Back to the Future, Jalie Style

Despite my inclination to plunge headlong into another coat—my long-neglected Lady Grey, say (I bought hair canvas! I bought hair canvas!)—I need to do some practical sewing. My favourite pair of Jalie jeans has developed some issues (mostly due to my own shoddy construction decisions… the sort of thing, it appears, I have to learn for myself, because no amount of good advice seems to get through my thick skull), rendering them currently unwearable, though a bit of mending should get them back in the rotation. Am I the only one who’d rather  make a whole new pair of pants than sew a belt-loop back on? Well, that and the pockets (which I made out of cotton from an old duvet I’d retired because of all the holes it was developing… stupid, stupid) are full of holes, which is causing stress in the pocket topstitching, which has broken some of the topstitching threads… so yeah, they are in some trouble. Not to the point of being unwearable (at least once I get the belt loop sewn back on… this is why you attach them with zigzag bars, not just straight stitch). For those of you who weren’t around back in the summer when I began my Great Jeans Odyssey, my pattern of choice is the infamous Jalie 2908, altered based on becca a’s instructions into a low-rise, straight-legged jean and tweaked for maximal skinniness.

Embryonic jeans

Anyway, yesterday I laid out my remaining length of black stretch denim. Apparently I had enough left for two pairs of pants, instead of just the one I’d thought. 3 pairs of pants from 4m of fabric, not bad. If, y’know, I needed three pairs of black jeans… but anyway. I cut merrily away, even remembering to undo my disastrous alteration of last summer.

Pocket closeup

I made some construction breakthroughs. I “fused” washaway stabilizer to the wrong sides of the pockets so they wouldn’t stretch out when I did the embroidery on them. I’m really happy about this… not only does it keep the pocket stable, when you fold the sides under and press them, it melts just enough to really grip the edges in place, so they don’t pop up! And unlike the interfacing I’ve used before, they’ll wash away so that when I finally wear my pants the pockets can stretch with the rest of them! And it didn’t even stick to the iron, which was my main fear.

I remembered to sew the yoke pieces on in the back before the centre seam. I did my topstitching in a regular red thread, using my triple-stitch (the straight stretch stitch) like I did in Tyo’s jeans. It looks great! So much more relaxing than wrestling with the topstitching thread, and I can use the same thread for constructing the seams, plus it slows the machine right down, which is good for topstitching (my Janome does not like to go slow, normally)

And then… I realized… I had sewn the yoke pieces on the wrong sides. The narrow ends were in the CB, the wide ends at the sides.

I had to pick out… two rows of stretch topstitching, the regular stitching, AND my triple-zig-zag seam finish. Yes, I was being all fancy and finishing my seams for once!

This kinda set me back.

then, having recovered from that, I went merrily on my way starting the fly construction…

And forgot that I need to attach the front pockets, first, since I’ve drafted pocket extensions that run into the fly. This makes for a nice, smooth finish on the front of the jeans and helps stabilize the fly… but only works if I actually remember to do it *before* I sew up the CF. So now I’m on the fence whether to rip that (probably only the basting where the fly opening will be, and a single bit of topstitching, need to come out) or just cut off the pocket extensions. Grrr.

This is why we follow instructions, /sigh.

Tyo’s coat continues to elude photography, mostly because with the grey weather we’ve been having, by the time she gets home from school the light’s already going. Hopefully we can get some good ones on the weekend. The sleeves are a real problem, though. With a sweater underneath, she can’t even bend her arms enough to button the thing closed. I’m going to have to open it up and pull out a layer or two in there. *headdesk*

On the up-side, it was -20 this morning and my coat performed adequately, at least for walking the kids to the bus stop. I was getting a mite cold by the time I got home, but nothing that long-johns and a proper hat (I just had my sweater hood up, silly me) wouldn’t’ve fixed. So I think it will be adequate, at least. The next test, of course, will have to be wind chill.

I still want a winter coat that’s both stylish and -50C-worthy. I have a feeling it’s going to take a) a less fitted style, b) a lot of research into materials, and c)more money. Not that this one was cheap, by the way.

