For my next pair of jeans I didn’t want any denim that fell apart too quickly or was annoying to work with, so I took some advice from someone else in the Thanksgiving Jeans sew a long that you could get away with a little less than 20% stretch on the Liana and got a load of fabric samples sent to me from a very helpful woman at Ditto Fabric after reading Melissa sing praise to their denim on their Fehrtrade blog and eventually I ended up buying 2 stretch denims and a non stretch one, including some black stretch denim which I thought I’d whip myself up another pair of quick Liana’s in, but this time using the straight leg variation.
Quick, ha, I forgot I’d have to tape the straight leg variation together, trace new fronts and backs and it turned out a couple of missing pieces too. Oh well, at least this denim was a lot nicer to work with than the metallic stuff and whilst only time will tell how it wears, it certainly feels a lot better quality than the stuff I bought locally.
So, interesting things about these jeans. Number one, cool fabric gifted to me by visiting sewing friend that I aused for the pocket linings, inside waistband and fly shield and also used as inspiration for my back pocket design. I loved how this bluey grey colour went with my denim and this is a real secret personal touch (as it won’t be seen when worn) that makes making my own so special. Amusing story about this gift? She brought more of the fabric with her, but decided at the last minute that she couldn’t bear to part with it all and took the larger bit back home with her. Gotta love a fabricaholic. And it was all for the best as I had just the amount I needed.
Fact Number 2, using upholstery thread instead of topstitching thread for the first time, another tip gleaned from reading the Fehrtrade blog. This made a big difference in how easy it was to thread my needle and worked well, apart from the epic fail of failing to notice that the charcoal grey thread I bought so exactly matched my not quite black (sold as grey) denim ,that my carefully chosen pocket design to pick out one of the seed heads (or whatever they are) from the lining fabric doesn’t show up at all. Boo. Oh well, I know it’s there. Serves me right for not doing a test sample before sewing (in case you’re wondering why I didn’t spot this sooner, I made the pockets first, tracing the design onto paper and sewing through that and the denim before tearing the paper away).
No 3 – don’t skim read that bit about clipping the centre front seam to a point below the circle on the pattern, or you will end up with a zip fly with a hole at the bottom that you have to end up zig zagging shut.
No 4 – do not attempt flat felled seams with a half inch seam, not even if you find a tutorial saying it’s possible, not even if you try it on scrap fabric and it seems to work, or you will end up with unravelling inside leg seams that you need to mend with good old zig zags before you have even finished your jeans. (No, there is no pic of this, but trust me it’s ugly. Instead you have a pic of my waisband, after I had to rip it out and redo it as one side was significantly taller than the other. Now it is only slightly wonky. Note also, the prym popper thingy that I used so I didn’t have to mess with button holes.)
However, that all said, they are jeans, they are finished, they didn’t sit in the naughty corner for months, the fit is good (although if making the straight version again I might slim down the lower leg a little, they’re wide enough to flap as I walk which I wasn’t expecting), they don’t look “home made” (not unless you examine my inner leg seam anyway) and they go with so many things.
The moral of this story, if you’d like to make jeans, but it seems daunting, then know that it gets easier the more pairs you make and the hard work up front pays off as you start to be able to knock them out relatively painlessly.