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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Friday, February 19, 2016

Bootstrap Fashion's Boyfriend jeans mark one

There are a number of posts this project is kicking off in my head but it makes sense to start with the first edition of my jeans projects and work out from there.

I have been feeling the need to have jeans/pants that fit my real life as opposed to making me feel like a unit in a sausage factory. My real life, in addition to lovely unstructured time in the RV in Florida, involves teaching, by distance, dog walking, family entertaining and a whole lot of time with my grandchildren 6, 4 and 1.

Once I got this idea in my head I started looking for a pattern.

Enter Bootstrap Fashion's Boyfriend jeans.

Now despite the fact I am more mother of the boyfriend than anyone borrowing her boyfriend's jeans I liked the look of the leg in these and the laid back feel of this fit.

What is really cool about this pattern is that with only two basic measurements to input, jeans waist and hip, as well as height, the pattern is sent right to you to tape together (I love on demand sewing) and sew.

There is so much I want to say about this pattern I hardly know where to begin.

The fit is really amazing and the drafting first class and precise.

This is more than I can say for the measurer of her measurements, I got optimistic about my hip and under valued it by an inch due to some delusional idea that sitting in a car and crocheting caused me to lose weight (not true BTW and don't we wish it was). As soon as I finish this post I am going to order another pattern with 2" added to the hip (I figure I want a little extra ease for squatting in the sandpile) rather than trying to add it myself to the pattern I have.

What can I say?

Once a sewing princess always a sewing princess, and beside I have always been more interested in sewing than alternating patterns or making muslin multiples. 

I made this version below exactly as it came to me, I have found the hard way that to give a new pattern a chance that makes sense rather than starting to mess with changes in unknown territory.

It should also be noted that there aren't precise instructions for where to measure the jeans waist, I figured that boyfriends were unlikely to wear them hitched up so went with a below navel measurement. Since the top of the waistband completed sits exactly at the bottom of my navel this was perfect.

There are a few "boyfriend" details worth noting. The back pockets are man sized not woman sized and are set low on the back (but not as low as teenage in the mall droopy pant low). If you don't like how this looks then you can read a really interesting discussion on rear pocket placement here at Closet Case Files. (Ginger has some excellent jeans sewing instructions on this site too).

I am also not 100% happy with the fly. For a start I do not have a zipper foot with me, or a buttonholer, so part of the zipper, where I needed to get near the teeth, I did by hand backstitches.

In my next pair I will use these traditional instructions for a fly zipper that offsets the teeth from centre front.

And now the pictures:

The bum shot. This gives you an idea of the relaxed fit and the pocket size and placement

I got enormous pleasure from the top-stitching reminded me of how seeing that needle goes through fabric makes me happy

More bum shots in the interest of science. What can I say? The fabric was a little too light for all the details but all I could access locally for denim was Hobbylobby. Expecting a shipment in tomorrow ...

This shot shows where the waist sits and also why I have dropped sugar from my diet. I have blamed the belly on a C section but since that baby is now almost 30 that excuse is probably getting old

Just a shot revealing that this denim is maybe a little light, but comfortable

OK we took a lot of pictures. Nova Scotia does not look like this now you know

Side shot, because well it is a side shot

I am pretty pleased with myself and getting geared up for more jeans.

* Full transparency: I have just signed up for an affiliate relationship with Bootstrap, a start-up which is also crowdfunding. Being an affiliate means purchases of this pattern through the link on this site will make a small contribution to my own pattern buying habit. I feel a bit strange about doing this but I really am impressed by this pattern and would not do this if that was not the case.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Flypaper thoughts rv edition

  • Only the waistband to go on the Vado boyfriend jeans
  • Apart from the fact I lied to the program about my hip measurement
  • They are awesome
  • More later
  • Sent the husband on the scooter across town to Walmart to buy interfacing
  • Best I could do
  • They tried to sell him Stitch Witchery
  • He knew to call
  • When I was 16 I worked for the Hudson Bay's Northern Stores in the warehouse in the summer
  • We sent the Inuit paper thin pyjamas on the boats before the ice closed up the routes
  • In return they sent us soapstone carvings
  • My boss was an old guy who had been in U boats in the war
  • When things got tense he would crouch down and run
  • Too much time in the subs someone told me
  • I have thought of him sewing in the RV
  • My ironing board is set up on a shelf under some overhead cupboards
  • You would think if someone stood up under a cupboard 47 times she would learn
  • Apparently not
  • There are a few old men in Nova Scotia who were in the U boats in the war
  • They looked through the periscopes and thought "looks pretty nice"
  • Came back later
  • A half done roll of paper towels makes a good sleeve roll
  • I read a resume this week
  • Wouldn't it be cool if people wrote true things?
  • How about "Worrying: 1962-present"
  • Did you have a good Valentine's day?
  • I did
  • Sat across the table in a restaurant from the man who once met a 45 year old woman with three teenagers, a cranky dog and a semi-renovated house and proposed because "I figured if I didn't someone else would snap you up."
  • All these years I have let him think that is true
  • However Valentine's day meant I missed Downton Abbey
  • Never even crossed my mind
  • Besides they broadcast last week before this week every Sunday
  • I could so live with a lady's maid
  • Every time Lady Mary steps out of her clothes and leaves them on the floor
  • I think I could do that
  • Live like a teenager
  • And how about having someone do your hair every morning and all you have to do is move aside the breakfast tray and stagger to the dressing table?
  • I could do that too
  • And anytime you were bored you just have to ask Anna What's up?
  • Modern life you lie there and discuss whether or not the dog really does need to go out for a pee this early
  • Just not the same
  • Tomorrow waistband and button loops
  • Brace yourselves