Friday, 13 February 2015

More on jeans class (class 4); last before midterm break

After the last class, I moved onto the next steps at home in the hope of finishing my sample a week early. The reason for this is that our midterm break comes after week 4 not week 5 on this occasion and it would be great to come back after the break into making up our pants pattern rather than finishing our sample.

Well, to my surprise, I had done more or less the right thing! When I arrived at class, the tutor R who had made up our pattern was showing our tutor D how to move to the next step. D has made many pairs of jeans but the sequence of steps was a bit different, hence the need for this. I had the opportunity to watch and realised I had followed the steps.
Last week ; unhappy about non vertical stitching line
You can see that the fly facing scarcely shows because it is caught in. I couldn't show the fold that I had accidentally made.
D checked my work. I was unhappy that the curved stitching at the fly was not vertical. I had accidentally caught in an extra fold of fabric, somehow. You can see the irregularity in the reverse view but not the actual fold. (Again, I was taking photos on my smartphone and it seems that I haven't worked out how to load them all - I took rather more than I had access to). D also reminded me that it is very important to let the zip top curve where it wants to go rather than try to straighten it, as is our natural desire. This I had managed. I unpicked the stitching outlining the fly facing. I unpicked the top of the zip. This wasn't difficult as I had just basted. The front ended up in the same place - I had that correct - but the fly facing was able to spread out further. I really hadn't noticed the extra fold of fabric until D pointed it out and was amazed at the difference it made!
I can't find photo before zip guard was attached but it's still possible to see that fly facing is spread out more. the white basting stitch is still in place. The zip is finally sewed in in the green.

I re-sewed the top of the zip and sewed in the whole zip to the fly facing.  I then top stitched around the edge of the fly facing. You can still see the blue chaco liner from my first attempt. My top stitching isn't as good as it should be as I went off line and in trying to correct, some unravelled. So I went over the whole again. So there are two rows of topstitching, supposed to be on top of each other. I didn't correct as I know what is required and this is a sample.

Showing old and new fly topstitching lines and side seam top stitching, 1 row only (mock fell seam)
Then we had to attach the zipper guard. R had made it slightly too short as the pattern had changed. So we ended up folding and 'overlocking' by machine using a zig zag stitch. We then attached the zipper guard behind the zip. This was slightly tricky as the seam allowance was rather narrow (we used 1cm throughout and of course this is about half that). D normally attaches hers at an earlier stage (and often misses it out). The top part of the zipper guard is left raw as that is caught onto the waistband.

zipper guard; you can also see the curved securing stitch at the bottom
R hadn't designed the pattern for proper fell seaming. She said extra fabric would be required for this. I was disappointed not to do some proper fell stitching but decided to do mock fell stitching as suggested. We still had no overlocker in class so I stitched side seams with my sewing machine, used the sewing machine to zigzag the seam allowances together and then pressed to the back. I just did 1 row of top stitching as I was running out of thread. (Note to self - buy lots of thread when doing jeans for DH. He doesn't want markedly contrast topstitching but it will need to be proper topstitching thread - a very dark green, hopefully)
At this stage, the two fronts are joined with the zipper in between and a back is joined to each front. The back seam has not been sewn. I now wish I had topstitched the pockets using the green thread. You can't even see them here.

We then sewed the inseam. We then put one side inside the other to sew the crotch seam. As I see that most jeans have a felled or mock felled seam here, I did that. Not easy but possible.
Showing crotch seam stitched together (I had previously overlocked)
I see that on some jeans, the outer seam is normal and the inner seam felled - on others it is the opposite way around. D also said some jeans have on both - I couldn't see how that would be done. The answer is with great difficulty! Easier in a commercial environment.
Before topstitching
See the topstitching in back crotch seam.
I did some further mock felling.

Then I pinned up the double hem but didn't have time to stitch this. I'll finish this at home. This will have a double row of topstitching. I either have to buy more of the colour I was using previously, or change altogether.

We have two weeks before the next class. I asked D what the next steps were as we didn't have a sheet for what we had done earlier in the evening or the next steps. It's really only the waistband after that. This pattern has a curved waistband. I have to interface what will be the outside of the waistband. I then sew the interfaced and non interfaced sides right sides together and turn and press. I could then sew to the jeans body but I think if I get that far I will leave it until class to make sure I go about the waistband and button in the correct way.

I would certainly improve the finishing if doing the real thing.

I'd really like to have a toile cut and sewn for the trousers I'm planning, so D can fit me next time but I'll need to wait see how busy I'll be. I did buy a jeans pattern but still plan on making trousers. I'll miss the PR jeans comp but so be it. I decided to look again at the 'toile' I made from the McCall's pattern. I thought that part of the problem might have been that I didn't sew together properly and secondly that I had forgotten it was a 1" seam. So, having taken them to pieces, I basted them together careful leaving a 1" seam allowance. Unfortunately, I've mislaid the pattern for the moment so couldn't be more specific than that. However, I know that  palmer Pletsch fir from the waist. I tried this toile on in my Thursday dressmaking class. However, It really IS so bad that I need to start again, completely. I think I may abandon this pattern (as I say I can't lay my hands on it anyway). I have a number of choices - Burda or Vogue. I'd still like to use the beautiful grey fabric I have - I just hope I haven't ruined it with all the stitching and unpicking; fortunately there is no visible sign of this.

I've bought some denim with some stretch in a dark green colour (on 50% off sale) - DH wears a lot of green and I've offered to make him a pair of jeans. Not for the PR competition, though. I still have to find a men's jeans pattern. I see a Kwik Sew one and a Thread Theory chino pattern which DH quite likes but which is $20! I don't know of any others. DH doesn't want skin tight jeans. The fabric hasn't arrived yet - I didn't realise when I ordered it from a UK website that it would be coming from Germany.  Update - it came (pretty speedy; and tracked) and looks really nice even if a slightly brighter green than I had anticipated. DH likes it. However, I had problems with the Internet today and haven't bought a pattern yet - maybe it will have to be a self draft. I have the Sure Fit design system and have the module for men so perhaps that will get its first airing.

I'm assuming the brighter green is the right side and the very dark the wrong side! I need to take a picture during the day rather than at night as here.

Yes, I bought 6 metres - plenty of fabric for experimentation! 98% cotton 2% spandex but no obvious stretch at all
I also bought myself some blue as the black denim I really wanted was out of stock. Trousers first, though.
Just 3 metres - it was a lot more expensive as it wasn't reduced. Cotton 48%/polyester 48%/spandex 4%

The fabric is pretty stretchy.
I need to prepare the fabrics. Tumble drying is not recommended so I need to work out how to dry 6 m of green denim fabric if I don't cut it up!


  1. Ahha, so your technique did work :). Flat fell stitching on both sides is tricky - I go one way and then the other and meet in the middle. Not easy.

    1. Yes, thanks, Sarah Liz, it did! Well, more or less. I think I could consider attempting a mock flat fell on both sides - maybe - but not a proper one.

  2. You are lucky -- there are no sewing classes near where I live. Your progress is amazing!

    1. Thank you, Annie. I can see my progress when I look back at my earlier garments in comparison to those I'm making now. Yes, I'm lucky having available classes. The ones I'm doing at college are teaching techniques - but I've also gone to some I won't go back to! My Thursday 'class' is a sewing bee not a formal class though you can put your name on the board and get help on your specific project. Perhaps due to a bit of a revival in sewing, there are a lot of new people at it (it's oversubscribed) and the tutor is very busy. She does try to demonstrate a technique every so often - last week it was inserting piping.


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