7.15.2013

a new pair

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Hey there! I'm back! I'm so pleased so many of you found the fabric dyeing tutorial instructive, and I do hope to see some hand-painted goodies popping up in my blog reader in the future! If any of you do decide to tackle some fabric dyeing yourself, please send me some pictures! I'd love to steal your ideas wait... that's not right... I mean, suck your creative juices... no... not that either... hmm... let's just go with see what you come up with! Kidding.. kidding...

So what brings me to this rambunctious crop of palmettos on this overcast summer day? I wanted to show off my two latest makes, of course! You might recognize the fabric for this top as the sample that I dyed in my tutorial.  Although the camera was being a bit silly with color - the blue dye is a deeper hue than it appears in these pictures.

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I dyed just under two yards of this white silk crepe de chine - just enough to make a Scout tee! I've been craving some easy, basic summer staples this season, and the Scout definitely fit the bill. I also felt like the pattern lends itself really well to using fun fabrics, like this hand dyed number.  And I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't especially tempted to whip up a Scout as part of that awesome Kollabora contest, but in true Sallie fashion I just didn't get my shit together in time to meet the deadline! Which is a damn shame, because I love prizes. I love prizes almost as much as I hate deadlines! So, as you can see, I am doomed to a life of no prizes and dissatisfaction... woe is me.

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All joking aside here (hehe... I never put the joking aside) I was destined to make this Scout sooner or later as part of my systematic attempt to have my wardrobe littered with Grainline patterns.  Jen, do you make these patterns specifically for me?? I just have to ask. And if so, have you been getting those brain waves I've been sending you? Great, thanks - I'll expect to see sketches on my table by next week then? 

Omigod, I just can't stop the kidding today. What's with me?? Alright. Serious face. Just the facts m'am. I made this top in a size 4, no adjustments.  While this size matches my measurements (exactly - I mean... she's gotta be making these just for me! Right... sorry... back to business...) I could also see me sizing up in the future to get an even slouchier fit for optimum cool-itude. And, as literally everyone everywhere has said about this pattern, it was a breeze to sew up, even in silk, making it a great project for a long afternoon.  I finished all the seams with french seams, not because I'm particularly partial to the, admittedly, pretty finish, but because I was too lazy to change my serger thread from black to white. Ahh yes... you know you have a problem when your laziness induces more work...

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And on to project number two! This past spring I decided it was time for a new pair of jeans.  It had been about a year since I made my first pair - and then commenced to wear them every. single. day of the following 365 days. Funny that it took me an entire year to realize that I should really have more than one pair of jeans in my wardrobe! But after a year of hard wear, my first pair of jeans were no longer looking like my 'nice' jeans - but rather like my 'work' jeans.  Several gallery installs and deinstalls had resulted in paint stains - a years worth of bike commutes meant a few grease stains and the odd snag or two - and countless washings and dryings had meant faded color and tarnished buttons.

It was time.  This was also a great opportunity for me to refine the Built By Wendy pattern (only available in the Sew U book) I've been using as my base for pants. (Question: at what point does a commercial pattern become your own?) Gotta hand it to a years worth of wear 'n tear to show me where a pattern could be improved! Don't get me wrong, I was incredibly happy with my first pair of jeans. Obviously. But there were some small adjustments I wanted to make on this pair - like the depth of the front pocket opening and the overall width of the front pockets.  My first pair's zipper also had a tendency to show a teensy amount, so I used a different insertion method for the fly (Grainline's, in fact!)  But perhaps the biggest adjustment's happened with the fit.  I loved the fit of my first pair of jeans - at first. But over time I noticed that the grain was off on the legs and it really bothered me.  I knew this happened because I took the outer seam in to get them to fit after I sewed up the inseam.  I really needed to adjust the fit overall, and redraw the grainline. So that's what I did with this pair.

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I measured an old pair of Levi's to determine a few style points on this pair.  One interesting thing that I found in doing this is that the pants front were significantly narrower than the pants back.  I think this creates an optical illusion of being curvier in the back, and leaner in the front - and it also makes anatomical sense - since the muscles in the back of our legs tend to be much fuller than our front.  I also decided to have these jeans be a bit less 'skinny' in the ankle than my first pair, so they are cut a bit straighter from the knee down, and I hemmed them shorter.  I like to think of this as a gentle transition from my hipster art school days to a more 'mature' look. Ha!!

