KnipMode boyfriend jeans

It seems like everyone’s caught the jeans sewing bug recently! Maybe it’s the warmer weather or just the slow realisation that I could really do with more casual trews in my wardrobe, but KnipMode Jan 09 #11a really took my fancy and wouldn’t let go.

This is my first pair of Knip trousers (the leggings don’t really count!), though certainly not my first pair of trousers or jeans!

Annoyingly, it’s hard to get a good look at these jeans in the magazine photos – they’re either covered up by her jacket, or partially shown in the detail shots, or just not photographed at all.

But between these and the technical drawing, I was able to piece together how these should go together, in what order, and with what topstitching (I posted some essential topstitching tips a few years ago, fyi). What really drew me to the pattern was also to be the most difficult sewing aspect – the front pattern piece has “arms” at the top that wrap around completely to meet at the centre back, and the back piece of the trousers has a curved seam around the bum, and wraps round slightly so the “side seam” on the legs is actually on the front:

So this means there’s no traditional side seam to tweak the fit, and there’s no centre back seam in the waistband to tweak there, either. So if you’re unsure of the fit, I’d fully recommend sewing a muslin first, though I actually just threw all caution to the wind here and used my super heavyweight Levis denim from the outset (since I’ve made so much KnipMode in the past and knew I was a consistent size).

The Motherload of KnipMode – Part One

About 8 months ago, I got an awesome email from FehrTrade reader Hilde asking if I’d like her mom’s stash of KnipMode magazines from 2005-2007 as she wasn’t really using them much any more and they both thought I’d give them a good home.

Would I??? Omg.

So therein started the logistical planning to transport a rather heavy stack of magazines from The Netherlands over to London… Around this time we thought we’d be driving navigation equipment over to northern Holland in preparation for a neighbour’s North Sea crossing, so we’d make a detour to Hilde’s, but logistics didn’t work out and we weren’t needed for the neighbour’s barge anyway. And then, in a fantastic twist, a few weeks ago Hilde told me her sister lives in London and brought the stash over in her suitcase for me! So I only had to make a 10 minute walk from my office to her sister’s flat (seriously, what luck that she lives so close!) to pick up the magazines and thank her profusely for lugging them in her suitcase.

And for the past fortnight or so I’ve been absolutely pouring over them, picking out my Must Sews, investigating tiny design details, and noticing what changes Knip have made in the past 5 years.

There were too many for me to scan in one session, so here’s my picks from the early half of the stash, with Part Two to follow next week!

KnipMode 11-2005

OMG Lingerie!! I have already got the most perfect fabrics in my stash to make the camisole with the bra cups – the olive green stretch lace I bought in Paris coordinates perfectly with a teeshirt I got free with a magazine but was comically tiny (what percentage of the UK female population has a bust smaller than 27 inches? Seriously.). I think there might be enough to do the cami with a bit of the teeshirt’s sleeves left for a thong gusset. And you know how much I liked the KnipMode lingerie pattern I already had

KnipMode Spring 10 roundup

The flowers are out, the sun is shining, the geese have started nesting on our barges, and I’ve gone and bought the last few months of KnipMode magazines to see me through…

February 10

KnipMode often do celebrity style features, but this time it’s (squeal with me now—) Michelle Obama style!!

The first jacket/dress combo is a bit matronly for me, but I love the shirtwaister with the pleated hemline, as well as the layered skirt. Though, as NancyK learned with the Oprah celebrity-style dress, when Knip don’t sew up a sample themselves for the magazine, it’s always a good idea to make yourself a muslin first!

Ooh, look at this cute Plus jacket and jeans (yes, Burda, this is what Plus sized women look like. No, we are not afraid nor are we turned off the pattern because of it.)

In fact, this outfit totally reminds me of the jacket + jeans combo I liked in the November 09 issue:

Sew your own designer jeans!

Step One: Find yourself a pattern with tons of interesting details. In my case, I’ve used pattern #7a from the December 2008 issue of KnipMode magazine.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Burda, but when’s the last time you saw one of their trouser patterns with anywhere near this much detail?? KnipMode are by far my best source for interesting trouser patterns in the last year or so!

Step Two: Find some ex-designer denim like this black stretch denim from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton (50% Cotton 45% Polyester 5% Elastane) from “one of the Italian designers”. It’s listed as black, but when it’s held up to black, it looks blue, and when held up to navy it looks black. Whatever the colour, it’s seriously the nicest stretch denim I’ve ever come across, and it’s really similar to the weave you find in RTW jeans.

