hello! guess what?? I made jeans and I’m just a bit pleased with myself.
Fitted trousers or jeans have been on my wish list/to do list for ages.
Then I acquired this fabric. A lovely soft brushed cotton(?) with quite a bit of stretch. and you know…….. animal print!
2 identical remnants from Tessuti! both 1 m, enough for jeans even with nap.
I thought I’d go for a wearable muslin of Closet Case files Ginger jeans.
I was nervous about making jeans. My machine did not like top-stitching. First I tried Gutermann top-stitching thread and Schmetz top-stitching needles. Should have been an unbeatable combination, but no way, just a hot mess of tangles and snarls. I found some very helpful top-stitching hints on Jenny’s Cashmerette blog.
In the end what I found worked best (most of the time) with my PFAFF:
- a Schmetz jeans needle
- Gutermann upholstery thread in the needle
- normal Gutermann in the bobbin
- a stitch length of 4
- tension of 7.
The upholstery thread is not as thick as the top-stitching thread and didn’t seem to snarl up as much. It is also more economical. You only get 30 m of topstitching thread on a spool, compared to 100 with the upholstery. 30 m doesn’t go far with all the topstitching on jeans. I used my standard presser foot for all, but next time I will try the blind hem foot for the edges like those on the pockets.
I can see how more that one machine would be a real boon. I was constantly having to change thread, tension and stitch length switching between normal stitching and top-stitching. you can’t leave all the top-stitching to the end either. I might just see if I can find the machine I learnt to sew on……….. my grandmothers hand-operated Singer.
I did re-do the pockets. Based on the pattern they were half-way down my thighs. I really didn’t like them. Heather of Closet Case files does say pocket placement is highly individual and suggests leaving pocket placement until you do a final try on. I didn’t, so ended up unpicking all the topstitching and placing the pockets much higher, over the yoke in fact. Much better.
I loved choosing the lining/pocket fabric. In fact having pretty jeans innards is enough to have me making more. This is a quilting cotton, though it looks like a much more expensive Japanese fabric. It makes me smile every time I see it.
As a wearable muslin I’m pretty happy with these. They are a bit big. Heather does say all fabric behaves differently and it is really necessary to baste and try on during construction. Even though I did (what?! yes really!) they still ended up too big especially after a days wear.
I could take a wedge out of the back…but all the top stitching………….. After seeing these photos and spending the photo shoot yanking them up, I have taken an inch out of the centre back seam including at the waistband and an inch off each inside leg, much better, still comfy.
Have you tried making jeans? Do you know a source of jeans fixings? The snaps I’ve used are not great quality. When you put all the sewing time in it seems a shame to be let down by the hardware. Any online sources you can recommend?
Any ideas gratefully received……………….. because (sneak peak) I’ve started on my second pair of Gingers!…..a size down…………..