In other news, I splurged and took my long-ailing serger in to get serviced (finally… it’s been about two years). The guy at the sewing-machine place confirmed my thought that the problem is the timing, and hopefully nothing else is wrong with it. It still runs fine… the loops just don’t form.

So in a couple of weeks I may have a serger again! Yay!



Filed under Sewing

11 responses to “Back to the Future, Jalie Style

  1. I’m glad to see you working on stuff for yourself after all the time spent muslin-ing coats for Tyo 🙂

    q: Is washaway stabilizer cheap? ‘Cos it sounds like a good idea for a whole load of jobs!

    I’m very tempted by the Jalie 2908 jeans (seen lots of good reviews online) – I might have to sneekily ask for someone in my fammily to buy them for me for Christmas(from the only place in the UK I can seem to find that stocks Jalie patterns).

    • I had to order mine from Jalie directly (fortunately within Canada… how often does that happen!). The nice thing about the Jalie patterns is that they come on a big, sturdy paper with every size conceivable, so though you have to trace the pattern, you’re set if you change size, want to make something for a friend, or have kids to sew for (a bonus in my case)

      As to the stabilizer, I think it was about $5 for a packet that’s probably about four square feet (though I’m not sure, I didn’t really open it to see when I first got it.) Mostly I’ve been cutting strips off to use in the hems of knit shirts, as it’s supposed to help prevent tunneling when stitching with a double needle. Solvy is one brand I’ve heard, but mine is just a generic. It’s actually intended for machine embroidery, I understand, so you may find it more at hobby-shops or even quilting places. It resembles a thin sheet of plastic (amost like plastic wrap) with a bit of texture on one side. It’s not actually adhesive but when you iron it the heat/steam softens it enough to meld somewhat with the fabric, although according to the instructions it’s meant to be sewn on.

  2. Uta

    Nice jeans-in-the-making! Regarding the coat sleeves: Have you considered adding one more part to the sleeves (there are three-piece sleeves after all) or maybe a gusset in the elbow area (the last may be a harebrained idea, but that’s what I’m coming up with)? It would be a shame if she couldn’t wear the coat!

    • That’s an idea, too… I will have to open them up either way (groan), but if taking out a layer doesn’t help, an insert would definitely be better than the whole coat being unwearable…

  3. good evening, quick comment, Jalie 2908 is available on I think a gusset would solve the sleeve problem on Tyo’s coat. I see if I can find a tute for you.

  4. OK,I looked at about 100 Gusset items in search. Nothing I found so far really addresses your sleeve situation. I have two ideas. I hope this makes sense. If you look at some vintage patterns you will see some dresses with long snug fitted sleeves have 1 to 3 little triangular shaped inserts in the bend of the arm. You could draft these to enlarge that area. The other option, which I think would be easier with a thicker fabric involves one long skinny and elongated diamond shape gusset with the widest part of the diamond at the elbow/tight spot. This would involve opening a large area of the seam and making fine tapers to above and below the elbow to make a nice transition. I think you would have to totally re-draft the sleeve to make it a 3 part (which would probably be the best alternative) and that would require more fabric and amending the shape of the sleeve cap. Never fun and usually a mess that totally screws up the shoulder and upper chest area. (ask me how I know that one~) As I re-read this it seems as clear as mud. Let me know. I have some design books I will check later.

    • Wow, thank you! I think you’re right about a long, thin diamond working. But, I’ll pull out the underlining first to see if that helps the situation. I had already increased the sleeve width by 2cm, I would’ve done more but I didn’t want to mess with the sleeve cap; 2cm you can absorb pretty easily, but not a whole lot more than that. Thinking about it now, of course, I can envision some slash’n’spread that might let me widen the sleeve while maintaining the cap seam length… but oh well. Thanks again for your help!

  5. Sewista Fashionista

    I feel you about undoing previous disastrous alterations before you cut -because often I have cut and remembered afterwards. Good that you kept your wits about you.

  6. Great pockets. I love the red top stitching.

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