Sunday, April 15, 2018

Fabric Shopping in Rome

Can you believe I haven't bought a SINGLE piece of fabric in 2018! Well, that ended today.

The fact is, my fabric buying is a bit more selective these days. I have a substantial stash that is very well stocked in lovely prints and knits, and quite a few special occasion fabrics for projects that I just haven't gotten around to. I also have developed sources in the US for many of the basic fabrics I use on a regular basis, and it doesn't make sense to buy things in Rome that I can easily obtain at home.

However, Italy produces some of the most lovely fashion fabrics in the world! Therefore, I resolved that I would buy a few special pieces of fabric, and they would be fabrics that are difficult for me to buy in the US or things that I am super excited to sew immediately and don't already have fabric for.

Fabric shopping in Rome is super easy because the best fabric stores are all clustered around Largo di Torre Argentina, which is right in Rome's historical district. It is only a short walk from there to the Pantheon or Piazza Venezia, and it is also a major bus and tram stop. Largo di Torre Argentina is famous as the site of the ruins of three ancient Roman Temples and hundreds of cats.

I decided to go to Francesco Longo e Figli first. Longo is actually split into two stores. The easier one to find has a store front right on Via Florida, which is the street on the southern side of Largo di Torre Argentina. This store is filled with silks and wools.


Technically Longo's address is 50 Piazza Dell'Enciclopedia, which is actually where their second and larger space is.


See that 50 up on the wall near the left pillar? That's as much as a sign as you get. Fortunately they were nice enough to walk me over here (it's across an alley and 20 feet away from the first store). If you go into this huge, unmarked entry, you'll see this little, deeply inset door on the left. 



This is where they have all of their linen, cotton, denim, and knits. It's not as large as some other stores, but it is packed with bolts of fabric from floor to ceiling, and they are very nice and speak quite good English (at least the person who was helping me did!). The prices went from very reasonable to quite pricey (for some really lovely quality linens and wools that I looked at). Sadly I didn't end up purchasing anything here, but I was really tempted, and came back twice. They also have remnants stacked on the counters if you are just looking for a little fabric souvenir!


Passed the Turtle Fountain in my wanderings. I just love how whimsical this fountain is.

Next I went hunting for Fatucci Tessuti. After wandering around in the general vicinity for awhile, I finally looked up the address from the Selfish Seamstress's Blog, which is where I first learned about this shop. I thought perhaps that it was no longer there, but lo and behold, when I found 64 Via dei Falegnami, I saw the telltale shape of bolts of fabric through the open door!



Last time I was in Rome this was the jackpot for me, and I purchased some gorgeous wool suitings and beautiful prints. I'm glad to say the shop is practically the same as it was 4 years ago! In the back are a couple of shelves of gorgeous and reasonably priced wool suitings. Gorgeous, soft, thick wool/cashmere blend heavy suiting (or light coating) for 18 Euros a metre. This was my first fabric purchase of the day. The proprieter of the shop, who spoke English and had a lovely sense of humor, says it was from a lot he purchased from MaxMara. Perhaps it is, it is lovely! I'd show you a picture... but really, it is just black!

Next I had my eyes on the lovely prints he keeps right behind his cutting table, but alas the ones that I wanted were 3 meter panels sold by the panel, which was a bit more than my suitcase is willing to hold right now, even at the bargain price of 10 Euros a meter. They were quite unique though, supposedly McQueen and like nothing I've seen elsewhere.

They do have a sign, it is just hard to read:



But here's their business card:


Next, I tackled the biggest fabric store in Rome: Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti. It's right on Corso Vittorio, to the left if you are standing in Largo Argentina facing Feltrinelli's (the large bookstore on the north side with the big red sign.)

It's actually sort of hard to see right now due to scaffolding covering the storefront.



Fashion fabrics are up the stairs. There is room after room filled with fabrics, from floor to ceiling. It's pretty overwhelming!



