. I wore it proudly in my 8th grade school photos with my perm.

At least I’m consistent.

The label is the best part:

I’m going to go listen to some sexy sax man. Stay cool.

Pattern Make: Lisette B6168

I made myself something! OK, honestly I’ve made a few things but I haven’t taken photos. Let’s blame the (PNW) rain.

This is a Lisette pattern, and it’s only like…2 years old or something (the pattern, not the make), so if you haven’t bought it but want to, I’d hop to it. It will probably be discontinued soon. It’s often on sale.

There’s only 4 patterns now listed on Butterick for Lisette – that seems odd. But then, that’s symptomatic of a brand dilution problem IMO.

Anywho – funny story. I picked up some Robert Kaufman Essex linen from Modern Domestic in what I THOUGHT was the color I needed to finish up kitty blocks for my Elizabeth Hartman quilt. If you haven’t seen her animal quilt designs, I have no idea where you put the rock you’ve been under, but they’re adorbs. So OF COURSE I didn’t take a swatch with me, because I’m such a pro, right? LOLZ. Essex comes in like a million variations on just blue alone, so I ended up with the wrong color. Happy accident!

I had just enough (not really) to make the short tunic version, but NOT enough to make the waist ties as well.

Note to self: next time get enough for the waist ties OR resize the waist down….waist ties are easier.

It was a surprisingly easy make. Oh, and tooting my own horn: I will usually still look up tutorials for things like welt pockets or invisible zippers just for hand holding, but I was too lazy to look up an invisible zip tute this time, and GUESS WHO INSTALLED IT PERFECTLY THE FIRST TIME ANYWAY? That’s right. I’m freakin’ BOSS. (totally jinxed myself right there.) The zips I had on hand were shorter than called for, so I am sure it’s a comedic sight to watch me try to wiggle this dress over my shoulders and bust, and there’s a good 1.5″ gap at the top where I put in a hook/eye, but whatevs. Benefit of having skillz: make it work.

I think my camera remote battery is dying….or the sensor was up too high….but ignore the weird faces, k? k.

What I like about the tunic/dress thing:

  1. Easy over leggings outfit! yay.

2. Great/easy construction…although I don’t like the facing on the front, but bias facing on the back. That makes for some awkward shoulder seams – the bias back has 1 more layer than the front, not including pressing the seam when done. That could be designed so much better….like just facing for both, really.

3. The back is cute….it lays flat without the ties added on.

4. The bust gappage-flashing isn’t as bad as you might think. See – me testing it. SO SEXY. snort. There’s some boob gappage below… I guess it’s ok. But I’m not going to bike in it, you know?

What I don’t like:

1. Sometimes, I look freakin’ preggo. No likey. The front doesn’t lie as flat with all the top cross over and gathering. It really needs those ties to go flat again under the bust, or, I could possibly see maybe the weight of a full skirt, but I really don’t think that would be enough not to look preggo after my bust…

2. and no pockets….I really wish I added inseam pockets. because dress+leggings and mom-life…yeah. need pockets.

3. that weird shoulder seam with the facing to bias facing construction…

4. and I think…while the sleeve insertion went perfectly, they’re double layered AND sorta cap sleeves…I think they should be more….flowy dainty or something. Essex linen is NOT a crisp fabric like a shirting…anything thicker and it would look really weird. I don’t know. maybe a tulip sleeve would be cuter here or something longer?

Sometimes it doesn’t look that bad…but every photo of me on Easter looked … well. Not my favorite.

Not sure what I was doing here, but …hey, look at that hem. I let it hang overnight but there was nothing to trim the next day. And that perfect zip! Looks like sometimes I get a bit of a gap at the top of the back…not enough to take it out though if you see other photos.

I love RK Essex linen. I’d make everything in it and just roll around in it. It’s so yummy.

Trying out new photo spots at the new house with the waning winter sun. Maybe not the best location/time of day. Need to suss that out a but more. BUT lip balm and cheek color/highlighter made by ME. All the rest of the make up is Make Up For Ever. I splurged a bit as I was out and am happy I did. I like it so much better than MAC’s versions of same stuff. It was a good test run in these shots.

Still futzing with remote, but see how the waist band is kind of…well, it has too much ease there? That’s not how my body goes…it is not straight from armpit down, but it creates this illusion of straight down and then the skirt poofs out. I think the ties would have helped with that a lot.

