Monday, July 5, 2010

Do it right the first time

And you won't be forced to wake up during the night, thinking about how you screwed up, and wondering just how much work it's going to be in the morning to take it all apart again.

I knew I wasn't going to get very much sewing done this weekend, what with one thing and another, so I decided to work on one substantial project. I think I'm one of about 10 sewists left on earth who haven't tackled the Jalie jeans yet, and it was time.

I'd already bought two different stretch denims, neither of which excited me all that much after I got them home. When I went to Joann's with Andrea the other week, I bought a piece of stretch denim that I still liked after I washed it.

Tracing off the pattern was no big deal, not after all the Burda tracing I've done. Now that I know what size I am, I'd be tempted to just cut the original pattern pieces out, but if I make these in a non-stretch, I'll have to go up a size, so let's just leave well enough alone, shall we?

I've made jeans before, from Ottobre. I liked them, they fit well, and the instructions were good. Same here, with Jalie. I think the fit is somewhat better on these, but I have to admit to liking Ottobre's instructions better. I got a better fly front with their instructions, and now I'll have to pull them out and compare to see where they differ, because I'm not completely thrilled with my zipper in these - the tab is visible at the top, so there's not enough of a flap over the zipper.

Easily fixed, but still.

I cut these out Friday, and worked on them Saturday and yesterday. I finished the jeans last night, and had Mario take pictures this a.m. The first three photos are from before I went back inside and took the jeans apart again.

I read a lot of pattern reviews for these jeans before starting in, but I basically decided to just go with the pattern as is (and the instructions) and see what I got out of it on the first go. Overall, I'm pretty happy - the fit is good, though it's easier to get a nice fit with stretch. It's what happens after you wear them all day that I worry about. Your butt's only going to sag so much in a non-stretch denim; with stretch, the floor's the limit.

One thing I did NOT like about the pattern is the waistband. They have you cut it on the bias. Stretch denim and then the additional stretch of bias? With no interfacing? Really?

I gave it a shot. As you can see in the first closeup, the waistband pulls - on the bias. It also folds over the button, and the buttonhole is stretching out from lack of interfacing.

When I finished them last night, I thought they were good enough. I don't wear my tops tucked in anyway, and I knew what I would change for next time. I was okay with the result.

Except I wasn't. I woke up at least twice during the night, thinking about that waistband. After having him take the pictures this a.m., I came back inside and retreated to the workroom with a large black coffee and my seam ripper and took off the band and made a new one.

Since my denim was stretch, I had to cut the band on the lengthwise grain to get no stretch in my new waistband. I cut it longer than the pattern piece, just in case I needed some extra. I used a light-weight interfacing, with an extra layer in the button and buttonhole area.

Sewed it all back together, topstitched, hammered the button into place and tried them on again. Much better this time. As you can see from the second photo, any issue of the jeans not fitting at the waist now is more body-related than clothing related. I can cope with that - I can't change the shape of my body, at least not in an hour and using only a seam ripper.

All in all, the Jalie jeans pattern is not the sewing epiphany it's seemed to be for so many people. Which is not to say I won't make it again, but I know what I'll do differently next time.


Linda L said...

Well I still have not made those jeans. I still have pants phobia! I laughed about waking up and thinking about the jeans. I have done that sort of thing a lot and know it will happen again. Glad to know there are others out there that continue to sew while sleeping or trying to. New waistband looks really nice. You are to be commended for tackling the sewing of jeans.

lsaspacey said...

I'm going to try the pants from the Sew-U book first before tackling the Jalie. Especially since I already have the fabric and the book (w/ pattern).

Lisette M said...

Much better with the second waistband. I haven't tried this yet and since I have enough rtw jeans at the moment, I'm not tempted. You did great!

Little Hunting Creek said...

They look good! I have not made jeans yet either, even though I have the denim. Perhaps it has not properly aged. The new waistband was worth the extra work

gwensews said...

Count me in as one who has not sewn the Jalies. I have sewn other jeans though. Yours look great! I agree about the waisand.

Beangirl said...

significantly better waistband... as for lovin' the Jalie, I haven't tried them yet either. But my impression so far has been that the people who love them the best are people who are, you know, 20. And have, you know, a 20-year-old's abs and butt. Which is to say, they could love just about anything. (Not that I'm implying that you in ANY WAY don't look good, right? I'm just saying, the young people. They have little to complain about. Saggy stretch denim butts included... I just depressed myself.)

These jeans look GOOD.

Oh dear. My word verification is: "ploghsit". I won't tell you what I thought it said when I first read it, but it made me think the Google Word Verifications Gods were commenting on my blogging. Yikes.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I'm laughing *with* you about waking up twice worrying about a waistband. The final result is great!

Kathi Rank said...

Your jeans look great ... when you move to non stretch denim don't be too quick about going up a size. I found that my stretch jeans fit great right out of the dryer but by the end of the day they were a bit saggy. I made another out of non stretch denim without adjusting the pattern, hoping that they would fit the same way all day...and they worked out fine.

I wish I could sew as consistently as you do ... I'm always impressed that you have something new to blog about. Thanks.