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.
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