The staff is very nice, if you ask politely (they spoke both English and Italian to me). They have just about every kind of fabric! The wall of silks was very tempting... and many of them were very reasonably priced. However, I had decided that I was going to try to buy a high quality cotton shirting here. To give you a sense of the range, in black shirting they had choices from 6 to 45 Euros a meter. I chose a really lovely cotton that feels as fine as silk for 25 Euros a meter. That's my fabric being cut!

Next I went across the square to Azienda Tessile. They are they easiest fabric store to find since they have a huge storefront that covers most of the eastern side of Largo di Torre Argentina.


Azienda is less like a giant warehouse and more like a nicely arranged fabric store. The fabric tends to be stacked behind the cutting tables, which is a bit intimidating if you are just browsing. But if you ask, they will let you go behind the tables and touch, and they are happy to pull out bolts for inspection. Several people in the shop had excellent english, they probably get a lot of practice being located in such a high tourist traffic area.

They also have large displays of luxury fabrics. I noted a gorgeous display of designer silks-- unfortunately it was behind a table and I didn't ask to see them since I wasn't really silk shopping. But the display of Chanel fabrics (actual Chanel brand fabric as well as fabrics for Chanel-style jackets by other designers) was in easy reach, and I really enjoyed seeing those lovely, complex fabrics in person. However, 60 Euros a meter and up was a bit out of my budget-- besides, tackling a Chanel jacket is not something to undertake lightly. Also lots of linen and linen blend fabrics, and of course a whole section of suitings, and I didn't even venture upstairs where the home fabrics were.

What caught my eye, however, was bin filled with rolls of double gauze. At least, I think it is double gauze... it was only labeled as "cotton" but the construction looks like double gauze. As I had in mind a summery shirt, I ended up picking up this fabric:


It is luxuriously soft, and I've been thinking about making a striped summer shirt. I was also tempted by a blue and white stripe... I'm trying to exercise restraint here ;). The price was pretty good, at 23 euros per meter for a 60 inch width fabric, that's just about the same as I'd pay for a quality double gauze in the US, and I love the color palette and the stripe width really appeals to me.

All that fabric shopping makes one hungry, so I had a light lunch at Su'ghetto in the Jewish district.


Carciofi alla guida

Fried Baccala (salt cod)

Then I headed off to check out Casa del Tessuto (House of Fabric) which is in an entirely different part of town (Via Dello Statuto 64). It took me a good 40 minutes to get there, I walked to Piazza Venezia (you could also take tram 8 or one of the many buses that goes that direction), caught the 51 bus to Labicana, and walked north on Via Merulana to Via Dello Statuto.



They were very friendly, and when I asked about printed linens, they took me down this tiny staircase to a basement with more bolts of fabric! It isn't a large store, but it is really packed in there and every nook and cranny is filled. They have a whole rack of various designer fabrics, tagged with an example of the designer's work on the runway, a rack of Liberty cotton lawns, and I saw some Missoni tucked away on one shelf. They also had some juvenile themed prints.

If I wasn't already quite well situated in designer fabrics (I have both Missoni AND Liberty in my stash... did I mention how large my stash is?) I would have been tempted. However, as it is, I didn't buy any fabric here on this trip, but I was glad the venture took me to another part of the city that I've never been in, which is always interesting.

There was one store on my list that I didn't make it to: Valli Fabrics. If I make it there on another day, I'll add it here! Anywhere else I should go?



Saturday, March 31, 2018

Flower Print Eggs: A Natural Egg Dyeing Tutorial

Flower Print Eggs with Easy Natural Dye
using ingredients you'll find in the kitchen and pantry



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Dyeing Eggs in Rome, Italy, Spring 2018

When I was growing up, we always used those supermarket kits with little tablets that dissolve in water and give brilliant colors. But after having kids, trying to do things in a way more inspired by natural materials and processes became really important to me, and dying eggs with chemical dyes just wasn't appealing. 

