30 October 2011

Jeans #4 Finished & Sew-Along

As planned, I finished #4 in time for the weekend. These jeans are SOOO comfortable and flattering. I made them tighter than normal (gotta embrace the curves!) and an inch longer so that the hem broke at just the right spot on my shoes. I am loving this pattern and can't wait to get started on the next pair.

Speaking of the next pair, let's sew along together! It's time to Occupy a New Pair of Jeans. I'm thinking we can start on 15 November and end either on 30 Nov or 15 Dec- whatever you choose. Personally, I opt for starting in the middle of next month because I have a lot going on right now and am overwhelmed. Plus, our second midterm exam will be over and I'll have more time to participate fully.

In the meantime, if you'd like to join me, post a comment with your email address. I'll create the site and invite you to be a co-author.


27 October 2011

Jeans #4 Progress

jI am almost finished with my next pair of jeans. I need to attach and topstitch the waistband, work the button hole, and sew the hem! In all, I spent maybe 8 hours over the course of a few days making this pair.

Anyone interested in doing a jeans sew-along? Come on, Faye! I know you can do it. =)


23 October 2011

Making Jeans Isn't That Difficult

Whenever I mention that I've made my own jeans, people usually respond with a comment about the task being really difficult. It actually isn't. The hardest thing about making jeans (or any garment for that matter) is achieving fit. Once you do that, the construction is quite simple.

Having made three pairs of jeans so far, I've streamlined the process down to a point where I can make a pair in a relatively short amount of time. Using multiple machines dedicated to one task is a HUGE time-saver. There is no need to change the thread colours, needles, and settings back and forth for each seam.

  • sewing machine (with a walking foot) to sew the seams
  • second sewing machine for topstitching
  • serger to finish the seams together (after serging)
If you've ever made a pair of pants, you can definitely make jeans. A simple trouser pant with a fly-front has four main pieces: front, back, front waistband, back waistband. A pair of jeans has the same four basic pieces, except the front and back are split into two: (1) back and back yoke, and (2) front and front yoke. The front yoke is constructed along with the front pocket while the back yoke is part of the jeans design. Add to these pieces a back pocket, fly shield, and belt loops and you have a pair of jeans. The process of constructing jeans is laborious since the work involves sewing (almost) every seam three or four times. But, it is certainly not hard.

On my current pair, I've put in about 4 hours (or so) of work. This includes:
  • cutting out the fabric and pocket lining
  • making the back pocket design
  • attaching the back pockets and back yoke
  • assembling the front pocket linings and front yoke
Progress Pictures:

Next I need to:
  • install the zipper
  • topstitch the front zipper area
  • sew & topstitch the inseam
  • sew the side seams
  • attach & topstitch the waistband
  • make the button hole
  • sew the hem
If I plan accordingly and put in a little time each day, these should be ready to wear out this coming weekend! Now, all I need is a top. Hmm...


18 October 2011

Serger Update & the Next Project

Last week, I took my serger into the shop with the intention of leaving with something new and shiny. While I did consider getting a Babylock, I just couldn't reason parting with 4 figures on another machine. (Sorry Kyle!) I am having mechanical failures of all sorts and have to prioritize at the moment.

After explaining the issue to my dealer, she said that she will have the repairman evaluate the machine and see if it's worth fixing. If it is, he'll fix it. If not, they'll let me know. It turns out that the issue was fixable. The repairman tightened the lower looper arm, adjusted the tensions, reset the timing (again O_o), cleaned the machine, and gave me a six-month warranty. If the machine acts up again within six months, then I can apply the repair cost toward the cost of a new machine.

I'm not going to wait six months to see if this damn thing is going to act right. So my next project will be labour intensive with hefty fabric. Yes, I am making another pair of jeans! I've already cut out the pieces and am thinking of designs for the pockets.

Many thanks to all who left comments and suggestions on sergers.

If you hear of a woman chucking a white object over the Ambassador Bridge, it was me sending my serger to a watery death in the Detroit River!


09 October 2011

Just When My Sewjo Made a Comeback...

...my serger decided to take a break...literally. Freakin' serger. That's it. I'm done.

I am quite certain that the arm attached to the lower looper shouldn't move freely. But since it does, the stitches are sporadically uneven and sloppy. I know I can finish the edges on my sewing machine, but why should I if I have a machine that cuts and does it for me?! I am annoyed. Grrr.

What serger to get now? Do you have a serger? If so, what's your experience?


05 October 2011

APB: Missing Sewjo.

I am putting out an alert for a missing sewjo. If you see it, catch it and hold it down for me. I'll be on the way...

School is seriously draining this semester. It's only been four weeks and I am burned out! By the time I get home, I am on relax-mode and in no mood to sew. It sucks because I really need clothes - especially skirts. Yes, that's right: skirts. The skirts I made this summer for fall are now too big. That's a good thing since I am toning up and dropping a few pounds, but that leaves me with a hole in my wardrobe.

I did begin work on the Lady Grey coat. I made the muslin, cut out all of the pieces and am in the process (whatever that means) of hand-basting hair canvas to the fronts. I was hoping to have it done before it got too cold to wear it. Meh...we'll see about that. We have a break coming up (hallelujah), so maybe I can get some sewing done then.

While this coat will take some time to complete, I need something quick and easy to do. Thing is, I'm stalled by indecision on what to do. Hah!

What do you do when your sewjo goes missing?



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