ginger jeans + kalle shirt + janome MC6700P review

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Hiiii! I have a lot sewing to share in the upcoming weeks, but first up are these new jeans and button-up! After taking these photos I realized both patterns are from Closet Case Patterns, and I’ve made each of them several times before. If anything, this is a testament to just how effortlessly these patterns fit into my wardrobe (and, how I’m nothing if not consistent).

Also! I made both of these using the brand new Janome Memory Craft 6700P.  I’ve been sewing on a pretty standard Janome 8077 for the last few years, and I love it so much and use it so often, it sometimes feels like it’s become an extension of my body… like my third arm or something, is that weird? When Janome contacted me to try out and review this machine, I was super interested since I’ve been sewing with them for years, and I’ve never really sewn consistently on a ~fancier~ machine.

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Let me first say that, holy heck, the machine is big and heavy. I bike to work and don’t have a car, so I had to finagle a way to get the machine home when it arrived. Once that journey was over, I was so pumped to start makin’ things! Though I only had it for a short time, I tested it out on a ton of projects.

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Let’s chat about these first projects. On top is the Kalle Shirtdress using the new Rifle Paper Co Monstera print in rayon/lawn. First off, this substrate is NICE. I think I would still prefer 100% rayon for a drapey dress or skirt, but for a button-up the rayon/lawn combo is extremely ideal. I’ve been reaching for this shirt way more than I even mean to – the light weight makes it very comfortable and it’s crisp without being too stiff. I also love the print, but there’s something about the fabric that makes this shirt so dang delightful.

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At this point I’ve made the Kalle Shirtdress a lot of times (one dress and two shirts, here’s one I blogged) and the only thing I’ve been changing is the hem length. Both the tunic and cropped lengths feel a little awkward on my frame, so I’ve been playing with the hem whenever I make this pattern. My hem curve is also not as deep as the drafted pattern, which is just a personal preference. I used flat-felled seams along the sides, which I looOoOove, and included a cute little label on the inside using one of Rae Ritchie’s labels for Dear Stella. Side note, I saw Rae last weekend in Minnesota (I was there for a friend’s wedding) and SHE IS MY FAVORITE.

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Now for the jeans! I’ve made two pairs of Ginger Jeans so far, and this was the first time I used Cone Mills Denim. There’s a ton of blog posts out there about this denim, and peeps tend to gush about it. I thought it was great to work with, though honestly not that different from other stretch denim I’ve used for jeans. My 10oz Turkish black denim was awesome, and the random cut I bought in the Garment District for my first pair was great too. Right now the jeans feel very new, so I think I’m most excited to see how this denim breaks in over time. Ooh, and these are the 12oz S-Gene in Indigo! I bought it during a sale online at Threadbare Fabrics (also where I got my Turkish denim).

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Making a pair of Ginger Jeans was what I really wanted to do to test the Janome. My current machine works well with denim, but sometimes it has a hard time when there’s a lot of fabric layers. The MC6700P really did sew beautifully, and noticeably quietly as well. I loved the automatic thread cutter, which definitely felt a little extravagant at first… but then I got very used to it. The work space is larger than my current set-up (10″!), and I loved having the extra room.  I will also mention that the quick set bobbin is awesome too – there’s a contraption down there so you don’t have to pull the bobbin thread up, you just start sewing. There were a ton of little details like these that made sewing a little breezier overall.

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I also played around with some of the built-in fonts! This was really exciting because my current machine doesn’t have that feature. I was particularly pumped about the “handmade” font setting, and I ended up stitching it onto the waistband of my jeans. It makes me so ridiculously happy to see! Especially since it’s covered up by my belt, it’s a fun secret detail.

As far as fit, the crotch length/depth feels right – the only thing bothering me are the wrinkles at my knees. I recently bought Fit for Real People and Pants for Real People (both of which have amazingly 90’s photos that you should check out if you haven’t), so I’m going to do some research about that. Overall, this pattern works well for me straight out of the envelope, and you can see some more notes I’ve made here and here.

Whoooo, okay that was a lot. Here I am on Saturday morning, feeling sad about sending the machine back to Janome! I have more projects to share that I made on this pup, so check back soon for that : )

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Oh, and big thank youuuu to my main squeeze for taking these photos of my butt for me (Dan, u da best). Byeeeeee.

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ginger jeans + lark tee

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I’ve got two very-recent projects to share today! I made a lot of time to sew after work over the last two weeks, and it felt so good. Making time for myself to sew for an hour here and there is so essential to my mental health, it’s ridiculous. I can truly feel my body and brain buzzing when I don’t have that chance to sit down at my machine. I’m so grateful to have the space and tools to make things.

ANYWAYS. Last year I made my first pair of Ginger Jeans – and while I wear them all the time aaand love them, I’ve always wanted to make another pair that had a higher rise. Heather at Closet Case Patterns recently released the Mid-Rise Gingers as a standalone PDF, and instead of drafting it myself I lazily picked up the new pattern instead. I’m not even mad that the marketing ploy worked on me because they are the PERFECT rise and I didn’t have to use my brain.

