Black Hemlock

That sounds a bit witchy, don’t you agree? Very appropriate, since I made this woven version of Grainline’s free Hemlock tee from the scraps of my Halloween costume.

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Actually the costume was a bit of a goof, but I enjoyed experimenting with this low-cost linen/rayon blend. Normally I prefer high quality fabrics (hot take, Lia) but low stakes are nice too, for a change! I took a swing at this inspiration shirt by Elizabeth Suzann, using the Hemlock tee as a base.Insp

Hemlock is a one-size-fits-many pattern. In addition to sewing it in a woven, I cropped it and widened the sleeve (further details below).

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Oh, and surprise! This shirt is two shirts! Originally I planned this post as a comparison between the two sleeve styles I tried, but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference in photos without an effort of will that most people don’t apply to the sleeves of strangers. So here’s my official ruling: whether you stitch a folded cuff to the armscye or use the sleeve pattern piece, it’s good stuff.

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This is the hemmed and rolled sleeve. It’s about 8” long (because that’s the width of computer paper. I mean because of important…and serious…calculations…that I considered carefully) and I made it wider at the base than the supplied pattern piece, with a right angle at the bottom for hemming. Like so:

Sleeve diagram

Black lines original, red lines mine.

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And this is the cuff treatment, above. My notes say this shirt took  a smidgeon longer to sew than the other. I cut the cuff on the 60° bias and as wide as my scraps allowed – 4 inches or so, finished width 1.5”. I thought using the bias might prevent it “winging out” but it wings, it wings good and wingy. Well, nevermind!

Since the pattern was intended for knits, I extended the seam allowance of the armscye so I could french-seam the sleeve/topstitch the cuff easily. I could paint you a word picture but actually, here’s a picture picture.

Armscye diagram

Red mine, black original! And the total package:

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Oh and my necklace! A Christmas gift from my boyfriend last year! We call it my Egyptian space witch necklace and I am 1000% cooler while wearing it.

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The jeans are my third high-rise Morgans (changes detailed here, second pair seen here). The denim is from Gather Here and I think it’s Wrangler overstock. It has a bronze-gold cross thread instead of white. That color on the cuffs! I mean!!! I love this outfit – sure, it’s jeans and a t-shirt, but I feel like kind of a boss in it. Plus I’m excited to continue using the Hemlock tee as a scrapbuster. Odds and ends of linen, bring it on!

 

Pattern: Hemlock tee

Pattern cost: $0.00 (free download)

Size: one-size pattern

Supplies: Halloween costume leftovers, $0.00; thread, Michael’s, $1.50

Total time: 4.5 hours for two tees

Total cost: $1.50 for two tees

 

Pattern: Morgan jeans

Pattern cost: $0.00 (multiple uses)

Size: 12 waist, 14 hip

Supplies: 2 yards Indigo AA/BB Washed Classic denim, Wrangler, 12 oz., Gather Here, $20.72; $2, zipper, Threadbare Fabrics; $5.50, 1/2 yard Rifle Paper cotton, Gather Here; $3, thread, Michael’s

Total time: 5.75 hours

Total cost: $31.22

Look around you.

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Look around you!

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Have you worked out what you’re looking for yet?

IT’S QUILTING. No, I promise. It’s 10 hours of machine quilting that are FUNCTIONALLY INVISIBLE.

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This is M7549, an open, cropped, quilted jacket. I bought the pattern after being completely wowed by Allie J’s amazing take. I didn’t have the egg chutes to jump right into leather, but my initial plan was to sew it in metallic black linen for a similar girl-gang look (not so much inspired by as copied from), and then hopefully work up to a brown leather or suede version. I took myself to Gather Here for the first-try fabric and bought this Rifle Paper screen printed Cotton and Steel canvas instead! So a bit of a different direction!

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I’m really into it, though! Even though the cotton canvas ate my stitches (normally a feature I love) and the flannel I used for batting was too thin and my tonal thread was subtle to the point of irrelevant, it turns out I love the process of quilting garments! I marked my initial quilting lines on the right side of my main fabric with masking tape, after pin basting, so that I could center them on the shell pieces. I then marked the remaining quilting lines on the back of the flannel in pencil. I found the quilting process very Zen! For a first quilted project, the invisibility kept the pressure very looow, but my fabric still got stronger and warmer. V. satisfying. I quilted horizontal lines and diamonds, following the pattern.

McCall’s asks you to quilt great tracts of fabric and then cut your jacket pieces from those, but nuh-uh. I bought 2 yards total of this swish fabric (I’m not a railroad baron) and it was enough, enough even to avoid doubling in any obvious places.

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I had as much as was necessary to cut the inner yokes out of my main fabric, too, though I didn’t quilt those. I can’t imagine sewing lining fabric to lining fabric more than necessary, even though this is lined in my fancy vintage French Bemberg from my sister’s mother-in-law’s late mother’s Parisian attic.  I generally hate lining fabric but while still a little slippery and shapeless (every cut piece is happy to collapse into the shape of a blob and start fraying, oh joy) it’s a little sturdier than the contemporary lining I’ve tried. Plus it was free, as was my flannel batting; leftovers from another project.

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The structure is my favorite part. This jacket isn’t going to stand up on its own, but it’s got a little architectural something-something, I think! The silhouette + fabric choice feels a little matronly, but there are worse things than being a matron. The ideas I associate most strongly with that word are “high society” or “in charge of a lot of nurses”. Good stuff either way.

