english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Long Time Coming Ginger Jeans

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

It’s been a busy few weeks, so today we got away from the to-do lists and visited a few local independent businesses when we knew they wouldn’t be too busy. It was a welcome change of scenery and included some in-person fabric shopping for the first time in months, which was very exciting. I was after some knits in solid colours and different weighs, so exactly the kind of fabric shopping that is best in person.

Yesterday, we also took a longer than normal walk along the canal, where I got Phil to take a few photos of these jeans. I was going to blog them last night, but I sat down after the walk (which was just under two hours) and was too tired to write a word! Given how long these have taken to reach the blog, another day is neither here nor there.

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

I’ve been planning to make these jeans ever since Closet Case Patterns released the Ginger Jeans pattern (which, unbelievably, was in 2014), as I’ve always been a great lover of a skinny jean. My plans moved along slightly in 2016, when I ordered a jeans hardware kit from Closet Case Patterns, and this denim (10.5 Oz Cone Mills S-Gene Denim in Dark Indigo) from Threadbare Fabrics. I timed this denim order with our first trip to New York, and had the order sent to our hotel, to save on shipping costs. I did the same on our most recent trip to New York with an order of on-sale Vogue patterns, but they took so long to arrive that I almost missed them – they arrived on our last morning as we were checking out. In comparison, Threadbare were really helpful, and timed posting the denim to suit the dates of our stay.

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

The supplies then sat in my stash for three years. I decided that the best way to motivate myself to get started on this more involved project was to book on a jeans making workshop last August. I did mostly sew these up on that workshop, but I cut out the wrong size and, when I tried them on at the end of the weekend, I couldn’t do them up.

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

So back in the stash they went, until I had a thorough tidy at the start of lock down, and pulled these out of my UFOs basket. To make these jeans fit, I added in the difference between the size of the pattern I cut (6/8) and the size I actually am (10) at the side seams. I was able to work out the difference from the pattern, and had enough denim left to cut side panels, although I did have to piece the denim together to make panels long enough. You can see the side panels in the next couple of photos.

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

In order to add the side panels, I had to remove the waistband and unpick the side seams and top-stitching. Unfortunately, while the waistband was off I thoughtlessly did up the zip, pulling the zip pull off the top. I couldn’t find any short cuts for getting a metal jeans zipper pull back on, but managed to manually close the zip with my fingers, which was slow and frustrating, but allowed me to get the zipper pull back on!

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

The designs on the back pockets are my favourite part. These were on a dress I bought from a charity shop. I cut away the original dress fabric from around the flower motifs, and then zig-zag stitched over the top of these to attach them to the pockets (using different coloured threads for different parts of the flowers). I also added a Modista made in isewlation woven label to the back of the jeans, since these are one of my social distancing sewing projects.

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

Six years on from the initial inspiration of the pattern release, I’m glad to say that these are now in rotation in my wardrobe. I need to revisit the UFOs basket to see what I can move from stash to wardrobe next.

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans


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Linen Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I decided to join in with the mini challenge Sew Over 50 are running this weekend (to share a previous holiday photo in a me-made garment), by finally posting about my Closet Case Patterns Pietra Shorts on the blog!

I hadn’t previously sewn shorts, as I don’t wear them very often, but on a previous holiday I threw my remaining RTW shorts into my suitcase, only to realise on arrival that they no longer fit me (and have to buy a pair while there).

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I made these shorts last Autumn, just before heading to Dubrovnik for a week’s break. I got Phil to take so many photos of them while we were there, as every location we visited was more beautiful than the last, so a blog post was definitely in order!

I made a size 10, with no changes other than reducing the length of the elastic in the back waistband to pull them in sufficiently. The fabric was kindly gifted by Minerva and is Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun Linen Dress Fabric in the ‘Scarlet’ colourway. The mid-weight linen works really well for showing of the angular details of the shorts front, while also gathering well in the back. These shorts use more fabric than you might expect, due to the gathered back and overlapping front; I used 1.5 metres of fabric with minimal scraps left over.

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I wore these shorts constantly during that holiday, and have been wearing them again this summer. I might wear them today for a longer local walk – I bought a book of Birmingham walks a few weeks ago. We’ve already completed the walks closest to home, and are now starting to get to those slightly further afield during the weekends. I’m someone who loves the opportunity to spend time at home, but having much more time than normal at home recently, I’ve found getting out of the house each day for a walk a very welcome break from work and personal to-do lists.

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts


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August Sewing Zine Vlog

August Sewing Zine

I’ve uploaded a new vlog about what I’ve been up to this month, including the tweed and tartan weaving course I attended a few weeks ago.

View it below or via my YouTube channel:

Mentioned in the vlog:

The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers summer school

My weaving tutor, Jan Beadle Textiles

Closet Case Patterns, Ginger Jeans

#ogdenidaswap2019

True Bias, Ogden Cami

Opian, Pilatus Swimsuit

Guthrie & Ghani shop opening in April 2013


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Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

This garment is a good example of how my pattern queue often works. I purchased the Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit pattern on release, and picked up this medium-weight knit fabric from the Goldhawk Road (which is more green in real life) not long after. Despite having pattern and fabric paired ready to sew, they waited for over a year and half before making it to the front of the queue and the sewing machine.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

When I did finally decide to give Sallie my attention it was with typically spur of the moment urgency. I had leaving do drinks to attend at work and decided I urgently needed to wear this exact outfit. It’s actually a quick sew – I made this up in two or three evenings after work.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Because I was sewing at speed in the evenings with minimal light, I initially attached the bodice ‘inside out’; the bodice main and lining pieces are almost identical, but the lining side is slightly smaller so that the seam allowance rolls to the inside. In my case it was initially rolling to the outside, so I went back and fixed the issue – post work night out.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

This fabric has a tendency to show lumps, bumps and panty lines. Next time I’d reduce this by using a fabric which is thicker, patterned or drapeier, and I would probably also raise the front neckline. I fancy trying Sallie with a modified rounded neckline.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

These photos were taken the day after my brother’s wedding, on the roof of the venue. I think Sallie is a perfect lounging around outfit, since the knit fabric means it is super comfortable. Phil however thinks it looks like I’m en route to a 70s disco.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit