Saturday, July 5, 2014

Jeans, nearly done!

Keep in mind this is the very first time I have ever attempted jeans with all the bells and whistles so all is new to me. As I usually do, a lot of time has been spent in research. My "muslin" jeans are looking pretty good but we will see what the final finish brings. I'll share a few things I've learned.


I used some Frog Tape to make a template for topstitching the zip. I just stuck it to my cutting mat and cut it to the right size with the rotary cutter. Then I just pulled it up and stuck it on the pants. It made the topstitching more precise and also made sure that I cleared the plastic on the zipper end. You could use any painter's tape. As I always do, the zip is longer than needed. Why go around that lumpy bumpy zipper pull when you can just have it out of the way with a longer zipper?


Then came the rivets! There are a bunch of Youtube videos on how to put the rivets in your jeans and I learned a lot from these. What would we do without youtube videos?  Just search jeans rivets and they will come up. I did learn why the rivets fell out of a project I did a few years ago! I needed fabric "washers" !
Jeans rivets consist of a disc with a post and a decorative disc with a nipple. You will put the post part through the fabric on the wrong side and then hammer it into the nipple rivet on the right side. These pics should make it a little more clear.


For supplies you need a hammer with a very smooth head otherwise it will mar the surface of your post disc. A smooth metal plate of some sort helps. I tried using a 3/4 inch thick piece of maple but it was not hard enough, so find some sort of hard metal surface for your banging. Also needed is some sort of pointed poking type of object. On my old failed project I used an eyelet cutter to make a hole for the post. Bad! You don't want to use anything to make your post hole that will cut the fibers. You want to poke something through that will push the fibers to the side and not cut them. I started with a seam ripper and then switched to my trust dental tool, perfect! A hole will need to be punched in the actual jeans spot where the rivet will go as well as in the fabric "washers".  Say "Ahhhh".


If the fabric is not thick enough as in maybe four layers of denim (per one video) you need to build it up with layers of fabric and make a fabric "washer"  to go between the lining and the post. Failure to do this is what makes the post too long and causes it to break. So I cut these little squares of layers of fabric and used them between the lining and the rivet post. The rivet post goes through everything and on the right side of the jeans you place the nipple disc in the point of the rivet post, you know, that male/female thing. While holding on to the whole thing turn it over so the nipple is face down on that metal plate. Give a few not too crazy hard bangs with the hammer. Trim the edges back to the circle shape and it should be done. Again, this is my first attempt at jeans rivets and just what I learned from you tube. Hopefully it will help others out there. I could not find  non youtube resources on this technique and appreciate any input my dear readers have to offer. This is a new journey I am on.


I got my rivets from a place called Taylortailor.com . They have great instructions on installation and sell in small amounts. 

Then it was on to the pockets, again, this is all a first time for me. I do hope the next pair, real denim, will be a smoother, quicker make. Back to the pockets: It took three sets before I got it right or at least as right as anything can be the first time you do it. My first pair of back pockets, well, I forgot the seam allowances. My second pair I used a satin stitch for the design and because I did not use a stabilizer and the fact that the fabric had lycra, the design was a wavy nasty thing that just ruined the pockets. I mean, we sew real here but three times the charm! I copied the size and shape and placement of pockets on an existing pair of jeans that I own. Since the satin stitch did not work the design would be made using the same triple topstitch that I have used all along with some tear away paper stabilizer,  no regrets. 



Here you see the pocket on top of a piece of typing paper for stabilization. That helped immensely. It all ripped off pretty easily.  After the design was stitched the angles were mitered and SAs pressed to the back. Finally, after three attempts I was able to install the pockets on the jeans. I used the same triple stitch for topstitching them and did a bar tack at the corner. I had planned on a rivet at each corner but one video I saw made the point that rivets on back pockets are really good at ruining leather uppholstery, whether in your car or at home. Since we have both, that was the end of that idea! 

The waist band needs installing and then hopefully a bit of modeling and pics. This always requires a bit of  "let's make a deal" with my personal version of Richard Avedon. Maybe a good meal? ...Bunny




23 comments:

  1. Looks good. I love the fabric you're using.

    I do two things differently.