Overall it’s cute. I don’t know if I’m so in love with it that I’ll make it again. That kind of bums me out. I have the Made By Rae Washi dress plus expansion pack, and I’m still all excited about the giant bow+sleeves version, but I really don’t want maternity wear… I’m going to have to think on that some more. I love the idea of dresses I can bike in during the summer. Maybe it’s all in my head?

Recess Raglan from See Kate Sew

in the genes
in the genes
in the genes

I dig pattern testing. Here’s Hazel modeling a size 8 of the Recess Raglan t-shirt in cap sleeves. I made two in an afternoon, it was that easy! They’re in heavy rotation in Hazel’s wardrobe.


I knew the pattern was top secret but I didn’t know it was going to be part of a MEGA BLOGGERS WITH SUPER POWERS PATTERNS RELEASE. Back-to-school staple patterns all in one place. Nice.


Elizabeth Hartman shot an Instagram of some unicorn knit at Modern Domestic this past weekend…..I think I better go stock up!

Photos taken by my own personal fantastic disaster.

Elizabeth Hartman Classes Tomorrow…and other stuff

Mustard and Slate

This Saturday, TOMORROW, is the start of the two, count them, TWO classes by Elizabeth Hartman at Modern Domestic. I feel kind of selfish leaving for what will amount to 2 whole Saturdays…hopefully everyone will survive at home. EEEK.

I prepped my ‘school bag’ for class this weekend.

Packing Bag
Packing Bag

For the Text Quilt workshop, I picked up the Comma by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics from the Fat Quarter Shop. It looks like they might be out of the fat quarter pack….but they still have a large stock. I do love it.

Comma by Zen Chic
Comma by Zen Chic

It’s was hard to settle on which fabrics to pick…


I almost didn’t, and almost grabbed the pink and purple Konas I have like in the Sorbetto post, but I settled on the mustardy-yellows with the gray print and also from FQS.

Mustard and Slate
Mustard and Slate

What do you think? I have two classes, so next week I can take a different color combo…maybe I’ll venture back to my purples and pinks then?

I also picked up some Elizabeth Hartman patterns…how can you NOT want this bag? And if you don’t have any of her books, her Modern Patchwork book is great. I have the iBook version, it’s available for Kindle, and I know lots of local shops have it.

Oh, wow. Between that and working on the Laurel pattern, I seem all local stalker-y. Before you go there, go here. I am SOOOO getting the Pavlova pattern next for my knits. The lovely StephC is alllll the way in Australia now, and look how simple it is! I’ll tell you, like with music, more complicated is not necessarily better. I prefer a good, simple pattern. With pockets.

Easter Dresses And Other Delusions

Old Navy Easter

Theoretically I should be joining the rest of sewing/crafting/quilting bloggerverse and making Easter dresses for my girls and some sort of pastel tie for my boys and man.

That’s just not going to happen.

It’s not that I don’t love making dresses, it’s that I know when I’ve taken on plenty already. Oh, and I’ve taken on plenty.

I’ve got a ‘day job’ that requires at least 50 hours a week not including commute time. It’s a pretty intense job at times that pays alright and gives my family amazing medical insurance – so I kinda have to do that.

There’s also the whole 4 kids thing ranging from 18 yrs to 13 months.

Senior photo by robwagpdx
Senior photo by robwagpdx

AND I’ve started my first of many sewing classes. The first to start is the Free Motion Quilting series at Montavilla by Billie Whipple. She’s great. I suspect it will be fun seeing the difference between Billie’s style and the FMQ class I have next month at Modern Domestic. The class at Montavilla is a series of 6 – 2 hour classes. It is so generous of people such as Billie to give their time and knowledge. She’s been quilting for such a long time and has so much experience to give. It’s great. That and my Lordie does she have a feisty sense of humor! That is just perfect for me!

I also have some sort of delusional dream that while doing all of this, I’m going to enter a couple dresses into the Colette Laurel pattern competition.

Colette's Laurel Pattern
Colette’s Laurel Pattern

I’ve started what I’m calling the Julia Prototype. I got a bunch of long sleeve t-shirts on clearance at Target and inspired by some friends from The PDX Breeders Club, I’m making some “semi-homemade” Star Wars dresses.

Julia Prototype
Target Hack!

It’s not quite done. That skirt is just pinned to the top and needs to be serged and top-stitched together still. I’m pretty happy with it though – especially considering I did NO planning and just winged it.

So, back to being an Easter slacker.

I went to Old Navy instead.

Old Navy Easter
Old Navy Easter

How To Iron Pellon

Farmer's Market Bags

As I’m finishing up these farmer’s market bags, based on the Fresh Lemon’s design again,

Farmer's Market Bags
Farmer’s Market Bags – photo by robwagpdx

I thought I’d share my Pellon epiphany.

Stabilizers and I have our moments. I think you have to get a ‘feel’ for them. Er, I think I have to get a feel for them. I think I’m getting it. Steam-A-Seam, I press for a long, long, long time. Think…slow roasting a marshmallow. Takes time to make it gooey and sticky. Pellon on the other hand is more of a quick, hot steam…but not too quick…but the great thing with Pellon, so far, is that I can flip it over and see how I’m doing.


This helps me get a feel for it and how I’m doing. I’m getting better.

Good thing Oh, Fransson! has put up this bag with a pattern tease.

I will be getting that pattern and obsessing over that next.

BTW, while I’m on the topic of the incredible Ms. Elizabeth Hartman, if you go to her blog and pour over her posts and books, you can see why I’ve signed up for her two upcoming classes at Modern Domestic.

So, when I mentioned upcoming classes, it makes more sense now, huh? There’s a LOT of other classes at MD that I’d like…but it’s a bit of a trek for me from deep SE PDX to NE PDX and child finagling, so this was a good leaping off point. I need to observe/learn some more FMQ and I’ve not done text quilt blocks…that’s going to be fun.

The art-cycle class would be fascinating and I would love the quilt frame basics class…but I think I’ve got enough on my plate for now. Oh, and I want to get the new pattern released from Colette at MD this week too…, yeah, that’s enough.

Upcoming: More Bags, Infinity Scarves and Modeling

I know I said I wouldn’t get more fabric except solids, but….I had to get the last of this fox fabric, and I’ve been wanting this Birch fois bois…and I happened to have a gift card.

sew mama sew fabrics
sew mama sew fabrics – washed but pre-ironing

I feel so lame writing “fois bois.”

I may have went a little over my gift card, and got this orange plaid to go WITH my mushroom fabric.

bag combo
bag combo

But this time, you see, the fabric has plans before it was purchased. I’m addicted to these farmer’s market bags. And I’ve really been wanting an infinity scarf that’s sweeping the interwebs, but all I could find tutorials on was knit instructions….and that fox fabric was just begging me to be worn…by me…

AND….I had to go to Cool Cottons because they had the Star Wars fabric in stock that I need….and walking to the front door, there was a sale rack. I walked right past it. Just right past it. Then….went right back out and grabbed the bicycle fabric…and matching Kona….but I was really good and didn’t buy any of the shot cottons…yet…

Octavia combo
Octavia combo

Doesn’t this fabric just make you feel spring?

Octavia Fabric
Octavia Fabric

Excuse the wrinkles, I took photos after washing them but before ironing. I was too excited. It could be worse. I’ve been looking at Jukis and cover stitch machines….

Here’s some shots of the first infinity scarf. I experimented on myself….before I made more…so much more. Photos below are by my dear man. He takes great photos….then puts up animated gifs of me making dinner. That’s True Love….the part where I let him do that.

Scarf 1
Scarf 1
scarf 2
scarf 2
scarf 3
scarf 3

OK, I have ALL of that to show you coming up AND AND AND

I signed up for some classes at Modern Domestic, one at Montavilla and a Jenny Doan lecture. Normally, I’m not a fan of classes, only because I’m too impatient and when I want to learn something I just go find it….but I have my reasons for these particular classes which I’ll expand on later.

That, and most of my lessons in sewing have either been my mom or self-taught, and while that’s great, it’s such a HUGE subject…I know a couple different ways of putting pants together, for example, but I prefer one particular way over the other. That’s barely scratching the surface of techniques, habits and tricks. In fact, I’ve got a trick to share with you right after I post this that I haven’t read anywhere.

Sewing, quilting and embroidery are truly humbling in that I will never know it all….and I love that.