So, I first made nature print eggs using natural dyes two years ago, when my daughter Lily was 4. She's now 6, and I have a son who is 3... and we're still using natural dyes to do our annual egg coloring! 

This year we're in spending the spring in Rome, Italy... and we dyed eggs using our favorite methods here! It worked beautifully.



The cheapest pantyhose I could find was 2 euros a pair. I could only find brown eggs at the supermarket! After the fact I've seen white eggs in other stores, but the brown eggs came out quite lovely. 


Unwrapping is the best part.


The original post from 2016 follows... read on for the photo tutorial!

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I've been a bit obsessed with decorating eggs with natural materials and dyes this year. It's great to do with my four year old daughter. I also love how they capture some of the ephemeral beauty of spring!



The most beautiful results have been with flowers. I had no idea they would turn out so beautifully!

Here's how you do it. It's very easy, a great project for kids or adults.


You need:
--Nylon pantyhose
--String
--Eggs (You can use blown eggs or raw eggs)
--Flowers
--Natural dye plants-- this year I used red cabbage (1/2 head), yellow onion skins (from 3 lbs of onions), and powdered tumeric (about 2 tablespoons).
--White vinegar

Where to get flowers in early spring? This year in the Finger Lakes we found hellebores, crocuses, and snowdrops in the garden and in the nearby woods. If you are gathering wild flowers, make sure to only pick a few so that there are lots left to make seeds. You can also use store bought flowers-- supermarket bouquets that are a bit past their prime (and on sale) would be perfect.


Position a flower on your egg. Use water to moisten the petals and help them to stay in place.


Wrap the egg with a piece of nylon pantyhose. Pull it tight around your egg, holding the flower flat against the surface. Tie with a piece of string.




Prepare your natural materials. For the onions, peel off the outer papery layer. For the cabbage, tear the leaves into chunks, or roughly chop.

Purple cabbage and the nylon wrapped eggs in the stock pot. Those blown eggs want to float!


Place the dye material in a large stock pot, and fill with cold water so that the eggs are covered. Bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for at least 1 hour. After one hour, turn off the heat, add 2 tbsp of vinegar per pot and allow the eggs to sit in the colored water until the desired color is reached. If you want a dark color, you might need to let it sit overnight.

The added benefit of this method is that your raw eggs will be hard boiled without an extra step. If you are dying blown eggs, you might need to put something on top to keep the eggs submerged-- a lid from a smaller pot might work.

Then, cut the nylon and peel off the flower to see your beautiful results!

Alternate method (or a method to keep the dying fun going): Boil the dye materials in the stockpot until reduced to about 1 quart of liquid. Strain and reserve the liquid. To dye your eggs, submerge for a couple hours or overnight, depending on how concentrated the liquid is and how dark you want your eggs.

Dying eggs in canning jars with the strained liquid. Left to right: onion peels, tumeric, purple cabbage.
Here are some results to give you an idea of how your eggs will turn out.



Above: Crocuses with purple cabbage, Crocus on an egg dipped in the onion skin dye then soaked in tumeric, snowdrows on an egg soaked in onion skin dye, hellebores on a egg simmered in onion skin dye. 



Above Left: grass in red cabbage dye, Above Center: leaves in tumeric dye, Above Right: Crocus in red cabbage dye.

Other natural materials work well too! The left egg is myrtle, the other two are weeds in our yard. All of these eggs were simmered in onion skin dye.

It is fun to experiement! This was a very unexpected result... we soaked some eggs in cranberry juice, and they came out not at all red, but etched, looking almost like fossils. Must be some kind of reaction at work, anyone know the chemistry of this? I can't really recommend it thought... the eggs in that batch are very fragile, three have broken already!


Another lovely flower egg: Hellebores in red cabbage dye.


Have fun! I would love to see your results, post them at instagram and tag @unlikelynest, #flowerprintegg.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Bunny Loveys made by you!

It's bunny season! My sewing machine is a thousand miles away, so I'm sewing vicariously with all of you who are making the Bunny Lovey pattern this spring. There are so many lovely variations, from classic to creative!

