Saturday, July 12, 2014

Jeans (?) done!


The jeans (?) are done! First, a big thank you to my husband who took all sorts of hair done, made up face, look at me photos. Unfortunately the pants outside just seemed to disappear into the dark foliage, grey sky, I don't know. So I took more photos, bad hair, no makeup, down in the family room but you can see the pants a lot better. The reason there is a question mark is that these have all the jeans details but not quite the fit. More in a minute on that. 

Some deets:

Pattern:
I used  my Sure Fit Designs sloper along with their Jeans DVD that I purchased in addition to the pants  kit. Glenda's instructions were to take it down a size, which I did, and to cut back the leg width. I have some deep dark emotional issue when it comes to cutting into patterns the way my gut tells me too. I thought the legs looked to wide so I took an additional inch out of each one but I feel there is still too much volume for a pair of jeans. Nice pants, but not a jeans fit. That's OK I still really like these. I have since tried on numerous jeans of mine and have picked out the pair to copy on the next go round. I don't fault Sure Fit as Glenda says she likes her jeans more like trousers and did recommend cutting them back more in the leg if desired. I just was not quite sure what would work for me and I feel it shows. 

I did use Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing to aid in the fly zipper and construction sequence and that was a big help. I also used her method for a pants stay across the tummy and that was described in previous posts. 

Fabric:
This is 97% cotton, 3% lycra from Joanns. I really liked the print. I will not make the next pair with any lycra at all. I am all ready with my 100% cotton denim. I swear these pants stretched out just working on them. They do feel very comfortable. I do not like lycra! I'd rather be uncomfortable than baggy, vain woman that I am!

The stay and pocket lining are a "railroad engineer" looking cotton. Remember those striped Oshkosh Begosh coveralls on your kids? That fabric! 

I used rivets from Taylortailor and they worked great. I like that you can buy small amounts from them. None of them broke or gave me grief. There are several youtube videos for attaching the rivets that were very informative. I learned a lot from them and recommend checking them out. Just search "jeans rivets".  I did not do rivets on the back pockets as they are known to rip and scratch leather upholstery. 

Construction:


Construction was pretty straightforward with the addition of lots of topstitching and the rivet installations. Here you can see the fly. It is so easy to do using Betzina's method. I did not do a fly shield this time. I just wasnt' sure about the bulk but I think in my "real" jeans to come, I will have that shield. 

For the topstitching I used regular Gutermann thread and the "triple stitch" on my machine. This is the stitch that goes back and forth three times making the stitch and before it moves to the next stitch. I think it is more difficult to control than a regular straight stitch but I do like the heaviness of it all. I think I may use jean topstitching thread and a single stitch  for the upcoming denim pair. 


I did a lot of snoop shopping on jeans before I made these. There are many, many variations in the way the topstitching and riveting is done. Consistent in most jeans I checked out was to double topstitch the full inseam from ankle to ankle. On the side seam, the topstitching was done only to the end of the stay/pocket bag and then finished with a bar tack like you see above. Works for me! I wasn't about to try to topstitch a side seam on a closed up pant leg. 

The topstitching thread I used was a perfect match to the deep pink but  the flash makes it look a lot lighter. Not so!

I did my best to work with the pattern of the fabric and think it looks pretty good. It was unmatchable so I just tried to keep the positive and negative areas next to each other and I think it looks fine. 

Also in my snoop shopping was a lot of looking at pocket placement and shape. The Sure Fit sloper gives a patch pocket for jeans but I did not use it. I found the most flattering pocket on my ample hips was one that was a half inch less wide at the bottom than the top. It also needed to slant out slightly at the top. You can see that the top corner of the pocket is higher at CB than at the side toward the side seam. I found a lot of jeans like that and found they were the most flattering for me. Different hips will certainly work differently with their pocket alignment. . 

In the end, I think volume needs to come out of the area from the thigh to the ankle on my next pair. The rivets and topstitching details that were intimidating me now are old friends and I am ready to skate right through that on the next pair. I am ready for my first official pair of denims! Whoo hoo!........Bunny



38 comments:

  1. They are beautifully sewn. You have a good eye - do you think you'll be able to get a good jeans fit using Sure-Fit? I'm saving sewing money wondering if Sure-Fit would be a good investment. I'd love to hear your thoughts (and I'll search your blog to see if you've commented on it already). I love your blog - you inspire me to try to do my very best sewing.

