Jeans are done.

They’re fine.

The Back

Buttonhole FAIL.

There was the requisite “OMFG how the HECK are these ever going to fit?” moment. There was the usual buttonhole drama (Featherweight and vintage buttonholer were not up to the task, although they might have done better had I remembered to put the presser foot down). There was the “crap, I think I cut these belt-loops too short” moment, followed by the “Wow, those belt-loops are way too big” moment.

Side view

There’s always a bit of drama involved in attaching the waistband on stretch denim jeans. OK, there’s always a bit of drama when I do it, anyway. This is because the jeans denim stretches, the heavily-interfaced waistband doesn’t, and how the HECK is this supposed to work? (Incidentally, if you look at low-rise RTW stretch jeans, often the main jeans denim is stretched to fit the waistband. This looks funny and square on the hanger, but just fine once they’re on the body). One of these days I’ll finish killing one of my precious pairs of Buffalo Jeans and autopsy the waistband to find out what, if anything, they put in there, because it sure works better than anything I’ve tried so far.

Waistband, opened up to show interfacing, before being attached.

Sometimes I sew waistband and jeans together flat. Sometimes I stretch the jeans denim just a little bit. I did that today, and it worked out. Sewing them together flat works better if you haven’t interfaced the waistband as much as I did ย this time (but then you end up with a flabby waistband). Observations of my favourite RTW pairs suggest that when the regular denim stretches 50%, the waistband stretches only about 10%. Possibly dark and necromantic powers are involved.

Waistband with bound edge, before being attached

I used the bind-the-inside-waistband method this time. It’s simple and much less futzy than slip-stitching down the inside or, worst, trying to topstitch it in place from the outside.

Pocket and back belt-loop

Although I loved using the Featherweight for my topstitching, I’m thinking with thread like this (which my Janome didn’t object to… probably helps that she’s freshly serviced, though) I should use a stretch stitch from the Janome for the pocket embroidery. I keep hearing threads go “snap” back there, plus I think it would make a smoother silhouette if the stitches were stretchier.

The finished front: button, bar-tack, belt loops, and rivets.

I think I actually managed to put the button in the right place so the fly doesn’t try to gape open. I actually saw a gizmo a little while back being sold (I think in a gas-station) that would extend your jeans waistband—basically a loop that buttons to your buttonhole—and, having been pondering flies that lie smooth and zippers staying up, stared at it in amazement. It would never work. The fly would have to stay open.

Well, I know some people do this when they’re pregnant (hair elastics work well, I’m told… I was not that ingenious and just wore overalls). This requires a long top to cover it, though. The gizmo made no mention of the long top. Maybe it was assumed.

Now, the four-million-dollar question: should I try my hand at distressing them? I’m getting a little bored of plain dark-wash, but on the other hand am I brave enough to take bleach and sandpaper and pumice to my brand new jeans?

In other news…

I got a birthday present! Heather of Sewing on Pinsย made up my birthday pattern as a top! Yay, happy dance. (And she didn’t hate it, even though she thought she would! Yay!) (Incidentally, while I naturally want you all to go make up a version RIGHT NOW, when it’s not your style/season/you have something better to do you don’t actually have to.)

Anyway, have a hedgehog! And a great week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Superfluous hedgehog.



Filed under Sewing

23 responses to “Yawn…

  1. Hey now, I didn’t think I’d hate it, I just thought it wouldn’t work for me!

    I’m glad I posted before seeing these, because I’m really jealous of your ability to make jeans like these. I kind of want to take back the present in my green-eyed bitterness (but it is mine…so that won’t work). Oh well, I have a pretty top to console me, so there. Nah!

    • Hee! I might exaggerate slightly for effect…

      Muahaha! You have given me the ultimate present-that-cannot-be-ungiven! I like it :D.

      I will wish you the best in any future jeans-making endeavours. I feel kinda bad that I had such an easy time fitting pants (so far…)… blame it on the general rectangle-ness, I guess. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  2. You see, these pants are allowed to hug your peachy derriere because they’re designed that way ๐Ÿ™‚ The ones I was referring to in my last post are the dress pant kind ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. redbamsews

    Excellent job w/ the jeans. I am very impressed w/ your talent. I do not think I would tackle making a pair of pants especially with a front fly. Hats off to you.