I'm just loving these Bunny Loveys made in Sherpa, they just look so snuggly soft! These are from Cedar Bee Made and Martin N. Mae.
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Is there anything so sweet as a white white bunny? So classic and adorable. These are by Sunday Design Studio and Bethany Wells (Mama Sew Colorful).


What fun prints! Just loving these bunnies in fun prints by Lil Things by Aimee and Lori Sapp.

And, take a look at these designs that incorporate fun colors, fabrics, and textures by Charity Sue Design and Brandi Henderson (SixThirtyStitch).


Here are a few more designs by Melissa Barnett of martin.n.mae. She chooses such wonderful prints.

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And here are a couple of designs by Sunday Design Studio. I love how they have such a distinctive modern style.

Aren't these sets by Rainbow Hill Designs just lovely? What an incredible present for a new tiny person.
Are you inspired yet? There's still time to make a Bunny Lovey, you can get the pattern here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A handmade 10x10 wardrobe... for 7 weeks and counting!

Hello from Rome! I apologize for not posting for ages, but my excuse is that I've been a bit preoccupied with the joys and trials of living abroad. 

Since the focus of this blog is sewing and DIY projects, I don't talk very much about my daily life. However, you may have picked up on the fact that I'm an artist and a professor, and I primarily teach photography and video. This semester I'm teaching abroad in Rome, Italy. I'm about halfway through my four month stay. 

And that brings me to the topic of this post, a winter 10x10 wardrobe challenge. The 10x10 wardrobe challenge was the idea of Lee Vosburgh of Stylebee, and it's gotten a lot of attention in the sewing community. The idea behind the 10x10 challenge is to really take a close look at your wardrobe and to choose 10 pieces to live with for 10 days. In a commodity culture with easy cheap fashion all around us, the 10x10 is an exercise in minimalism and an opportunity to slow down.

Those of us that sew often invest an incredible amount of time, energy, and money into the pieces we make. There are many reasons to sew wardrobe items, but many of us are interested in sustainability and in creating pieces that fit our bodies and our personal style in ways that mass produced fashion is unable to do. 

This time I decided to really hone down my packing... I really wanted all of my clothes to fit into one carry-on size suitcase. And I had to pack for two seasons! That means I pretty much was unable to take more than 10 winter items. So far, I've been living with these 10 winter items for about 7 weeks!



Here are my 10 items. Most of these are unblogged... admittedly, I had a huge sewing spree right before I left!

Black merino wool cardigan

The Lisbon Cardigan by Itch to Stitch in midweight merino wool from The Fabric Store. I love the Lisbon pattern, it is such a classic design, and it is beautifully drafted. You can seem my review and another version here.

I finally decided to try merino wool from The Fabric Store this fall-- it is of the highest quality, and sustainably produced. However, I can't wear it against my skin comfortably. I made a long sleeve t-shirt from the 180gsm Premium and it didn't make the cut because I'm just too sensitive to wear it without a silk undershirt. But it makes a lovely cardigan.

Gray cashmere asymmetric cardigan

This piece has been in my collection for at least 5 or 6 years, I think I probably made it in my first year of sewing for my wardrobe, before I started blogging regularly. It was a very long, drapey cardigan, but I refashioned it this fall to be a little more practical. The fabric is just incredible, I purchased it from Marcy Tilton and I've never seen anything like it since. It is a double-layer knit, with the two layers loosely sewn together. It is the warmest, softest fabric I've ever seen or felt.

Black fine linen shirt

My favorite shirt ever. Made with the Liesl Classic Shirt pattern in fine linen from The Fabrics-store, with jet black corozo buttons. My review of the Liesl Classic Shirt pattern is here. This is their "IC64" linen which is a medium weight but has a higher thread count. It is just a bit classier and has a lovely feel.