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    1. This is my third pair of pants with Sure Fit. I won't go back. I feel I have a pretty good sloper now and I can adjust it as needed for different patterns/looks. I think it was well worth the expense. One thing you need to know. It is really easy to do the sloper. You will get a "kit" with a large sheet so full of dots and numbers that it is very scary. Don't be scared. It is very easy to do and does not take long. I say this because I have read of so many who got the kit and then got itimidated right out of trying it. Just do it. It looks for more complicated and hard than it is. Promise.

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    2. And thanks so much for you lovely comments on the blog. That last sentence made my day!

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  2. Beautiful topstitching and the fit at your waist and hips looks great, looking forward to seeing your next pair.

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    1. Thanks, Suzy. I like the upper fit too. I just think those legs need to be cut down some more.

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  3. Fabulous fit throughout the derriere. Once you super slim down those legs, you'll be in business. Beautiful work. You didn't mention whether you had to hammer down any seam intersections, but everything looks wonderful.

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    1. This fabric was a bit thinner than regular jeans denim. I didn't feel the need to hammer. I also needed the thickness in the areas of the rivets for them to work properly. No hammer this time! Thanks for the compliment.

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  4. These pants look fabulous. If you don't tell it was supposed to be jeans, I won't tell! A great pant, the fit is superb. And don't dis about your hips, you have a tiny waistline and nice sized hips. I always enjoy your makes, and your explanations go a long way, talking about how you did it, sometimes why, and your reasoning for choosing a pattern. Very helpful and inspirational!

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  5. Those are beautiful, Bunny! It looks like the fit is close and I really like that print. I love denim with lycra, but would be suspicious of the quality of that sold by JoAnns. (Other fabrics I've bought from JoAnns just don't hold up *at all*. Good luck on the next pair!

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  6. Those look fantastic! Once you get the leg slimmed down you'll have great jeans.

    Your so right about denim w/lycra. I worked with the Jalie jeans pattern that's designed for stretch denim and has negative ease. That way the jeans stretch out and fit perfectly. The biggest problem with it is if the denim has even slightly less stretch the jeans may end up too tight!

    I hate to tell you but 100% cotton denim stretches also.

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    1. I know but my cotton pants don't bag out after an hour like the ones with lycra.

      Thanks, Shams and Debbie for the compliment.

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  7. Your jeans look wonderful Bunny. I knew they would.

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  8. I think they look great. I make my jeans to be more "trouser-like", too. I'm not one for super narrow legs. I like to be able to pull my lower hem up over my calf if necessary. And I have rather stocky calves. As long as they mostly look like jeans, that's good enough for me. I feel like I fit in. I'm not going to make the low rise, high bling jeans that the young-uns are wearing.

    You make me think I should get back to posting on my blog. Maybe.

    Sue C

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    1. I hope you do, Sue. What is up with the bling on the butt? No, thank you!

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  9. Good job! I love the pants as is, as well as the print. Yes, for true jeans the calf would be narrower, but you do lovely work.

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  10. Bunny, these are fabulous. Pink, beautiful print, great topstitching, wonderful fit...I want them!

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  11. I would agree with you that they don't have the fit of usual jeans, however, that said, they fit you beautifully! The fit through the hips and crotch are just perfect. Leg width is such a personal choice. I think you've done a great job and am sure that you'll get your next pair perfectly to your liking!

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  12. Your directions all along the way have been superb! I am sure you have helped so many gain enough confidence to attempt their own jeans. The positive and negative spaces work well and the eye has somewhere to rest before moving unto all the cool features. Classy and chic and so flattering...who says all pants have to look like jeans in the back? Brava Bunny!

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  13. Bunny, your jeans look so nice. Your top stitching and rivets look great. You will no doubt get the legs worked out perfectly on the next pair meanwhile you have a great looking pair of pants here.

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  14. Bunny, I become more attuned to details with every entry you make to your blog, e.g., the different widths of top & bottom pockets; where a bar tack can be placed; fabric composition & stretch; how you incorporate tools such as the Sure Fit Design; Sandra Betzina's zipper installation. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such details with us; it means the world to me.
    I'm so entranced by this trial run, the lessons you have learned in making these pants. The fit looks great, and the fabric print certainly is fun. I get so excited about sewing when I read your blog.

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  15. Congratulations! The jeans are fabulous, although I agree with you totally about the leg width. But you would have no trouble taking them in, especially since you haven't topstitched the leg seam. I do think they would be more like jeans with a leg narrowing in to the ankle.

