Unintended stitching

I didn’t plan on spending this weekend sewing for my children. But no sooner had I finished Syo’s stretchy outfit (yes, there’s a shirt to go with the bike shorts, but frankly it didn’t work out so well and I haven’t even bothered hemming it. Which isn’t stopping her from wearing it, but anyway.) then Tyo had to assert her requirements.


You see, the other week Tyo and I found ourselves on the far side of town, in proximity to Fabric Depot, a large independent fabric store I hadn’t yet had the occasion to check out. So we did. Their website boasts that they are one of the largest single fabric stores in North America. Which may be true. I had high hopes of finding some good-quality stretch denim, having largely given up on my local Fabricland for this.

Initial impressions were quite promising. A whole room of zippers. Another of lace and elastics. Beaded and sequined panels and appliques to outfit a thousand bellydancers.  An entire upstairs devoted to home-dec fabrics—not what I was looking for, of course, but impressive and some very attractive.

Downstairs again, a series of crowded warehouse-type rooms, fabric bolts stacked on shelves all the way to the fifteen-foot ceilings, often wrapped in plastic to protect them from dust. And there were truly gorgeous fabrics in there, too. The problem was finding them.

There seemed to be, again, a lot of home-dec. A fair selection of swimwear/dancewear lycra knits. I don’t even kinow what else, really. Not only was the seleciton overwhelming, the layout wasn’t condusive to finding anything. Eventually I had to ask to be directed to the denim section.

It was a single shelf on a single unit. The denim range, though small, was gorgeous—a lot of lovely finishes and weights—but none of it was stretch. Not one bolt.

Tyo's pants---centre

My fantasies of sturdy denim in an interesting wash (or even RED!) with just the right amount of lycra came crashing down around my ears. However, the price was right, and we were on the far end of town, so I selected a lovely indigo wash with great texture (and a soft enough weave that there’s a hint of stretch) and Tyo picked out a metre of camo print.

Of course, Tyo could think of nothing for her camo but the centre pants from this pattern—draw-string-bottom capris. She was terribly excited until she realized that the pattern lacks the other attributes necessary of camo pants—waistband, belt-flaps, POCKETS.

So, we went back to our mainstay of kids’ patterns, that gorgeous Patrones Niños I got from Her Selfishnesslong and long ago. It has any number of jeans patterns, including a varietyof capris, including drawstring capris. However, the ones Tyo

Tyo's eventual pattern selection

eventually settled on (perhaps without too much thought, but anyway) were this pair. Which you can see almost nothing of except that they  have a loose, below-the-knee leg. The line drawing reveals slightly more (although it’s not actually accurate about the change pocket, if you look closely at the photograph…), including some nifty back pockets.

Line drawing

With terrifying, tightly-curved flaps.


Camo pockets

Anyway, we spent yesterday evening tracing the pattern (I remembered to add seam allowances this time!) and cutting it out. I even managed to track down a zipper of the kind I use for jeans—I thought I was out. We debated the merits of topstitching and settled on black. And this morning, I started merrily stitching away.

And now I’m out of black thread.

Back pockets, with flap

Somewhere in this house, I’m quite certain, is a massive jumbo spool of black thread. But can I find it? There’s plenty of serger thread, but I’ve been suffering catastrophic failure on the jeans I made last summer that I used it on, so I am reluctant to use it for regular stitching. And, of course, it’s May Long (aka Victoria Day) so nothing is open, plus it’s pouring. Which may not deter those of you from soggier climates, but I don’t even own an umbrella, much less a rain-coat.

So instead I’m blogging half-done kids’ jeans, and debating what I should do with my gorgeous non-stretch denim.

I’m thinking bell-bottoms.



Filed under Sewing

14 responses to “Unintended stitching

  1. They will be terrific cargoes. If it were my house you would find the super sized roll of black thread about 5minutes after you return, rained upon and soggy, from buying the new roll of black thread.

    • Yep, that seems to be the rule in my house, too. If I thought the fabric store was open today I’d probably do it, too…

      • Perhaps you could think hard about buying thread, leave the house for a little while and then come back. I wonder if that would fool the existing black thread into coming out of its hiding place?

  2. Bummer about running out of thread, these look like they are going to be awesome–lucky, lucky girls to have such an awesome mom!

  3. Yes!! Bellbottoms!! No more sewing for those ungrateful house apes! (That’s what I call mine, anyway.)

  4. I like non-stretch denim, although it would be tough to do your usual skinny fit jeans with it. Bell bottoms would be cool, I’d also give a thumbs up to a denim skirt.

  5. I vote skirt, if you like that sort of thing. I have several jeans (bootcut and flare) of non-stretch denim and although they fit, they are NOT comfortable. Also, denim stitches up beautifully on anything with pockets and detailing, so I think the non-stretch would make a good pair of cargo pants — I say cargo pants because they tend to be less fitted than regular jeans.

    Bummer about running out of black thread. I always buy extra thread in navy, black and white at sales because I can’t make myself go to the fabric store for just ONE thing.

    • That’s what I try to do with the thread, too. And I try to make sure I have two spools at least on hand at any given time. 🙂

      I haven’t worn non-stretch denim (on my bottom half, anyway) since about 1999, when my last pair of Levi 501s bit the dust… The idea is kinda breaking my brain. Hmmm….

  6. There is almost nothing worse than having the urge to sew and having no thread. This is why I stockpile everytime JoAnn’s has thread on sale. Still, it’s amazing how often I don’t have the right color.

    I vote for jeans with the denim. I really prefer non-stretch denim, so I want to see what you can come up with !

  7. The cargos are coming along fabulously. Bummer about the thread. So frustrating. I feel your pain!

  8. ugh! why oh why can’t we find stretch red denim???? all i want is a pair of red skinnies for summer!

  9. ps i usually post as quietandsmall 🙂

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