    • Thanks! As I confessed above, the fitting wasn’t hard for me. The fly front I rely heavily on the tutorials I linked, and everything else is basically just wrangling heavy-ish fabric. I like heavy fabric, though, much more than light slippery ones…

  4. Joy

    Yay, more jeans! They must be old hat to you, now.
    I just finished my pair tonight…

  5. WOW! These are great–I’m super impressed with your jean sewing prowess!! !:)

  6. Your jeans, as always, look terrific, and perfectly fitting. It is a pity that such success becomes dull with repetition. Why is that ? I am so tired of my best trousers pattern.
    I read about jeans sewing, despite only wearing trouser jeans through kindness to the public, and somewhere picked up the idea that in RTW jeans, legs are cut on the grain, and waistbands on the cross grain, to save fabric. This suggests very little stretch would exist in the horizontal aspect of the “stretch’ waistband, and also explain why waistbands in RTW non stretch jeans do actually shrink more in the circumference than the circumference of the legs. It might have been a Kathleen Fansadella post that said this sort of thing, or of course, the true explanation of werido waistband stretch or lack of, could be something dark and mysterious, because that would be more interesting.

    • I do remember something to that effect (and I think you’re right, it was Kathleen) but ALL the low-rise, stretch-denim jeans I have in my closet have contour waistbands. I THINK they’re cut principally on the cross-grain, although I could be wrong about that.

      It’s possible there are straight-waistband low-rise jeans out there that I just never bought because the back gaped like crazy over my butt (a common issue, which I blame on swayback since it’s certainly not junk in the trunk), but they’re not my comparison group, anyway. It may also just be that the RTW jeans have heavier, sturdier denim, although like I said in the post, the % stretch is similar.

      I’m still not ruling out black magic.

  7. These look ab fab, you make me so jealous I have been sewing for 30 years (since I was 10) and I’ve only just attempted my first pair of jean’s heavily influenced by your ability unfortunately my jeans don’t look anywhere near as good as your’s but then neither does my butt….. Great job.

  8. I vote black magic.

    Anyway those jeans look hot! Great job! I think you should attempt distressing. That way you’re pushing yourself further beyond your comfort zone.

    Is the hedgehog a pet or was he found in the jeans waistband? Black magic can throw up all kinds of interesting side effects… Like free hedgehogs.

  9. Your jeans look top notch! Generally, I’m not a fan of processed distressed jeans, I kinda feel like they should be worn to distress. Still, it may be a fun experiment, and it doesn’t really matter if I’m a fan of distressing now, does it?! heheh

  10. Great jeans (as usual of course:)!)
    Re: distressing, I distressed the hems on some RTW jeans of Hubby’s I took up recently – NB: I’ve not tried this technique on knees / bum (butt) areas. I tested it out on the scraps first though. I stitched an imitation of the correct thickness of the hem on the scrap, then I sandpaper-ed it (on top of newspaper to save the table surface ;)). Then I made a thick paste of some Vanish whitening oxy-action stain remover powder – (although I think a whitening gel formula product might be easier to use?). I first made the denim wet with cold water, then rang it out so it was just very, very damp with no drips. Then I rubbed the paste into the hem. I left it for 3-4 hours (overnight might be even better perhaps), then threw them in the wash. It faded-up the hems pretty good – and got even better after 3-4 more times in the wash (between wearings of course!). I think the whitening type formula works better than the other stain-removers which are usually designed to preserve colour/dye in the fabric – whereas whitening formulas of detergent often contain low-levels of *bleaching agents in them (*not necessarily the same kind of bleach/ Clorox used for household cleaning, but other chemicals that perform the same action upon dyes/pigments).

  11. Wow- I wish I had a cool kid on standby so he could tell me what the cool kids would say abour jeans! They look great!

  12. Kas

    Hedgehogs are never superfluous! Distress, distress, distress! It’s very soothing really ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. LinB

    “Superfluous Hedgehog” is too much for a wrestling nickname, but would make an excellent garage band name. Or spy password.

  14. Well, I am still enthralled by actual hand made jeans. Once again they look great and thanks for all the front Fly tips, because that’s where I can use all the tips.

  15. Fantastic jeans, they look awesome on you. I bow to your denim expertise. You may find it boring but it gets me that much closer to looking through the denim section at Fabricland. And KLine is right, it’s denim, and not so tight that the zipper is straining and the fly shield is buckling under the pressure.

    What a cute hedgehog! In univeristy, one of my friends sister was raising hedgehogs. It never crossed my mind they would be pets until then.

  16. They look great – very sassy!
    Re distressing – you could have a play around on some scraps first, rather than potentially ruin all your good work!

  17. Pingback: Topstitching Fail | Tanit-Isis Sews

  18. Pingback: Me-Made-May: Week One | Tanit-Isis Sews

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