Jeans and heels

This very first pair (Jalie 2908) were a test and they’re certainly a weekend staple. I made these in 2011.

These jeans were made to wear with flat shoes but these jeans don’t look great with heels.
This second pair are also good to wear with my Converse shoes but not with heels.

I really wanted a pair of jeans to wear with heels. So out came Jalie 2908 for another make in 2014. 

Below is a pic of both pairs of jeans and while the roll cost $4, the denim colour has kept true to colour. You can see the new pair of jeans (WIP view) are longer. 

Adjustments:
Added 2″ at mid calf level.
Lowered the front pockets by 1.5cm
Took out 1.5cm from centre back yoke
Top stitched everything possible.
Used rivets where possible because rivets help the jeans shape hold over time.
For a $4/roll of denim from The Remnant Warehouse, it’s kept it colour really well.
This time I followed the Jalie instructions to sew in the zipper. I’d previously followed Sandra Betzina’s video but kept finding the jeans zipper hovered to the right. This time these jeans sits as designed – centre.

Zippers at your heels?
Above is a pic of how I placed the zippers at the hems (WIP).
The first spot I put the zippers were right in the middle at the back leg hem. When I checked this in the mirror, the zippers didn’t sit above my shoe heels so I moved the zippers 2.5cm across to the side seam and that’s where I decided to sew them in.
Here’s how I prepped the welt area with the quilt cotton I used for the pocket bag lining.
The pic above shows how the exposed zipper ‘bit’ is prepared – kinda like a welt pocket.

I had to check twice that the welt was just shy of the zipper length before I sewed the zipper in. 


The zipper pull will tap on my shoe heels as I walk, so you’ll know I’m approaching you when I wear these jeans.

I fused the zipper in place before I sewed these in.
Here’s how the sewn in zippers looked before I finished the hems.

And I did topstitch these zippers too.

Do you think they’re in the right spot?
Jeans and heels.
Farm visit
If you follow me on Instagram, on the weekend Mr V and I were visiting friends and their farm out at Gulgong and we visited Hill End historic site.

Paired with my favourite wool Swanndri vest, new blue knit Vogue top (more on that later), new Jalie jeans and new boots – I was a country gal for the weekend. Yee-haw.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. 
A blooming Golden Wattle tree is a true sign Spring is here.

PS: You do realise there’s another pair of jeans in the pipeline?
Baroque black and white stretch denim
But wait, there’s more…to come.

Recycle the 80s

It’s big. It’s very wide. It’s a bit whiffy (on the nose). It’s from the 80s. It’s textured leather. It was $20. It’s my first recycling project. It could have been owned by a tall, dark, handsome man with very little dress sense who hung out at discos. Mmm. I’ll take it!

When I unpicked this jacket, the glue on the seams was still good but I could rip it apart without tearing the skin. Twill tape was used on the sleeve joins to the jacket, in the hem and in the side seams. The buttonholes were reinforced and the self cover buttons had a small button on the wrong side to hold them in place. It’s a big big jacket so it would suit a ‘simple’ straight skirt.

After using leather reconditioner (leather balsam), the colour became a deeper grey than green. I spoke to a leather expert and her view was that because the leather has already been treated, she said it would be hard to recolour. Then the question was, should I still use this? Yep. This is now a ‘no fear’ leather practice piece.   It’s still smells whiffy.


Since making the eyelet Derby Day Peony, I felt this skirt could do with an exposed separating zipper. I’ve used the original hem for this skirt so the real challenges are:
– make this skirt fit around the waist
– get the hem length right
– line the skirt properly with thick lining fabric.
– use a separating zipper that enhances the look of this skirt
– finally sew with real leather using real leather seam tape and glue!
I bought the leather double sided tape and leather glue from Birdsalls Leather at Botany. I got some useful leather sewing advice when I phoned and then visited the store.
And they have lots of leather saddlery things to look at in awe. Well I did anyway. They stocked buckles and pre-pressed leather for the belts you see worn at the Easter Show or on spaghetti western movies.