    I use freezer paper for a fly template. You can iron it on, remove and reuse numerous times.

    When I do the back pockets I trace them onto a larger piece of fabric, do any stitching and don't actually cut them out until all the stitching is done. IMHO it makes it easier to stitch when you're not worried about stitching off the edge plus I like working with the slightly larger piece of fabric.

    Rivets are the only thing I've never added to jeans I've made. I don't do the coin pocket and the only place I'd add them is the front pockets at top and bottom where they meet the seam and waistband. I just do a bar tack instead. I figure my tops will cover it up anyway so truthfully, why bother!

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  2. Those are going to be so cute Bunny!

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  3. Watching with envy from afar... I'm too chicken to try jeans, but I'm running out of excuses (my new machine can handle the denim with no problem, and I've registered for a Craftsy class). Looking forward to see your finished product!

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    1. I always thought, why bother? But I am tired of buying jeans that fit in the store only to have them twist and look awful after a few washings. Jeans are one of the things on my sewing bucket list! It's about time after all these years!

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  4. Jeans are great fun to make. And I love your fabric. Time for me to branch out from blue denim. LOL


    Sue C

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  5. This is going to be one hot pair of jeans!!! That fabric is I incredible. Hurry up!!!! I can't wait to see these finished ;)

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  6. Not enough jeans making experience to be of any help. Yours is looking so good, like Rhonda I can't wait to see them finished. Such great fabric too.

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  7. mark... mark.... LOL .............. :)

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  8. Hi there Bunny,

    Love your "muslin"..............yes, I adore the fabric, especially as, dare I say it, I am not really into wearing jeans..........but I love your choice of fabric, so different and so you!!

    I keep wondering about the Kenneth D King Jeanius course as I think there would be a lot of interesting new things to learn............have you done it Bunny??

    Looking forward to the pictures from your Richard Avedon. Sounds like a fair trade to me, perhaps we should get to see a picture of you together some day.............the dynamic duo.xx Happy sewing, and Happy Sunday.

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    1. My understanding is KK's course is about how to copy a ready made pair of jeans, not quite what I had in mind. I have watched a few Angela Wolf videos. Not sure those helped much. There is a video a friend sent me about jeans making from one of those boutique jean manufacturers that is amazing. I will see if I can dig it up and put it in my final post on the subject. You watch it and know exactly what to do. Stay tuned for that.

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  9. Bunny, your jeans are looking great. Can't wait ot see the finished jeans.

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  10. Great tips Bunny! I can't wait to see your finished jeans. I'm sure that they will be just perfect.

    Kathy
    http://sewing-adventures.com

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  11. Once again, I'm impressed. Thanks for the tips.

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  12. That is fantastic! I have never been brave enough to attempt making myself pants!

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  13. Love the fabric and cheers to you for sewing your own jeans. I'm not sure if that's a sewinfn job I'll ever tackle.

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  14. Coming right along, what nice fabric. I am sure many will now be making their own jeans.

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  15. Love your fabric Bunny! Fehr Trade has a great (non-YouTube) tutorial on rivet installation: http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/449/how-to-use-jeans-rivets

    She uses wire cutters to snip off any excess on the rivet post.

    Another source for rivets: http://www.castbullet.com/rivet.htm. I've ordered from them and been pleased with the service and quality. They carry blue jean rivets and buttons in a variety of finishes and a few other items.

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    1. Thanks for those resources. They will help all of us on the jeans journey. It's been a hectic week, lots of bad weather when I was available so pics are waiting till the weekend. They are now done and I will do a review when I get those pics up. Thanks for all the comments and patience, everyone.

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  16. Excellent! Your work is always so beautiful. I love your fabric choice for your new jeans. Thanks for sharing the details.

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  17. This is fantastic fabric for a pair of jeans ~ you certainly are lifting the bar high on this pair. Can't wait to seem them finished ... soon ... J

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  18. I agree with you, this pair of jeans is more like trousers, but with the lovely fabric you have chosen, they look great as they are. Thank goodness, because you have done such a wonderful job.

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