Step Three: Sew!

Khaki KnipMode puzzle trousers

I’ve been doing more sewing “on the inside” – this time I’ve made these curvy-seamed trousers (#12) from the May 09 KnipMode which should come as no surprise since you already know that I prepared them in advance as an activity pack.

I sewed most of these last Sunday, but took my time handsewing the invisible zipper, waistband, and hems, which I’ll explain later… Once again, apologies for the iPhone photos, but I’m planning on doing a nice & crisp DSLR photoshoot again once they and I!) am finished. But for now…

KnipMode faux-wrap jeanskirt

I didn’t get much sewing done this weekend, but I did catch up on photoshoots for my finished garments from last week, at least. First up is an A-ine, faux-wrap jeanskirt from KnipMode March 09 issue, #12:

It features the very last of my super heavyweight Levis denim that also bore the Thames jeans and the recent KnipMode boyfriend jeans. And stylistically, it’s also got a similar idea, if not construction, to the KnipMode kilt-styled jeanskirt I made a few years ago.

Recent KnipMode roundup

Last week I went on a bit of a spree and bought the November through March issues of KnipMode in one go. I usually get a couple at a time to save on shipping, but in this case I hadn’t bought since October so I was playing a bit of catchup (I should really just bite the bullet and subscribe already!). While I was on anyway, I figured I’d try another sewing magazine I’d never seen before and also bought FIMI magazine, too (more on that later).

I’ve spent the last few evenings thumbing through these and picking out my favourites, so I’ll let you in on a few gems here now in case you want to grab them before they go out of stock (it seems like the issues I write about tend to sell out directly after, ha!). So, working on chronological order, here’s my picks.

First up is KnipMode 11/08 #8b, a really gorgeous silk and gorgette dress that’s in the running for my birthday dress.

Me-Made March

Me-Made March has been in full swing for a month now, and as I stated in February, I’ve been playing along at home, but taking photos of what I wear every day is just completely infeasible for me, so I’ve just kept a record of what I’ve worn instead.

I did something similar a few years ago and it was really helpful in observing what I tended to wear throughout the week and which items I turned to most often. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore an outfit that didn’t contain at least one “me-made” item (not counting weekends, where I live in grotty, boat-DIY clothes), so this challenge isn’t really that challenging for me! It’s what I tend to wear anyway!


  1. Tues. Navy blue riding trousers & purple cashmere turtleneck (RTW)
  2. Wed. Taupe corduroy skirt & turquoise mohair sweater (layered over a RTW white long sleeved top) (so yes, I am wearing the exact same outfit as shown in my citizenship post, right down to the same tights and boots!)

  3. Thur. First Jalie jeans & plum and green lace Patrones top
  4. Fri. Foldover wool trousers (so warm!) & RTW black long sleeved top
  5. Sat. Two 40th birthday parties! Burda September cover dress

Thank god it's finally 2010!!

The worst year of my life is finally over, hurrah! Celebrate!! Woo! I always try to live each year so that it’s better than the one before, and I don’t think I’ll have to spend much energy to make 2010 a success by that yardstick! Still, my cathartic sewing output hasn’t been too bad, especially considering I spent a full 8 weeks/2 months in a hospital bed!

(Click the composite photo to zoom in, and have a look in the Gallery to read more about any of them. Except the last few, which you’ll see in greater detail next week.)

Here’s 2007’s and 2008’s roundups, for comparison.

Let’s find some highlights in what was an otherwise incredibly sh*tty, sh*tty year….

Pre-Christmas prep

Are you ready for some random sewing goodness? Let the randomosity begin!

  • When I was at the bookstore on Brick Lane buying James’s birthday card, I couldn’t resist this reusable wrapping paper (okay, it’s just fabric to me and you!) with London streetsigns. I love that it’s a London fabric without being OMG UNION JACKS THE QUEEN TOWER BRIDGE! I figure I could use it as a lining like I did with that Japanese tea towel and my bolero jacket a few years back…

  • We were supposed to meet up with Pip and her boyfriend two weeks ago to celebrate Christmas, but we had to reschedule due to my swine flu, so I’m only just now able to sew up her present – a Nairobi bag made up in gorgeously soft red wine leather, bought in NYC from Global Leathers (I find it interesting that Americans would call this colour “burgundy”, whereas in the UK it’d be “claret”). I’m about halfway done and already I can tell she’s going to love it!