I love that I was able to take these photos at 10:00 pm at night, outside, without a flash. Now if that doesn’t scream summer, what does? (This is where someone who’s from the real “up north” chimes in with a comment about the midnight sun. /envy.)
So, the capris are done. And they are fun, although as usual there are a couple of issues (beyond my indifferent topstitching). The biggest one is simply the fabric—although a lovely and stretchy cream denim colour, and heavier than some of the jeans I’ve made, the fabric is a bit thin for jeans. Meaning while it stretches nicely to fit, it, ah, hugs all the lumps and bumps rather than smoothing them. When you add portions like the pocket and the rear yoke, that don’t stretch nearly as much, it also creates a few lumps and bumps that wouldn’t be there all on their own. Tucking in tops CAREFULLY and choosing the right pair of underwear are also going to be important (VPL in jeans, who knew?)
Other than that and the Featherweight Tragedy, I’m pretty happy. The piping is nice, the wonky topstitching is fading from memory (fortunately it’s on the butt where I don’t need to look at it), and I finally remembered to make my belt-loops wide enough for all my belts (although it’s the narrow one I’m wearing in the photos).
If I were to do it again I would place the pockets higher or make them a little taller. The dip between the petals in the top eats up a surprising amount of space, both visually and practically.
I like it with the cuffs turned up. Although, the non-stretch lining of the cuffs doesn’t interact especially well with the stretch denim when putting these on. we’ll see how that goes.
I put a lot of strain on my belt loops, especially at the centre back, so I like to elaborate them in some way. Often I use three instead of just one at the CB. This time, I made one giant one with piping on both sides. I just piped both edges and topstitched to keep the bias on the inside. Super easy, and a nice finish to boot.
For the other belt-loops, I wanted them more narrow, so I put piping on only one side and just folded the other side under and topstitched.
This is the first truly successful jeans buttonhole I’ve done—made with the vintage buttonholer and one of my new templates, the short keyhole. It’s the perfect size for the jeans buttons I have (which are admittedly a little wimpy. One of these days I’ll order some genuine good all-metal ones. /sigh.) I will note I find it quite odd that when sewing straight lines on the Janome with heavier thread, I have to turn the tension way up (and often do some other jiggery pokery) but then when zig-zagging I have to turn the tension way down.
You can just about see my neat feature on the fly where I had the two lines of topstitching criss-cross halfway down. This has nothing to do with the fact that my zipper was placed a little too far out from the centre front and couldn’t make the stitch line right where I wanted. Nothing at all… (I find it interesting that some people, who are following the exact same tutorials I do for fly zipper insertion, find that their zipper is still too close to the CF line and tends to gape. I have the opposite problem, with my zippers ending up tucked too far under the fly and often interfering with my ideal topstitching line (the Jalie pattern doesn’t leave you much room for error in this, either, as there’s not a huge fly extension).
This pink thread is Coats & Clack Heavy Duty XP Dual Duty, or something like that, not the super-fat Guterman topstitching thread. Janome actually likes it fairly well, meaning all I have to do it turn the tension way up, not some of the other finnicky workarounds I’ve come up with for the topstitching thread. But for some reason it all goes whack when zig-zagging—whether with the buttonholer (in which the machine is still set on straight) or the zig-zag stitch. Featherweight handled either flawlessly, although she needed a bit of a tension boost too.
Featherweight afficionados, I have a question: I have generally been advised to use regular thread in the bobbin with my topstitching thread up top. Despite the annoyance of winding extra bobbins, there are times when it would be nice to have topstitching thread on both sides (turn up cuffs, come to the front of the class). Also I can’t help but think it might be sturdier (I have had a fair bit of topstitching failure on some of my earlier jeans where the bottom thread has broken). Can the Featherweight handle this? Any particular pros and cons?
My favourite feature is the piping, I think. I may have to add that to more jeans in the future. But then, piping is kinda addictive at the best of times…
Other things to try in the future:
- change up the front pockets. The Jalie pocket line manages to be both distinctive and boring. I love the double pockets on Patty’s pair (pattythesnugbug.com is transitioning platforms while I write this so I can’t do a direct link, but looks up her pants posts, she has lots of great musing on fitting and styling)
- something with lots of rivets. Lots and lots of rivets. I love hardware as much as the next crypto-Goth.
- distressing. I generally like my jeans fairly crisp and dark wash (obviously these are not dark, but you know what I mean). I lost my taste for buying pre-worn-looking denim right around the time I had to start paying for my own clothing. When you have a $90/pair jeans habit and are on welfare home with a small baby*, you need your jeans to LAST, because you’re probably not getting another pair for a long time. That being said, since I’m making my own, it would be ok to have some more casual pairs with a more RTW look. Just no pre-made holes and paint splatters, please.
- I have had fun messing with the back pockets on these last few pairs, too. It’s the little details that really make (and distinguish) jeans.
- draft and make a pair for my husband. Yes, I’m a sucker for punishment. I’m also seriously considering using a women’s draft for him (don’t tell him) as he really fits the women’s measurements considerably better than I do (don’t tell him that either). Boy got back. Which is where Tyo gets it, of course.