Parisian jeans and a geometric Wiksten tee

As some of you may have guessed from my FW2012 shortlist I posted yesterday, I’ve made the Wiksten tank, using the pattern and geometric Mood jersey Kollabora gifted me and also another pair of Jalie jeans! I wasn’t actually planning that they’d go together, but they were a perfect pairing for a relaxed Sunday roast at a cosy pub near the moorings.

Let’s start with the jeans – as I said earlier, my NY-Lon jeans are easily my most-worn item of clothing ever since I made them last year, but they’re starting to fade and I want to have a replacement pair ready before they totally die. The denim I used there was from Mood in NYC, but I’d found some great stretch denim at the Tissues Dreyfus coupon shop in Paris in March, and only €10 for a 3m length, too. I wouldn’t normally buy that much of the same fabric if given a choice, but it means that I’ve got enough left over to easily make another pair. I find it really difficult to find good stretch denim in shops, but this has good stretch and recovery without being too flimsy, so I snapped it up when I saw it.

I constructed these exactly the same as my NY-Lon jeans – again, my main deviations from the Jalie pattern were to use a Burda curved waistband (instead of their rectangular, bias-cut waistband that was just awful in my muslin pair), and extended the pocket linings to the centre front for a non-stretch “gut slimming” panel, as before.

Once again, my topstitching was done entirely with my hand-crank Singer machine, with all those double-lines just done by sight. Frustratingly, it didn’t cooperate with the buttonholer this time so I had to admit defeat and use my main machine for the buttonholes! So only a regular rectangular one instead of the fancy keyhole…

I used my favourite rivets from Junior (using the technique I documented here), but this time I changed it up and swapped the copper finish for nickel, which kinda matches the all metal “silver” button I bought in a market stall in Paris a few years back a bit better than copper.

I’m happy to report that the fit is just as good as my previous pair (not necessarily a given with different weight/stretches of denim!) and I’m ridiculously happy with these. New jeans that feel like old friends, perfect!

Now, onto the Wiksten tank!

This was the first time I’d sewn a Wiksten pattern, but I decided I wanted to make it more winter-friendly, so I added long sleeves. I had to raise the armscye a little bit to match the length of my sleeve pattern’s seamline (just my basic, go-to knit sleeve from an old Burda pattern), but otherwise it worked well. Instead of the narrow bias edge suggested in the instructions, I serged a quick binding to the neckline and then topstitched the seam allowance down.

Even though I’ve sewn with jerseys a lot in the past, I found this one particularly challenging as the black and orange sections are very heavily printed and liked to stick to the presser foot and bed of my machines. A walking foot on my sewing machine helped, and for the rest, I laid tissue paper over the “sticky” sections, sewed through that, and then removed it afterwards.

If I were to make this again, I’d redraw the neckline to have wider shoulders and be less lowcut, though I think what’s here would work fine as sleeveless (which was what was intended by the pattern makers!). It just feels like it’s a bit too wide and low on me, though not so much so that I feel uncomfortable or anything.

My style has definitely tended more towards the fitted end of the spectrum lately, so I’m not sure I like the enormous waist/hips on this, but it’s starting to grow on me. Overall, I’m a bit “meh” on the look, but my mom really likes it on me, so I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now!

It was such a gorgeous night that we took a few more shots along the river, with my parents and then James and I. Recognise his reversible disco jacket??

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