Sewing for Me: A Linen Top + Ginger Jeans Muslin


I almost forgot how to set up the tripod, it’s been so long since I’ve inundated you with selfies.


So today, I’ve got a double-whammy with a stripey linen top made using this lovely book (it turns out I was misleading on instagram and showed the wrong book) and a quick and dirty muslin of the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns.


I can’t help but make these maternity-esque tops – I just love them so and my stomach is free to hang out in its natural state. Comfort is key, and just for fun, I just might say yes next time someone asks me if I’m pregnant. The silhouette is similar to this one, but this Japanese version — I made the one featured on the cover — was slightly easier to construct since it doesn’t have any yokes or gathers. I’m going through a serious blue-and-white-stripes phase right now. I made the SVE gift out of a similar linen, and I just ordered this fabulous fabric from Miss Matatabi.

I don’t have a lot to say about this top since it came together quite easily, particularly since I did away with the extra back ties. The original design is reminiscent of a hospital gown with an open back — this is not a look I can rock. I also had to adjust the pintucks because I poked a hole when I had to undo some wayward stitches. By folding them slightly wider, I was able to hide the hole, so I patted myself on the back for my clever solution.


I purchased the Ginger Jeans pattern a good while ago, and it’s been staring at me hopefully for weeks. I cut out the size 12 for this muslin that’s simply basted together, and clearly it’s too big. Actually, my calves probably need a little more room, but everywhere else, it’s the I’m-PMSing-and-am-feeling-fat jeans. It’s worth pointing out that I shortened the pants length by three inches. And it’s still too long — I’m shaped like a dachshund. Next step: downsize to 10, try to salvage the pieces I’ve already cut out and shorten another 2 inches.

I opted to attempt view B, that of the high-rise sexiness. This is mainly because all of my denim is on the thin side and the pattern recommends a sturdier denim for the lower-rise view A. I’m planning on documenting the whole process from beginning to end for these skinny jeans, and it may take several weeks. But once I have the adjustments all sorted out, I will have a most useful sloper for a pair of well-fitting skinnies, and that’s worth all the extra time. We’ll see how successful I am…


You can see how it compares to my favorite pair of skinny jeans above. I got these cropped ones eons ago, and I wear them all the time. So much so, that the fabric is wearing down, and I’ve had to mend them to keep them in rotation.


I love to mend my jeans. I use the darning program on my Bernina, which I think a lot of machines have? I’m not sure. The function creates a grid of stitches to patch holes and I use grey thread so that it’s not very obvious. Given the position of the holes, it’s not noticeable at all (the inner thigh). Exhibit A from the front:


Exhibit B from the other side – I could have ironed the patch on better, but it’s still effective. I got the small 2×3 inch patches that I trim down, and I’ve found them to be comfortable. This is easy enough to do manually with a shorter stitch length, but the darning function allows me to set the overall length of the row and then the needle automatically moves back and forth, creating as many rows as you need. Super handy. Ignore the weird zig zag area, that was where I forgot to initially switch to the darning function.

darning-jeans2I like fancy jeans and have had them for a very long time, so I’ve become a pro at mending jeans. The stitches gives the jean a rough-shod, cool texture, resulting in an inadvertently hip, distressed effect.

That’s it for today! A floaty top that will be worn frequently in the Spring, and a slow, but at least concrete start on skinny jeans. That’s good enough for me.



27 thoughts on “Sewing for Me: A Linen Top + Ginger Jeans Muslin

  1. I bought this book because of this top! I love it and plan to make one without those strange ties at the back too! You’re brave to do jeans. I think that’s going onto my some-day-list.

    1. I did too, Fiona! Such a cute style, and it’s comfortable too! As for the jeans, it’s still early days….we’ll see how this all shakes out 🙂

  2. Well that top is so lovely, and I wouldn’t say it looks maternity at all! Nice work getting started with the Gingers too, I’ve only got as far as printing out the pattern- I keep getting distracted by other things to make 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing your journey to a well fitting jeans pattern!

