Musings and Motion

Thoughts on knitting, sewing, and fitness…

Ginger Jeans – The Real Deal

My wearable muslin pair of Gingers is almost finished and ready to wear. The waistband was way too big, so I need to take it out and remove a wedge from the back of the pants, then reinstall the waist band. After that, the legs need to be hemmed and we are ready for business. I don’t wear belts, so I won’t install belt loops.

For my ‘real’ pair, I ordered Theory Indigo Stretch Cotton Denim from Mood. I threw in the matching Gutermann thread because I have never used it before and want to see if I can tell a difference between it and the Coats and Clark thread that I normally sew with. I ordered grey top-stitching thread, a jeans zipper, jeans buttons, and rivets from Taylor Tailor. These are going to be a high class pair of Gingers, ya’ll. I plan on putting some sort of art deco design on the back pockets.

The best thing about my ‘slow sewing’ experiment so far is the ability to use really high quality materials because I am taking about 2 months to produce one garment. We’ll see how long I can keep up this kind of restraint!

Lolo Hat by Brooklyn Tweed

Yesterday it was almost a hat, today it is a little too much of a hat. This is Lolo by Brooklyn Tweed from Wool People Fall 2015. This hat is knit sideways and the brim widens out to make little ear flaps on each side. The construction of this hat is genius. I had the best time knitting it and was able to use up some precious Madeline Tosh leftovers from my (unblogged) Outlander Mystery Knit Along Shawl. I highly recommend this hat, even though it totally does not suit me.

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I have a little head and this is the smallest size offered, so obviously I have a child sized head on an adult body. Also, am I the only one thinking this looks like what the astronauts wear under their helmets?

I will reknit this using a smaller needle size and slightly modifying the pattern to produce a smaller hat. I think that will be a more flattering hat that will still keep my ears warm. This one will go in the donation pile.

hat 002Some highlights of this pattern are the applied i-cord edge, the shaping of the crown of the hat, and the graceful curve of the ear-flap portion. I know, graceful and ear-flap don’t get much press in the same sentence very often, but in this hat it works! Just not for my tiny head.

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Someone with a normal sized head will really appreciate this hat come winter!

Almost a Hat

Madeline Tosh Vintage in Glazed Pecan and Madeline Tosh Sport in Manor
Madeline Tosh Vintage in Glazed Pecan and Madeline Tosh Sport in Manor

Ginger Jeans – First Fitting

My Ginger Jeans are minus a waistband, but otherwise ready to try on.  The fit, so far, is pretty good. They are about 3 inches too long and about 2 inches too big in the waist. I am not crazy about my pocket placement either, but all of these things can be fixed in my next iteration.

I think that I can nip in the waist a little when I install the waistband, and before I cut my next pair, I will follow Heather Lou’s tutorial for fixing gaping at the waist. I used the full seat adjustment from the same page before I cut this pair of jeans because I am aware that I have a full seat. This has not been new information since I was called ‘big butt’ in the third grade.

This week I plan on installing the waistband, button, and rivets. I think that will be the most fun part of sewing jeans, using a hammer!  There have been many times I have wanted to take a hammer to my sewing, but never for a productive reason.

I am really enjoying taking my time and paying attention to detail as I sew this pattern.  The result will be a wearable muslin that will probably look better than my current pair of jeans. Happy sewing!

Ginger Jeans – Fronts and Backs

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I LOVE topstitching! As soon as that golden thread goes onto that denim, it just looks like jeans. I had some tension issues around the fly, but a quick needle change and I was back in business.

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My bar tacks could do with a bit of practice, too.

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So much fun to zoom around those back pockets with big, yellow thread! I am apprehensive about the fit, though. I just need to do the inside seams and side seams and I will be able to try them on for the first time. I should get to that point before the weekend is over.

Then, I will just have to add the waistband and hem the legs and I will have a new (muslin) pair of jeans! Too cool.  Thanks, Heather Lou for a fun pattern.

Myrna by Andi Sutterland

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I am not making a rude finger gesture, I promise!  I just feel so ladylike in this sweater, that I wanted to hold my hands in a dainty way. It FELT like a ladylike way to arrange my hands. Just another example of my perception at odds with my reality!

However, I do like how I feel in this knit. It goes great with my high-waisted skirt from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I love the way it fits, and I forgot to photograph the key-hole in the back, but it is very sweet.

Jessyka from the See Jane Make podcast was the inspiration to cast on this cardigan. She is knitting one herself, or was knitting one before her home flooded. (Wishing you a speedy renovation process!) She has got me totally hooked on Andi Sutterland patterns!

