B(l)ack to Basics

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

Hey everyone! I have had nothing but wardrobe basics on the brain for the past month. After all, one can make only so many fun dresses before you’re left standing in front of your closet on a random Tuesday morning, naked, with nothing to wear! (No? Only me?)

So this month, I bring you the ever-so-humble jeans and a t-shirt combo – in all black. Because black is always the new black.

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

This is my fourth pair of handmade jeans, and I swear they just keep getting better! For this pair I used a black, medium weight denim with a bit of stretch by Theory from Mood Fabrics online. Unfortunately, this fabric is sold out, but you can check out all of Mood’s denims here. I always like to order swatches of my denim before buying, because it’s a bit hard to tell the difference online. That way I can pick out the weight, color, and amount of stretch I like best.  This denim had some stretch for comfort, but wasn’t so stretchy that it didn’t feel like denim, if you know what I mean. True confessions: I’ve actually been wearing these jeans for the past three days by the time I got around to photographing them, and the denim hasn’t stretched out much at all!

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

As you can see, I had a good bit of fun distressing my denim! Now, perhaps you are wondering why I would essentially destroy perfectly good, brand new denim? Well, quite simply, I was curious! One of the reasons I love to sew is to try things out, learn new techniques, and make my clothes, truly, one of a kind. Distressing denim is just a fun embellishment! For my pair I used a hammer and a metal plate to hammer each seam, then I took a dremmel tool to the edges to wear them down and fray certain areas. It’s great stress relief! You know, in case the yoga and meditation ain’t working – there’s nothing quite like destroying something to cure what ails ‘ya!

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

For the pattern I used a heavily altered Built By Wendy pants pattern that came with her book, SewU. I’ve used this pattern for every iteration of my jeans so far – it’s a TNT pattern for me. On my last pair of jeans that I made I had some issues with the dreaded leg twist (that spoiler of all jeans-making fun!) If you’re not familiar, leg twist is when one or both legs … well… twist! It’s mildly irritating both visually, and physically for the wearer. It’s often the result of inaccurate cutting or sewing, and seems to be very prevalent with jeans due to the twill weave of the fabric – which tends to have built in warp (according to my google searches). So this time I took a few precautionary steps to prevent this: 1) I traced and cut all pieces on a single layer instead of folded in half (this also results in greater fabric yield) and 2) I made sure that all the leg pieces were cut from the same area of fabric – meaning I lined them all up, going in the same direction, horizontally across the fabric. This way if the twill weave was to warp, they would all warp together! Anyway, it worked! Nothing but perfectly straight seams here!

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

All of my topstitching was done in black topstitching thread, which unfortunately means that it’s not super visible. This is a shame, because this just might be my best topstitching on a pair of jeans yet! I serged all the raw edges since this is stretch denim, and because I was too lazy to do flat felled seams. And the pocket lining is just some pretty floral fabric that I keep around for just such a purpose.

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

Because jeans sewing can be such a time-consuming project (especially if you’re like me and only own one sewing machine – you’re constantly changing out thread!) I wanted to pair it with an instant-gratification sew. And nothing says ‘instant-gratification’ to me quite like a knit t-shirt!

Mood Fabrics Black viscose jersey tee

For my t-shirt I used this tissue weight black silk viscose from Mood Fabrics online, and, oh man, is this some luxurious stuff! Lightweight and drapey, with a smooth, silky hand. My kind of t-shirt material!

Mood Fabrics Black viscose jersey tee

The pattern is the free Plantain Tee from Deer & Doe. I love a free pattern! Even though this pattern calls for a more stable knit, I felt like the drapey quality of this silk viscose would actually pair well with the subtle flared shape of the Plantain tee. I stabilized the shoulder seams with a bit of clear elastic, and sewed all major seams on my serger. The sleeve and shirt hems were both simply folded under and finished with a double needle.

I’ve been wearing both of these makes a ton since they came hot off of the sewing machine! I think that’s a sign of a great basic! What about you guys – got any wardrobe basics planned for the near future?

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Comments


  • True Bias
    May 29, 2014

    so stinkin impressive. i would seriously wear this everyday.

  • Sallie
    May 29, 2014

    Thanks Kelli! I HAVE been wearing it everyday! Great, simple uniform.

