Monthly Archives: December 2015

Top 5 Sewing Wins of 2015

2015 has been an excellent sewing year for me! Even the fails weren’t all that bad and in compiling my top 5 I even had a few more contenders and had to give some serious thought to which items should make it in the top five.

So, in no particular order (apart from my Best of 2015):

  1. Everyday JeansIMG_2671

Well, these didn’t even get a proper blog post, but still they are probably the one item I’ve worn most regularly in 2015, although I only made them sometimes during the summer. There isn’t much to be said about them, they are just normal, skinny-ish jeans, but they just fit exactly like I like them.


2. Lazy Day Sweatshirt


And this is the second-most widely worn item of 2015. This drapey sweatshirt was made in early spring and throughout the year I have reached for this over and over when I’m not at work. Again, nothing particularly special about this, it just works for me.


3. The British Racing Green Dress


Thus are the vagaries of sewing that both my top 5 wins AND fails contain the same pattern. This British Racing green dress is a win, the Does my bum look big in this -dress a fail, both using the same pattern.  Live and learn!


4. White Rosa Jacket


I’m still surprised by how much I’ve turned out to like this jacket. It started whole love affair with white for me and I’ve worn this loads on cooler summer days as a casual jacket. I made another one in pink, to do honour to the its name “Rosa”, but that never took off as much as the white one. Not bad for a remnant of curtain fabric, ey?!

But the uncontested winner of 2015 is:

The Siena Dress


In this make, the stars really alligned for me!

I bought the fabric in Siena while visiting a good friend. It was the first time I had seen her in about 14 years and while we’d only kept in touch sporadically during all those years I felt our friendship was as strong as it was in the early 90s when we were both students in Ireland, away from home for the first time and just starting out on life. We met at a small rural university in Ireland, where we spent a winter, which was wet, oh so wet, and altough at 21 we weren’t all that young it was still an important time in my life.  When I visited her in Tuscany in April, my friend took me to the market in Siena where I bought the fabric, so whenever I see it I think of her – so I knew from the start that whatever I made with the fabric would be special.


And to me this dress truly is! Whenever I put it on I feel just great. It’s not just that it fits well, I like the style and all that – whenever I put it on I simply feel happy. Even when I take it out of the wardrobe the night before I get  little shiver of excitement about the next day being a Siena dress day.


So while normally I’m not someone who is prone to looking backwards, I think there can be many things worse than looking back at the sewing year that was 2015!


My Plans for Jeans in January

It’s easy to loose one’s sewing focus, what with Christmas just around the corner, meals to be prepared, parties to celebrated, champagne to be drunk etc. So in order not to forget what is what and where it’s at I thought I should announce my sewing plans for Jeans in January.

So: In January I plan to:

  1. Sew another, fitting, pair of Jalie 2908, from a light denim that I recently acquired
  2. Muslin the Ginger Jeans pattern, trying to frankenpattern the high-waist of the skinnies onto the stovepipe-leg-version
  3. Sew a pair of Gingers following the results of the muslin in navy corduroy (recently acquired)
  4. If this results in a TNT, sew a pair of Gingers in black, coated denim (from the stash, was meant to be jeans early this year but deemed to out there – but then, the older I get the closer I get to “crazy old lady” territory, so I might try out there again.
  5. Get rivets and try to adorn my jeans with rivets. I do already have the hammer!
  6. Maybe, possibly sew a pair of white Jalies (from stash) – I kinda fancy a pair of bootcut white jeans, I have a vision of lazily slouching by the pool in them. If  I don’t wake up the the reality of a German January and still have time I might just make them…
  7. Possibly join Instagram. I have been wary of adding another social media channel to my list as I feel there can be too much of a good thing, but I have heard instagram praised so much (my reader Marianne called it a game-changer, so there is that), that I’d like to look into it.
  8. Also (and entirely unconnected to Jeans in January) I’d like to announce a 3-month stash diet as from January. I have SO MUCH fabric in my stash right now, emergency measures are in order.


Although I might post again this year if I can in the mince-pie induced stupor that is the holiday season, I better wish you a wonderful time at Christmas. Have a great new year and see you again in 2016 at the latest, whether for Jeans in Januar or other sewing business.

xx Chris



Top 5 Fails that Made it on the Blog

It’s that time of year again when sewing bloggers indulge in the therapeutic pleaseure of not being perfect and admitting to it: it’s Top 5 Fails -Time again!

In my case I have to restrict myself to fails that made it to the blog – because I often don’t get the chance or inclination to take pictures I haven’t blogged most of my fails this year. Fortunately there weren’t all that many real fails, but there were a few items that I hardly ever wore, so these will make up my list of wearable fails. This is a chronological list, starting in January 2015.

  1. Strange Birds Blouse


This should have worked in theory. The blouse turned out fine, technically speaking, but it turned out I wasn’t really too keen on the very loose style after all. Also I hever really fell in love with fabric – I would not have bought this blouse had it been in a shop. So off into the charity bag it went and hopefully on to greener pastures.


2. Greensleeves Trousers


Here some overzealous taking in made the previously loose trousers too tight, so that I feared for the durability of the “pressure points”. That’ll teach me to serge off the seam allowances without trying on the trousers first. Or it should – did this again the other day. Well, live and (don’t) learn!

