Thursday, 3 December 2015

Sewing Jeans!

My head is a flurry of Christmas to-dos and excitement right now. So much to do, so little time! This week I want mail our Christmas cards, most of which go to the US so need to be mailed soon, make stockings, start the the girls Christmas dresses, which will be a Christmas version of the Oliver + S fairytale dresses I made a while back, and wrap lots of presents. The girls and I have been having fun making some Christmas crafts and are looking forward to getting our tree this weekend as well. Soon I'll post photos of our merry making. But now, I'm happy to have finished my most ambitious sewing project that I tackled solo, which is a pair of jeans! They are Jamie Jeans, a pattern by Named Clothing. When I saw the the pattern on the web site, I thought, woah, those are some great looking jeans! And how amazing do they look on their model? I love the contrasting piping on the pockets and the shape is great too. I wanted to step it up this year and challenge myself with some more ambitious sewing patterns and this was one of them.
I admit, though, that these sat cut on my sewing table for many days. I would read over the instructions and felt really intimidated, and I bought some nice denim at Cloth House for them, which I was afraid to ruin. I wanted to use nice denim in case they did work out well but was still a little nervous to do so. I also used some beautiful ikat fabric for the interior pockets from Cloth House as well. I hunted around online to see if anyone had posted a tutorial with photos to help me along and found the Indiesew Jamie Jeans sewalong. The instructions and photos are amazing in this sewalong. After just a few steps in the pattern, I stopped reading the pattern instructions and just followed the sewalong. I chose to do the baste and fit method and needed to make no changes, though now I know the waistband needed to come in a bit because it gapes a little at the back, and I probably could have taken them in a bit more around my calves (and taken them up a bit more), but then again, I have pretty thin legs and prefer when they don't look like little twigs. The fly was a teensy bit confusing and I re-did it three times. I was lucky I didn't ruin the fabric unpicking so many times. And I found it challenging to get the topstitching neat. But I finally got it to a point that I was happy with.
The back pockets were easy to make but a little tricky to be sure were even and centered properly. I love being able to choose where the pocket rests though. It's so often that I find jeans I like, but where the pocket sits is odd or I don't like the stitching on them. So it's great to be able to choose where your pockets rest. How amazing are these back pockets? So cool! But I wasn't feeling that ambitious yet, so I went for the pocket instructions in the pattern instead. 
The front pocket was fun to construct and makes for really interesting looking front pockets. 
My waistband is the area that could use the most improvement and needs to be re-done, which I'll do after Christmas. Mine turned out super skinny. I'm not sure where I went wrong with it, but I just wanted to get them done to move onto Christmas stuff, so I rushed a bit and probably should have waited. It's so skinny that I didn't bother with the belt loops but will add those when I re-do the waistband. My button hole for my jeans is junk too! My machine kept eating the thread and jamming while I did it. But I'm still really happy with the jeans and and super excited that I made them. When I put them on after I was done with the waistband, I was about to burst over how well they actually fit! I can't wait to make another pair.
Andrew took a few photos with me in them with our Canon as well. Yay for jeans! I highly recommend the Indiesew sewalong for these. The only area that could have been a little clearer to me, is when you topstitch the fly, you have to topstitch it down to the zip. For most intermediate or advanced sewists, that would have been a no brainer, but I didn't understand that that is how the fly actually stays down in place to cover the zip. 

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