24 March 2013

Jeans #9 (Part 1 - prep)

That's eight pairs of Jalie 2908.  Eight.  What can I say?  I love making and wearing jeans.  

Currently, I only wear five of the eight because one pair stretched out so much that I can take them off without unzipping or unbuttoning.  The other two are too small because...well...chocolate happens.

So I'm working on #9.  This time around, I've decided to carefully document the time it takes to make one pair and photo the process as I go along.  Oftentimes people ask me how long it takes to make them and I never have an answer.  A few hours?  A few days?

Prepping the Fabric (time not counted)

I always wash and dry my denim three times before I cut.  I learned to do this after my first pair shrunk considerably after I made them.   I like the hem of my jeans/pants to touch the top of my shoes.  This pair shows way too much shoe.  


I don't add any fabric softener or conditioners to the water.  After the third drying session, I immediately remove the fabric from the dryer and iron out all of the wrinkles.  I've found that leaving the fabric in the dryer causes some (most?) of the wrinkles to set.

I didn't time this part because I washed and dried over a couple of weeks.  I try to combine loads as much as possible so I only handled the denim when I had something to wash.

Cutting Out the Pieces/Prepping Machines (33 minutes)

Since I've made this pattern so many times already, cutting out didn't take much time.  The pieces are already prepared and altered to fit.  I still have to cut out the pocket lining and interfacing.  I'll add this in a separate section.

To sew jeans (or anything with topstitching), I set up three machines.  I usually sew the seams first, serge them together, press the seam to one side, then add a double row of topstitching. 

older picture of machine set-up for jeans sewing

That's all I have for now.  I started designing the back pockets and will share those details in the next post.   Currently I'm working on my last UFO (Vogue 8426) which I'm making in denim and including lots of topstitching.  I hope to finish that soon, but I think I'm getting sick so we'll see how that goes.

Until next time, peace!

L


21 comments:

  1. oh no!!! don't get sick!!!
    i'm interested in hearing how long it takes you to make jeans. i think it took me about an hour to cut out my jeans, but i included ironing in that time. i think you will be a lot faster than me!!

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    1. Aww, thanks Kyle. I was very busy last week and am exhausted! I think a cold is inevitable at this point. I am fatigued, sneezy, and have watery eyes. Not good signs. =)

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  2. Cool, 9 pairs of the same pattern, that must be some great jeans pattern! I'm looking forward to see the rest of the description of how you make them, so someday I can make my own too.

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    1. Thank you Elise. I will do my best to document everything carefully. Jeans really aren't that hard to sew; just time consuming.

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  3. Thank you for the tips! I was just about to make my first pair of jeans with denim, but I only washed and dried it once! I will go wash them again!

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    1. You're welcome! I learned the hard way after my jeans shrank considerably. I wash and dry three times, plus I add an extra inch in length just to be on the safe side. I can always lop it off if it's too long.

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  4. I love how you are taking the time to document the process. And, 9 pairs from the same pattern? I think I need to get Jalie 2908. Looking forward to seeing the whole process.

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    1. Thanks Audrey. Jalie 2908 is that serious! I thought about trying other jeans patterns and never do. Why go through another set of muslins when I have a pattern that works? Give it a try!

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  5. Kudos to you, I'm too chicken to try blue jeans! I have a box of a dozen pieces of denim (I'm brave enough to buy the fabric), and that Jalie pattern that everyone loves... but nothing to show for it! Teach me, please?!?! Oh, and "chocolate happens"?! ALL THE TIME!!! I love you!

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    1. Bah! With the fabulousness that you create, I am confident that you can sew a pair of jeans in no time!

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  6. GIRL!, you are to be commended. I PROMISE YOU I will get that Jalie pattern made up this summer!

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    1. Tee-hee. Thanks Faye! I'm sure you will and you'll enjoy it too!

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  7. Hi L, so glad you've mastered jeans - it sounds like you must have tweaked a bit to get them right. I found denim shrinks too even after the first pre-shrinking, so thanks for the tip about how you prep it. The denim would be just a little softer too, I guess.

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    1. Thanks Sarah! The last pair of jeans I made never quite softened up after the third washing. They're still a little stiff now and I've washed and worn them for a year. That said, they're most most favorite pair and are holding up very well. Some people say that adding a can of coca cola to the wash water helps to soften the fabric; I've not tried it though and probably won't.

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  8. Three times? I will have to get my denim fabric down to the laundry room. I have the exact problem - I make pants that shrink later...or stretch out. So I'll take your advice. I will also be slowly following along with your jeans sewing instructions. Its something I've wanted to tackle and just haven't.

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    1. Thanks Nothy! I learned the first time to try and remove as much shrinkage as possible and to add a bit of length when I cut them out.

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  9. I don't know how I missed this post. You don't know how much I need this right now. lmbo. I can't wait to see what you post next. I am at the beginning of making a pair of jeans and I know that I am going to need some help. lol

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    1. Please join along! Jeans making is so much fun and very straightforward!

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  10. You go girl! See glad you're documenting the process. I appreciate the tip on triple washing and drying.... I will implement on the next pair.

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  11. I love making jeans too. I just bought 8 more yards of denim on sale at Mood. Plus two other pieces, so enough for 5 pairs of jeans to go with the two I've finished. It's kind of addictive. I set up 3 machines as well. It's so much easier to have a machine for the topstitching. Have fun.

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Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.

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