Prep work
I used a leather needle in my machine and replaced the sewing foot on machine with a teflon foot. I also eased the feeder pressure and used the longest stitching thread to sew the seams.

I used the darkest pieces of leather because some pieces had started to yellow. The hem was noticeably yellow so while I did want to reuse the hem, it was too obviously yellow, so I cut this off.

I love this red lining but for your purposes, this is a closer view of the insides of the skirt after sewing on the exposed zipper.

On the front, I’ve added extra seaming to give the waistline shaping without using darts. The hem also has a binding piece to make it long enough for my zipper. The zipper was a stash piece as was the lining.

Hooray. The back zip is now straight because I resewed the back seams and evened them out!!! The jacket McCalls 6292 was made earlier this year to test out the jacket style for a future pleather jacket with the matching gloves. Next step is to make this jacket from real leather – one day.

By the way, I did iron the leather with a cloth on the leather but learnt real quick to move my hand away when the steam hits to avoid some serious skin burns. The next version will have the glue and double sided tape. I didn’t want to pass out from the glue smell in my sewing room while making this skirt. I was sewing to a deadline to enter the PR refashion contest.

Better online leather bloggers to really learn about leather sewing are the sewing lawyer, Kbenco, Clio and Phineas, Ann’s sewing studio, Gorgeous Ann and  LyndsayT. It was Lyndsay’s post that started my quest to sew leather. These are some tips for sewing leather on a normal sewing machine too.

Peony update:
Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones and featured my Derby Day Peony with Erin’s version. And I found out that Erin of Miss Crayola Creepy loves Hawaiian print fabric, so she featured by test Peony. They’ve been hosting a Colette Pattern sewalong with Rochelle of Lucky Lucille. Love your Halloween Peony Rochelle. Thanks ladies. I’ve really enjoyed your sewalong.
And I’ve switched off anonymous again. I got lots of laughable spam so once the joke wore off, I switched anonymous off too:)

Derby Day Peony

With Spring racing in the air, this version would have been perfect for Derby Day – yesterday’s race has a wear black and white tradition. What do you think?

It’s a fairly well structured dress and can withstand being worn with heels or ballet flats (Colette Peony 1017). The hibiscus Peony version is also fully lined.

This version is fully lined in white poplin. And a jacket would help manage the changing weather on the day. I bought this fabric from the fabric store on Church St Parramatta for $9/m.

I got very excited when I added the bias trim on the eyelet fabric.

Then the issues was, how do you finish these seams.

I decided to pink them instead of using french seams because the eyelet stitching is very thick (I love this aspect of this fabric) so pinking helps keep the seams stable without added bulk.

So to add a bit more complexity, and skill development as we say at work, I’ve added an exposed zipper. Threads has an article for applying exposed zips but the layout of the article wasn’t easy to follow. I tried adding an invisible zip but the cut out eyelet bits along the centre back are at least 5cm long.


Left pic – iron fusing on right side with guide stitching:
Middle pic – pin and baste for first row of stitching near zipper teeth;

Right pic – trimmed underneath before final row of stitches at the side of the zipper tape.

Then I watched Gretchen’s exposed zip tutorial to see how an exposed zipper is sewn on. Wendy also had a video tutorial for more traditional craft projects and I’m guessing this topice is going to keep growing. Linda McGeHee shows lots of zipper ideas in a tute so you can then make add as as your own own and she is www.ghees.com. The exposed zipper was the perfect solution but I didn’t use contrast stitching. That would have been an embarrasing outcome.

Once I watched Gretchen tute I was able to insert the exposed zip without a practice run. Talk about taking a punt! Now to go back to the form guide to pick Tuesday’s winner. Lots of luck everyone.

Travel update – TBD but I’ll keep you updated.

Wow. Michelle Obama wore a similar outfit recently from the Miss Wu collection.