Author Archives: madebymitty

dawn jeans

I was lucky enough to attend the first Camp Stitch Sydney weekend earlier this month, where I took a class on sewing jeans. The pattern provided was the Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen, and if I am honest, I was a little intimidated by the fact that this pattern is drafted for rigid denim. I have two (1 & 2) brilliant versions of the Ginger Jeans hanging in my wardrobe, but they are made from stretch denim… and stretch denim is a little more forgiving.

Fit concerns aside, I was very excited to start sewing.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 02

We had to have our fabric cut before the class, so I went ahead and graded the pattern according to the supplied measurements. I cut a 10 at the waist and graded to a 14 at the hip. Looking at the numbers made me a bit uneasy as there was only 1cm of ease across the seat. I thought that if the jeans ended up being too tight, I could always sew the side seams with a smaller seam allowance.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 01

As it turns out, I didn’t have to do that, and even though I do have to do a bit of a wiggle dance to get them on, I can get them on.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 04

The class was run by Susan from Measure Twice Cut Once, and with her guidance, I did have to make one small adjustment. I needed to take about 2cm out of the back yoke seam to fit my swayback. I also should have made an adjustment to the waistband, as it does gape a little, but that is something I can fix later.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 06

Inserting the zipper is where I got a bit carried away. I couldn’t, for the life of me, get the zipper to sit far enough into the overlap without showing. I ripped it out for the second time and added in a fly extension (to the right-hand side leg). Now I seemed to have enough fabric to get that zipper tucked in nicely. Although, I also had many more seams to wrestle with. I graded most of them down, gave it a good press under the iron with lots of steam, and even whacked it a few times with a hammer. Eventually, it was nice and flat.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 14

Here’s the other reason for there being so much fabric along the fly front. I decided to turn the pockets into a full pocket-stay, just like in my Ginger jeans. I find that this really helps to take some of the strain off the zipper, meaning it can lay flat up against my tummy. This also gives the front of the jeans a lovely, smooth look.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 07

How about we have a look at some of the smaller details. The beautiful green denim that I used came from MaaiDesign. It was made by Cone Mills, and the selvedge edge still had the weft threads attached. I decided to show it off, by cutting the coin pocket right up against the edge of the fabric. I love that it is so visible against the green denim.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 12

I simply had to use the leather patch that came with our hardware kits. Luckily I think the light colour contrasts well with the denim, but I am looking forward to watching it wear in a bit.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 13

Everyone received a welcome package when we arrived at Camp, and one of the things in the bag was this awesome woven label! There couldn’t have been a more perfect place to use it than in my new jeans! I also popped my own label in there, because why not!

MBM_Dawn Jeans 15

As with my other jeans, I stitched in a little reminder of when they were sewn (#3 because these are the third pair of jeans I have made).

MBM_Dawn Jeans 03

As I expected, these jeans are a pretty snug fit (I don’t even think there is room for a campfire marshmallow in there…), however, I know that they are new, and I have high hopes of the denim moulding to my body after a few months wear. Check in this time next year to see if I can wear them comfortably for a full day!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen
  • Style, size: Wide leg, cropped version, 10 at the waist, graded to 14 at the hip
  • Fabric: Cone Mills rigid 9oz Olive denim purchased from MaaiDesign, pocket lining from my stash
  • Notions: Zipper fly hardware kit in Antique Brass from Closet Case Patterns, Gütermann topstitching thread in colour #472, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • As mentioned, graded from a 10 at the waist to a 14 at the hip
    • 2cm taken from back yoke seam
    • Redrafted the pockets into pocket-stays
    • Inserted a second fly extension
    • Edge of coin pocket cut against selvedge of the fabric

I would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to the ladies who organised the Camp. I had such a wonderful time meeting fellow sewing enthusiasts and I am so ready to attend next years camp!

Mitty x

quinn wrap – a free pattern

MBM_Quinn Wrap 01

Here are a few reasons why I wanted to make the Quinn Wrap.

