reiny days and mondays


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Log carrier for my huntsman

We use a soapstone wood stove as our main heating for most of the cold weather months. It’s super energy efficient… as in, it uses no electricity. We just set our home heating system to kick in if it drops below 60 degrees, which it never does with the wood stove burning, so we save tons of money on our electricity bill. Plus it makes the house smell amazing!

We keep all the wood outside in our driveway, and Kevin requested that I make a log carrier so he can carry several logs inside at a time. I already had two yards of canvas on hand so I whipped this up for him. Christmas present, DONE.

woodcarrier1

Now he can carry 5-7 logs in at a time so he doesn’t have to make multiple trips to fill up the stove.

woodcarrier2

Bonus: it folds up and is completely machine washable.

woodcarrier3(I think it’s actually inside out here – I intended for the straps to be on the outside when in use but it doesn’t really matter.)


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Navy Jedediah pants

Behold, my first sewing project for Kevin!

navyjedediah1

Kevin desperately needed casual pants. All he had in the way of pants were: dress pants and cargo pants that dated to his high school days. Which meant that all of his non-work pants were either camo, holey, or both. One pair even had an oh-so-classy peekhole right in the front.

It took me a really, really long time to sit down and make these pants for him. I believe I promised to make him pants about… six months ago? Since then I’ve made several dresses, a wardrobe of toddler clothes, and draped my entire house in seasonal fabric. And yet Kev had to endure his holey pants. I first went out and bought Simplicity 4760 at Jo-Ann’s. I cut out all the tissue paper pattern pieces, which then sat crumpled in my sewing room for a few months. Not to mention I was already giving this pattern major side-eye. A pattern sized for men and boys? Yeesh.

I was so close to gritting my teeth and cutting into my chosen fabric but then… Andrea posted about Thread Theory’s Jedediah Pants. I’d never heard of Thread Theory but I think there is ABSOLUTELY a dearth of good men’s sewing patterns and I’m so glad they exist to fill that void. Anyway, I scooted over and bought the Jedediah Pants pretty much immediately after I read Andrea’s post.

I printed and taped up the pattern pieces right away too. Then the pieces sat around for a while too.

I used navy twill from Jo-Ann’s (same as my Kelly skirt) and FINALLY started working on the pants in October, but then Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations came up. I also made an unwise decision and decided on a whim to use gold thread, simply because I was out of navy thread. In my head it looked REALLY awesome and I was envisioning nice preppy maritime slacks. As each stitch was sewn, I felt more and more like I had made a mistake. I kept sewing.

I had to take a break when I made Liam’s School Days coat and the entire time, the half-finished pants were in my line of sight. And they looked AWFUL to me. Something about the shade of navy and the particular gold thread I used just screamed “military reproduction” to me. Or Sailor Moon. Either way it was just not what I wanted and I resigned myself to the fact that I would be ripping out not only flat-felled seams, but SERGED SEAMS as well.

If you make mistakes like me, you will know that unpicking serged seams falls somewhere in the lowest circles of hell. Luckily, I got through it, but only just barely! I ended up not ripping out ALL the gold stitching, mainly just the inseams and outseams. I left the gold thread on the back yoke and the pocket details.

This time I used navy thread and I started to fall in love with the pants, finally!

I referred to the Thread Theory blog’s sew-a-long the entire time. I really liked having all the helpful tips as I went along – for example, several people commented that it was much easier to sew the flat-felled inner seams BEFORE sewing the outer leg seams. It never would have crossed my mind; in fact, I did follow the directions the first time and noted how annoying it was to sew the flat-felled seam in a tunnel, but since I ripped it out anyway, I had the chance to do it the easy way the second time. MUCH easier, and my stitches looked a lot better the second time.

Then tragedy struck. I was chatting with Kev while I worked on his pants and… I accidentally trimmed down BOTH seam allowances on the inseam (instead of one side, then creating a flat-felled seam.) I gazed horror-struck at what I’d done for a full minute before I started cursing fluently. Luckily it was also lunchtime so I ate (rather distractedly, I’m sure) while I tried to figure out how I could fix my mess. Eventually I decided to unpick the seam and resew the seam, lining up the new raw edges, so the right back piece of the pant is about 1/2″ – 3/4″ narrow than the front piece but… well it’s hardly the worst thing that could happen.

navyjedediah5I had a beautiful Armani Exchange button in my stash. Perfect!

After that, construction turned out fairly easy. I LOVE that they did a video to help with inserting the fly. Believe it or not, this is my first pair of pants with a fly… all of the pants I have made so far have been for L and they were all elastic/flat front waist pants. I definitely appreciated the extra help there!

navyjedediah3Ugh, ever heard of an iron, man?

A few fit notes that I need to make since I’m considering these pants a wearable muslin:

  • I should have sized down. The waistband fits about right but gets looser with wear. I should also take that into account during fabric selection.
  • I would widen the legs just a bit for dressier pants. They’re fine for casual pants.
  • The pockets gape like crazy. Kev says they look like wings. I think I need to tuck the pockets in just a bit more at the side seams.

navyjedediah2Back view – I think I could’ve taken in a bit more at the waist band and perhaps the seat seam as well.

All in all I am super proud of myself for getting through that! I already have plans for another couple of pairs… here’s hoping it doesn’t take me another six months!