February 24, 2016


Hooray for new fabrics! We recently updated our stock at Threadbare Fabrics with four new arrivals, including our first foray into Japanese denim. And of course, I tested it for myself!

Pattern: Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans
Size: 10
Modifications: View A (low rise) at waist, View B (skinny leg) from the hip down
Fabric: Japanese 10.5oz black-on-black denim from Threadbare Fabrics
Worn with: An unblogged Sewaholic Granville in chambray from Michael Levine

Japanese denim is known for its quality, and Jeremy and I were interested in exploring fabric from outside of Cone Mills (which is the majority of our current stock). From reading various blogs and talking to some people, I realized there was a desire for not only Japanese denims by the yard, but also black denim with black threads. What better way to address both of these issues than to stock Japanese 10.5oz black-on-black denim?

Of course, it was important for me to do a test run with this fabric. It's sourced from a different place than what I'm used to (I know I can expect great quality and recovery from Cone Mills denim), so I made up this pair of Ginger Jeans. I've made Ginger so many times, it was really easy to compare the final product to that of my other pairs.

To start, I decided to do something a little different, and I made a low rise version with the skinny leg (View A at the top, View B from the hip down). It was really quick and painless to blend between the sizes, although I'd really love to give Heather Lou's recent mid-rise tutorial a whirl sometime.

The low rise is... very low. But I really do like that I have another option from the high rise. Next time I'll probably raise the front and back rise by about an inch and call it a day. Currently, these really need to be worn with a belt - which I've gotten used to not wearing due to better fitting jeans. Also, I may have accidentally made the waist too big, and was too lazy to unpick everything.

The real test of these jeans, however, is the quality of the denim. To say that this denim is fantastic is an understatement. I easily wore these jeans 4 or 5 times before washing, and they held up just fine. In fact, they almost never seem to "relax" and feel fresh from the wash until about the 4th or 5th wear. That's actually something you may want to keep in mind if you decide to make jeans with this denim... Our S-Gene fabrics relax a bit after one wear, so making them tight is no problem. But the Japanese denim takes longer - so I'd definitely baste before sewing to check the fit (and don't over-fit them).

This denim is getting major love in our house right now, and I'm almost done with a pair for Jeremy to replace his fading black Levi's. So despite the stretch factor (and the lighter weight), I think they make a nice pair of men's jeans. The texture is great, the recovery is great, and the color is uniform and dark. I love them, and everyone needs a great pair of black jeans! :D

Check out this item in our store!

February 17, 2016


It's new fabric time at Threadbare Fabrics!! My initial goal was to begin offering more fabrics sooner, but I wanted to choose really carefully. I'm really proud of how our little store has been doing in the last few months, and I didn't want to overrun it with new fabrics just for the sake of having new product. So you can rest assured that I very much love these fabrics, and all are currently/will be a part of my wardrobe.
There are four new fabrics in total (with more planned for spring), and I've included some information below.
10.5oz Cone Mills S-Gene Dark Indigo Denim
Introducing our newest S-Gene denim weight - 10.5 ounces! It's the perfect middle ground between the heavier weight 11.5oz and the lighter 9oz S-Gene denim. This denim will work for low rise skinny jeans (like Ginger and Jamie) as well as other shapes. Be sure to note the spandex percentage, and baste your jeans to test the fit accordingly.

I've had a few trusted jeans makers tell me they prefer stretch denim in this weight range - and we're happy to offer it!

10.5oz Japanese Black-on-black Denim
Another popular request I've heard is for both Japanese denim and black-on-black denim. Japanese denim is considered to be extremely high quality, and I can vouch for it! I recently made my first pair of jeans with this denim, and they hold up just as well as my Cone Mills pairs.
The black-on-black is also new for our shop - this denim boasts only black threads (rather than white), and the fabric is very dark. The reverse side of this denim is a really nice dark charcoal, which could also be used for a slightly lighter pair!

10oz Cone Mills Non-stretch Indigo Denim
Calling all boyfriend jeans! We currently stock 12.5oz rigid non-stretch denim from Cone Mills, and while it's perfect for men's jeans and heavyweight applications (check out Darlene's apron!) - it might be a bit too heavy for most women's taste in jeans making. Enter this 10oz Cone Mills Non-stretch Denim! It's the perfect weight for boyfriend jeans, and other non-stretch patterns. I'm currently making Jeremy a pair in this weight, so it's great for men too!

I think jeans made from this denim would look great distressed or even bleached (like Lauren did here).

4oz Floral Denim Shirting
This gorgeous lightweight floral denim shirting is our first foray into light weight fabrics. It's perfect for collared shirts, popovers, shirt dresses, and even men's shirts. It has a very soft hand, and is completely opaque. It presses, sews and wears like a dream. I've already used this fabric to make a McCalls 6885, which I'll be posting soon.

This fabric is also extremely limited stock (around 20 yards), and can possibly be reordered depending on demand.

As always, if you're making jeans from any of our new denims, please baste together your pieces and try on before committing to permanent stitches and topstitching. All denims are different! Also, if you have any questions, need swatches, or have fabric suggestions - shoot us an email!

February 3, 2016


Happy February! Big things are happening this month! It's my 30th birthday in less than 2 weeks (eek!) and we've got four new fabrics coming to Threadbare Fabrics!! Things are pretty cold here in California (I'm from the midwest, so I know that's basically a joke) - but we're really not used to below 50F degree temps. Now onto my new favorite dress...

I'm not going to lie - I'm a total Grainline fan girl. I love Jen's style, and basically anything she posts about, or any pattern she releases - I'm going to at least consider it... If not buy it and make it immediately. So when she released instructions for a pattern hack featuring AlderArcher - I was smitten, and I wanted to make my own.

Pattern: Grainline Studio Alder Dress + Archer Shirt
Size: Alder View B, size 10 + 1.5" FBA (3" total) with Archer sleeve,  size 10 tapered to size 2 at wrist
Modifications: The whole thing is a mod!
Fabric: Floral viscose (rayon) poplin from Blackbird Fabrics (unfortunately sold out)

It took me awhile to perfect my Alder pattern (I still have not posted about this), but basically Jen's pattern measurements don't really match my body - so I end up with an amalgam of sizes and a necessary FBA. However, my Alder and Archer patterns fit perfectly now - so they were ready to be combined!

I found the perfect fabric for my Alder + Archer dress from Caroline's beautiful shop - Blackbird Fabrics. Caroline's viscose poplins are always great for dresses and skirts, because they've got all the benefits of rayon (soft, flowing) with the added bonus of being opaque.

I went to work combining the patterns - using Jen's tutorial (it involves changing the arm hole shape). I also took a page out of Katie's book, and made the front of the skirt gathered all the way across, by hacking off the front "tails" of the View B pattern, and extending the skirt fronts. Additionally, because I was already tracing the pattern off to change the arm holes, I combined the yoke and back piece into one because *laziness.* 

Overall, I'm really in love with this dress. Changing the arm hole shape isn't terribly difficult, but I do have a few changes for next time. I think I may still need to give a bit of room in the front of the armscye....sometimes it seems a bit tight. Also, I think I really need to use the Archer pockets vs. the Alder pockets, because after doing an FBA, they seem almost comically small (luckily they blend right into the fabric enough to not bother me... too much).

These photos were also taken by Jeremy in the Munich Englischer Garten, and you can see more pics from our recent Germany/Austria trip here.