Monday, 13 November 2017

Bright Yellow Jeans for a Themed Event

A while ago, I made a pair of jeans for David using my own pattern, based on a Sure Fit Designs template but highly modified. These jeans were made in brushed denim in David's favourite green. He liked them and uses them a lot. However, when I decided to make David a pair of jeans for our upcoming Murder Mystery Weekend, I decided against using my original pattern. I couldn't immediately find it, also I wasn't happy with the zip insertion as the zip was almost exposed at the bottom of the fly (David asked me to change this so that the zip would be properly covered) and I wanted something easier - just a pattern to follow!

With that in mind, I decided to use Kwik Sew K3504. My fabric is bright in-your-face yellow. I had previously bought this chino fabric to make cargo pants for one of my sons in law who likes bright colours, at the suggestion of my daughter, but he wasn't keen. It comes in handy for the 'colourful' theme coming up. The fabric was prewashed etc.

I didn't make a toile as I didn't have time. I had previously considered that David would be a medium - he's pretty standard in RTW and doesn't have much bother buying clothes. However, the medium measurements were potentially a little small at waist and upper hip. David likes his jeans high (Dad's jeans I think they're referred to?) so I added to the crotch depth.  I also lengthened legs  by 1". I cut out in size large and basted the whole thing together. David was happy with height, waist and upper hip but they were too big from that point down and had a kind of jodhpur thigh. I took apart and replaced on the pattern and cut out medium from pocket height down but left large above that. I think the finished jeans still show a bit of bulge so I would further alter that.

We had decided to put some machine embroidery on these jeans. We compromised on just one Celtic design on each back pocket. I had treated the pocket as a practice piece and the resultant embroidery needed tweaked but David said they were fine so I went ahead and used them as they were.

The jeans came together pretty well - I don't have photos as I was in a hurry. However, I did have a bit of difficulty with the fly instructions as there was no photo - I was told to sew on one side but I didn't know what side! I have some problems when I'm trying to work these kind of things out. Fortunately Dan at sewing bee helped me out. (I attended Dan’s jeans class a couple of years ago) She didn't like the instructions and prefers her own but I must say I do like these as I think the result is better. Because I had lengthened the crotch depth I needed a different zip length, so treated the zip placement in the usual fashion rather than leaving a chunk at the top to cut off as per instructions - I was using a metal zip so didn't fancy that.

My front pocket linings are simply overlocked (as per instructions) rather than French seamed (as taught in my jeans class) but they're fine. I used white cotton for these. Oh, and David didn't want a coin pocket.

No major issues, as I said. I did have to recut the waistband as I accidentally put a hole in it - fortunately I had enough fabric. David said just to patch and use but I drew the line at that.

My seams were sewn, then overlocked together, pressed to one side and stitched on right side with two rows of stitching.The top stitching was rather enjoyable. Not contrast thread. The only slight issue I had was when using two different machines (class and home) - were the stitch lengths the same? Also remembering what settings I had used!

When David tried on, he was happy but they were too long - I had to shorten by 2”. Remember I had lengthened by 1” going on finished measurement of 32”; he asked for 33” but they've ended up 31”, actually less than that as the hem is bigger. I did rewash before hemming.

The pattern uses bar tacks rather than rivets and I could've sewn these better.

The very last thing was the buttonhole and boy I struggled. The large automatic buttonhole foot just couldn't cope with the fabric unevenness - the pattern doesn't have you trim the seams at trouser/waistband junction. I tried a few times and had to unpick. I got worried about the fabric and tried without a dedicated foot but failed. I was going to buy the original small buttonhole foot used for manual buttonholes when I realised I should use my vintage Bernina. I read the instructions, tried out a few times and Hey Presto! a satisfactory buttonhole. Sewed on button (David didn't want a jeans button here) and finished!

Now I think the jeans look good for the purpose intended. I'd use proper denim for proper jeans. This fabric creases too readily. I don't like the fit at the back and would try to change that. The pattern doesn't have you interface the waistband but I think needs it and I would certainly interface next time.

David says he's likely to wear them beyond just the themed weekend.

Wait 'til you see the tee shirt!!
I have lots to do for the weekend (outfits for me too!) so a quick post


  1. I think you have done a wonderful job with these - certainly colourful! I should think he will be the best dressed at this event.

    1. Thank you, Sarah Liz. I'm not sure abut being best dressed but he will certainly stand out!

  2. Great job on the pants! They look so fun! I am in love with your vintage Bernina :)

    1. Thank you, Kristin. They are certainly bright and colourful! My modern machine has been playing up and despite a new circuit board thingy has had to go in for repair today - to be sent back to Bernina. When I went with it to dealer, I bought a modern original non-automatic presser foot for my machine - that would have made it much easier. still, vintage definitely has its place!

  3. Hi! Thank you so much for your kind comments on PR. Would love to meet up sometime, perhaps a coffee in Newcastle? my email address is

    The yellow jeans look great, look forward to seeing what you will make.

    1. Thank you, Kath. I'd love to meet up in a couple of weeks - will contact you by email.
      My first dress for the event is nearly finished.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment. I welcome each and every one. I value criticism (constructive of course! ), love hints and tips and would appreciate suggestions for future direction.

Update and Continuing with Machine Embroidery Course

I haven’t been sewing anything recently. I’ve managed a few alterations and repairs and a little bit of machine embroidery - though I’ve f...