Denim challenge

This post features three handmade garments; my Deer and Doe Safran Jeans, Ida clutch by Kylie and the Machine and the Salme Kimono top.

As per the pattern instructions I made my Safran jeans in denim with an elastic content of 20-30%. My measurements were in the size 40 range but I cut a size 38 as I had previously made my first pair of jeans, the Ginger Jeans, too big.


These ones fit well around the waist but I could do with more room in the center back and thigh area. They tend to ride down during the day so I’m hoping making a size 40 though these areas will improve the fit of my next pair.


My favourite part of these jeans is the green bartacks on the back pockets. I have learned that I need to raise the back pockets on my next pair by 1 inch.


I wore my Safran jeans with a Salme Kimono tee which is one of my favourite top patterns. I’ve made a number of these using 1-meter silk remnants. It’s an ideal beginner pattern as a kimono sleeve is much easier to fit than a set in sleeve.


I’m part of a local group called the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network or WSBN for short. I set the ladies in our group a denim challenge. After rescheduling on a number of occasions I got together with Kirsten from Fifty Two Fancies to photograph the items that we created for the challenge. Kirsten wore her Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt and a Vogue 1247 skirt.


Kirsten and I discovered that we were both testing the Ida clutch purse when we met in our local sewing store buying the same size zip.


The Ida clutch is a great pattern designed by Kylie and the Machine and best of all it’s free! The Ida easily fits a cell phone, wallet, keys and other little bits and pieces.

I chose a black leather for the outside shell of my bag which was originally from a leather jacket that I sourced from an opportunity shop. The matchstick fabric is a Liberty remnant.

I was surprised how easy leather is to sew on a normal sewing machine! I used a long stitch length 3.5 – 4 and a leather needle. As you can’t use pins I used clover mini clips to hold the leather in place. If you don’t have these you could use pegs or foldback clips.


This year I have been working hard to learn new sewing skills. Sewing the Safran jeans and the Ida clutch are two projects which posed new challenges and learning opportunities. What new skills are you trying to learn this year?

Happy sewing

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