no more hiding…and jamie flares!

For, like, 15 years, I’ve gone through phases where I find myself mentally composing blog posts or photo captions in my head. I have (mostly) not done anything with all those extra words for a variety of reasons.

The last couple years, I’ve written dozens of blog posts about sewing all from the safe (?) haven of my own brain, where I can believe people would respond however I’d like. I want to engage more with this wonderful sewing community…in the interblags and instaworld, so I’m stepping out of the grey matter.

One of the things holding me back has been pretty steep insecurity in my skin. Posting more about what I’m sewing and how I feel in it is part of a multi-prong approach to get the fork over that nonsense.

1. I’m not eating refined carbs, bc they have a magical (and totally scientific) ability to make my brain forget about this one word…maybe you’ve heard of it? “moderation”…just…POOF. gone. 4 cookies are better than 1 cookie, and of course 6 cookies are better than 4 cookies. That’s an incontrovertible fact, friends, so…I just…don’t cookie. Which *sometimes*, yes, is sad. But we’ve all got our priorities and approaches to achieve the things we value most. Chocolate chip cookies are pretty perfect, but also, not feeling out of control and unhealthy is more perfect!*

2. I made this here blog.

3. And I bought a remote for my phone so I can take pictures of me in my makes that aren’t mirror selfies. (I have already discovered there is most definitely a learning curve to this!)

Please excuse the blurriness. I cannot believe I’m posting something with this image quality…I paid the rent with my camera for nearly a decade…but baby steps, right?!

*I want to be really clear about this…It is *my* choice to take this approach to finding more security. I don’t think it is the only way, or that even if you are successful at losing weight, that it will be enough. Our bodies and appearance are intrinsically tied to our identities, and embracing who we are and appreciating all our bodies do for us is a requirement to finding self-esteem.

Perhaps the most important thing I am doing is sewing things I will love to wear for the size I am NOW. If that size changes, I can make more wonderful things down the line! Which brings me to…

Along the same vein of making myself feel more comfortable and happy in my skin and clothing…I recently-ish broke up with skinny jeans. I don’t feel they really suit my figure…I never felt quite comfortable in them. I have unapologetically embraced flare jeans again…I just got lucky that the timing coincided with their resurgence in RTW styles.

how do I stand? what is awkward? everything! spread legs, lean forward, hands on hips. This is a thing people do, yes? real casual like?

A couple sewing friends of mine, Loni + Jen, are hosting a sewcial event this month on Instagram called #sewfancypants. I joined the party by mashing Named Patterns Jamie Jeans with Closet Case Patterns Ginger Flares in a particularly vibrant shade that happens to match 1/3 of the walls in my house.

I had already transferred over some adjustments to the Jamie jeans from Ginger skinnies, so it was pretty easy to trace the front pieces by sandwiching some Swedish tracing paper with both pattern pieces.

I made a few REALLY dumb mistakes, though…I used the back of my ginger flares as is. I’d transferred over those changes to the back of the Jamies, and there’s no seams on the back of gingers, so…what could go wrong?

WELL. FRIENDS. let’s just say there’s an inch on the back of the legs eased in between the knee and hip. It made it challenging to sew, but I think they look ok-ish? BUT ALSO, I don’t have to look at my own tuchus, so NBD…but I did take a picture for all of you. (I’m sure there are one hundred fitting issues as indicated by all the wrinkles, but…I just…don’t…care right now. If you know exactly what’s causing it and what I should do, feel free to comment. Maybe I’ll fix it next time!)

I think I need to put the pockets a solid half inch closer to my yoke. That means they will be pretty much touching it, but…they’re SO low on my ass right now! (NB…I need to do that NEXT TIME. I will not be doing it this time.)

A similar thing happened with the waistband…I used my already modified ginger waistband, and it was definitely too short. I eased it in on the back, and when I first tried them on, I thought…EUREKA! HAVE I SOLVED MY BACK WAISTBAND GAPING ISSUES? Was this the solution all along?!

This turquoise mint brushed denim from Mood doesn’t have great recovery, so it may be minimising its continued efficacy, but I will definitely be trying this method in future pairs! A couple other things I did bc this problem constantly plagues me: I interfaced with power mesh (so far, it doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot…but maybe these would be falling down even more without it?)
I also did my customary inside waistband buttons and buttonholes a la toddler pants in case the other things didn’t work…I can just thread some buttonhole elastic through and voila. I have a bodkin in my wawak cart, and I will activate the elastic powers as soon as it arrives.

Lastly, I had literally just yesterday noticed that the seam where the waistband connects to the legs is the least stretchy part of my cone mills s-gene jeans….it was onerous, but I used a triple stitch to attach the waistband to the pants and for topstitching.

One last note for making Jamie jeans specifically…for the last pair I made I used cotton spandex for the pocket bags so that they would stretch with the denim around my body…it was thicker than I’d like and showed a bit too much for me…so this time I used a quilting cotton that echoed the practically neon shade of turquoise I’m rocking and cut them on the bias. So far so good on that method! I’m happy with it.

sewing is my superpower!

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  • Good idea to cut the pocket bags on the bias!   I really love your jeans and your hair and your amazing posing and I’m so glad Loni peer pressured you into starting a blog!  The fancy pants needed to be seen!ReplyCancel

  • Loni

    Your Jamie Flares are pretty bitchin’. Totally smart to cut the pocket bags on the bias. Why didn’t I ever think of that!? Looking forward to seeing more of you in your makes. ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie

    As predicted, I certainly did love the photos and the blog post. Those jeans are awesome!! ReplyCancel

  • Emily

    Oh I love these!! Good idea to cut the pockets on the bias and have the waistband ready for elastic if needed. The fit looks great! I feel like pockets are low on me in most patterns so it’s very likely just me. Congrats on the blog and self confidence!ReplyCancel

    • cleverest colleen

      I bought a burda flares pattern that doesn’t have a yoke and uses darts for shaping. That should probably be my next attempt! I think I could get a much better pocket placement that way.ReplyCancel

  • Fantastic post! I’m looking forward to reading more. ReplyCancel