Jeans sew-along: Wearable muslin!

Pumila Men Pumila Men

Pumila Men Pumila Men

Coming late for the MPB Jeans Sew-Along, but I finally finished the first muslin for my husband’s jeans. The brushed cotton twill was only 1 m, so the muslin is cropped as I only need to check the fit around waist and hip area. The finished jeans will be full-length.

Pumila Men

Cracking the secret codes

The pattern is Men’s jeans from Pumila, a Japanese pattern shop (paper pattern). They have 5 sizes, but when I checked the measurement chart, my husband is in the biggest size (L). He’s not very big, I wonder if Japanese men are usually small?

I love that the pattern is printed on medium weight paper, which is more durable than tissue paper. It also came with instructions in Japanese, that I don’t understand. I only looked at the drawings and tried to understand them. It was fun though, as if I was cracking some secret codes.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern other than shortening the legs. My husband tried them on yesterday and they fit quite well. The waistband sits a bit lower than his usual jeans, but he said he didn’t mind. I personally prefer pants that sits lower like this so I’m quite happy with it. The waistband is a bit wide (5 cm), and it doesn’t stay up around the button/buttonhole area. I think I need to reduce the width for the finished jeans.

The front of the pants are quite okay, but there are wrinkles around the crotch on the back. I don’t know if it’s okay as I’m quite clueless about pants fitting. However, my husband said the the pants are very comfortable.

Overall I’m quite satisfied with the pants, and sewing it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I also had the chance to practice installing my first jeans button! It makes the pants have the RTW look, I love it. Can’t wait to start on the real jeans now!

Pumila Men Pumila Men

Pumila Men

Pumila Men

Pumila Men

Pattern is Men’s jeans from Pumila (paper pattern).



naniIRO Negroni shirt

naniIRO Negroni shirt naniIRO Negroni shirt

Instead of all the projects I was talking about yesterday, I made another shirt for my husband. I suppose I’m not very good at planning projects.

Anyway, my husband has been wearing his three Negroni shirts almost every day, so I think a fourth one is necessary. The fabric is double-gauze cotton by naniIRO in white with jagged grey stripes. I love how the lines are somewhat irregular and not really straight, a character that shows in almost all naniIRO fabric.

naniIRO Negroni shirt naniIRO Negroni shirt

naniIRO Negroni shirt naniIRO Negroni shirt

Pattern is Negroni from Colette patterns.

Getting back into track

photo.jpg P1190408.JPG

Most of the blackout schedule had been cancelled because people has helped by conserving the use of electricity. But we finally had our first blackout last week. We put on candles and Sidra played with the flashlight, making funny faces. Then we rolled out the monopoly board and had a game. Sidra only complained that he couldn’t see the rice when we ate dinner, but he concluded that ‘blackout is fun’, and started to ask when we will have blackout again (-_-;)

This week felt like the longest week in my life, something that was shared by many people here. Life is slowly coming back to ‘normal’, although the thought that everything can be gone in just a moment is still lingering in the back of our minds.

I didn’t do any sewing this whole week, and even got my guest post for Once Upon A Thread rescheduled to next week (thank you for the understanding, Katy!). The reason was I didn’t feel like doing anything, and the other was sort of guilty feeling to use electricity while it is needed in other areas. I also looked like a slob all day, dressed in track pants, T-shirt, and old cardigan, ready to run outside when the quake warning started. I looked in the mirror this morning, and noticed my wrinkly pants and uncombed hair. I didn’t like what I saw. This doesn’t do any good for anyone, so I promised myself to start getting back into track.

Pumila Men

Pumila Men's Jeans pattern

Something that get me excited is the Jeans Sew-along next month over at Male Pattern Boldness. I was feeling very brave and bought this men’s jeans pattern from Pumila, a Japanese online pattern shop -without me knowing any Japanese (Google translate to the rescue!). The pattern came without delay a few days ago. It was a nice feeling to see the delivery man standing outside my door, smiling while handing me the pattern package just like any other day before the quake. For some life has ceased to exist, but for the other life is still going on. And that’s what we can do now.

Thank you so much to everyone who has entered my raffle for Japan Quake Appeal! You can also donate directly, here’s one for save the children earthquake and tsunami relief. However, I need to ask you to please not leaving a comment in my raffle post if you don’t want to enter the raffle. Some people are confused on how to enter because many comments don’t have receipt number. It is also to make it easier to draw a random winner later. Hope you understand! m(_ _)m

Men’s shirt: Finally!


Negroni shirt

Earlier this year, I made a resolution to learn not to rush when working on my projects. Apparently I took the resolution too far because it took me more than a month to finish my husband’s shirt! I guess the reason why I always rush my projects was because I need to finish them before laziness kick in.

