My confidence in sewing jeans and mastering the fly front led me to suggest to my other half that I make him a pair of trousers. I had been looking at the Jutland Pant pattern from Thread Theory and as he works as a carpenter they looked like they would be a sturdy pair of work trousers.
We’d decided to make them in denim. I found a 14.5oz denim on eBay for £5.99 per metre. I was expecting it to be heavy weight but it was a bit like cardboard when I opened the package. I ordered from Regency Rags Fabrics and I’m not quite sure if I’d recommend it.
The pattern called for 2.6mts of fabric, so I ordered 3mt and received a generous 3.6mts. I gave it a pre-wash and even as I was recklessly shoving all the fabric into the machine I wondered if it was a good idea with such a large amount of stiff fabric. Of course it turned out to be a bad idea as when I removed from the machine it was all creased up and where the creases were the fabric had faded. Once I’d ironed the fabric it looked better but some of the fade lines were still visible. Also it was a marathon ironing 3.6mts of 150cm wide fabric and in the end I only used about 1.90mt for the pants.
He wears a 34″ waist so I traced off the size 34″ and made a toile which fitted fine.
For the pocket bags I ordered some gingham from eBay sold by Favourite Fabrics. I would definitely recommend this fabric, the background is ecru rather than white and I went for the navy 3mm version. I also used this for the underneath of the leg pocket flaps and for the binding at the inner waistband.
I didn’t have any issues sewing up these pants, the instruction booklet you get with the pattern is very clear. I flat felled the outside leg seam, the thickness of the layers at the knee patches didn’t cause too much of a problem. The instructions do say that you can flat fell the inside leg seams too even though it would be tricky as you’d need to sew in a tube. I decided against this and used a normal seam and overlocked the edge. I did topstitch the seam which was just about manageable. I use a method which I think is called ‘puddling’ but I can’t find any reference to it on google. Anyway, I turned the tube of the leg inside out and began topstitching at the top of the inside leg. After a short while it’ll begin to get difficult to stitch but just keep going slowly and with the needle down manoeuvre the fabric so you can keep on with the seam. A tip here would be to know the length of inseam you need as I ended up cutting about 3″ off the bottom which would have made the last bit of topstitching much easier. To get the fabric off the machine you need to go right back up the seam to the beginning. I found that taking the foot off and the needle out made it much easier to remove the fabric. I did take some photos when stitching which may help to explain better than my words.
One thing I wanted to do but couldn’t was to flat fell the back rise seam. This is because you join the two completed legs before sewing the fly zipper. So the rise seam is sewn from the back to the front just below the zipper opening in one go. The instructions tell you just to sew a normal seam but remember to neaten the seam first before sewing together. Frustratingly I looked at the sewalong on the Thread Theory blog for tips on sewing the fly only to see that in this instance they had decided to sew the pants in a different order and had flat felled the back rise seam – grrr!
The fly instructions were easy to follow but the problem was that I had the whole weight of the pants to deal with rather than just two front pieces. I prefer the method I leant on the Craftsy Jeanius course where the fly is inserted before the legs are sewn up.
Towards the end of the sewing I was running out of topstitching thread, it was a few days before Christmas with no chance of being about to get anymore and I really wanted to get them done. So I only single needled the fly and rise seams. My thread ran out just as I got to the end of the waistband, I was having to hold the thread as I made the final stitches as it had already come away from the reel. The hems were stitched in standard navy thread which I’ll topstitch in orange when I get the chance to buy more. The topstitching was fairly successful, there was a lot less unpicking than usual. One thing I did find that even though my stitch length would be set the same on some seams the stitches were shorter and I think this is to do with the thickness of some of the seams. It’s not perfect but it looks OK.
I decided to wash the pants again after I’d finished the sewing as quite a bit of dye was still coming off them during making up, all the white areas of my ironing board cover have turned pale blue. The finished inside leg length was 32″ but when I took them out of the machine I could tell straight away that they had shrunk. They had shrunk in length by 1.5″. I was a bit frantic at this stage and was standing on the waist and pulling the legs up! I had used quite a generous double fold hem so I waited for them to dry – which due to the thickness of knee patches and pockets is an age- then undid the hem. I overlocked the edge and turned up once which wouldn’t be my ideal hem for trousers but I thought I’d see what the length was like when he wore them before doing anything else. As it turns out because he wears his trousers slightly ‘low slung’ I’ll be able to double fold the hem.
I’m a bit annoyed with myself as I’ve had all the time since Christmas to take photos in daylight and today I’m back to work and have missed the opportunity. Nor do I have a shot of them being worn but trust me they look great!
Anyway, I’m glad to report that the Jutland Pants have been a great success and were worn all through Christmas week. I really enjoyed making these and would quite happily make another pair. I have enough denim left to make a standard pair of jeans. So maybe later in the year I’ll take a pattern from a pair of Gap jeans or maybe just alter the Jutland pattern which would probably be easier. But I’ll be giving the fabric another wash before I make anything else with it I don’t want anymore unexpected shrinkage!