I used a Marc Jacobs denim from Mood, with just a hint of stretch along the cross-wise grain.  I know some people are anti-stretch denim, but me? I loves it.  I have to say, I'm really happy with this denim.  Definitely quality stuff. It has the color and feel of old school denim, and it didn't bleed nearly as much as the denim I used on my last pair. Which I take as a good sign. I get a lot of questions about where to buy jeans supplies, and I always recommend Mood for their denim. I order a couple of swatches and choose from there.  My buttons and rivets are from Taylor Tailor (who has a whole store full of really great looking jeans supplies, including some drool-worthy selvedge, non-stretch, denim that I think I might use to make my husband some jeans) and my thread is just Gutterman topstitching thread - though Taylor Tailor has some really gorgeous topstitching thread I might splurge on for my next pair!

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Well that's all for now! I literally have a 'to sew' list a mile long... anyone else have this problem? I swear, all these gorgeous indie pattern companies keep releasing winners this season. I'm having a hard time saying 'no'!

xx

51 comments:

  1. johanna@projects by meJuly 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Your top is gorgeous and the jeans are fantastic! I tried to sew jeans, but they did not turn out well, so I'm totally impressed with you.

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  2. ACK!! Hand painted Scout! One more for the variation pile!


    And the jeans. I die. They look amazing! Seriously!



    I have Sew U and actually ran across the pattern pieces as I rearranged my printed and traced patterns and I had this nagging feeling that someone had made something awesome from it. And now you've reminded me! Thanks, dude!

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  3. I wore the first pair of jeans I made until they literally fell apart, and haven't made any since. And I totally know what you mean about wearing the same pair of jeans over and over--I only ever seem to have (at most) 2 pairs at any given time, and I have no idea why that is.


    Great use of the dyed fabric! I guess I need to give this pattern a try, loose and cool to wear are pretty much essentials for a sweltering Kansas summer.

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  4. Awesomeness. Love the Scout- but your jeans are seriously inspiring to me!! I have been slowly gathering all of my supplies and I am just about to get started on some. I am using an old pair of jeans as a pattern, I am hopeful that will work!

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  5. I LOVE reading your posts- always make me giggle.

    Seriously know what you mean about the to-sew list! With a toddler in tow and working for myself (which only means that I have to make myself work) I'm not getting much sewing time.

    Have finally started fitting into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes and so reshuffled my wardrobe and discovered I have very few tops.. Just as well I've been making ALL the trousers, shorts and jackets then!

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  6. Love the scout tee and i'm amazed by your jeans. I thought those were store bought

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  7. I think if you have a pair of jeans that already fits you relatively well then that is a GREAT place to pull your pattern from!! I kind of feel like I lucked out with the Built By Wendy pattern, it seems to be the right crotch curve/depth for me, but obviously everyone's body is different! I always compare my BBW pattern to RTW jeans though, because I feel like the 'jeans' part is all in the details!

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  8. First off, did you ombre you hair dude? Or is that just the Texan sun? I just had mine redone and it's loooooove..... Second off, loving the print with the scout. It's a shame you missed the Kollabora deadline. You woulda stomped the comp. And your jeans are making me severely jealous. It's my big fall agenda. You really nailed the bum on these - I love the shape of the back pocket. Your heiny looks divine. I may just go and buy all the same supplies so we can have matchy matchy jeans. If (I MEAN WHEN) I actually get my shits together.

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  9. I WISH I'd just had my hair ombre'd!! I literally haven't done squat to my hair for a full two years. NOTHING! Not even a trim! Thus I have sad dry ends that like to go all blonde on me (the blonde part I don't mind) So, in short, yeah. That's just the Texas sun! Hash tag beach livin'.


    Also - please lets be matchy matchy EVERYTHING. That is all.

