Wednesday, January 12, 2011

YEAH! I Actually Finished Something!!

My New Jeans!!!
2908 or as they are affectionately known "Rippy Bits" (an homage to Spongebob Squarepants)

So far, so good. I started the idea of these months ago with a jeans making class over at I have to say that even though the class was more for non stretch woven jeans of a different pattern, it was very helpful in making this pair.

I've been wanting to try making jeans for the longest time. Fashionista Fabrics carries the button tack that I used and I got the rivets online but I can't remember from whom. I'll edit when I get the information. I had a ton of jeans stitch thread from YLI purchased from Sandy's Make It Sew and I got a regular brass trouser jeans zipper from Joann's

Making jeans isn't at all hard, but that is not to say that they aren't challenging. It's all about the fit with jeans and while I think these are too big in places and too long in other places, they're a pretty good first attempt. Of course, I made tons of muslins, 4 to be precise, the last of which was finished some months ago. I think my body has changed slighty over that time and, then there's the issue of simply not remembering what I had intended to do when I last made a muslin. Regardless, my body shape is that of the inverted triangle so the changes I have to make are counter to how most trousers are shaped. I start with a smallish hip measurement and the I add on width going upwards (somewhat like the aforementioned Mr. Squarepants). I learned in these that I need to remove some length from the back leg above the crotch curve, probably about 1/2", I also need to then remove a little less length from the back leg above the knee (maybe 1/4"). I need to take some length out of the front above the crotch as well and I need to make the waist and waistband about 3/4" smaller.

But the pattern itself is a dream. I thought it was drafted well, I tapered in the leg so that it was straight instead of boot cut by drawing straight lines from the knee to the hem. My friend Elnora did the embroidery for me from a design I got at Urban Threads. I really enjoyed making these. Jalie does a really good job of going step-by-step. It was super easy to use. There was one section of the instructions which flummoxed me, it was the fly section but I caution you to do it just like how it looks in the illustration and not how you interpret the directions. I ripped these out and put these back together soooooo many times. First I sewed them together to test the fit, then ripped to adjust, then I sewed the topstitched which entailed much ripping and zen thought, then I serged the insides. I would say that at each step, I sewed once for practice, ripped, once for real, once for serger, and once for topstitching. I used 4 sewing machines to put these together, not that it was necessary but I just love, love, love how my new old Singer 401 took on the job of topstitching. It just wasn't even fazed by denim seam intersections, I seriously want to make more just for the topstitching. I used my Janome for the buttonhole because it was easy and I used my old Singer 201 for the seaming and of course the Elna serger, with which I'm still a little disappointed.

These are stretch denim which I got from Fields Fabrics last year and pre-washed the fabric 4 times in hot water. I don't think they'll shrink at all now. I did cut the waistband on the bias before I really thought about it and that it would be too much stretch. Luckily, I sew with some very fabulous women who suggested that if one were to do something like that it could be countered with some interfacing, so as soon as I got home I interfaced that bad boy.

It was really fun sewing these, you don't get very many opportunities in sewing to use an anvil, a 2x4, or a mallet but I got to use all of these and I think they came out pretty OK. (for a first pair). I know these are going to grow as I wear them, but it's a good excuse to buy a nice belt and to make a 2nd pair.


Ivalyn "Tee" Jones-Actie said...

Your jeans look great! You really did a great job. I took a class with Jennifer Stern this summer and made a jean muslin. I hope to get them made up real soon.

Tina said...

Congrats! It's nice to finsh something once in a while. Especially something thats been in the workd for as long as these have.

I remember you showing off the embroidery Elnora did. That had to be about when Suzie was born, no?

Anonymous said...

They look great! I hope to make a pair myself this year. Love the pocket pattern you found too. - Nicole

Melody said...

Tina, It has been awhile I think Suzie was pretty new back then. At least I finished it before she started pre-school!

Michelle said...

I love how these turned out, and they look great on you!

I'm planning to make up the new HotPatterns jeans pattern at some point in the next few months--I'll have to hit up your store for some of the hardware.

AllisonC said...

Your jeans look great, I've really got to dig this pattern out of my stash one of these days!

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

Mel you did a fantastic job on the jeans!