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2/1/13: Finished Project – Jeans

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Let me take you back to April of last year. According to a post then, I was going to go all out and make jeans and t-shirts. I quote: “I’m envisioning a pair of jeans that are made of denim that is tough as nails (so they won’t get snagged by nails), and t-shirts that are breathable and don’t fade in the sun in a couple weeks.” 

I haven’t gotten to the t-shirts yet but may I introduce you to my very first pair of jeans. . .

These jeans had a long journey to the finish line. If I remember right, they were cut out in May, partially sewn in June, and then thrown into a heap and left untouched for the next six months. Pitiful. As soon as January rolled around it dawned on me that if I don’t get these jeans done by the end of February, I might not get them done at all. I’m starting a new job at a camp at the end of this month (very exciting!), and I’m guessing this is going to cut down on crafting time. So it was time to get things rolling again! 
So let me run you through the details.
The Jeans’ Features: These mid-rise jeans, with their boot cut shaping, have deep hip pockets, two back pockets, belt loops, and a turn-under waistband.
The Fabric: The fabric came from an Ebay seller. It is a 12 oz. denim and 100% cotton. I tried to avoid buying stretch denim because I’ve heard from other sewers that it tends to stretch out after wearing it for a short time. So I stuck with all cotton and hope that will makes things less baggy after multiple wearings.
The Pattern: I used my perfected Simplicity 2860 pants pattern. I used it once before with really great results. However, I did change things in the pattern’s style and fit. I added hip pockets, added back pockets, shortened the belt loops, and dropped the waist, (because I wanted mid-rise jeans). Strangely enough, I had a hard time finding information on how to make a hip pocket. The only real good hip pocket source I could find was from the Reader’s Digest Book of Sewing. I thought there would be more information on how to do hip pockets on the internet, but I guess its just a topic that’s overlooked. Need to make another pair of jeans so maybe I’ll blog about this. What do you think?


The Construction Process: The jeans were put together the same way as my first pair of pants. It went something like this: sew in the fly zipper, hip pockets, sew the waist band pieces on top of each pant piece, and sew side seams and crotch. I actually basted all of these seams as I was going to do some fitting. At this time I tried the jeans on. They turned out baggy, especially the legs and below the seat. Also noticed some horizontal fold lines (which means too much length), at the hollow of my back.
So I spent the next two days taking in the seams and perfecting the fit. Strongly believe this is thee worst part about sewing! Fitting is time consuming and it is such a critical moment. After all this intensive fitting time I needed a break. I took a short, two-day jean vacation and when I returned I found myself analyzing with a clearer mind. Definitely recommend fitting vacations!
Once the fit was achieved I had my sister help me pin the back pockets on when I was wearing the jeans. I tried doing this by myself and the right pocket ended up being an inch too high. Ugh! Lot of seam ripping was involved with those pockets.

 Let me show you what’s on the inside. Here you can see the front of the jeans with the fly zipper and hip pockets. I used white sheeting for the pocket lining because it has a dense weave.

For the jeans’ closure I chose the same hook and button method as I did with my first pants.

Jumping down to the hem. I serged the raw edge, turned it up 1/2″ and sewed it down using navy blue thread so it blends into the denim.

Now about the side seams. I love to make sure I can alter my clothes if I ever have to so I left a 1″ seam allowance in the waist area and graded it down to a 5/8″ seam allowance at the leg.

  

 The waistband is comprised of waistband and facing pieces. The facing is turned to the inside, understitched, and then finally I stitch-in-the-ditch from the public side. Just to make sure everything aligns in the end, I basted the facing before I stitched. Worked out really well!

They turned out much better than I anticipated. I had a chance to wear them a couple times when the family was doing firewood and they felt comfortable even with all the bending and stooping. I have a lot more yardage to use so I’m going to make another one this month so I’ll ba all set for spring. Hopefully, t-shirts will be included in the upcoming months as well!

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