Our little sweatshop

I worked it out the other day and realized it’s been like a year and a half since I made myself a pair of jeans. Say what? I know! Crazy! And, the best of the remaining pairs (or at least, the newest) recently developed a run, or whatever you’d like to call it, in the butt just beside the CB seam—you know, when denim wears so the threads one way are gone but the threads the other way are still there. Anyway, I darned it up on my Grandma’s Rocketeer, which is about all I can really do on it since neither cams, accessories, nor bobbins have appeared.* but the fact remains that it’s well past time for a new pair or two.

So I cornered my Stylish sister-in-law and we picked a date for a sewing day—after months of not being able to—and when I asked her if there was anything she wanted to make For Her (as opposed to the kids or husband), her first thought was capri-length jeans. Perfect!

Not really a beginner project, you say? Pah, I say! We shall charge ahead! Especially since I just scored some lovely denim at 70% off… What could go wrong?


The topstitcher

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, we set up our little sweatshop in Stylish’s basement. I brought over the elderly serger (which has decided it won’t cut at the moment. Yes, I’m sure the blades are dull as all get up, but the damn thing was slicing everything just fine right up until two weeks ago. WTF?) and my featherweight, for the topstitching. The three-machine, two-sewists setup worked quite well, as I could usually manage to be working on a different machine.


Yoke alterations

So, over the weekend we spent all our spare time tracing, cutting, and sewing a couple of pairs of jeans. The pattern, of course, is Jalie 2908. I really need to re-trace and revamp my version of the pattern, and come up with a less stretch-intensive version, but for this one I resorted to just chalking in a bit more ease (and length) where I needed it. Again.


Rear rise alteration

For Stylish, I had her trace off her hip size, and then added the usual suite of alterations I do for Tyo in Jalie patterns—adding to the rear rise with a wedge at CB and curving in the rear yoke. I’ve been working on my contour waistband pattern, too, and I think I may have perfected it—or at least, it appears to work for both my butt AND Stylish’s, which is a friggin’ miracle if you ask me.


The waistband in question

(Note—all images are of my jeans. Why? Because while I was standing around taking pictures, Stylish was actually working on hers. πŸ˜‰


Front waistband. Looking pretty good when not on me.

Confession—between when I first banged off this post and publishing, we managed to pretty much finish. My pair is OK, although I made the waistband non-stretch which means it’s really tight. I like the non-stretch waistband but I need to make some pattern modifications (i.e., more ease) in the upper hip if I’m going to use one. Stylish’s pair is pretty good IMO, in her opinion not so good—one of the legs twists a bit and the fly does a curious list to one side. I’m not sure what’s up with either, frankly, since we both did the exact same thing. I just wish I could get her to appreciate the miracle that is the fact that it doesn’t gape at the back and is only mildly wrinkly under her butt. Also, I don’t think she is adequately awed by the fact that that fly (which she sewed entirely on her own, albeit with me going “ok, sew this part now. Now sew this.” is her FIRST ZIPPER. FIRST ZIPPER EVER, peeps.


The whole shebang (with chihuahua)

Actual photos to follow at some point, but for now, have a floor pic with a chihuahua, MPB style. My Crafty sister-in-law came over one evening, too, and finished a blouse she had started way back in the winter—so I will have to make her dress up and get photos done of that, too. In my copious spare time…

*not strictly true. There is actually a cam in the machine, for making, based on its markings, a diamond pattern zigzag. I have managed to get it to produce great straight stitches, narrow zigzag stitches, and a variety of “decorative” variations that don’t look like much. I will definitely be consulting the manual linked to by my helpful readers! Intuitive, this machine ain’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that I like my sewing machines the way I like my computer programs—while I appreciate a good manual, I’d much rather just sit down and bash at it and see what I can figure out. For that matter, I think that’s my approach to a good chunk of life…



Filed under Sewing

10 responses to “Pantsclub

  1. Whoa! A zip fly for the first ever zipper?! She’s a brave woman, somebody better buy her a drink! πŸ˜‰ Those are some great looking jeans, and at 70% off denim, I sure hope you bought the whole damn bolt! Maybe two! πŸ™‚

  2. LinB

    My, oh my, you have a brave SIL! (Or, perhaps, she’s just too ignorant to have been afraid, which is often the same thing.) I only wish I were sewing up some jeans out of good old, forgiving denim! My wearable (?) muslin of Vogue 1054 jeans is out of some polished chintz remnants from someone’s dead relative’s stash, left over from draperies, in a pattern and colors that must surely be from the 1980s. I think the final result will be okay to wear — they certainly fit well enough — but am I brave enough to wear clown pants out in public? Usually the answer is “Yes.” But these clown pants … in a v. bold plaid of pink, blue, pale green, and oatmeal on white … I have enough scraps to concoct a vest. If I commit to an entire outfit, it will look deliberate. I hope.

    • Yeah, the bravery born of ignorance may be my favourite kind. πŸ˜‰ No one ever told her it was hard, so it wasn’t.

      That sounds like it would be right on the border between awesome and awful! Only one way to find out which one it is… πŸ˜‰ (and at least they’ll be great when you make them up in regular fabric!)

  3. Check the bottom blade alignment on the serger. Mine wasn’t cutting either. I even bought new blades and everything. Turns out the bottom blade had just slipped a bit. Also, we should get together again. If you want to, email me when you are free.

  4. OK, SIL has to smack herself, and then pat herself on the back. That’s terrific work for a newbie. Or for anyone!

  5. PANTS CLUB!!!!! These came out great! I have 2 patterns now for jeans, one is for stretch fabric but I am not ‘ready’ yet. Soon.

  6. I want in on that club. Pity world travel hasn’t yet got into teleportation, from what I understand (?!) but I still want in.

    Here here to those simply amazing first out of the box jeans, trousers, pants, whatever. They are freaking fantabulous. Tell her to check out the fit on everyone else’s store bought jeans and she’ll be converted. Hey there’s nothing wrong with crotch-fit watching right?

  7. Pingback: Jeans at last. | Tanit-Isis Sews

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