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  10. SHUT UP YOU DID NOT MAKE THOSE JEANS. Uhg. I just.... can you please... I can't... You're so fracking awesome I'm at a loss for words. Please bottle your amazingness and sell it to me so I can be at least 97% more awesome. You dye your own fabric. You sew your own jeans. You know the name of every solid fabric by it's corresponding paint color (wink wink - I googled "Paynes Grey" and you were spot on!)... Is there, in all seriousness, anything you can't do?? Oh yeah, deadlines. You suck at deadlines lol

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  11. fabulous, both of them! Can't believe those jeans!


    And yeah, the to-do list... I'm so glad you say that about indie releases this year. I keep wishing they would stop it and then despairing - will the coolness never stop? How will I get a grip on my wallet??

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  12. You are just one of those people I love to hate, but really love, because you are so darn good at everything! I am crazy about the jeans and the shirt. Ridiculous good!

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  13. What?! I made a Scout and denim pants this week too! (I don't call jeans 'denim pants', but mine aren't styled like jeans, so...) The pants out of MJ denim from Mood!!! Something's in the water. Unfortch, I made the pants too small but I'm hoping they'll fit soon if I continue to exercise like a normal person, haha.

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  14. I seriously cannot believe you made these jeans. Now picking up my jaw from the floor.

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  15. yes, yes, a mile long sew list... ugh, what do I sew next? :) I love the dye job--what a great design. And your jeans are so impressive!

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  16. I kept thinking why is she focusing on the jeans in these pics. OMG, she MADE them! The tee is fabulous but the jeans!!!!! I recently bought some MJ stretch denim fabric for a skirt, but maybe someday....

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  17. the scout looks amazing in that fabric! love the simple shape to showcase great fabrics. and hello, jeans! love the jeans! this is definitely on my radar for fall.

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  18. Those jeans are insane. I'm blown away because jeans are the one thing I'd rather buy at a store forever and ever, but I'd compliment jeans like yours without even knowing they're self-made.

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  19. Sallie, I think you forgot the to write at the end the part where you say that you were joking about making those jeans! THEY LOOK AMAZING!! I seriously cannot get over how great they are!
    I love how the fabric turned out for the top. It's so beautiful. I do fear that the top might get jealous that she has to share a post with those jeans, though. Because my jaw is still on the floor. You are too awesome.

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  20. Both are so amazing. I REALLY wish we were neighbors so that I could dye fabric with you and then sew my own pair of jeans with your help. Maybe one day :)

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  21. Love your work Sal, love your work. I have the same problem of the overwhelming to-sew list. And jeans have never ever been on it, but now you've got me tempted. I can just imagine the feeling of supreme self sufficiency you'd feel sewing your own pair that's made for your body alone with the fit you like in the fabric you like. I love the scout tee too but it keeps getting pushed further and further down the queue. And now its crept up a few places again...off to check out your dyeing post which I somehow missed!

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  22. Wow they both look gorgeous! When I was reading it and looking at the pictures I thought, a new pair.. Might she be talking about the jeans? They look super professional! And the fit is very good too!
    Ahh yes, the long to sew list, mine is neverending and I keep adding things faster than I can sew them..

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  23. i love how you amaze me with something that's totally not my thing :) you made the most fabulous tee and jeans outfit i've ever seen, one that makes me green with envy hehe (strange thing, knowing i don't own a single pair of jeans, i don't wear them ever.. and tee is also not my thing.. but your jeans and your tee - that's something i would love to rock)

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  24. Wow! Wow! Wow! Maybe if I could create like you I'd actually consider paying up and wearing jeans on "jeans day" at school! Beautiful Honey!

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  25. I want to look like her.
    Love you sis. The shirt is amazing and your tooshie looks squeezable in those pantaloons! I adore everything you've made, but tailor made jeans... That makes me want to sew!

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  26. Great style , the top is look very chic

    www.gloria-agostina.com

    www.facebook.com/GloriaAgostina

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  27. It's so great to see the process of dyeing then see the fabric made up into something. i think I might have to make a silky scout tee now I love this one.


    I'm totally looking up Built by Wendy these jeans are amazing, they are the only RTW I'm still thinking of buying but this is really inspiring. Forget daggy handmade, these look professional as hell. Well done lady!!

