Closing the gap

New Look 6351 was the key pattern I planned to use for this month’s post using Minerva fabrics and notions.

grey-suit-fun.jpg

I chose a grey black chambray denim for both the jacket and pants.

Yes I’m somewhat obsessed with finding the perfect jacket to make that elusive French style jacket so the jacket in New Look 6351 has a v-neckline using the front jacket pieces.

Jacket adjustments:

Adjustments or tweaking the pattern to fit is my favourite part of creating clothes. Ready to wear is designed on a block that’s not me so I love being able to make a pattern fit me. Now the pattern doesn’t have to be super fitted. In real life clothes need to allow me to move around easily and not cling to me.

It would be terrible if I made lots of adjustments; had a top fit me snuggly; and then when I get in the car to drive somewhere the fabric across the back of my shoulders rips. Sewing should bring you joy and not rivers of tears.

1: Sway back adjustment

Admittedly, my Spring sway back adjustment is always less than my Winter sway back adjustment. On this occasion, I took out 3cm along the centre back seam at the waist. Then I added this amount at the centre back hem and graded this to 0 at the side seams.

grey-suit-back

2. Shoulder seam length

I love the dropped shoulder look that you see in fashion. My shoulder shaping doesn’t work well with dropped shoulders so I had to remove 2cm off the shoulder seam length so the sleeves sit nicely on my shoulders.

3-side-front

3. Forward shoulder adjustment

This adjustment is easy. I move the shoulder points forward by taking out 1.5 cm from the front shoulder seam and adding 1.5 cm to the back shoulder seam. It’s not much of a change but this makes the shoulders sit at the right spot.

4. Sleeve length

For my needs, I wanted long sleeves as I added 5 cm to the sleeve hem.

grey-suit-side

5. Lining

I love, love, love lined jackets. This jacket is very easy to line. Use the front side, back and sleeve pattern as your lining pieces. It’s that easy to line this jacket.

5-jacket-lined

Ah. One point to consider. The back lining piece needs to be cut on the fold with 3cm fold. This gives you ‘wiggle room’ when you’re wearing the jacket.

It’s also lots of fun to choose stunning prints to line otherwise basic work jackets.

6: Pockets

Everything is better with pockets.

6-pocket-piece

This pattern has a pocket pattern for the pants view so I used this patter to create the pockets for this jacket.

7-jacket-pocket-finished

Positioning them was a challenge. I made sure these pockets were 1/3 on the front panel and 2/3 on the side panel.

grey-suit-pockets

Trouser pattern

I prewashed the fabric before I cut out the jacket. The trouser pattern has gathers at the waist.

If this denim weighed less, I would have made the pants in this pattern. I ended up using my TNT Burda 7746 pants pattern.

9-pants-front-close-up

The pockets on this pattern are darted on the waist and sit nicely against my body.

10-pants-pocket

Denim as lovely as this will retain its shape and I’ve been wearing these trousers to work at least once a week.

The leg shape of this pattern works well with this denim so I’m really happy that I’ve been able to pair these together.

grey-suit-ace

If it fits – wear it. That’s what you’re able to do when you sew your own clothes.

Thanks so much Minerva for keeping my work wardrobe looking so sharp!!!

Minerva make – Black is back baby!

I’ve been wanting a ‘dressy’ pair of black jeans for a while. Minerva Crafts have the fabric and hardware so you can get everything you need in one place. The black denim from Minerva paired well with Vogue 8774.

Winnie made her fab Jamie jeans last month and they look great. Kate also made wonderful boyfriend jeans too.


It’s the jeans hardware that is difficult to get in one place. How and where you apply the hardware is where you make your jeans your own. 
 I’ve made jeans before and they were casual so I could wear sneakers with them. These are the dressy pair because the hem is lower and I can wear these with heels. These shoes needed an outfit 🙂
I’ve put the rivets at the top of the back pockets and on the front pockets.

Here’s a close up of the rivets and the pin placed there the centre back belt loop will be positioned.
One of the interesting features of this pattern is the back belt loops are sewn into the base of the back yolk.
And I’ve used the pocket stitching template for the back pocket stitching.
Again, here’s where you can put your own stitching design on the back pockets. I’ve seen back pocket stitching that’s gone onto the jeans fabric too.

I did a fair bit of jeans back pocket research at the local second hand clothes markets and the creative options are endless. Fabric painting or adding other rivets anywhere are all options you can use. Amy used the skull fabric in her Preppy skull dress.
Did you notice the additional pocket I’ve placed on the side seam above the knee? It’s a cargo pants feature pocket without the bulk.
The Minerva kit has everything you need for these jeans – Vogue 8874, Top stitching thread, great black non-stretch denim, woven interfacing, the inside skull print fabric, a very secure metal zipper and the ideal metal jeans button and rivets. 
A metal button with ridges is less likely to pop when you sneeze while wearing these jeans #embarrassingexperiencetalking. 
The key thing with these jeans is the pattern is designed for non-stretch denim. Non-stretch denim is cheap to buy and it holds you in. It truly does. 

See how I’ve taken the pocket from the side seam to the zipper? This is what ‘holds’ you in at the front. This ‘stay’ keeps you in place. Nifty huh? No need to wear spanks.

Below is how I adjusted the pocket to form the waist stay.

Above is my usual sway back adjustment and increased thigh room #cyclistthighs.

Now you can see why I wanted a dressy pair of black jeans to get me from summer to autumn in one make!
These tops are New Look 6940 and New Look 6149. 

If you haven’t been to the Minerva Crafts blog, you’ll be amazed and how much easier it is to use and find out what everyone’s been doing. There are over 30 of us who do the crafts we love with the support of Minerva Crafts UK.