Sunday, January 4, 2015

Style Arc Sandra: Days 2 & 3

I went to bed Thursday night with my pockets on my nightstand! No, seriously!!! :)

Friday was all about getting the jeans constructed.

I decided I would use my Singer for the topstitching and the Kenmore for the regular stitching. Thankfully my husband had given it a nice, thorough cleaning not long ago.

I was having the darnedest time with my bobbin stitches and as I was typing "bobbin problems vintage Kenmore" a lightbulb went off! DUH! The plastic bobbins are no bueno. I switched to the metal bobbin and perfection! 


Still, I was running back and forth from the living room to the dining room which was annoying. I got a free desk for it and just need to go pick it up. Then it'll be in the cave - yay!

I got the front pockets assembled and the fly inserted. 

I will always, always, always use a sew-on fly. You just cannot beat the nice clean line you get by understitching. 

IMO, the mechanics of sewing jeans are no different from sewing a regular pair of trousers. Obviously, the topstitching slows things down; but the steps are pretty much the same in the beginning.

I had to top-stitch the fly 3 times and it's still a tiny bit wonky. However, when I took photos it wasn't noticeable so I wasn't going to undo it AGAIN.

I have some jeans zippers in BRIGHT colors only, so I went with a regular zipper. It's still lighter than I'd like. When I order from Wawak again I'll get a few dark navy jeans zippers to have in the stash.

Progress as of Friday afternoon

Friday night, I just couldn't leave them. I needed to get them basted so I could try them on!! :) At around 8:30 I headed back down to work on them.

Based on the muslin and my pinning; I basted them at the inseam and side seam, left the pockets pinned in place, and tried them on.

I thought the pockets were still a little too far apart and moved them in

I did a little pinning and marked all my different seam allowances down (reminding myself; they are MY pants and I can sew them however *I* need to!!!!) :)

Friday night I got them stitched together, topstitched the inseam, stitched the back pockets and did the topstitching down the side seams.

You've gotta be careful trying them on a whole lot (not that *I* did that...) because fray-city.


Day 3:

I still had SO much to do! It was probably 11 before I started on them. 

I had taken the excess from my yoke but was worried about my waistband not hugging the back (it did not in the muslin). I used bits and pieces from Emily's 'gaposis fix' on her Jalie 2908's (here). Even though my waistband was 2 pieces, I employed the same technique for stitching that diamond shape in the center back.

I also sewed my waistband like she did hers. Attached to the inside first and topstitched down on the outside. I unpicked a section of a pair of ripped RTW jeans and it was done this way as well.

Worth it to note, I did not interface my waistband; per my RTW jeans.

I hadn't cut the waistband out when I cut the other pattern pieces; I wasn't sure if I was going to do a 2 piece or 1 piece. 

It took me 2 hours to cut the waistband and stitch it in place. WHEW! I did NOT achieve perfection in turning the waistband corners.

I tried several times but it was fraying and it just wasn't worth having my seams disintegrate.

At this point I was insanely giddy. My son refused to believe that I made them! My daughter was mouth agape about them. YAY!

I called around to a few tailors because I was certain I could not stitch those buttonloops in place. The going rate was $2.50-$3 per belt loop. I posted this photo on Instagram and many shared that they attached theirs themselves but used a straight stitch instead of trying to bar tack them in place.


worth it to note: Buy a jean-a-ma-jig!!! (or humpjumper)

I used regular thread and a narrow zig zag to stitch the loops in place. The only place I had trouble was at the top of the center back loop. I had to bring that one down below waistband level a little, but that doesn't bother me. I seriously NEVER tuck shirts in.

So what was next; ah yes. The hem.

Now, these ARE narrow legged. Not skinny because skinny without stretch is a bit hard to get on and off over your feet. 

I tried them on and folded up the hem, took them off, measured, pressed lightly, pinned, tried them on... I measured at a 30" finished length. 

I said to myself, "ok, you need to add 1 1/4" for the hem."

(do you sense something is about to happen?)

I laid them out on my cutting mat, nice and smoothly, measured again. And then I took my scissors to my pants and proceeded to cut off 1 1/4" ABOVE my hem mark. So instead of a 31 1/4" inseam I had 28 3/4". 

See? I should have cut on the other side of that line!!!!

I stared at it for awhile, realized what I'd done, and told myself I wasn't going to cry. And I didn't! 

So I have ankle pants!  I turned up 1/2", pressed, turned up again and stitched a 1/2" hem. 

Ah...good times in the sewing room.

I made a horrific buttonhole :) and added a tack button. Btw, that went in EFFORTLESSLY. I am still waiting for my rivets to come in the mail.

Day 2: Major construction; front pockets, fly, back, basting, back pockets, seams sewn
Day 3: Finishing; waistband, belt loops, button, hemming


  1. I congratulate you! Even if they are ankle pants, they're mighty lovely and fit you like a dream. You've done an EXCELLENT job.

  2. DILIGENT! You have done a fantastic job!

  3. The fit on these is fantastic, and I'm sure that you have a place in your wardrobe for ankle jeans. For full-length, I guess you'll just have to make another pair. ;)

    1. Thanks Michelle!

      oh yes. There will be more! :)

  4. Nice jeans! I could see myself doing the same thing with the hem. But, I'm sure they'll look great as ankle pants.

    1. Thanks Tiffany! I felt like such a bonehead!

  5. Slim ankle jeans with flats - very cute and very Audrey Hepburn! The fly looks wonderful to me. GReat job!

    1. Thanks Bunny! They ARE super cute with flats!

  6. They look fantastic! And you have a much stronger will than I - I would have totally cried about the hemming. And possibly thrown things.

    Though I don't have a pair of ankle pants, so, maybe not. But probably yes. Can't wait to see how they come out!

    1. I was TOTALLY GONNA CRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I don't know how I held it together!!

  7. They look great! Maybe you could use the invisible method of hemming jeans to make them longer, if it ends up bothering you that they're short.

    1. Thanks Whitney! I thought about that; then just thought "Hey, I'll make another pair!"

  8. I wouldn't have been able to sleep, I would have been too excited to finish these! I know how it is when you are literally chomping at the bit to just try them on!! :D

  9. You stay strong and battled, but now you have jeans just for you. Nice.


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