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I made the same size as my first pair, size 8, which is exactly right for my bod. I removed 1″ of length at the knees, though I think I could do a bit more next time (maybe 1.5″?). And I left these a little longer than last time, so I could cuff the bottom if I wanted. Other than that, I didn’t make any real modifications. Though I did get a ~little~ fancy and stitched flat felled seams along the in-seam – I feel like that makes them “real” jeans now.

Just a quick note, this a black denim from Threadbare Fabrics and it’s lovely.

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My regular machine does a great job sewing through denim, but remembering how the topstitching thread did not work super well last year, I decided to try out this green beaut. Holy HECK using this lil’ guy was SO MUCH FUN. An added benefit was also not having to switch out the thread every few minutes to topstitch (instead, just switching machines), which felt luxurious. I found this Singer at the Resource Exchange, an amazing store right by my office, a few months ago and couldn’t just leave it there!

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Here’s a look at some of the topstitching! I prefer non-contrast thread for jeans, so it’s not super obvious, but man. Love.

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I’m going to share some photos of my booty now because it’s probably my favorite part of these jeans. I raised the pocket pieces 3/4″ higher than the pattern suggests, and they’re perfect (I think? at least).

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Here I am contemplating my crotch curve… I’m just not sure about it. I know there are always going to be some wrinkles, but I’m wondering if I need to draw in a shallower curve? I don’t think the crotch length is too long or too short, which leads me to the “flat pubis adjustment” from Heather’s blog post about fitting adjustments. I do love this pair, but I’m thinking about for next time. Feel freeeee to let me know if you have any input!

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I also made my first Lark Tee! The pattern is by Grainline Studio, and I didn’t really feel like I needed it until recently. I love my Lou Box Top shirts (see here for one, though I’ve made about 4 or 5), but I needed a true t-shirt in my wardrobe. I sized up so it would be a bit looser, and I’m feelin’ this fit. Instead of hemming the sleeves, I rolled them up and tacked them into place.

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I used a Dear Stella knit, which is a great match for this pattern, and it’s so fun seeing this Scallop Dot print in a new substrate. The color is spot on, too. Such a great everyday outfit, wahoooo!

Okay bye!

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linden sweatshirt + ginger jeans

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I have to say, I’m pretty excited about this outfit – but I also have to admit, I definitely knocked off the idea for the sweatshirt. A few months ago I saw a FEELINGS sweatshirt for sale at Reformation, and it was so emblematic of my life that I couldn’t stop thinking (or talking) about it.

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Back in March-ish I made this Linden Sweatshirt (pattern by Grainline Studio), but it was a little too oversized and it had an unfortunate run-in with some red fabric yardage during a load of laundry. You actually can’t really see the strange splotches in these photos, but IRL they’re there. Anyways! This was the perfect garment to try out freezer paper stenciling my FEELINGS.

I finally got my act together last week and traced FEELINGS onto a scrap of freezer paper, carefully cutting the letters out with an exacto knife. I painted a test run on a small cut of the same fabric and used it to figure out the placement on my sweatshirt. I used Jacquard Textile Color in black, which I picked up from Mood over the summer – it worked perfectly!

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I made a size 4 , shortened the body by 2.5″ and shortened the sleeves by 1″. For garments like this I typically use a serger for all the seams except for the neckline, which I baste in place with my sewing machine/ballpoint needle/walking foot and then finish with my serger. This sweatshirt iiis a little too big, but I had enough fabric to make a replacement in a size 2 with the same modifications. Wahooo!

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Next up: my Ginger Jeans! I made these back in May and I was/am SO proud to wear’em – still. I think most people feel this way, but I still can’t believe that I MADE JEANS. I feel pretty lucky that these fit well right out of the envelope, which was probably what I was most concerned about before beginning. In anticipation of sewing jeans I read so many blog posts about crotch curves, goddamn.

There’s definitely room for improvement but I think for my first go, these are pretty spot-on. I’m pretty critical of my makes at this point, and really won’t wear them if they look too ‘homemade,’ but I always feel 100% in these guys. And I must say I’m extremely pleased with my back pocket placement!

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I made View A for the top half and View B for the legs (and pockets) in a size 8. The sizing is perfect for me, but I think next time I’m going to modify the rise. These are looow. I don’t love the spacing of the yoke in View B, so I might play around with the pattern pieces (along the lines of this tutorial).

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I’m not a huge fan of contrasting topstitching, so I was more than happy to use a pretty navy that blended in with my denim. Once these were mostly done, I chopped off 2 3/4″ at the hem – next time I’ll remove that length from the knee. You can see I’ve got some knee wrinkles going on and I think that would help there. I also have some back thigh wrinkles but I think that may be necessary ease in order to sit comfortably? The back pocket placement as-written was pretty off for my booty, but they looked great after I moved them up 3/4″. Back pocket placement is so important, dang.

The stretch denim was a lucky find in the Garment District this past spring. I love the color and they don’t stretch out too much between washings – I think in this photo they’re on their fifth or sixth wear. Also! Choosing the waistband facing and pocket fabric was really fun. I used an old Dear Stella print for the former, and one of my favorite Rae Ritchie prints for the latter. I also have a McCall’s 7351 made out of this Treetop Party fabric, it’s so gooood!

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Here I am expressing some of my FEELINGS. Shout out to my photog, Dan, for his excellent direction, as usual.