Saturday, 2 June 2018

MORGAN JEANS + GRECO TEE / plain and simple

OK so having gone on about how great the iphone camera is, I'm not sure what happened to make these pics come out all grainy - but I'm not re-doing them! And actually, I think that's entirely appropriate to the makes themselves: low-key, laid-back - basically, clothes for lazy days off.  In keeping with the whole theme, here you also have me posing without even having blow dried or tied up my hair*.  Today we are doing the very casualest possible, thank you very much!

* and, it turned out, with the onset of my very first migraine. Ugh.

So let's start wth the jeans, shall we? These are a pair of Morgan jeans that I made two years ago. At the time, this was a big deal - they were the first pair of jeans I had ever made, in fact the first pair of trousers that weren't stretchy Hudson pants (I think). So there was quite a bit of nervousness about the both the fitting and the sewing processes being more involved than I was used to.

(By the way: yes, still struggling to coordinate photo-taking posture with photo-appropriate face. No longer struggling with whether to care, I shall just post them anyway.  You'll be able tell when I've lost all remaining self consciousness, when I stop even mentioning it...)

Of course by now you've probably read approx 1 zillion blog posts about the greatness of  Closet Case patterns' jeans-sewing instructions, and yes, I was pleasantly surprised to find that sewing jeans wasn't/isn't difficult (even allowing for sewing machine uncooperativeness when it comes to buttonholes). As many others before me have found, it was even rather enjoyable, especially because at the end one has MADE ONE'S OWN JEANS!! So as far as the sewing process was concerned, no problem.

On the fit, however, I stumbled slightly. I wasn't so lazy as to avoid making a muslin, but I was lazy enough to not bother attaching the waistband to it before deciding on my adjustments.... and I also didn't factor in that my denim had considerably more give than the upholstery fabric I muslined with.  With the first wear of the final jeans, it became abundantly clear that not only could/should I have gone down a size, but also that I really didn't need to faff around shortening the front crotch. At all. See those drag lines?

And that's with me wearing these jeans as low-slung as possible.  Even then, the waistband is all bunched up under my belt. Plus, that's a hell of a lot of extra fabric in the bum area too:

I've since come to the realisation that I tend to need a flat butt adjustment on most trouser patterns - but I also think that for the non-stretch Morgan jeans, sizing down and allowing the fabric to bag out a bit with wear is definitely the way to go.

In real life though, where for better or worse no-one tends to be looking that closely at either my front or back crotch, it's hardly a disaster. I have been wearing these jeans solidly for the last two summers and it's fine, even if they can't really be paired with tees any shorter than this, for the sake of covering up the fit issues.  The denim isn't super heavy, so they're ideal trousers for mid-temperature weather, and at time of making, it was a real relief to switch back to non-skinny jeans again. Plus I love the cropped length and look of them with the turn-ups. So, yay for Morgan jeans! I did immediately make another pair in linen, actually - but they just came out of the wash and need ironing, and I wasn't going to do that just for blog photos, so you'll just have to imagine them. They're grey and the fabric came from Ikea. They have the same fit issues but worse, because linen.

Anyway, on to the t-shirt!!  I think we can all agree that the ideal t-shirt pattern is an elusive beast, essentially because we would never be able to agree on what the ideal t-shirt pattern actually is. Everyone's ideal tee looks different. However, this one comes pretty close to mine - and, bonus points because it's FREE!

This is the Greco tee by Ensemble patterns. As you can see, it's a loose-fitting scoop neck t-shirt. The pattern comes with a couple of options - straight or curved hem, short or cuffed sleeves. I went for the curved hem and cuffed sleeves. The pattern notes mention that you can get different effects using different types of fabric - the less drapy your fabric, the boxier your tee - and in fact I made three of these t-shirts in three cotton jerseys with varying lycra content. This orange one is the drapiest and stretchiest, and has turned out to be my favourite to wear (plus, ORANGE). The others are a shade too boxy for me (something I never thought I'd say!), even though neither of the fabrics are particularly stiff. Perhaps sizing down for a slightly closer fit in less stretchy fabrics would be a good idea. Anyway, overall the proportions of the Greco are exactly what I want from a t-shirt. I don't have much else to say about it than that! I hadn't come across any other t-shirt patterns that quite fit the bill, so this one plugged a gap there perfectly.

Another good thing: the pattern pdf is available in A0 format as well as A4, so I splashed out and had my local printshop print it for me. I usually don't, as they charge 6.50 euros per A0 sheet, but this pattern is all on one page and I figured I could handle the cost this once, given that I hadn't paid anything for the pattern itself. These days I'm increasingly feeling that life/time is just too short to spend it sticking together patterns tiled on A4, and will just choose printed patterns wherever I can. But there are still plenty of patterns available in pdf format only, and at that price, having the local printshop do it isn't really a permanent option. So I've been extremely pleased to recently have discovered Patternsy - who will print large format pdfs, or even tile A4s together if you're prepared to pay a bit more, on excellent quality "heavy" tissue paper, and ship it to you at top speed at exceptionally reasonable prices (even factoring in shipping to Europe; they're based in the UK). Given that pdf-only patterns are usually slightly cheaper than paper patterns, the total cost of having Patternsy do my printing doesn't usually come to more than I'd have been prepared to pay for a paper pattern in the first place. All round win!

Right, so, there we are. I think I've said all that I possibly can about this most basic of outfits, and almost certainly more than was strictly necessary :-)


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