Construction zipped by quickly after all that quilting – so quickly, in fact, that I forget to make any changes, like adding a hanging loop and either inseam or welt pockets. I like the idea of pockets between the front jacket and front jacket bottom band. Also, if I make this again, I want to change the construction order, or maybe cut the facings as one wider piece. There’s a lot of fabric crammed into the corners of the front facing bands and I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to understitch the body to the lining. So I just said ah heck and topstitched the hem, facings and neck; it’s all quilted + imperceptible anyway.

If you, like me, have noodle arms, but again like me they are thick-cut noodles, take heart: the sleeve isn’t too narrow. I was worried about the three layers plus my upper arms, but they all live in harmony!

Sadly it’s a little snug across my upper back, but that only matters when giving a hug/walking like a zombie/flexing my traps (yes I had to look up which muscles are shoulder muscles).

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I’m wearing the jacket here with my second pair of Morgan mom jeans; I cut them with a little more SA than last time, but otherwise made all the same changes listed in my first post HERE.

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Look ma, no butt dimple!

Rifle Paper above and Rifle Paper below – my pockets coordinate with my jacket, sort of!

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Don’t worry, I’m wearing a Nettie. I can shuck several layers and remain fully dressed.

In conclusion: I like the jacket, I love the jeans, I send Anna Bond all my money, and my traps are stacked. Is that a thing?

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Buh-bye!

Pattern: M7549 cropped jacket

Pattern cost: $2.50

Size: 14

Supplies: 2 yards Cotton and Steel canvas, Amalfi; Gather Here, $34; leftover flannel for quilting layer, from stash; lining from stash; $3.58, thread, Michael’s (two spools!)

Total time: 14 hours

Total cost: $40.08

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Pattern: Morgan jeans

Pattern cost: $0.00

Size: 12 waist, 14 hip

Supplies: 2 yards of Cone Mills denim, 9 oz., olive green, Imagine Gnats, $32.20; 1/2 yard Cotton and Steel quilting cotton, Gather Here, $6.00; hardware kit, Threadbare Fabrics, $5.65

Total time: 6.25 hours

Total cost: $43.85

Morgan mom jeans

“What do you call those?” my boyfriend asked.

“MOM JEANS!”

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I was blind to the virtues of the Morgan jeans for a while (except for the regular Closet Case virtues of excellent drafting, clear directions, and a crotch curve that fits me like a dang soulmate), until I suddenly wanted mom jeans, and the only available pattern was Palmer/Pletsch. Really I wanted someone to have done that work for me, Mses. Palmer and Pletsch. And ideally that person would be Heather Lou, thus, Morgans! However, the rise on the Morgan jeans cuts right across my nice little tummy, and I needed to hike those bad boys up. So I took a page from Jasika Nicole’s book and added 2” to the rise at the lines marked on the pattern.

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That’s 2” to the front leg (extending the fly length as well), 1” to the back leg (I moved the pockets up, too) and 1” to the back yoke. Not surprisingly, I ended up with extra space through my seat and the small of my back. Even though my back dimensions tend to be broad instead of bodacious, I still regularly adjust for swayback. It was a little tricky to go back in and do the surgery, since my seams were already serged and topstitched, but I adjusted the pieces like the drawing below:

Basic RGB

Black lines are the original; red lines are where I trimmed. I removed about ½” from each side of the back center at top, tapered to nothing through the seat seam, and about ¼” each from the edges where the yoke and back meet, tapered to nothing at the side seams. I’m still getting some bubbling through my upper bum area. I might remove a smidgeon more fabric on my next pair. However, it could also be the way I went back into the jeans and adjusted everything – I may have stretched the seat out. Next pair will tell.

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You can see the dimple of extra fabric here. Also the embroidery I added to the back pocket! This fabric was so much fun to embroider, sturdy but not tough; it’s the 9 oz. Cone Mills unsanforized denim in Mint, from Threadbare Fabrics (<3 Katie so much. I’ve ordered in haste before and she’s been such a sweetie about fixing my mistakes). The hardware is all from Threadbare, too.

This is my first pair of rigid denim jeans…ever? In my life? I sewed my first pair of unadjusted Morgans in stretch denim, because I was nervous. But the rigid denim is pretty darn comfortable! I like that they’re not clinging to my legs on hot days, and I’ve got a decent range of motion.

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(Boyfriend/ photographer: “Do a lunge! That’s not a lunge. Okay, now touch your toes.” Me: “I can’t! My glasses will fall off!” #naturalathlete)

My thighs spread a lot while sitting, so they’re a big snug in repose. I could use another ¼” in the outer leg. Next time! And yeah, there’s definitely a next time! These aren’t traditionally flattering, in the sense that they don’t make me look smaller/longer/narrower, but getting tiny is not on my to-do list (even if it would help me fit in swants!).

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My big rivet doesn’t match my little rivets. Ssh!

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Lots of under-butt wrinkles, but I need them for getting low. Or as pictured here, getting medium.

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Cuffs, of course! I remember how paranoid I used to be about wearing high-water pants in high school. Fashion, you’re fickle. We’re friends though. And friends never let low-rise come back, right?!

Pattern: Closet Case Morgan jeans

Pattern cost: N/A (I only count the cost the first time I use a pattern)

Size: 12 at waist, graded to 14 at hip

Supplies: 2 yards of Cone Mills denim, 9 oz., mint green, Threadbare Fabrics, $36; denim hardware kit, Threadbare Fabrics, $6; embroidery threads and hoop, Michael’s, $3.32; ½ yard Liesl Gibson lawn, pocketing, Gather Here, $4.60; thread from stash

Total time: 11 hours

Total cost: $49.92