Skip to main content

Making Progress

I worked on my jeans a little more today.  Yesterday I got the fit to a place where I think I can be happy with it.  Then I took apart the "muslin" and decided to sew it for real to practice all the other parts of making jeans: topstitching, rivets, placement and design of back pockets, etc.  Ideally, I'll be able to wear them a bit, re-evaluate the fit, and then make another pair out of another cut of denim that I like better than this one.

Muslin pictures:

I'm happy with the fit in the front.  The rise is a little higher than most of my jeans, but I'm going to leave it as it is with this pair.

I'm not as pleased about the back.  After looking at these pictures, I went back and worked at getting rid of the wrinkles pointing to my high hip.  I will put pockets on the back, but wanted to work on the fit without them in the way. 

I tried pinning out the wrinkles under my seat, but when I did, I couldn't sit.  Well, I could, but it was rather inappropriate.  My bum wasn't covered so well anymore.  So, the wrinkles stay in the name of sit-ability.  When I stand like in the photo below, the wrinkles aren't so noticeable.

Okay, now let's leave my behind behind, shall we? 

Topstitching is a pretty important part of sewing jeans.  I tested out two different types of thread that I have on hand.  I thought I might need to check out a couple more, but I was satisfied with the one.  I first tried Coats jeans thread.  By the fourth pass (right to left, below) I had found the best tension setting and thought this thread could work pretty well.  Then I tried Coats upholstery thread and like the look of that better.  It's about the same weight as the jeans thread, but a little smoother and I like the color (less gold, more brown) better.

My Pfaff handled the topstitching pretty well, but I was concerned about it being able to stitch through seam intersections and doing the topstitching along those seams.  The first test wasn't beautiful, but it did do it.  For the second one, I pounded the seam allowances at the intersection with a hammer.  This worked pretty well.  The seam allowance was much, much flatter.  The denim did look slightly distressed after pounding, but not enough to keep me from using that method.

As you can see from the pocket picture below, I'm having a harder time getting nice stitches close to the edge than the second row of topstitching.

I'm not sure why it looks like the thread is different colors in different places.  Odd.  It didn't look like that before I uploaded it.

The front pockets and back yoke seam are finished and that's as far as I can go until I get some Wonder Tape to use on the fly.  I haven't used it before, but it seems pretty important for the method described in the instructions.  I'd also like to pick up some rivets and start playing with those.


  1. They're looking good. I used wonder tape to install a regular zipper in a cotton skirt last month and that stuff is magic!

  2. Wow! This is amazing; I'd love to make my own jeans, but...well, I'll have to learn to crawl before learning to run!

  3. Wow - ambitious project - they look great!

  4. Your jeans are really looking good!!

  5. These look great. What pattern is it? Jalie or
    J. Sterns? I'm almost done the J.Stern ones and I love them.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shopping Bags

Most stores in our town charge you a nickel for a plastic bag when you check out. I love this practice and the way that it encourages people to bring their own cloth bags or reuse their plastic ones. My habit of bringing along bags to the grocery store is well established, but I used to find myself stuck at places like the drug store or farmer's market or other impromptu stops. Then I picked up a bag at an upscale kitchen goods store that rolls up quite compactly. Now I keep that in my purse, so I always have a bag with me.

I like my bag so much that I wanted to replicate it for the art sale. The final result is a hybrid of the bag I purchased and these that I made last year.

The bag is a little bigger than the average plastic grocery bag. The velcro tab is used to keep the bag rolled up, but also can close the top of the bag when it is full.

Most of the bag is a single layer of cotton, but the handles are faced. There is a double row of top-stitching around both edges of the handl…

Grocery Bags

More gifts!

These are just like the still-all-too-ubiquitous plastic grocery bags, but they're fabric. 

I followed this tutorial and you actually use a plastic bag as a pattern.  The instructions are very good and include a pocket so that the bag can be folded up and is easy to keep in a purse or a car's glove box.

Mostly for the sake of the gift recipients, here's how to fold up the bag....

1.  Lay the bag pocket side down and fold it length-wise using the edges of the pocket as a guide.

2.  Fold it in half, aligning the top of the handles with the bottom of the bag.

3.  Fold in half again and then reach into pocket with your hand and turn the whole thing (pocket included) inside out.

Happy shopping!

Christmas Table Runner

S asked me to make a Christmas table runner for her shop. Her only suggestions about what it should look like were "not too fussy or busy."

I decided on a simple applique of three trees on a linen background. The runner is 60" long and 13" wide.

For the trees, I used a lightweight fusible product and then straight-stitched around the edges. I like the raw-edge applique look, but don't use it very often.

The border and backing is an apple green color that didn't photograph well. I was happy with the mitered corners, but they don't look so good (a little lumpy) in the pictures. I do really like the narrow folded border inside the green one. I only had a small amount of the striped fabric, but think this was a good way to use it.

I was so happy with this when I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but now that I'm looking at the pictures, I'm less than thrilled. I'm really hoping that it is just the pictures, but it looks wrinkly and rumpled to me…