    But I know how much work is involved. Some decades ago, I embarked on a pair of jeans in dark blue nubbly dupion silk with ginger brown topstitching. I thought I had really hit on a winner and was so excited when they were finished. They did look good... that is, until I washed them! I turns out the fabric had a lot of finish in it and after the first wash they looked like an old dishrag. In those days you had to look a bit sharp. I don't think I wore them again after that, but I do remember the amount of work involved in a pair of jeans. So well done!

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  16. Your jeans are so well done, Bunny. Getting the legs narrow enough through the thigh area and below has proved to be the trickiest part for me in my attempts to conquer jeans. I'm sure you'll get it down soon -- so I'll wait for you to show me how!

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  17. They are beautiful! I haven't made jeans, but I do prefer RTW jeans that stretch. My machine has the "triple stitch" also and I use it (with regular thread) for most of my top stitching. Can't wait to see your next pair!!!

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  18. I think they look FANTASTIC, Bunny! What a great job of walking us through the process. I love it when you *think out loud*.
    Very nice fit, even if you do thing they're too loose. I wonder if they will shrink back a bit with washing??

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    1. I've already washed them and that tightened them up a tad but from the lower thigh down the next ones will be narrower.

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  19. Bunny, thank you for taking us along on your jeans journey. Love the fabric, and the fit from the waist down through the thighs is fantastic. I'm another fan of Sure-Fit Designs. Enjoy wearing your new pants!

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  20. Inspiring! Thank you! Also, enjoyed all the comments from others.

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  21. Bunny, This was so interesting, and I love the way they fit. As you mentioned, design ease is a personal thing ; ). Very cool print too! I agree with you about the lycra, but stretch jeans sure fit the bill when we feel like wearing something comfortable. Wonderful job as always, and thanks for sharing!

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  22. I have had this kit for over a year. After seeing your results and reading your comments, I am ready to make my pants sloper :)

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  23. A triumph yet again Bunny. Beautifully executed.

    May I make a request.......................sometime back you posted when you won a new serger. For those of us that are new to this machine, would you consider a post talking us and showing us through how we execute the right seam allowances etc. I have looked around the internet, but I trust your guidance more than anything. I know if I follow your advice things just magically fall into place.
    Would it be something you would consider, a few tutuorials on serger/overlocking techniques??

    Many thanks and fabulous blog as always.

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    1. Meant to say, please don't hide your face, we love to see the pictures of you.....................How is Richard Avedon these days??

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    2. He took lots of pictures, some not too bad, but the pants did not show at all outside. They seemed dark and with not detail at all showing so I passed on his work and did the headless shots the next day in my family room. You can see the pants much better and that's what it's about for me.

      As far as serger guidance, I am really not any expert at all as I have almost never used my serger to put together a garment, insert elastic, etc, all those things sergers can do. I strictly use it for finishing seams and maybe every couple of years I'll remind myself about the rolled hem option. So I am really not the expert at serging and wouldn't feel comfortable at all as all I really know how to do is run through my garments to finish the seams. I can refer you to an excellent resource that I have used for years. It is one of the Singer Cy Decosse sewing books, part of that big series. The one I use is called "Sewing with an Overlock" and it explain EVERYTHING so clearly and with those great pictures this series is known for. I did check amazon and they have a new issue called "the New Sewing with a Serger" by Singer. It probably is an update of the first but I haven't seen it so can't advice. You can't go wrong with the original book. I promise that. The Singer Sewing Library is a wonderful reference.

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  24. Great fabric and good fit everywhere, but I agree with another commenter that the legs would be more flattering cut closer to the leg.

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  25. Awesome jeans! I agree that you can take some volume out of the legs, but they do look great. I love the fabric, and I do agree on the lycra, I like the 100% cotton much better.

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  26. You explained my recent jeans attempt perfectly. I really wanted my "good Pair" to work but against my own intuition and Kenneth King's instructions I too used fabric with lycra and could feel them growing each moment I was wearing them. So when the weather cools down I'll return to that project and use real denim. I think I will also use Sandra's fly zipper instructions with her pocket shield as well. I do love the fabric you selected and can so understand why you would like pants in that great design.

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  27. Agreed, not a real jeans fit, but they are lovely pants. If you have a pair of jeans that fit you well, you'll get a more jeans fit. Erica Bunker used the Vogue jeans pattern, the narrow one and the fit looked to be much closer to rtw than others I've seen.

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    1. Thanks for that suggestion, Nancy. Greatly appreciated and I will get that on the next Vogue sale.

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