    1. I really love your top! The fabric is perfect and it looks really cute on you! I’m off to check out which book you used. I have several and hope I have the same one.

      1. Thank you, Justine! I really love the top and I hope you have the book. This book is in English, which makes it extra good 🙂

    2. I’m so glad you don’t think it’s maternity! But of course, I’m okay with it even if it does – most of my clothes could easily blend into a Pea and The Pod store anyway 🙂 Hope all your sewing is going well, looking forward to eventually seeing your Gingers too, Kelly!

  3. shaped like a dachshund! hahahahaha! oh sanae. 🙂 i love the “floaty top and skinny jeans” look, and yes the 12s are definitely too big on you but i really look forward to seeing how your next fitting goes. i’ve almost worked up the nerve to start my ginger jeans muslin too…!

    1. 🙂 I hope I can save the pieces I cut out. It’s quite hilarious that the calves are too snug but everywhere else it’s like Charlie Chaplin pants! Can’t wait to see your version!

  4. A very beautiful dachshund then! Dackel, in German! I adore the top, I don´t think the blue and white stripes phase will ever stop for me 😉 My gingers are stuck in the place yours are in now. My muslin was way too big as well (does feel kind of good even though it was probably just strechier fabric in my case!) and now I need to try and save the pieces and cut out the smaller version. I am looking forward to seeing your come together!

    1. Dackel would make it sound pretty funny too! Sigh, yes, blue and white stripes. The. Best. A very, very close second to grey though, right? 😉 Thanks, Ute!

  5. Lovely! That top is very nice, it looks cool, comfortable and stylish – three requirements for any garment 🙂
    I am very impressed with your industry. And you look so nice in the photos – very pretty.
    Thanks for the inspiration. I haven’t yet made it to the sewing machine… but I want to!

  6. PS there’s an advert on television in Australia, I’ve forgotten what for. A woman says quite gaily, “I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat!” That’s my new answer. Pass me another piece of cake!

    1. Australian humor is always so bold and no holds barred, I love it! Hope you take baby steps toward your sewing machine, Jenny, it will change your life!

    1. Oh, that’s a good idea, Sarah! I will stash that in the back of my mind while I try to eke out as much as I can from my faves and strive to create a new fave 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Oh, I am very much a dachshund, Heather Lou, but that’s nice of you to make me feel better 🙂 I just undid the basting and am going for round two!

  7. Do you frequently repair the inner thighs of your jeans? I don’t buy super expensive jeans, but I’ve put Old Navy behind me at least. Anyways – I’ve been googling different ways to repair my favorite pair this week and I was concerned about patches chaffing. I’ll have to see if my machine knows that stitch – it looks fabulous.

    1. Sadly, I do repair the inner thighs of my jeans frequently. Let’s not delve too deeply on that point. So far, I haven’t had any chafing problem with the repairs but the patch is very thin and soft. I’ll add a link to the product I used if I can find it. If the patch does feel too uncomfortable, you can also use a small piece of silk or rayon or thin cotton. You just want a backing to hold the stitches in place. Thank you, Eryn!

  8. oh, where to start? To first declare my love for blue and white stripes? That’s a given. To then applaud your first skinny jeans muslin? Impressed beyond words. Even though you aren’t completely happy with the fit yet, the fact alone that you’re brave enough to tackle JEANS puts you on a sewing pedestal in my book! And finally, those darned jeans that just keep getting better with age . . . kind’ve wishing for a pair of my own:) Those are so awesome – I can see why they’ve become your favorite. Pretty rockin’ Bernina to have such a cool stitch:)

    1. Blue and white stripes are eternally chic, in my opinion! I’m so curious to see how the jeans will turn out! I’ve really only made one pair of pants in the couple of years since I started sewing for myself, so I’m feeling trepidations! Heather Lou has excellent tutorials, so I need to pore over them — thank you Lucinda, and I’m working on a tutorial for you!

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