Monthly Archives: December 2014

V8801—men’s jeans

Men's Jeans

Men’s Jeans

I’ve been wanting and not wanting to sew jeans for Osiris for YEARS. For all the usual reasons: he is picky and has some specific fitting issues. Frankly, making shirts for him hasn’t been hard—as long as the sleeves are long enough and he gets the details he likes, he’s pretty much happy. But jeans—now that’s all about fit. Scary, scary fit.

So, let’s start with his main requests: slim/tapered legs (but they can’t be too tight) and a rise that isn’t too low. Fit issues will be leg length (easy) and his curvy-for-a-dude butt. (potentially horrifying. The fitting challenge, not the butt itself. I quite like that bit.)

I have a couple of patterns I’d like to try, starting with Vogue 8801. I’m kinda hesitant since what is out there for reviews are fairly mixed. (Everything from too tight to too loose to right on, but some concerns about the pocket placement and yoke proportions seem more consistent.) I was pleasantly surprised my husband’s 32″ waist and 37″ hips were within the same size range—but then he’s a little “chunky” right now, which makes him a lot easier to fit. (When he’s not “chunky” he has a 28″ waist, try finding men’s pants in that size. 😉 )

I also compared the Vogue pattern to an old indie pattern* I have that looks like it stepped right out of the rodeo. And was pleasantly surprised that they were very similar in overall size and rise. The Vogue seems to have a narrower front, but wider back pieces, and the angle of the legs is a bit different.

Curved yoke piece.

Curved yoke piece.

I made (perhaps unwisely) a few preemptive fitting adjustments. These are the same curvy-butt adjustments I make for Tyo (and to a lesser extent myself): increased height at CB with a wedge, and curving in the top of the back yoke. This may throw off the waist size, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Happily the waistband has a CB seam which should help with tweaking the rear fit.

At Osiris’s request, I’m using stretch denim. He’s had some health issues the last few years that contribute to a lot of weight fluctuation and variable bloating, so stretch denim has become his friend. The denim I’m using for the “muslin” pair is just barely stretchy , but the one I am hoping to make the “good” pair out of is both beefier and stretchier. (Frankly, it is taking every bit of my willpower not to make it into something for me… I totally downloaded the Ginger jeans pattern a few weeks ago… 😉 )

Fabric. And pocket lining.

Fabric. And pocket lining.

Another thing I’m curious but ambivalent about is the shaped waistband in this pattern. I mean, I’m all about that in my own jeans, but I wear them low, where curvature is needed—not at all where Osiris wears them. And they’re supposed to be interfaced (I even bought waistband interfacing, which of course won’t work with the contour band). If I do interface, I’m thinking I’ll go with a knit fusible, to get some extra heft but keep the stretch Osiris is loopin

Anyway, wish me luck!

 

*Designer Jeans #260, from Sharon Marie Studios, which appear to have been published out of Edmonton, Alberta, in the late 70s and early 80s. I have actually collected the entire family—men’s, women’s, baby, and a couple different size range of children’s jeans. My mom squealed when I showed them to her—apparently she made me a pair of jeans with one of the kids’ patterns when I was small.

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Filed under Sewing

Simple, practical, superfluous.

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I’ve had Burda 8855 for a long time—it was one of the earlier thrift-store patterns I picked up. And, frankly, it’s pretty damn near perfect: a long, not too full skirt, one of my favourite styles, and one I wear a fair bit when I’m in a “look at me!” point in my fashion cycle. Amidst all the craziness of Hallowe’en sewing, I was yearning to make something for myself, and traced it off. (A 70s vintage pattern, it doesn’t have seam allowances added. Which means I got to add my own, favourite 1cm seam allowance. YAY 🙂 ) Incidentally, the most fun thing about the pattern itself was discovering that it was printed on tissue paper identical in every way to the big Burda-brand tracing sheets I buy by the package at Fabricland, right down to the one shiny side and the precise folding scheme.) As I was auditioning black fabrics for Batgirl’s jacket/cape at Hallowe’en, I pulled out this mystery suiting, a sturdy twill weave that feels like it might have a hint of wool in. While I went with a leather-look knit for Batgirl, I knew this fabric would make a great, sturdy, plain black skirt.

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I traced and cut a straight size 38, adding a wide hem allowance to the bottom both because I like wide hems and just in case the length as drafted wasn’t enough (though 70s long skirts are generally fine, for some reason). Once I finally got it constructed enough to try on (there was some sewing together of incorrect sides and other humorous blunders) I trimmed a wee bit off the top to allow for the fact that my waist definitely not size 38, and a wee bit more off the top back in a teensy-tiny swayback adjustment. I often do this in dresses with a waist-seam, but it was interesting to see it happen in a solo skirt, especially since it’s not terribly fitted over the hips. Anyway; side-zip and a waistband. On reflection, while I am coming to terms with skirts that hit at my waist (at least if I don’t try to tuck a top in), I still prefer the look of a facing to an actual waistband. Less bulk in the area where I least need to add bulk. 😉 Especially since this pattern has no back seam so the zipper is at the side. Next time I try this pattern, I will try making a facing for it. Or maybe add a back seam to put the zipper in. Or maybe both.

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Once I had the top finished to my liking, I tried it on and decided that while the length at the back was good (allowing for a nice 2″ hem), the front could be a wee bit shorter. I trimmed about 1″ off the front, tapering to nothing just past the side seams. To make the turn-up on the flared skirt, I tried something new to me: I cranked the differential feed all the way up on my serger and serged the bottom edge of the skirt, gathering it somewhat as I went. This wound up being pretty much perfect for pressing it up; then I hand-stitched the hem, as I usually do. It’s not terribly smooth or pretty on the inside—a seam binding or other tape would help with that—but it was quick and functional. Quick being a big deal these days.

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It was a deliciously quick project; IIRC, I traced the pattern on Saturday night, cut and sewed on Sunday, and finished the hem Sunday evening, to wear the skirt Monday morning. Now that is a win.

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I did a lapped zipper. That probably didn’t help with the whole side-bulk thing. >_<

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So I’m quite happy with the skirt, aside from some funkiness about my buttonhole on the waistband (buttonhole is not centred but button is, which causes some bubbling at the side, just where you don’t want it.) And It’s been worn a number of times since. I was quite pleased with myself for finally adding such a versatile basic piece* to my closet. Then, while digging through that closet for things to wear with the skirt, I found not one, but two long black skirts from my pre-sewing days that, um, I had kinda forgotten about. So apparently it’s a staple that I already possessed.

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I still like my new skirt best, though.

*your mileage may vary. 😉

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Filed under Sewing

Christmas Sewing Begins

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Really late, yes. Shush. My plans are modest—this pair of dancey-flares for Syo, based on this Kwik Sew kids’ yoga pants pattern (KS3498). It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, provided I can arrange for Syo to not be home and for myself to be home.

Wish me luck. 😉

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December 13, 2014 · 10:26 am