Saturday, August 14, 2010

New computer; new jeans

The Sewing Lawyer spent much of the past week, after mostly recovering from a nasty summer cold and jet lag (bad combination) sewing the Jalie jeans pattern.  Or rather, sewing it twice.   Why, you might wonder?  It comes down to fabric choice.  The Sewing Lawyer owns quite a lot of fabric, including what remains, after 2 previous pairs of jeans, of some very nice stretch denim purchased years ago from Wazoodle, which was claimed to be genuine Levis denim, 1% stretch.  Too nice to try on a new pattern, must save ...  THAT affliction accounts for much of our stashes, no?

Off to Fabricland, where the "denim ends" table yielded up a serviceable denim of approximately the same stretchiness.  When sewn up into the Jalie jeans pattern, the resulting pair of jeans appeared to be i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-y tight.  As you already know, The Sewing Lawyer got a little discouraged and thought; well, maybe Fabricland's ends table could turn up another piece of denim that could be turned into an actually-wearable pair of jeans.  There was none of the same stretch, but for $8 a beefy and stretchier dark denim was available.  The second pair of jeans was cut and sewn to the same point.

The Sewing Lawyer hates sewing failures.  So returned to the first pair, and realized that by using ALL of the seam allowance insurance adding an extra 6cm (yes you heard that right) of width through the hips and most of the thigh, the first pair of jeans would actually be wearable.

So two pairs of jeans were sewed simultaneously.

Sometime before the cutting and sewing of the 2nd pair, The Sewing Lawyer got smart and altered the back piece to add more (let's call it) sitting room by slashing the back and adding a 2.5cm (1") wedge at the CB.  She also got confused, and thought she understood where the seam lines should always be on these Jalie jeans, but then almost instantly forgot this understanding, and sewed the 2nd pair with 2.5cm side seams.  Maybe the cold was still operating to fuzzify the Sewing Lawyer's brain.

In the end there were 2 pairs of jeans which fit remarkably similarly except the second stretchier pair is tighter through the knees, as a result of the cold-induced confusion.  It's a good thing they're stretchy!

All the pictures are on Flickr - here are the highlights.

The back - This happens to be the first pair; the second (despite the extra 2.5cm of length) looks really identical.  There are only 5 belt loops with one at CB - that extra one Jalie wants you to sew on looks weird, IMHO.

The front (this also happens to be the first pair).

And the side (for a change, this is the second pair - told you they looked identical).  Of course you will note the absence of "bootcut" flare.  The leg was redrawn to be completely straight below the knee.

Of possibly more interest is the fact that rivets were actually used, for the very first time.  And, on the 2nd pair, interesting pocketing was used, and the pocket seams were enclosed so no raw or serged edges are visible.  Behold:

This post concludes with a view of essential jeans-sewing tools and hardware.  The blue-handled and very pointy awl pokes the holes needed for the jeans buttons (to left) and the rivets (right).  Of course, to sew through denim, you also need a good jeans needle and for topstitching, heavy thread plus a topstitching needle.  Without 3 machines going to make these - my regular Pfaff threaded with dark blue thread; my Featherweight which is the topstitching and buttonhold station, and my serger, I might have gone mad.

This post was created on my new (Windows 7) computer - could you tell?


  1. Great fit! And I like the fun print used for the pocket and waistband facing.

  2. They look great! Definitely worth the effort you put into them!

  3. Very fine work, as always. And how nice to wind up with 2 pairs of jeans!

  4. The jeans really fit well and you have two new pairs. Aren't you lucky? I'm not brave enough to try and make jeans so I just buy them and hope for a good fit. Gita

  5. I just bought the Jalie jean pattern (I must be the last person to try it) and must say I am inspired by yours. I love the fun pocket and waistband the heck out of RTW jeans! Good job...cold and all!

  6. I have such admiration for people who sew jeans -and do them well like you have. I don't think I have ever made a pair of jeans.

    Outstanding job Kay!

  7. Jeans are in my future too, but I have many more fitting issues than you do, alas. Buying a vintage machine was part of my jeans plan since my new Viking does not handle heavy thread top and bottom at all well and the old one is a trooper in this regard. Now I need a pattern that fits as well as yours. Great jeans.

  8. Great fit and I love the pocketing!

  9. Oh Yay! You made it work and they look great!

  10. Wow, your jeans look great. Good for you on the "save" for number one!

  11. Great looking jeans. Fit you really well.
    And no, see no difference to your post, Windows version shouldn't make a difference ;) I like 7 better than vista.

  12. Very impressive fit and construction.