Tag Archives: denim

Sewing Sabbatical, Plus Seth’s Jeans

Well, I took quite a long break from this blog because I took quite a long break from sewing.

I tend to get very obsessed with things and so last Spring I felt like sewing was kinda taking over my life. Not even that I was spending all day sewing, but that so much of my energy was going into it-planning projects, picking out fabric, reading sewing blogs…it all adds up. My life picked up and got busier than ever and so I decided to stop sewing for awhile because I just couldn’t keep up with everything.

I figured I would start again when I felt like it. I assumed that would happen in a couple of weeks, but it didn’t! I think I burned myself out. We basically didn’t buy any clothes at all for two and a half years because I made them all, for our family of 5. My sewing had become like a job!

Then a couple of weeks ago I was with a friend who was talking about her Christmas present sewing projects. While I was talking to her, I thought, sewing sounds fun. So I went home and picked out a pattern and some fabric I had on a shelf and started sewing.

I’m enjoying it again, with plans to be a moderate home sewer! No more making all of everyone’s clothes.

It’s a good think I decided to pick it back up, because we have looked high and low for some pants that will fit Seth, but we just can’t find any. So of course my first project back at it was a pair of pants for Seth.

I have to say that my project pictures won’t be anything fancy. I sold my camera last Spring and am using my phone camera now. Plus, it’s cold and snowy so there’s no way I’m taking any pictures outside right now! This is mostly so I have a record of my projects.

I made him more Small Fry Skinny jeans-the biggest size with some inches added to the inseams and outseams. Plus an elastic waistband because that’s what fits his body the best.

The fabric is Ralph Lauren stretch denim from Mood.

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“I’m too cool for pictures.”

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Dark Jeans (With Mood Fabric)

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I finished my pair of jeans-with no leg twist this time! I can’t explain how pumped I am about this.

See that straight inseam?!

See that straight inseam?!

I spent so much time trying to figure out what could be causing the legs to twist. The first time it happened I thought maybe I just wasn’t careful enough when sewing the inseam and my feed dogs pulled one side through faster than the other.

That didn’t turn out to be it, and so then I thought maybe I somehow wasn’t cutting my pattern pieces out on grain. So I meticulously cut my fabric out, one leg at a time and was oh so careful.

That wasn’t it either, and so then I knew there had to be something wrong with my pattern. It is self-drafted after all, so why wouldn’t I have screwed something up?

I thought the grainlines had to be off on the pattern, so Jon and I spent a lot of time examining the grainlines on the pair of jeans I drafted my pattern from and the grainline on my pattern pieces, but they looked identical to us so we didn’t think that was it either.

I finally decided to just make a muslin and play around with it and when I did, I was able to figure out what was wrong. And guess what it was? The outseam on the front and back pattern pieces didn’t match up. The back was longer than the front.

There's no pocket facing attached in this picture so it looks even worse than it actually was, but you can kind of get an idea.

There’s no pocket facing attached in this picture so it looks even worse than it actually was, but you can kind of get an idea.

When I sewed all my pairs of jeans together, I sewed the inseam and then pinned and sewed the outseams. But I started pinning and sewing at the hip and so since the front was shorter, it got twisted as I pinned it to the back and by the time I got to the hem it was a bit of a mess.

There was a pretty big difference-the back was about 1 1/2″ longer than the front. I knew I didn’t want my front that much higher and I knew I didn’t want my back that much lower, so for an inch of the length I tapered the back, starting at the center back and tapering down to 1″ by the time I got to the outseam.

Then for the remaining 1/2″ I split it in half and took 1/4″ off the back yoke (I tapered from the center down to the outseam again) and added 1/4″ to the front outseam (I added the 1/4″ to the outseam but then tapered down to zero by the time I hit center front).

It worked! And I learned from this that I should start pinning the outseam from the hem up. It makes sense, because the hem is supposed to be perpendicular to the grainline. If I pin that first then I can make sure the pieces stay on grain.


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Anyway, I love these. I got the fabric from Mood (It was this right here) and it’s my favorite fabric yet I’ve made jeans out of.

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I made them with a little bit of a tapered leg, like my last pair (and in the pictures of that last pair you can see the inseam twisting).

This pattern has been a work in progress for awhile, but I think I can finally say that this pair is just the way I want it!




Black Denim Skirt

wpid1570-20150123-165136.jpgI haven’t made a new skirt in a long time, and I decided I definitely needed to fix that.

I made my denim skirt last Spring, and I wear it to church more than anything else, so I made another denim skirt like that one except out of black denim this time.


I got the denim from fabric.com and the front buttons from Mood Fabrics.

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I already wrote about how I drafted the front and back for this skirt off of a ready to wear skirt that I have, and then I used the waistband, fly, pocket, and yoke pieces from a jeans pattern that I like (An Angela Wolf jeans pattern).

My first denim skirt gets some pull lines across the front because it’s a little too tight in the thighs, so I added a little bit of width to the outseams for this black skirt. Because of that, I needed to widen my waistband a little bit too. I added the extra width to the center of the waistband because that seemed like a good place to add to.

But it turns out that I should have added to the ends of the waistband instead of the center, because adding to the center widened the curve out in the back and made the waistband of my skirt gape a little bit.

Where I added to the waistband.

Where I added to the waistband.

Now I can look at the pattern piece and easily see that adding right there would mess up the curve. But I didn’t realize it before and now I will just have to call it a learning experience and know that I’ll never make that mistake again!

At least it’s not that bad. And it only gapes when I sit.

wpid1580-20150123-165243.jpg wpid1582-20150123-165240.jpgI’m glad that I have a black skirt now, because every girl needs a black skirt for sure.