  1. It’s a free pattern! Yip!
  2. I had some leftover linen blend from my Pietra Pants that I was itching to use
  3. I honestly needed something new to store my makeup in (it was previously in a janky zipper pouch the airlines give you that has socks etc in)
  4. The pattern has been designed and released by Mel from melt.stitches who is a relative new-comer to sewing, and I wanted to show my support

MBM_Quinn Wrap 03

The wrap is simply constructed, with a zippered pocket and space to store your brushes. I love the flap to cover up the brushes too.

MBM_Quinn Wrap 05

The fabric I used for the lining was originally from a dress (it was just a little bit too short to wear). I love the contrast between the pink, green, highly patterned print of the cotton, and the matte texture of the linen.

MBM_Quinn Wrap 06

I strayed from the instructions in a few places, and one of those was the zipper installation. The zipper I wanted to use was way too long for this project, so I had to cut it down anyway, but I really like adding a little bit of fabric at the ends of the zipper. I do this not only to reinforce the ends, but I find sewing the side seams is a bit easier if you arent going through the zipper teeth. I have affectionately named these bits of fabric, “Zipper Tails”.

MBM_Quinn Wrap 09

Once it’s all wrapped up, it makes for a very sweet little parcel. It’s a very quick sew; can easily be made from scraps; is beginner-friendly (some experience needed), and would make an amazing Christmas present or stocking stuffer.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Quinn Wrap by melt.stitches (available via Google Drive, link in Mel’s Insta profile)
  • Style, size: One size
  • Fabric:
    • Outer: Lyocell/Linen blend leftover from my Pietra Pants
    • Lining: Cotton from my stash
  • Notions: Heavyweight fusible interfacing (for the main body [A] and facing [B]), medium weight fusible interfacing (for pocket [F and G] and brush lining [D]), dress zipper cut to size, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Cut the brush cover (E) and brush lining (D) from the linen blend as I didn’t have enough lining fabric
    • Used heavyweight fusible interfacing for the main body (A) and the facing (B), instead of using several layers of thinner fusing
    • Topstitched around the edges of the brush cover (E)
    • Used medium weight fusible interfacing on the pocket pieces F and G, and also the brush lining (D) to add a bit of stability
    • Added zipper tails to both ends of the zipper
    • Topstitched along the folded edge of the brush holder (C)
    • Topstitched seams on either side of the pocket (joining to the facing and the brush lining) away from the pocket
    • Once the bag was turned out, I topstitched around the perimeter

I adore this pattern and I’m sure you will too!

Mitty x

lander shorts

This time last year, our little family moved from Sydney to the Blue Mountains. It was a hectic time; my husband and I had quit our full-time jobs to run our own business; packing and unpacking an entire unit was exhausting enough, not to mention doing it with a 14 month old toddler… With all of this going on, I still (somehow) had time to sew!

MBM_Lander Shorts 04

These Landers were my first pair of me-made shorts. I had to grade between sizes for the perfect fit, and I’m glad I did. These are the most comfortable shorts I have ever worn.

MBM_Lander Shorts 02

Any pair of shorts I had ever bought RTW were always too tight around my thighs, to the point where I would have red marks on my legs after a days wear. As you can see, I have no such problem with the Landers.

MBM_Lander Shorts 03

This was also my first time sewing a button fly. The instructions are very well written, and it all came together very easily. I love the contrast between the olive linen and the blond colour of the buttons, it all feels very ‘natural’.

MBM_Lander Shorts 05

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Lander Pants/Shorts by True Bias
  • Style, size: View A, 12 at the waist, graded to 14 at the hips
  • Fabric: 100% olive linen from The Remnant Warehouse, facing is leftover cotton from my stash
  • Notions: 4 blond wooden buttons, iron-on interfacing, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations: 
    • As mentioned, the only change I made was to grade from a size 12 at the waist to a 14 at the hips

These shorts have seen a lot of wear over the last year, and it’s now finally warm enough to wear them again!

Mitty x

stellan x jarrah

Instagram is such a great place to share and showcase sewing inspiration. A great tag I love following is #youcanhackit, coined by Helen and Caroline from the Love To Sew podcast.

