Monday, March 7, 2016
Jalie 2908 ~ Jeans #1
I finally did it. I made jeans! I’ve been meaning to for 3 years now but either felt intimidated, or lacked motivation. Sunday, I finally just went for it.
These took me 3 days to sew; I tried to break it up into parts. The Jalie illustrated instructions are on three separate pages so I sewed up a page each day. This broke it down quite nicely. Jeans are not hard to make, really. They just take loads of time.
My sizing put me in an AA but when I try to go off that I usually end up with not enough for my rear and too much in front. So I decided to cut a size Z for the front and BB for the back. I made sure the seams all lined up still.
The biggest problem I have in RTW jeans is that annoying back gap. It’s huge on me. So I immediately used the “gaposis” fix linked in this post on the Jalie blog. I took 1 inch off the waist and 1/2” off the yoke on each side for 1” total there. I made no other adjustments.
To sew these I set up my vintage Kenmore for top-stitching and used my new Janome for the sewing. I used a twin needle for most of the double top-stitching but I wouldn’t do that again; it makes the stitching pretty scratchy on the inside. I had top-stitching thread in each needle, and regular thread in the bobbin. When the twin needle sews it creates sort of a zigzag on the backside with the bobbin thread – this makes it scratchier than a normal stitch. Next time I’ll just sew each line separately with a single needle.
Jalie’s instructions are fantastic for these, but I still needed more visual handholding for the zipper and fly. I went to the Ginger Sew-a-long posts and looked over those as I assembled the fly. They use all the same parts as the Jalie but the pictures are photos, not illustrations; this helped me
As I was sewing these up I got so excited when I came to the inseam. I sewed and topstitched the inseam, and then only basted the side seams for a quick fitting. Everything looked great but the back still gapped a bit because the waist was too big for me. The thigh area was just a bit too tight for my liking too. I took out the basting and re-sewed the side seams with 1/2” seam allowance from waist to hip and then 1/4” seam allowance from hip to knee.
Fit: I am in love with these jeans! I don’t know why I procrastinated in making them. Honestly I thought they wouldn’t fit me and I would have to do a ton of adjustments. But you can’t move forward if you don’t … move forward! lol. These fit me so much better than any RTW jean I’ve owned and I didn’t have a lot to adjust!
Fabric: I just barely squeaked these out of 2 yards of “Stretch Denim 9oz. Midnight Indigo” fabric. The denim had 20% stretch. The pattern calls for 2 and 1/8th yard I think. I was super careful to make sure everything was on grain when cutting; except the waistband is cut on the bias. Anyway I picked up this fabric back in April 2013 (see I meant to make jeans way back then!) from fabric.com for only $3.99 a yard. That makes these jeans only $7.98! (not including thread, button, zipper, etc.).
To prep this fabric I prewashed and dried it twice. After I made the jeans I soaked them overnight in vinegar followed by a rinse and then tumble in the dryer with tennis balls. I was hoping to soften up the denim a bit with the vinegar soak. After this I took some sandpaper and lightly sanded a few spots (thighs, side seams, bottom hems) and then washed as normal. They are still somewhat stiff but I just need to wear them to break them in.
Going Forward: The next time I make these I will add 1/2” to 1” to the inseam because I like my pants longer. I will make the waist 1/2” smaller still. And I might add 1” to the rise because I’m super close to showing my butt crack when I bend over in these or when sitting. These are minor changes to a great pattern. I’m super pleased with them.
Next up I’ll be making the Ginger Jeans with the flare option, just to see how different they fit.
I’m also wearing yet another Jalie Scarf Collar top (2921). This is the third one I’ve sewn in the last two weeks. This time I made it sleeveless and in a Navy ITY. I really love this pattern because it looks dressy or casual, sews up so fast, and takes just 1 yard of fabric.
The one thing I have issues with in sleeveless tops is when the pattern asks you to just turn and topstitch the armhole. My fabric never wants to cooperate with the curve there. So I found that cutting a strip of bias (or in this case since it was a knit just a 1.5” wide strip) and then serging it to the armhole, under stitching it, and flipping it to topstitch down. This works great for me every time and the inside looks much cleaner.
Fabric: I just bought this from fabric.com in February for this pattern. 1 yard Monaco Small Dot ITY Knit Navy/White for $3.74. This is a great ITY; perfect weight and not see through.
I didn’t adjust for swayback this time either; I must remember to do this.
With the busy dots you can barely tell there is a seam down the center front.
*~* Happy Sewing! ~*~