White fine linen shirt

The fact that I can in fact wear white is a revelation-- I always thought I would just spoil a white shirt on the first wearing. As it turns out, I wear this shirt once, sometimes twice a week and it has been just fine. I do try to avoid wearing it on days when there is a high likelihood of staining (like when I'm cooking, or when I'm with the kids all day). I also avoid anti-perspirant deodorants when wearing white to prevent yellowing- either I go with a natural brand or I go without.

There is just nothing like a crisp white shirt. As above, this is the Liesl Classic Shirt pattern in IC64 linen from The Fabrics-store, with extra thick shell buttons.

Black stretch twill Sasha Trouser/Ginger Jeans hybrid

These are my favorite pants ever. I like the classiness of the Sasha Trouser, but quite honestly, I hate those slash pockets, they just bag out on me in the dorkiest way no matter what I do. And I guess the reversed fly is classic, but I can't get used to it. So I used the front of the Ginger Jeans pattern for the curved pockets that lie nice and flat against my body and the unfussy fly, and the back of the Sasha Trouser pattern for the classy welt pockets and darts. If you are interested, this is my review of the Sasha Trouser and the Ginger Jeans (both by Closet Case Files). Since they are both drafted on the same block, they are pretty interchangable!

The stretch twill is from Elegant Fabrics in New York. I couldn't find a truly wonderful black stretch twill at any of my usual online shops, and that wasn't for any lack of trying (swatching, even ordering a few pieces). When I had to be in New York City to obtain my visa, I dropped into Elegant Fabrics and fingered their twills until I found this one. It is lovely-- beautifully stretchy, weighty but not heavy, and velvety soft. There was just enough on the roll to make one pair of pants!

Black tencel twill shirt

Same pattern- Liesl's Classic Shirt, in a gorgeous tencel twill from Threadbare Fabrics. This is the same fabric that I made my long sleeve Kalle in, but the fit on the Kalle is not quite right somehow. So glad I had another piece of this twill (it has sold out!), and in the Liesl pattern this shirt is amazing.

Cream tencel twill shirt

Yes, another Liesl Classic Shirt, in a creamy tencel twill from Emmaonesock. I love subtle color and the silk-like texture, but it is much easier to wear and wash than silk.

Black Ginger Jeans

Another new make! This is a denim from Mood Fabrics. I can't tell you much about it, I just went and fingered all of the denims until I found one that felt right, and since it was a classic off-black denim, I overdyed it with RIT. I added red bar tacks, just for fun. Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files review here.

Black Dansko Aurora Boots

These are oddly perfect boots for my feet. I can't even wear the famous Dansko clogs-- I have a pair at home that I need to just sell, since they are basically unworn and I find them too stiff to wear. I can't really explain it, but I can walk miles in these boots, unlike any other shoe or boot I've tried. In Rome, where transportation can be spotty, one does literally end up walking miles. I think it might have to do with the toe box being unusually roomy, my feet love that, and the soles have just the right amount of stiffness and flexibility.  I don't love the slouchy style, but I can bear it if my feet are happy. I wore the first pair into the ground, this is my second pair, purchased on Ebay.

Brown Dansko Scout Boots

These are my back up boots. When I first got them I thought they were terribly uncomfortable, but they've broken in well and are my favorite boots when not in Rome. I love the warm reddish brown color. However, on days when I know I'll be hiking it, I wear the Auroras! Purchased like new on Ebay.

10 pieces, 10 looks




Style Notes

I love the simplicity of dressing with these 10 pieces. Everything goes with everything... really and truly. There is only one one real decision-- white shirt or black? If I'm spending the day with the kids, or it is that time of the month... black! If the sun is shining and there might be an opportunity to strut in a piazza with my jacket thrown over my shoulder-- white! Otherwise, it really doesn't matter.

Also, doing laundry is also incredibly simple. White wash, black wash. No special care needed, just wash cold and hang to dry, on hangers. The linen and tencel shirts mostly dry overnight. I keep oxyclean on hand for any accidents on the white shirts, and I have had to use it, to excellent effect.

