Definitely not brown jeans



Hello matey peeps. No, stop looking at the shiny shoes. Not them. Look, I made jeans!

This is my second time and I am obviously a glutton for punishment. I do wear jeans quite a lot but if you asked me whether I liked them in general I would probably say no. They are ubiquitous, but I am lazy and really can’t think of anything else to wear when dressed down, they are so comfortable and hard wearing.

I got the Named Jamie jeans pattern last year but didn’t need any new jeans until recently, when, after losing a few pounds I realised I didn’t have a good fitting pair any more.

Many people have made these and I can see why. The design lines elevate them from the standard 5 pocket design and I do like quite a skinny jean still, even though wider styles and even flares seem to have come back into style.


Fitting wise on these I found overall they were quite generous in size, however the legs were super-slim below the knee, although I am not endowed of slim calves, others have noted the same.

I also did something I’ve never done before. I chose a different size for the front legs than I did for the backs, below the crotch. Ssssh don’t tell the Sewing Police!

Past experience has told me that I often end up doing a wide inner thigh adjustment on the front of trousers, then a narrow leg alteration at the back, to resolve bagginess.  In RTW I have trouble with inseams on trousers being pulled forward,  and twisting, but that’s another story.

So, I measured my own front leg width, from inseam point to inseam point, all the way down the leg (below the crotch) and decided I needed the biggest size at the front. I then did the same at the back and this led me to choose the 2nd smallest size there.  Width only, guys, not length. My figure is slimmest from front to back, and is comparatively quite wide otherwise. I alway imagine that someone drove over my lower half with a steamroller, like they do in the cartoons, and that’s why I ended up this shape, ha!

I have my patient husband to thank for pocket placement and I added some scraps of leather trim to shuzsh them up.


The fabric is a stretch denim from Joel and Sons. I needed stretch and couldn’t find any good quality locally. Also it was described as brown, hahahaha! No, your screen isn’t lying, it’s black. This is the second time in a few weeks I’ve been totally surprised by what’s been sent from an online order, and from reputable sellers who are charging top dollar. I kept the fabric because I liked it and they sent me an extra metre, but really. I don’t think I need to order a swatch with everything before I buy.  Their descriptions should basically be reliable.


The topstitching is quite distinctive and next time I might try a more subtle contrast. They are mid-rise which is as low as I’d like to go. My waist doesn’t curve in until much higher so I have problems keeping anything low up.

For construction, i used a combination of the  indiesew and Ginger jeans sew along. The latter, especially,  is a fantastic resource for all things jeans. I tried the waistband without interfacing and it is lovely and comfortable. Time will tell whether I will do it again.

I don’t usually want to make anything twice but I’m sure I’ll make these again. There are so many options to change them up. Once the fit is right they aren’t that difficult to make, really.












Breaking news…..Summer hasn’t arrived yet

I am slowly ticking off all the things I want to make when this Summer finally arrives and one of those things is getting a bit more out of my comfort zone style-wise.



The project started with an amazing soft cotton remnant from Joelandsons. As soon as it arrived I wanted to work with it and decided a dress was in order, but one which didn’t have too many pieces as I only had a metre and a half and I realised pattern matching on this large scale print would be pretty difficult.

I always look online at the Burdastyle website for inspiration rather than search through the 3 years worth of magazines I own. Once I find the pattern I like I dig out the actual publication and get the details from there.

It did help that the dress I chose was featured on the front cover of the March 2016 edition, number 102B.


I loved the pleated neckline on this as well as the loose, comfortable style. I usually avoid gathers round the waist, so this was a diversion for me.  The dress also has sleeves, which makes it much more practical.


The first thing I did was eliminate the welt pockets from the front for a number of reasons. My fabric was very thin and I also felt they would get lost in the folds. Really I didn’t want to have to match them either so I substituted inseam pockets instead. I also lined it using the original pattern minus facings, in a soft cotton lawn.

The front is a single piece with ties at the waist to give it some shape. (The colour here is most very accurate in real life)



The back is much more fitted with an invisible zip and back waist seam. There is a panel at the bottom, , which is just basically a rectangle folded in half, so no hem to do, yay!


I managed to do a good job with the invisible zip, tacking it in first (for a change!)  and pattern matched the upper back too. The sleeves have a lovely dart in the cap which is lost in this fabric unfortunately. I think the pattern would be very nice in a plain fabric to show the style lines better.

I always try and think what I learned new on every project and for this one I found out I can look ok in a dress with a belt.

I also discovered that the thread I’ve been sewing with for years, Gutterman all-purpose has a hidden feature


All these years sewing and I didn’t realise you can just pull the end off to release the start of the thread.

In other news I’ll tell you that there are different sized machine needles for sewing different fabrics. Only kidding!

I’m in the middle of Me-Made-May and if you’re interested you can find me over on Instagram most days under KarenJKayes. It all started well but I’m finding daily photos a bit of a bind when I really just want to get on with sewing??!!  I’ll do a round-up at the end to see what I learned but have found I am loving Instagram for seeing what people are getting up to.