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  28. I'm not even ashamed to say I spent way too long staring at your butt just now. What else do you want me to do? Your topstitching is PERFECT.

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  29. I take my sewing hat off to anyone who makes a pair of jeans and these are perfect! Soooo impressed, and don't even get me started on the top...

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  30. Wow! I can't believe you made those jeans! They look so professional! The topstitching is so neat and the fit is amazing! Also love the top you made with your dyed fabric!

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  31. Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? Incredible. Smack me down incredible. All of it.

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  32. Wow...you are phenomenal. Those jeans are incredible! (Love the pattern on the t-shirt too!) Just amazing..

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  33. They look SO great. Your earlier jeans posts prompted me to finally buy a copy of Sew U to get the same foundation pattern, but it's still sitting perfectly folded in the book with the original creases.

    Hopefully this is the kick in the pants (;-)) I need to work on jeans.

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  34. Your jeans look amazing! I've just cut out a McCalls jeans pattern and seeing yours has made me want to get started on mine :)

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  35. DAMN! These are both so perfect that I want to cry with jealousy! Maybe you don't win prizes, but you just WON AT LIFE. Shit. I so desperately want to dye fabric and make jeans... better add that to MY mile-long to sew list! (It's seriously crazy at this point... I keep shuffling it and reprioritizing projects, but I want to make EVERYTHING! Stop it, pattern designers!!!)

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  36. Those jeans are amazing! Just fabulous!

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  37. i was looking at your jeans thinking dear lord...surely she didn't make those as well?!!? i've never seen women's jeans that were handmade that i liked THAT much. enjoy every minute of your jean perfection. at least i now know it is relatively possible :)

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  38. Alessa FarbenfreudeJuly 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Oh yes, having a sewing queue too long for words is definitely my favorite luxury problem. :D The jeans look gorgeous, as does the top! And it's silk! (I sewed with silk for the first time yesterday. Ok I only put it on the backside of a sleeping mask. But it's so soft! Soft and wonderful! I need more silk garments! *stopping the rambling now*)

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  39. A Stitching OdysseyJuly 17, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Sallie, you literally blow me away with your style and creativity...every time! I'm speechless about this top and jeans, both are divine! And your tutorial about colouring fabrics is amazing - it makes me want to start concocting right now!

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  40. Gah - why haven't I made time for fabric painting yet?! I've been dreaming of doing it for too long. I think I'm just scared I won't be good at the painting aspect. But really, it seems pretty forgiving!

    I can't even believe you made those jeans. Ahmaaaaazing!

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  41. Ditto what everyone else said! This post just reminds me why I love to sew and tweak with patterns. It can start out as a such a simple pattern or even fabric but by the end it's all your own! Really love the shape you got out of this pair. Did you change the leg pieces so that the back was larger?

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  42. Essentially, yes - I had to make the pattern smaller all around, so I took the bulk of the width out of the front pieces so the side seam sits a little bit further front. I was measuring a pair of RTW jeans and noticed that the backs were SIGNIFICANTLY larger than the fronts.

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  43. I have to say, your sewing projects never look amateur. I'm literally sitting here with my mouth open, totally amazed by those jeans. You have me wanting to sew up a pair of bane-of-my-existence jeans--a white pair (why are white jeans so hard to buy? )

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  44. i seriously am in denial about your entire outfit.

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  45. I can't believe you made those jeans - they look so professional! The scout tee is great too :)

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  46. Suzannah FletcherJuly 23, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    Ridiculously fabulous outfit!!! what a rockstar

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  47. I know what you mean. I made a pair of pants this year and it's hard to stop from wearing them. I hate when I have to wash them. I also need a second pair!


    Your jeans look fabulous, really, they look RTW.

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  48. Sallie, I don't know how I missed this in my Blogloving reader. After your dyeing post, I've been on the lookout for what you made with the dyeing techniques.

    I love the top buy oh man, I love the jeans! One of the technical designers I worked with was a jeans technician and she said that the side seams are "pushed" 1/2" to the front to make the wearer look skinnier. Those sly manufacturers!

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  49. Your fabric painting us just beautiful! I am glad to know you like the built by wendy jeans pattern, I have been meaning to give it a go. The whole ensemble looks lovely!

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