November 8, 2014

Ehm... Jeans and a shirt!

So, finally, time available to myself and to E coincided with decent weather so we could take some pictures. I've finished the trousers a week and a half ago and the early in last week. 

I suppose a bit of a confession is in order: I seem to have made skinny jeans. I didn't set out to do so but there's no way to deny it. 

In fact, I was looking for a good fabric for some nice 1950's style cigarette trousers when I found this rather nice stretch denim at my favorite market stall (De Griek Modestoffen, for those of you who are local. It's available in several colours and they still have plenty of it for 4 euros a meter). So, I bought the fabric. And then, I started thinking and sketching about what to make exactly. The fabric being denim, I thought I should add some actual jeans styling but most of the vintage jeans details I like only make sense for more loose-fitting styles. So, I deviated and came up with something of my own.

The rise is between modern and vintage: The top edge of these trousers is about 2 cm above the natural waist (there is no separate waistband) but the crotch curve is modern (close fitting). All the darts needed for such a high-rise style are hidden in the pocket seam and the pieced back yoke. And of course, there is a solid facing inside, doing the job of a waistband. This sketch is pretty rough, and I should point out that the real thing is in no way lopsided but I think it helps explain things anyway.

For years and years, I've claimed skinny jeans were not for me but these are pretty nice. I was even inspired to try out the dreaded jeans-in-boots look and I even liked that... Of course, I guess I could claim my invention has little in common with the standard low-rise skinnies. I might even be right about that. But still... I've already bought more fabric like this in a darker colour too.

With the trousers finished, I started thinking about how to show them off. One of my reasons to want this rise was because I like to have some pairs of trousers which can be worn with the tops tucked in retro style. 
However, all of those existing tops were short-sleeved. And we my be lucky enough to enjoy a very mild autumn, long sleeves are getting useful by now. So, I thought it might be time to try and make something along the line of a classic white shirt. Of course I'm using off-white because I will be the one wearing it. I used cotton with a bit of stretch from my stash and made a fairly simple pattern. I eliminated the bust darts (there's a pattern trick for that with some of the material going to the armscye and some elsewhere), simply didn't make any of the waist darts and made a back yoke. I drafted the sleeves according to instructions for a man's shirt sleeve and added a collar with an extra high stand and single cuffs (which I decided to close with cufflinks anyway). 

It was an experiment in some ways and the result is very wearable but I'm not 100% happy with it. I think the fabric may be slightly too bulky and/or stiff for this style and the sleeve was probably intended for a body with a slightly dropped shoulder so it's just a tiny bit short. And I don't like the drag lines at the cuff. I guess that's what I get for wanting to use men's style pleats on a cuff designed to fit my tiny wrists (my wrists are unusually skinny, it's a fact which has received regular comments in the past). 
Oh, and it looks less than great when worn loose over something but I made it for tucking in, so I'm not going to worry about that.

So, there we have it. This may be as close as I get to 'normal fashion' these days and I actually feel great in it. Some outfit for enjoying autumn...


  1. These jeans was made for strutting catwalk love the shape

  2. Well, I think you like the skinny jean style and it likes you :) fun photos and the shape looks great on you (fantastic fit too).

  3. We wore 'em tight and high like that in the 80s. So if people want true vintage, you've got them. If people want skinny jeans, you got those, too.

  4. Ahhh! These are so great! I'm actually impressed you can wear such high-waisted pants. I find them impossible to sit down in, hahaha so I like a slightly lower rise. And so loving this 70's inspired outfit - so used to seeing you in more 50's looks, but you can really rock this Laurel Canyon/Joni Mitchell/Stevie Nicks vibe!

  5. I love your skinnies and the white shirt. May I suggest that you crop the photos to get close-ups of the clothing? Kinda hard to see any kind of details, and with a seamstress like you, the details are the candy! You do such a great job with styling as well!