Monday, 22 April 2013

Materials gathered

I'm very pleased to be part of this Great Jeans Party Sewalong.
Meet my fabric - lightweight brown canvas from a remnant bin at Abakhan, all nice and wrinkly after having been through the washer a few times.

I'll be using the green quilting cotton for the inside of the waistband and the pocket bags.

I'm hoping the fly insertion goes well enough so that the red zip isn't on show, but just in case, I'll be pretending it is a design feature and using the red thread for topstitching.

There is a choice of jeans buttons from the local market - a sort of coppery one and a sort of brassy one.
(Rivets to follow).

I've not really worn jeans since having children because I'm just not happy with the way they fit.
Back in the day (oh how my children love it when I use this phrase!), so when I was the same age as my eldest is now (19), my idea of "good fit" in a pair of jeans was if I had to lie down flat on the floor to do them up.
Those days are well and truly gone (along with the matching body sadly), these days I've got different ideas about what "good fit" means for me.

I guess if you had to put a label on my body shape it would be pear shaped. If I try on ready to wear (RTW) jeans that fit around the derriere then the waistband is too big and they dip down at the back in a way that could so easily become the dreaded "builder's bum" if they're low rise. So they stay in the shop.

I'm aiming to eliminate any risk of builder's bum, and will be making my jeans a medium rise just an inch or so below my waist for added security.

The other main fitting challenge I have is that the side seams curve towards the front on the upper thighs. I would so like a lovely vertical seam that lies straight from waist to floor.

I don't expect the first pair to be a masterpiece - so meet my next pair of jeans-to-be: 7oz indigo denim from Fabricland (also nice and creased from washing and drying), with some more quilting cotton and another red zip. Traditional orange topstitching for this pair I think.

By this stage you'd be forgiven for thinking that I'm working on having red zips as my "signature style" - I'd love to say this is the case but it would be a big fat fib. They're just what I happen to have in my stash that is the right size (job lot of mixed zips from an ebay seller a while ago). 'Bout time they were put to good use.

Time to meet my tools.
  • A large flexible rule (90cm) so I can have a bash at the "fishbowl" method for adjusting the crotch curve on the pattern.
  • Cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • Nice heavy shears
  • tracing wheel
  • hammer
  • basting tape (double sided sticky tape stuff to help with the zip insertion - as taught by Celia Banks)
  • my pattern of choice - Butterick B5682 (already bought this last year before the sew along was announced)

not pictured is the remnant roll of curtain fabric (of similar weight to the canvas) that I plan to use for toiles

Choices Choices....
 I'm NOT great with deciding between different options. Given the chance I will dither. A LOT! So I'm glad we have some deadlines to help push me along.
(Please feel free to remind me I said this later on when the deadlines whoosh past and I'm still trouserless...)

The pattern gives several choices for leg styles. I'll probably do a slight bootleg or a straight leg but I'm open to suggestions.

Am in denial about pockets - won't be even thinking about them until much later on.

I've tried to be good and source most of the things from my stash...for example I didn't buy another pattern despite being very tempted by some of the ones on the list.....but I admit I got a bit distracted by topstitching thread - meet the pretty culprits on the right.

I reckon I must have enough topstitching thread for 10 pairs of jeans!

The in-your-face-orange is almost neon and was in a £1 basket at Abakhan. It was a punt and I'm looking forward to experimenting with it.

Couldn't resist the varigated blue thread after seeing it demonstrated on a trouser fitting course - yes, that's right, I'm blaming YOU Moley ;-)

I guess I better get a wriggle on now and catch up with the schedule and do some sorting out of that pattern and my fishbowl.......


  1. happy sewing with the jean sew along, I've never made jeans before, not any kind of pants with a zipper lol!

  2. Most impressive, TC. Your fitting issues sound very similar to mine - concern over bike parking and curving side seams. I've never seen the adhesive tape in action before, only heard it mentioned on a couple of American sites - I'll be very interested to see it in action; I always tack my zips to death to make sure they sit right.

    love all the fabric choices!