3. The Shocking Dress


This is a true shocker, because on this dress I love the pattern (it’s probably one of my favourite dress patterns ever), I love the fabric, a cotton stretch satin with just a little bit of sheen – and I still have never reached for this dress. I might be that I just have too many clothes so I never get round to wearing this, but anyway, it still has to make my top 5 wearable fails.

4. One Stripe too Many- Top


Nothing wrong with this – still never wore it. Sent off to charity – I don’t take any prisoners 😉 !

5. Does my bum look big in this – Dress


This goes to show how close agony and ecstasy can be together in the world of sewing. This dress’ solid coloured sister is one of my favorite makes of 2015 – however this one here will never be worn. I’m still debating whether to simply make it into a top or maybe try to overdie the white, but as is, this is my favourite pattern-placement fail of 2015.


So overall the sewing year wasn’t too bad. My biggest downfall is selecting the wrong fabric/pattern combination and sometimes liking stuff more in my head than on my body. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, maybe that’s my problem 😉

Said&Done HQ: A Look behind the Scenes

The blog’s been fairly quiet during recent weeks – which is not to say that I haven’t done any sewing. Quite on the contrary, I have been sewing like a mad woman (though there are people who say I should not make this a comparison but rather a statement of fact 😉 ) . And all of it selfless sewing, in honour of Child 2 who recently decided now that he’s about to turn into a teenager he might as well get interested in fine clothing, too. Well then, mum has to deliver, doesn’t she?

The big reveal is only going to be after Christmas/January, when this life-changing birthday is going to happen, but I will not let it be said that I did not do my bit to help rear another Richard Grant, of Sewing Bee Fame.


A Look Down Memory Lane – in Honour of Jeans in January

Thank you so much to all of you who’ve already said they will join Jeans in January – and a big welcome to those of you who are still thinking about it!
A few of you are planning to make their first ever pair of jeans, some want to hone their craft. I kinda fall into both categories.
I made a fair few pair of jeans, using three different patterns, but I only wear one regularly.
The first pair of jeans I ever made was Burdastyle 4/2010 #120 . When I started making jeans I didn’t really understand about stretch percentages in fabrics yet – so some of the pairs I made form non-stretch or barely-stretch fabric were simply too tight (first try)


or too loose (second attempt).

I also decided that I perfer a higher rise that contains both muffin top and butt crack and so I stopped experimenting with this patten.

Then I tried bootcut jeans, Jalie 2908, again in a barely stretchy fabric, which unfortunately caused my completing a pair of jeans , pattern size chosed exactly according to my measurements, finished with lovingly executed top-stitching, that I wore exactly once.


It turned out so tight that my lady bits felt quite uncomfortable, so they went to the back of the cupboard to wait for slimmer days. Well, don’t hold your breath for a reappearance, I tried them on the other day and I can’t even do them up now. All those pies taste a lot better than their result looks… However, I’m certainly not done with this pattern, so a hopefully much better fitting version will feature in Jeans in January.

Finally, my third and (to date) only truly successful jeans pattern is Burdastyle 3/2014 #115. It’s my go to skinny jeans pattern and I lost count of the versions I made. Here, here, here and here is a little bit of evidence. But in fact the one pair of jeans that I wear most often isn’t even properly blogged:

Same pattern, look at the bottoms here, of course, not the blouse!


So by and large I’m really happy with this pattern – BUT I still have a little bit of an issue with the back crotch that isn’t quite 100 % the way I would like it.

I did consider the possibility that my behind might not be quite 100% the way I would like it, but in the world of all-shapes-are-beautiful-sewists that would be heresy, wouldn’t it?! So during Jeans in January I’m going to throw myself into the adventure of trying a new pattern, the Ginger, of course, because truly: I haven’t seen a single bad version of them in blogland ever.

How about yourselves? Do you have previous regarding jeans sewing? And highs or lows to share? Or are you one of the (apparently) many jeans virgins who printed off the Ginger and never managed or dared to go further?

Announcing Jeans in January #jeansinjanuary

Ali of Thimberlina and I have been at it again! After the fun that was Jumping into June we’ve decided to start another sewing collaboration: Jeans in January. And we’d like you to come along for the ride!

The idea materialised when we realised we both had the Ginger jeans sewing pattern but hadn’t got round to making it yet.  If I interpreted the comment section of the relevant blog post correctly, we aren’t the only ones. So maybe it is time to pull out all the stops and start making those jeans in January.

Like with Jumping into June there aren’t that many rules, no judgment and there aren’t any prizes, I’m afraid, only the glory of having made your own jeans.

  • So basically: If you fancy taking part in Jeans in January, just say so in the comments. I will compile and update a list of all those who want to join in.
  • The goal is to sew a pair of Jeans by or during January. Whether this is your first pair or your 100th is of no concern to Jeans in January.
  • You decide which pattern to make. So you can dust off all those Ginger printouts that seem to be hidden in pattern drawers, make one of the flared jeans patterns that are coming out now or even attempt a pair of jeggings.
  • Use the fabric you want your jeans to be in! Go for denim if that tickles your fancy, but you can certainly choose a different fabric if you wish – how about Jungle Jeans in January? Or some nice corduroy flares? That might be what I’m going for…
  • Once you are done, let me know the link to your blog post so I can organise a line-up of all your wonderful results.
  • Oh, and of course if you are on Twitter, use #jeansinjanuary as your hashtag!

So hopefullly many of you want to join in. Just let me know in the comments!