Monday, November 17, 2014

Holy Sh*t, I Made Jeans!!

This is a bit of a sewing milestone for me... so many firsts! First zip fly, first time using topstitching thread, first jeans button, first swayback adjustment, first time breaking two needles on one project... I am super pumped! Ok, maybe not about that last one, but everything else = yes. Really, this is my first pair of legitimate pants (i.e. non-elastic waist).

This is the new Ginger skinny jeans pattern from Heather at Closet Case Files.  I was planning to make the Ginger jeans for the sewalong, but once I got started, I couldn't stop (I literally made these in one long-ass day of sewing). But I'll call it a sewalong make because I relied heavily on the fitting help Heather provided!

Ginger Jeans Sewalong by Closet Case Files

My Gingers are View B, the high rise, skinny leg jeans. I will definitely give view A a try for my next pair. Both are pretty killer! I'm not sure I have the cojones to wear the high rise Gingers without a shirt hanging over them, but I appreciate how the high rise sucks in/prevents muffin top.

I am so excited about having completed these jeans and having them turn out halfway decent. I learned lots of new techniques that I can use for other pants patterns I've got in my stash... I told Tim that this might be the doorway to a whole new world of awesome homemade pants for him, too. Jedediah? Jutland? They shall be made. My sewjo and confidence are way up. Thanks, Heather!

Also, the back of my new-ish haircut is lookin' good in these photos, eh?

Here are my sewing notes for these Gingers:

After basting together the jeans made in what looked like my size based on the measurements, I found them to be a bit big overall, so I recut a size down, which fit the way I was hoping. They're tight, but I find that after a wear or two, skinnies sag out, so I like them to start out pretty snug.

My basted-together jeans indicated that I needed a sway-back adjustment. I had some gaping in the back. I ended up taking a 1/2 inch wedge out of the yoke as indicated in the sewalong, as well as a 1/2 inch wedge from the waistband to make it more curved. Well, I guess I really took a total of 1 inch out of each, because the alteration is doubled. Does that make sense?

Throwing caution to the wind and totally ignoring Heather's wise advice to cut the waistband with stretch, I cut my waistband with no stretch because I find that the waistband is the first thing to sag out in my RTW jeans. Friends, this may have been a mistake, because my final waistband is a bit tight and pull-y. It's almost to the point of needing a friend with pliers, a la Dazed and Confused. But not quite... alright, alright, alright!

I made an adjustment to get rid of some large underbutt wrinkles I was experiencing, using the method detailed in Heather's sewalong. Seemed to work pretty well! There's still a little bit of wrinkling... the question remains: how much underbutt wrinkling is acceptable? 

PS: taking and posting photos of one's butt is strange, particularly when you've just learned your coworkers discovered your blog. hiya coworkers!

For fabric I used some dark, medium-weight Japanese stretch denim I found in Bangkok's Chinatown fabric area. It wasn't really marked (at least not in English), so I'm not sure how much stretch is has. I just sorta eyeballed it. It seemed about right for the pattern; not too stretchy. It was pretty cheap (about $5/meter), so I felt fine using it for a wearable muslin. I splurged and bought one of the fancy kits Heather was selling, so I felt I needed to try the pattern and work out fitting issues before cutting into the good denim.

I used navy top-stitching thread thinking it would be less conspicuous if I screwed up. I actually think I did a decent job, though. Not perfect, but pretty damn good. Not sure why these photos came out so weird, color-wise:

I didn't use rivets because I couldn't find them here in Bangkok. I'm sure they exist in the city, maybe even in stores I visited, I just didn't see them and didn't know how to ask!

Somehow my coin pocket ended up on the wrong side. I think I spaced out, cut two of them, and then topstitched the wrong one. Eh. Hopefully the coin pocket police let me off with a warning.

These jeans are pretty long... I am 5'7" and a half-ish, but don't have particularly long legs. I ended up hemming them up 1/2" and then another 3/4".

My pockets and inner waistband are polka dot quilting cotton- leftovers from my Bruyere shirt.

I did the serge-and-topstitch method for my seams.

Ta da! Them's my Ginger jeans!  
Have you made jeans before? Are you planning on making the Gingers?