Jeans – Work in Progress

I am pleased to report that the jeans I’m currently making following the Craftsy Jeanius course are going well. I am really enjoying sewing these up. Even though I’m going slow and steady they have sewn up quicker than expected.

I just need to put on the waistband, belt loops, button, rivets then finally hem.

The top stitching has been only mildly frustrating. My very first stitch using the top stitching thread tangled itself up – but I took a deep breath and stayed cool.

I had real problems stitching the edge stitch on the front pocket bags, on the reverse side there are some loops. But strangely the second row would stitch fine. After unpicking a few times I accepted the imperfection as it wasn’t visible on the outside.

I’ve even taken the time to tie off all my topstitching thread ends as directed, well all but one and this is what happens when you don’t. I still have to sort this out.

arrgghh! Unravelling topstitching :(

arrgghh! Unravelling topstitching 😦

The jeans are fitting well and the small adjustment I made to the front to add some width in has worked. My only issue was with the back waistband as it was still gaping despite the adjustment I made to the pattern after the toile. I then remembered a picture in ‘Claire Shaeffers’s Couture Sewing Techniques’ where a gaping low ‘V’ neckline had the excess taken out of it by using seam tape.

I needed to remove 1.25cm from each half of the back yoke. They were measuring 21.25cm and wanted to get to 20cm, so I found some tape to use (selvedge cut off some quilting cotton). I marked a 20cm length also noting the mid-point. Then I pinned this to the yoke just inside where the seam would be sewn using lots of pins to spread out the fullness. I then stitched the tape on using tiny running stitches. I treated each yoke section separately. Once the tape was on I steamed the fullness out and double checked that they still measured 20cm. This has really improved the way they fit at the back waist.  I’m not quite sure what to do next…I think the tape should stay on, maybe trim it down a bit as I don’t want it to show once the waistband is on. Let me know if you know the best way to deal with this!

top picture shows how much excess needed to be taken out middle picture shows the fullness evened out and pinned bottom picture show the yoke after the fullness has been ironed out

top picture shows how much excess needed to be taken out
middle picture shows the fullness evened out and pinned
bottom picture show the yoke after the fullness has been ironed out

For my first attempt at a fly front I’m really pleased at how it has turned out. The instructions are really clear but there is room for improvement the next time I do one. You can see from the picture that the inner zip guard is too short and not quite wide enough. I needed to make my pattern pieces bigger. The inner guard should reach as far as the twin needle stitching so that it can be secured with a bartack at the bottom. When you look on the right side of a pair of jeans this bartack sits on the twin needle just at the bottom curve.

fly zipper opening from the front and the back

fly zipper opening from the front and the back

I mentioned in the previous post that I was going to do a two piece waistband so I could get the shaping but in the course the waistband starts off as a folded straight band but then is shaped, stretching and curving the bottom edge slightly with the iron so I’m going to give this a go.

There’s two or three evenings of work left to do so I’m expecting that this time next week I’ll be in my own jeans 🙂



14 thoughts on “Jeans – Work in Progress

  1. I have had the exact same problem as you with a gaping back yoke. I think the stretch denim just acts much differently than 100% cotton on that yoke piece. I took small darts in the yoke pattern piece making the yoke more curved. Before attaching the waistband, I sew 1/4″ twill tape along the top of the yoke. That prevents any possible stretching out and gaping along that back yoke. Here is a photo of what I did:

    • Thanks Meigan, I had adjusted my pattern piece but as you say, the stretch denim acts differently. The seam tape has done the job and I’ll leave it in to keep the area stable. Love your finished jeans, they look great. I haven’t done any fancy stitching on my pockets this time around.

  2. Watching this keenly as I’m thinking about jeans more and more. I had a thought for your topstitching – stolen from some quilting techniques. What if you left a long tail, pull the top stitching through to the back, knot it and then clip?

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