One such make I saw recently was from danica.made, where she mashed together the Stellan Tee (which you know I love), and the front tie from the Jarrah sweater.

Absolutely Amazing!

I simply had to try it out for myself.

MBM_Stellan X Jarrah 02

I went for a cropped length, not only because I thought it would pair beautifully with my new Pietra Pants, but also because I was cutting this project from a breastfeeding top that I never ended up finishing.

MBM_Stellan X Jarrah 03

I only had a very small amount of fabric to work with, and in the end, I did have to piece together two bits for one of the sleeves. I made sure to use a lot of pins to keep the stripes aligned, and for an extra measure, I used the walking foot on my machine so nothing moved around.

MBM_Stellan X Jarrah 04

I am in love with this tie front, it feels very Summery to me!

MBM_Stellan X Jarrah 07

I followed the Jarrah Sewalong on Megan Nielson’s website just so I could see the best way of finishing the points of these ties. It turns out that they are (sort of) a mitred corner. Megan explains how to sew them nicely, if you are interested.

MBM_Stellan X Jarrah 05

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: The Stellan Tee by French Navy mashed together with the Jarrah Sweater by Megan Nielsen
  • Style, size: Stellan size M, Jarrah size 10
  • Fabric: Jersey knit from Tessuti (ages ago..!)
  • Notions: Matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Added the Jarrah tie front detail to the Stellan tee, quite high up to make it a cropped length t-shirt
    • Left the sleeve hem unfinished

That was a very quick, and satisfying project. Don’t you just love those?

Mitty x

pietra pants

When Heather from Closet Case Patterns released the Rome Collection, I knew there was one design in there that I had to make.

MBM_Pietra 01

The Pietra Pants! I had a pair of pants like these years ago, complete with the elastic back waist, smooth front and tapered legs. I wore them to death, and they didn’t fit half as well as these!

MBM_Pietra 03

In saying that, I did have a few fit issues to start with. I originally cut a size 14 at the hip and a 12 at the waist, hoping to avoid the extra step of adding in an invisible zipper. I should have cut a 10 at the waist right from the get-go. My first toile (toiles are not pictured) was baggy around the top, and there were some strange crotch whiskers (for lack of a better word), but the fit through the thigh was quite good.

MBM_Pietra 02

For my second toile, I took about 3cm from the front waist along the crotch and mid-thigh seams. I also took about 3cm from the back waist. I tried them on, and initially thought I had done a good job. A few hours went by and I looked at the fit much closer. Those crotch whiskers were worse, and the pants looked over-fitted.

MBM_Pietra 06

I sent some pictures to my pattern-drafting-friend-extraordinaire (aka Monica), asking for some advice. She suggested that I shouldn’t mess with the crotch seam, as taking out any amount here will change the curve, resulting in more whiskers.

 

MBM_Pietra 05

So I buckled down for my third toile. With Monica’s recommendations, I put 1/2cm back into the crotch seam at the waist, which straightened up that line. I also changed the angle of the crotch curve based off a pant block that Monica had drawn to fit me perfectly (I raised the front crotch by about 1cm). I also reduced the amount of ease I had taken out of the back waistband by adding in 1/2cm. Finally, I tried them on. They fit perfectly.

MBM_Pietra 08

To get the perfect fit, I needed an invisible zipper. The original drafted style is a pull-on pant, which is fine if you’re a straight size, but the difference between my waist and thigh is just too great for that to work. As it turns out, the zipper is pretty much invisible, and I’m thrilled with how it looks. Heather recently released a blog post on installing an invisible zipper into the pants, which I followed.

MBM_Pietra 07

I actually think this waistband is the most defining feature of the pants. It is SO comfortable, I can’t begin to tell you! I absolutely love it!

MBM_Pietra 09

I had the smallest scrap of bias binding made from leftover cotton chambray from a project long ago. It was exactly the right length to bind the edge of the waist-stay. This is such a clean way of finishing a raw edge, I think I’ll try to do it more often.

