I tend to function in workable chaos for most of the time and I can't be tidy if I try. Most of the time, this isn't a problem, but when I've been away from the sewing stuff for any length of time I can't find a thing for at least a couple of hours and other items disappear for longer. Amongst other bits and pieces, I lost the pocketing for my jeans - couldn't find the stuff anywhere. However, I was able to find a very nice substitute and cracked on.
I'm working on the jeans from last autumn/winter's Ottobre magazine - 5/2012. These are straight legged and a fairly standard design, but I altered the slope of the front pockets to be more flattering to my pear shape. I also changed the design of the topstitching on the rear pockets, as well as deepening the yoke. The denim I'm using is from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton, I purchased it last year but didn't get around to conquering my jeans block till this year. The denim has quite a strong vertical line to it - I'm not sure what the technical description is. It has a little bit of stretch.
My topstitching thread is Coats extra strong thread, shade 6690. It's a strong mustard yellow and looks good on the dark indigo denim. I'm making a second pair of these jeans in non-stretch black twill and have been trying out different contrast threads for this, too. Here are the topstitching tests:
The back pockets on these jeans are asymmetrical - of course, I cut out two the same. Duuhh! Fortunately, I'd added a nice extra bit of seam allowance on the top edge that gave enough room for a correction:
A little word about my zip. I bought a bag full of zips from a haberdashers in London late last year and there are lots of metal zips in them. Until I had a go at men's tailoring last year, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a curved zip - I'm sure you can guess which type I have a bag full of! Here it is, in all its curving glory:
I've got quite a lot of the construction done now. Before getting the sewing machine out, I overlocked all edges that would be exposed. Most instructions tell you to do this as you go along, but I'm a bit tight on space in my loft and constantly putting away one machine to take another out is a bit of a pain so I prefer to do this en masse. Besides, there's plenty of swapping between normal thread & needle and the topstitching arrangement during the rest of construction to keep busy. This is what my modified front pocket and positioned coin pocket look like:
I'm using Prym 9mm rivets to reinforce various points. I bought the pliers that Prym make some months ago and can be used with their various poppers, eyelets and rivets, etc. They were just over £15 but I've used them many times now and they are very good - much better than those little press things that come in the fastening packs.
The front fly construction wasn't too arduous. There are a couple of tricky bits to watch for, both concerning the zip. When you're sewing the fly, where you'd usually just sew straight over a nylon zip without too much thought, you can't do this with a metal one. If you're lucky, you'll just break your needle. If not, you'll jam your machine and have sharp, pointy needle shrapnel flying at your face. When you get to the bit where you sew across the zip, gently hand wheel over the danger area, then continue as usual.
So here are some pics of where I'm up to so far. I need to add the belt loops (already sewn), interface my waistband facing, add the waistband to the jeans and finish the belt loops. The very last will be to sew a buttonhole and add the jeans button. Jobs for tomorrow evening.
Looking at this pic of the front, I forgot to say that I had some trouble with getting my machine to do effective bar tacks. Rather than re-do it countless times on the machine, I opted for the old fashioned method of needle, thread and thimble. Quick, easy and effective!
Here's the back view - my pockets aren't perfect as they're not quite a mirror image of each other, but they're good enough. I was going to add some little fabric tags, but decided that there's enough going on here with all the topstitching and rivets. My apologies if you get a stiff neck looking at this - I can't figure out how to rotate the image on the blog!
Finally, here's the topstitching on the inseam:
That's all for now, folks, more later in the week.