Sewing Your Own Jeans

A couple weeks ago, after I splurged on Crafty’s awesome $19.99 sale, I spent a couple days watching  classes on making jeans.

Angela Wolf has classes on Pattern Review as well as Craftsy.  In Sewing Designer Jeans she uses her own jean pattern to talk you through the art of making your own jeans.  Some great tips are on distressing the denim to create that broke-in look of your favorite washed and worn jeans.  Other tips include topstitching options and, my favorite, hammering those multi-seamed, hard to sew areas for a flatter, easier to sew seam.

Another class I’ve had in my Craftsy library is Kenneth King’s Jean-ius.  The idea is to take a pair of your favorite, best fitting jeans and create a pattern from them … without taking the jeans apart!  Since I no longer have a favorite fitting jean, I wanted this class more to learn to clone a pair of pants … any pants.  My favorite part of this video is the construction of the jean.  Kenneth talks you through so many why’s and how’s of putting together a pair of jeans and shares some of his favorite methods.  This is definitely a class I will be revisiting.

I recently purchased the Jamie Jean pattern by Named Clothing.  I’ve been a little obsessed with discovering what difference the European cut made in a pair of pants and my daughter has been needing blue jeans, so it was a good excuse.  I have the pattern cut and ready to sew… but no time!  It appears they may have to wait until after Christmas.  But many of the tips from those jeans classes will be put to the test.  🙂

And lastly, I found this post by Don Morin on drafting a pair of American Jeans based on your own measurements.  Creating custom patterns based on measurements has also become a bit of an obsession lately.  I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something that actually fits!

I measured myself, which is always dicey, and drafted a pattern.  I’m pretty proud of myself.  Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so we’ll have to wait to see how the muslin actually fits.

All of this activity was actually from a couple weeks ago.  With Christmas and high school football championship games, it’s been pretty busy around here.  And Christmas is next week.  I’m not ready!  Oh, and my husband is having knee surgery Monday…before Christmas!  It’s going to be crazy around here.

I really need to sew up a few zipper bags before Christmas….let’s see if I actually get it done!

I hope you’re doing a better job of organizing your time.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


The Bag Bostonian

While at QuiltCon in February, I saw the pattern for the Bag Bostonian by Jeeum Quilts.   The Sewing Party had made a couple demos in Enchino Linen that looked fantastic.

BagBostonian.DoneI’ve finally made the bag.  This is actually my test version.  I have some Enchino Linen that I’m really thinking about using for another, but wanted to be sure I didn’t have any issues before cutting into it.

In this version, I’ve used an upholstery weight fabric lined and trimmed with 100% cotton fabric from the Parisville line by Tula Pink.  I chose not to interface because I thought the weight of the main fabric backed with batting and lining would give the bag plenty of body.  I would definitely rethink that if I were to start over.  It has the feel of a carpet bag and I would like more body that would encourage the bag to stand up.

Jeeum Quilts is Korean I believe, and I get the sense this has been translated into English (rather than originally written in English.)  There are a couple spots in the instructions that aren’t totally clear.  On the most part, I could reason through.  One major problem I had was on the side binding.  The pattern was not clear on the size binding to use and the application instructions were not clear.  I ended up making up my own.  I used the same size binding as on the top edge of the bag and laid it over the raw edge of the seam allowance.  I threaded the hook onto the binding strip end that extends past the top and attached that end to the inside lining.

I also found Elizabeth’s blog post that talked about taking a class for this bag.  Seeing what they had done on that side seam helped a lot in deciding how to tackle that.  Elizabeth was gracious enough to share with me how she applied the binding on her purse.

The trim strips are only as long as the sides, plus about 5 inches, to take them along the seam, then over the top of the zipper and down the inside a bit–maybe 16″ that is visible with another 3″ sewn into the boxed corner–maybe 19-20″ in total in length, and about 1 1/2″ in width? They are not bias, but instead cut on the straight of grain.
The seam is sewn with the lining sides together, so all the raw edged seam allowances end up on the outside of the bag.  I have a photo on my blog, and if you look carefully at the middle of the three photos, where I’m talking about the side strip, you can see the seam allowances.  Basically you pin the strip down, top stitch it into place on both sides in order to cover the raw edges of the side seam.  (Elizabeth of Occasional Piece)
Below are a few shots of the bag that may give you an indication of the construction.

BagBostonian Collage

BagBostonian4Other than that, the bag went together really well.  I can definitely see me making more in the future.  I didn’t put pockets inside as I normally do.  I plan to make some small zipper bags to keep things separated in this bag.

Are you wondering what size this bag is??  Take a look at what I had inside the bag to make it stand up for photos.  These Harry Potter books are pretty darn thick.   I think it’s safe to say the bag is pretty roomy!

The bag bottom and handles were made from leather I picked up at Tandy for a bag class by Don Morin.  I still haven’t made a bag from that Craftsy class!   Still on my to do list though.  I did use some of his tips in this bag though.  The handles are made with many of the tips Don taught.

This is one of my projects this Labor Day weekend.  I have been so busy and still have so much to do.

So, did you sew this weekend or hang out with family and friends?  Either way, I hope you are blessed.