MBM_Pietra 04

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Pietra Pants by Closet Case Patterns
  • Style, size: View B, 12 at waist, 14 at hip
  • Fabric: Textured Lyocell (70%) and Linen (30%) blend from Spotlight in the colour Brick
  • Notions: Invisible zipper (20cm), 5cm wide elastic from Spotlight, iron-on fusing, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Took 1/2cm from either side of the mid-thigh seam at the waistline, tapered off to nothing just above the pocket (adds up to 2cm across the front waist).
    • Adjusted the waist-stay pieces to match the alterations I made to the front.
    • Raised the crotch curve by roughly 1cm, and slightly changed the angle of the curve.
    • Took 1cm of ease out of the back by cutting down the grainline from the waist to the hem, leaving the pieces joined by a sliver. Pick up one piece and overlap it by 1cm from the cut edge on the other side (adds up to 2cm across the back waist). Tape down evenly.
    • Inserted an invisible zipper.
    • Shortened the leg length by 3cm using the lowest shorten/lengthen line.

I find fitting pants to be trial and error most of the time. Sometimes you nail the mods the first time around. Other times, you have to make 3 toiles.

Either way, I am so happy with my finished pair of pants! The fabric feels almost slubby, but has great movement and is very light. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing these pants all spring/summer long!

Mitty x

reusable face pads

I’ve just finished my third toile of the Pietra Pants, so I don’t have a finished garment to show you this week.

However, I thought I’d show you a small project that is always ticking along on the side. I love using my fabric scraps to their full potential (see my floor pouf!), so whenever I have a few bits of nicely printed cotton or linen hanging around, I turn them into reusable face pads.

MBM_Face Pads 01

These pads are fantastic for removing makeup, cleanser, or a face mask. They are also great for applying toner. Once you’ve used it, just chuck it in the wash with the rest of your towels, dry, and repeat!

MBM_Face Pads 02

For my template, I just traced around a jar lid (the circle ended up being 7cm in diameter). Then I cut 2 circles of fabric, one side is the cotton or linen, the other is a bamboo terry towelling I bought ages ago to make some bibs for my baby (you could use an old towel or face washer).

MBM_Face Pads 03

I like to secure the two sides together by stitching through both layers in an X pattern. Then, I simply zigzag stitch around the perimeter to prevent fraying.

This is such a great stash-busting project! It takes hardly any time, and the result means less waste in our landfills. Plus, they just feel luxurious!

Mitty x

scrap busting stellan

Ooh I love a good scrap busting pattern! On a recent trip to my parents’ house, I dug through my Mums fabric stash and came across some black, stretchy, non-descript fabric. There really wasn’t much of it, but I knew I could piece it together into something wearable.

MBM_Stellan Black 03

This is my 5th Stellan Tee, and I love it just as much as the previous versions. This really is a wonderful pattern for stash busting, you just have to get a little creative with your fabric.

MBM_Stellan Black 01

I only had enough fabric to cut single pieces for the sleeves and the neckband. Both the front and the back had to be pieced together. I decided to give most of the fabric to the front, so there is only a single join there (center front).

MBM_Stellan Black 06

I had to cut the back from 4 pieces. Instead of trying to hide this, I decided to play on it, by using the wrong, un-printed side as an accent. I’m thrilled with how it turned out!

MBM_Stellan Black 05

I liked the reverse side so much, that I decided to use it for the neckband as well.

MBM_Stellan Black 04

If I saw this fabric instore, I don’t think I would have picked it up. It’s almost too thick and heavy for this pattern (it does bunch at the underarms a bit), but I’m so pleased with the result! My husband actually commented that it looked like a premium RTW t-shirt!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: The Stellan Tee by French Navy
  • Style, size: Size M
  • Fabric: ??? Probably a poly blend
  • Notions: Thread
  • Modifications/alterations: I didn’t finish any of the hems, I just let them raw

Do you scrap bust? Let me know your go-to patterns!

Mitty x