Keeping the wash simple is especially important here since there are no DRYERS. Which is totally fine for my clothes, which I never dry anyway. However, this totally sucks for endless loads of kids clothes, towels, sheets, etc. I understand the energy savings of a city without dryers, etc, but was the person who decided on this policy a working mom?

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have two black linen shirts with me (both the same pattern), and two pairs black Ginger Jeans. This is does help make laundry a bit less stressful, especially since the jeans can take 2-3 days to dry completely. Also, I've had to alter one pair... the waistband on the newer pair of jeans stretched too much and I had to take it in an inch, by hand. That pair was out of commission for a good two weeks. (I miss my sewing machine-- I even considered talking it somewhere and having someone do it for me, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do that with my handmade jeans!) I also have a pair of cargos and a blue denim Kalle that I wear on weekends or evenings, for hanging out around the house or running errands in the neighborhood.

I am a total fan of the button down shirt. I love its versatility-- it looks great dressed up or down. I totally feel appropriate every day, whether I'm lecturing, chilling at a bar, or splurging on an aperativo in a classy location. I love that its cuffs and plackets allow for easy styling of totally different looks, and also provide instant temperature control.

I also think linen is the perfect fabric, summer and winter. Linen dries fast and stains come out with very little effort. The shirts have wonderful texture when hung to dry, but can also be pressed with steam for a crisp look. Linen is so incredibly cool in the heat, and I've found it to be surprisingly insulating in the winter, especially when paired with a wool cardigan or sweater. In really cold weather, I wear a silk undershirt for extra coziness. I do want to try making some shirts in a really lovely cotton which I might end up loving also, but I didn't quite get to that before I left.

I know for many people, my palette of white, black and gray would be too plain. For me, though, while I love looking at bright colors and patterns, I don't always feel the need to wear them. When I have a lot of patterns and colors in my wardrobe, I tire of them and want new colors and patterns. Also, I worry that people will notice if I wear the same pattern over and over again-- but if you wear a button down shirt every day, no one thinks you don't do your laundry. Oddly enough, I'm much LESS bored with my wardrobe this time than I was the last time I was abroad for a semester when I brought lots of patterned t-shirts.

My white/black shirts and black pants are a personal uniform, and at this time and place in my life, this is sort of liberating. It is sort of like a blank canvas, over which I can be myself.

Lately, if I feel the need for color or pattern, my favorite way to express myself is to wear a bright lipstick. I thought perhaps if I was bored I would buy some fun scarves or jewelry, but I haven't felt the need.

I love living with this smaller, simpler wardrobe... and now I'm wondering if I'll be able to translate that into reducing my wardrobe when I return home.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Classic Khaki Sasha Trousers: A Pattern Review

I made trousers! Or, as us vulgar Americans would call them, PANTS. Classic and khaki.


These are, of course, the Sasha Trousers from Closet Case Patterns. I haven't owned a trouser for ages. I have a terrible track record trying to buy them... I'd try on a pair in the store, it would feel acceptable, then I'd wear it for a day and then it would never be worn again. I've perused various pants patterns, but the thought of going through fitting them was never very inviting. 



When Heather from Closet Case Patterns released a trouser pattern based on the Ginger Jeans block, I knew this was the one for me, since I already have a customized Ginger Jeans pattern. It took me three tries to get my Ginger Jeans just how I like them, but my latest ones are the best fitting jeans I've ever owned. Soooo.... I just transferred over my changes to the Sasha Trousers pattern. BRILLIANT!

Just for the sake of all of you out there fitting pants or jeans, I'll just go through what has worked for me. First off, I took a HUGE wedge out of the center back top of the pant. This is, I think, basically a sway back adjustment, but might also be a bit of a large bum adjustment. I took out 2 inches. On my ginger jeans pattern, this comes mostly out of the yoke. On the Sasha Trousers pattern, I split the adjustment between the darts in the back and the center back. 



