MADE | Ginger Skinny Jeans in White Twill

ginger skinny jeans in white twill by closet case files vivat veritasI want to show you my second attempt at making skinny jeans (Ginger Skinny Jeans View B from Closet Case Files)! This time the sewing was much quicker than the first time. Mostly because I did not bother to change the thread to a top stitching thread. Since the fabric I used was stretch twill instead of denim, it was much easier to sew. No broken needles this time!

I’m pleased with the result and have worn them a bunch of times already. We will see how long these pair will last as I have had to replace my white skinnies almost every year in the past due to stain and stretch. I already made a mistake of riding Andy’s rode bike with these and got oil stain on one leg… Bleach killed most of the stain but I hate having to care for the perfect whiteness.

Here is my mood board for the white jeans.

white ginger skinny jeans by closet case files vivat veritas (2)Size: Previously, I cut size 4 in waist and 6 in hip, but ended up re-cutting the fabrics in size 4 all together. So this time again, I made size 4 with 5/8″ seam allowances as the pattern instructions suggest.

Fabric: I used 5% stretch twill in white. I bought it on Rakuten, here (Japanese only). It is definitely thinner than regular denim fabric and the stretch denim I used for my first Ginger jeans. I think these pants will be great for Spring, but am not sure if I can survive winter.
Modifications: There are a few modifications I made this time.
1. Shorten the length of the jeans by 3cm. It worked out great for 5’4″ myself. I might shorten my next pair even further to make them a cropped length.
2. I raised the pocket placement up for 1 cm and shortened the pocket length by 1cm. I like the result much better than my last pocket placement on these.
Cons: Do you see the fly front is slightly tilted on the left side? I have no idea why it happened and it bothers me greatly.
Here is an embarrassing butt shot… But you can see how well these jeans fit me.

white ginger skinny jeans by closet case files vivat veritas (1)So what’s next? I am thinking of making military skinnies with khaki stretch twill like this and this, by adding big pockets with tabs on the side and ankle zippers.

white ginger skinny jeans by closet case files vivat veritas1 white ginger skiny jeans by closet case files vivat veritas (1)ホワイトジーンズを作りました。
パターンは使うのが2度目のCloset Case FilesのGinger JeansのView B。

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Before & After | Liberty Print Dress

DIY kids liberty print dress vivat veritas1 (4)My friends know that I like to sew and make things so I often get fabrics and clothes donated. Recently my friend gave me a bag full of clothes she no longer wears. She is a sewer as well, and showed me her failed attempt to make a top with a jersey in red floral liberty print. Although liberty print is a bit too young and cutesy for me, I love it on little girls. When I got this top, I immediately thought of easy tube dress for Kiko.

before after red top to kids dress vivat veritas

It was an easy project that took less than hour. I cut the top in the length I wanted, added elastic around the top and attached shoulder straps.

I made this at night after Kiko went to bed. She goes to bed at 7pm and after that is my sewing time. I placed the finished dress right next to her bed while she was sleeping, so when she woke up in the morning, there was a little surprise beside her.

Check out this, this and this to see what else I’ve made her recently.
DIY kids liberty print dress vivat veritas1 (3) DIY kids liberty print dress vivat veritas1 (1) DIY kids liberty print dress vivat veritas1 (2)



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How I learned to Sew

how i learned to sew vivat veritasReading the recent blog post by Rachael (House of Pinheiro) on “What do you do to become a better sewist?”, it got me thinking about the question I get asked often: “How did you learn to sew?”. When people find out that I sew wedding dresses, they often ask this question. I tell them I learn most about sewing through resources online and books. I never went to fashion school or couturier school. I have a bachelors degree in journalism which turned out to be totally useless in the line of work I do. I tell them that I learned how to install invisible zippers by googling “how to install invisible zippers” and just doing it many times. Usually, people react with disbelief…

What most people don’t realize is the amount of time I put into sewing. When first starting I sewed for hours every day. I still do. At first it took me three nights to sew a simple dress. I was confused most of the time. The thread tension was wrong, I didn’t know that you needed a special foot to install an invisible zipper. I didn’t have a serger so my seam allowances were not finished. But I kept making more pieces, each time improving little by little. Once I figured out how to make a simple dress, I moved on to making more complicated things like jackets, coats, shirts, wedding dresses and most recently jeans, just like schools would have you do in different classes.

I took piano lessons for 13 years from age 6 to 19. I think my mother wanted me to be a concert pianist. It turned out that I didn’t and I stopped playing the piano when I moved out of my parents’ home. My mother thought it was such a waste. She put in money, effort, all the driving me back and forth to piano lessons and her daughter just gave up like that. However, I do not think it was a waste at all. From all those years of lessons, I learned the importance of practice and the importance of not giving up. Although I no longer play the piano daily, the understanding that “practice makes perfect” stuck with me.

What worked for piano also works for sewing. I kept sewing and sewing, and trying my hand at other crafts (pattern drafting, draping, knitting, sketching, crocheting, embroidery etc) to better my skills and although you don’t see the immediate result, looking back you will see how much you improved! Most good things in life like marriage, child raising etc. come with practice and patience as well, right?

When I first started selling clothes online, nobody bought my clothes. It made me a bit sad, but Andy encouraged me to keep going, so I sewed more, posted new creations online, figure out how to have better photos and slowly, some people took interest. Those people who bought from me helped me learn even more by requesting custom clothes. You get to experience sewing for different shapes and what’s better, they are paying for you to learn!

“Experts have said it takes 10,000 hours of hard work to become an expert seamstress” (Quote from Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing…). Read “Outliers” from Malcom Gladwell and be encouraged to keep sewing or doing whatever you are trying to learn (I listened to the audio book). Every time I am tempted to sit on the couch and browse through Pinterest for hours, I remind myself that every little bit of effort counts. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, I sit in front of my sewing machine and keep sewing.

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