Saturday, 7 February 2015

Jeans class 3; back pockets, yoke and problems with zip insertion.

I thought this was going to be a fairly straightforward class this week.  We didn't achieve as much as we should have.

Firstly, we finished off and tidied up our patch pockets. I decided against modifying the decorative top stitching on the pockets.

 We then measured out where the pockets were to go (the placement hadn't been marked on the pattern) and checked that each pocket was placed identically. We then sewed on the pockets using an edge stitch and an additional row of stitching inside this, with reinforcement at the top pocket corners.

Then it was time to add the yoke. We weren't using an overlocker, by the way, though I would choose to use one at home.  The yoke was sewn onto the back piece using a 1centimetre seam allowance. The seam allowance area was then stitched using a zigzag stitch and the seam allowance was then pressed in the yoke direction. After this, it was fairly straightforward to edge stitch and add a further row of stitching to catch down the seam allowance just within the 1cm.

Top stitching at top of pocket and bottom of yoke, in detail. . 
Overview of pocket and yoke

It was really impressive to see how much shaping the yoke added.

Back pocket and yoke added.
The next task was to zigzag stitch the curved seam on front and back. Since returning home I have overlocked those parts still accessible and my photos show that. However, at class, it was zigzag stich only, though the tutor may bring an overlocker next time. I'm not taking mine to class as it's hard enough just taking a sewing machine as there is quite a distance from the car park to the class - at least I do have a car. One time, I decided to just use the class machines - but never again. Compared to my other class on a Thursday, where I'm happy to use the machines as they stich nicely, these ones, although new, are very rough indeed.

Then it was zip time. Unfortunately, the tutor was having a major problem with her sewing machine so quite a bit of time was used up trying to sort this.

The first task was to stitch the zip right side to right side on the left front jean piece. Once this was achieved, the zip was turned back and the edge was edge stitched. My stitching is a bit wavery so I may take this out and change it, to make it look better. However, the actual sewing was achieved reasonably easily. I was concerned when the tutor was having so much bother that I would too.

Showing back of zip with reference to pocket bag

Zip on left side of front, turned back and edge stitched. Serging added afterwards.

Then we had to start preparing the other side. Time was running out, however, and the instructions were far from clear and possibly incorrect, according to our tutor. As requested, I attached the fly facing and then understitched.

Wrong side. Not tidied up yet.
Understitching on fly facing showing. I suppose this gets turned back.

Like this? 

I have absolutely no idea what to do next as I can't make head nor tail of the instructions and haven't been able to work it out based on them. I looked at the jeans I'm wearing and it looks as though the zip should be between the layers. That makes much more sense to me.  That's what I had to do when I was putting the zip in my jacket - it lies between the front and the facing; here I think the zip should be sandwiched between the jeans front and the zip facing??

I've decided just to leave it until next time when presumably the tutor will have worked out what to do next (the instructions and diagrams were not drawn up by her and she seems to be struggling a bit), though I do think there will be some backpedalling.  I fully expect to have to take out my stitching on that side next week (that includes seam stitching,  overlocking of seam and understitching, so I won't be a happy bunny if that happens!) I'm almost tempted to take it out now to save time in class but maybe just maybe there is another way?

Okay,  I lied. I can't leave well alone.  Just as I was thinking about taking out some of my stitching,  I decided to try to follow the next few steps (without benefit of diagrams).

I'll list all the steps, including those I have done and have had checked.

Step 11: Starting with left front piece (this has a 0.5 cms extension - actually it didn't because R forgot to put it in but we were told it would work okay without this). Place zip right side down on right side and stitch down.  Check.

Step 12: Turn back zip and edge stitch on right side.  Check.
Up to here I'm fine and have had it checked. Matches diagrams too.

Step 13: apply fly facing, edge stitch and press. There was a diagram showing this step with what was clearly understitching and our tutor D told us to understitch. Check.

I had my work checked to this point.

No diagrams from this point on. I decided to machine baste everything that is with a long stitch length so it would be easy to take out at class next week.

Step 14: Join front rise from 1cm in from fork point to bottom of zipper. I did this but I didn't sew close enough up to zipper - I left 1cm there too.  Easily rectified. Done.

This shows line of green understitching on left which can fold over zip but doesn't seem to want to lie naturally there. 
Step 15: With right sides of both front leg pieces together line up pin down CF rise.  Open out, where zipper tape lies on right front of jean pin to fly facing. Zip tape will curve at waist seam.  Pin it as it wants to lie.  Do not straighten it up. Done.
Zip machine basted to fly facing only

Step 16: Stitch to fly facing only.  Done.

Step 17: with zip closed lie jean flat right side up, chalk in curved fly line. This must be wide enough to catch in fly facing.  Top stitch. Done.

Looks okay. Would be better with edge stitching?  Should blue line be parallel to zip rather than sloping in at top,  even though this means that fly lies better? 

However,  while I can close the zip and it is covered by fabric from right side,  I'm not sure that's how it is supposed to be.  When I topstitched around,  this is not vertical and perhaps it should be; it follows the line of the fly facing, which its also not vertical;  it is caught in at the waist edge which encourages the fold. Although the understitching on the fly facing encourages it to turn under, I'm  wondering if perhaps edgestitching might have been better - or in addition as the fold is quite loose rather than crisp - then it probably needs pressed at this stage.

Reverse side. Fly facing is Now much smaller than earlier photo because of fold. 

I don't understand the next step 18: zip guard, bag out bottom edge,  press and overlock side closed.  Leave top edge raw as this goes into waist seam.

Now I am really giving up until next week! I've taken a few photos on my smartphone to remind me of how I've got here. Next week is the last class before the mid term break although it's only the 4th class,  and so I'm hoping to be finished with the sample to let me get on with my trousers as soon as we return - I've definitely decided to do trousers and not jeans or slacks first. I'll need quite a bit of help with fitting before I start to construct. Fingers crossed that what I did today doesn't need to be undone. 


  1. I think you must have as much problem as me in working A, B, C.... Like you, I prefer to go off into a corner and try and work things through myself. This certainly works, although I am wondering, from the little you mentioned at the end, if there will be a surprise in store next week. I shall stay tuned, to use the radio idiom.

    1. Thank you. I'm wondering what kind of surprise you mean ... My next class is on Wednesday so I'll try to post an update in the couple of days following that. Fingers crossed.


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