Anyway, finally here’s the shirt! My husband loves fabric with interesting texture, so I use this Japanese cotton/linen with embroidered indigo and rust threads for the shirt. I must say that I’m very satisfied with it. All those fitting adjustment has paid off and the shirt looks pretty good on him. In addition, the two previous muslin shirts are absolutely wearable so he got three shirts from this sew-along.

The sew-along was such a wonderful experience and I learned a lot of things during the process. Now I see clothes with different eyes. It’s amazing how a good fit can make a difference!


The Negronis

Men Men

Men Men

Men Men Men

Shirt pattern is Negroni from Colette patterns.

Once upon a Thread

In another news, you might have noticed a new button on my side bar, ‘Once upon a Thread’. It is a wonderful event by Katy from No Big Dill for sewing projects inspired by children’s books! It has started at the beginning of March and will continue for a whole month.

Katy has also invited several crafters/seamstress around the blogosphere to participate with their own children books and projects. I’m very honored to announce that I’m one of them and I will be a guest on the third week of this month!

What will I make? It will be something funny and playful, something that Sidra loves. In fact, he has been nagging me to finish them soon so he can show them to his friends. Yes, when we’re talking about children books in my house, Sidra is the one who can decide what books that should become my inspiration. In the mean time, check out the other projects from these talented crafters at Once upon a Thread!

Men’s shirt: second (and wearable) muslin!


I look good in plaids

This is the second muslin with pattern adjustment as described in the previous post. My husband doesn’t like to wear plaid fabric, so there are no plaid patterns in his wardrobe, all solid colors with occasional stripes.

I always think that he would look good in plaids though. So I used this opportunity to make him wear them by making a muslin shirt from madras fabric. I’m very sneaky.

The madras fabric was only 2 meters, just enough for a short sleeves shirt with no pocket. Making shirt in plaids is also an exercise for me in matching lines. I think the  matching lines on front opening and sides are pretty successful.

The fit is definitely better now! No more creases around the shoulders and neckline. The shoulder length seems good to my eye and my husband said that the shirt is comfortable.

“Hey, I actually look good in plaids!” he said. He put on the shirt and began admiring himself in the mirror. After we took these pictures, he wore the shirt to office today. Plaids have won his heart!

I’m very happy that the muslin is totally wearable, but now it’s about time to make the ‘real’ thing!
Men Men Men Men

Men Men

Men’s shirt: adjusting the muslin

Maybe you still remember the muslin shirt for my husband, it has been sitting beside my sewing machine the whole time begging me to do something about it. After Peter published his last post for the Men’s shirt sew-along several days ago, I finally picked up the muslin shirt and continue from that point.

In the first fitting, I thought the crease and folds problem were caused by the neckline being too high. However, Peter suggested here that the problem was that the shoulders need to be lowered. He was right!

There are two pattern drafting books in my bookshelves, they are for women and fitting problems are not addressed too comprehensively in the books. So I had to guess my way around or buy a better book. However, there is an advantage in participating in a sew-along, I can find help from other people! Here are two links that helped me gaining more confidence in doing the alterations:

  • Alterations: Square shoulders at Stitches and Seams. Debbie said, “For sloping shoulders, you would do the opposite. I.e., lower the outer edge of the shoulder and drop the armhole the same amount.”
  • Addressing FIT: The sloping shoulders at Male Pattern Boldness. A comprehensive step-by-step pictures of how Peter adjusted his pattern for his sloping shoulders.

I’m going to do the sloping shoulder adjustment for my husband’s shirt. The shoulder is also a tad too long and need to be shorten a bit. Here’s what I did:

  • Determining the excess amount. I pinched on the shoulder until the diagonal crease disappeared, keeping it not too tight, then pinned the excess fabric. Then I transferred the pinned amount to the pattern, lowering the shoulders of the front and back pieces. Peter lowered the shoulders only on his back piece because that’s where the diagonal crease on his shirt.

Pinching on shoulder line to eliminate the diagonal crease

  • Lowering armholes. With the upper part being pinched, the armholes are getting smaller and tighter. To prevent this, the bottom of armholes is lowered in the same amount as what I took from the shoulder. Lowering shoulder -> lowering armholes = keeping armholes in the same length as before.

Sloping shoulders adjustment

  • Shortening the shoulder. I placed the front piece, yoke, and back piece together and removed some amount from the shoulder, drawing a new curved line. Then I added an amount to the top of the sleeve and drew a new curved line.

Shortening shoulder and adjusting sleeves

Now that the pattern adjustments have been made, let’s hope that a second, better-fitting, muslin will materialize soon!

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