What do you think of slogan tees?
I am well and truly on the fence.
I live in a country, well at least a city, where documenting your alma mater, sporting and all kinds of other allegiances, any kind of achievement, vacation destinations, social and political persuasions, children's school, hometown, favourite TV show, favourite food, basically every aspect of your life, on your chest via a t-shirt (or head via a ball cap for that matter) is a totally unremarkable and normal part of every day attire.
This is one of those subtle differences between the UK and the US, which when people ask you to explain why the two are so culturally different, you can't think of any examples, but then, when the conversation is long over and it's kind of weird to bring it all up again, you remember stuff like this.
In England, t-shirt allegiances fall into three categories; football club, favourite band, preferred clothing brand. That's it. A lot is often deduced (fairly or unfairly) about a person from that, but one doesn't learn the full resumé in quite the same way that one does on these fair shores.
There's also that whole other category of t-shirt that sport slightly random words or phrases where it doesn't really matter what it says so long as you're wearing it in the right way and with the right pair of jeans. And I've avoided it like the plague. Until now.
I am not, or was not, a make-a-statement-through-my-t-shirt kind of girl.
Well, there was the band t-shirt phase in my teens where there was a very strict protocol on wearing them: e.g. The t-shirt only really counted if you bought it at a gig and you never wore the shirt of the band to actually see that band - you always wore the t-shirt of a different, ideally far more obscure band, etc etc. Since then, and thankfully, my chest has been ad / ironic statement free.
But for some reason, recently I've been drawn to the easy vacuity of wearing meaningless statements on my chest. Maybe it's being surrounded by the relaxed American approach to t-shirts for four years, maybe I'm just a horrible fashion sucker, or maybe I like pretentiously walking around saying 'thank you' with my chest in another language. All these reasons probably make me an a**hole but maybe I just don't care as much anymore.
Examples: The other day I almost bought a t-shirt with 'Born in the 70s' emblazoned on it in an appealing retro-ish font. Stopped myself just in time. That statement would be true, and while my 40s are going pretty good, I don't really need to advertise my, er, middle age in quite such a blatant fashion on a daily basis.
And then there's the previously inexcusable; I was so cold one afternoon on vacation, I buckled and bought a hoody with MAINE in huge letters across the front of it - I will never wear it out of the house. But it's so cosy!
It seems after all that I'm not so much on the fence, but having some very strong opinions about this matter.
Anyway, the point of all of this, is that being the horrible fashion sucker I clearly am, I quite like the slogan tee plus high waisted jeans thing and this here is my version of that.
But you came here for the jeans ... Well, it's only taken me six months, but in my quest for the perfect trousers that are jeans but aren't jeans, I finally actually followed through on a plan and made a second version of New Look 6459. And despite some major reservations whilst sewing these - I'm pretty thrilled with them.
I think I went back to this pattern as I like the shape of the leg. It's wide but not too wide, it doesn't cling too tightly to the thighs, is pretty straight - not too much flare - but nicely fitted around the hips, which creates a nice silhouette. I also really like the high rise.
Not so much the centre back zip.
In a lighter weight fabric, for which this pattern is intended, that is clearly fine, but for denim, no. So I decided to add a fly front and up the Kamm Pant ante.
I based the fit on the original pair I made, making minor adjustments as I went along, to accommodate the lack of any stretch in this denim (which is heavy and a lovely blue and came from the remnants floor (yes floor) of Britex in San Francisco). I took a little more out of the front rise this time - quarter of an inch - and had to increase the size of the darts by three quarters of an inch as there was a lot of gaping in the back.
For the fly front, I consulted various sewing books with no success, then spent a while conjuring up appropriate fly search terms in Google and eventually found Sallie's really excellent tutorial on drafting a fly front for the Colette Clover pattern. I had to make small adjustments for the completely different pattern. I estimated where the hip line would be and where I wanted the fly to extend down to and altered the measurements as the rise on these is significantly higher than on the Clovers. Other than that I followed Sallie's drafting instructions. Seriously, they are brilliant.
When it came to construction, I followed the NL6459 pattern instructions for the front pockets and then abandoned them in favour of the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans zip fly instructions, which made the whole thing a breeze. I then kind of winged it / used the Ginger instructions to put the rest of the pants together, primarily because the order in which Heather has you do it; the crotch done front and back first, then the inseam and then the side seams, allows a lot of opportunity for tweaking the fit.
I basted the whole thing together after I'd done the fly, and noted where I need to increase or decrease in the seam allowance, pulled it apart and then carried on as per the Ginger instructions including ALL the topstitching, which when you do it in the same thread as the seams, isn't visible, but also doesn't involve endless rethreading of the machine.
The waistband on the original pattern is only half an inch deep and isn't comfortable in denim. I wanted more of a jeans appearance, more comfort and better balance, so drafted a new waistband that, when finished, is one and a half inches deep. It was simply two rectangles that size plus seam allowance and stitched as you would any waistband on any trouser (or skirt) pattern with a fly. I would change this, however, if I was going to make them again and create a curved waistband as there is some gaping at the back. And, I like it, but it makes them super high-waisted - like pushing-against-rib-cage high waisted.
I decided not to go all out with the jeanification of these - there are no back pockets, I didn't bother with belt loops and I opted for a large white Kamm-esque button, which I'm not 100% sure about but it certainly adds some visual interest which is otherwise lacking. Could be a little bit home-eccy though?
I was considering a hem facing as I liked the leg length as it was raw, but then had the not so incredible brain wave of just leaving it raw.
I didn't even true up the front and back.
What with my sudden devil-may-care attitude towards expressing my feelings or not feelings via my t-shirt; a new incomprehensible desire to overshare on Facebook; seriously considering wearing Docs again (despite having done that for a good 6 years in the 90s); letting my mum convince me to buy a huge white fluffy confection of a coat, and throwing jeans-hemming caution to the wind, am I there?
Is this my mid-life crisis?
(Captured for the 20-teens in a blog post.)
Oh well, at least I like my jeans.
See you soon x