Importance of Planning Out a Sewing Project

importance of planning out a sewing project by vivat veritasI wish all my handmade clothes were great and got a lot of wear but unfortunately that is not the case and this dress is certainly not on the favorites list. I think one thing that makes clothes become a go-to in your closet  (whether you make it or buy it at the store), depends on how well you plan. Almost every time I binge buy clothes or binge make them, it fails.

I made dress on a whim one night when I didn’t have any urgent project on my schedule. I had  left over knit from this sweater and decided to make a body-con knit dress. Considering how much wear I got from this white body-con dress over the Summer, I was sure that this would be something I would be wearing over and over again this Winter. While I was cutting out the fabric, I realized that I did not have enough fabric to cut the sleeves. My initial plan was to make this dress in a long sleeve version but I had to change mid way through.
Also since I made it in a rush (it was supposed to be an instant glorification), the neckline did not lay flat, especially in the back. It bothers me greatly.
The next day, I put on the dress, but when I saw myself in the mirror, I realized I hated the color. I like light gray color, a blue-gray or gray that is very close to white, but not this dark gray… My hair blends in with the dress and I look like a member of Adam’s Family.
I should have known the importance of planning for a sewing project, considering how much I put time on initial planning, sketching, sourcing the fabrics for making wedding dresses (you can see what I made in the past here). I think about how to construct the dress, in what order, what technique and sometimes I see myself in my dream sewing the dress. Once everything is completely clear, planned out, I start sewing. It usually goes well when I do that. Same goes for shopping for clothes or accessories. The items I covet for months before buying are the ones that I cherish for a long time. Lesson’s learned!handmade gray bodycon dress by vivat veritas1 handmade gray bodycon dress by vivat veritas2 handmade gray bodycon dress by vivat veritas3Outfit details | knit dress made by me,H&M Cardigan, Rag and Bone Harrow Booties, Forever21 belt, Thrifted clutch. handmade gray bodycon dress by vivat veritas4
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MADE | Ginger Skinny Jeans View B

ginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas1My first handmade jeans (Ginger Skinny Jeans View B from Closet Case Files) are complete! After about 10 hours of sewing and battling with the machines, they are finally done and they are wearable. Pretty good for the first try and considering that I didn’t make a muslin! The sewing of the jeans would have gone smoother if I could have gotten the thread tension right with #20 jeans thread. I just could not make that work in my industrial Juki sewing machine or Janome home sewing machine (I use Thread Banger). The only way it worked was to use the regular thread on top and jeans thread on bobbin for my Juki, and the opposite for Janome. It was really a goofy way of sewing and it took forever since I had to change thread constantly.

Size: According to the measurement chart, my waist was size 4 and hip was 6. I merged two sizes when cutting out the patterns, but after basting the pants together, butt area felt a but loose so I recut the pattern to size 4 all together. After installing pockets and fly zip front though, size 4 felt a bit too tight. Maybe because of all the additional layer of pockets and front. So I sew the waist with 5/8″ seam allowances and hip and all the leg parts with 3/8″ seam allowances.
I have store bought jeans that fit in the hip area fine but the waist is too wide, so I can’t wear them without a belt. These Ginger jeans seem to work really well and the sizes in waist and hip are perfect.
Fabric: I wish I had chosen a fabric with more stretch. Mine is a black denim with 98% cotton and 2% polyurethane. It was labeled as “stretch denim” but the stretch is very minimal. One down side of ordering fabrics online is you can’t actually touch and feel the fabric. I ordered stretch twill with 5% stretch, and am hoping that will work better for this patterns.
Installing rivets: I bought black rivets to match the black jean button, but I could not make them work. I’m sure I annoyed our neighbors with my knocking and smashing sound late at night. I’m thinking of bringing them and my jeans to Okadaya, where I bought the rivets and ask them to install them.
Pattern modification:
None. I am surprised how well it fits without any modification.
Modifications to make in the future:
1. Shorten the length of the jeans by 3cm so that the hem of the jeans hit the ankle. I like the slightly cropped length. Right now it scrunches up at the ankle a bit. I’m sure the patterns meant to do it or not. I’m not terribly tall so it might be just my legs are shorter than normal. I’m 5’4″.
2. Either raise the pocket placement up to 1-2cm or shorten the pocket length by 1-2cm. I feel like the pockets extend too long (down till the end of my butt cheeks). It would look cleaner with shorter back pockets. This blog says the same thing.
3. I’m not sure if you can tell by the pictures, but my fly front does not lay completely flat. Perhaps change the button hole placement? There is a room for improvement.

ginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas7

I wore this outfit to my friend’s birthday party last weekend. We went to a restaurant in Ginza called Lavarock (ラヴァロック). It was a lovely place and we ended up staying for three hours. Unfortunately, after eating a burger, I was uncomfortable sitting with these jeans on since the fabric is not so stretchy. I had to keep changing my leg position and kept kicking the birthday girl who sat in front of me. I’m hoping that overtime, the denim will get softer.

ginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas2Outfit details | cropped top and jeans made by me,Cardigan from Andy’s grandpa, Rag and Bone Harrow Booties.ginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas3 ginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas5 ginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas4 ginger skinny jeans view b vivat veritas6

パターンはインディーデザイナーのCloset Case FilesのGingerというもののViewB。




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Six High Waisted Jeans Inspirations

Andy’s Grandmother bought me Ginger Jeans Patterns from Closet Case Files for Christmas and I’ve recently started working on them. This will be my first pair of handmade jeans and I am very excited. When I first started sewing back eight years ago, I didn’t think I could make jeans!

Of the many jeans patterns that are out there, I was most attracted to Ginger Skinny Jeans Patterns because of the View B: high waisted version. Sallie‘s white skinny jeans look so good!

Last week, I made a trip to Okadaya in Shinjuku and bought rivets, jean buttons and a denim zipper. I bought the fabric online at Otsukaya Netshop (大塚屋ネットショップ). It is a black denim with 98% cotton and 2% polyurethane. It was labeled as “stretch denim” but now that I have it in hand, it might not be enough stretch for skinny jeans. We will see.  The thread is Fujix Jeans Stitch #20 (フジックスジーンズステッチ20番)from here.
I’ve collected a few images to get myself motivated to sew high-waisted jeans. I think they would look great paired with cropped sweaters, bustiers or bodysuits. What is your first 2015 sewing project?

how to wear high waisted jeans inspiration board by vivat veritasSources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
More on my Fashion Inspiration board in Pinterest

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