I also scoop out the back crotch curve into a sharper J. Heather calls this her "low bum" adjustment. 

To further make room for the bum, I add 1/2 inch to the back crotch curve, at the crotch. I also added 1/2 inch of height to the back of the pant... which also makes space for the bum. 

I took 1/2 inch off of the front crotch curve, at the crotch. 



I used the side seams to adjust the fit based on the stretch of the pant. My grand plan was to have 1 inch seams to play with, but I forgot to add extra to the front pocket pieces! So when I needed a bit of extra space for my hips, I had to steal it from the existing 5/8 inch seam allowance, making my side seams, at the hips, a scant 1/4 inch. 

And that's it! I made no muslin, and went on faith, making all of the pockets, fly, etc, to get to the basting step. When I basted it all together, the fit on the bum was perfect, and there were only minor adjustments needed to the side seams. 



Heather JUST posted a sewalong for the welt pockets, so lucky for all of you who are making the pattern now. While I do love sewalongs, I have to say her directions and diagrams were quite good, and they got me through the steps of the welts, front pockets, and fly with no frustration or unpicking to speak of. None of this is entirely new to me, though... although her welt pocket construction method was rather novel, I've never sewn one like it before. It all came together beautifully. 


The interior finish on these is gorgeous... Heather has you french seam the pockets and put the good side out, so it all looks lovely. The twill tape waistband is really a lovely finish, and so easy to sew. 

Do women's trousers really open the opposite of jeans? It feels wrong to me... but as I've said, it's been a loooong time since I've owned a pair of trousers. And even those weren't so nice.

I used a no-sew hook and eye... I like the clean look of it. I'm not sure why only the sew-on type is mentioned in the instructions, maybe there is some reason not to use the no sew type, but it hasn't posed a problem so far. Sewing the buttonhole on my machine was a bit dicey since my machine's automatic buttonhole feature like to just hang up if the surface isn't completely flat, but I've learned lately that I can sometimes aid it over the rough spots by pulling the fabric manually, and I just managed to squeak out an acceptable buttonhole. The button is just a plastic one from my stash.



I interfaced the waistband with Pro Weft Supreme Medium from Fashion Sewing Supply. It doesn't say this anywhere, but this interfacing is actually stretchy in one dimension, and I placed the interfacing in the direction of greatest stretch. I can't stand a constricting waistband, but at the same time, I hate it when the waistband stretches out by the end of the day. 

I LOVE this fabric. It is the J. Crew Twill from Imaginegnats. I've been looking all over for great stretch twills, now that I have a trouser pattern, and this is some of the best stuff out there. I'm only telling you this because I already purchased more. 



The fit is sort of relaxed on these... I think I prefer them that way, but I might have to take them in a bit if they stretch out too much with wear. So far so good though. 

Having trousers that fit just like your favorite jeans is WONDERFUL. So if the Ginger Jeans pattern is your go-to jean pattern, you'll probably love the Sasha Trousers. If you don't have a favorite pants pattern yet, this wouldn't be a bad place to start since the directions are fantastic, and Heather's fitting guides are pretty comprehensive.


What's up next...? I actually thought I'd make another pair of Ginger Jeans, since I'm wearing my latest and greatest pair non-stop lately. I'd already be well into them, except that I had a bit of a sewing snafu. The denim I bought for them was narrow, and I didn't notice, so I only bought 2 yards. Lovely black Turkish denim from Threadbare fabrics, out of stock with no hope that there will ever be more. AND.... I even did a custom dye job on the fabric, making an off-black denim a true black, because I LOVE true black jeans. 

So, I thought I'd just cut them out anyway, off-grain, and I did it. 

Then clarity hit. What a stupid decision! Chances are, I'll spend hours and hours sewing jeans only to have twisty-legged jeans that will annoy me whenever I wear them. 

Luckily, I just happened to be in NYC this week, so I picked myself up some pretty awesome denim, and some more dye. With a little luck, I'll be able to recut them this weekend, and do a proper job of it.