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This pattern was a relatively quick knit that will be very wearable in my current wardrobe. The short sleeves make it a perfect transition piece and will be easy to wear under a coat. I still need to stabilize the button band, but I don’t have any ribbon that matches on-hand right now. The buttons were a gift from a friend who found them in an antique store. All-in all, this sweater is a win! Happy knitting.

Happy Halloween!


Two Gryffindor scarves in time for Halloween. Check! One more on the needles with no deadline, for a cousin. Check! Lots of candy. Check! One happy wizard. Check!

This scarf was very fun to knit. The second one was a little less fun, but the third will be fun again because it is not for Halloween. It is just for regular winter wear, so I can take my time and enjoy the process.

I am also knitting the second sleeve of my Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. Hopefully I will have that completed soon. I finished the knitting on the Myrna Cardigan by Andi Sutterland and just need to sew on the buttons and photograph it for you.

My next  sweater project will by Chuck by Andi Sutterland.  I am participating in the Tiny Paper Foxes Make 2 Along. The premise is that you make two or more items that you plan on wearing together. I want to knit Chuck to wear with my Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files. I will be putting the zipper in my muslin version of those this weekend!

I hope that your knitting and sewing projects are sweet to you this weekend, and not at all scary. Happy Halloween!

I can haz ‘serged’ seams!


Ginger Jeans are rolling along. When I got to the first instruction that said to serge the seam, I went “hmmm”. I don’t own a serger, but I have borrowed one from my BFF. I currently have it in my closet. I know that it works because I had it worked on a few months ago. They demonstrated that fact for me at the shop.

When I got it home, I had already managed to un-thread it and life is JUST TOO SHORT!

So, when the Ginger Jeans directions said to serge the seams, I wondered what kind of fake overlock seam my sewing machine could do.  I had previously downloaded the manual, but see above as to why I have not read it cover to cover. However, I did find a very easy to watch 1 minute YouTube video that taught me which stitch number and foot to use for a faux overlocked seam. Yea. I already had the foot. Double Yea. Happy sewing!

Slow Sewing

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I have been channeling the hare as my sewing spirit animal for the past few years. You know, crank out lots of mediocre projects that fit well enough, just to move on to the next project. That approach served the purpose of letting me practice lots of techniques and learn more about many different types of construction in a relatively short amount of time. It also taught me the ways in which my body differs from the standard pattern block, and the typical pattern alterations that I will most likely use for most pieces. This is all valuable information and has increased the volume of handmade garments in my wardrobe, but it has its limitations.

My new sewing spirit animal is the tortoise. S-L-O-W and steady wins the sewing race. The only person I am racing is, of course, myself. Now I want to take my time and practice my fitting and finishing techniques, not leaving a pattern or project until I have made the best version I can make, using the best materials that I can afford. If I am making less pieces per month, then they can be made with higher quality materials without breaking my ‘fun money’ budget.

The first pattern to try out my new slow sewing method is the Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Case Files. I currently only own one pair of blue jeans because I have never liked the way jeans look on me. My waist to hips ratio is very large, so it has always been hard to find jeans that fit well. My plan with this pattern is to make the first version with some okay stretch denim that came from my local big box fabric store. These will be my possibly wearable muslin. Then, I will get some really nice denim and findings to make the ‘real’ version. These jeans may take me into the new year, but that is okay because I will have a great fitting pair of jeans when I am done.

I have already done a full butt adjustment and lengthened the crotch, as these are adjustments that I made for my Thurlow Trousers by Sewaholic and they fit really well. Even though these are just the muslin version, I am taking my time and pretending that they are the real version to practice my top-stitching and construction. Who knows, they may even turn out to be a pair of jeans that I wear as well!

Spinning Rolags


I still consider myself very much a beginning spinner. The joy in that is constant discovery, the process of trial and error, and delight in learning a new technique or how to handle different types of fibers.

So far, I have spun a silk hankie, a braid of Sheltand, two braids of silk and Merino, and four blended rolags from The Wooly Witch. This was my first experience spinning rolags and I found them much easier to draft than fiber from a braid. The fiber in the picture of The Waterhorse of Loch Ness colorwary, inspired by the series of Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon.

The colors are so beautiful and the spinning was so nice that I think I would like to spin another ounce of this same product. My plan is to pair it with a commercial yarn for a shawl that features a small pop of contrast color. I have been eyeing the Shell colorway from Camelia Fiber Company of Nashville, TN.  They only dye in small batches, so it is hard to come by. Fortunately, I have several projects on the go right now and am not in any hurry to cast on another. But, I always keep future ideas peculating in the back of my mind. Because if I woke up one day with nothing to knit, there would be trouble!

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