  • Sarah Gunn
    May 29, 2014

    You’ve got the jeans down to a science! Love that silk/viscose top too. The fabric worked very nicely for sure 🙂

    • sallie
      May 29, 2014

      Thanks Sarah! I do love making my own jeans! And each time I do it they just get better than the last!

  • The Nerdy Seamstress
    May 29, 2014

    You’re whole outfit, wow! You’re jeans looks great. I mean really, really great! Yours is so impressive, I’m tempted to recreate it. You’re D&D shirt, I love it a drapier fabric!

    • sallie
      May 29, 2014

      Thanks! I really like the D&D top in a drapey fabric!

  • debbieiles
    May 29, 2014

    Just wow! So impressed with jeans making right now and yours are awesome. The distressing makes them extra special.

    • sallie
      May 29, 2014

      Thanks Debbie! The distressing was pretty fun, too – though it does add an extra couple of steps each time you sew a seam.

  • Lauren
    May 29, 2014

    Only you could make black jeans and a black Tshirt look *that* babely. Nice work!!

    • sallie
      May 29, 2014

      Thanks dude! Yeah, it’s pretty much the most boring outfit ever, but sometimes you have those black jeans and black tee kind of days!

  • Ginger
    May 29, 2014

    I so want to make these exact jeans but I’m so scared to try them! The fit is, as always, perfect, and your distressing looks great, too! Too awesome!!!

    • sallie
      May 29, 2014

      Oh Thanks! I could actually see this pattern working really well for you. Of course, I’ve altered mine A LOT from it’s original state, but I’ve never had to adjust the CF or CB curve – and that’s a big deal to me! Also, I would highly recommend the Theory denim from Mood – this is my second time using it and it really is nice. Just the right amount of stretch, but it doesn’t get baggy after wearing for a few hours (or days).

  • katie
    May 29, 2014

    This is perfection! I only just ‘discovered’ sewing plain black garments, and I love it for some reason. These jeans are amazing, and now I want a black Plantain too. Great special basics!

    • sallie
      May 29, 2014

      Thanks Katie! I think sometimes it’s good to sew some ‘special basics’ – it’s like a sewing palette cleanser, but it also really beefs up your day to day handmade wardrobe!

  • Bella
    May 29, 2014

    Your outfit is simply da bomb. Good basics are hard to do! Nice one.

    • Sallie
      May 30, 2014

      Thanks Bella!

  • liza jane
    May 29, 2014

    Amazing! You are truly amazing. Your jeans sewing is just spectacular.

    • Sallie
      May 30, 2014

      Aw, thanks Liza Jane!

  • Lori
    May 29, 2014

    You look so fabulous in your new black jeans and top. The fit is wonderful and I love all your distressing!

    • Sallie
      May 30, 2014

      Thanks Lori! The distressing was a fun experiment.

  • Janette
    May 30, 2014

    Your sewing inspires me. The jeans are amazing and the fit is fabulous. Well done.

    • Sallie
      May 30, 2014

      Thanks Janette!

  • Angela
    May 30, 2014

    Such great basics, and I love that you distressed the jeans! The fit looks perfect! I really need to get back into jeans making, I love the BBW jeans pattern too, and your zip front fly tutorial is so helpful!

  • Linda L
    May 30, 2014

    Great looking jeans!

  • Peter
    May 31, 2014

    Beautiful job on those jeans! I’m in awe of your distressing them — I must try that! Fabulous fit too!

  • Fiona
    June 3, 2014

    Amazing! I need to sort myself out and get sewing some basics like these. I’ve been planning to sew jeans and then avoiding that plan for a while now! I love the distressing you’ve done on yours

  • Cennetta
    June 5, 2014

    Sallie,
    There is nothing like a great fitting pair of jeans! Love them. BTW- Your not the only one who stands in front of the closet trying to figure out what to wear. 😉
    C

  • Amanda S.
    June 7, 2014

    I bow down to your jeans making fabulousness. These are some rockin’ pants!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    June 13, 2014

    So jealous of the amazing jeans that you churn out – I’m tackling jeans this month and I’m *whispers* kinda terrified… I hope mine are half as Da Bomb as yours.